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 person at the Festival, assisting the director with office management, communications and special event coordination. She also manages the Giving Program, Booth Artisan Services, Collectors Club, Spring Fest and any other new event the Festival produces.
Rita James – Rita is the Festival’s amazing 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.
Geralyn Curtis – Geralyn is our new Volunteer Coordinator – helping recruit, schedule and train approximately 250 volunteers each festival. She has volunteered with the Festival herself, for over 20 years.
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.
Laurie Ryan – Our new bookkeeper… More soon.
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
Julie Lindsey – Julie, Past Board President, is a long-time Anacortes resident. She works as the City Clerk for the city of Oak Harbor, 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 President, 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.
Mary Staley – Mary Staley, Board Vice President, 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.
Christine Cleland-McGrath – Christine is a current Anacortes City Council Member. She has shown an enthusiasm for new ideas and the hard work to implement them. As past Board President, Christine has been a vital part of the Anacortes Arts Festival. Her connections in the community are a valuable source of skilled volunteers and improved business associations.
Treva King – Treva, Board Treasurer, a former high school English teacher, currently works in communications for Anacortes School District. An avid supporter of performing and visual arts, Treva has been involved with Anacortes Community Theatre, on and off stage and as a Class ACT teacher, Skagit River Poetry Festival and Voices of the Children. She joined the board after enjoying AAF as a volunteer for several years.
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.
Marc Knowles is our newest Festival board member and comes with a valuable background and skill set. He is a multi-media artist and previous Festival booth artisan; in fact, winning the Best of Fest Award in 2011 for his booth featuring glass, wood and metals. He is currently a kindergarten teacher at Whitney Elementary in Anacortes and a youth arts education advocate.
Jim MacDonald – Jim MacDonald, Board Treasurer, transitioned to the Board after years of volunteering for the Festival – including being named our Volunteer of the Year in 2017. His background is in broadcast media which brings with it experience in event planning and production.
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.
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.