Staff Biographies and Contact Information
ArtsWA employs 14 staff members to implement several programs, and to conduct the administrative duties required of a state agency. In addition to full-time staff, ArtsWA relies on highly qualified contractors, interns, and volunteers who focus on specific tasks and functions that are outside the duties of the staff. ArtsWA programs include:
- Art in Public Places
- Arts in Education
- Grants to Organizations
- Special Projects
Mitch Berndt, Fiscal Technician II
Mitch joined ArtsWA in June of 2016 as a Fiscal Technician II and he supports the Deputy Director as well as covering the front desk. He has recently been a stay at home parent, raising two children, and has been active in both the Boy and Girl Scout programs. Mitch has a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Washington State University and is currently studying Accounting at South Puget Sound Community College.
Glenda Carino, Communications Manager
Glenda joined ArtsWA in March 2014 as ArtsWA's communications manager. She has extensive experience as a chief media spokesperson and speechwriter for public officials at the City of Puyallup, City of Auburn, Alaska Lt. Governor's Office, and an Alaska State Senator. Her background also includes more than ten years as a public radio news director, host, and reporter. Her love of the arts brought her to Perseverance Theatre where she worked on stage, in the tech booth, and as a marketing director. Among the many boards and commissions she has served on in recent years, Glenda is the past board president of Puyallup's Valley Arts United, past Pierce County Arts Commission member, and served on the Tacoma Regional Convention and Visitor's Bureau.
Judy Cullen, Poetry Out Loud Coordinator, Arts in Education
Judy joined ArtsWA in July of 2013 as a contracted Poetry Out Loud coordinator, and became part of the ArtsWA staff in January, 2017. She works with the Program Manager for Arts in Education to produce the Washington State portion of the Poetry Out Loud national recitation contest. Judy works with regional coordinators as the State Coordinator, and directly coordinates the program in the Puget Sound. Judy is an artist from the Pacific Northwest with over 30 years of experience as a scenic designer, production manager, administrator, and producer for theatre and opera. She has worked for non-profit arts organizations throughout Pierce County including the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts, the Children’s Museum of Tacoma, Tacoma Little Theatre, and the late Tacoma Actors’ Guild. Judy also works as a consultant to small non-profits, and has self-published nine titles of fiction, poetry and reflective essays.
Adam Fah, Conservation Technician, Art in Public Places
Adam has been the Conservation Technician for the Art in Public Places Program since September 2007. He facilitates art conservation projects, art handling, and partner agency support for the care of the State Art Collection. He helps shape the art conservation review process for new acquisitions to the State Art Collection. Since 2000, Adam has owned and operated a studio specializing in conservation and restoration of metal sculpture. He is a professional patineur and enjoys facilitating bronze castings for artist Philip McCracken.
Heide Fernandez-Llamazares, Project Manager, My Public Art Portal, Art in Public Places
Heide joined ArtsWA as Project Manager for the Art in Public Places program's My Public Art Portal in January, 2016. She is managing the growth of the web portal to eventually include the entire State Art Collection online, going back to its beginnings in 1974. She previously managed a private collection, worked in Education at Tacoma Art Museum, and was also a technical writer. She is passionate about art and collections, and loves working in an environment that includes art on a daily basis.
Paul D. Foster, Infoirmation Technology Technician
Paul joined ArtsWA in August of 2016 as a part-time Information Technology (IT) Technician for the agency, dealing with issues that correlate with the technical properties of ArtsWA. Paul will be getting his Associates in Applied Sciences through the Computer Networking Administration program at South Puget Sound Community College in the spring of 2018. Paul’s number one goal for the agency is to make sure IT related issues are addressed, given advice upon, and solved, to make sure ArtsWA’s computer system’s run smoothly twenty-four hours a day. Being an Eagle Scout, Paul likes to spend his free time hiking, camping, and participating in local community service projects for the city of Olympia.
Miguel Guillén, Program Manager, Grants to Organizations
Miguel Guillén joined ArtsWA in 2016 and currently serves as Program Manager for the Grants to Organizations program. Miguel is a seasoned arts administrator with several years of experience managing arts programs for the private sector and providing support to community-based arts organizations, small arts groups, community-based projects, and individual artists across Washington State. Additionally he is co-founder and volunteer Executive Director for La Sala (www.lasalaseattle.org), an organization that seeks to raise the profile of Latino/a artists working in Seattle and surrounding communities. Born in Mexico and raised in the Skagit Valley of Washington State, Miguel has completed the Arts Management Certificate Program from Seattle Central Community College and also holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle. He is a practicing visual artist.
Janae Huber, Collections Manager, Art in Public Places
Janae is the Collections Manager for the Art in Public Places program, stewarding the care of the State Art Collection, as well as ongoing relationships with statewide partners. Before joining ArtsWA in 2005, Janae was the Registrar at Tacoma Art Museum. She has also held curatorial positions at the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, where she completed two undergraduate degrees at the University of Arizona, in Art History and German Studies. In addition to her work with ArtsWA, Janae has served two terms on the Olympia Arts Commission, chaired her neighborhood association for four years, and founded an advocacy group called Olympians for People-Oriented Places (O-POP), which focuses on issues of land use and planning.
Lisa Jaret, Program Manager, Arts in Education
Lisa joined ArtsWA as the Arts in Education Program Manager in September 2005. She manages the arts education grant programs, Arts Education Research Initiative, Roster of Teaching Artists, Poetry Out Loud program, and other projects related to supporting and strengthening K-12 arts education in Washington State. In partnership with Seattle Repertory Theatre, Lisa developed and co-directs the statewide Teaching Artist Training Lab. Lisa has served as both member and chair of the Arts Education Advisory Group for the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies. She currently serves as an ex-officio board member for ArtsEd Washington and on advisory committees for several regional arts education projects. Lisa previously was the Administrative Director of Education Programs for Seattle Children’s Theatre. For several years, she also served on the board of Spectrum Dance Theater in Seattle. Lisa holds a BA degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Master’s degree in Not-For-Profit Leadership from Seattle University.
Marissa Laubscher, Project Manager, Art in Public Places
Marissa joined ArtsWA as Project Manager for Art in Public Places in April, 2015. She previously worked with Public Art San Antonio where she managed the temporary downtown art program "X MARKS THE ART” and was responsible for temporary exhibits and permanent projects in city facilities and at the airport. She also co-founded and co-directed the inaugural (sub)Urban Projections festival for the City of Eugene, OR. She holds an M.S. degree in Arts Management from the University of Oregon, and a B.A. degree in Studio Art from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Jennifer Myers, Field Inventory Worker, My Public Art Portal, Art in Public Places
Jennifer joined ArtsWA as the Web Portal Art Inventory Field Worker in April 2016. She comes from a background in fine arts studios and museum work. Jennifer is currently working as an intern learning art conservation at the Seattle Art Museum and with private conservators in the area in preparation for graduate school. She has worked as an exhibit designer, registrar and membership manager in the past. Jennifer holds an M.A. in Museology, a B.S. in Anthropology and a B.F.A. in Studio Art. She currently lives in Seattle with her two dogs, where she enjoys oil painting and cooking creatively in her spare time.
Anna Marie Ortiz, Administrative Assistant, Grants to Organization
Anna Marie has worked in the arts and arts management for more than 30 years. She studied dance and psychology and was awarded a scholarship by the Dance Theatre of Harlem and the New Orleans Contemporary Dance Theatre. She taught movement therapy in New York and Kansas City. She raised her son in Bellingham while working for the main community performing arts theatre. For the last ten years she put her administrative skills to use with the Emergency Management Division under the Military Department. She is delighted to get back to her “roots” in the rich environment of ArtsWA.
Valerie Peterman, Writer-Researcher, Art in Public Places
Valerie joined ArtsWA in April 2016 as the writer and researcher for the Art in Public Places program's My Public Art Portal, composing interpretive descriptions of artworks and assisting in the growth of the online collection. She previously worked as the administrative lead for the publication of fine art editions at Gemini G.E.L. in Los Angeles. She has served as a curatorial intern at the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle and as a client services officer for Mana Fine Arts in New Jersey. She holds a M.A. degree in philosophy and the arts from SUNY Stony Brook and a B.A. in philosophy from Colorado College. Valerie lives in Olympia with her husband, cat and dog.
Leslie Pope, Executive Assistant
Leslie has worked as Executive Assistant to the ArtsWA Executive Director for over eight years, supports the 23-member ArtsWA Board, and serves as Human Resources Liaison within the agency. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration, and has extensive work experience with organizations in both the public and private sectors.
Deane Shellman, Program Coordinator, Art in Public Places
Deane came to ArtsWA in 2002, and now serves as Program Coordinator for the Art in Public Places Program, where she assists with contracting and database management and interfaces with artists. Deane holds a degree in Theatre Arts from Western Washington University. She has worked locally at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts and Harlequin Productions in various capacities, including stage and production management, business and operations, marketing, and box office, among others. Deane continues to volunteer in local theater and is currently on the board of Olympia Family Theater.
Michael Sweney, Program Manager, Art in Public Places
Mike has been with the Art in Public Places program since 2007, and was named AIPP’s Program Manager in 2011. In addition to leading the awesome public art team, he facilitates and manages public art projects throughout Washington. Mike previously served as the director of Davidson Contemporary in Seattle and the Charles Cowles Gallery in New York. He is a past Board Vice President for the Center on Contemporary Art in Seattle. Mike currently serves as the Chair of the Tacoma Arts Commission and as a member of the Tacoma Art Museum’s Collection Committee, and lives in Tacoma with his wife, their three children, and a rambunctious black lab. He holds a BA degree in Art History and Studio Art from Oberlin College.
Terry J. West, Deputy Director
Terry joined ArtsWA in February 2015 to serve as Deputy Director. As Deputy Director she serves as the chief budget and financial officer and coordinates core agency services. She has 30+ years of state government experience in budget and finance, office management, and board management. Before coming to ArtsWA, she worked as the Budget and Operations Manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. She also worked with the Departments of Licensing and Health with 12 different boards, commissions, committees, and advisory councils. Terry holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and is a Washington State Certified Public Manager. She enjoys kayaking, sailing, gardening and metal art.
Chuck Zimmer, Art in Public Places Project Manager
Chuck Zimmer is the former Deputy Director of New Mexico Arts. At New Mexico Arts Chuck created and implemented several innovative public art programs, including TIME (Temporary Installations Made for the Environment), the Centennial Project Space and the New Mexico Arts Full Immersion Dome Program. A recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Grant, his background includes an MFA from Southern Illinois University and Bachelors degrees in anthropology, art history, and fine art from the State University of New York at Potsdam. A native of New York, Chuck is also a working artist who has exhibited nationally. Besides Public Art, his experience includes teaching fine arts at the university level and extensive involvement in community theatre as a set designer and as a director.