Introducing | New NYFA Board Chair Marc Jason
Jason is an arts advocate and intellectual property attorney who has served on NYFA’s Board of Trustees since 2013.
New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) is pleased to announce that Marc Jason, Senior Counsel at Amster, Rothstein & Ebenstein LLP, has been named Chair of its Board of Trustees. Jason succeeds Judith K. Brodsky, Founding Director, Brodsky Center for Innovative Editions, Rutgers University.
Jason has served as a member of NYFA’s Board of Trustees, most recently as its Treasurer, since 2013. He has been involved in numerous NYFA activities and committees and Co-Chaired the annual Hall of Fame Benefit three times, including the 2019 gala honoring Sanford Biggers, Karl Kellner, and Min Jin Lee. A graduate of Georgetown Law, Jason has specialized in trademark and copyright litigation for more than 20 years.
His involvement with the arts began as a young man; he studied French and Russian Literature as an undergraduate at Brown University and was the lead singer of a rock and roll band. He developed a passion for visual arts in the museums of his native New York, and while studying and working in Paris. Jason is an avid guitar player and, with his wife Nina, collects works of emerging contemporary artists with a focus on painting and collage.
Read more about Jason’s support of NYFA and the arts and find special advice for artists, below.
NYFA: You been a NYFA board member since 2013. What do you hope to bring to NYFA as its new Board Chair?
Marc Jason: As a board member, I’ve discovered the breadth of NYFA’s incredible programs and services for artists and arts organizations. NYFA Learning, the Immigrant Artist Program, NYFA’s Online Resources, Fiscal Sponsorship … these are just a few examples. I’ve also come to appreciate that these programs and services urgently need support. Although NYFA has the word “foundation” in its name, it does not have an endowment. NYFA relies on sources such as donations, government funding, grants, and sponsorships to sustain all that it does. As the new Board Chair, I hope to bring an increased awareness of, and support for, NYFA’s important work.
NYFA: What value do you see the arts and artists as having in our present tumultuous times? Why are they important?
MJ: On a daily basis we are bombarded by information. Nonstop. As a result, we’ve become desensitized and divided into our different silos. Intolerance seems to be on the rise. Art is so important because it can cause us to stop for a moment and think; to reflect on the world around us. We need more empathy, and art fosters empathy. Music, literature, dance, theater, the visual arts – artists expose us to new perspectives and different points of view. Experiencing art can shake us from our comfort zones and inspire us. It can also spur us to action. So much great art throughout history has been produced as a result of tumult and upheaval. I think that is happening right now.
NYFA: As a trademark and copyright litigator, do you have any tips for artists looking to protect their creative work?
MJ: Get a copyright registration for your work. Even though a copyright technically exists as soon as a work is created and fixed in a tangible form, a copyright registration gives an artist additional rights and protections. These include the ability to sue for infringement, and the possibility of getting enhanced penalties assessed against an infringer. Registration is not expensive and can be done by an artist online (www.copyright.gov).
Another tip for visual artists is to remember that you retain the copyright in a work even after you sell the work. So, for example, the copyright in a painting remains with the artist after a sale, unless the artist signs over the copyright to the buyer. The rights retained by the artist include the right to make reproductions (prints, posters, etc.) and the right to make derivative works. You can put a copyright notice on the back of a work (© and the year); and you can make it clear in sales documentation that the artist retains the copyright. Alternatively, if you wish to give up the copyright, consider how much that might be worth and whether the buyer should pay a premium for those rights.
NYFA: What advice do you have for emerging artists?
MJ: Being an artist is not easy, so you’ve really got to have a passion for the work. The most important thing is to keep working hard and following that passion. Give yourself every chance you can to succeed. And use NYFA as a resource. It’s a community of diverse, creative people that has so much to offer. Making art is often such a solitary activity, and sometimes you need support. Become a part of the community, go to events, and make connections. It’s NYFA’s mission to help you.
-Interview conducted by Amy Aronoff, Senior Communications Officer
Image: Marc Jason at NYFA’s 2016 Hall of Fame Benefit, Image Credit: Carl Timpone/BFA.com