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10/28/19 - 10/31/19 | St. Paul | MN
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Keynote Speakers

Eames Demetrios | Wednesday, Oct 31

Eames DemetriosEAMES DEMETRIOS is the creator of Kcymaerxthaere, "a global work of three-dimensional fiction" that overlays alternative stories onto the physical world. As the project's Geographer-at-Large, he travels the world exploring stories of imaginary peoples, movements, even physical laws – and then memorializing these stories on bronze plaques.

Demetrios is the grandson of Charles and Ray Eames, the design team whose classic chairs, photographs and films epitomize the boundless creativity of the midcentury modern period. Demetrios is active in preserving the Eames legacy, as principal of the Eames Office, a clearinghouse of resources for researching, shopping and exploring the work of these legendary creative people. Demetrios was instrumental in creating the interactive version of the Eames' groundbreaking film Powers of Ten.

Demetrios also curates the online, with a new film each month on Design, Architecture and Sustainability.

Bebe Miller | Thursday, Nov 1

Bebe Miller, photo by Julia Cervantes

BEBE MILLER first performed her choreography at New York City’s Dance Theater Workshop in 1978, after receiving her MA in Dance from The Ohio State University in 1975; she formed Bebe Miller Company in 1985. Her choreography has been performed in venues across the country and internationally in Europe and the African continent, and been commissioned by Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Oregon Ballet Theater, Boston Ballet, Philadanco, and the UK’s Phoenix Dance Company, among others. She has been honored with four New York Dance and Performance ‘Bessie’ awards, fellowships from the Ohio Arts Council and the Guggenheim Foundation, and was named a United States Artists Ford Fellow in 2010. A Full Professor in Dance at The Ohio State University since 2000, she is a Distinguished Professor in OSU's College of Arts and Humanities and received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Ursinus College in 2009. Most recently she has been designated as one of the inaugural class of Doris Duke Artists, a program of the Doris Duke Foundation’s Performing Artist Awards. History, Bebe Miller Company’s latest work, will premiere at the Wexner Center for the Arts in September 2012 and tour nationally through 2013.

Miller's keynote will include a creative conversation with Dr. Wayne Lawson, Board Chair, Alliance of Artists Communities.

Calvin Trillin | Friday, Nov 2

Calvin TrillinCALVIN TRILLIN, whose humor collection, Quite Enough of Calvin Trillin, published by Random House September 2011, has been acclaimed in fields of writing that are remarkably diverse. As someone who has published solidly reported pieces in The New Yorker for forty years, he has been called "perhaps the finest reporter in America." His wry commentary on the American scene and his books chronicling his adventures as a "happy eater" have earned him renown as "a classic American humorist." His About Alice — a 2007 New York Times best seller that was hailed as “a miniature masterpiece” — followed two other best-selling memoirs, Remembering Denny and Messages from My Father.

Trillin was born and raised in Kansas City, MO, and now lives in New York. He graduated from Yale in 1957, did a hitch in the army, and then joined Time. After a year covering the South from the Atlanta bureau, he became a writer for Time in New York. In 1963, he became a staff writer for The New Yorker. Since 1990, Trillin has written a piece of comic verse weekly for The Nation.

Calvin Trillin is a trustee of the New York Public Library, a former trustee of Yale, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.


Judy Anderson | Founder + Artistic Director, PlatteForum (Denver, CO)
Jim Baker | Executive Director, Pilchuck Glass School (Seattle, WA)
Lori Bauman | Co-Founder, Redline Milwaukee (Milwaukee, WI)
Michael Baxley | Gallery Manager, Red Star Studios (Kansas City, MO)
Cara Benson | Program Manager, Millay Colony for the Arts (Austerlitz, New York)
Danika Bielek | Executive Director, Bethel College Academy of Performing Arts (Newton, KS)
Ann Brady | Consultant (New Smyrna Beach, FL)
Rachel Epp Buller | Assistant Professor of Art, Bethel College (Newton, KS)
Paulo Acosta Cabezas
| Owner and Director, Cara + Cabezas Contemporary (Kansas City, MO)
Kathleen Cerveny | Director of Institutional Learning + Arts Initiatives, The Cleveland Foundation (Cleveland, OH)
Wendell Tyler Cooper |
Interdisciplinary Artist (Brooklyn, NY)
Llewellyn Crain |
Development Director, Kansas City Symphony (Kansas City, MO)
Evelyn Craft
| Vice President and CFO, Belger Cartage Service, Inc. (Kansas City, MO)
Ralph Crispino Jr. | President, I-Park (Plantsville, CT)
Caroline Crumpacker | Executive Director, Millay Colony for the Arts (Austerlitz, New York)
Alec De León | Program Specialist, Visual Artists Network (VAN) and National Performance Network (NPN) (New Orleans, LA)
Darlene DeAngelo |
Consultant, Huntington Beach Art Center (Huntington Beach, CA)
Katharine DeShaw |
Executive Director, United States Artists (Los Angeles, CA)
Mo Dickens |
Gallery Assistant, Belger Arts Center (Kansas City, MO)
Sharon Dynak |
President, Ucross Foundation (Clearmont, WY)
Jose Faus
Artist + Founding Member, Latino Writers Collective (Kansas City, MO)
Suzanne Fetscher |
President, McColl Center for Visual Art (Charlotte, NC)
David Ford | Artist (Kansas City, MO)
David J. Fraher | Executive Director, Arts Midwest (Minneapolis, MN)
Tommy Frank |
Studio Manager, Red Star Studios (Kansas City, MO)
Ann Friedman |
Manager, Grants and Foundations, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (Kansas City, MO)
Rob Garris |
Managing Director of Bellagio Programs, Rockefeller Foundation (New York, NY)
Karen Gahl-Mills |
Executive Director, Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (Cleveland, OH)
Gina Gibney |
Artistic/Executive Director + Founder, Gibney Dance Center (New York, NY)
Micala Gingrich-Gaylord |
Founder + Director, Expressive Arts Center (Newton, KS)
Tony Grant | Director, Sustainable Arts Foundation (San Francisco, CA)
Esther Grimm | Executive Director, 3Arts (Chicago, IL)
Mary Heathcott |
Deputy Director, Artpace San Antonio (San Antonio, TX)
Peregrine Honig | Artist (Kansas City, MO)
Archana Horsting | Director, Kala Art Institute (Berkeley, CA)
Shalonda Ingram |
Founder, Nursha Project (Brooklyn, NY)
Heather Johnson | Program Manager, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts (Omaha, NE)
Stephanie Kantor |
Youth Education Coordinator, Red Star Studios (Kansas City, MO)
Carol Kariotis |
Executive Director, The Writers Place (Kansas City, MO)
Mary Kennedy | Executive Director, Mid-America Arts Alliance (Kansas City, MO)
Brad Kik | Co-Founder + Co-Director, Institute for Sustainable Living, Art + Natural Design (Bellaire, MI)
Arzu Arda Kosar |
Founding Member, Yarnbombing Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA)
Wayne Lawson |
Director Emeritus, Ohio Arts Council; Chair, Alliance of Artists Communities (Columbus, OH)
Melissa Levin |
Director of Artist Residencies, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (New York, NY)
Laura MacDonald |
President, Benefactor Group (Columbus, OH)
Liz Maugans
| Executive Director, Zygote Press (Cleveland, OH)
Kristofer Mills |
Resident Program Manager, Djerassi (Woodside, CA)
Dana Moore | Program Director, Penland School of Crafts (Penland, NC)
Glenn North | Performance Poet (Kansas, City, MO)
Michael Orlove | Director of Artist Communities & Presenting, National Endowment for the Arts (Washington, DC)
The Plug Projects Team | Artists (Kansas City, MO)
Henry Reese | Co-founder, City of Asylum/Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA)
Alix Refshauge | Research + Special Project Associate, Alliance of Artists Communities (San Diego, CA)
Bruce Rodgers | Executive Director, Hermitage Artists Retreat (Englewood, FL)
Ama Rogan | Managing Director, A Studio in the Woods (New Orleans, LA)
Connie Rohman | Fiber artist (Kansas City, MO)
Adania Shibli | Writer, Beirut39 (Berlin)
Ira Silverberg | Director of Literature for the National Endowment for the Arts (Washington, DC)
Colby Smith | Director, The Studios, Inc. (Kansas City, MO)
Mark Southerland | Musician + Visual Artist (Kansas City, MO)
Caitlin Strokosch | Executive Director, Alliance of Artists Communities (Providence, RI)
Matthew Suib | Visual Artist (Philadelphia, PA)
Stacy Switzer | Artistic Director, Grand Arts (Kansas City, MO)
Susan Tate | Executive Director, Lawrence Arts Center (Lawrence, KS)
Paul Tyler | Grants Director, Arts Council of Metropolitan Kansas City (Kansas City, MO)
Jun-Li Wang | Artist Community Organizer, Springboard for the Arts (St. Paul, MN)
Risë Wilson | Program Manager, LINC (New York, NY)
Dana Whitco | Co-Founder + Director, Center for Creative Research (CCR) at New York Universtity (Jackson Heights, NY)
Eleanor Whitney | Program Officer for External Affairs and Fiscal Sponsorship, New York Foundation for the Arts (Brooklyn, NY)
Lesley Williamson | Director, Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts & Saltonstall Arts Colony (Ithaca, NY)
Lori Wood | Director, Fes Medina; Consultant, Alliance of Artists Communities (Royal Oaks, CA)
Laura Zabel | Executive Director, Springboard for the Arts (St. Paul, MN)
Steve Vande Zande | Co-founder, RedLine Milwaukee (Milwaukee, WI)
Julián Zugazagoitia | Director/CEO, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (Kansas City, MO)



Judy Anderson | Founder + Executive Director, PlatteForum

Judy is an arts administrator, artist, and educator with more than 30 years of experience in the arts field. In addition to serving as artistic director at PlatteForum, she is owner of Judy Anderson Studio. Before moving to Denver in 2002, she was Professor and Chair of the Division of Design, School of Art at the University of Washington, past President of the University and College Designers Association, and member of the boards of Graphic Design Education Association and American Institute of Graphic Artists Seattle. Anderson has taught at universities in Colorado, California, and Washington. Her work has been exhibited in major galleries and museums and is in the permanent collection at the Getty Museum, Walker Art Center, New York Public Library, and the Universities of Utah, Delaware, and Washington. Her print and book designs have received numerous regional, national, and international awards, and have been published in national and international journals.


Jim Baker | Executive Director, Pilchuck Glass School

Jim joined Pilchuck in June 2010 and most recently served as President of Maine College of Art in Portland, Maine (2006-2010) and as Executive Director of Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass Village, Colorado (1995-2006). In both roles, Jim worked with board and staff to implement comprehensive strategic plans, develop strong community programs, broaden educational opportunities for faculty and students and lead significant capital and endowment campaigns. Baker served on the Alliance of Artists Communities board 1999-2005, and was the Chair of the Board 2004-2005. An accomplished photographer, Jim received his undergraduate degree in Meteorology from The Pennsylvania State University in 1973 and an MFA in photography from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1975.

Lori Bauman| Co-founder, RedLine Milwaukee

Lori was born, lives and works in Milwaukee. She is a 1994 graduate of Alverno College receiving degrees in Art and Education. She received her M.A. from New York University in 2003, studying abroad in Venice, Italy. Lori’s most recent teaching experience is with the Milwaukee Art Museum. She was an artist-in-residence from 2001-2008, teaching ArtWorks and ArtXpress, teen outreach programs. Lori also taught video art at Alverno College from 2004-2006. Lori focuses on collage, video and site specific works.

  Michael Baxley | Gallery Manager, Red Star Studios

Michael is the acting Gallery Manager for Red Star Studios. He is also store manager for Red Star's affiliate, Crane Yard Clay. Originally from Missouri and now a resident of Overland Park, Baxley was one of Red Star's original private studio members. He studied art and art history at Johnson County Community College and Avila University and he has been a professional artist since 2001. His work is included in both national and international collections, including the Mandarin Hotel in Miami and The Kentucky Museum of Craft. He creates sculptural ceramic work and mixed-media installations combining painting, printmaking and ceramic elements. Baxley is represented by the MLB Furnishings and Décor and he continues to create artwork for his gallery and for private commissions.

Cara Benson | Program Manager, Millay Colony

Cara Benson is the author of two books: (made) (BookThug, 2010) and Protean Parade(Black Radish Books, forthcoming 2011). Her chapbook "Quantum Chaos and Poems: A Manifest(o)ation" won the bpNichol Prize. “The Secret of Milk,” a treatise on the lyric possibilities of advocacy within the tainted world of agribusiness, is forthcoming from eohippus labs Tract Series. She teaches poetry in a NY State Prison.


Danika Bielek  | Executive Director, Bethel College Academy of Performing Arts

Since earning a degree in Dance Performance and Choreography from Arizona State University, Danika has taught many styles of dance and improvisation, specializing in choreographic instruction. Her current work focuses on dance education for children and youth. She is currently the Executive Director, Bethel College Academy of Performing Arts in Newtown, Kansas.

Ann Brady

Ann Brady | Consultant

Ann Brady is the former director of Atlantic Center for the Arts. Prior to that role she was a development manager, communications coordinator, and grant writer. Ann received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism in 1981 from Temple University in Philadelphia. In the years prior to working at Atlantic Center, she worked in Philadelphia, Atlantic City, and Orlando as a professional grant writer, editor, and program developer for cultural organizations, as well as women’s advocacy and social service agencies. She also worked in the for-profit sector in communications, public relations, and marketing. She has served on numerous state grant panels and special task forces, and is on the executive board of the local arts agency, the Volusia County Cultural Alliance.

Rachel Epp Buller | Assistant Professor of Art, Bethel College

Dr. Rachel Epp Buller is Assistant Professor of Art at Bethel College in North Newton, KS. As coordinator of the recent Kansas Community Mural Project, Rachel discovered her passion for arts in community, which she continues to pursue through writing and exhibitions in her role as regional coordinator of The Feminist Art Project.

Kathleen Cerveny

Kathleen Cerveny | Director of Institutional Learning + Arts Initiatives, The Cleveland Foundation

Kathleen Cerveny is responsible for evaluating the impact of the foundation’s grantmaking and leadership initiatives, and for capturing learning from this work for the benefit of the foundation and the community. She remains the Foundation’s Director of Arts Initiatives where, for two decades she has directed its arts and culture programs and led major initiatives in public policy and organizational advancement for the arts. Kathleen has been a working artist, educator, development officer, and award-winning producer of arts programming for Cleveland Public Radio.  A graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Art, she has exhibited her artwork nationally.  She is also a published poet and held the title of Cleveland’s Haiku Champion from 2009-2011.


Wendell Tyler Cooper | Interdisciplinary Artist

Wendell Tyler Cooper is a Brooklyn-based interdisciplinary artist who explores the power of presence and the nature of identity through multimedia performance. He is faculty of the Original Medicine Institute for the Healing Arts, adjunct faculty at Hunter College, and is currently Director of Educational Programming for Pentacle (NYC). A George Washington University graduate, Cooper has been in residence at the Northeast Normal University in Changchun, China; Studio Series at Dance Theater Workshop, NYC; Wesleyan University, CT; American Dance Festival, Henan- China; and the GoDown Arts Center in Nairobi, Kenya. Cooper has worked with several dance companies -including the Erick Hawkins Dance Company and Nicholas Leichter Dance. His company, Complex Stability [Performance/Research/Education], is in innovative partnership with Nursha Project for technical direction and strategy.

Evelyn Craft | Vice President and CFO, Belger Cartage Service, Inc.

Evelyn Craft is the Vice President and CFO of Belger Cartage Service, Inc. and Affiliated Companies in Kansas City, MO.  In addition, she is the Executive Director of the Belger Foundation and Arts Center providing leadership in the integration of the mission-based activities of the Foundation, the Arts Center, and in the expansion of Red Star Studios. Prior to moving to Kansas City in 2009, she served as the Executive Director of the Morean Arts Center, a contemporary visual arts center in St. Petersburg, FL.  During her twelve year term, the Center completed two significant facility expansions, acquired a comprehensive collection of Dale Chihuly artwork, and expanded programming broadly.   Her career also includes four years as the Executive Director of Ballet Memphis.  Currently, she is a member of the Boards of Trustees of the Kansas City Art Institute and Kansas City Ballet.


Llewellyn Crain | Director of Development

Llewellyn Crain has served as the Director of Development for the Kansas City Symphony since March 2011.Prior to the Kansas City Symphony, she was, for five years, executive director of the Kansas Arts Commission, where she led efforts in grantmaking, business development, and consulting for 400 arts organizations and individual artists throughout the state. Llewellyn has also served as the Assistant Director of Development for the College of Arts and Sciences at Kansas State University; the Director of Educational Initiatives at the Los Angeles Philharmonic; and the Director of Education and Community Programs at the Los Angeles Opera. Llewellyn holds a master’s degree in arts administration from California State University, Dominguez Hills, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in dance from UCLA.

 Ralph Crispino, Jr.

Ralph Crispino Jr. | President, I-Park

Ralph Crispino, Jr. is the founder of the I-Park Foundation, Inc., a 10-year old artists’ residency program and facility in East Haddam, Connecticut. He also has a deep interest in museums and is the President of Superior Products Distributors, Inc., a construction products and equipment distributor in Milldale, Connecticut, where he has worked since 1970.

Alec De León | Program Specialist, Visual Artists Network (VAN) and National Performance Network (NPN)

Alec works with all aspects of VAN and NPN including programming, development and the maintenance of partner and artist relationships and information. His work with NPN and VAN involves travel throughout the U.S., visiting partner sites and attending national and regional meetings and conferences. De León has worked in the visual arts for a number of years, in both commercial and academic settings. He holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD; and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Painting and Drawing from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA. Previous experience includes serving as Director of Alex Beard Gallery in New Orleans and as an Adjunct Professor at Towson University in Towson, MD. His artwork has been exhibited in New Orleans, Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore and Florida. He maintains a studio in New Orleans.


Darlene DeAngelo | Consultant, Huntington Beach Art Center

Darlene D. DeAngelo originates from New York City, where she was the assistant director of the Mezzanine Gallery at The Metropolitan Museum of Art for nine years. Relocating to California in 1985, she was the co-owner of a private gallery before becoming the Executive Director of the dA Center of the Arts in Pomona, a multi-disciplinary arts center. During her leadership of ten years with dA she developed a series of community arts programs. As the Curator of Exhibitions at the Huntington Beach Art Center she developed a cutting edge contemporary exhibition schedule, artist’s lectures, an artist in residence program and site-specific temporary public art installations. Her exhibitions include works by the following artists – Roland Reiss, Paul Darrow, Mark Dutcher, Paul Soldner, Dawn Arrowsmith, Sherie Franssen and Dean De Cocker.


Katharine DeShaw | Executive Director, United States Artists

Katharine DeShaw is the founding Executive Director of United States Artists (USA).  USA’s mission is to “invest in America’s finest artists and illuminate the value of artists to society.” Annually USA names 50 outstanding American artists USA Fellows; each receives an award of $50,000.  Ms. DeShaw has worked as an administrator, consultant and teacher in the non-profit sector and philanthropy.  She has designed and delivered record breading fundraising campaigns for arts, health, and social service-related causes.  She has held senior staff positions at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Walker Art Center, Gay Men’s Health Crisis, and Twyla Tharp Dance.  Ms. DeShaw attended Colorado College and lives in Los Angeles with her husband Mark McConnell.


Mo Dickens | Gallery Assistant, Belger Arts Center

Mo Dickens is a native of North Carolina. He joined the Belger Arts Center staff as a Gallery Assistant in the summer of 2004 and fell in love with his job. He has been able to meet artists and visitors from six continents, and has learned a lot from them. Pitch magazine named Dickens “Best Humble Servant of the Arts” in their 2010 Best of Kansas City edition. He is married to Cary Esser, Chair of the Ceramics Department of the Kansas City Art Institute.


Sharon Dynak | President, Ucross Foundation

Sharon Dynak came to Wyoming in 1996 to serve as Ucross Foundation’s Residency Director.  She became Executive Director of the Foundation in 2005 and was named President in 2007. Located on a 20,000-acre working cattle ranch, Ucross hosts over 90 artists, writers, composers and choreographers annually, and operates a variety of land stewardship programs. The Foundation also runs a public art gallery, focusing on work by Ucross Fellows, contemporary art of the West and regional history. In the past two years she has overseen the creation of an internship program and the construction of a 9-acre community park which features a small stone chapel and the Raymond Plank Library and Center for Land Stewardship. She was born in Detroit, received a B.A. in English from Michigan State University. She lives with a yellow lab named Iris, in Ucross, Wyoming, population 25.


Jose FausArtist + Founding Member, Latino Writers Collective

José Faus is a visual artist and writer. A founding member of the Latino Writers Collective, his work appears in the anthologies, “Primera Pagina: Poetry from the Latino Heartland” and “Cuentos del Centro: Stories from the Latino Heartland”, and forthcoming “In the black/In the red”, Raritan, and Dicho online magazine. He is the 2011 winner of Poets & Writers Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award.


Suzanne Fetscher | President, McColl Center for Visual Art

Suzanne Fetscher is the President of McColl Center for Visual Art.  She served for five years as Executive Director of Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. Before that she served as Atlantic Center’s Program Director. A graduate of the University of Central Florida, Orlando (B.F.A., 1979) and University of Florida, Gainesville (M.F.A., 1982), she spent several post-graduate years teaching design and drawing as adjunct instructor at Rollins College and University of Central Florida. Suzanne served three terms (1996-1999) as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Alliance of Artists’ Communities. She is a member of the Board of the Public Art Commission of Charlotte/Mecklenburg County. In 2005, Suzanne created and launched the Innovation Institute at McColl Center for Visual Art. The Innovation Institute is a program that is led by artists and designed for senior level executives to understand where creative capacity lies and how to nurture it, create a culture that supports it, and harness it for organizational and/or business advancement. Since its inception, the Innovation Institute has had over 1500 participants.


David Ford | Artist

Artist and provocateur, David Ford, incorporates political, social, and cultural themes into his paintings, sculpture, installations, and performances. Using beauty and humor to draw the viewer into complex situations, he juxtaposes high/low, east/west, serenity/fear into a conversation of twenty-first century interface. His collaborations with non-artist participants include clergy, exotic dancers, demolition derbies, and African-American drill teams. Critically acclaimed in Art in America, ArtPapers, Flavorpill, and the Village Voice, Ford, born in 1964 in Kansas City, Missouri, comes from many generations of prairie people. His formal education ended when he dropped out of the Jesuit seminary at age fifteen.A self-taught artist, David Ford has pursued on-site cultural studies in places like Morocco, Guatemala, Cuba, and Turkey. His experimental process continues to layer and explore. A push-pull in his work has remained a constant for twenty-five years. While probing the limits of taste and decorum, he has received awards from the Charlotte Street Foundation, the Tanne Foundation, Art Omi, and Creative Capital.


David J. Fraher | Executive Director, Arts Midwest

David Fraher has been executive director of Arts Midwest since January 1984 when he joined the Affiliated State Arts Agencies of the Upper Midwest and successfully led that organization through a merger with Great Lakes Arts Alliance, forming Arts Midwest in July 1985. Prior to his position at Arts Midwest, David had been the executive director of the Wyoming Council on the Arts and had worked as a consultant for the Western States Arts Foundation in Santa Fe where he designed and developed the Western States Book Awards project. He has been active as a panelist and trustee for numerous arts organizations over the past twelve years, including terms on the boards of Western States Arts Foundation, BOA Publishing, Inc., and the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies. He has also served as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts and the Pew Charitable Trusts. David has a degree in creative writing from SUNY at Brockport, New York and has taken graduate studies at Ohio University in Athens.


Tommy Frank | Studio Manager, Red Star Studios

Red Star studio manager, Tommy Frank got his start in ceramics as a potter. While in graduate school, he made the move to ceramic sculpture and hand-building. His current work satirizes socio-political topics. He continues to explore hand-built processes, using silicon molds. Tommy received his BA in Ceramics from Asbury University in 2002 and his MFA in Ceramics from Bowling Green State University in 2010. In between degrees he participated in three Artist-In-Residence programs and Post-Baccalaureate study at the University of Florida. He has taught at a variety of craft schools and colleges and joined the Red Star Studios staff in July of 2011.


Ann Friedman | Manager, Grants and Foundations, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Ann Friedman has spent most of her career as a museum professional. She has worked in development for over a decade, specializing in government and foundation grants. She is currently Manager of Grants and Foundations at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri. In fall 2011 she was awarded a writing residency at Ragdale Foundation, Lake Forest, Illinois, to work on Death at the Gobelins, a mystery set in 17th-century Paris.


Karen Gahl-Mills | Executive Director, Cuyahoga Arts & Culture

Karen Gahl-Mills was named Executive Director of Cuyahoga Arts & Culture in November, 2009. Under her leadership, the five-year old agency remains one of the nation's top five sources of local public funding for arts and culture. In total, CAC has granted over $80 million dollars to more than 180 local arts organizations throughout Cuyahoga County. Ms. Gahl-Mills’ career began in Los Angeles where she worked as part of a team creating national and international advertising for many well-known global brands. Her work then led her to Chicago and back to her roots as a musician, first as a development officer for the celebrated Ravinia Festival, summer home to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and then as Managing Director of The Rhythm Cafe, an advertising music production company. Ms. Gahl-Mills went on to serve as executive director of the Westchester Philharmonic and then as President and Executive Director of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Gahl-Mills holds a Bachelor of Music degree from DePaul University and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Rob Garris | Managing Director of Bellagio Programs, Rockefeller Foundation

Robert Garris joined the Rockefeller Foundation in 2009. As Managing Director, Bellagio Programs, Dr. Garris brings to the Foundation extensive experience in creating mission-related meetings and activities with broad international reach. His work enhances and extends our global network, search activities and overall convening capacity by providing thought leadership and strategic management of the outreach, recruitment and selection of conferences and recipients of individual study residencies. Dr. Garris came to the Foundation from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), where he spent eight years advancing a dynamic programming agenda, most recently serving as Senior Associate Dean. In this role, he had responsibility for ensuring that strategic planning, external affairs, student affairs, and all administrative matters supported the Dean and the School’s core mission. He also directly managed public events, international dual degree programs, exchange programs, and overseas executive training with SIPA’s partners in the Global Public Policy Network. Prior to SIPA, he held leadership positions at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He began his career at Oxford University Press. Dr. Garris holds a Ph.D. in European History from the University of North Carolina and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida, with graduate level work at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.


Gina Gibney | Artistic/Executive Director + Founder, Gibney Dance Center

Gina Gibney has created a repertory of over thirty works, including nine evening length projects, that have been widely presented throughout the United States and abroad.  She founded Gibney Dance in 1991 to create humanistic contemporary choreography and bring the possibility of dance and self-expression where it would not otherwise exist.  In recent years, her work has been presented by such distinguished organizations as Works and Process at the Guggenheim Museum (New York), Danspace Project (New York), Symphony Space (New York), and Internationale Tanzmesse (Dusseldorf, Germany).  Described as a “poet of modern dance” by the New York Times, Gibney is also dedicated to bringing the power of dance – both in performance and in practice – to new audiences and communities. Committed to serving the dance community, Gibney has established Gibney Dance Center, a seven-studio facility at 890 Broadway in New York. Gibney’s Center offers space grants, affordable rehearsal space and signature programs. Gibney graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Case Western Reserve University, where she also received an MFA in Dance and Choreography under Kathryn Karipides and Kelly Holt.  A native of Ohio, Gibney currently resides in New York City.


Micala Gingrich-Gaylord | Founder + Director, Expressive Arts Center
Micala Gingrich-Gaylord is the founder and director of the ExpressiveArts Center in Newton, Kansas, which is part of the Youthville campus, a residential psychiatric treatment facility for children in fostercare. She continues to lead the EAC as it transitions to a communityarts center, and she works with the Prison Arts Program at the Hutchinson (KS) Correctional Facility.


Tony Grant | Director, Sustainable Arts Foundation

Tony comes to the Sustainable Arts Foundation after a long career in the software industry and his passion for the arts comes from his father, who was a painter and sculptor. Tony and his wife, Caroline, started the Sustainable Arts Foundation to help artists and writers with families pursue creative careers. Not surprisingly, much of their work on the foundation happens late at night after their two boys are sleeping.


Esther Grimm | Executive Director, 3Arts

Esther’s lifelong career in the arts spans administration, museum education, arts education, and philanthropy. She is the executive director of 3Arts, a public grantmaking organization dedicated to supporting women, people of color, and people with disabilities working in music, theater, and visual arts in Chicago. Prior to joining 3Arts in 2002, she served first as the director of education and then as the associate director of Marwen, a non-profit visual arts organization that provides out-of-school art instruction, college planning, and career development programs to Chicago’s under-served youth in grades 6-12. Before joining Marwen, she was the assistant director of Museum Education in charge of Teacher Programs at The Art Institute of Chicago and the docent coordinator at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut. Esther has worked as a freelance art writer, researcher, and editor since 1990. She authored a series of family guides for the Terra Museum and wrote six children’s non-fiction, art-activity books. Esther is on the Grantmakers for the Arts Steering Committee for the Support of Individual Artists, serves on the board of the Alliance of Artist Communities, and is the president of the Board of Directors of Free Street Theater, an organization working to empower teenagers through performance and writing. Esther served as the treasurer of the Board of Directors of Chicago Women in Philanthropy, where she was a founder of the Women’s Leadership Mentoring Program, a citywide effort that connects emerging and established leaders in the nonprofit sector.


Mary Heathcott | Deputy Director, Artpace

Mary Heathcott (MA, University of Chicago) is the Deputy Director at Artpace where she offers administrative, financial, and artistic leadership and support to the entire organization.  Heathcott currently oversees the International Artist-in-Residence program, and produces exhibitions for Artpace’s Hudson (Show)Room and Window Works galleries. In addition to these duties, she manages the organization’s fundraising, marketing, and public relations initiatives. Heathcott joined Artpace in 2006 to implement strategies for encouraging Artpace’s mission support and raise public awareness for its programs. Prior to Artpace, Heathcott was Manager of Individual Giving at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art.


Peregrine Honig | Artist

Born in San Francisco, Peregrine Honig attended the Kansas City Art Institute and currently lives and works in Kansas City, MO. She has had recent solo shows at Dwight Hackett Projects, Santa Fe, NM and Jet Artworks, Washington D.C. Her work has shown Internationally with Gallery Akinci in Amsterdam and Gallery Arcaute in Monterey, Mexico. Honig's work is in numerous private ad public collections including: The Art Institute of Chicago, Yale University Art Gallery, The Fogg Art Museum, The Milwaukee Art Museum, as well as The Whitney Museum of American Art. Her new portfolio of lithographs, Father Gander, published by the Lawrence Lithography workshop, was recently acquired by the 21C Museum in Louisville, KY and Ball State University Museum of Art.


Archana Horsting | Director, Kala Art Institute

Archana Horsting is Executive Director and co-founder of Kala Art Institute, Berkeley, California an urban residency. Established in 1974, Kala has been providing professional studio facilities to artists working in all forms of printmaking, photography, book arts, installation, and digital media by offering access to traditional and digital image-making equipment. The institute serves as a meeting ground where artists from the San Francisco Bay Area and other parts of the world can work together and exchange ideas. On top of her responsibilities at Kala, Archana has been a Visiting Artist at UC Santa Cruz and Mills College, has served as a Site Visitor for the National Endowment of the Arts, and a panelist for the California Arts Council. She has been the juror of numerous print exhibitions, including Los Angeles Printmakers Society 19th National Exhibition, PRINTED at Cabrillo College, and International Print Exhibition at University of Alberta.


Shalonda Ingram | Founder, Nursha Project

Shalonda Ingram is a social entrepreneur committed to empowering communities via the arts. In doing so, Nursha Project employs place-based strategy enabling free exchange between audience and artist as a way of building courage to work for change. Her early work, founding the social enterprise "Born Brown: All Rights Reserved®," sought to promote understanding and collaboration among people of color of diverse origins by countering oppressive media with messaging and merchandise that evokes self-acceptance and self-love. Shalonda's work as Producer at Dance Theater Workshop represented the opportunity to mix the global view  honed in Born Brown: All Rights Reserved® with the innovative staging created for Nursha Project inside an organization of long tradition and high regard. In Recognition of excellence in this body of work she accepted invitations to City of Oakland Funding Advisory Board and the Brooklyn Arts Council Community Arts Regrant Program.  She has also received nomination for Corporation for National & Community Service Eli Segal Award and New York Innovative Theater Award for the Nursha Project Production(s)


Heather Johnson | Program Manager, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts

As the Residency Program Manager for the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Heather manages all activities related to the organization's international Artist-in-Residence program. Heather oversees the application, selection and scheduling process for new resident artists. She documents residencies, acts as liaison between artists and the community, and provides a range of additional support services to resident artists. Heather manages all programming for the Residency Program, including the monthly Art Talk resident lecture series, Open Studio events, and hosts the Bemis Center's artist interviews featured on BC Podcasts.

Stephanie Kantor | Youth Education Coordinator, Red Star Studios

Stephanie was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA.  She received a BFA in Ceramics and a BS in Art Education from Penn State University.  After finishing her degrees, Stephanie accepted a residency at Red Star Studios in Kansas City, MO.  After completing a 2 ½ -year residency, Stephanie began working for Red Star as the Youth Education Coordinator.  Stephanie schedules programming such as kid's classes, art camp, hands on activities, and outreach for local youth.  Stephanie makes low-fire red earthenware pottery focusing on surface decoration that explores a sense of place.

Carol Kariotis | Executive Director, The Writers Place

bio to come


Mary Kennedy | Executive Director, Mid-America Arts Alliance

As Executive Director of Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA), Mary leads a five-state regional, nonprofit arts organization staff of 23 people and builds strong working relationships with the M-AAA board, state arts agencies, federal cultural agencies, and funders. Mary has served as M-AAA Executive Director since April 2002. She joined the organization in 1989 as Curator of Exhibitions; she became Director of Visual Arts and Humanities in 1992, and she assumed the role of Director of Programs in 1997. Mary earned her master’s degree in art history/museum studies, with departmental honors, at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, in 1985. Prior to her work at M-AAA, she was the assistant director of the Kansas Arts Commission (1988–1989). She also served as the curator of a private photography collection in Beverly Hills, California; research assistant at the Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas; and instructor in photo history at Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas.

Brad Kik | Co-Founder + Co-director, Institute for Sustainable Living, Art + Natural Design (ISLAND)

The last 20 years of Brad Kik's life have been a jumbled mess of film study, environmental activism, graphic design, community organizing, woodworking, chicken raising, music, ecology and permaculture. More recently, Brad found slightly more focus by falling in love with his partner Amanda and, with her, co-founding and now co-directing the Institute for Sustainable Living, Art & Natural Design (ISLAND), an emerging arts, ecology and agriculture program in Northwest Lower Michigan.

Wayne Lawson | Director Emeritus, Ohio Arts Council; Chair, Alliance of Artists Communities

Since the 1970s, Wayne P. Lawson has been a pivotal figure in arts leadership across the state of Ohio. For nearly 30 years, Lawson served as the fourth executive director of the Ohio Arts Council. Following his retirement in 2006, he has continued his fervent support for the arts by serving as a professor of public policy and arts administration at The Ohio State University, advising the Greater Columbus Arts Council on strategic initiatives, and volunteering on a number of arts and cultural boards. Lawson is Chair of the Alliance of Artists Communities; a trustee of the Columbus Museum of Art; a trustee of the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA; and vice president of the board of Thurber House, a literary center in Columbus. He has been on many program panels for the National Endowment for the Arts, served a three-year term as chairman of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, and completed three terms as chairman of Arts Midwest. In 2011 he was awarded the Irma Lazarus Award from the Governor of Ohio. He has also received the Gary Young Award for outstanding leadership in arts administration from the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies and was honored by the Association of American Cultures for leadership and commitment to the development of cultural diversity in the arts. In 2009, he was recognized by the Chilean National Council for Culture and the Arts for his professional commitment to cultural collaborations between Ohio and Chile.

Melissa Levin | Director of Artist Residencies, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council

Melissa Levin joined Lower Manhattan Cultural Council  in 2005 and is currently the Director of Artist Residencies. Previously, she has worked at Artforum International Magazine, Andrea Rosen Gallery, and The Whitney Museum of American Art. She has participated in panels at Baruch College, Dumbo Arts Center, Lower East Side Print Shop, Center for Book Arts, and Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts; and lectured at SMFA, NYU, Parsons: The New School for Design, and The Cleveland Institute of Art. Melissa is also an independent curator and writer and has curated exhibitions at P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, Cuchifritos Gallery, ISE Cultural Foundation, Andrea Rosen Gallery, LMCC, and Taylor De Cordoba Gallery, Los Angeles. Melissa received her BA with honors in Visual Art and Art History from Barnard College.


Laura MacDonald | President, Benefactor Group

Laura MacDonald is a certified fundraising executive with more than 24 years’ experience in nonprofit leadership, fundraising, and philanthropy. She has served as the vice president and creative director of a national fundraising firm, chief development officer in arts and higher education, and as a key volunteer for community organizations. Prior to establishing Benefactor Group, Laura was chief development officer at The Ohio State University’s Wexner Center for the Arts where she helped the organization secure its largest-ever corporate sponsorship and foundation grant and highest membership. During her tenure she also served as a senior development officer in the University’s $1.2 billion capital campaign.

Earlier in her career, she worked in corporate communications and television production. An accomplished writer, she has guided the production of award-winning print and video materials and earned recognition from the American Association of Museums, the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, International Television Association, and others.

Dana Moore | Program Director, Penland School of Crafts

Dana Moore is the Program Director for Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina; a job she has held for nineteen years. In addition to planning the school's classes, she also oversees the resident artist program.


Glenn North | Performance Poet

Glenn North is a nationally recognized performance poet who has shared the stage with such noted poets as Nikki Giovanni, Sonia Sanchez, and Amiri Baraka, and whose original spoken word tracks are featured on CDs including Out of the Comfort Zone by the Jazz Disciples, Release by the Phantom, and The Experience by Tru Sol. He has been a featured poet at events hosted by MTV Rock the Vote, NAACP Black History Month, and KC Repertory Theatre in conjunction with the world premiere of Clay. North is currently poet in residence and education specialist at the American Jazz Museum, Kansas City, where among many other things he organizes the monthly open mic poetry series “Jazz Poetry Slams.” A committed teacher as well as student, he has worked extensively with urban youth. He studied English at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, earned his BLS from Rockhurst University, and is currently pursuing his MFA in Creative Writing at UMKC.

Michael Orlove | Director of Artist Communities & Presenting, National Endowment for the Arts

Michael Orlove currently serves as the Director of Presenting and Artist Communities for the National Endowment for the Arts. Previously, Orlove spent 19 years as senior program director for the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs. His tenure with the department led to nearly two decades of innovation, creativity and passion for public service with the City of Chicago. Orlove helped transform the Chicago Cultural Center into a prime downtown performing arts venue, as well as launched Chicago SummerDance and World Music Festival: Chicago, two staples in the summer festival season. Orlove also served as the director of music programming in Millennium Park since its grand opening in 2004 and helped establish many of the program series in that venue.  Honors include being named one of the 'Chicagoans of the Year' in music by the Chicago Tribune in both 1999 and 2009, as well as one of Chicago's 'Global Visionaries' by Chicago Public Radio WBEZ and the Chicago Matters: Beyond Burnham series. He has a B.A. in History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an M.A. in Performing Arts Management from Columbia College Chicago.

The Plug Projects Team

PLUG PROJECTS is a curatorial collaboration by five Kansas City artists who share the mission of bringing fresh perspectives and conversation to the local art community. Our goal is to energize artists and the public at large by exhibiting challenging new work, initiating critical dialogue, and expanding connections of artists in Kansas City as part of a wider, national network of artists.

Henry Reese | Co-founder, City of Asylum/Pittsburgh

Henry Reese co-founder of City of Asylum/Pittsburgh.
Henry has served as the volunteer director of City of Asylum/Pittsburgh since it was founded in 2004.  COA/P has evolved a complex mission, providing a home for persecuted authors in a community setting and integrating the authors into its community and organizing events with literature at their core.  COA/P also publishes the online magazine Sampsonia Way, which seeks to create a virtual safe place for endangered writers and writing.  COA/P is a Ford Foundation “Space for Change” awardee and a MetLife “Innovative Spaces” awardee.  From 1974-2002, Henry was a co-founder and principal in Reese Brothers, the largest privately owned call center company in the U.S.  He is a graduate of The Johns Hopkins University and ABD, SUNY Buffalo in English.  He is a 2011 Purpose Prize Fellow and has honorary degrees from Seton Hill University and Chatham University.





Alix Refshauge | Research + Special Project Associate, Alliance of Artists Communities

Alix was born and raised in South Carolina, and studied studio art at Furman University. Her post-college career included working for Christies Auction House with 19th C. European Furniture, working for Burton Snowboards as a traveling/snowboarding nanny, spending a summer in Denali, AK, as a hotel housekeeper, working in Spartanburg, SC, as a faux finisher/painter, and getting an MPA in Arts Management in Charleston, SC. In 2007 she was offered the dream job of working for HUB-BUB as the Director of the Artists-in-Residence Program and Director of Development. In 2009-2010, Alix was selected as the Alliance’s Emerging Leader Ambassador by Americans for the Arts. Alix left HUB-BUB in early 2011, though she continues to serve the field of artist communities through research, consulting, and advocacy. Alix lives in San Diego and continues her art-making practice in painting and printmaking.







Bruce Rodgers | Executive Director, The Hermitage Artists Retreat

Bruce Rodgers is the founding executive director of the Hermitage Artist Retreat on Manasota Key in Englewood. He is a musician, writer, producer, playwright and author and his work has been produced at major regional professional theatres throughout the United States and in Europe.  In 1984, Rodgers was named a “Distinguished Artist of the State of New Jersey.”  In 1990 his play Lost Electra won the prestigious Rosenthal New Play Prize at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park where it was produced.  It saw many subsequent productions around the U.S. including at the Asolo Theater in Sarasota.  In 1992, the Asolo commissioned him to write the very successful Centerberg Tales based on Robert McCloskey’s “Homer Price” short storis. Rodgers’ play, The Gravity of Honey has been produced around the United States, as well as in Dublin, Ireland and Paris, France as well as at the Asolo in 1995.  From 1993-2004 he served as the Associate Artistic Director of the Asolo Theatre Company. In the 1980s he was a resident playwright at the McCarter Theater in Princeton, N.J.,  and a creative consultant to Fortune 500 corporations throughout the United States. He has been the Executive Director of the Hermitage since 2005. 


Linda Rodriguez | Writer

Linda Rodriguez's novel, Every Last Secret, won the 2011 St. Martin’s Press & Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery Novel Competition and will be published by St. Martin’s Press & Minotaur April 24, 2012. She has published two Books of Poetry, Heart’s Migration (Tia Chucha Press, 2009), Winner of the 2010 Thorpe Menn Award for Literary Excellence and Skin Hunger (Potpourri Publications, 1995, Scapegoat Press, 2007). She received the 2010 Inspiration Award from the KC Arts Fund, the 2009 Elvira Cordero Cisneros Award from the Macondo Foundation, and the 2009 Midwest Voices and Visions Award from the Alliance of Artists Communities and the Joyce Foundation and has been both a Ragdale Fellow and a Macondo Fellow. She is the Vice-President of the Latino Writers Collective, a Founding Board Member of The Writers Place, and a member of Wordcraft Circle of Native American Writers and Storytellers, Kansas City Cherokee Community, International Thriller Writers, and Sisters in Crime, publishing poetry and fiction in numerous journals and anthologies. Her poems have been broadcast on The Writers Almanac with Garrison Keillor (NPR) and New Letters on the Air (NPR). She is currently working on another mystery novel with Skeet Bannion, and a Book of poetry based on teachings from her Cherokee grandmother. 

Ama Rogan | Managing Director, A Studio in the Woods

Ama Rogan is the Managing Director of A Studio in the Woods of Tulane University, a wooded sanctuary for artists and the environment located in Lower Coast Algiers, New Orleans. As a member of the founding board, an early staff member, and now director, Ama has been an integral part of the organization's growth for over 10 years. As Managing Director she is key in the development and management of arts and environmental programming, fund and board development, community outreach and communications, and financial oversight. Ama is a native New Orleanian and a visual artist with a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design. With her husband, musician Ben Schenck, she is parenting two young children.


Adania Shibli | writer

Born in Palestine in 1974, Adania Shibli currently lives between Ramallah, Palestine and Berlin, Germany. She has two published novels and many short stories, narrative and art essays, which have appeared in various anthologies, art books and magazines. She has been twice the winner of the Qattan Young Writer's Award-Palestine, for the year 2001 on her novel Masaas (Beirut: al-Adaab), translated into English as Touch (Northampton: Clockroot, 2009) and the year 2003, on her novel Kulluna Ba’id bethat al Miqdar aan el-Hub (Beirut: al-Adaab), translated into English as We Are All Equally Far from Love (Northampton: Clockroot, 2012).

In addition, Shibli is engaged in academic research and teaching. In 2009 she gained a PhD for her thesis “Visual Terror”, in media and cultural studies, from the University of East London, London.


Ira Silverberg | Director of Literature for the National Endowment for the Arts

Ira Silverberg is currently the Director of Literature for the National Endowment for the Arts where he oversees grants to organizations as well as fellowships to individual creative writers and translators. Prior to coming to the NEA, Silverberg was a literary agent and director of foreign rights with Sterling Lord Literistic (SLL) in New York City. As an agent with SLL since January 2008, he managed a client list of award-winning fiction and nonfiction authors including Adam Haslett and Wayne Koestenbaum, placing works with U.S. and foreign publishers, executing contracts, and implementing digital strategies for new and backlist books. He has served as editor-in-chief with Grove Press, and U.S. publisher and co-editorial director for Serpent's Tail, a British publishing company that he brought to the U.S.  Silverberg has served on the boards of PEN American Center, The Council of Literary Magazines and Presses, BOMB Magazine, and The MFA Writing Program of the New School and has assisted numerous organizations as a consultant including Creative Capital, the Academy of American Poets, and Conjunctions Magazine/Bard College. He was the founding curator of the Literature program at The Kitchen and has travelled widely with stops as a fellow at the Jerusalem International Book Fair, the Abu Dhabi Book Fair, and the Torino Book Fair. 


Colby Smith | Director, The Studios, Inc.

Colby K Smith, Director, The Studios Inc; Smith received his B.F.A. from Emporia State University, and his M.F.A. from Southern University of Illinois at Carbondale. Smith taught at both Emporia State University and Southern University of Illinois before relocating to Kansas City, Missouri, in 2002.  Since relocating to Kansas City he has owned an operated numerous creative ventures in the area, including but not limited to: Gallery HQ @ The Hobbs Building, The Idea Barn, and The Video Garage @ 1918 Wyandotte. To dedicate his time and energy to developing The Studios Inc, he closed all ventures in 2004. Smith, co-founder of The Studios Inc (and the former Review Studios) currently serves as Director. Smith is an experienced contractor, a visual artist, an entrepreneur, and a patron and collector of the arts. He has a 20 year career of entrepreneurial and creative ventures in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors.  As an artist he has shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions and has been reviewed both locally and nationally in publications like Sculpture and Review.






Mark Southerland | Musician + Artist

Mark Southerland has used the saxophone as a medium for exploring sound and performance for over 25 years. By reinterpreting the assumed stage presence of a jazz musician, Southerland’s work has run the gamut of pop culture and Rahsaan Roland Kirk tributaries, to wearable horn sculptures and nomadic tent installations. His reinvention of brass and woodwind instruments, circuit-bent electronic children’s toys, and eight track “scratching” turn his stage work into an Alexander Caulder-esque circus of visual and sound possibilities. His “bastardized” horns and costumes have been displayed as free-standing sculptures at the Dolphin Gallery and Urban Culture Projects in Kansas City, the OSP in Boston, and Bridge Art Fair at Art Basel Miami. A Kansas City native, Mark Southerland has played locally, nationally, and throughout Europe for over ten years. His ongoing projects, Snuff Jazz and Wee Snuff involve a constantly changing cast of musicicians and performers. Southerland recently finished residencies in both New Orleans and New York, performing with a range of international musicians - Helen Gillet, Allison Miller, James Singleton, Skerik and Simon Berz. He appears regularly with the award winning Owen Cox Dance Ensemble and has produced 2 major performance installation pieces with Jane Gotch.





Caitlin Strokosch | Executive Director, Alliance of Artists Communities

Caitlin has been involved in professional arts management for nearly two decades, first in the performing arts and later on behalf of artists of all disciplines. She has served the Alliance since 2002 and was appointed Executive Director in 2008. Prior to joining the Alliance, Caitlin served as General Manager of His Majesties Clerkes, an early-music choral ensemble, and as Executive Director of CUBE, a new music group, both in Chicago. She is a frequent presenter and guest lecturer, and has been invited to speak by the Association of Small Foundations, Brown University, College Art Association, Dance/USA, Grantmakers in the Arts, Res Artis, Rhode Island School of Design, Roger Williams University, and others. Caitlin has served as a grants panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, The Joyce Foundation, and Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in music performance from Columbia College Chicago and a Master’s in musicology from Roosevelt University, where her research focused on music as a tool for building communities of resistance and social dissent.





Matthew Suib | Visual Artist

Matthew Suib has been working with video, film, sound, and installation for the past decade, exhibiting internationally in galleries, co-ops, living rooms, websites, museums, film and new media festivals, and public spaces. His work comes from a deep engagement with moving-image culture and explores how moving images shape our understanding of culture, history, and politics. Suib received a Pew Fellowship in the Arts in 2011 and was selected for the Pew Fellowship Residency at The Banff Centre in 2012 and at Headlands Center for the Arts in 2013. Suib earned his B.F.A. from the University of the Arts in 1995, and has been an artist-in-residence at Atlantic Center for the Arts. His collaborative work with video artist and 2006 Pew Fellow Nadia Hironaka has become an increasingly potent aspect of his practice; their video installation Whiteout was presented in 2010 at Philadelphia’s Locks Gallery and another piece is currently on view at the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania.



Stacy Switzer | Artistic Director, Grand Arts

Stacy Switzer is artistic director of Grand Arts in Kansas City, Missouri, working with artists to realize ambitious, research-driven projects that test the limits of what is possible within a given context. In 2011, Grand Arts commissioned and produced John Salvest’s IOU/USA, a seven story installation comprised of 115 cargo shipping containers sited in a public park across the street from the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank.    2005, Switzer curated Fritz Haeg’s first Edible Estate garden as part of a group exhibition at the Salina Art Center in Salina, Kansas.  Switzer is a member of ArtTable and NADA (New Art Dealers Alliance), and serves on the curatorial advisory board of the Kansas City Charlotte Street Foundation. She has been a visiting lecturer, critic and consultant for Creative Capital, the Jerome Foundation, Smack Mellon, Mildred’s Lane, Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative and many other organizations throughout the United States.


Paul Tyler | Grants Director, Arts Council of Metropolitan Kansas City

 Paul Tyler has worked at the Arts Council of Metropolitan Kansas City since moving to Missouri in late 2001.  In the fall of 2005 he began work on research and planning for the ArtsKC Fund, the united arts fund for the Kansas City region that was launched in the spring of 2007.  He now serves as Grants Director for the fund.  Paul also supervises the Arts Council’s work with artists on professional and career development through Artist INC, a suite of programs designed to help artists to develop stronger business practices.  Tyler served for seven years as Deputy Director of the Virginia Commission for the Arts and has over twenty-five years of experience related to financial management and administration in the arts.  His earlier career experience includes work in professional theatre, dance and museum management at non-profit organizations such as TheatreVirginia, the Richmond Ballet, and the Valentine Museum in Richmond.


Jun-Li Wang | Artist Community Organizer, Springboard for the Arts
Jun-Li is a connector of people, places and ideas. At Springboard for the Arts, she creates and delivers programs that organize communities of artists, build reciprocal relationships between communities and their artists, and train artists to address community interests – locally, regionally and nationally.  Prior to joining Springboard, she has been a place-based community organizer and leadership trainer, working for Farm in the City, Hamline Midway Coalition, Intermedia Arts, and Public Art Saint Paul. Jun-Li also serves on the St. Paul Planning Commission, manages a community-building art program Paint the Pavement and is active on the board of Urban Boatbuilders, a metro non-profit serving at-risk youth.

Dana Whitco | Co-Founder + Director, Center for Creative Research

Dana Whitco is the Co-Founder/Director of the Center for Creative Research (CCR) which supports the research processes of contemporary US movement artists, and is currently hosted by New York University’s Graduate School of Arts and Science (GSAS). Prior to work with CCR, Whitco managed the Performing Arts program at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and was later appointed Director, National Dance Project, at the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA). For five years, she served as the Associate Director of Development for Center Theater Group (Mark Taper Forum/Ahmanson Theater/Kirk Douglas Theater) in Los Angeles. Other: consulting and board service for arts organizations in LA and NYC; grant/award panel service at the local and national level; teaching at UCLA, Loyola Marymount University, Temple University, and at the secondary-school level. She holds a BA in Sociology/Anthropology and Women’s Studies from Ohio Wesleyan University and an MA in Dance from University of California Los Angeles.


Eleanor Whitney | Program Officer for External Affairs and Fiscal Sponsorship, New York Foundation for the Arts
Eleanor Whitney is the Program Officer for External Affairs and Fiscal Sponsorship at the New York Foundation for the Arts.  In addition, she is a writer, educator and musician raised in Maine and living in Brooklyn, New York. She has also worked at the Rubin Museum of Art as the Coordinator of Educational Resources, the Brooklyn Museum as the Academic Programs Coordinator, and at POV/American Documentary in development. She has written about art, culture and nonprofit management for publications and websites such as ArtsFwd and the DIY Business Association. She is writing a book entitled Grow: Take Your Do-It-Yourself Passion and Project to the Next Level and Quit Your Job, which will be released by Cantankerous Titles in 2013. She received her Master’s of Public Administration  from Baruch College and wrote her thesis on the relationship between city governments and local arts organizations. She received her bachelor’s degree from Eugene Lang College in Cultural Studies and Education.

Lesley Williamson | Director, Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts & Saltonstall Arts Colony

Lesley Williamson was hired as the director of the Saltonstall Foundation & Arts Colony in November 2011. She relocated to Ithaca from Chautauqua County (NY) where she worked as a program coordinator for Chautauqua Institution's signature lecture series and, more recently, as the director of the North Shore Arts Alliance, a grass-roots organization representing professional visual artists in all media.

Lesley earned her BA from Hampshire College and her Master of Arts Management degree from Carnegie Mellon University. She brings a wealth of not-for-profit organizational experience to her work at Saltonstall in addition to a passion for the arts and a deep understanding of the importance of supporting art at its source.


Risë Wilson | Program Manager, Leveraging Investments in Creativity (LINC); Founder, The Laundromat Project

Risë is a cultural worker whose primary focus has been on the ways in which art making and participation can contribute to the total well-being of people of color. She is the Founder of The Laundromat Project, an emerging social enterprise that mounts public art projects in neighborhood laundromats as a way of making art more accessible—physically, financially, and conceptually—to communities of color living on low incomes.  In addition to graduate work at NYU, Risë pursued a practical education in non-profit arts administration by holding positions in both large-scale and grassroots cultural institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art, the International Center of Photography, the Painted Bride Art Center, and Art Sanctuary. As an artist, Risë works in the genre of printmaking. As an administrator her work has spanned strategic planning, fundraising, community outreach, and art education. Periodically she serves as a consultant to other non-profits in these areas.  Recognized as one of the "World's Best Emerging Social Entrepreneurs," Risë is a 2008 Douglas Redd Fellow in art and community development; a 2004 Echoing Green Fellow; and a 2002 College Arts Association/NEH professional development fellow. Risë holds a BA in African-American Studies from Columbia where she was a Kluge Scholar, and an MA in Africana Studies from NYU, where she was a Maccracken Fellow.


Lori Wood | Director, Fes Medina; Consultant, Alliance of Artists Communities

Lori Wood has an extensive background in the field of artist residency programs and social entrepreneurship, and conducted one of the first field assessments for artists’ communities in the early 1990s. Lori directed the Villa Montalvo Artist Residency Program in California from 1991-1995. She spent two years on the boards of both the Alliance of Artists Communities and Res Artis: The International Network of Residential Arts Centres. She has created literary arts programming and fundraising programs for organizations such as the National Steinbeck Center and UCSC Division of Humanities. Lori produced two NEA Big Read programs, created and implemented the 2007 Steinbeck Festival, A Culture of Discontent: Steinbeck in the 60s, and led the early creation process of the 2008 Steinbeck Festival, Steinbeck in Mexico. She is also the founder and director of a social venture project in Fes, Morocco which is restoring traditional properties in Fes’ medieval medina and will provide non-profit residencies for artists from around the world. Lori holds a BA in Literature from Harvard College, an MBA in Entrepreneurial Management from The Wharton School, and a Masters in International Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. 

James Woodfill | Artist

James Woodfill is a 1980 graduate of the Kansas City Art Institute. He has lived and worked as an artist in Kansas City since his graduation. For the majority of his career he has concentrated on installation art, with numerous solo shows in galleries and museums throughout the region. His work has been included in a number of exhibits both nationally and internationally. His installations have been widely noted, including reviews in Art In America, Art Papers, The New Art Examiner, and Sculpture Magazine. Woodfill has taught in a variety of capacities at the Kansas City Art Institute since 1998, and is currently a member of the Painting Department faculty there.







Steve Vande Zande | Co-founder, RedLine Milwaukee

Steve received a B.A. in art education from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and MS in the area of leadership with an emphasis in the arts from Bank Street College of Education in conjunction with Parsons the New School for Design. In 2003 he was the recipient of the Outstanding Educator of the Year award from the Wisconsin Art Education Association, and Excellence in Education by Milwaukee Public Schools in 2004. In 2009, Steve was awarded “Outstanding Faculty Lecturer for Educational Policy and Leadership” from the Marquette University College of Education. In a career spanning more than 10 years working with Milwaukee Public Schools, the Milwaukee Art Museum, Marquette University and Artists Working Education, Steve has served and led over 3,278 children and teens, 150 university students and 100 artists and teachers.

Laura Zabel | Executive Director, Springboard for the Arts

Laura is the Executive Director of Springboard for the Arts.  Based in Saint Paul, MN, Springboard for the Arts is a community and economic development organization for individual artists-serving artists in the Upper Midwest and beyond. One of Springboard’s newest initiatives is a Community Supported Art (CSA) project based on the Community Supported Agriculture model which connects artists directly with patrons through a 3-month farm-share program. This program has been replicated in over 20 communities nationwide. This year, another Springboard-led initiative, Irrigate, was recognized as a national model of creative placemaking by the new funder collaborative, ArtPlace, and awarded one of 30 inaugural grants. In 2010, Laura was named one of Twin Cities Business Journal’s 40 Under Forty and Springboard won the Social Entrepreneur’s Cup award which recognizes Minnesota's most innovative and effective social entrepreneur and the organization they lead. In addition to her work at Springboard, Laura is an actor in the Twin Cities and has her undergraduate degree in theatre from the University of Kansas, where she serves on the Professional Advisory Board for the Department of Theatre.


Julian Zugazagoitia  | Director/CEO, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Julián Zugazagoitia, a man whose passion for the arts has taken him around the globe, is the fifth director of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Since arriving at the Museum, he has shown a high interest in reaching out to the community and in making the Nelson-Atkins more open and accessible to all visitors. Born in Mexico and educated at the Sorbonne Paris IV in France, Zugazagoitia speaks six languages and has worked at institutions in the Americas and Europe. Before moving to Kansas City, Julián was the Director/CEO of El Museo del Barrio in New York, a leading institution in the field of Latin American and Latino art.  As a consultant and curator, he also worked with the Getty Conservation Institute in Los Angeles and UNESCO, organizing exhibitions, events and conferences internationally. He also curated exhibitions as Director of Visual Arts with the Spoleto Festival in Italy. Julián is married and has two elementary-age children.






Yarn Bombing Los Angeles Collective

Yarn Bombing Los Angeles (YBLA) is a group of guerrilla knitters who have been collaborating since 2010 to stage public installations and performances in to help expand the definitions of public art to include urban interventions such as street art and knit graffiti. Yarn bombing transforms knitting and other fiber arts from a domestic endeavor to public art, recontextualizing both knitting and graffiti, both of which are marginalized creative endeavors that fall outside “high art.” YBLA has put up self initiated public art displays at or adjacent to 18th Street Arts Center, Santa Monica, CA; the Geffen Contemporary at Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; Craft and Folk Art Museum, Los Angeles, CA and the Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul, Turkey;  L'Aquila Associazione Culturale Animammersa, Pagaica, Italy.

Arzu Arda Kosar | Founding Member, Yarnbombing Los Angeles

-Arzu Arda Kosar, received her MFA in New Genres from the University of Southern California and her BFA in Art History and Studio Arts from the University of Pittsburgh.  She is a conceptual artist who has exhibited her work in the US and abroad and organized events such as International Survey of Alternative Artscene: a series of art exhibitions, workshops and lectures in New Zealand, Thailand, Turkey, New York and California. As the founding member of the knit graffiti member Yarn Bombing Los Angeles, she's interested in exploring urban interventions, the push and pull between art and craft, collaborative art practice and community building through arts.

Carol Zou | Textile and Public Artist, Yarnbombing Los Angeles

Carol Zou is a textile and public artist interested in the transformation of urban space through artistic interventions. She is best known for her large scale spiderwebs woven out of thread and used clothing, which she installs in nooks and corners around Los Angeles. Additionally, she is an avid crocheter and a core member of the Los Angeles knit graffiti collaborative, Yarn Bombing Los Angeles. Carol holds a BFA from Cornell University, and has shown in Los Angeles and New York.