Staff and Board


Sheila M. Smith
Executive Director

Sheila M. Smith is the Executive Director of Minnesota Citizens for the Arts (MCA) which strengthens our cultural community by achieving arts friendly policy at the Minnesota Legislature and in Congress. Now also Chair of the Creative Minnesota Project, she produces important research about the arts and cultural community for education, policy making, and advocacy. A […]

Mark Albers
Operations Manager

2004 Graduate University of Michigan Medical School,
Microbiology and Immunology Department.

Lawrence M. Redmond
Lawrence M. Redmond Lawrence M. Redmond is contracted by MCA as a lobbyist. President of Redmond Associates, Inc., Redmond has lobbied at the Minnesota Legislature for more than 30 years. Formerly a State Senate staffer, and later an aide to Senator Hubert H. Humphrey, Redmond has worked with MCA since 1977. Email Lawrence M. Redmond [...]
Patricia Starks Fagg’ett

Patricia Starks Fagg’ett, MCA’s bookkeeper. Patricia comes to us with years of experience at the MN Council on Foundations, VocalEssence, and other Minnesota nonprofits.


MCA’s Board of Directors is comprised of 36 members, half of whom live outside of the seven-county Twin Cities metro area. The Board includes one member from each Regional Arts Council area, ten members from organizations receiving grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board, and the remainder from the population at large.

Jamie Andrews

2004 Graduate University of Michigan Medical School,
Microbiology and Immunology Department.

Mary Ann Aufderheide

2004 Graduate University of Michigan Medical School,
Microbiology and Immunology Department.

Morgan Baum

Morgan (Jindrich) Baum is the Owner and CEO of The Clay Coyote, a Gallery and Pottery Studio just North of Hutchinson, MN. For decades our family has been making quality, handcrafted, functional pottery on a 54-acre hobby farm in Hutchinson, MN. Our year-round Gallery carries more than 150 artists from across the country and is […]

Sandy Boren-Barrett

2004 Graduate University of Michigan Medical School,
Microbiology and Immunology Department.

Brenda Byron

2004 Graduate University of Michigan Medical School,
Microbiology and Immunology Department.

LaTia Childers

Finding interest in dance at the age of 3, LaTia continued to indulge her passion for expressionism through movement. Exposure to Graham and Horton technique, the movement LaTia most identifies with, began at F.A.I.R. school where she attended 6th-8th grade. LaTia is continuing her pursuit for physical expression through her college experience at the University […]

Peg Churchwell
Peg Churchwell Peg Churchwell has over 30 years of experience in graphic design, marketing, communications and special events. She loves introducing arts, culture and social awareness events into local communities to promote personal well-being and community sustainability. Presently, she is employed at CentraCare Health in Long Prairie where she focuses on promoting wellness through these [...]
Nicole DeBoer

Nicole Johnson-DeBoer is the executive director for the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council which covers 18 rural counties on the prairie. She brings three decades of leadership and creative management experience, coupled with a passion for growing rural communities through the arts. Prior to SMAC, she was Corporate Creative Director for The Schwan Food Company leading […]

Drew Digby

Drew Digby is the executive director of the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council. ARAC serves more than 18,000 square miles of Northeastern Minnesota as part of Minnesota’s system of regional arts councils, providing grants and services to artists and arts organizations. Prior to ARAC, Digby worked in economic and community development, taught at the University of […]

Sean Dowse
Greater Minnesota Organizational member Sean Dowse is a past MCA Board President. Dowse has an exemplary dedication to the arts. He has served as Executive Director of the T.B. Sheldon Theatre, a board member for the Anderson Center and Red Wing Arts Association, a director of community theater productions and high school musicals, an arts [...]
Kristin Eggerling

Kristin Eggerling works as a Promotions Specialist at the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council, freelance writer, and Communications and Digital Media Coordinator for C&M Ford. She is a published author of Breath of Wilderness: The Life of Sigurd Olson, a children’s book about wilderness advocate and writer Sigurd Olson. Kristin serves on the Northwest Minnesota Foundation, […]

Tanya MB Gertz

Tanya MB Gertz is the Executive Director of Fine Arts Programming at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University (CSB/SJU) in St. Joseph and Collegeville, MN. Gertz began at CSB/SJU in September 2016 with 20 years in nonprofit experience. Previously, Gertz was the director of campus programming at Luther College (IA) for 12 […]

Jamie Grant

Jamie Grant arrived in the Twin Cities in March 2016 to be the new President and CEO of the Ordway.  He has been a leader and innovator in the performing arts for over thirty years. Jamie was the President and CEO of the Long Center for the Performing Arts in Austin, Texas.  He was brought […]

Gao Hong

Gao Hong, Chinese pipa player and composer, began her career as a professional musician at age 12. She graduated from the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing where she studied with pipa master Lin Shicheng. She has received numerous awards and honors, including First Prize in the Hebei Professional Young Music Performers Competition, a Beijing […]

Michelle Kiley

Michelle Kiley currently serves as the Executive Director at Great River Arts (GRA) – a multi-disciplinary, nonprofit arts organization in greater Minnesota. GRA’s mission is “to enrich lives through the arts, becoming a hub for the Morrison County area, by playing a significant role in sustaining the community’s artistic and economic vibrancy.” Michelle holds a […]

Leslie LeCuyer
Leslie LeCuyer, Greater MN At Large member, has served as the Executive Director of the Central MN Arts Board (CMAB) since 2003. The CMAB is one of Minnesota’s eleven regional arts councils. She is a freelance artist, and a former Minnesota elected official having served four years on the Sherburne County Board of Commissioners and [...]
Jon Limbacher

Jon Limbacher was Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra from 2000 to 2012. During this time, he was the principal architect of many of the orchestra’s innovative and successful fundraising and audience development strategies, including its groundbreaking membership model where patrons pay $5 per month to attend unlimited concerts. […]

Scott Lykins

Scott Lykins’ career uniquely blends artistic performance as a cellist and pianist with administrative creativity as founding artistic & executive director of the Lakes Area Music Festival in Brainerd, MN. Primarily a cellist, he enjoys a busy schedule performing throughout the Midwest. He has served as principal cellist for the National Orchestra Institute, National Repertory […]

Kristin Makholm

Kristin Makholm is a respected scholar in the field of art history with a BA from Northwestern University and an MA and PhD from the University of Minnesota. She has worked in the curatorial field at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the St. Louis Art Museum, and as Curator of Prints and Drawings at the […]

Carla McGrath
Carla McGrath, Metro At Large member, is the Executive Director and co-founder of the Highpoint Center for Printmaking in Minneapolis. Prior to starting Highpoint, she was Art Lab Coordinator at the Walker Art Center in the Dept. of Education and Community Programs. She has a J.D. from Hamline University School of Law and has worked [...]
Mary Minnick-Daniels
Mary Minnick-Daniels, Region 7E Greater Minnesota member, has served as Executive Director of the East Central Regional Arts Council, Braham for the past 2 years and was also Arts Director for the East Central Regional Development Commission from 1996-2011; for a total of 15 years with the Regional Arts Council. She also worked as a [...]
Kathy Mouacheupao

Kathy Mouacheupao (she/her/hers) is the executive director of the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council located in Saint Paul and serving the 7-county metropolitan area. Prior to MRAC, Kathy served as Program Officer for Creative Placemaking with the Twin Cities Local Initiatives Support Corporation (TC LISC), executive director of the Center for Hmong Arts and Talent (CHAT), […]

Tamara Nadel
Tamara Nadel is a founding member of Ragamala Dance Company, where she serves a dual role as Company Dancer/Soloist and Development & Outreach Director. Tamara has toured extensively with Ragamala, highlighted by Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, American Dance Festival, Walker Art Center, Open Look Festival (Russia), Just Festival (U.K.), and National Centre for Performing Arts [...]
Mark Nerenhausen

Mark Nerenhausen is the President/CEO of Hennepin Theatre Trust. Prior to the Trust the Founding Director and Professor of Practice of the Janklow Arts Leadership Program at Syracuse University.  Before that, he served as president and CEO of the $354 million AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas, where he secured AT&T as a naming sponsor, […]

Michael-jon Pease

Michael-jon Pease is the Executive Director of the Saint Paul Parks Conservancy, the private nonprofit champion for the Capital City’s award-winning park system. He is also Organizational Consultant for Park Square Theatre, where he served as Executive Director (2012-2020). He began his Minnesota career as the founding executive director of Cornucopia Art Center in Lanesboro, […]

Jeff Prauer
Jeff Prauer was the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (MRAC) from 2008 through 2015, and also served as director of MRAC's Arts Learning grant program. Previously he was the executive director of COMPAS (Community Programs in the Arts) for 14 years, and was its development director for five years prior. He has [...]
Faye M. Price
Faye M. Price, Former MCA Chairperson and 2020 Larry Award recipient, is the Co-Artistic Producing Director of Pillsbury House Theatre in Minneapolis. As co-producer she has overseen a variety of Pillsbury House Theatre productions including Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, Perestroika, The Gimmick, Phoenix Fabrik, Jesus Hopped the A Train and Bulrusher. A former dramaturg [...]
Michael Robins

Metro Organizational member Michael Robins founded the Illusion Theater in 1974 and currently serves as its Executive Producing Director. He has guided the company as it produced more than 100 world premieres, bringing the work of a diverse and important group of American artists to the state. In addition to directing, Robins has authored or […]

Laura Seter

Laura Seter, Region 2 Arts Council Executive Director Laura Seter started working at Region 2 Arts Council in January 2011. She became the executive director in 2015, bringing her love of artistic expression, community engagement, teaching, and the written word to her work. Laura holds a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from the School for […]

Dana Sikkila

Litchfield, MN native Dana Sikkila received her Master of Arts in Printmaking as well as her Non Profit Leadership Certificate from Minnesota State University, Mankato. At just 33 years old, Sikkila has been named as one of the most well-known creative leaders of Southern Minnesota, developing and executing numerous grassroots cultural project and programs throughout […]

Christopher Stevens

Christopher Stevens has worked at the Walker Art Center since 1994. As Chief of Advancement, he oversees all aspects of the Walker fundraising activities. He successfully planned and executed a $100 million capital campaign that was completed in 2006 and a $75 million drive that was completed in 2017. Both campaigns exceeded their goals. Prior […]

Amy Stearns

At-large Greater Minnesota member Amy Stearns manages the Historic Holmes Theatre in Detroit Lakes. A graduate of Augustana College and the University of St. Thomas MBA program, she has had the opportunity to work throughout the United States and abroad for both nonprofit and Fortune 500 companies. Currently, she and her husband have chosen to […]

Sheila Terryll

Sheila Terryll, At-Large Metro member, is the principal consultant at Strategic Development Consulting for Non-Profits. Her involvement in the arts community has been broad: she has worked with Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre, Minnesota Center for Book Arts and the Open Book capital campaign, and the Minnesota State Arts Board. Terryll has been politically active as […]

Ben Vander Kooi Jr.

Ben Vander Kooi Jr. is an attorney and DFL activist from Luverne in Southwestern Minnesota. He is President of Blue Mound Area Theatre, the non-profit organization which is restoring the historic Palace Theatre built in 1915 as an all-hemp vaudeville theater and later converted to a movie theater. He also serves on the Council for […]

Ross Willits

Ross Willits Managing Director, has been working with SteppingStone Theatre since 1998. He was a member of the theatre’s Board of Directors for two years prior to joining the staff in 2002. He has held artistic and administrative positions at many Twin Cities theatre companies including the Guthrie Theatre, the Playwrights’ Center, Cricket Theatre, Penumbra […]

Daniel Zielske

Daniel Zielske, Greater Minnesota At-Large. Dan has worked throughout Greater Minnesota. “If our state is to remain competitive with the rest of the world we need to attract the best and brightest companies and individuals to live among us. To do this, we need a well-funded arts community. I am confident MCA can make that […]

Board Application

MCA is now accepting Board applications. Download the application today.