Board & Staff

Board of Directors

Big Stone

Open

If you are interested in becoming the Big Stone county representative on the SMAC board, please visit our webpage on becoming a SMAC board member. Term expires 12/2026.

Chippewa

M E (Maggie) Fuller
Montevideo
Term expires 12/2025


M E (Maggie) Fuller resides in Montevideo and is the author of 2 works of fiction, a writing coach, visual artist, public speaker and community organizer. Maggie worked as a graphic designer and art director in Minneapolis for over 30 years until she moved to Montevideo, where she now works on her art in her home studio. In 2021 Maggie was the recipient of a SMAC Individual Artist grant and turned her artistic practice to abstract expressionism. She has also been a Minnesota State Arts Board and Five Wings Arts Council grantee for her writing practice. Since moving to Montevideo, Maggie has been active in local arts and as a SMAC board representative for Chippewa county, she has already started to support and encourage Chippewa artists by creating a Facebook page specifically for Chippewa County Artists! If you’re an artist in Chippewa County, Maggie would love to connect and start discussions on what’s needed to enhance the arts community in Chippewa County. Contact her at mefuller.arts@gmail.com or 218-839-4215.

Cottonwood

Anna Johannsen
Windom
Term expires 12/2024


Anna is a fiber artist who invented the concept of using 3D glasses and certain colors of fabrics to create 3D quilts and wall hangings. Her work has been featured in many exhibits, including four solo shows. Anna has been a teacher for 42 years and started the art program at the Alternative Learning Center in Windom. Anna says becoming a SMAC board member will be an exciting, new experience where she can expand her horizons, meet new people, help people, and gain new perspectives. She has had experience applying for, and receiving, a SMAC grant to take her ALC students on a field trip to the Minneapolis Institute of Art, after which they held a community art show. She says, “I remember the excitement of it all and want to help others as I was, to give my students new experiences and culture.”

Jackson

Open

If you are interested in becoming the Jackson county representative on the SMAC board, please visit our webpage on becoming a SMAC board member. Term expires 12/2024.

Headshot of Ana Serrano

Kandiyohi

Ana Serrano
Willmar
Term Expires 12/2025

Ana Serrano of Willmar received a SMAC Artist Equity grant in 2022 and was featured as a SMAC gallery artist. Ana describes herself as a Mexican American artist who works mainly in oil paints and ballpoint pen. Her artwork is characterized by its vibrant color palette, bold and striking patterns, and its formal expression of culture and identity. Her artwork is a colorful reflection of her unique culture and identity, and it makes a powerful and bold statement about the beauty of Mexican American cultural identity. When asked why she was interested in being a representative on the SMAC board, she said she wanted to meet and connect with different artists and like-minded people in the area and to bring a cultural representative to the board, as well as understand the process of arts funding more fully. We're so excited to have you Ana and we look forward to working more with you

Lac qui Parle

Kristine Shelstad
Madison
Term Expires 12/2025


Kristine Shelstad is the “Energizing Officer” of the Madison Mercantile; a community center that will include an art gallery, artists studios, performance stage and entrepreneurial spaces. Kristine is an Initiator Fellow for the Southwest Initiative Foundation, and has previously served as a board member of the Spicewood Arts Society in TX, as well as served in Rotary Clubs and Veteran Service Organizations. She is currently the Junior Vice Commander of the VFW Post 1656 in Madison and is a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel. Kristine is also a member of the Madison Arts Council, which promotes public art in Madison, and is involved with the local theatre group, the Lac qui Parle Players. Kristine attended the University of Minnesota, Morris, with a minor in Studio Art. She is interested in serving on the SMAC board because she wants to bring arts opportunities to underserved populations in her county.

Lincoln

Mark Wilmes
Tyler
Term expires 12/2024


Mark has served 23 years on the Lake Benton Opera House Board of Directors and is currently the president of their board as well as the Artistic Director for the Opera House. He has also worked as a newspaper editor since 1997 in Lincoln county and is currently managing editor for the Tyler, Lake Benton and Hendricks newspapers. Wilmes has been honored multiple times by the Minnesota Newspaper Association in the areas of ad creation, photography and as a columnist. When asked why he was interested in serving on the SMAC board of directors he said, “I am a strong believer in SMAC’s mission and would like to ensure Lincoln County is represented. SMAC has been a great benefit to our organization over the years and I would like to give back in a small way by helping other small groups benefit in the same way.”

Lyon

Dr. Erin Kline
Marshall
Term expires 12/2025


Dr. Erin Kline of Marshall holds a doctorate in Sociology with a specialization in race, class and gender intersections. She works at Southwest Minnesota State University as the associate director for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Mustang Pathway program, as well as adjuncts in sociology. When asked why she was interested in serving on the SMAC board, she said, “I benefited so much from my participation in the arts that I would love to be able to continue to support the arts in a more direct way, and I believe this is possible from a position on the SMAC board. In addition, I strongly believe that valuing the arts begins at a young age. My children all demonstrate different talents and interests in the arts, and I want to help to insure and promote art on a wider scale because without art we begin to lose our ability to identify our shared humanity. This is crucial if we ever hope to attain a more peaceful world.”

McLeod

Open

If you are interested in becoming the McLeod county representative on the SMAC board, please visit our webpage on becoming a SMAC board member. Term expires 12/2026.

Meeker

Darlene Kotelnicki
Litchfield
Term expires 12/2025


Darlene 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.”

Murray

Open

If you are interested in becoming the Murray county representative on the SMAC board, please visit our webpage on becoming a SMAC board member. Term expires 12/2026.

Nobles

Cheryl Avenel-Navara
Worthington
Term expires 12/2023


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”.

Pipestone

Erica Volkir
Pipestone
Term Expires 12/2024


Erica is the Executive Director for the Pipestone Area Chamber of Commerce. She has a liberal arts education as well as a law degree and is a board member for many organizations in the Pipestone and surrounding area. When asked why she was interested in representing Pipestone county for the SMAC board, Erica replied, “I would like to help enhance the quality of life in southwest Minnesota to include exposure to and experiences with a wide variety of arts for all ages. One’s exposure to quality artistic performances, exhibits, and events should not be dependent upon either geography or income.” She also added that she has a great interest in public art and the arts as “economic development drivers to create beautiful spaces to live, work, and play” and that she is personally greatly inspired by the arts, both through attending and organizing events of all types.

Redwood

Su Kyung Lee
Lamberton
Term expires 12/2026

More info coming soon!

Renville

Open

If you are interested in becoming the Renville county representative on the SMAC board, please visit our webpage on becoming a SMAC board member. Term expires 12/2024.

Rock

Shawn Kinsinger
Luverne
Term expires 12/2024

Shawn is the Executive Director for the Palace Theatre in Luverne. He also has experience as the Vice President of Green Earth Players Community Theatre, a board member of Luverne Street Music and Artistic Director for the Luverne High School Theater. Shawn is highly involved both on-stage and back-stage for theater and musical productions in Luverne. Previously Shawn has written, recorded and performed music in a touring band for seven years. When asked why he was interested in serving on the SMAC Board as a representative for Rock County, he said, “I have lived in Luverne most of my life. I have watched my hometown grow and thrive in ways that I never thought it could, and much of that is thanks to the arts. The arts in Luverne are able to thrive thanks in part to SMAC. Helping SMAC continue to support the arts in towns all across southwest Minnesota is a good way to continue that growth.”

black and white headshot of Jessica Mata

Swift

Jessica Mata
Kerkhoven
Term expires 12/2026


Jessica Mata of Kerkhoven is part of the Kerkhoven Arts Council and enjoys painting (watercolor, oil, acrylic, facepainting) and drawing. She also enjoys dancing for fitness! Jessica has a degree in Interior Design and says her design work focuses mainly on color. When asked why she was interested in serving on the SMAC board, she said she is interested in sharing her culture and involving her community in the arts, and that she looks forward to the fusion of her cultural and traditional arts knowledge with community arts involvement in Swift and southwest Minnesota.

Yellow Medicine

Open

If you are interested in becoming the Yellow Medicine county representative on the SMAC board, please visit our webpage on becoming a SMAC board member. Term expires 12/2025.

SMAC Staff

Nicole DeBoer

Executive Director

Nicole describes herself as a doer and a dreamer: an out of practice visual artist who believes everything can be renovated – including people. As the Executive Director of the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council, DeBoer enjoys meeting and helping artists and organizations who produce and support the arts. She has been at the arts council, which serves 18-counties and provides arts funding and services, for over a decade. There isn’t an artform she won’t try – but most of all prefers to see others succeed in sharing their art.

When not promoting the arts in rural MN, she enjoys DIY projects around her 1880s house and working on converting a century granary into a cabin. If she had a tattoo it would either say “If 2 Be/Up 2 Me” or “Stick to the Plan!”

If you are interested in consulting with Nicole on arts access for our region, schedule a meeting by clicking here.

nicole@swmnarts.org

Caroline Koska

Financial & Grants Administrator

Caroline Koska is originally from Marshall and has worked for SW MN Arts Council since 2011, first as Administrative Assistant and for the last several years as Financial/Grants Administrator. She has an arts background in music. With a degree in vocal performance, Caroline loves to sing and also plays piano, flute, and, as a new venture, harp. She has taught piano lessons, done music for church and community theater, and dabbled in acting in community theater productions as well. Caroline’s other hobbies include reading and sewing.

If you are interested in consulting with Caroline on on grant eligibility, using the application system, or reviewing a draft of a grant application, schedule a meeting by clicking here.

caroline@swmnarts.org

Krystl Louwagie

Access & Marketing Coordinator

Krystl Louwagie grew up on a Minnesota farm. She graduated with a Studio Art degree with an emphasis in intaglio printmaking from Hamline University in St. Paul. She now lives in Marshall and works full-time for SMAC. On the side, she finds time to work as a commission artist, professional facepainter, petting zoo assistant, Body Pump gym instructor, and pet sitter.

Her interest in the arts began early through illustrated fairy tale books, super-hero comics, animated cartoons and a healthy appreciation of musicals, theatre and dance.

She’s also enthusiastic about reading, exercising, the outdoors, cooking, and animals (especially cats)! She believes strongly in equity and community-building in rural spaces.

You can follow her artistic journey on Facebook & Instagram or Krystl’s website. She mostly creates ink portraits (people & pets) and short autobiographical comics about her life. If you are interested in consulting with Krystl about marketing, artist promotion, or social media content, schedule a meeting by clicking here.

krystl@swmnarts.org

Latisha Wade

Move for America Fellow & SMAC Arts Ambassador

"Greetings! My name is Latisha Wade. I was born in St Thomas, and raised in Boston, MA by a village of many mothers. First came the mother who named me. Then the mother who gave birth to me. Followed by the many mothers who’ve nurtured and delivered me to the next mother. My current mother is the earth. I feel deeply seen, supported and held through her guardianship as I transition fully into adulthood.

The footprints of my lineage thus far have not been recorded. Sometimes I feel pressure to claim a particular land because it is how the dominant Western culture understands home, place and belonging. Grounding my sense of security into the earth is helping me feel at home wherever I am on the planet. I’ve come to honor the ambiguity of displacement as a part of my origin and present-day story. It is challenging for me to reconcile with the violence and grief associated with displacement. At the same time, I am learning to accept the truth of a migratory past and present. My last name, Wade, means to go or to ford. I’m learning to surrender to movement as intrinsic to my purpose and life journey. When I arrived in Minnesota, I felt held, as if the trees and water from Massachusetts whispered to its siblings here that I was coming. I remain in honor and respect to the original stewards and keepers of this land.

For the next year, I have committed to serving as an AmeriCorps Vista member through the host community engagement fellowship, Move for America. I will be working alongside the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council as an arts ambassador. As a painter and storyteller, I am entering this work eager to connect with local artists. My relationship to creation has always been a way to practice being present in my body. It wasn’t until high school that I got the opportunity to take an art class. Having access to quality materials, skilled practicing artists as teachers, and most importantly a community of other creators deeply transformed my relationship to making. Being in a community that valued the arts expanded my own appreciation for and understanding of art as a sacred practice to be treasured. At heart, I understand myself as a multimedia record keeper, collecting and creating fossils to maintain our shared memory. My growing relationship with farming, birth work and herbalism inspire my interest in practicing art as medicine and medicine as art.

I look forward to learning the specificity of how the earth expresses itself in Minnesota and I’m excited to connect with the Southwest Minnesota art community."

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