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GIG Fund Advisory Committee

The GIG Fund Advisory committee is made up of 14 individuals with diverse personal and professional experiences related to the arts and creativity. Along with State Arts Agency staff, the Advisory committee assess GIG Fund applications and provide input to help guide Arts Midwest’s grantmaking priorities and processes.

2021 Committee Members

Adam DesJardins (MI)

Adam DesJardins is the Resource Services Coordinator at CultureSource, a regional arts service organization working to support arts and cultural organizations and artists in the seven counties of Southeast Michigan. Adam works to coordinate CultureSource’s regranting initiatives and connect people to monetary and non-monetary resources to better support and develop their work in arts and culture. Hailing from Ann Arbor and currently rooted in Detroit, Adam has years of experience in, and passion for, arts and cultural programming throughout Michigan and beyond. He has worked for a plethora of arts organizations including CMAP, the Ann Arbor Summer Festival, UMS, the Detroit Jazz Festival, and VSA/Accessibility at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Most recently, Adam designed and managed programs and convenings at CultureSource as Programs Manger, and was a 2019 Creative Community Fellow via National Arts Strategies. Adam has a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Michigan, enjoys junking for free furniture in Detroit, dancing, and spending time with his grandparents.

Anupama Mirle (OH)

A native of India, Anupa possesses an MFA in Dance, an MBA, and an MS in Chemistry, the latter of which brought her to Cincinnati to work for P&G before founding NSPA. Anupa has been recognized for her contributions to the community by Eye of the Artist (2015 Dada Rafiki), the Ohio Arts Council ( 2103 Heritage Fellow) and UNESCO (2006 Council of Dance). Invited as a judge for inter-collegiate competitions like Midwest Masala and Bollywood America, she also serves as a cultural consultant and choreographer for non-Indian specific organizations, such as the Cincinnati Childrens’ Theater production of The Jungle Book.

Bethany Gladhill (MN)

Bethany Gladhill is an arts and non-profit management consultant with a wide range of experience. After almost two decades working with theaters in the Twin Cities (Theatre de la Jeune Lune, the Jungle, Nautilus Music-Theater among others), she founded Gladhill Rhone LLC twelve years ago and has not looked back since. Her clients range from circuses to labor unions, service organizations to think tanks, film to preschools. She’s been described as a “swiss army knife” of non-profit management, with skills ranging from financials to strategic planning, with some evaluation, fundraising, HR, and operations thrown in. If Bethany can get you to start thinking about management in a practical way that supports your organization’s core functions and makes you feel empowered in your work, she will have succeeded!

Brianne Sanchez (IA)

Brianne Sanchez is a writer and nonprofit capacity builder with a background in higher education and philanthropy based in Des Moines, Iowa. She volunteers her leadership with the Des Moines Public Library Foundation and The Avenues of Ingersoll & Grand, a local cultural and entertainment district.

Contessa Lobley (WI)

Contessa Lobley (Cole) is the Principal/CEO of CC Consulting Group, LLC. She is also the Executive Director/Founder of TBEY Arts Center Inc., a tax-exempt nonprofit 501©3 organization that provides access to affordable and quality after-school and summer educational arts programs to Milwaukee area youth. TBEY was founded by Lobley at the age of 16, after seeing the arts were being cut from many schools. Lobley recognized the need for underserved youth to have a safe place to explore, engage and express themselves in a structured environment. Lobley strives to help build future artist, patrons of the arts and diverse audiences. Lobley received her master’s degree in Cultural Foundations of Education and Bachelor of Science degree in Community Education with a sub-major in community-based organization and administrative leadership and a Business Minor from the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee. Mrs. Lobley plans to further her education and receive her doctrine for nonprofit management in the near future. Lobley is an advocate for the arts and entrepreneurship and is an active volunteer and has received several acknowledgements throughout her career. She is a mentor and guest lecturer on topics such as; the arts, youth, nonprofit and entrepreneurship. Lobley holds a strong commitment to making the Greater Milwaukee area a better place to live and work.

D. Del Reverda-Jennings (IN)

My Interdisciplinary practice draws from a kaleidoscope of cultural nuance, experience, insight and connection as a published journalist, arts editor, author and poet. I have extensive experience in the Fine Arts as a prolific artist who fabricates outputs that push the boundaries of creativity in award-winning 2, 3 -Dimensional work which feature personal symbolism and reflective imagery pervasive of African and Latin Diasporic culture relative to contemporary women of color, my lineage and the Divine Feminine. My artworks have been exhibited and are held in private and corporate collections internationally. I am presently an Artist Ambassador with the Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF), an Equity Ambassador for The Arts Council of Indianapolis (ACI), an ACI Arts Partner for Art & Soul (Visual), and Founder/Independent Curator of the Annual FLAVA FRESH ! Juried Exhibition Presentation Series of Contemporary Art.

David Cotter (OH)

Currently, David is an assistant professor of theatre at Heidelberg University where he teaches courses in musical theatre, acting, arts education, and design. David previously served as the Managing Artistic Director of Town Hall Theatre, the only theatre in Dayton, Ohio exclusively presenting work for young audiences. During his tenure at Townhall Theatre, he oversaw a facilities upgrade, an educational curriculum overhaul, and developed new work. David was the Director of Education at The Redhouse Arts Center in Syracuse, NY where he supervised a $3.2 million education collaboration program that focused arts integration and collaboration with students in the Syracuse City School District and employed over 30 full-time teaching artists. David is a certified music educator in Ohio and New York and spent time in the middle school choral classroom. He is a frequent presenter at conferences, which include the Southeastern Theatre Conference, American Alliance for Theatre Education, Florida Theatre Conference, New York State Theatre Education Association, and Tedx.

Hugh Weber (SD)

Hugh Weber is a senior executive, network theorist, community organizer, and strategic advisor who counsels established leaders facing uncertainty across multiple industries including design, media, government, and business. After spending more than a decade leading political campaigns throughout the United States, Weber founded OTA, a cultural organization focused on connecting creative disciplines across North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota; and We Must Be Bold, a community design collective working with global brands to design relationships of impact. In 2019, he acquired The Great Discontent, a media company and thriving community featuring emerging artists, designers, and culture creators. Hugh Weber previously served on the National Board of AIGA, the professional organization for design, and the advisory board for Design for America, a network of campus studios that harnesses design to create local and social impact.

Ipsita Mahapatra (IL)

Ipsita Mahapatra is an accomplished Indian classical dancer, choreographer, author, actor and director, having numerous productions to her credit. She works as a strategic technology executive leading organizations through change and transformations and volunteers her time to provide cultural leadership and engagement with the communities. She is a leader and cultural ambassador in the Indian – American diaspora and has been providing education, outreach and engagement for art and culture for the past twenty five years in the Chicago area. She has been awarded several community awards for artistic excellence and cultural support. As a teacher and choreographer, she has also been a former recipient of Master Artist grants from the Illinois Arts Council.


Monica Lee Jackson (MI)

A native of Pittsburgh, PA, Ms. Jackson received her B.M. and M.M. in Violin Performance from Oberlin Conservatory, OH, and University of Michigan School of Music, Theater & Dance, Ann Arbor, respectively. Her 40-plus years of professional performance experience has given her the privilege of performing with artists such as Stevie Wonder and Andrea Bocelli. As the Asst. to Director of Production and Artist Services Coordinator at Michigan Opera Theatre (Detroit), Ms. Jackson had the honor of working with artists such as Luciano Pavarotti and Denyce Graves, coordinating contracts, negotiating housing and travel and disbursing compensation. After 40 years of teaching, Ms. Jackson retired her private violin studio and currently freelances in the Metro Detroit area.

Dr. Terry Whitt Bailey (IN)

Dr. Terry Whitt Bailey is admired as an arts administrator, community activist, city leader and college advocate. Terry currently serves as Vice President & Chief Program at the Center for Leadership Development in Central Indiana. Prior to that, Terry had a successful career as an arts administrator, serving as President & Chief Executive Officer of the Historic Madame Walker Theatre Center in Indianapolis and Cornerstone Center for the Arts in East Central Indiana. She also served as President of Indiana Coalition for the Arts, the state’s advocacy organization. Terry previously held positions with Ball State University, most notably as Chief of Staff for the Office of the President. She also was an Assistant Professor at Ball State where she taught dance and fitness classes and was a faculty choreographer for BSU Dance Company. Terry was also Assistant Professor of Dance & Fitness at Chicago State University where she founded CSU Danceworks, Chicago State’s premier dance company. Terry earned her B.A. degrees in Dance Education and Communication from Rutgers University and her M.A. in Dance Education with an emphasis in Dance History from UCLA. She has a D.Min. in Ministry Studies from Newburgh Theological Seminary. Terry is currently co-coordinator of the Indiana Legislative Arts Advocacy Council and spends her free time reviewing arts grant proposals at the state, regional and national levels.

Xela Garcia (WI)

Marcela “Xela” Garcia is a Xicana artist, innovator and cultural warrior that currently serves as the Executive Director at Walker’s Point Center for the Arts in Milwaukee, WI. She brings broad experience in arts and culture administration, education, philanthropy and organizational sustainability. She earned her BA in English Literature with an emphasis in Creative Writing & Chicanx/Latinx Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and also holds a certification in Nonprofit Leadership. Xela was awarded Board Sources’ National Emerging Non-Profit Leader Award in 2012, was recognized as Wisconsin’s Most Powerful Latinos in 2018, was selected to the 2020 class of the Milwaukee Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Award and was one of 16 national leaders to be selected as an Arts + Culture Leaders of Color Fellow with Americans for the Arts. She currently serves as a mayoral appointee to the City of Milwaukee Arts Board and was elected to serve as a Milwaukee Public Schools Board of Director for District #6 in April of 2021.

Yolanda Cesta Cursach Montilla (IL)

Yolanda Cesta Cursach Montilla (she/ella) is a native of Italy and grew up in Spain. She is Co-Executive and Artistic Director at High Concept Labs, independent curator, and member of Creative Independent Producers Alliance. She is former Curator of Performance at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Her practice is defined by working with artists at every stage of process, production, presentation, and touring, and building collaborative environments that center community and partnerships. She is Curator of Destinos International Latino Theater Festival produced by Chicago Latino Theater Alliance; Mentor for Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artists; Artistic Associate for the FACE Foundation; and Facilitator for Moving Forward Dialogues at the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography. She is a Practitioner with Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation, and recent service as panelist includes Creative Capital and The McKnight Foundation. She is the recipient of the Paul Harris Fellow Lifetime Award for Humanitarian Work by Rotary International. She holds a BA from Syracuse University and was an MA student in Political Science under Drs. Lloyd Rudolph and Susanne Hoeber Rudolph at The University Chicago.