The Festival staff works part time year-round to plan and implement the Festival. In it’s sixth decade, the Festival is one of the oldest and largest in the Northwest, with a rich history. Since the early 60’s the Festival has been building a Permanent Collection that includes pieces from many prestigious Northwest artists.
Meredith McIlmoyle, Executive Director, has an extensive background in event management and was the publisher of Event Solutions magazine, a trade publication for event professionals. Most recently she has been employed by United General Hospital as the Communications Coordinator in charge of events, marketing and fundraising. She has worked as a Festival volunteer for five years.
Jennifer Wilson – Jennifer is the front point administrative, volunteer, and membership coordinator. She assists the director with office management , communications, and special event coordination. She is also responsible for overseeing the recruitment, selection, and training of volunteers.
Rita James – Rita has moved into the role of Creative Manager. She works on creative development, and oversees the Arts at the Port fine art show and Working Studios – as well as managing Festival marketing.
Don Morton – Don is our resident Webmaster and computer expert. He maintains our award winning web site and helps us evolve technologically to meet the changing demands of our business. We increasingly look to Don to streamline how we communicate and increase our efficiency through the use of technology.
Judy Baker – Judy works closely with the director in developing the yearly budget and making sure the Board has accurate financial reports. She’s the last one to leave as the Festival winds down and revenues are tabulated.
Kerry Allen – Though not technically staff, Kerry has become part of the office team through her regular volunteering schedule. Able and willing to help as needed and with a positive attitude, Kerry exemplifies the perfect volunteer.
The Anacortes Arts Festival is a nonprofit organization that promotes and funds arts, artists and art education to create a vibrant arts community with the following objectives:
- To produce an Annual Arts Festival and Fine Art Show. This is our primary focus each year and provides much of the means for us to support our other objectives.
- To foster the growth and dissemination of the arts through the annual awarding of grants to artists and arts organizations, with an emphasis on those that have an impact on Anacortes and Fidalgo Island.
- To promote and support a variety of arts activities throughout the year, either on our own or with the cooperation of other art organizations.
Board of Directors
Lisa Kuhnlein – Lisa, Board President, is a commercial photographer, artist and owner of KP Studios in Anacortes. She has a background of fine arts and working relationships with both regional artists and community non-profits organizations. Her busy life is rounded out with two young children.
Christine Cleland-McGrath – Christine, Board Vice President, has shown an enthusiasm for new ideas and the hard work to implement them. Her connections in the community are a valuable source of skilled volunteers and improved business associations.
Julie Lindsey – Julie, Board Secretary, is a long-time Anacortes resident. She works as an Executive Assistant for the Port of Anacortes, and spends her free time actively involved in the Anacortes Community Theater – both as an Actor and Director. She is a strong performance art advocate.
Mark Lione – Mark, Board Treasurer, is the owner of the Cap Sante Inn and a community activist for tourism and economic development. His background includes time in the textile industry and professional theater. His broad business perspective and experience in hospitality make him a valuable addition to the Board.
Bailey Cunningham – Bailey is a graphic designer, mixed media artist and writer. She brings her design skills to the creative mix of festival board members as well as a penchant for collaborative art projects and mandalas.
Peter Heffelfinger – Peter comes to the Board with a valuable background in both the arts and non-profit administration. He has served as a Staff Assistant and Entertainment Director for the Festival, Executive Director of the Lincoln Theater and Curator at the Anacortes Museum, as well as many other community efforts.
Steve Klein – Steve Klein is a full time artist that lives in La Conner, WA where he maintains a studio and makes his distinctive kiln-formed and blown glass work. Steve teaches his unique approach to kiln working throughout the US, Europe and Asia. He also serves on the board of the Pilchuck Glass School and the Museum of Northwest Art.
Suzanne Mondello – Suzanne is a life time supporter of the arts and has served on numerous art related boards. She focuses on strategy and development and is committed to creating venues and programs for artists of all ages in our community and beyond.
Susan Parke – After taking a short sabbatical, Susan Parke has rejoined the board. Her illustrious career included Director and Curator of the Museum of Northwest Art. Actively involved in production and coordination of Festival fine art shows, she is stepping into the role of Fine Art Committee Chair. Though retired, Susan remains an active arts and community participant.
Ora Petersen – As an Anacortes native, Ora is seeped both in the community and its rich artistic culture. She has a degree in studio art and history as a youth arts teacher, calligrapher, and visual artist. She has strong connections with regional artists and a desire to impact community arts.
Candice Reid – Candice Reid has spent her career as an arts educator, working primarily with high school students and 3D art forms. She was honored with the Walter A. Brodniak Cultural Education Award from the Anacortes School District in 2014. She also coordinated the first two years of the Festival Steamroller Block Printing Project.
Mary Staley – Mary Staley recently evolved from Festival volunteer to board member. She has a professional background in marketing, and a creative brain that complements event planning. She helped develop the Waterfront Pub and is moving into the Board Coordinator for the Working Studios Area. Mary is also a community activist, volunteering her time to numerous community service efforts.
John Sternlicht – John is the CEO of the Economic Development Alliance of Skagit County and a relatively new Anacortes resident. He is a longtime arts supporter (visual, theater, choral…), and is currently involved through EDASC in strategies promoting arts, leisure and tourism as an important part of economic development and quality of life.