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Oklahoma State Capitol

2017 Oklahoma Arts Conference

True North


Featured Presenters

Felicity HoganFelicity Hogan
Felicity Hogan is Director of Learning at New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) where she provides professional development programs for artists and arts administrators in all disciplines. Born in the United Kingdom, Hogan was originally trained as an artist. Since residing in the United States she has expanded her skills to include arts administration and curating with over 20 years’ experience in commercial, alternative, and nonprofit spaces. Hogan participated in Coro NY’s Immigrant Civic Leadership Program and previously participated in the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture (NAMAC’s) Leadership Institute for Visual Arts Organizations across the United States. Hogan earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Coventry University and a Masters of Fine Arts in printmaking from Camberwell College of Fine Arts in London. She worked at the Serpentine Gallery in London.
Hogan is committed to fostering community and supporting the arts through numerous activities at institutions in New York and nationwide, including her presence on advisory boards such as London’s University of the Arts (UAL)’s East Coast Alumni Committee, EFA Project Space, and Culture Push. Hogan also regularly serves the New York State Council on the Arts as a panelist and through the presentation of lectures and workshops. Hogan’s artwork has been included in international exhibitions, including an exhibition at the Kingston Museum of Contemporary Art in Kingston, New York. Her work has also been featured in “Worth Telling” a group show co-curated by Erik Sanner and Linda Griggs at Abrazo Interno Gallery, Lower East Side New York.

Keir JohnstonKeir Johnston
Keir Johnston studied fine art at California State University at Northridge where he painted his first mural at the age of 18. Through the process, he found the immense standing of its social impact and the profound community involvement it entailed to be an ideal way to express himself to a broader-reaching audience. Becoming an advocate on many social issues and through involvement in community groups, Johnston has worked collaboratively in the production of murals with inmates at state penitentiaries and with youth in detention centers. He has worked with older adults, with students of all ages ranging from elementary school through college, and with individuals with disabilities. Johnston has also taught workshops for the general public. One of five international artists who founded the Philadelphia-based collective Amber Art & Design in 2011 to create meaningful, transcendent public art, Johnston and his team have been working primarily within marginalized communities that have little or no access to art. With a mission to leverage art from a point of renewal and service, the team at Amber Art & Design creates public art with a platform that allows and invites individuals and communities to grow, express, and aspire.

Jerry YoshitomiJerry Yoshitomi
A seasoned arts administrator with expertise acquired from decades of varied practice in the arts, Gerald D. (Jerry) Yoshitomi believes in the power of the arts to transform lives. Yoshitomi’s methods have been implemented worldwide and have resulted in significant innovation and change among arts organizations for which he has worked and advised. His practices help organizations increase clarity of purpose, engagement in the arts, and earned and contributed revenue. Yoshitomi’s recent work has focused on assisting organizations with increasing income, encouraging repeat participation, and amplifying word-of-mouth marketing. He has a particular interest in assisting small-budget organizations and artist cooperatives in rural and low-income communities, and he devotes much of his time to issues of diversity and inclusion as well as developing the next generation of arts leaders. Yoshitomi is the facilitator for a collaborative of performing arts presenters at major research universities including the University of Michigan, Stanford, Dartmouth, University of Texas, and others. His experience includes work as lead consultant on information and network strategies for LINC - Leveraging Investments in Creativity, a national initiative to improve the lives/conditions of artists. In addition to serving four years on the California Arts Council, Yoshitomi previously served as Executive Director of the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center in Los Angeles.

Conference Presenters and Panelists

Anita G. Arnold
Anita G. Arnold is the Executive Director of Black Liberated Arts Center, Inc. which is the arts partner of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Partners in Education, 1995 Oklahoma team. She has more than 30 years of business management experience in Corporate America and 30 years of experience as a real estate broker. Arnold is a graduate of Memphis State University and a recipient of numerous other national and local awards including an Arts in Education Award, presented to her at the 2006 Governor’s Arts Awards.

Rob Arrington
Rob Arrington serves as the Veterans Services and Programs Director for the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs. He is a native Oklahoman and has been involved in military and veterans issues for over 30 years. Arrington is responsible for addressing veterans issues such as education, employment, mental health, homelessness, and suicide prevention. Arrington has been involved in the arts and military partnership between Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs and Oklahoma Arts Council since its inception. He is currently a member of the 2017 Leadership Arts class.

Melody Claborn Aufill
Melody Claborn Aufill works for the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry as an Ag in the Classroom Coordinator where she serves the western region of Oklahoma. She received a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education in 1996 and a Master in Educational Leadership in 2009 from Southwestern Oklahoma State University. Aufill spent 20 years as an elementary classroom teacher, instructional coach, and literacy consultant before joining the Ag in the Classroom Team. In 2008, she gained National Board Certified Teacher status as a Middle Child Generalist and is also a certified local Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS) trainer.

Susan Bowers
Susan Bowers earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Southern Methodist University in Dallas Texas. She taught in the Richardson School District for 12 years. In 1979, she moved to Enid, Oklahoma to work for her family’s company. She has served as president of the Enid Public School Foundation, president of the Garfield County Master Gardeners, and as a board member for the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence. Bowers was named Volunteer of the Year for Leonardo’s Children’s Museum and YWCA Woman of the Year for her recent efforts in the six million dollar capital campaign to renovate and expand the museum. She currently serves as a volunteer tutor in the mentoring program at First Presbyterian Church, and serves the Leonardo’s Children’s Museum board.

Catherine Breyley
Catherine Breyley serves as a board member of the Enid Arts Council board where she previously served as past president. She is also the Vice President of the Tri-State Music Festival Board and a charter member of the Enid Community Children’s Chorus Advisory Board. Breyley is a graduate of Western Illinois University and former woodwind teacher. Prior to relocating to Enid in 2009, she performed with symphony orchestras and opera companies in Illinois, North Carolina, and Louisiana. In addition to having maintained a private studio, she taught Applied Music at Ravenscroft Academy in Raleigh, North Carolina and at Louisiana State University at Alexandria’s summer music programs.

Craig Clemons
Craig Clemons is a business strategist, networking guru and singer/songwriters. He develops rational equity and has extensive experience in strategic community partnerships. As Vice President of Public Relations and Business Development for Express Employment Professionals, Clemons develops new business opportunities for the company’s vast network of franchise locations in the United States, Canada, and South Africa. Prior to joining Express, Clemons served in senior management positions with the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma State University, Williams Companies, Advantage Media Group, Frito-Lay, and Anheuser Busch. Clemons led Oklahoma State University’s largest and most successful fundraising drive. Clemons serves on boards for the Boys & Girls Club of Oklahoma County, Cristo Rey School, Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame, and the Oklahoma Educated Workforce Initiative.

Douglas Shaw Elder
Douglas Shaw Elder is the Executive Director of the Norman Firehouse Art Center, a U.S. Army veteran, a working artist, and a Research Fellow with Professor Dr. Dan Lovallo for creativity and innovation at the University of Sydney Business School. The G.I. Bill enabled Elder to complete his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drawing; he then earned a Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture from Boston University, where he later returned as an assistant professor, teaching drawing and sculpture for six years. Elder is also an arts education and nonprofit consultant and a current member of the Norman Public Arts Board. As an artist, Elder is primarily a draftsman and sculptor, exhibiting nationally and internationally. Recently, he was awarded the O. Gail Poole Memorial Travel Fund, was a traveling artist for the Norman Arts Council’s Cultural Connections program in Arezzo, Italy, and in 2017, he had an exhibition at the Hardesty Arts Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The Honorable John Enns
The Honorable John Enns’ background includes work as a rancher, farmer, and public school science teacher. First elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives in 2006, Enns represents House District 41. He serves as Chair of the House Committee on Health Services and Long-Term Care. Other committees on which Enns serves include Agriculture and Rural Development and Veterans and Military Affairs.

Ben Ezzell
Ben Ezzell is an attorney and Enid City Commissioner. He serves on the board of directors of several nonprofits focused on supporting the arts and education. Ezzell has extensive experience in fundraising and nonprofit governance. In his free time, he enjoys screenprinting, welding, working with electronics, or spending time at his woodshop east of downtown Enid where he crafts wood art and furniture.

Catherine Gabrel
After a lifelong career as a dietitian, Catherine “Cat” Gabrel launched her own business for making and selling kite kits. A firm believer that kites bring people joy, Gabrel’s Stillwater-based business, Kites in the Sky (kitekits.com), provides educational products that combine learning and creativity. Since 2009, she has served as the workshop coordinator for the American Kitefliers Association’s National Convention. Gabrel is a regular contributor to Kiting magazine and has developed educational online resources. In addition, Gabrel has coordinated and taught kite-making workshops to audiences of all ages across the United States, Germany, and Denmark.

Recia Garcia
Recia Garcia has over 35 years of career experience as a rural community development enthusiast. Through Oklahoma State University's Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service (OCES), Garcia saw the invitation to serve on the Oklahoma Quilt Trails committee as an opportunity to combine service with experience. Her background in organizing statewide programs for OCES melds with an Art minor and true passion for rural Oklahoma. Garcia earned her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Secondary and Vocational Education at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford.

Erinn Gavaghan
Erinn Gavaghan, an art historian and arts administrator, has served as the Executive Director of the Norman Arts Council (NAC) since August 2010. In May of 2010 she graduated from Webster University in St. Louis with a Master of Arts in Art History. She specializes in 16th and 17th century European art and architecture as well as socially engaged contemporary art. In addition to her work with the NAC, she has taught Art History at Oklahoma City Community College, the University of Oklahoma, and Webster University. She is an active volunteer in the central Oklahoma arts community and currently serves on the board of directors for the Cultural Development Corporation of Central Oklahoma, the Norman Public Arts Board, and the Norman Downtowners Association. Gavaghan is a current Ph.D. student in art history at the University of Oklahoma.

Albert Lujan Grayeagle
Albert Lujan Grayeagle has been on the Oklahoma Arts Council’s Teaching Artist Roster for over 16 years. He has received national honors for his work in creative writing, multi-media arts, and performing arts. Partnering with his niece, Victoria Nevarez, Grayeagle has served numerous local organizations including Heartline, Inc., Respect Diversity, Pinwheels for Peace, the Oklahoma City VA Hospital, and Camp Quality USA. Grayeagle, a United States Army veteran, has been a teaching artist for the Oklahoma Arts Council’s Arts in Military Pilot Program.

Maria Swindell Gus
Maria Swindell Gus, a native of Bartlesville, has served as executive director of the Bartlesville Convention & Visitors Bureau since November of 2008. She currently serves on the trust authority of the Bartlesville Community Center, the board of directors for the Oklahoma Travel Industry Association, and as vice president for the board of the Green Country Marketing Association. Gus has been recognized for her work by the Oklahoma Travel Industry Association with Redbud Awards for Best Social Media Campaign, Oklahoma Department of Tourism’s Organization of the Year Award, and an additional Merit Award for Social Media. She has been the community liaison for several productions that have been filmed in the Bartlesville area including “To the Wonder,” “August: Osage County,” and the yet-to-be released film; “Starbright.” Gus earned a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre with minors in education and communications from Avila University in Kansas City, Missouri.

Brandon Harvey
Brandon Harvey is an attorney in Enid, Oklahoma, where he was born and raised. He works primarily in the fields of commercial and agricultural real estate, estate planning, and business succession planning. He is the current President of the Tri-State Music Festival, an officer of the Oklahoma Bar Association Real Property Law Section and a board member of the Grand National Quail Club He has had the opportunity to serve on the boards of several other Enid non-profits, as well. Harvey is an active volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America, having had the opportunity for several years to chair the Eagle Scout Advancement Committee, counseling prospective Eagle candidates in planning and completion of volunteer projects throughout Enid and the surrounding communities.

James Pepper Henry
James Pepper Henry was selected in 2017 to become the first Director and CEO of the American Indian Cultural Center Foundation (AICCF). Henry's involvement with the center's development began in 2004 when he helped inform its conceptual design. In 2007, as associate director of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian, Henry forged a foundation for future collaborative efforts involving the Smithsonian and what would become the AICCF. Prior to being selected to lead AICCF, Henry served as Executive Director and CEO of the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Director and CEO of the Heard Museum in Phoenix, and Executive Director and CEO at the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center in Alaska. His time at each institution was marked by successful expansion efforts, fundraising campaigns, and/or increased attendance among other achievements. Henry is a board member of the American Alliance of Museums and the Western Museums Association. He also serves on the Oklahoma Art in Public Places Oversight Committee.

David Hume
David Hume is a life-long Enid native and a graduate of Enid Business College. He served four years in the U.S. Air Force before returning to Enid to raise his family. Hume owned and operated an independent insurance agency for over 35 years. He is a founding member and past president of Main Street Enid. He has also been actively involved in community organizations such as Loaves & Fishes, the Sons & Daughters of the Cherokee Strip, CDSA Non-Profit Center, and the Enid Arts Council. He presently serves as the board chair of the Enid Symphony Orchestra.

Marcy Jarrett
Marcy Jarrett, Director of Visit Enid, has made a career of marketing cities for almost 20 years. She was Executive Director of Visit Norman and Visit Lubbock before relocating to Enid. She is a past member of the Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce Executive Leadership Class, the Texas Office of the Governor, Economic Development & Tourism’s Tourism Advisory Committee, a graduate of the 2013 Oklahoma Arts Council Leadership Arts class, and the Oklahoma Municipal League’s Citizens Academy Leadership Training. Jarrett is a Certified Destination Management Executive, a recent city council appointee to Enid’s Public Arts Commission, and a board member of the Oklahoma Travel Industry Association. She is a founding member of Keep Enid Beautiful, and active on the boards of Red Carpet Country, Enid Arts Council, Tri-State Music Festival, and United Way. Jarret was a member of the steering committee for the $35 million Enid Renaissance Project that resulted in the development of the Central National Bank Center. She is part of the Enid First Committee that created the Enid brand identity that continues to evolve in the new entryway signs and wayfinding signs being placed around town.

Al Jensen
Al Jensen is a lifelong musician, educator, and supporter of music education. He received his degree in music education from Southern Methodist University, and he played the oboe as a member of the NBC Symphony until 1945 when he was called into service for the United States Army. Jensen was a Professor of Oboe at Phillips University from 1966 to 1995. Under Governor Nigh, Jensen received the Community Service Award at the 1984 Governor's Arts Awards. Jensen was awarded the Tri-State Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015. In May of 2017, he was honored by the Juilliard Music School, Class of 1946, for being the oldest graduate who is still teaching.

Kelsey Karper
Kelsey Karper is an Oklahoma City-based curator, artist, and project manager. As a curator, Karper focuses on projects that build community and create new opportunities for artists. In early 2016 she co-founded Current Studio, an experimental art space in the Classen Ten Penn neighborhood in Oklahoma City. Her curatorial practice is greatly informed by her previous work as Associate Director of the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition, an organization devoted to supporting artists statewide. Karper also works as an independent project manager, helping organizations with research and planning. She recently served as project manager for Arts & Economic Prosperity 5, the economic impact study of nonprofit arts and culture in Oklahoma, led by Oklahomans for the Arts.

Margaret Keough
Margaret A. Keough joined Mid-America Arts Alliance in 2014 as its director of marketing and communications. With more than 25 years of museum experience, she has served in marketing and communications roles at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. She holds degrees in art history and advertising from the University of Kansas, and a Master of Business Administration from Rockhurst University. She has presented on marketing-related topics at the American Alliance of Museums, Arkansas ArtLinks, ArtistINC, Arts Midwest, and National Arts Marketing Project conferences, among others. Keough previously served as president of the Kansas City Attractions Association.

Julia Kirt
Julia Kirt is the Executive Director for Oklahomans for the Arts, a nonprofit organization that advocates for arts and culture across Oklahoma. Previously, Kirt led the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition, working with artists around the state. She participated in the National Arts Strategies program with Stanford Graduate College of Business and the Leadership Institute by the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture. Among other community leadership, she serves as a board member for the Downtown Strategic Initiatives, committee member for the Tulsa Artist Fellowship, and executive council member for the Americans for the Arts’ State Art Action Network.

Abby Kurin
Abby Kurin has served as the director of the Tulsa Office of Film, Music, Arts & Culture (Tulsa FMAC) since 2015. Tulsa FMAC is a division of Tulsa Regional Tourism at the Tulsa Regional Chamber and is the only city film commission in the state of Oklahoma. Tulsa FMAC works to promote the Tulsa region as a creative hub and cultural destination, while working to grow the creative industries. Previously, Kurin was the associate editor and contributing writer for ArtDesk magazine, associate producer and Tulsa-segment host for the travel show, Discover Oklahoma, and development coordinator for the Oklahoma Film + Music Office, where she co-created the former Oklahoma’s Buffalo Lounge with Norman-based company, The Idea Collective. Kurin is a Tulsa native, and she holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism with a minor in Film and Video Studies from the University of Oklahoma. She currently sits on the board of the Tulsa Ballet and the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.

Debbie Lambert
Debbie Lambert has served as the general manager for the Tri-State Music Festival since 2008. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education and a Master of Arts in Educational Administration from Phillips University. Lambert is a retired band and science teacher, and she was an adjunct professor of music and trumpet at Northern Oklahoma College until she retired in 2014.

Lynda Latta
Lynda Latta has served as the Ellis County OSU Extension Educator for 29 years, working in Family Consumer Sciences, 4-H and Youth, and as County Director. Her undergraduate degree is in vocational home economics, and her graduate degree is in elementary education. Latta serves on the board of Red Carpet Country and the Oklahoma Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS). She has written state curriculum for FCS programming and teaches all ages in Ellis County, Oklahoma and neighboring Texas communities. Latta has received national recognition for her innovative programming and numerous state awards through the Oklahoma Extension Association. Her current passion is promoting Oklahoma with the development of Barn Quilt Trails and developing tourism to showcase the beauty, history, and quality of life in all areas of Oklahoma.

Angie Maidt
Angie Maidt is a young artist hailing from Oklahoma City. Primarily taking the form of installation, her work tends to center on shared human experience in the post-internet age. She is currently a senior studying Art, Technology, and Culture at the University of Oklahoma.

Susan Marshall-Armstrong
Susan Marshall-Armstrong received her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from the University of Central Oklahoma and a Master in School Leadership from Northern Arizona University. Marshall-Armstrong is currently the building principal for Oklahoma City Public School’s Wilson Integrated Arts School. She is a member of the Oklahoma Arts Council’s 2017 Leadership Arts program.

Lance McDaniel
Lance McDaniel is Executive Director of the deadCenter Film Festival, Oklahoma's largest film festival, and an independent filmmaker who has worked on 21 feature films, including Oscar winner Million Dollar Baby.

Jennifer Meckling
Jennifer Meckling joined Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits (OKCNP) in November 2014 after six years with the Neighborhood Alliance of Oklahoma City. As director of community engagement for northwest and central Oklahoma, Meckling has opportunities to explore the state and forge relationships with nonprofits and community partners. As a constant champion for growth and maturation for Oklahoma City, she is thrilled to be part of OKCNP’s proactive initiative to reach rural nonprofits, to foster greater collaboration and organizational growth, and to connect organizations with the resources they need to be successful.

Jeanetta Calhoun Mish
Jeanetta Calhoun Mish is a poet, writer, and literary scholar, and is currently the Oklahoma State Poet Laureate. In 2009, she earned her Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Oklahoma. Mish’s most recent books are a poetry collection, What I Learned at the War (West End Press, 2016) and Oklahomeland: Essays, (Lamar University Press (2015). Her first poetry book, Tongue Tied Woman, won the Edda Poetry Chapbook Competition for Women in 2002. Her second poetry collection, Work Is Love Made Visible (West End Press, 2009), won the 2010 Oklahoma Book Award for Poetry, the 2010 Western Heritage Award for Poetry from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, and the 2010 WILLA Award for Poetry from Women Writing the West.

Leona Mitchell
Enid native and Oklahoma City University alumnus Leona Mitchell is a Grammy Award-winning spinto soprano who has performed worldwide in operas, recitals, and television appearances. She has sung at many of the world’s major opera houses, including eighteen seasons at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and has been presented in concert at New York’s Lincoln Center, the Los Angeles Music Center, the UCLA Music Center, and internationally in Japan, Hong Kong, Paris, Australia, Buenos Aires, and Spain.

Mitchell is no stranger to the world’s most prestigious orchestras, having performed with the London Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. She has performed for four U.S. presidents including Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. She was a featured performer during the 2002 dedication of the Oklahoma State Capitol dome and during the 2003 inauguration of Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry. Among Mitchell’s television appearances, she has appeared on The Dick Cavett Show, CBS’ The Morning Program, Good Morning America, and The Jerry Lewis Telethon. She was seen coast-to-coast on the Gala Statue of Liberty Concert telecast live from Central Park over the ABC-TV network with Zubin Mehta and The New York Philharmonic. In 2001, Mitchell was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame. In 2004, she was given the distinction of Oklahoma Cultural Ambassador and was inducted into the Oklahoma Women’s Hall of Fame. Since 2006, Mitchell has hosted a summer music camp for underprivileged youth in her hometown of Enid.

Alison Naifeh
Alison Naifeh has 25 years of experience as a film location manager and scout. She began her career in Los Angeles where she worked for Canon Film Group and NBC Productions. Naifeh’s most recent work has included films such as: “August Osage County”, “The Veil”,” Starbright,” WildLife,” and “I Can Only Imagine.” Her prestigious national commercial resume includes work with Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, Nike, Foot Locker, Sprint, True Religion, Mountain Dew, Air Jordan/Michael Jordan, NBA and numerous national commercials.

Mark Nehrenz
Mark Nehrenz is the co-founder of OKC GOOD, a nonprofit that exists to inspire action through storytelling in the Oklahoma City metro. Nehrenz launched the organization in 2013 as a way to help capture and share the stories of nonprofits in the community. OKC GOOD's launch was part of his professional project required toward earning his Master of Arts in Journalism at the University of Oklahoma. Nehrenz has been making documentary videos since he was a teenager, and through his work and passion for storytelling, he has spent time in 10 sub-Saharan African countries, Bangladesh, and as a Fulbright Scholar in South Africa.

Victoria Nevarez
Victoria Nevarez holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and a Bachelor of Arts in Ethnic Studies from the University of Colorado. She holds a Master of Arts in Museum Studies from the University of Oklahoma. Nevarez loves to incorporate knowledge from her studies and life to help teach the history of this land through art and music. Since 2005, Nevarez has worked in partnership with her uncle, Albert Grayeagle, teaching traditional art forms, including flute-making. Together with Grayeagle, Nevarez has served numerous local organizations including Heartline, Inc., Respect Diversity, Pinwheels for Peace, the Oklahoma City VA Hospital, and Camp Quality USA.

Douglas Newell
Douglas Newell joined Enid Symphony Orchestra (ESO) as Music Director and Executive Director in 1983. Newell is a graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts and the New England Conservatory of Music. He completed special studies in composition at the Governor’s School of North Carolina and in conducting at the Aspen Music School. Prior to becoming Music Director of the ESO, Maestro Newell served as Music Director of the Boston Summer Opera Theater and Baylor University Opera Theater and Symphony Orchestra, Assistant Conductor of the New England Conservatory Repertory Orchestra and Assistant Conductor of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, and Knoxville Chamber Orchestra. Newell has conducted symphonies throughout the United States and Oklahoma, including the Richmond Sinfonia, the Orchestra Society of Philadelphia, the San Diego Symphony, the Boston Musica Viva, the Concord Orchestra, the Charlotte Symphony, Western Piedmont Symphony, the North Carolina School of the Arts Symphony and NCSA Chamber Orchestra. In Oklahoma Maestro Newell has guest conducted the Lawton Philharmonic, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Oklahoma Symphony Orchestra and the Canterbury Choral Society. He has conducted ESO performances throughout Oklahoma.

Paula Nightengale
Paula Nightengale grew up in Dodge City, Kansas and moved to Enid in 1974. She has worked as a postal employee, church secretary, interpreter for the deaf, insurance representative, medical staff coordinator, and nonprofit organization director. Between 2013 and 2014, Nightengale spearheaded three community yarn-bombing projects in Enid, in which temporary public art made out of yarn was installed to cover trees and light poles in downtown Enid and outdoor spaces for World-Wide Knit in Public Day and Cherokee Strip Days. In 2007, Nightengale worked with co-founder David Hume to open Park Avenue Thrift, a nonprofit, charitable thrift store whose mission is to donate 100% of its profits to community endeavors. Park Avenue Thrift received a Business in the arts Award at the 2016 Governor’s Arts Awards.

Christy Northcutt
Christy Northcutt is a board member and past president of the Enid Arts Council. For the past 12 years she has been Enid’s local arts representative for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Partners in Education, 2005 Oklahoma team. Northcutt serves on the board of directors of numerous nonprofits focused on supporting arts and education. In 2007, she was awarded a Community Service Award at the Governor’s Arts Awards. Northcutt strives to create new and innovative programs for her community. She is the founder of several local health and wellness programs for women and children, including StrollerFit, Be Fit Kids, and Fit Chicks Enid.

Cub Olson
Cub Olson is an Art Technology and Culture senior at OU. His emphasis is in animation and interactive art, which he currently uses to explore cultural beliefs about religion, gender, and climate.

romy owens
romy owens is an artist and curator living in Oklahoma City. Her artistic and curatorial practices are presently centered around community art designed to impact social change, using art as a tool to focus on topical issues. Owens is the co-founder and co-curator of Current Studio in Oklahoma City.

The Honorable Roland Pederson
Oklahoma State Senator Roland Pederson is a second-generation farmer from Burlington, Oklahoma. The son of a schoolteacher, Pederson is also a retired educator who taught high school science and served as a middle school principal. A lifelong resident of Senate District 19, Pederson was elected to represent the district in 2016. He serves on Senate committees overseeing agriculture, appropriations, energy, and retirement and insurance.

Jason Poudrier
Jason Poudrier is a novelist, essayist, poet, and Purple Heart recipient of the Iraq War. He is currently an instructor with Cameron University and the director of events for Military Experience & the Arts. He is the award-winning author of two poetry collections, Red Fields (Mongrel Empire Press, 2012), and the chapbook In the Rubble at Our Feet (Rose Rock Press, 2011). His poems have recently appeared in World Literature Today and Blue Streak. His fiction has been listed as a finalist for the New Plains Review Sherman Chaddlesone Flash Fiction contest, semifinalist for American Short Fiction’s American Short Fiction’s American Short(er) Fiction contest, and honorable mention for Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors, Volume 6.

Mary Margaret Schoenfeld
Mary Margaret Schoenfeld is an independent arts management consultant focused on ensuring that meaningful arts and cultural opportunities are available to the widest possible audience. Working primarily with arts funding agencies and organizations, Schoenfeld provides program and project management, conducts training and provides technical assistance to artists and arts administrators, provides strategic planning services, conducts research, develops and supports peer learning networks, and manages funding programs. Schoenfeld currently serves as National Coordinator for the six US Regional Arts Organizations, is the consultant to the Oklahoma Arts Council’s Arts Education State Policy Pilot Program (SP3), and recently served as the coordinator for the National Coalition for Arts’ Preparedness and Emergency Response. She has an Master of Arts in Public Affairs from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. A Vermont native, she lives in Arlington, Virginia.

Brent Shoulders
Brent Shoulders is the Associate Professor of Art at Oklahoma Panhandle State University (OPSU) in Goodwell. Originally from Sunray, Texas, Shoulders earned baccalaureate degrees in geology, health and physical education, and humanities-art from OPSU. He attended West Texas A&M University where he received a Master in Fine Arts in Ceramics and a Master of Fine Arts in Painting. Shoulders has taught in higher education for over 17 years, and in the last 14 years he has been the recipient of several honors and awards at regional art exhibitions. He has worked with colleagues to build the university’s art department and grow a culture around art since his time as an undergraduate student. Shoulders is a 2015 graduate of the Oklahoma Arts Council’s Leadership Arts program, and he remains involved in many community organizations in the Oklahoma panhandle. He currently serves on the board for Artist Incubation, INC. and the Guymon Area Arts and Humanities Council.

Jerrod Shouse
Jerrod Shouse is the founder and president of Shouse Consulting, a leading government relations and lobbying firm in Oklahoma City. Shouse has 20 years of experience working within Oklahoma state government. He has built Shouse Consulting into one of Oklahoma’s most respected public affairs firms. Shouse served as a personal assistant and as a policy advisor to Governor several issues. six years in the office of Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating. He served as the governor’s He later was press secretary for the University of Oklahoma President David Boren where he helped lead the communications strategy and acted as the spokesperson for the university. Shouse has served on the boards of the Rotary Club of Oklahoma City, the Oklahoma Philharmonic Society, the Oklahoma Arts Institute Foundation, the Urban League of Greater Oklahoma City, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber Board of Advisors, the Leadership Oklahoma City Alumni Board, and on the Governor’s Task Force on Economic Development and Job Creation. Shouse received a Bachelor of Arts degree in public affairs and administration from the University of Oklahoma.

Tava Sofsky
Tava Maloy Sofsky serves as the director of the Oklahoma Film + Music Office. She began her film career in Hollywood immediately after earning her Bachelor of Arts in Film and Media Studies from The University of Oklahoma. Early in her career, Sofsky was mentored by veteran producer Doug Claybourne. Throughout her career in film, Sofsky worked alongside such notable film industry leaders as Francis Ford Coppola, Anthony Hopkins, Steven Spielberg, Oliver Stone and Robin Williams among others. Sofsky’s credits include “The Mask of Zorrow,” “Jack,” “Beyond Borders,” “The Fast and The Furious,” “Drop Zone,” and “Money Train.” Sofsky’s endeavors include many philanthropic projects involving a complete restoration of a historic movie house, where she collaborated with state, city and community leaders. Since returning to Oklahoma, Sofsky and her husband have invested their time in launching a filmmaking camp for students in an effort to teach and develop some of Oklahoma’s creative young talent. She serves on the board of Creative Oklahoma and is an active member of the Association of Film Commissioners International.

Todd Stein
Todd Stein serves Chief Executive Officer of Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA). He joined the organization as Chief Operating Officer in 2013 to ensure the day-to-day implementation of programmatic and administrative organizational goals. Stein’s career in the arts field has been diverse and substantial. He brings 20 years of experience in strategic planning, finance, program development, and relationship management to his position. Previously he served for eight years as deputy director and Chief Operating Officer of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City. Prior to his tenure at the Kemper Museum, Stein served as director of finance and administration for M-AAA from 1996−2004. He is a board member of the Crossroads Community Association, the Arts Industry Sector Council, and the Advisory Council for the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City. Stein is a graduate of the University of Kansas.

Lucy Swanson
Lucy Swanson is the founder and Executive Director of The Arts in Guthrie (TAG). She has been involved with economic and community development, tourism, and marketing since working at The Guthrie Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau many years ago. Swanson is a graduate of the Oklahoma Arts Council’s 2013 Leadership Arts program, and she was integral in bringing and hosting the Gentlemen of the Road music festival in Guthrie in 2013. Through TAG, she has brought distinction to the community by earning recognition for the Guthrie Arts District as one of the very first Oklahoma Arts Council Certified Cultural Districts. Swanson is the founder of the newly established Paraclete Consulting. She has completed Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce Executives training and is a graduate of Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits’ Standards for Excellence training.

Marnie Taylor
Marnie Taylor began her career at Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits (OKCNP) in 2010 as president and CEO. Taylor has over 35 years of leadership and nonprofit experience and currently serves on the boards of World Neighbors, Friends of the Governor’s Mansion, Nation Council of Nonprofits, Potts Family Foundation and as chair-elect for ReMerge. Taylor is past board president of Oklahoma County Citizens for Juvenile Justice, Oklahoma Outreach Foundation, CASA of Oklahoma County, Notre Dame Club of Oklahoma City and Volunteer Center of Central Oklahoma. She has held leadership board positions for Oklahoma Arts Institute, American Red Cross, Junior League of Oklahoma City and Sunbeam Family.

Bryon Test
J. Bryon Test was born and raised in Guymon, Oklahoma. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford in 1981 and a Master of Arts from West Texas A&M University in 2001. As a professional artist, his paintings have been featured in several national festivals and exhibitions. He currently serves as the chair of the art department at Oklahoma Panhandle State University (OPSU) in Goodwell. Test is one of the founding members of the Artist Incubation, Inc. space, the Soaring Eagle Gallery, and the Wild Horse Gallery in Guymon. Test received the Arts in Education Award at the 2005 Oklahoma Governor’s Arts Awards. Test is also the founder of the Paul Farrell Memorial Art Auction, which has raised more than $200,000 in scholarships for OPSU art students.

Kelly Tompkins
Kelly Tompkins is a CNU-Accredited (Chapter of the New Urbanism) creative placemaking urbanist and the director of Main Street Enid. Tompkins is a graduate of the Oklahoma Arts Council’s 2015 Leadership Arts class is the recipient of the 2015 Oklahoma Main Street Director of the Year Award.

Phillip Whitaker
Phillip Whitaker is an Enid resident and the first Vice President and Region 8 Director of the American Kitefliers Association (AKA), a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public in the art, history, technology, and practice of building and flying kites. Whitaker oversees the planning for the American Kitefliers Association’s annual national convention. His personal collection of kites is entitled “Art in the Sky,” and it includes several kites with original designs, shapes, colors, and sizes. Whitaker serves as the Event Coordinator for the Enid Symphony Orchestra.

Kimberley Worrell
As the Director of Development for the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Kimberley Worrell spearheads the museum’s fundraising strategy, activities, relationships and programs including membership and annual giving. Worrell previously served as the museum’s Associate Development Director, planning and executing the museum’s three major fundraising events, the Museum’s membership program and its young patrons board, the Moderns. A Dallas native with a degree in dance management from Oklahoma City University, Worrell has significant expertise and experience in event production, planning and management. She served as the Director of Event and Destination Management for factor 110, where she provided meeting and event planning services to corporate, nonprofit and association clients across the country. She has also served as Assistant Director for Special Events at Oklahoma City University, where she planned, among other things, President Robert Henry’s inauguration and many of the university’s alumni activities, facility dedications, and fundraising events.

Tracy Zserdin
Tracy Zserdin is presently the president and CEO of Guthrie's Chamber of Commerce. Her career has spanned commercial property management, the fitness industry, and nonprofit promotion where she served as the United States’ representative for Team Red Bowl, an organization that feeds one million African children every day. In the last year, Zserdin has helped facilitate numerous projects and provided locations scouting assistance to the SyFy Channel’s “Ghost Hunters,” the feature film “I Can Only Imagine,” David Crowder’s “Forgiven” music video, and the feature film “Christmas in the Heartland,” the latter of which filmed entirely in Guthrie. She is thrilled to be a part of the long partnership with the film, art, and music industries.

Questions?
For more information contact our Assistant Director.