Kathleen Light, Executive Director (Full-time since August 20, 2007) BM University of New Mexico, MM University of Southern California, Doctoral Work at the University of Maryland, all in Oboe Performance. I packed what would fit in a U-Haul and drove from Michigan through Canada to Ketchikan in August of 2007. To describe myself… I love playing the oboe, the love of the oboe has shaped most of life, such as playing in small ensembles (wind quintets, reed trios, chamber orchestras), until I got to Ketchikan. In addition to the oboe, I love dogs. My current four legged friend is a somewhat psycho, highly energetic (and bossy) border collie mix named Calamity. She is currently employed at the Ketchikan Area Arts and Humanities Council as Greeter (and art critic) – see bio below. I have been employed by non-profits most of my career, but this is my first position as the Director of an Arts Council. It has been my honor to become part of the Ketchikan community and to help facilitate the direction of this extraordinary organization. I believe the arts of Ketchikan are an integral part of who we are and how we see the world as a community.
Christa Bruce, Education Director Christa Bruce has been an educator in Alaska for over 45 years, spanning the elementary school classroom to graduate university teaching as well as the Alaska Statewide Mentor Program. Christa received an Administrative Fulbright Fellowship to the Czech Republic and a sabbatical to teach English in Japan. She was invited by the U.S. Department of State to facilitate online conversations on social justice in Azerbaijan which paralleled Breadloaf School of English collaborative work with rural students in New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Mississippi, Alaska and post-soviet democracies. In 1972, she was an emissary to the People’s Republic of China, as a pianist, for the first cultural exchange with the US after the Cultural Revolution. She is an Annenberg Scholar and holds Master’s Degrees in English from Middlebury College, Vermont, and Lincoln College, Oxford, England; Master’s in Educational Technology from UAS; Master’s in Music (Piano Performance) from Peabody Conservatory, John’s Hopkins University; Master’s in Educational Leadership from UAA; and a Doctor of Humane Letters, an honorary degree conferred by the University of Alaska for her extensive contributions to education. She sits on the University of Alaska Southeast Campus Advisory Council in Ketchikan. She is a gubernatorial appointee to both the Alaska State Commission on Human Rights and the Alaska Humanities Forum and serves on a US Department of Education committee for STEM education. Christa is married to Ron Kotrc, Rector Emeritus of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Ketchikan, is the mother of four wonderful adult sons, is Past-President of First City Rotary and currently serves as Chair of the Ketchikan Community Foundation. She is an adopted member of the Tongass Tribe, Tantakwan, and was adopted by Emily Ivanoff Brown (Ticasuk from Unalakleet). Ron and Christa enjoy the rainforest, make great smoked salmon, and welcome visitors to their seaside cottage in Ketchikan.
Marni Rickelmann, Program Director, (Full-time since July 2, 2012) Marni immersed herself in art when she was given an old picnic basket full of crayons, coloring books and paper as a kid, and she has worked and volunteered with multiple arts organizations ever since, coordinating and marketing events in both performance and fine art. She attended Northern Michigan University for a Bachelor of Fine Art degree, worked in marketing, events and student services at the University of Michigan, learned a lot about the world of touring musicians while working at a booking agency, and spent many, many weekends working as a House Manager for a non-profit music venue. Marni is a lover of sculpture and community art, a wannabe musician (her dog howls when she tunes her banjo), an animal rescuer extraordinaire, and strongly believes in cultivating meaningful relationships with colleagues and the community while inspiring creativity.
Shelley Baumeister, Operations Manager, (Full-time since October 1, 2013) High school and college studies allowed her to learn many mediums including photography, drawing/painting, ceramics, and sculpture. For her 3D A-P portfolio, her concentration was wearable art. Her portfolio included a full-sized ball gown made of visqueen plastic and staples. Who knew she’d move to the town that holds the BEST Wearable Art Show in the world?! She moved to Ketchikan in April 2013, fell in love with Alaska and decided to stay. Shelley co-hosts TGIA on KRBD, is a “freshie” on the Rainforest Roller Girls roller derby team and is always looking for more community involvement!
Calamity Jane, Art Dog and Greeter (Full-time since May 2010). Since being adopted by Kathleen, Calamity spends her time greeting her adoring fans, training humans to bring her treats, and howling at the fire trucks.