Arts Advisory Panel

The Arts Advisory Panel is comprised of representatives from each of the five artistic disciplines – Dance, Literature, Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts – and generalists who demonstrate strong involvement in support of the arts in the SEMAC region. The Panel is responsible for reviewing grant applications and making funding recommendations to the Board of Directors.

Assembled through an open nomination process, panelists are appointed by the Board of Directors based on their artistic expertise and critical skills in their respective disciplines. To nominate someone for a term on the Arts Advisory Panel, please contact the SEMAC office.

Discipline Panelist Description

Dance Jamie Schwaba experienced professional musical theatre performer/educator. Holds theatre degree and Rhythm Works Integrative Dance Certification, as well as arts administration experience.
Dance Jennie Autonoe

background and training in visual arts and literary arts as well as dance, Northfield Arts Guild Education and Engagement Manager

Dance Cynthia Neth Founder of Krum Selabak Khmer M'Kut Meas dance troupe that celebrates Cambodian culture
Dance vacancy nominations accepted by contacting director(at)

Literary Arts Beth Nienow accomplished musician and literary artist with advanced degrees in literature and educational leadership, as well as past SEMAC service

Literary Arts vacancies nominations accepted by contacting director(at)

Music David Kassler professional musician with experience in performance, conducting and composition, recipient of a SEMAC Individual Artist Grant to compose and perform chamber music

Music Martha Chancellor amateur musician, percussionist and co-manager Austin MN Symphony Orchestra, member League of American Orchestras and The Fellowship (UMC church musicians)
Music Benjamin Downs Executive and Artistic Director, Fesler-Lampert Performing Arts Series, holds doctorates in Theory and History of Music from Stony Brook, and Piano Performance from Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music
Music vacancy

nominations accepted by contacting director(at)

Theatre Julianna Skluzacek artistic director and founder of The Merlin Players, playwright and directing with the Minnesota Festival Theatre and various community and high school theatres
Theatre Eileen Moeller Managing Director, Frozen River Film Festival, co-founder of ArtFarm MN, works to support artist and community collaborations
Theatre James Douglass Founding director/board member, Absolute Theatre, with 30 years experience in acting, directing, design, stage management and marketing at theatres throughout Minnesota
Theatre vacancies

nominations accepted by contacting director(at)

Visual Arts Dave Casey assistant curator of education and exhibitions at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum in Winona, freelance musician performing with a variety of groups across multiple genres

Visual Arts Julie Fakler operations manager at Paradise Center for the Arts, committee and participating artist South Central MN Studio Artour, six-year veteran of SEMAC Board of Directors

Visual Arts Amarama Vercnocke mixed media artist, art director for Day of the Dead Poet Slam, participant in several juried and solo exhibitions

Generalist Robbie Brokken ceramic and jewelry artist, previous gallery director, Lanesboro Arts, degree from Fashion Institute of Technology, NYC

Generalist Ivete Martinez visual artist, board member, Gallery 24 Artists Collaborative, founder and director, Med City Art Festival, former board member, SEMVA

Generalist Gretchen Ramlo arts enthusiast, boards of Austin Area Commission for the Arts and Riverland Foundation, volunteers for the ArtWorks Festival and Spruce Up Austin

Generalist Steve Dietz recently retired from Northern Lights mn after a career focused on the arts and fine arts publishing, now working to support local artists and arts organizations
Generalist vacancies nominations accepted by contacting director(at)