Paola Prestini

Paola Prestini, Co-Founder, Executive & Artistic Director

Composer PAOLA PRESTINI was appointed Creative Director of Original Music Workshop “OMW” in January 2012. She is known as the co-founder and  “visionary-in-chief” (TimeOut NY) of VisionIntoArt, an interdisciplinary production company that has created over 70 multimedia productions seen worldwide. The New Yorker has called her a “composer-impresario” and The New York Times has said that she is “a human resources alchemist…[and] an inventive composer whose style mixes the ancient and the up-to-date, the folk inspired and the artfully polished…[her music is] radiant, and amorously evocative.”

Her works have been performed worldwide, from the Kennedy Center and BAM’s Next Wave Festival in the US, to BEMUS in Serbia, Etnafest in Italy, and the Barbican Centre in London. Named by NPR as one of the “Top 100 composers in the World under 40,” she has been commissioned and performed by Carnegie Hall, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, New York City Opera, and the Kronos Quartet in venues and festivals worldwide.

Her current projects include works for the New York Philharmonic’s 2014 Biennial, an installation concerto commissioned by the Krannert Center for Maya Beiser and Cornelius Dufallo; the Hubble Cantata commissioned by Bay Chamber Concerts for soprano Jessica Rivera, the International Contemporary Ensemble, and astrophysicist Mario Livio; Oceanic Verses at the Barbican Centre with the BBC Symphony Orchestra; an evening length dance with the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company; and Aging Magician, an opera-theater collaboration with Rinde Eckert, Julian Crouch and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus that is in residence at the Watermill Center and the Park Avenue Armory. She is known for her collaborations, which have been lauded by TimeOut NY as “Ingeniously staged concert pieces that gracefully walk the line between opera and performance art”, and has enjoyed years of fruitful collaborations with muses, visual artists, writers and filmmakers. Her residencies include MASS MoCA, the Hermitage Retreat, Sound Res, Ucross Foundation, Sundance Institute, and LMCC Governor’s Island, and she has worked in colleges and in residencies in Italy, Africa, Mexico and Venezuela. She was a 2012 Musical Exchange Fellow for Carnegie Hall as a featured artist, and was a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow. She is passionate about education, having taught from inner city schools in New York, to El Sistema in Venezuela. She is the editor of the New York Philharmonic’s Very Young Composer book, and her music is released on Tzadik Records; her writing is published in the Arcana series, by Hips Road. She is a graduate of the Juilliard School, and has studied with Samuel Adler, Robert Beaser and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies.

Courtenay Casey, Managing Director

Courtenay Casey joined VisionIntoArt as its Managing Director in December 2012 after working as a Concerts and Attractions Agent for Michael Moore Agency for two years. Prior to being a theatre/design agent, Mrs. Casey was the Associate Manager for Artistic Planning with the New York Philharmonic. In this role, she was responsible for the success of several critically acclaimed productions, including Le Grand Macabre featuring Giants Are Small design and direction, Sondheim’s Birthday concert- featuring an all star cast including David Hyde Pierce, Elaine Stritch, Patti LuPone and others, My Fair Lady- featuring Kelsey Grammer and Kelli O’Hara, and several fundraising concerts under the musical direction of Marvin Hamlisch, Lorin Maazel and Alan Gilbert. Mrs. Casey was also a key member in the organization and success of CONTACT’s premiere series- a new music series produced by the New York Philharmonic. Trained as a classical singer at the University of Michigan and New England Conservatory, she began her work in arts administration at Opera Boston, where she started their Education Outreach Program in 2002.  Currently, she is on the Board of Directors with Chelsea Opera and Art Song Preservation Society of New York and is an Emerging Leaders of New York Arts Fellow. She is pursuing her Certificate in Arts Administration from New York University.

Natalia Schwien, Associate Producer, Label Director 

Natalia is a writer, producer, and musician. She has been regularly published in Time Out New York, as well as other publications about culture in NYC.

Within the theatre world, she worked as Assistant to the Director under Jonathan Bank at the Mint Theatre, and in the development department of the National Theatre of Ireland, The Abbey Theatre, while living in Dublin.

In the film sphere, Natalia graduated from New York University with a degree in film production from Tisch School of the Arts. She has worked on over thirty short films, six of which she produced. She has directed three shorts, which can be viewed upon request. She has also worked on the Dr. Oz Show, and on a few independent features.

Natalia was an Associate Developer at More Partnerships, a boutique agency that develops partnerships between brands, causes and artists, where she has helped produce the Global Citizen Festival since 2013, and The Stella Artois Chalice Symphony with The Cold War Kids which was released in February 2014.  She wrote a blog detailing interesting CSR campaigns around the world for More Partnerships.

As of Fall 2014, Natalia became the Associate Producer at Original Music Workshop, a performing arts space and recording studio in Williamsburg, where she will run the digital music publication, handle communications, and produce on-sight. The space opens in October 2015.

She has lived and worked in Dublin, London, Paris, and New York City, and has spent time volunteering in Peru, Panama, and along  the Gaza Strip, specifically with the few remaining Holocaust survivors living in war-torn Sderot.  She sings with various groups all over NYC including “minstrel punk” Jamborree Sunday, and will be releasing her first solo project in spring of 2016.


Melanie Williams, first year Masters Historical Performance flutist at The Juilliard School, Fall 2013-Spring 2014

Rebecca Clark, senior Columbia University, Theatrical Studies, Winter/Spring 2013

Madison Lathbury, social media intern, December 2012, November 2014

Management Collaborators

Caleb Custer, Website Designer

Caleb Custer loves integrating technology and the arts. Currently he works as a digital marketing consultant for arts clients in New York. He previously worked in digital at aka NYC, a full-service agency for Broadway where he worked with clients such as Book of Mormon, Billy Elliot, and DreamWorks Dragons Live. Before that, he was a marketing strategist and information architect at Design Brooklyn. He also spent four years as the director of marketing at Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet where he developed web-based audience engagement initiatives like project52 and Passport among many others. He holds an M.F.A. from Florida State University and a B.A.A. from Campbell University.

Ann Hamada-McLaughlin, Institutional Giving Consultant

Named one of five “Theatre Managers to Watch” by American Theatre magazine, Ann McLaughlin has worked with nonprofit arts organizations for more than fifteen years. She started her career as the Assistant to Lloyd Richards at the National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center.  McLaughlin has since served in multiple management capacities at the Huntington Theatre Company, Yale Repertory Theatre, Ensemble Company for the Performing Arts, and Long Wharf Theatre. She is the recipient of a New Generations Fellowship from Theatre Communications Group, which afforded a year-long mentorship with Michael Maso, Founding Managing Director of Huntington Theatre Company in Boston. Through the fellowship, she worked on the financing and construction of the Calderwood Pavilion, the first theatre built in Boston in more than 75 years.  McLaughlin received her B.A. with honors from Mount Holyoke College and her M.F.A. in Theater Management from Yale School of Drama, where she received the Lord Memorial Scholarship and the Morris J. Kaplan Award.