Staff and Board


Sarah Fossen
Executive Director

MCA Executive Director Sarah Fossen is a creative leader who has tackled many sectors (government, retail, private, nonprofit, higher education) and owned her own business. Because of her depth of experience, she can look at problems with many different lenses to find creative solutions and innovative strategies to get results. Sarah Fossen was the Director […]

Mark Albers
Operations Manager

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

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 downtown Hutchinson, MN. For decades our family has been making quality, handcrafted, functional pottery in Hutchinson, MN. Our year-round Gallery carries artists from across the country and is the perfect place to find a unique, handmade gift for […]

Sandy Boren-Barrett

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

Michelle Miller Burns

Michelle Miller Burns joined the Minnesota Orchestra as President and CEO in September 2018. Under her leadership, the Orchestra has developed a multi-year revenue growth plan; has unveiled a new leadership model for its long-running summer festival; and pivoted quickly to launch creative digital programming for audiences following the onset of the pandemic in March […]

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 […]

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 […]

Sheila Dickinson

Sheila Dickinson has been involved in the Minnesota arts scene for fifteen years as an arts writer, curator and art history professor. Her arts writing is widely published in local, national and international outlets, such as Artforum, ArtNews, Hyperallergic, MN Artists, InReview and City Pages. Most recently Dickinson held the position of curator and Artistic […]

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 […]

James Haskins

James Haskins is managing director of the Guthrie Theater and a member of the Senior Management Team. He oversees the administrative facets of the organization, including marketing and communications, finance, human resources, information technology, contract and labor negotiations and facilities. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Theatre Forward and Minnesota Citizens for […]

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 […]

Sherri Kruger-Kukowski

Sherri Kukowski is the owner of Winding River Mosaics and a working artist for the past 30 years.  She holds a Master’s Degree in Mathematics and teaches in a rural school in Northwestern MN.   As an artist her greatest achievement is the Badger Heritage wall; a 25 x 10 foot stained glass mosaic wall […]

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. […]

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 […]

Tammy Makram

I have served in the local arts community since I was in high school and worked with the Community Theater Group the Green Earth Players. When I returned to Luverne, after living in Los Angeles, I became the Executive Director for Arts & Humanities in Rock County, overseeing the Fine Arts, Green Earth Players, Carnegie […]

Vanessa McDuffie

Vanessa McDuffie is an educator and a community advocate of local arts. Born and raised in Minneapolis, Vanessa has a deep love for her community, and strives for diversity, inclusion, and creative forms of learning. Vanessa studied at Augsburg University during her undergrad, then received her Master’s in Special Education focusing on Autism Spectrum Disorder […]

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, […]

Alana Petersen

Alana has over 25 years of public policy, campaign, and political experience in Minnesota. Petersen recently retired from the U.S. Senate with 20 years of service between the U.S. House of Representatives and the United States Senate. In the United States Senate, she served as Deputy Chief of Staff for both Senator Franken and Senator […]

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 […]

Frederica Simmons

Bio coming soon.

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 […]

Amy Stearns

At-large Greater Minnesota member Amy Stoller Stearns is the executive director of the Historic Holmes Theatre in Detroit Lakes, a beautiful 800 seat art deco performing arts center. Under her leadership, the Holmes has grown since opening in 2002 and features dozens of local, regional, national, and international artists on its stage annually as well […]

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 […]

James Wafler

Dr. James S. Wafler is currently retired and living on Pierz Fish Lake in central Minnesota. He is now on the Board of Directors of the Heartland Symphony Orchestra (based in Little Falls and Brainerd) and serves as Vice President. James worked for the Minnesota House of Representatives for twenty-two years; for nine of those […]

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

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