The Village Trip Mission Statement

To uplift, to entertain and to celebrate the arts for all New Yorkers, their families and all people from around the world who come to visit Downtown Manhattan’s special oases, Greenwich Village and the East Village.


The Village Trip logo

Board of Directors

WILLIAM ANDERSON is a guitarist, composer, teacher, and chair of the Roger Shapiro Fund for New Music. He has toured internationally with a repertoire that ranges from Albeniz to Zappa and directed concerts and festivals around the world. With his ensemble, Cygnus, he has shown how significant a role the guitar has in chamber music, performing many landmark works and commissioning new ones.

AMY BLAKE taught recreational and competitive figure skating for 26 years and kindergarten, first and second grade, for the next 24. With a certification from the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children, she took her passion for reading, writing, music, and philosophy into the classroom. New to NYC, Amy brings to her role as direct or The Village Trip children’s program a passion for nurturing young social activists.

JANE CROTTY was a New York public school teacher before moving into PR and government, and was for many years SVP at George Arzt Communications specializing in community outreach and government relations. She has worked with many key educational institutions, including CUNY and the New School. Among her many successes: the renovation and revitalization of Madison Square Park.

JOAN FORSYTH, an award-winning pianist with a wide repertoire and particular interest in new American music, has toured the world as both soloist and ensemble performer, working with the Cassatt Quartet, the Stein Hall Players, and Cygnus, among many others. She chairs the piano department at the Third Street Music School Settlement and has a special interest in early childhood education.

DAVID MILCH, a graduate of Harvard Medical School, is a physician and entrepreneur who invests in ground-breaking life-science companies. An advocate of arts for social impact, he supports and advises a number of non-profits. His family Foundation has a long history of support for youth mentoring and the arts via its Ars Veritas initiative, "Arts for Social Impact". David also is chair of two media companies.

NANCY NOTARO is a Global Technology Sales Leader at Microsoft with 20+ years of experience at IBM, Oracle and various hi-tech start-ups. Her areas of interest are digital transformation, data analytics, AI and cognitive solutions. She works with non-profits in both New York City and State engaging with arts, animals and food poverty.

JUDY PAUL began her career on Wall Street before joining the family hotel business, the third generation to do so. She is now CEO of the Washington Square Hotel and its North Square Restaurant and Lounge in Greenwich Village where she has lived and worked for 40 years. She is an active member of the community, and currently serves on the board of the Washington Square Association.

CLIFF PEARSON, secretary and treasurer of The Village Trip, writes about architecture, urbanism, and culture for many publications, and serves as a contributing editor at Architectural Record. His books include Indonesia: Design and Culture and Modern American Houses. He serves as a director of the nonprofit think tank Asia Design Forum.

ROB SNYDER is Manhattan Borough Historian and Professor Emeritus of Journalism and American Studies at Rutgers University-Newark. He has written many books about New York City, including Crossing Broadway: Washington Heights and the Promise of New York. He is the co-author of Metropolitan Lives: The Ashcan Artists and their New York, and All the Nations Under Heaven: Immigrants, Migrants and the Making of New York.

MICHAEL SPUDIC is a staunch supporter of creative musicians, advocating on their behalf from a 30-year career at The American Society of Composers Authors & Publishers (ASCAP). With a side-line as a free-lance accordionist, he has also been a strong choral music enthusiast with membership in the noted Canticum Novum Singers. Michael holds both a BA and MA in Music from the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, CUNY.

LIZ THOMSON, founder and president of The Village Trip, is a journalist and author. She spent 25 years reporting on international publishing while moonlighting in arts journalism. An occasional broadcaster and lecturer she is a contributor to The New Grove Dictionary of Misic & Musicians and the author of several books, including the award-winning Joan Baez: The Last Leaf.

Advisory Board

JAMIE BERNSTEIN is an author, speaker, and filmmaker. In addition to writing her many articles and concert narrations, she has traveled extensively, speaking about music, and in particular about her father, Leonard Bernstein. Her documentary, Crescendo: the Power of Music, has won numerous prizes, and her memoir, Famous Father Girl, was described by the New York Times as “unique among classical-music memoirs for its physical intimacy, its humor…”

PEPE FLORES is a community activist, focused primarily on the areas of early childhood education, affordable housing, and the preservation and presentation of Latin Jazz, Salsa and music of the Afro-Caribbean diaspora.  A key figure in the downtown Nuyorican community, he is the co-founder La Sala de Pepe y Foto Espacio, a gallery and social club in the heart of Manhattan’s Loisaida.

MICHAEL JACOBSOHN began making award-winning movies as a teenager at the Henry Street Settlement Movie Club. His work has been shown internationally and is now in the permanent collection at NYPL Lincoln Center. He was a staff editor at ABC News & Sports for 28 years and his awards include an Emmy. He has since produced and directed three full-length documentaries and several shorts and is currently at work on a documentary about the fabled Cornelia Street Café.

ELENA MARTINEZ is Co-Artistic Director of the Bronx Music Heritage Center and a Folklorist at City Lore. She co-produced the documentaries From Mambo to Hip Hop: A South Bronx Tale, We Like It Like That: The Story of Latin Boogaloo, and Eddie Palmieri: A Revolution on Harlem River Drive.

IRA MAYER is a journalist, author, and educator whose expertise is the intersection of marketing, pop culture, and consumer trends. He began his career at the Village Voice and was chief pop music critic for the New York Post for 12 years. He has contributed to Rolling Stone and the Sunday New York Times.

CARMAN MOORE is a world-renowned composer, librettist, performer, and music critic with works commissioned and performed by such institutions as the New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, and Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He has written lyrics for Felix Cavaliere, Nkeiru Okoye, and for his own Mass for the 21st Century and was recently inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Carman was the first new-music critic for the Village Voice. His passion for music is equalled by his commitment to the positive evolution of the human species.

FR GRAEME NAPIER, Rector of St John’s in the Village, has served at St Andrew's Cathedral, Inverness, at Westminster Abbey, at an inner-city church in Sydney, and at St George's Cathedral, Perth (Australia). He came to Greenwich Village in 2018 and quickly made the church a center for arts and community.

KEVIN O’KEEFE, former all-American athlete, is an award-winning business management and media production professional. A volunteer sports coach and founder of St Vartan Park Conservancy, he is the author of The Average American: The Extraordinary Search for the Nation’s Most Ordinary Citizen.

MARIA PASSANNANTE-DERR was born and raised in Greenwich Village and continues her family tradition of political and community service and business ownership, managing her own law firm. In 2013, she was honoured with a Legends of the Village Distinguished Service Award.

LYN PENTECOST is the founder of two community non-profits and four photography galleries. Her first gallery on 6th Street near Avenue B was the birthplace of the Nuyorican Poetry Club. Recently retired as Founder and Director Emeritus of the Lower Eastside Girls Club, she has returned to her roots as the curator and media director of La Sala de Pepe y Foto Espacio.

BOBBY SANABRIA is a drummer, percussionist, bandleader, composer, arranger, producer, educator and eight-time Grammy nominee as a leader with his Multiverse Big Band whose new album, Vox Humana, features Janis Siegel, Antoinette Montague and Jennifer Jade Ledesna. He has recorded with every major figure in the world of jazz, Latin jazz, and salsa, and is Co-Artistic Director of the Bronx Music Heritage Center. He hosts the Latin Jazz Cruise radio show on WBGO FM.

JANIS SIEGEL, ten-time Grammy-winner, is a founding member of The Manhattan Transfer bringing to the legendary quartet both her distinctive voice and her talent as an arranger. In 1993, she and her colleagues were awarded honorary doctorates from the Berklee School of Music, and in 1999 TMT was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame. Throughout, she has maintained a solo career, releasing 10 albums and collaborating on a wide variety of projects, and teaching in schools and universities.

DOROTHY SLATER is the Community Liaison at NYU's Office of Community Engagement. She is dedicated to building strong relationships and collaboration between the University and the community. She has a deep understanding of the needs and challenges facing the community and works to find solutions that benefit the various stakeholders.

ERIKA SUMNER was born and raised in Greenwich Village and has worked on economic development and community affairs at Chambers of Commerce in two state capitals. Her core specialties are recognizing synergies among business, non-profit, and community priorities. She is VP of the Washington Square Association.

DOUG YEAGER has spent a lifetime in music management and production in the US and Europe, including Eastern Europe. Co-author and co-producer of the documentary Free to Rock, he is a passionate advocate of the power of music to transform society. He directs the estates and legacies of Josh White and Odetta, and is the manager of Josh White, Jr and David Amram.