Jim is an attorney with offices in Williamsville and Cheektowaga, and is a co-founder of the West Falls Center for the Arts. He lives in East Aurora with his wife Claire and their three children. All of whom have volunteered at West Falls Center for the Arts since its inception.
“Art is a necessity almost as old as humankind, and is an indispensable means of uniting the individual with society. The work we do at West Falls Center for the Arts is crucial to the enrichment of our community. It elevates our human experience and helps us find common ground.
“It is why people want to live here and visit from all over to experience and engage in live music, visual and culinary arts. It is why we continue to expand and diversify our programming.
“To have a role in supporting the people and programs that make these things possible is humbling and extremely rewarding.”
Carolyn Scott Panzica
Carolyn Panzica is the lead artist behind the West Falls Center for the Arts. Carolyn is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, majoring in Photography. In addition, she received training at La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine in Paris, France. To her core, Carolyn believes that creativity fuels life, enriches a community, and is critical for future generations.
Carolyn bridged her formal educational training with cake design in sugar art, bringing creative and unusual cake design techniques to the WNY area. She was the Cake Artist at famed Butterwood Bakery, which she owned along with her husband, Bill. There she created highly desired cake designs with original themes for high-end events, locally and nationally. Butterwood Bakery provided these specialty desserts to The Kentucky Derby, NASCAR, US Open, US embassy in Nassau, NFL, NHL, and the NBA.
Carolyn developed and perfected the nearly forgotten technique of “stringwork” in sugar art. Her Stringwork art installations culminated in the show “An Overabundance of Detail” at the Burchfield-Penney Art Center as well as their biannual show.
Carolyn has received multiple artistic awards and recognition as a Finalist in sugar art competition in Toronto, Canada; Finalist in national sugar art competition in Napa Valley, California and Honored guest in sugar arts show in London, England. Her work has appeared in Harper’s Bazaar, Gourmet Magazine, American Cake Decorator, Pastry Arts and Design as well as several local publications. Carolyn and Bill currently own The Chocolate Bar in Buffalo, where she is creative director and design expert for the restaurant and dessert bar.
Her love of art has drawn in musicians, visual, culinary and healing art professionals to grow a place for art and community in a rural setting. Carolyn has grown her role from artist to art director. She is the heart and soul of the West Falls Center for the Arts.
Carolyn, along with Bill, is raising three artistically and academically accomplished children in West Falls. She loves to cook, read, listen to classical music and support family and friends.
One of WNY’s most accomplished musicians, Doug has been a part of the West Falls Center for the Arts from the start. Doug has been the lifeblood of the organization’s music program, bringing talents musicians from throughout the US and beyond into our small community. Doug’s devotion to youth mentoring has been responsible for the growth of our Kids Jam and Community Jam Sessions.
Doug Yeomans was inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame in 2004. In 2001 he won the North American Rock Guitar Competition. The Buffalo NY music awards have named him Best Blues Guitarist, Best Country Guitarist and Best Bluegrass Guitarist.
Doug continues to perform regularly throughout WNY and is passionate about his role as music director for the West Falls Center for the Arts.
Marta K. Hiczewski, MS
Marta is not a musician or artist, but she appreciates both. Her creativity is expressed in events and marketing success in the sports and entertainment industry. Marta’s gift is in connecting people to experience culture, art, sport and community.
Marta is a partner, with her husband Greg, in the Magellan Group. She works with clients to meet their strategic objectives and develop opportunities for growth. Marta is passionate about helping organizations put structure and voice to their dreams.
Marta is a Cuban-American raised within an exile community in Miami, Florida. She received her Master of Science in Psychology before moving to WNY. Marta’s two daughters grew up in West Falls embracing all that is life in the country. Her grandson is now enjoying the same exposure to country living. Marta never met a horse or dog she didn’t like.
Catherine is a classically trained vocalist and voice instructor with a background in theater. She has been the link for the West Falls Center for the Arts to youth performers in the area. Catherine believes in a thoughtful, conscientious approach to coaching young people in a way that builds confidence and positively impacts other parts their lives.
Catherine has been singing professionally for over 25 years and has performed in theater productions, fundraisers, church functions, weddings, private parties, & sporting events. Catherine is a music minister and sings professionally throughout the Buffalo area.
Paul Taylor, JD
As a trial lawyer for Phillips Lytle for more than 30 years, Paul ‘s passion is in representing opportunity for individuals and organizations. Paul believes in the positive impact exposure to the arts can have on people and a community.
Paul was born in Central New York as one of seven children and moved to WNY to attend law school at the University of Buffalo. He developed an affinity for real estate investing and renovation.
Along with his wife, Jennifer, Paul raised three beautiful loving daughters. Paul is an avid golfer and skier (snowboarder) who loves working with his hands.
Rachel has been a life long participant & admirer of the arts. She became involved with the West Falls Center for the Arts because she believes we are stronger when the arts, in all their forms, are part of the fabric of the community. She is an advocate in her support and in the engagement of others to support of the West Falls Center for the Arts.
Rachel supports her community as a birth and postpartum doula at Creative Motherhood. When she’s not jamming at a concert, playing softball or bowling, you can find her with her family traveling, hiking & enjoying the outdoors.
Gregory J. Hiczewski, MBA, CPA
Greg is passionate about music. He is a multi-instrument amateur musician playing the piano, electric bass guitar and conga drums. He participates in the music ministry of St. George Church in West Falls.
Greg is the founding member of the Magellan Group, a management-consulting firm that works with healthcare organizations and non-profits. He has extensive experience in organization development, strategic planning and operations management.
Greg grew up in East Aurora and is a West Falls resident, where he and his wife, Marta raised two beautiful daughters. In addition to his love of music, Greg enjoys riding and working on his bikes (motorized and otherwise) with his grandson, tae kwon do, cars, skiing and hiking.
Chris Barusic loves music. She followed her passion for live music performance into the early days of the West Falls Center for the Arts and she has never left. Chris is dedicated to giving back to the community and excited about what she what the West Falls Center for the Arts can achieve.
Chris’ career in Real Estate spans more than 35 years. As a Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker with Howard Hanna Real Estate Services she has a pulse on the changes and opportunities that exist in the area.
Chris Barusic was born and raised in the Southtowns. She is a married mother of 2 grown children she raised in West Falls. She has a sweet golden retriever named Kindle.
Jennifer Brazill is a music industry veteran with more than 20 years of versatile experience. She entered the music business in San Francisco, cultivating her resources and building her networks while working for Red Light Management and the Dave Matthews Band.
Jennifer was a Co-Founder, Brand Manager and Marketing Director with WinterWonderGrass Festival, a 3-day boutique bluegrass and craft beer festival in Steamboat, Colorado and Squaw Valley, California for the past 7 years. She co-founded Borderland Music and Arts Festival in 2018, outside of Buffalo, NY.
Growing up in a small east coast town Jennifer learned the sense of community at an early age, she strives to create that same sense of connection at her own events and festivals she produces.