We’ve been introducing you to our family this fall, the folks who make Flushing Town Hall tick. If you’ve been following this series, you will see that we didn’t want to just present bios, but have some fun. And so we posed a bunch of offbeat questions to the staff.
This week, we’d like to introduce you to Ellen Kodadek.
Ellen wears two hats, as the Executive Director and the Artistic Director at the Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts at Flushing Town Hall. “Right brain, left brain,” says Ellen, who has been with us for 7 ½ years.
Ellen – who has been with Flushing Town Hall since 2008 – has over 30 years of experience in non-profit arts administration, including multi-disciplinary program development & implementation, public relations and marketing, fundraising and managerial oversight.
She has served as Chief Executive Officer of Southern Tier Celebrates in Binghamton, New York, facilitating the merger of two non-profit organizations: First Night Binghamton & the Binghamton Summer Music Festival. In that role, she expanded those programs into a year-round multi-disciplinary arts organization including arts-education programs, arts-enrichment for underserved audiences, such as seniors and at-risk youth, and multiple community revitalization initiatives.
Ellen also served as Director of Presentations as well as Director of Public Relations and Marketing for the Snug Harbor Cultural Center in Staten Island. She is the recipient of 2005 Broome County Arts Council Heart of the Arts Award, and 2007 Binghamton Mayor’s first Restore the Pride Award for Community Development.
Ellen has served on numerous committees, as an invited speaker on programming, presenter-artist relationships, festivals and outdoor presenting, and on numerous grants panels, including, as an ongoing Panelist for NYSCA’s Presenting Program.
What is your favorite feature of Flushing Town Hall?
The windows and the turrets (yes, that is 2!)
What childhood hobby did you enjoy the most?
Drawing. My mom used to buy reams of paper and I would spread them out on the living room floor, and draw from page to page for hours.
What’s your hobby now?
Sigh, I am too busy right now to have one, but in my spare time I used to make Polaroid and Emulsion transfers. I also read a lot, when I have time.
What’s your favorite song?
I have about a thousand favorite songs, but I really love “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen. Sometimes when I am in a certain mood (and usually at 2 a.m.) I go on YouTube and listen to all the various covers of this song.
If you could bring ANY performer to Flushing Town Hall – with cost and space not being a factor – who would it be?
Carlos Santana, or the Moody Blues (in the garden) performing “Nights in White Satin,” or Fleetwood Mac.
What were your best and worst subjects in school?
Best subject – English; Worst subject – Math
What is your secret pleasure?
Napping (and making soup in the winter-time)
If you could be a superhero, who would it be?
Empress Custard Bao from Dim Sum Warriors
When you step away for a bite to eat in Flushing, what do you crave?
White Bear, OR The Cutting Board for a teriyaki chicken burger!
Who was – or is – your role model for a life well-lived?
The Dalai Lama
Mac or PC?
No preference, any computer that works!!!!
If you were stranded on a desert island with any two people, who would you choose?
Aside from my two kids and two grandkids… oh, that’s four, and since I wouldn’t want them stranded on a dessert island, I would choose my friend Donna who always makes me laugh and has a heart of gold, and Seth and Christina (yes, I know that is two but they are ONE act!) because they are smart and funny circus artists and eat anything! (which is useful if you are on a desert island).