Ms. Dorn, a seasoned professional with some 30 years experience in the nonprofit field, brings to The Art Therapy Project proven administrative, senior management and development skills honed at the national and the local level. A graduate of Tufts University, Martha’s portfolio of non-profit expertise spans local and national organizations, from Lenox Hill Neighborhood House and Interfaith Neighbors to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Throughout her career, Martha remains committed to delivering the highest quality help to neglected, at risk and marginalized populations in the New York area and beyond. In addition to her development activities and fiscal management responsibilities, Martha manages day-to-day operations and oversees The Art Therapy Project’s marketing and communications strategies. She is an avid fan of the New York Times crossword puzzles and the New York Rangers.
Samantha Commarato, MPS, ATR-BC, LCAT, ATCS is the newest member of the staff. A graduate of the School of Visual Arts MPS Art Therapy Program, Sam has more than 10 years experience as an art therapist. She was one of The Art Therapy Project’s first art therapists and ran The Art Therapy Project’s art therapy groups at Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center. Most recently, she was at St. Mary’s where she coordinated the Partial Hospitalization Program for adolescents.
Ahn Hee Strain, ATR-BC, LCAT,
has been working at The Art Therapy Project (formerly ATOC) since February 2015. Ahn Hee works with groups of adults in substance abuse recovery as well as with female victims of sexual assault. She also works with two groups of female veterans, a group of adults living with HIV/AIDS, and a group of at-risk youth.
Amy Duquette, MPS, ATR-BC, LCAT,
has been with The Art Therapy Project (formerly ATOC) since January 2012. Amy has worked with adults living with HIV/AIDS, and is currently working with male veterans.
Courtney Puciata, ATR-BC, LCAT,
has been with The Art Therapy Project (formerly ATOC) since May 2011. Courtney previously worked with female veterans as well as the New York Presbyterian Hospital burn unit. Currently, Courtney is working with the Program for Survivors of Torture at Bellevue.
Jess Benston, MPS, ATR-BC, LCAT,
has been with The Art Therapy Project (formerly ATOC) since 2012. Currently, she works with at-risk children and adolescents in community based settings.
Jill Geller, ATR-BC, LCAT, RYT,
has been working with The Art Therapy Project (formerly ATOC) since October 2011. Her experience includes working with at-risk, runaway, and foster care adolescents, as well as adolescents with traumatic brain and body injuries.
Karen Gibbons, MPS, MFA, ATR-BC, LCAT, RYT,
has been with The Art Therapy Project (formerly ATOC) since April 2013. Along with her previous experience working with adults in substance abuse recovery, Karen currently works with high risk youth, as well as a group of male veterans who are also survivors of sexual assault.
Renée Obstfeld, ATR-BC, LCAT, PhD, LP, CASAC,
has been with The Art Therapy Project (formerly ATOC) since 2011. Renée has experience working with female veterans as well as patients in Bellevue’s program for Survivors of Torture. She is currently working with people affected by 9/11.
Valeria Koutmina, ATR-BC, LCAT,
has been with The Art Therapy Project (formerly ATOC) since May 2013. She works both with at-risk youth and survivors of sexual trauma.
Board of Directors
This painting, Tears Dried Solid, was a gift for David Wasserman created by a group of women veterans, in gratitude for his supporting the SVA Art Therapy Department in sponsoring an exhibit for the vets on Veterans Day, in 2009. This group became the inspiration for David Wasserman to start The Art Therapy Project, (formerly Art Therapy Outreach Center).
Founder and Chairman
The Art Therapy Project
Mr. Wasserman has spent 30 years in the financial services sector in financial, investment, operational and executive roles. He was the founder and CEO of Zurich Alternative Asset Management LLC, (ZAAM) a division of Zurich Financial Services Group (Zurich), a global financial services company. Prior to founding ZAAM, as a member of the Executive Committee of Zurich Financial Services, David held the posts of Chief Investment Officer and Chief Strategy Officer. He also served as chairman of The Zurich Foundation, one of the parent company’s philanthropic arms, where he funded disaster relief programs and children’s programs in education and the arts. He retired in 2010 to focus on philanthropic efforts. In addition to launching The Art Therapy Project, Wasserman also administers The Jade Foundation, a family non-profit. In his spare time, David enjoys going to Knicks games and enjoys art produced by many talented and creative local artists who display their works at art shows and fairs in our local community.
Jennifer A. Cuminale
Manager, Public Relations
Ms. Cuminale is Manager of Public Relations at Christie’s, where she oversees and executes press strategies for a range of specialist departments including American Art, Asian Art, Books & Manuscripts, Design, Prints & Multiples, Latin American Art, and Old Masters. Professionally prior to Christie’s, Jennifer has consistently worked in communications and development for a multitude of creative and visual arts corporations and institutions, including art and lifestyle book publisher, Assouline Publishing, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Ralph Lauren. Outside of work, she is highly involved in the arts, holding leadership roles on the Advisory Council for the American Friends of the Louvre and on the Marketing Board for the Young Folk of the American Folk Art Museum, all while concentrating on her own work as a visual artist. Jennifer graduated with honors from Trinity College with a BA in Art History and American Studies, and she is currently pursuing a part-time MBA at NYU’s Stern School of Business specializing in Global Business and Social Impact.
Meg E. Dodge
Goldman Sachs & Co.
Ms. Dodge is a corporate fiduciary professional with The Goldman Sachs Trust Company, N.A. where she serves as an Estate Officer focusing on unique assets. Meg joined Goldman Sachs in 2011 after earning her J.D. and Estate Planning Certificate from Syracuse University College of Law. Ms. Dodge is a graduate of Colby College with a B.A. in both Government and Art History. Meg has published several articles on tax and estate planning topics, including tax consequences and estate planning techniques for art collectors. She lives in New York City and is an active member of the New York Bar Association and is involved with Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. Ms. Dodge serves as the Secretary of The Art Therapy Project's Board of Directors.
Diane L. Duckler
Former SVP Account Service
Diane Duckler spent most of her career in marketing, specifically branding and advertising research, working with a broad range of domestic and global clients. One of her primary responsibilities was to deliver presentations to upper management to provide actionable recommendations and next steps in the marketing process. She has served on the Advisory Council since 2014 providing assistance with our marketing and fundraising efforts and is Co-Chair of the Marketing Committee and annual fundraising event. Diane also mentors at-risk youth and coaches abused women through a variety of volunteer programs. She enjoys painting, biking, music and traveling. Diane and her husband live in Westchester.
Deborah Farber, ATR-BC, LCAT
Chair, MPS Art Therapy Department
School of Visual Arts
Ms. Farber, is the Chair and Founder of the MPS Art Therapy program at SVA. A licensed, board-certified art therapist, Farber has an MPS degree in Art Therapy and Creativity Development and a BA in Psychology. In addition to her responsibilities as chair and instructor in the MPS Art Therapy program, Farber has presented at conferences on art therapy and family literacy, conducted numerous workshops on the use of art therapy with varied populations and served on both the Honors Committee and Scholarship Committee of the American Art Therapy Association.
School of Visual Arts
Mr. Rhodes, who received the 2007 Award for Outstanding Lifetime Service to Art Education from the University Council for Art Education, has been president of the School of Visual Arts in New York City since 1978. He is an active advocate for all aspects of art education as a Board Member or Board Trustee for many national associations; he has testified before Congress many times about public policy and higher education, cultural institutions and partnerships. The focus of The Art Therapy Project on art as therapy for veterans of the Gulf wars female and male – has particular significance to SVA; Rhodes’ father, Silas H. Rhodes, co-founded SVA in 1947 as the Cartoonists’ and Illustrators’ School, many students of which were World War II vets. SVA’s strong support of The Art Therapy Project’s mission includes providing administrative assistance, donating space for The Art Therapy Project offices and an art studio, as well as making other SVA resources available for The Art Therapy Project purposes. An avid kayaker, his favorite artists include Jackson Pollack and Claude Monet. Mr. Rhodes serves as the Treasurer of The Art Therapy Project's Board of Directors.
Motion Picture Group/
Sony Pictures Entertainment
Thomas E. Rothman is Chairman of Sony Picture Entertainment’s Motion Picture Group. In that role, Rothman oversees all of the motion picture activities worldwide for Columbia Pictures, TriStar, Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics. Previously, Rothman founded Fox Searchlight Pictures and then served as Chairman of 20th Century Fox for over a decade. His track record over 30 years in the film business includes the two highest grossing films in cinematic history, Titanic and Avatar; over $50 billion in worldwide box office, more than 150 Academy Award® nominations and five Best Picture Oscars. He serves on the boards of The Priceline Group, the Sundance Institute, Cal Arts, The American Film Institute and Brown University (emeritus). He was appointed by President Obama and confirmed by the United States Senate to the National Council of the Arts.
Regional Managing Director of Ramsay Fairs, US
Director of Affordable Art Fair NYC, Spring Edition
Cristina joined Ramsay Fairs (parent company of PULSE Contemporary Art Fairs and Affordable Art Fairs) in 2011 as PULSE Contemporary Art Fairs’ Fair Manager. In 2012, she became the Director of the Affordable Art Fair NYC bringing an innovative and dynamic perspective to one of the city’s most anticipated events. In 2016, she took on the role of Regional Managing Director of Ramsay Fairs in the United States, overseeing all company relations in the country. She has an extensive background working at some of the most highly regarded and iconic art fairs including the IFPDA Print Fair, ABAA New York Antiquarian Book Fair, ADAA THE ART SHOW, and the Outsider Art Fair and has just celebrated a decade of working in the field. Outside of work, travel is her biggest passion. Cristina is an avid sports fan and a self-proclaimed foodie, always looking for her next favorite meal whether it’s around the corner or across the globe.
Nancy Winkelstein-Plaut, LMSW
Nancy Winkelstein-Plaut earned her Master’s degree in Social Work from Columbia University and as a licensed social worker her work has focused on adolescents in school and foster care environments. She is also a Certified Holistic Health Coach. Ms. Winkelstein-Plaut has worked as a Senior Social Worker at, among other organizations The Jewish Child Care Association and Grand Street Settlement. She is an active member of her community, having served as the President of the Mamaroneck-Larchmont Student Aid Fund; founding board member of RADAR, a community drug and alcohol coalition; PTA president of Chatsworth Elementary School; and additional other committee work. Ms. Winkelstein-Plaut enjoys hiking, tennis, theater, hockey, music and exploring art galleries on Cape Cod during the summer. She has two children and lives with her husband in Westchester.