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GIG Fund Panelists

The GIG Fund panel is a rotating group of individuals with diverse personal and professional experiences related to the arts and creativity. Along with State Arts Agency staff, these panelists assess GIG Fund applications and provide input to help guide Arts Midwest’s grantmaking priorities and processes.

Current Panelists

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!

Email: bethany (at) gladhillrhone (dot) com

Alyssa Stormes (MN)

Alyssa Stormes is a Creative Director based in Uptown, Minneapolis. She graduated with a degree in Film from the University of Iowa, with minors in violin performance, theatre arts and a Certificate in Entrepreneurship in the Performing Arts. Directly following her undergrad she worked on the state of Iowa’s first nonprofit produced film, The Seagull.

Since moving to Minneapolis in 2016, she has continued her dedication to working with nonprofit, community, and arts-based organizations in addition to pursuing her own artistic practice in film, animation, illustration, and design. In 2021 she launched her production company, Fifth House. She is currently in production of the company’s first short film. She maintains close relationships with the Minneapolis Film Society, Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival, Hennepin Theatre Trust, Springboard for the Arts, MRAC, Arts Midwest, and the MSAB in a variety of different advisory roles.

Email: hello (at) alyssastormes (dot) com

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.

Ann Taecker (SD)

Visual artist, arts administrator, event/program developer and professional grant specialist are some of the many hats Ann Taecker wears. Endorsed by the SD Arts Council, she takes vacation from her day gig securing millions in grant funding to spend time as artist in residence in communities across the state. Ann is a firm believer that creative placemaking has the power to not only enrich our lives but also to drive economic development in communities large and small.

D. Del Reverda-Jennings (IN)

As an Indianapolis-based Alaskan native, my Interdisciplinary practice draws from a kaleidoscope of cultural nuance, experience, insight and connection having extensive experience in the Fine Arts as a prolific self-taught 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. These artworks have been exhibited and are held in private and corporate collections internationally. My portfolio includes my work as a published journalist, arts editor, author, poet, instructor, a noted lecturer and mentor in respect to the rich culture but largely unknown/invisible treasure of Artists of Color in Indiana and emerging contemporary women artists. Presently I am seated as an Artist Ambassador with the Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF); an Arts Council of Indianapolis (ACI), Arts Partner for Art & Soul (Visual); an Equity Ambassador for The Arts Council of Indianapolis; and as Founder/CEO and Independent Curator of the Annual FLAVA FRESH ! Juried Exhibition Presentation Series of Contemporary Fine Art which is currently celebrating its twenty-fourth anniversary of striving to bring novice, emergent, early to mid-career artists to the forefront of the arts mainstream.

Email: D.DelReverdaJennings (at) gmail (dot) com
FLAVAFRESHIndianapolis1 (at) gmail (dot) com

Deleasa Randall-Griffiths, Ph.D. (OH)

Deleasa Randall-Griffiths is a Professor, Chair, and Director of the Online Undergraduate Communication Studies Program in the Department of Communication Studies at Ashland University. She earned her both her M.S. and Ph.D. at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale where she specialized in interpersonal communication and performance studies. She teaches courses in interpersonal, intercultural, conflict, and family communication. She is the recipient of the 2020 Taylor Teaching Award at Ashland University and the 2012 Ohio Communication Association Innovative Teacher Award. Her research interests include: narrative-based methodologies, medical humanities, family communication, storytelling, and historical performance. She serves as co-chair of Ashland Chautauqua, an organization bringing history to life through performance. Since 2015, she has presented her own portrayal of suffragist Carrie Chapman Catt.

Email: drandall (at) ashland (dot) edu
Phone: 419-289-5143

Genevieve Trainor (IA)

Genevieve Trainor, publisher and arts editor at Little Village Magazine, is an editor, critic, and creator based in Iowa City, Iowa. Passions include comic books, stoner rock, tabletop gaming, and local breweries. They write and perform poetry sometimes, and they enjoy taking the stage in musical and theatrical capacities on occasion as well. Genevieve sits on the board of Public Space One and is part of the Center for Afrofuturist Studies Advisory Circle. Everything good about them is attributable to wife Madeline and offspring Calliope, D.C., and Thalia.

Email: genevieve (at) littlevillagemag (dot) com

Greg Blair (IN)

Greg Blair resides in Evansville, Indiana with his wife, two children, and their energetic firecracker of a dog, Luna. Blair is an Assistant Professor of Art and Design at the University of Southern Indiana where he teaches digital design and art history courses. Blair’s research incorporates multidisciplinary art practices, mobility studies, cultural geography, environmental aesthetics, and philosophies of place. His art making practice is highly eclectic and intentionally intertwines various forms of writing, publishing, zines, sculpture, photography, sound art, earth art, installation, and video. His first book, Errant Bodies, Mobility, and Political Resistance was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2018. Blair’s latest book project, The Politics of Spatial Transgressions in the Arts, was published in early 2021.

Email: gblair1 (at) usi (dot) edu

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.

Email: hugh (at) hughweber (dot) com

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.


Jamie Lyn Smith (OH)

Jamie Lyn Smith is the Development and Writing Programs Manager at the Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County, in central Ohio who specializes in community partnerships, arts programs, and library development. A writer, editor, and teacher, she earned her BA in English and Theatre from Kenyon College, her Masters in Education from Fordham University, and her MFA in Creative Writing from Ohio State. Jamie Lyn is the Fiction Editor and Chief Operations Officer at BreakBread Magazine and a Consulting Editor for the Kenyon Review. Her work has appeared in The Pinch, The Mississippi Review, The Kenyon Review, American Literary Review, Yemassee, Bayou, and other fine literary magazines. Her short story collection, Township, debuted from Cornerstone Press in 2022. She is currently writing Hometown, the novel for which she received a 2020 Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award.

Email: jamielynwrites (at) gmail (dot) com


Kendra Greendeer (WI)

Kendra Greendeer, a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation and descendent of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe, is a Ph.D. candidate in Art History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and currently the Paul Mellon Guest Predoctoral Fellow at the National Gallery of Art Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts. Her research explores the work of contemporary Native American women artists who enact Indigenous place-making strategies in confrontation with the settler-colonial land practices on which the museum, urban, and “undisturbed” rural space is premised. She earned her B.F.A. in Museum Studies from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and M.A. in Art and Museum Studies from Georgetown University in Washington, District of Columbia.


Kerry Hagy (MI)

Kerry Hagy, with a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, and has worked as a teaching artist in Rhode Island, Illinois, New York, and Michigan. Kerry has worked as a program coordinator, facilitator and teaching-artist providing art programming including photography, digital arts and puppetry to audiences pre-k through adult, with a focus on middle-school-aged students and individuals with disabilities. She has been the South Haven Center for the Arts Executive Director in South Haven, Michigan, since June 2018 and received a Gayle Hoogstraten Arts Leadership Award for Arts Administrators from the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo in the fall of 2021 for her community-minded leadership.

Moira Villiard (MN)

Moira (pronounced “Miri”) Villiard is a dynamic visual artist, proficient in a variety of artistic genres, including portraiture, illustration, graphic and digital design and as a muralist. She is also a community organizer, curator and passionate arts educator concentrating her efforts around issues of equity and justice including: arts access (creating platforms for underrepresented communities within the arts), creative placemaking, environmental sustainability, youth empowerment, and acknowledgement of Indigenous land, culture, and history. Moira grew up on the Fond du Lac Reservation in Cloquet, MN and is a Fond du Lac direct descendent of mixed settler and Indigenous heritage (both Anishinaabe and Lenape). For three years she worked as the Arts & Cultural Programming Coordinator for the American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO), the place where she had her first art exhibition at 18 years old. She currently works as a freelance consultant, designer, speaker, and grant-writer and is the project director and lead artist of the Chief Buffalo Memorial Mural site in Duluth. Her educational, activism-rooted exhibits “Rights of the Child” and “Waiting for Beds” will be on tour in 2022, and most recently she was the featured artist at the 2021 Illuminate the Lock, where she animated and directed a 10 minute, 150’ projection piece titled “Madweyaashkaa: Waves Can Be Heard”.

Email: art.moira (at) gmail (dot) com


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.


Patrick Rath (WI)

Patrick Rath is President & CEO of the United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF), the largest nonprofit of its type in the country. UPAF raises essential support for 40 Member and Affiliate performing arts organizations in Eastern Wisconsin that reflect the best in music, song, theater, and dance. In 2021, the United Performing Arts Fund raised $10,150,000 from the community.Rath has served in many roles with the performing arts community – student, performer, administrator, board member and donor. Today, his focus is to further grow community support for the performing arts for both short and long-term needs. This effort is shared by the more than 300 volunteers who are dedicated to UPAF’s mission and champion a robust performing arts sector.Rath holds a Bachelor of Music Performance degree from Northwestern University.

Email: prath (at) upaf (dot) org
Phone: 414.239.6280

Rachel Asleson (ND)

Rachel is many things…Friend. Project Manager. Trotter. Includer. Positive. Communicator. She sees beauty and values connection, creativity, possibility and presence. She is a Fargoan (Red River Basin), queer, small-business owner, (Reach Partners, Inc) project and event manager, facilitator, and jill-of-all trades. She’s never done anything alone, and together with many partners, has curated exhibits, organized international conferences, hosted conversations that matter, and organized community events. She identifies with those who seek deep, meaningful connections; those who are curious, who find joy in reflection and beauty in odd places and times, and those who delight in diversity. She is working towards a new collective openness in the region; opening hearts and minds to everyone’s humanity, and possibility. She wants to imagine the future in years, not just answer today’s needs.

Russell Thorburn (MI)

Russell Thorburn is the author of five books of poems, including Somewhere We’ll Leave the World, published by Wayne State University Press in 2017 and his newest book, Let It Be Told in a Single Breath, to be published by Cornerstone Press, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, in 2024. He has received numerous grants, including a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. His radio play, Happy Birthday, James Joyce, was aired on WNMU-FM three times, and his one-act play, Gimme Shelter, was scheduled to premiere at Northern Michigan University’s Black Box Theatre, on March 13, 2020, but was canceled because of the pandemic. Thorburn was nominated and chosen as the first poet laureate of the Upper Peninsula in 2013

Stacey LaCompte (ND)

Stacey (Tiger) LaCompte, enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and descendant of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe.
She currently serves as the “Indigenous Communications for the Dakotas for George Washington University International Institute of Tourism Studies: “Building Back Better and Stronger” “Telling our Story with our own Voices” – Vision of our future of strength with sustainable economic development thru tourism.
Previously, Stacey served as Executive Director & Project Manager for the North Dakota Indian Business Alliance and Executive Director of the Wakpa Sica Reconciliation Place/Historical Society, Inc.; Acting Director of the He Sapa Repatriations Alliance; Project Coordinator for the Great Plains Economic and Commerce Association; and Co-Founder of the South Dakota Indian Business Alliance, among other positions.
Stacey is a first cohort member of Native Nation Rebuilders selected by the Bush Foundation in 2010. Cohort 3 for the “Change Network”.
Stacey embraced her training and education for the betterment of our Oyates (Our people), while being mentored, was provided guidance according to her elders addressing and acknowledging her path of life. They advised her that the path of life comes to you: “Embrace it and Work for your People”!
Stacey is married to Brian LaCompte, proud mother of four sons and one daughter, grandmother of six grandsons and one granddaughter.

Sheila Burgess (IL)

Sheila Burgess is the Board Secretary for Spirit of the Sol, Inc. NFP a 501©3 tax-exempt nonprofit organization based in Kankakee, Illinois that focuses on reading, environment and financial literacy for K-12th grade students. She is a native of Illinois and has worked in the nonprofit community in Kankakee where for the past 8 years she has served as Program Director for SOTS. She developed a commitment to the nonprofit sector during her time volunteering as a reading tutor for Reading Partners while living in the Los Angeles area. This experience gave her a deep appreciation for how nonprofits seek to improve the quality of lives in the community, one program at a time. Founded in 2014, Spirit of the Sol recognized the need for quality and affordable educational programs for the youth in the area by developing its Summer and Winter literacy programs. SOTS recognized the need for underserved youth to have a place to engage and express themselves in a safe environment. They are committed to making the Greater Kankakee County area a better place for students to live and thrive. In 2022, Spirit of the Sol was recognized by the Community Foundation of Kankakee River Valley for its reading programs. Her passions include sports, traveling, music and a love of books.

Sherry Sparks (IL)

Sherry Sparks currently serves as a community volunteer after leaving a legacy of community service through her work in various community and state positions. Her last position served was the newly created position of Workforce Development Unit Manager for the Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS). She also served as the public service administrator for the Quincy and Macomb offices and as a vocational rehabilitation counselor for DRS. She was the liaison for the statewide Rehabilitation Council and served on numerous Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA committees) as she worked with local offices in finding employment for persons with disabilities. She has served as president of the Fowler Development Association for over 14 years, served as president of the Quincy Area and Convention Visitors Bureau, Quincy Newcomers Club and Quincy Junior Women’s Association, RSVP and the statewide Lifelong Group which consisted of program reps from colleges serving older adults. She was also active with the Quincy Rotary Club where she was named as a Paul Harris Fellow. She also received the Maggie Thomas Communications Achievement Award and was the regional winner of the YMCA Character Development Award. She served as judge for the Governors hometown Awards for four years and has hosted Road Scholars for community programs over 20 years through the Illinois Humanities Council. She has also been on grant review panels for programs of IHC. She was most recently elected to the Board of the Quincy Family and Senior Resource Center and the West Central Illinois Aging and Disability Resource Center Advisory Board.

Email: sherrysparks9517 (at) gmail (dot) com
Phone: 217.440.6275

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 Elevate Chicago Dance 2022 produced by Chicago Dancemakers Forum, and of Destinos International; 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.