Executive Director:  Nana Simopoulos
Artistic Director:  Caryn Heilman 

Topia Arts Center was founded by two renowned artists, Nana Simopoulos  and Caryn Heilman.  

NANA SIMOPOULOS, founder and Executive Director, is a composer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist whose release, Daughters Of The Sun, hit #1 on the New World Music radio charts. Based in New York City, she leads an international all-star musical ensemble. World Music of Nana has performed widely in major venues around the world including Montreux and appears on their compilation CD Live at the B&W Montreux Music Festival, Vol. II.  Her newest release Skins features Berkshires saxophone great Charlie Tokarz amongst musicians from Greece and India.  

She has composed many commissions for theater, dance and films over the past 20 years. She has several acclaimed albums of original music with the participation of world renowned artists; After The Moon, Pandora’s Blues, Wings and Air, Still Waters,and Gaia’s Dream. Guest appearances include concerts with Oscar winner Tan Dun as a soloist on sitar in Marco Polo with the New York City Opera and the RAI Symphony Orchestra in Torino, Italy. She performed at Symphony Space in the Wall to Wall Joni Mitchell event and at the Kennedy Center for the Women in Jazz Series. She has written numerous commissions for films and dance companies, for festivals, and for choreographers such as Peter Pucci for Pucci Plus Dancers and the Joffrey Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theater, American Dance Festival, Ballet Hispanico, and LiquidBody. 

She has conducted and performed her original music with ensembles at the Joyce Theatre, on Broadway, at the American Dance Festival, and at Jacob’s Pillow. She has written music for opera diva Lauren Flanigan and performed with her at the Met and Symphony Space. Simopoulos also wrote the music for the TONY award winning Acting Company’s adaptation of American Dreams, Lost and Found. 

She is also a faculty member at the New York City School of Visual Arts where she teaches Music and Sound for Film and is an Adjunct Professor at New York University where has taught the Business of Music. She has taught at the New School University and at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. Her mother was one of the founders of the theater, Center Stage in Baltimore, MD in the 1960s. 

CARYN HEILMAN, founder and Artistic Director, is the Artistic Director of LiquidBody media, movement and dance, a nonprofit performing arts and educational organization she founded after performing with the internationally recognized Paul Taylor Dance Company for ten years.  Ms. Heilman founded LiquidBody to explore movement from new fluid perspectives. She is experimenting with new forms of audience interactive performance formats and community-building around movement based on her vast experience with audiences in the United States and abroad.  LiquidBody’s second home is Topia Arts Center and the company regularly presents work in Adams and the Northern Berkshires. 

She has performed as a soloist in more than 50 countries at such venues as Paris Opera Garnier, New York City Center, Kennedy Center and London’s Sadler’s Wells. With Taylor, she represented the United States as a cultural ambassador in Japan, China, India, Egypt, Greece, Russia, Turkey, and Hungary. 

She is featured in the Oscar nominated documentary film Dancemaker; and worked on Emmy-award-winning Speaking in Tongues. Her concert and educational commissions include choreography for Contemporary Dance/Fort Worth, the Mad Woman of the Woods theater production of Scrambled Eggs, for animation by Doros Motion and by the Puffin Foundation to commemorate the opening of the environmental art park, Teaneck Creek. 

She was the choreographic consultant for Julianne Moore in Revolution Studio’s film The Forgotten. Ms. Heilman has been a guest artist in-residence choreographing and teaching master classes and workshops around the world at schools and universities including University of California at Irvine, Beijing Dance Academy, Smith College, Princeton University, Hollins University, and Texas Christian University. 

Her LiquidBody movement classes are popular at community centers and spas.  She offers virtual classes and workshops to a global community in New Zealand, England, Hungary, South Africa, Australia, Netherlands as well as various states in the U.S..  She has an MFA in Dance and Technology and a BFA in Modern Dance and was awarded a Graduate Fellowship in Choreography for Television and Film, as well as scholarships to the American Dance Festival and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, among others.  She is a founding member of the Continuum Teachers Association, a registered Continuum teacher and a Registered Somatic Movement Educator (RSME).  She is also faculty in the film dept. at the School of Visual Arts NYC where she teaches editing.

She serves on the Board of the International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association and the Advisory Board of SOMA Fest.  She was also on the Advisory Board of the Dance Notation Bureau.