Diana Riesman

Executive Director/Co-Founder

Riesman manages the day-to-day operations of Wharton Studio Museum, overseeing all the organization’s events, programming, projects and exhibits, as well as fundraising and community outreach. Riesman led WSM’s partnership in the Tompkins Center for History and Culture, which includes the installation of a permanent exhibit on Ithaca’s role in early film history, and is spearheading efforts to develop the historic Wharton Studio building in partnership with the City of Ithaca and Friends of Stewart Park.

Riesman is a founding member and currently serves as Chair of the Board of Friends of Stewart Park, a nonprofit committed to the revitalization of Stewart Park, Ithaca’s main waterfront park where the Wharton Studio building is located.

A former production assistant for ABC Afterschool Specials, and assistant to the late director Frank Perry (The Swimmer, David and Lisa, Mommie Dearest) in the early 80s in NYC, Riesman moved to Los Angeles in 1985 and worked at Writers & Artists Agency, Tri-Star Pictures, and Film and General Productions, before venturing out on her own to write and produce. Riesman most recently served as co-producer of award-winning radio programs To The Point, Which Way, LA?, Good Food, and Hollywood Wrap for NPR affiliate KCRW in Santa Monica.

In 2004, Riesman founded The Nest, a pre-school program now in its sixteenth year of operation, and in 2014 she completed her third term as a Trustee in the Village of Cayuga Heights.

Riesman is a member of Upstate Women in Film & Television (UPWIFT) and New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT).

Riesman is co-teaching a 2021 fall semester Cornell University class with Professor Denise N. Green called Serial Style and Ithaca Silent Film History, which is part of the university’s Learn Where You Live initiative.