The Macedonian Arts Council involves a group of volunteers worldwide, who donate their time, talent and efforts to projects that cater to the Arts Council’s mission’ objective, to promote and affirm Macedonian cultural heritage.
The Council’s projects are conceptualized and selected based on a single premise: that they preserve, promote and uphold Macedonian cultural heritage, on an ongoing basis. Permanent ethnographic collection and landmarks, documentary programs that celebrate accomplished individuals of Macedonian decent and music projects that promote Macedonian musical heritage, are some of the projects on the organization’s agenda.
The Board of directors and the Advisory Board work closely in support of the projects approved for funding. The daily operations of the Council are managed by the Executive Director.
Stephen K. Batalden, Arizona State University
Risto Nikovski, Former Ambassador (retired)
Duncan Perry, Ph. D., Dean of Research, Scranton University (retired)
Andrew Rossos, Ph. D., History, Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto
Inez Giles, Ph. D.
Dr. Giles is a business professor with the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) but her primary research interest and specialty is ethnic textiles and costumes. She travels extensively to Central and Eastern Europe to visit and work with textile curators at national and city museums. Her last field trip to Macedonia was in 2012. Most recently she consulted on the Spring 2013 Balkan Exhibit mounted at UCLA’s Fowler Museum.
Currently, she is pursuing her appraisal certificate in Art and Antiques Appraisal from the Rhode Island School of Design offered in conjunction with the American Society of Appraisers (ASA). She has a Masters of Folk Art from Duquesne University, an MBA from the University of Southern Illinois, Edwardsville, and a Doctorate from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
Dr. Giles researches and appraises Macedonian costumes and embroideries. She believes strongly in the preservation of historic textiles so that future generations may come to know and appreciate the beauty of Macedonian textiles.
Louis Grachos is the Executive Director of AMOA-Arthouse, a new organization formed by the merger of two long-standing arts organizations in Austin, Texas — the Austin Museum of Art and the Jones Center (Art House). Previously, he was the Director of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery , during which time he has implemented a strong, dynamic exhibitions program, frequently inviting leading local, national, and international artists to engage with the Gallery and became involved in selecting and installing exhibitions in the museum’s spaces.
As a freshman in high school, Grachos learned about art history and art museums through trips to both the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) and the Albright-Knox and those experiences lead him to study art history first at the University of Toronto then New York at New York University.
In 1980 he completed the museum studies graduate certificate program At the Center for Museum Studies, John F. Kennedy University in San Francisco and in 1982, back in New York he worked as a curatorial intern at the Whitney Museum of American Art, followed in 1983 by a brief stint in a similar position at the AGO in his native Toronto. In 1987 he landed the position of associate director of the visual arts program and art gallery for the Americas Society, an organization founded and chaired by David Rockefeller.
In 1990 he became a curator at the Center for the Fine Arts in Miami where he coordinated more than 40 exhibitions in three years and became director of the museum, managing a staff of 32 then left to work as a curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, where he supervised all exhibitions, collections, publications, education and research. But it was at SITE Santa Fe in New Mexico, where Grachos became director and curator in 1996, that he really turned heads in art circles by establishing the international biennial exhibitions that drew the top young contemporary artists in the world to Santa Fe.
He has been an enthusiastic supporter of Macedonian contemporary artists in Macedonia, Canada and the United States, and nurtures his Macedonian heritage through his association with the Macedonian Arts Council.
Mike Eldred is the editor of the Deerfield Valley News, located in Stoyan Christowe's adopted hometown of Dover, Vermont.
Through the American NGO PAE-REACT, Eldred also works and travels in Central Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Balkans as an election observer for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE-ODIHR). The volunteer work has taken him as far afield as Kazakhstan's border with China, Moldova and, most recently, to Ukraine.
During election observation missions in 2013 and 2014, he worked in the Macedonian towns of Tetovo and Bitola and their nearby villages, as well as in the capital city of Skopje. Through his work and off-duty visits to study sites like Tetovo's Arabati Baba Teke, where he met with Bektashi leader Hajji Baba Mondi; ancient city of Heraclea in Bitola; and Skopje's many museums and sites, Eldred developed a deep admiration and interest in Macedonia, its people, and their diverse, vibrant culture and traditions.
Mike has been affiliated with the Arts Council since 2007.
Igor TOSHEVSKI (1963, Skopje) is a visual artist, graphic designer and art director. He graduated printmaking at the Kuvataide Akatemia, Helsinki (1988) and gained his Masters degree in sculpture at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Skopje (2011). He is one of the founding members of several art collectives in Macedonia, including the group Zero (1985-1990) which had a significant role in the occurrence and growth of the alternative art scene in Macedonia. As an individual artist, in his installations and long-term projects, Toshevski explores the relations between conceptual art and its radical position within the social and political context of post-socialist societies. He was also one of the founding members of the Kooperacija initiative (2011-2014), a collaborative effort of several Macedonian artists whose objective was focused on institutional critique, exhibiting critical art outside the framework of the cultural institutions controlled by the authoritative government.
Selected solo exhibitions: Dossier (City Museum, Skopje, 1997); Process (MoCA, Skopje, 2004); Territories (2004-2012); Love Undefined Every Damn Moment (MoCA, Skopje, 2012), Between (National Gallery of Macedonia, 2016). Selected group exhibitions: After the Wall (Moderna Museet, Stockholm, 1999); Love it or Leave it (Cetinje Biennial, 2004); Cosmopolis Macrocosmos x Microcosmos, (Thessaloniki, 2002); Illuminations (La Biennale di Venezia, 2011), etc.
As a production designer and art director, Toshevski has worked on several awarded domestic and foreign film productions such as Mirage (2004), Upside Down (2007), Blödsband (2007), Time of the Comet (2008) and others.
A native of Macedonia, Pavlina Proevska studied public relations in Paris, and was a producer for CBS News and a field producer for the USA Cable Networks. An independent film producer since 1986, she has produced two feature films, The Magic Snowman, a children’s Christmas tale (endorsed by UNICEF and dedicated to the world's children) and Happy Hell Night, a supernatural thriller. She has produced numerous videos and film shorts as well as live events. She is presently in post-production for the documentary films My American Pilgrimage, The Promise of Perfume, and Arts Whisperings.
Ms. Proevska is in pre-production of The Magic Snowman II She's also packaging a romantic comedy slated for April 2015, and is developing an epic story, The Magic Snowman III and a live action/animated family picture based on a Macedonian folk tale.
Pavlina Proevska is the founder and Executive Director of the Macedonian Arts Council.
She is fluent in five languages and lives and works in New York.
Hamod Meshkat is a Tax Accountant-Enrolled Agent and a former Financial Analyst.
He holds an MBA in Finance from Baruch College and is presently working on becoming a Certified Public Accountant.
Born in New York he has a keen appreciation of world cultures and has been affiliated with the Macedonian Arts Council since 2013.
Sandra is a senior at CUNY Baruch College majoring in Psychology and Communications. Born in New York, Sandra is a first generation Macedonian-American. Her father is native to Struga, Macedonia.
Sandra maintains and edits the website presence for the Macedonian Arts Council. She also creates graphic designs and content.
Sandra Markoski has been affiliated with the Arts Council since 2016.