SMAC Welcomes Four New Board Members; Two Board Members retire
At the end of September the SMAC board approved a new board representative for Meeker County! This board position had been vacant for many months and we are so pleased to welcome Darlene Kotelnicki of Litchfield as our Meeker County Board Representative. Kotelnicki has served as board chair and secretary for numerous boards, including the Greater Litchfield Opera House, the Litchfield Public Library, Litchfield Public Schools, Litchfield Community Theatre and more! When asked why she was interested in serving on the SMAC board she said, “I feel we need to promote the arts in Litchfield and Meeker County. I am willing to work to do this. There is much that can be done in our county.”
For Big Stone County, John White of Ortonville will be retiring at the end of December after serving on our board for two full terms (three years each) and the partial term he filled when starting on our board.
Please help us thank John White (pictured right) for his time and dedication to Big Stone County through supporting and promoting the arts there and in our whole region for the maximum amount of terms with our board!
Help us welcome Janine Teske as the new Big Stone County representative for our board:
Janine Teske of Clinton is a grateful patron of the arts since being involved at Willmar Community College and The Barn Theatre in Willmar in the early 80s and at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall. She was also involved in college choir and was a member of the long standing women’s singing group “Showstoppers” in the Twin Cities before returning to Clinton to live. As a former Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley School Board member and other organizations in Big Stone County, she enjoys seeing the opportunities that SMAC has been able to help support.
For Murray County, Carisa Clarke of Slayton has served as the representative for her county for a partial term. We thank her for her time with our organization! The SMAC board will be welcoming Jessica Welu of Slayton as the new Murray County representative starting in January!
Jessica Welu has been a member of the Minnesota Valley Chorale, the Southwest Minnesota State University Choirs and the Al Opland Singers of Pipestone. She has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing with a focus in poetry from the Minnesota State University in Mankato and also taught creative writing there as a Teaching Assistant. Welu also brings her knowledge working with boards and board member responsibilities through her work at Southwest Regional Development Commission, as well as her understanding of the development work within the southwest region and communities. When asked why she was interested in a board position with SMAC, she said “Art has the ability of helping to create more vibrant communities, helps to build connections, and helps attract tourism and development–as an RDC staff, these are areas that drive my work, but art is also something I’m personally passionate about. As a creative writer and art enthusiast, I would like to see arts opportunities grow in the region. I believe that art is a community need and I want to be an advocate for the growth of arts opportunities in the region.”
For Nobles County, Brett Lehman of Worthington will be retiring at the end of December after serving our board for two full terms (3 years each).
Please help us thank Brett Lehman (pictured left) for his time and dedication to Nobles County through supporting and promoting the arts there and in our whole region for the maximum amount of terms with our board!
Help us welcome Cheryl Avenel-Navara of Worthington as the new Worthington county representative for our board! Avenel-Navara is a retired educator from Higher Education and currently substitutes in Middle and High School classes in all disciplines. She said she is not an artist herself, but is a strong advocate for arts and artists of all disciplines and a dedicated consumer of art. She is the current chair of the Worthington Public Arts Commission and has served as a grant writer and committee member for the Worthington International Festival Committee, as well as been a grant review panelist for SMAC on many occasions. When asked why she was interested in serving on the SMAC board she replied that she had spoken to the past board representative for Nobles county about the responsibilities of being a board member and thought she could “bring a consumer’s perspective” to the board and that she’s interested in promoting the arts in Worthington and Nobles county and “making art available to all of our communities”.
SMAC is still seeking representatives from Lac qui Parle County and McLeod County to serve on it’s Board of Directors. We thank Lauren Carlson (formerly of Dawson) for serving as our Lac qui Parle representative for a partial term before moving and Greg Jodzio of Hutchinson for serving on two partial term as our McLeod representative.
If you live or work in Lac qui Parle or McLeod county and are interested in a position on our board here are some details: The Board meets monthly on the 4th Tuesday evening, currently virtually, to set policies, make final decisions on grant awards with input from grant review panels, share ideas and information from their representative counties, and to design programs that enable SMAC to best serve our communities. To learn more and to fill out an application, please go to www.swmnarts.org/about/become-a-board-member/