Advisory Council

Advisory Council as of February 2023

Juli Arlt

Trained in the Fine and Studio Arts, and a career volunteer since the 1980s, Juli has worked on political campaigns, youth, and community activities such as Head Start - landing a large NYS grant to fund a Junior League Outreach Program to support teen pregnancy - as well as named chair of the League's Membership diversity and Executive committees and receiving the President's Award.  Work in the creative arts included designing and constructing costumes at Westchester County's Fleetwood Stage Theatre company.   An 18-year stint as Director of the Eliza Corwin Frost Child Center in Bronxville, she doubled the school's size, expanded programming, added classrooms, a playground, a kitchen, movement, and music programs, and secured major Continuing Ed grants for early childhood staff.

Barbara O’Brien

Barbara grew up in the area and is a graduate of Onteora. She is a long-time employee of the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office, and in the early 2000s, she organized a series of events known as the Armed Forces Appreciation Days. In this capacity, she reached out to Levon Helm and other bands to raise funds for the families of veterans. In 2004, Levon Helm asked for her help building, organizing and booking the Midnight Ramble concerts at this home. At that time, she became Levon's Manager & General Manager of Levon Helm Studios,  She held this position until 2018. She continues to work at the Sheriff's Office and continues to support and promote music & other cultural events in Bearsville and Woodstock.  

Judith Chase

Family visits to Woodstock in the early ’40s gave me my “secret place.” Deannie’s, Kotty in the Woodstock Guild Craft Shop, Mitzi’s Hungarian Shop, Mowers Market, the Village Green were as they were when teaching positions brought me to the Hudson Valley. At Alfred University my Latin professor’s wife had invited me to join her weaving class; then classes with several outstanding teacher/weavers at the Guild provided rich learning experiences which eventually led me to open my studio “A Weaver’s Shed”. Many students, challenging commissions, and deep friendships later have created a good life in this most interesting and famous small town in the world - my Secret Place. I look forward to joining the efforts to bring more interest and greater support to the Historical Society of Woodstock.

Steve Charney

Charney, for over 40 years, has been a magician, ventriloquist, musician, songwriter, radio personality, and children’s author. His stage act has taken him around the world, and he has over 20 books published and writing dozens of songs for Jim Henson and Disney.  

He’s been volunteering at the historical society for years. Joanne Margolis claims he’s been around longer than any other volunteer. 

James Cox

Following his graduation with a degree in Marketing from Oklahoma City University, James Cox opened the James Cox Gallery in Allentown, NJ. In 1976 he assumed the position of Executive Director of the Grand Central Art Galleries in New York, where he served until 1990.

Cox then moved to upstate New York where he launched the James Cox Gallery in the historic art colony of Woodstock, NY. From 1997 to 2000 he also served as Director of Marketing at Tallix Art Foundry in Beacon, NY. 

Cox has served as a panelist and lecturer at several distinguished institutions, including the Guggenheim Museum and the Harvard Business School. Cox is also a professional auctioneer, fine art appraiser, and editor of numerous art publications.

Nina Doyle

Nina moved to the Hudson Valley in 1995 to attend graduate school at SUNY New Paltz. With a Humanistic Education MPS degree in hand she went on to work in numerous nonprofits and colleges in the region: Cornell University Cooperative Extension, Dutchess Community College, LaSalle School, Family of Woodstock, Young Chefs Academy, Girl Scouts, and Mill Street Loft. She also served the community by joining government and nonprofit boards, including NYS Kincare Coalition, Dutchess County Youth Bureau, Dutchess County Child Welfare Court Improvement Project, Dutchess County Elder Abuse Awareness Coalition, and many others. Nina is currently a Woodstock Chamber of Commerce & Arts board member. After a twenty-five-year career providing education to children and families, she switched gears to fund development. This change led to her current role as Executive Director of the Woodstock School of Art. Nina and her daughter, now a Freshman at Fordham University, moved to West Hurley in 2022.

Jon Elwyn

Jon Elwyn is a Woodstock native with deep family connections to the Town including ancestors who were among the town’s earliest settlers.

Throughout his high school and college years, Jon worked at his father’s restaurant, Deanie’s of Woodstock, and had a unique opportunity to interact with a cross-section of Woodstockers throughout the ’60s, 70’s, and 80’s. With a BA in American History, Jon has applied his love of history to researching his family’s genealogy and their relationship to the development and evolving personality of the Town. The Historical Society of Woodstock has been an important partner in this research.

On leaving Woodstock in 1984, Jon earned his master’s in business administration and has pursued a career in technology sales and marketing, most recently serving as Vice President - Global Alliances for a digital payment and banking software solutions company.

Nikki Hall

Nikki Hall has a long history of volunteering for Woodstock's favorite organizations. Library Fair in the 1990s, The Food Pantry Benefit in 2016, and Woodstock Music: In Tune With The Times in 2019 for the Historical Society of Woodstock. She attended FIT in NYC and achieved a BA from NYU in 1999. Her experience in event production and promotion for 40 years has helped the Southold Historical Society engage in public concerts and original art shows.  From Memphis, TN, to Palm Springs, CA, to Brooklyn's waterfront and onto Manhattan, Nikki has produced too many events to count.  Nikki is in Woodstock full-time now and is excited to be involved with HSW again, projecting that her efforts will increase our membership and show attendance for the Historical Society's 2023 season.    

Brian Hollander


Brian has served Woodstock in many capacities. After spending time in town in the late 1960s, he settled here in 1974, and worked as a musician. During the 1980s, Brian was a DJ and newsman on WDST and later became town supervisor in 1988. After leaving politics, he worked as a news reporter and Sports Editor for the Daily Freeman, and from 2001-2020, he was the Editor of Woodstock Times. He currently plays locally with the Bluegrass Clubhouse Band and freelances for the Hudson Valley One.

Rachel Jackson

Rachel moved to this country from Singapore in the summer of 1986 to pursue higher studies. From 1988 she lived in New York City, where she worked in finance. She started coming to Woodstock on weekends in 1989, mainly to attend Aikido seminars led by Harvey Konigsberg. She and her husband Bruce began to visit Woodstock regularly on weekends in 1993, staying at a converted hunting lodge across from the Ashokan Reservoir, and from 1999 at a converted barn in the foothills of Overlook Mountain. They started living in the latter full-time in 2013. They enjoy the beauty and rural feel of the town and its rich artistic and musical offerings. Rachel likes to walk the trails and nature preserves in and around Woodstock with friends. She is keen on environmental sustainability, making education widely available to the youth, and achieving equality on many levels of our society. She continued working in financial services from 2014 until 2021 when she pivoted to become an artist representative. As one, she works with several artists on various facets of their professional lives so they can concentrate on creating their art.

Jacqueline Kellachan

Jacqueline Kellachan has been a co-owner of The Golden Notebook, an independent bookstore in Woodstock, since 2010. She has worked in public health for more than 25 years at organizations that include The Rockefeller Foundation, NYC Department of Health, NYS Department of Health, and the Maternal, Infant Service Network of Orange, Sullivan, and Ulster Counties. She is currently the Project Director of the NYS Birth Equity Improvement Project at the NYSDOH. Jacqueline is the mom of three boys who attend/attended Onteora Middle School and High School. Jacqueline was a trustee at the Woodstock Day School from 2006-to 2016 and is currently a trustee at the Ulster Literacy Association. Jacqueline’s partner Bennet Ratcliff is a town board member.

Jessica Kerr

Librarian living and working in Woodstock since 2010, and former Library Director of the Woodstock Library. She earned her master’s in library science from the University at Buffalo and grew up near Ithaca, NY. She enjoys helping researchers and historians find interesting pieces of local history, especially art history. Currently a non-profit/library consultant and presenter. 

Terry Lover

I have lived in various locations in the Hudson Valley for the past 42 years--from New Windsor to Walden to Rosendale to Saugerties (23 years) to Woodstock (7 years).  During this time, I have been a high school and middle school teacher (mathematics and health/retired) in Wallkill, adjunct instructor at SUNY Ulster/SUNY New Paltz/ Columbia-Greene Community College, been a member of the Woodstock Human Rights Commission, and maintained participation in groups concerned with international peace, the death penalty, immigration, the environment, and indigenous peoples.

JoAnn Margolis

JoAnn holds a master’s degree in Library Science from the State University of New York at Albany and a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Wilkes University. She moved to Woodstock in 1969. She retired as a School Library Media Specialist at the Woodstock Elementary School and previously was a teacher and librarian at the Bennett School in Boiceville. In between her two stints with the Onteora School District, she was a jeweler and co-owner of “The Jewelry Store” in Woodstock. JoAnn volunteered as an HSW archivist from 2002 to 2021, worked to develop HSW policies and procedures, and aided in writing and implementing grants. She has sorted, organized, and accessioned the collection and solicited and trained volunteers to work in the archives. She now serves on the Advisory and other HSW committees.

Allan Mower

Born and raised in Woodstock, New York. I currently live in Roanoke, Virginia. For most of my career, I've been a sales and marketing executive at the NBC affiliate for Southwestern Virginia, WSLS 10. Historical areas of interest include music and art, small business entrepreneurship, and outdoor attractions.

Will Nixon

I moved upstate to Phoenicia in 1996, which put me in the greater Woodstock orbit. In 2002 or so I moved into the village, then began walking and writing a column with Michael Perkins that led to our book "Walking Woodstock: Journeys into the Wild Heart of America's Most Famous Small Town." We followed up with "The Pocket Guide to Woodstock," the book that led to research the town's history. Last year when I produced a new version of "The Pocket Guide," I found myself reviewing the history all over again. The old proverb is true: the more I learn the less I know. There's so much to the town's past. Now I live in Kingston where I'm considering a Pocket Guide to Kingston. Primarily, though, I spend my days writing fiction and poetry.

Jeff Place

I am a retired 7th -grade social studies teacher, with a previous career in banking. I have a BA in History from the University of Rochester and an MS Ed in (special) Education from Pace University. I remain active in education as a SUNY New Paltz adjunct instructor supervising student teachers, and as a substitute teacher. My wife and I have been part-time residents (not quite empty nesters) of Woodstock since we purchased the Charles Krack House in late 2015.

Marc Plate

A lifelong resident of Woodstock, Marc is very familiar with the art history of Woodstock. His father, artist Walter “Bud” Plate taught at the Art Students League and his mother, sculptress, Gladys Brodsky Plate were both well known in the Woodstock art circle. Recently he retired as Woodstock’s sole assessor, Marc is also on the board that oversees the Artist Cemetery.

Edward Sanders

Edward Sanders is a professional writer and poet; he and his wife Miriam have lived in Woodstock since 1974. He volunteers as a researcher at the Alf Evers Archive and has written a full-length biography of Evers who served for several years as President of the Historical Society of Woodstock.

Letitia Smith

Letitia Smith received a BFA degree from Pratt Institute in 1969. She managed the Graphic Workshop at the Woodstock Artists Association from 1970 to 73. In 1971 she collaborated with Robert Angeloch when he was forming the nascent Woodstock School of Art. She retired in 2012 after 20 years as Administrator of the Graduate Program at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College. Letitia has served on the board of the Historical Society of Woodstock for ten years and has curated six exhibitions at the Historical Society, including Seasons: Catching Natures Cycle (with guest curator Susana Torruella Leval), postponed to 2021.

She initiated a grant to the National Endowment for the Humanities, which was awarded to the Historical Society of Woodstock for the preservation of its extensive fine arts collection, represented by the works of noted artists created during Woodstock's rise as an art colony, 2016 

In 2010, Letitia developed and continues to manage the Historical Society website.