Staff Page

Stephen Butler
Executive Director 

Stephen Butler is a native of Onondaga County. He received his BA in Theatre from Oswego State University and relocated to New York City. During his years in NYC Stephen worked as the Director of Membership/Programs for the Alliance of Resident Theaters/New York, the Alliance of New York State Arts Councils and at several producing organizations including Manhattan Theatre Club, the Hudson Guild Theater, and Creative Alternatives of New York, a drama-therapy organization serving the greater metropolitan region. He was also an AEA stage manager. Stephen is a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship recipient in Strategic Planning. He returned to Syracuse and obtained a Masters of Arts in Public Administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. Before coming to CNY Arts, he was the Executive Director of the Mental Health Association of Onondaga County. 



Elizabeth Lane

Elizabeth Lane
Director of Programs

Elizabeth Lane is a native of Madison County and a graduate of Purchase College with a B.A. in Arts Management. Elizabeth first became familiar with CNY Arts (then the Cultural Resources Council) as a performer for seven years in The Adventures of Rudolph. Liz has served as the Decentralization and Grants Manager for CNY Arts since 2013. Prior to working at CNY Arts, Elizabeth gained experience at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York City Ballet, and the Performing Arts Center at Purchase College, and locally at Syracuse City Ballet and the former Syracuse Symphony Orchestra. 


Allison Mitura
Operations Manager

Allison Mitura is an Oswego Country native and received her Master’s degrees in Art History and Museum Studies from Syracuse University.  Allison received a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from SUNY Geneseo.

Allison has worked at a variety of local arts organizations including the Everson Museum of Art, Dowd Fine Arts Gallery at SUNY Cortland, and Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center in Auburn.  She has also served as the Director of Education at the Jacksonville Museum of Modern Art and Public Art Manager at the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville. Most recently, Allison was an Events Coordinator for the American Heart Association.


Sonya Scheer
Administrative Assistant

Recently moved to Syracuse from the south Florida area, where she attained a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education.  She is coming to CNY Arts with a background of teaching assisting and administrative work in a law firm and a construction company.  An artist and writer in her free time, she is excited to shift gears into administrative work a non-profit that focuses on arts development in the CNY area.


Sarah Anson
Arts in Education Coordinator & Arts Leadership Fellow for Community Programs

Sarah Anson is a CNY native, having received her Masters in Arts Administration in 2017, and a Bachelor of Arts in Theater in 2005, both from Le Moyne College. After receiving her B.A, she worked in various theaters, including as an electrician and board programmer at Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, CT, assistant stage manager at Ash Lawn Opera in Charlottesville, VA, and locally for The RedHouse, Syracuse Stage, Baldwinsville Theatre Guild, and is the Master Lighting Designer at CNY Playhouse. She started with CNY Arts as an intern for her Master's program and continued to volunteer with the organization until she was hired as a Program and Marketing assistant.



Benjamin Verdi

Arts Leadership Fellow for Grants Writing

Benjamin Verdi is a native of Buffalo. Ben went to Le Moyne College to get a Bachelor’s of Arts with Honors in History, with minors in Music and Film, in 2016, and his Masters of Sciences in Arts Administration, in 2017. He has worked in the past as a Community Programs Administrative Assistant for CNY Arts and in other non-profit organizations in Syracuse, including the MOST. Ben also has worked for museums in Buffalo, which include the Buffalo Museum of Science and the Buffalo History Museum. 




Charlie Poag
Arts Leadership Fellow for Marketing and Communications

Charlie is a native of Asheville, N.C., and a former Communications Strategy and Operations Chief with the U.S. Marine Corps where he served for over fifteen years.   With a background in Visual Information, he’s served in positions as a Combat Cameraman, Production Specialist, Educational Media Specialist, Visual Information Manager, and Communications Strategy Chief.  His primary training comes from the Defense Information School located in Maryland, and he attended the Military Visual Journalism program at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communication.  After managing a Visual Information hub in Japan he returned to New York to settle down in the Syracuse area with his wife and two children. He has been the recipient of multiple Merit Awards as well as second place in the Department of Defense’s Military Videographer Awards Program in the Video Editing category.




Kara Greene

Program Coordinator for On My Own Time, Special Projects





CNY Arts Volunteers


Mark Nunan