About MAC

Montana Arts Council Staff

Carleen Layne

photo of Carleen Layne

Carleen Layne is the accountant at the Montana Arts Council, a position she has held since 1978. A Montana native, she grew up in Anaconda, where she sang soprano in the choir.

She has a BA in Business Administration from the University of Montana, Missoula, where she also took Latin and Greek for the fun of it.

Her first job with the arts was preparing several years' worth of tax returns at once for a group of stained glass artists in Missoula. She was first hired at the Council as a temp to fill in during the maternity leave of the woman who served as combination receptionist/secretary and accounting technician. The ad she answered said you must have experience with the Statewide Budgeting and Accounting System (aka SBAS). She had no first-hand experience, but had seen a SBAS document once and knew she could figure it out. During the two months she was working as a temp, the state budget was due and she literally did the whole budget, from planning with the then-Director, performing the calculations, typing the forms, copying, collating and mailing it. A year later, the Director called her and asked her to come to work. He had been working out how to finance her position since she left.

And she's been here ever since wearing a variety of hats over the years. With such a small staff, there's no such thing as "it's not in my job description", so Carleen acts in every capacity as needed. She describes herself as the "centralized services bureau" at the Council. In other state agencies there are a dozen people or more doing the jobs that she accomplishes. Only Karen Berger at Legislative Services seems to have as diverse a position-"I see her at all the briefings and meetings I go to, which is all of them." Carleen enjoys the diversity and would be bored if there weren't plenty of interesting things to do.

Besides work, she's an avid hiker, grandmother, dog owner and volunteer and loves living in this place with you people.