Susan Wallner – Series Producer, Eric Schultz – Series Producer,
Christopher Benincasa – Producer, Dan Gordon – Narrator,
Joe Conlon – Director of Photography & Technical Manager, Kevin Ronan – Post-Production Editor, Mae Kellert – Social Media Producer
Susan Wallner is an award-winning producer and writer. She recently completed You’ll Have the Sky: The Life and Work of Anne Morrow Lindbergh about the writer and aviator, narrated by Judith Light and Lily Rabe. She co-produced Ode to Joy, a performance special now airing on PBS. Her national documentaries include Ben Shahn: Passion for Justice, Toshiko Takaezu: Portrait of an Artist, and Michael Graves: The Warehouse. Susan is a principal at PCK Media, where she produces the award-winning weekly public television series State of the Arts as well as a wide range of other projects. Recent highlights include a history series produced for New Jersey’s 350th birthday, It Happened Here: New Jersey, and advocacy videos for the statewide campaign, “Pre-K Our Way.”
Susan has an MA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School of Communication, and a BA from New College of Florida. She also studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her awards include 13 regional Emmys, four CINE Golden Eagles, two NETA Awards, a Worldfest Houston Gold Special Jury Award, and a Pennsylvania State Council on the Arts Fellowship.
Eric Schultz is an award-winning producer and director of arts, cultural and environmental programming and a founding member of PCK Media. He is a regular contributor to State of the Arts. In 2016, his performance documentary, Ode to Joy: Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, filmed at the 100th birthday celebration of William H. Scheide in Princeton and in Vienna, aired nationally on PBS. In 2015, public television viewers saw Pulling Out All the Stops, his film about the first Longwood Gardens International Organ Competition.
PBS distributed his documentary Peanuts Gallery, the recipient of a NETA Award for Best Performance Program. His documentary Bonaparte’s Retreat was distributed by American Public Television (APT). He is a founding member of PCK Media. Earlier in life, Eric trained as a cellist and performed with orchestras and chamber groups in Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Michigan. He has a master’s degree in cello performance from Michigan State University and an MBA from the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University.
Christopher Benincasa is an award-winning producer of arts and culture programming. He joined the State of the Arts staff in 2001, and he’s won seven Mid-Atlantic and New York Emmy Awards for his work on the show. In 2006, he won a CINE Golden Eagle Award for Peters Valley, a documentary covering a year in the life of the historic Peters Valley Craft Education Center, as well as a 2005 Mid-Atlantic Emmy for composing and recording the soundtrack with a group of friends. Most recently, he won a New York Emmy Award for Historical/Cultural Program Feature for “David Bianculli on the Birth of Cinema”.
A graduate of the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, Christopher has a BFA in Visual Art. He still manages to make and write about art, and his work has been featured in American Abstract Artists Journal and The Structurist.
Dan Gordon is an actor, voiceover artist, and comedian living and working in Los Angeles. He’s been the narrator of State of the Arts since 2012.
Dan is currently the face of a Kelly Blue Book national campaign and is voicing multiple characters in Comedy Central’s new animated series, Trip Tank. He most recently starred opposite stars Ellen Pompeo on Grey’s Anatomy and Kerry Washington on Scandal.
Born and raised in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Dan received his BA in Acting and Theatre Education from Emerson College. He co-founded Brimmer Street Theatre Company in the Hollywood area with a small collective of fellow Emersonians. They produce original plays to cultivate artists and engage audiences in Los Angeles.
Joe Conlon has worked in broadcast television for over 30 years as a Director of Photography and Technical Manager. As Director of Photography for State of the Arts, he works closely with the producers to establish the look and coordinate all technical aspects of field production. Joe has been honored with over 30 Emmy nominations and has won 11 for his work as a DP, sound recordist, and Technical Manager. Joe began working with State of the Arts in 1983, winning 7 of his Emmys and contributing to several others the show has earned during that time. He has special interests in lighting and capturing high quality sound. Joe owns and operates Conlon Video Works and provides camera and engineering services for a wide range of clients.
Kevin Ronan is the post-production editor for State of the Arts, overseeing everything from color correction to audio sweetening as the program makes its way to broadcast. Kevin is a television producer/director and 5 time Emmy winner. He’s also the co-owner of Ronan & Ronan Productions and 3R Media. In the mid-1980’s, Kevin began his career as a videographer and editor, and soon added producing and directing to his toolkit. He’s produced hundreds of segments for broadcast, programs for Fortune 500 companies and video projects for many non-profit organizations. Since 2003, he’s produced stories for Classroom Close-up NJ, a weekly magazine series broadcast on NJTV. Kevin graduated from the University of Hartford and attended The New School, NYC for journalism.
Mae Kellert is a visual artist and writer. At State of the Arts, she manages social media and assists Susan Wallner and Eric Schultz. She received her BFA in photography from Stockton University with minors in writing, art history, and French, and she studied contemporary art history and painting abroad at IESA in Paris. Her photography and sculpture have been featured in group exhibitions around New Jersey, and she has received the Jennifer Cakert Award in Creative Nonfiction, the Al Gold Memorial Photography Award, and the NCTE Achievement Award for Writing. She also works as a sports photographer, and her writing has been published in an online arts and culture magazine.
Dean, School of Arts and Humanities, Stockton University
Dean of General Studies, Stockton University
Director of Communications, New Jersey State Council on the Arts
Board Member, New Jersey State Council on the Arts
Wendel A. White
Distinguished Professor of Art, Stockton University