Peter Rushefsky has served as CTMD’s Executive Director since 2006 following a successful career as a non-profit health care executive. A practicing klezmer musician, Rushefsky performs and records internationally with violinist Itzhak Perlman, the renowned Klezmer Conservatory Band and NEA National Heritage Fellows Andy Statman and Michael Alpert among others. He has been featured at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Hollywood Bowl, and performed on the air for NPR’s Prairie Home Companion, All Things Considered and PBS’s Great Performances. Rushefsky curated the Yiddish performing arts program for the Smithsonian Institution’s 2013 Folklife Festival on the National Mall, helped to found the annual Yiddish New York festival, and has taught and organized numerous Yiddish folk arts workshops internationally. He has served as a grant panelist for New York Foundation for the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. A graduate of Cornell University and the University of Michigan, Rushefsky has authored a number of published articles and other writings on traditional performing arts.
212-571-1555 ext. 36
Maureen Loughran, Ph.D.
Maureen Loughran served for a number of years as a Senior Producer of American Routes, the nationally broadcast public radio program hosted by Nick Spitzer. While at American Routes, she produced over 80 two-hour programs and numerous segments that were broadcast nationally, including feature radio documentaries profiling Woody Guthrie, John Coltrane and Alan Lomax. Loughran conducted fieldwork to document Baton Rouge’s sacred and secular music traditions for the Folklife Program of the State of Louisiana’s Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism. Along with Spitzer, she was awarded an Archie Green Fellowship by the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress in 2010-2011. She has worked in various folk arts archives including the Irish Traditional Music Archive in Dublin, Ireland, the National Archives, the Archive of Folk Culture and the Irish Music Archive at Boston College. She holds a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from Brown University.
212-571-1555 ext. 27
Director of Public Programs
Naomi Sturm formerly served as the Director of Folklife at Staten Island Arts, where she worked extensively with the island’s diverse folk and traditional artists. As the project director for Suriya NYC at CTMD, she builds upon her work started in Staten Island with the Sri Lankan community. She has worked for many years with immigrant and ethnic communities throughout the City on presenting traditional arts and developing educational and public programming. A specialist in folk arts and the immigrant experience, Naomi is a co-founder of the NY Quechua Initiative and Los Herederos (The Inheritors), which documents Latino storytellers in New York City, and previously worked for City Lore and CTMD’s Pachamama Peruvian Arts program. Naomi Sturm completed her graduate work in Ethnomusicology at Columbia University, where she worked extensively with Andean musical traditions in the diaspora.
212-571-1555 ext. 25
Co-Founder and Artistic Director Emeritus
Ethel Raim is co-founder and Artistic Director emeritus of the Center for Traditional Music and Dance. A pioneering figure in public sector folklore, she has been a national leader in revitalizing diverse ethnic traditions and was recognized for her achievements in 2018 as a Bess Lomax Hawes NEA National Heritage Fellow. In 2012, Raim was awarded the American Folklore Society’s Benjamin Botkin Award for her career impact in furthering the field of public sector folklore. Raim is also a renowned singer/ethnographer of Yiddish and Slavic music from Eastern Europe. One of the Bulgarian field recordings she made with CTMD co-founder Martin Koenig was featured on NASA’s 1977 Voyager “Golden Record,” a collection of music specially curated to represent the music of humankind throughout the galaxy.
212-571-1555 ext. 25
Samantha Shokin arrived at CTMD after serving for several years in the Jewish nonprofit world. A writer by trade, her articles and essays on post-Soviet immigrant communities have appeared in a variety of publications including Tablet Magazine, VICE, The Huffington Post, and The Forward. She has performed as a vocalist in a number of Eastern European folk ensembles around New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area. A graduate of NYU Gallatin, she is currently pursuing a Masters in Arts Administration at CUNY Baruch.