Pleasantville’s Jacob Burns Film Center (JBFC) showcased 400 films from 60 countries last year, helping the art-house theater earn its standing as a vibrant Westchester cultural institution. But it has a reputation for being more than just a spot where film buffs can catch the latest indie flick, and that’s in part because of the leadership and vision of Edie Demas, who began as Executive Director in 2014, and just announced her resignation as of press time. Demas, who will assist JBFC with the transition to new leadership and will continue to serve as a resource for the Center, is leaving to assume oversight of a family business in the Washington, DC area. During her tenure, Demas made it her mission to ensure that JBFC is a place that values community engagement, fosters cross-cultural awareness, and supports emerging artists.
“Seeing how transformative the arts were for me, I knew from a young age that I wanted to be involved in the arts and education and building a community,” explains Demas, who credits a stint as a theater-camp counselor with solidifying her career path — a path that has included leadership positions at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Los Angeles and at New York’s New Victory Theater.
Demas has increased the number of individual donors and dollars raised in their annual and seasonal campaigns steadily and significantly in the past three years. “Expanding the tools and digital capacities of the marketing department has also been a major strategic focus of my tenure. I am extremely proud of the ROI and customer reach this has garnered,” she adds. Between the thriving Media Arts campus down the street and programs that Demas helped create, JBFC is poised for continued success.