Board of Directors
Marian M. Zak
Marian Zak, choreographer, is a graduate of the State Ballet School in Warsaw, Poland. He received M.S. from Polytechnic Institute in Cracow, Poland and M.A. from New York University, NY, USA. He has received acknowledgments from the highest ranking theaters and arts institutions of his native Poland. He was the principal dancer with the Cracow Opera, and the Silesian State Opera, where he directed and choreographed. He was also a founder of Dance Theater Silva Rerum which was very successful throughout the whole Poland. In 1989, he immigrated to America where he choreographed off Broadway and for Polish & Slavic Annual Festivals. He was also the School Director of the New Dance Group Studio and a Fellow Teacher at New York University. Currently, he is the President of the New York Dance & Arts Innovations, Inc.
Kinga Augustyn, D.M.A
Vice President Kinga Augustyn is a New York City-based virtuoso concert violinist and recording artist. One of the last students of the legendary Dorothy DeLay at The Juilliard School, Ms. Augustyn has performed as a soloist with such orchestras as the German Kammerorchester Berlin, the Wroclaw Philharmonic, Magdeburg Philharmonic Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra Leopoldinum, and the Riverside Symphonia. Augustyn’s expanding discography on major labels such as Naxos, includes world premieres by the contemporary Polish composer Romuald Twardowski (b. 1930) performed with the Torun Symphony Orchestra and maestro Mariusz Smolij, as well as the Paganini Caprices, which music critics consider as convincing as Perlman’s or Midori’s, and an “an enduring benchmark” (Classical Net). “Stylish and vibrant” (The Strad Magazine), and “beyond amazing, one hell of a violinist!” (The Fanfare Magazine), Kinga Augustyn is often praised for her musical interpretations. Music Web International describes her recording of the Bruch Violin Concerto with Janacek Philharmonic as “extremely moving and expressive,” characterized by “beauty, richness and smoothness of her tone,” and as “music she responds to on a deeply personal and emotional level.” Augustyn’s other recent and critically acclaimed recordings include Glen Roven’s Runaway Bunny Concerto performed with Catherine Zeta-Jones as a narrator and featuring Kinga Augustyn’s Solo Violin Cadenza (GPR Records).
Kinga Augustyn has toured China and performed at China’s most prestigious venues such as Beijing Poly Theater and Shanghai Oriental Art Center. Other venues she has appeared at include the Stern Auditorium and the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Aspen Music Festival, and Chicago’s Cultural Center. Augustyn has won international awards, including First Prizes at the Alexander & Buono International String Competition (NYC), Artist International Presentations (NYC), and J. S. Bach String Competition (Zielona Gora, Poland). Other top honors include prizes at the Johannes Brahms International Competition (Poertschach, Austria) and the Kloster Schoental International Young Artist Competition (Kloster Scheontal, Germany). Kinga Augustyn studied at The Juilliard School with Dorothy DeLay, Cho-Liang Lin, and Naoko Tanaka, and earned there both the Bachelor and the Master degrees. She also holds a doctorate from the Stony Brook University where she worked with Phil Setzer and Pamela Frank. For more information about the artist please visit www.kingaaugustyn.com
Jakub Polaczyk (b.1983) is a New York City based Polish composer currently teaching at the New York Conservatory of Music. Jakub obtained his Artist Diploma in Composition at Carnegie Mellon University (2013) as a full scholarship recipient studying under Dr. Reza Vali. Prior he graduated from Jagiellonain University and Music Academy in Krakow. His teachers in Poland were: Irena Rolanowska (piano), Marcel Chyrzynski (composition), Krzysztof Penderecki (orchestration), Marek Choloniewski (electronic music), Malgorzata Stankiewicz (musicology). His compositions were performed and premiered at many new music festivals around the world in: 10 countries in Europe, 3 countries in Asia (Japan, China, South Korea) and 15 states in the US including Carnegie Hall in NYC. He achieved many accolades and scholarships for his works as name a few: recently winning 4th SIMC International Composition Competition at the Castello Sforesco in Milano (2019), Moniuszko Composition Prize in Gdansk in Poland (2018), accolades on A. Schnitkee in Sochi in Russia (2018) and American Prize in Composition(2017), additionally winning Iron Composer in US(2013), Baird Young Polish Composers Society Award in Poland (2013), Orion Orchestral Contest(2010) in London, John Paul II Days in Krakow (2008) in Poland and Polish Music Publisher Competition(2007), and many others. He received artistic scholarship from the Minister of Culture of Poland, Mayor of the City of Krakow and the Sapere Auso Foundation. Jakub’s works are published by PWM, Feniks, and Euterpe in Poland, and online by Babel Scores and Aromics. www.jakub.polaczyk.com
Ahmed Wafik is an architect, urban designer and a real estate developer. He has been working in the industry for over 10 years and has successfully contributed to the development of many projects domestically and internationally. Ahmed holds a Master of Science Degree in Urban Design & Community Development and a Bachelors of Science Degree in Architectural Engineering. Currently he is a PhD candidate, conducting research in architecture and design to develop new approaches for creating healthier and more energetically balanced habitable spaces. Ahmed conducted public presentations and lectures for diverse audiences in the US & Egypt. Aside from architecture, he has passion for photography & his photos are often reflective of architecture, patterns and forms in the urban & natural environment.
Lukas Wronski is a multi-talented artist and award winning violin maker, who has received world-wide recognition for his unique designs of instruments. He has participated in a variety of international violin-making competitions and exhibitions all over the world. His instruments have received many awards and have been played by many of today’s great, famous musicians. His company “Lukas Violins” is considered one of the most significant violin shops in the New York area. Mr. Wronski has developed a network of professional relations with many arts and music organizations, as well as with individual artists, musicians, film producers, collectors and luthiers. Recently his violin shop was featured in America’s popular TV Show Handcrafted America. Besides violin –making, he often takes part in art exhibitions all over the world. His work has been featured in TV documentaries and lectures. As a musician –performer interested in various styles, he plays violin and sings in jazz, and world music ensembles.
Originally from Poland, Lukas started playing violin at the age of 8. When he was a teenager, he started making instruments. He made his first violin at the age of 13 and this experience launched his long study of violin making, music, and arts in Poland, England, Italy and USA. Lukas is a graduate of the Kenar’s College of Arts in Zakopane, Poland. He has also received a Master of Arts degree from the I.J. Paderewski’s Academy of Music in Poznan, Poland, which he finished with honors. He holds a Post-graduate diploma of Culture Management course from the University of Social Skills in Poznan. In 2003, Wronski moved to Cremona, Italy, to work in distinguished ateliers of violin-making. Since 2007, he has been living in New York City. Website: www.lukasviolins.com
Anna K. Zak
Anna is the Executive Director of New Dance Group Studio Inc. She holds a Master of Public Administration in Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy, with an International Specialization from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and has graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Journalism from Long Island University. Anna was born in Poland and has traveled, studied and worked abroad. She has worked with NYU/Wagner and Education Development Center on The Our World 2007 Capstone Project which was nominated for the Howard Newman Award of Excellence. The project took Anna to Beirut, Lebanon where she interview youth on camera for an in depth case study. She studied at Universiteit van Amsterdam, The Netherlands and has participated in the International Health Policy & Prospect Intensive Seminar in Geneva, Switzerland as well as the National Collegiate Honors Council Study Abroad Program at Universidad de Alcala de Henares, Spain. Furthermore, Anna possesses sound experience in New York’s vibrant nonprofit and government sectors. She spent five years working for a New York State Senator, initially as Public Relations Representative and in the last two years she held the position of Chief of Staff. Anna serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors of New York Dance and Arts Innovations (NYDAI), a nonprofit organization supporting performing arts in New York City. Previously, Anna has worked at NYDAI as the Events Coordinator; she also served as their Master of Ceremonies at weekly Art Nights and The Annual International Chopin & Friends Festival for over eight years. Her experience is further enhanced by her brief past in the field of journalism and broadcasting. Amongst others her works have been featured in Newsweek Polska, Magazine.Art, Magazine 11211 and on WNYE Channel 25. Anna is fluent in English and Polish and proficient in Spanish.
Kinga Augustyn, D.M.A.
New Music Director
Retired Board Members
Suzanne K. Walther, Ph.D.
Vice-President; Magazine.Art Editor
Dr. Suzanne K. Walther was born in Budapest, Hungary and entered the United States as a political refugee. She has a BA degree in Anthropology from the University of Hawaii, and MA and Ph.D. degrees in Dance from New York University. She has taught classical dance technique and dance-related academic courses for the United Nations Recreation Council, at Cedar Crest College, and at New York University where she is currently an adjunct professor in dance. She has been a dance critic for several publications including The Call Chronicle Newspapers and The New Haven Register. Her articles have appeared in academic journals such as Congress on Research in Dance (CORD), Choreography and Dance and the American Book Review. She also reviews dance companies for the New York State Council on the Arts. Her book The Dance of Death; Kurt Jooss and the Weimar Years was published in 1994 by Harwood Academic Publishers. Her poetry translations from Hungarian were included in an anthology, In Quest of the Miracle Stag. The poetry of Hungary from the 13th Century to the Present. Her hobbies include painting in oil, photography, video, swimming and gardening. She continues to take classical ballet classes at the New York Conservatory of Dance, where she has studied with Vladimir Dokoudovsky for many years.
Przemyslaw J. Moskal, Ph.D.
Born in Poland, Przemyslaw Moskal moved to the U.S. in 1990. In 2003 he graduated with a master’s degree from Tisch School of the Arts, NYU and in 2011 he earned his doctorate in Film Art from the National Higher School of Film, Television and Theatre in Łódź, Poland under the supervision of Prof. Stanisław Szymański. Currently, he holds a position of Associate Professor at Canisius College in Buffalo, NY where he directs the Digital Media Arts Program. In 2003 he received grants from New York State Council on the Arts and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council for his project Virtual and Real: K-Dron and Light. In 2005 The ChronoScope designed for the Times Square Centennial received Honorable Mention Award from I.D. Magazine Annual Design Review in interactive category. His interactive, digital art works have been exhibited in the U.S., Poland, France, England, Portugal, Brazil, Thailand, China and Germany. You may visit his artist web site at www.laksom.com
Biography will be available soon.
Eric Walther, Ph.D.
Dr. Eric Walther is a Professor of Philosophy and Computer Science at the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University, where he is currently Acting Chairman of the Philosophy Department. His Ph.D. is from Yale University, and he earned an MS degree in Computer Science from Polytechnic University. He has published articles in symbolic logic, parapsychology, business ethics and the philosophy of science. He has done extensive research in statistical language processing at Brown University. His current research interests are in artificial intelligence and the philosophy of the mind. His hobbies include hunting, vegetable gardening, home repairs and fine wines.