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Council Members
 

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Angella Ahn

Angella Ahn

 

Angella enjoys living in Bozeman, Montana, where she is currently Associate Professor of Violin and Viola at Montana State University. A devoted teacher, she was named a “Most Valuable Professor” by Montana State University as well as being awarded “Professor of the Month” by Mortar Board, an honor society at the university. Angella has had an extensive career with her trio, Ahn Trio, performing not only in every state in the U.S., but in over 30 countries in venues as diverse as the White House, the Jazz Dock in Prague, Buenos Aires’ Teatro Colon, New York's Lincoln Center, Leipzig's Gewandhaus, Beijing's Concert Hall, Istanbul's Aya Irini, and for TEDWomen. In addition to live performances, they have nine highly acclaimed albums. Angella serves on the Montana Arts Council and is the Artistic Director of Big Sky Classical Music Festival. She can be seen in “Angella Ahn & Friends,” a program presented by Montana PBS’ Emmy award-winning 11th & Grant with Eric Funk, also in “The Hive”, a film produced by Tippet Rise Art Center in collaboration with the celebrated sculptor Stephen Talasnik and director Matthew McKee. She is a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music. 

Ahn Trio: TEDWomen2010
Tippet Rise: "The Hive"
Ahn Trio: Nuvole Bianche

 

Liz Albers

Liz Albers

 

Liz is the Executive Director for the Montana Public Interest Research Group (MontPIRG), a nonpartisan, nonprofit dedicated to affecting positive change by empowering Montana's next generation of civic leaders. Prior to that position, she worked in the Montana legislature as a legislative aide and as a family law attorney in Lake County, Montana.  She has a Bachelors of Arts in Business Management from Simmons University with a minor in Arts Administration in addition to a Juris Doctorate from the University of Maine School of Law.  Liz lives in Missoula's Westside neighborhood with her husband, Charlie, their dogs, Toast and Jack, and a fluctuating amount of chickens. 

 

Cynthia Andrus

Cynthia Andrus | Chairman

 

Cyndy is an active community and board member, avid arts supporter, and has worked in the tourism industry for over 25 years. She is in her seventh year serving on the Bozeman City Commission and was recently (November 2015) elected Mayor. She serves on two state Governor appointed councils—the Montana Arts Council (chair) and the Montana Heritage Commission. In addition, she serves on the board of directors for the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies and the board of trustees for the Western States Arts Federation. She is the past chair (2013) of the Governor’s Tourism Advisory Council where she served ten years. Cyndy is a graduate of Leadership Montana (Class of 2007) and is a lifelong lover of travel and culture.
 

G.B. Carson

G.B. Carson

 

G. B. Carson, who resides in Townsend, was born in Helena and graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, A.B., History of Art. In 1985, He started his own independent art appraisal business. His area of specialization is 19th and 20th century and contemporary American and European art, including paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints and photographs, with a particular emphasis on the art of California and the West. He has been an active supporter of the Holter Museum of Art, the Myrna Loy Center, the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts, the Missoula Art Museum, the Yellowstone Art Museum, the Montana Historical Society and in 2012-13 served on the selection committee for the Capitol Complex Advisory Council for the women’s mural commission.
 

Corwin Clairmont

Corwin "Corky" Clairmont
 

Corky is a celebrated contemporary artist, teacher, mentor, a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, and has recently retired as the art director at Salish Kootenai College. Corky’s work has been exhibited across the nation and around the world, and in addition to his many other honors, he was awarded the 2008 Montana Governor’s Arts Award for Visual Art.

 

Tom Cordingley

Tom Cordingley | Vice-Chair
 

Tom recently retired after 18 years as the Managing Director of Grandstreet Theatre in Helena, where he oversaw the growth of Grandstreet's Theatre School into a nationally recognized template for after-school and summer programs. A journalism graduate of the University of Montana, Tom acted and served on numerous theatre boards while working at the Great Falls Tribune, with the CM Russell Art Auction, and as advertising director for Montana Magazine.

 

Sean Falcon Chandler

Sean Falcon Chandler
 

Sean is an enrolled member of the Aaniinen Tribe (Gros Ventre), is the Director of American Indian Studies at Aaniiih Nakoda College (ANC) located on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation. He also teaches the Aaniiih (Gros Ventre) Language to grade-school-aged children at the White Clay Language School at ANC. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Art and a Master of Arts in Native American Studies from Montana State University-Bozeman. He recently acquired a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership from The University of Montana in May of 2014.

 

JP Gabriel

JP Gabriel
 

JP founded Filmlites Montana in 1989. A veteran lighting designer/director who has worked throughout the country, JP has worked on a majority of commercials or film productions that have come through Montana for the last twenty-five years.

 

Mark Kuipers

Mark Kuipers

 

Mark is president of MAK Direct, a marketing firm in Missoula which specializes in comprehensive direct marketing programs, has written and produced hundreds of media ads and managed marketing campaigns for clients nationwide, including Nordic Track, The Sleep Number Bed and Fisher Investments. Mark is president of the WestSlope Chapter of Trout Unlimited, a Montana Ambassador and writes non-fiction stories about his hunting and fishing experiences.

 

Tracy Linder

Tracy Linder

 

Tracy Linder is a sculptor that has shown her art work nationally with numerous solo museum exhibits. Linder has given a TEDx talk, been commissioned by GSA Art in Architecture, and taught at MSU-Billings. Her MFA is from the University of Colorado-Boulder.

www.tracylinder.com
TEDx Talk

 

Jay Pyette

Jay Pyette
 

Jay taught theatre at Havre High School for twenty years and continues to do so at Montana State University-Northern. A playwright and director, Jay has been the Artistic Director of The Montana Actors Theatre since 1992 and is a member of the Havre City Council.

 

Angela Russell

Angela Russell
 

Angela Russell, a member of the Crow Tribe, has spent her life involved in health, social, and political issues for the Crow Nation and the State of Montana. She served four terms in the Montana House of Representatives, one term with the newly created Crow Tribal Legislature, and served as Chief Judge for the Crow Tribal Court. Ms. Russell actively participated in the National Council of Native American Legislators and served as an officer of the Native American Court Judges Association. She was a co-organizer of the Apsáalooke Committee for the Arts promoting and supporting local artists and craftsperson’s. She published the Apsáalooke Calendar for thirty years, which featured early Crow photographs and history, poetry, and artwork. Public service has included serving as Chair for the Friends of Chief Plenty Coups, as a trustee of the Big Horn County Library Association, and as a member of the Montana Board of Crime Control. Ms. Russell received a bachelor's degree and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Montana and a Master’s Degree from Tulane University.

 

Corby Skinner

Corby Skinner
 

Corby Skinner is an independent marketing professional with an enormous capacity for assessing issues and creating positive, effective messages. His work is evident in all aspects of performing, visual and literary arts. Skinner has been the Director of The Writer's Voice since its beginning in 1991. Skinner has coordinated seven Big Read programs for the National Endowment for the Arts and 17 consecutive High Plains Book Festivals featuring authors from a seven-state region and three Canadian provinces. He led the marketing and programming for the Alberta Bair Theater for 18 years and served as Arts and Humanities Field Coordinator for the National YMCA of the USA for eight years. Skinner is currently on the board of the Alberta Bair Theater, Art House Cinema, and Billings Cultural Partners. He served as the chair of the Yellowstone Art Museum's annual art auction in 2019 and 2020. He is cohost of the arts and culture radio program," Resounds," which airs on Yellowstone Public Radio. In 2009, Corby Skinner was awarded the Montana Governor's Humanities Award. In 2015, Skinner received the Philip M. Fortin Humanitarian Award. Skinner received his BFA from the University of Montana and an MFA from Claremont Graduate School, Claremont, California.

 

Jean Steele

Jean Steele
 

Jean taught English literature, writing, drama and speech at Hamilton High School for 36 years, has an MFA from UM Missoula, and studied British history in England and medieval and renaissance art in Italy. She chaired the MT Committee for the Humanities (now Humanities Montana) in 2005, is currently an adjunct professor at UM and lives in Hamilton.

 

Renee Westlake

Renée Westlake

Renée Westlake received her BA in Music, ME in Curriculum and Instruction, and Ed.D in Educational Leadership from Montana State University in Bozeman. A lifetime educator in the Bozeman Public Schools music and fine arts department, Dr. Westlake has taught beginning band, elementary music, middle school world music, high school jazz band, high school flute choir, AP Music Theory, and was the Fine Arts Supervisor for the school district for 13 years until her retirement in 2015. Renée has been active in NAfME: The National Association for Music Education, and has been President of the Northwest Division of NAfME, State President of the Montana Music Educators Association, President of the Montana General Music Teachers Association, has served on the National Executive Board of NAfME, District Chair, and Montana State Evaluations Chair. Dr. Westlake is married to a grain farmer and has two grown daughters who are professional dancers, two sons-in-law, one granddaughter and one grandson.

 

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Montana Arts Council | 830 N. Warren Street, Helena, MT 59601 | P.O. Box 202201, Helena, MT 59620-2201 | P: (406) 444-6430 | F: (406) 444-6548 | mac@mt.gov


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