Zahra Jlayer

New Rochelle Council on the Arts Welcomes New Board Members

The New Rochelle Council on the Arts (NRCA) is pleased to welcome three new Board members: Zahra Jlayer, Janine Jones and Christine Ramage have been elected to NRCA’s Board of Directors. In addition, New Rochelle High School students Isaac Evans and Harmony Hopwood have been selected as Youth Advisory Board Members.

“We are excited to add new Board members who bring a diversity of talent and experience to the Board,” says Theresa Kump Leghorn, President of NRCA.  “The NRCA is an all-volunteer organization, with an incredible group of talented, hardworking people who make up our Board, our Advisory Board and our committees.”

The New Rochelle Council on the Arts was created by the New Rochelle City Council in 1975 to stimulate and encourage the study and presentation of the performing and fine arts; for nearly 50 years NRCA has worked to fulfill that mission by sponsoring art exhibitions, theatrical productions, dance recitals, film screenings, lectures, and concert series. In addition, NRCA has sponsored public art — like the popular NRNY Murals — and created annual events like the Summer Sounds Concert Series at Hudson Park and ArtsFest, while helping to build relationships between the arts, the business community and city government. The NRCA website has become major resource for artists and art lovers – the “go-to” place for information about the arts.

NRCA’s programs are made possible, in part, by the City of New Rochelle and grants from  ArtsWestchester (with funds from Westchester County Government) as well as private foundations; additional support comes from event sponsorships and individual donations. For more information visit NRCA on the web at

NRCA’s officers include Theresa Kump Leghorn, President; Lynn Moloshok Green, Vice President; Karen Keller Selman, Treasurer; Margaret Chadwick, Recording Secretary; and Maddali Paci Atallah, Corresponding Secretary.

In addition to the Executive committee, NRCA’s Board of Directors includes Marisa Boan, Nick Carter, Barbara Davis, Leslie Demus, Monica Deane, Selena Evans, Dave Fabris, Charles Fazzino,  Anthony Paolercio and Catherine White. NRCA’s Board of Advisors includes Terry Prettyman Bowles, Michael Dandry, Angela Derecas Taylor, Linda Kelly Fauci, Dianne Flagello, Ximena Francella, Lynne Honeysett, Jesse Sanchez, Leah Sills, Judith Weber, Eric Woodlin and Ex Officio Member Vin Parise, Commissioner of New Rochelle’s Department of Parks & Recreation.

Zahra Jlayer
As the curator of Vanda Gallery, Zahra Jlayer has become a driving force behind the local art scene, creating a haven for artists and art enthusiasts alike. Born and raised in an environment steeped in artistic inspiration, Zahra’s journey into the world of art began under the influence of her self-taught artist and poet father. Despite pursuing a career in medicine, Zahra’s passion for painting endured. A physician pathologist and former medical examiner, she found solace in the world of art, curating exhibitions that not only showcased her father’s work but also became a testament to her unwavering commitment to the arts.

The decision to open Vanda Gallery emerged from Zahra’s dedication to providing a platform for local artists, eliminating the need for residents of New Rochelle and Westchester to travel to New York City to experience exceptional art. This endeavor reflects her deep-rooted belief in the transformative power of art and its ability to enrich and connect communities.

Janine Jones
Currently the Executive VP of Finance for Sky Advertising, a national advertising and marketing agency that focuses on real estate marketing, recruitment marketing, B2B and B2C. Sky develops strategies to increase the effectiveness of its clients’ sales, brand image and talent acquisition and retention efforts. She graduated magna cum laude from New York University, and when not crunching numbers at the office, Janine enjoys dancing, playing the flute, and spending time with her four children.

Christine Ramage
Christine Ramage is a Photo Director, creative producer and manager with 20 years’ experience in visual storytelling and image making with audience-oriented focus. She is currently VP/Head of Photography for PARAMOUNT Streaming and SHOWTIME.  Christine holds a BFA in Photography from the Rochester Institute of Technology.  She received a certificate in Horticulture from the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens Continuing Education program. She formerly worked at AMC Networks, where she was VP of Photography, and at PEOPLE Magazine where she was Deputy Director of Photography and Multimedia.

Isaac Evans is a sophomore at New Rochelle High School. He’s on the high honor roll and participates in the PAVE Visual Arts program. His extracurricular achievements include the Varsity Track and Field team, High Achievers, the NRHS Gospel Choir and the youth ministry at his church. Isaac enjoys drawing and playing volleyball and aspires to be a game developer.

Harmony Hopwood is a New Rochelle High school sophomore, passionate poet and the Youth Poet Laureate of Westchester County. She is vice president of her high school Poetry Club, a PAVE visual arts student, a member of the NAACP youth council, an ACT-SO gold medalist in poetry and an ambassador for poetry4progress.