CitySpace is a nonprofit organization that has established and continues to maintain the iconic old Town Hall building as a vital center for the arts and art organizations in the city of Easthampton, MA. We strive to sustain the legacy of the historic building (1869) as a public place that all citizens of Easthampton may use and benefit from.
Ed Check, President
Ed Check teaches set and production design for theatre and film, and regularly designs for the Smith College Theatre Department. Past productions include: Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, Habitat, Hedda Gabler, Nickel & Dimed, Macbeth, Polaroid Stories, Las Meninas, The Golden Lotus, After Mrs. Rochester, Equus, Jar The Floor and The Children’s Hour.
He designed the set for The Garden of Martyrs – a new opera that premiered at The Academy of Music in Northampton. Eric Sawyer from Amherst College composed the music and Harley Erdman from the University of Massachusetts wrote the libretto. During the summer of 2014 he traveled to China to design the set for Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice.
During previous summers he has designed sets for Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, MA: Hamlet, The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Taming of the Shrew and King John. At New Century Theatre, in Northampton, design credits include Crumbs From the Table of Joy, The Heidi Chronicles, How The Other Half Loves, and Copenhagen.
He worked on Sex And The City: The Movie as the art director. During the HBO series he art-directed the first four seasons of the show, at which time he received two Emmy nominations for Best Art Direction. His Assistant Art Director credits include: Spiderman, Family Man, Meet Joe Black, The First Wives Club, Batman Forever, Nobody’s Fool, Quiz Show, and Six Degrees of Separation.
Other design credits include working on a permanent exhibition space at the Flynt Center of Early New England Life in Historic Deerfield, MA. The show, Celebrating the Fiber Arts, displayed the historic textile collection owned by the museum.
Earlier in his career he designed in regional theatre as well as assisted on Broadway. He is a graduate from the Yale School of Drama and the State University of New York, College at Purchase.
Steven Baer has lived in Easthampton since 2005 and is an owner and primary organizer of Luthiers Co-op, a stringed instrument repair shop and music venue on Easthampton’s Cottage Street. He joined City Space in 2016 with hopes of helping to bring a larger performance space to the city that can accommodate national acts. He is a recording songwriter who started playing guitar at age 9, and continues to play in a band. After high school, he left his home in Monson, MA, to travel and perform with Up With People, and would spend the rest of his 20s traveling and working various jobs to save up for the next trip. He started working at Luthiers in 2007 and spends most of his free time restoring crusty old things (buildings, motorcycles, instruments, etc.), fishing, traveling, and educating people about the differences between himself and his identical twin.
Christopher Dooley is a sound and visual artist based in Holyoke, MA. He has been involved with the Flywheel Arts Collective for over ten years and is a member of its board of directors. Christopher has been curating art & music events throughout Western Massachusetts for fifteen years.
Burns Maxey, Vice President
Burns Maxey first became a member of CitySpace in 2009. She formerly worked for the City of Easthampton’s Planning Department as the Coordinator for Easthampton City Arts+. There she spearheaded programming such as MAP, Cultural Chaos, Easthampton BookFest, EAT, and public art projects. Currently, she is a graphic designer and webmaster at New England Public Radio. She serves on the Leadership Council for MassCreative and the Marketing Committee for Springfield Museums. As an intermedia artist, Burns’ work combines new and old technologies and media specializing in the power of place through visual storytelling. Her work has been exhibited in the Pioneer Valley, New York, and Boston. She attended Bard College and is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. After living in Mississippi, New York, San Francisco, New Orleans and Providence, Burns moved to Easthampton in 2007. Almost immediately, she ended 15 years of insomnia and has since then called Easthampton home.
For over forty years Marcia Morrison has been involved professionally with higher education and the arts, including acting, directing, playwriting, managing a professional melodrama theatre, running a Fine and Performing Arts Center, serving as Dean of Arts and Humanities at Holyoke Community College, and teaching performing arts skills and theories to students of all ages. Awards include the Los Angeles DramaLogue Award for her direction of a premiere production, a Dean’s Medal from California State University at Fresno, a Chancellor’s Award from the State University of New York Community College System, and several Kennedy Center American College Theatre Awards for her College productions. Recently retired, she is actively engaged in serving Easthampton on the ECA+ Committee. She is also Vice-Chair of the Cottage Street Cultural District Working Partners committee and on the Board of City Space. Her passion is Easthampton and its continuing cultural renaissance.
Jean-Pierre Pasche grew up in Montreux Switzerland. He first discovered custom framing when he bought a bookbinding / picture framing shop in 1987 in his hometown of Montreux, Switzerland. After moving to the USA with his family in 1997, he opened Eastmont Custom Framing in the spring of 2001 in Easthampton, MA, in what used to be the convenience store of a gas station.
In 2007 Eastmont Custom Framing found its true home in Easthampton’s old Town Hall. This location has allowed him to expand and open the Elusie Fine Art Gallery; it has also given him the opportunity to be actively involved in many of Easthampton’s art and cultural events and benefit from the city’s constant creative energy. He is the founder of the Eastmont Art Fund, producing “fair trade” fundraising exhibitions that benefit organizations as well as the artists donating artwork. He is also co-founder and Head of Organizing Committee of Art in the Orchard, a biennial outdoor sculpture park in Easthampton that was the recipient of the MCC Gold Star Award in 2011. In January 2014 Jean-Pierre renamed his business Big Red Frame, after the very popular Big Red Frame he had installed at Art in the Orchard 2013.
Carol Abbe Smith, Clerk
Originally from Massachusetts, Carolyn Abbe Smith has lived in Easthampton for 15 years. During that time, she served on Easthampton Cultural Council and Easthampton City Arts+. Previously chair of the board of PACE, she holds a BA from Amherst College. She is a professional jazz musician who has performed throughout the Pioneer Valley for over 25 years and produced numerous concerts. In addition to Smith’s music career, she works as a full-time as a real estate agent for Delap Real Estate where she is also part owner.
Michael Tautznik, Treasurer
Michael Tautznik is an experienced professional with an extensive background in private, public and non-profit operations. He is a lifelong resident of Easthampton who received an A.S. in Business Management from Springfield Technical Community College and has enjoyed a career that spans a broad spectrum of business, government and non-profit service.
He has a long-held commitment to serving a higher purpose, working in the private sector while serving as an appointed local official and Chairman of the Easthampton Conservation Commission he was elected to both Town Meeting, as a citizen legislator, and to the Board of Selectman, as a member for seven years and its Chairman for two one-year terms. Michael was also elected as a Supervisor to the Hampshire Conservation District and was instrumental in creating a regional Board of Supervisors who coordinated county, state and federal resources to serve agricultural landowners in the Connecticut River Valley. His exemplary service has been recognized by many of his peers and he was selected by then Governor Michael Dukakis to serve on the State Commission for the Conservation of Soil, Water and Related Resources. He was later elected as the Chairman of that Commission and served in that capacity for several years. Michael also served an instrumental role in establishing the Pascommuck Conservation Trust, a not-for-profit land conservation organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of natural and historic resources in the Easthampton area, where he served as a founding Director and its first Treasurer.
Tautznik was elected as the first Mayor of Easthampton in 1996 and he served for eight consecutive terms, for a total of more than seventeen years. During his tenure as mayor he was responsible for the development of a city form of governance and the efficient consolidation of municipal operations under a single Chief Executive Officer, the Mayor. During his tenure as Mayor, he developed many policies, programs and projects providing long-term benefits to the community, including the repair and renovation of a structurally deficient historic Town Hall that is now operated by CitySpace and utilized as an economic center for cultural activities and the arts in Easthampton.
Tautznik presently serves as the Director of Business Operations for the Center for EcoTechnology, a Pittsfield based non-profit environmental organization dedicated to the identification and implementation of energy conservation measures and reduction of the solid waste stream through beneficial reuse and alternative disposal measures .
Todd Trebour is the Program Coordinator for the UMass-Amherst Arts Extension Service (AES). Through his work at AES, Todd helps artists and arts students build vibrant careers and businesses through courses, trainings, and entrepreneurship programming. Todd works with arts organizations, local cultural councils, and city planners to bring training programs on business, marketing and entrepreneurship topics to artists. In addition to leading trainings, he teaches arts management and arts entrepreneurship courses on-campus and online. Todd also works with artists and arts organizations to create local internship opportunities for Five College arts students and connects students with these opportunities through cross campus-community programming.
Todd is a member of the Americans for the Arts’ Emerging Leaders Council. He currently serves on the boards of CitySpace, Easthampton co.lab, as well as the Strategic Planning Committee for WAM Theatre. Todd is also a member of Eventide Singers, a hospice choir based in Franklin County, and co-curator of the Movement Lab at Studio Firenze. Prior to working with AES, Todd was the marketing and development director at Chester Theatre Company, a professional summer theatre company in the mountain town of Chester, MA. Todd has also worked as a professional operatic performer and concert soloist, performing with companies throughout the United States and Canada.Todd received his BA in Music Performance from Whitman College, his MM in Voice from Rice University, and his Core Certificate in Arts Management from the UMass-Amherst Arts Extension Service.
Prior to working with AES, Todd was the marketing and development director at Chester Theatre Company, a professional summer theatre company in the mountain town of Chester, MA. Todd has also worked as a professional operatic performer and concert soloist, performing with companies throughout the United States and Canada. Todd currently serves on the boards of CitySpace, Easthampton co.lab, as well as the Strategic Planning Committee for WAM Theatre. He is also a member of Eventide Singers, a hospice choir based in Franklin County, and co-curator of the Movement Lab at Studio Firenze. Todd received his BA in Music Performance from Whitman College, his MM in Voice from Rice University, and his Core Certificate in Arts Management from the UMass-Amherst Arts Extension Service.