Amy Bartell

Artist/Activist Amy is a nationally known visual artist and activist.  She is committed to using her talent to provide images that bring social issues to light.  Amy was born in Rome, graduated from RFA and lives now in Syracuse.  She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from theState University of New York at Oswego.


Michael Burkard

Poet and Author Michael Paul Burkard has written nine books of poetry and is currently at work on a new poetry book, “THE GREEN IN THE SUN”, as well as at work on a book of short fiction and essays.  Michael was born (1947) and raised in Rome, and returned to live in Rome in the 1980s.

Tom Foster

Theatrical Director/Designer If you, your parents or your children attended Staley Junior High School, chances are very good Tom Foster was your art teacher.  And if you have attended a performance at the Rome Community Theater, chances are very good that Tom Foster sold you a ticket at the box office and that his name appeared on the production program in at least one major category.  Tom Foster was born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. 

James McDermid

Sculptor As an artist and educator, Jim McDermid has lived in Rome for almost fifty years.  He is best known as a sculptor and has taught that art to students at Mohawk Valley Community College, Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute, Kirkland College and the Rome Art and Community Center. 

John Hayes O’Neill

Dance Master The John Hayes O’Neill Studio of Dance has been an institution in Rome for nearly eighty years.  It was founded by Mr. O’Neill in the early 1930s.  John Hayes O’Neill began teaching dance in 1917 at the age of sixteen.  In addition to his love for dance, John Hayes O’Neill is best remembered for his skills in mentoring young performers and his support for community activities. 

Jack Palmer

Musician Jack Palmer was born in Rome in 1913.  He spent much of his professional life in New York City and traveling throughout the United States.  He returned to Rome where he performed locally for many years before his death in the year 2000.

Maria Russo

Dramatic Soprano Maria Russo is known throughout Europe, Asia, North and South America.  Her performance last May as Brunnhilde in Wagner’s Ring Cycle was featured in a front page story of the New York Times.  Maria Russo, a Rome native


Harold Bell Wright

Author Harold Bell Wright was born in the house of his grandfather William B. Wright in Rome’s Wright Settlement in 1872.  Battling persistent illness, laborious jobs, and the loss of his mother, Wright found solace in his deep religious beliefs and his love Harold of literature.