Levi Barrett (he/him/his) joined MacDowell in 2023 as finance director. The Keene, NH native is a licensed CPA who received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in accountancy from Bentley University. After five years in public accountancy, he accepted a post at North Bennet Street School, a renowned professional craft and trade school in Boston. He served as their director of finance for eight years before joining MacDowell and relocating back to the Monadnock region in June 2023. Contact Levi via e-mail.
Courtney Bethel (she/her/hers) began working as the admissions coordinator at MacDowell in 2000, expanding her role in 2005 to become admissions director. Her primary responsibility is guiding the application experience for artists, which includes overseeing more than 2,000 applications annually, and coordinating a selection process that fields rotating admissions panels in seven disciplines twice each year. Along with her staff, she successfully transitioned the application to an online, paperless process. Outside of work, Courtney and her husband, Bob, enjoy spending time with their two children and black lab, Gracie, making maple syrup, and exploring the great outdoors. Contact Courtney via e-mail.
Jeromy Brett (he/him/his) has been with MacDowell since 2007 as a maintenance assistant, making up the third spoke of the J-Crew at MacDowell. He spent five years as a tree climber and arborist in Australia, before working with developmentally disabled teenagers and adults both in Scotland and in Temple, NH. He enjoys participating in most outdoor activities, travel, and a good beer.
financial and benefits administrator
Connor Buckley (he/him/his) began working as the financial and benefits administrator at MacDowell in 2023 after seven years of working in non-profit arts administration in Boston. Connor is a graduate of Berklee College of Music where he studied trumpet and computer music. More recently, he completed a master’s in library and information science and has become passionate about the intersection between the arts and information management. His now intermittent artistic practice is centered around performing jazz and classical music as well as composing and writing lyrics for musical theater, and he will happily chat for hours about musicals and plays that he loves. In his spare time, he enjoys attending concerts, hanging with his partner, Rachel, and his cat, Charlie, and cultivating an unhealthy obsession with the work of Alan Bennett.
development officer, NH outreach, database & appeals
Robin Cherof (she/her/hers) joined the development team in early 2021, making the shift from working as sous chef since 2019, and a cook at MacDowell since 2014. In her current position, Robin is responsible for ensuring that fundraising database resources and online giving platforms support all activities and goals of the development team, as well as organizing annual appeals. She also serves on the board of Arts Alive! and is a member of Joy Moves, a local dance collective. She and her husband Todd like a good bike ride, especially one that ends at a local brewery.
Sienna Ferry (she/her/hers) joined MacDowell’s housekeeping staff in October of 2021 as a house assistant working to maintain artist studios, residence halls, the library, administrative offices, and the main hall clean and comfortable. The Greenfield resident is a 2021 ConVal High School graduate and is currently taking classes at Nashua Community College and is thinking of becoming a teacher. Her own art practice includes painting, drawing, sculpting, and photography, and she enjoys playing video games and spending time with friends in her downtime. Her admitted weakness is collecting Doc Martens, and she has recently begun to breed blue dream shrimp as a pastime.
Wendy Fielding (she/her/hers) joined MacDowell in 2021. She has a natural foods background and has worked in restaurants in Boston, Cambridge, and Peterborough, where she worked with master chef Hiroshi Hayashi for many years. She enjoys learning languages, traveling, studying cooking, sports, hiking, reading, and taking walks at any time of the year. She lives in nearby Francestown with her family and loves the people, the short commute, and the beauty of MacDowell!
database & network administrator
Jody Garnick (she/her/hers) has been at MacDowell since 1992. She worked her first few years in the finance department and eventually took on the role of technology coordinator to lead the program into the 21st century. Besides keeping the technology operating and moving forward over the years, her biggest role has been helping to create MacDowell’s first digital database in 1993 and continuing to upgrade and maintain it while creating additional databases to help serve MacDowell’s needs. With two kids in college, she has more time to devote to her interests, which include taking long walks with her beloved dog Betsy, and returning to horseback riding, a favorite pastime from childhood.
Ellen Gordon (she/her/hers) has been at MacDowell since 2014. She, along with her colleagues, work diligently to keep all the residences, studios, the main hall, administrative offices, and the library buildings clean and comfortable. She also works on preparation for special events, including keeping the guest accommodations, and the Edward MacDowell music room at Hillcrest in grand shape. Ellen enjoys being outdoors, on the trail, on the water, or in the garden. She shares a love of travel with her husband when they are not working on their old house.
Alice Gorelick (she/her/hers) is a fundraiser extraordinaire, actress, writer, and authenticity reader. She joined MacDowell in 2023 as the institutional grant writer. Prior to MacDowell, Alice wrote grants for TLDEF, The Brooklyn Book Festival, Girl Be Heard, and individual artists. As an actress, she has performed at JACK, the Flea, the New Ohio, the Brick, Columbia Stages, and more. She is currently a resident actor at The Mercury Store in Brooklyn. Alice has a B.A. in English and theater from Gettysburg College.
sr. manager, external communications
Jonathan Gourlay (he/him/his) became senior manager of external communications in 2022, after having started as communications manager in 2013. His responsibilities include communicating MacDowell’s mission and essential importance to media outlets and a growing constituency of artists, patrons, and followers online and in print. The Flushing, Queens native has worked as a journalist as well as managed publications and web sites about design software, business web content, motorcycling, skiing, and other outdoor pursuits, and brings his cattle dog mix Kismet to work most days. He has a bachelor's in English from Southampton College of L.I.U. and a master's in media studies from The New School. He dreams of publishing fiction and to kill on the blues harp. He also likes to grow tomatoes, hike, mountain bike, ski, and make beer. He and his wife Laura live in Peterborough. Contact Jonathan via e-mail.
library circulation assistant
Sadie Greene (she/her/hers) joined MacDowell’s library staff in 2022. Sadie has a degree in information and library sciences and is happy to bring her experience to The James Baldwin Library, working with the collection and catalog as well as assisting with artist’s needs. Sadie is a Nova Scotia native, but is happily settled with her family in Rindge, NH. When not working, she is spending time with her three young children, knitting, contra dancing, reading, helping her partner on their farm, or baking tasty treats to share with neighbors and friends.
In 2017, Babette’s (she/her/hers) drive for new challenges led her to the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts, where she earned a professional chef diploma. She immediately began a cooking career that was quickly and joyfully interrupted by the arrival of a new grandson. She eagerly assumed the role of nanny for his first four years, then in the fall of 2021 Babette decided to resume her cooking career and joined the MacDowell staff to create and prepare Sunday and Monday evening menus and dinners for the artists in residence. She is grateful to be doing what she loves in a dream kitchen with a warm-hearted and talented staff. Mother, wife, professional seamstress, amateur pilot, school board member, paralegal in her late husband’s criminal law practice, and life-long learner are a few of her other roles over the years. Babette is a native of Rangeley, ME. She and her family have lived in Hillsborough since 1980.
scheduling and fellows engagement manager
Julie Hamel (she/her/hers) joined MacDowell in early 2023 as the scheduling and fellows engagement manager, responsible for creating the residency calendar, managing the wait list, and overseeing the grants and stipends program. She also works as liaison to connect Fellows with the Peterborough community and continuously meet outreach goals. Julie has built her career around a deep care for creatives and the arts, holding previous positions supporting artist advancement at McGowan Fine Art, League of NH Craftsmen, AVA Gallery, and the Currier Museum of Art. She holds an M.F.A. in visual arts from Lesley University and a B.F.A. in photography from the University of New Hampshire. In addition to her artistic practice as a multidisciplinary maker working with the photographic medium, she can be found getting lost in nature or hibernating in the darkroom. Contact Julie via email.
Christian Holland (he/they) has been writing things on the internet since before the cool kids knew it was cool and before his parents knew about it. Now he does it for MacDowell, and he’s also an intermittent writer, art critic, and adjuncter. He’s proud of his understanding of the periodic table, has never worn a tie on a boat, and is currently aspiring to be a consummate generalist. Contact Christian via e-mail.
library & technology services assistant
Fiona Johnson (she/her/hers) started working in The James Baldwin Library in the Summer of 2022. She leads Fellow orientation tours, covers the info desk, and assists artists with their technological needs. While working toward her undergraduate in psychology and art at St. Lawrence University, Fiona was a circulation assistant at the university’s library and, in the summertime, volunteered at her local library planning youth educational programming. She is excited to be in an environment that values and supports art. In her free time, she enjoys oil painting and fiber arts, as well as spending time with her family and friends, cooking, skiing, and adventuring outdoors.
Sarah K. Jordan
administrative & admissions assistant
Sarah K. Jordan (she/her/hers) was born and raised in Peterborough, NH, and graduated with a degree in dance and history from Bryn Mawr College. After living in Philadelphia, Duluth, and Cambridge, Sarah recently moved home where she teaches dance, organizes and MC's local Talent Nights, backpacks the many mountains of New Hampshire, gardens, paints, cooks, and more! Sarah is rejoining the MacDowell community and is thrilled to work in the admissions office and in the front office, supporting the incredible work of the organization and all the many wonderful artists.
Chiwoniso Kaitano (she/her/hers) is a champion of artists everywhere and joined MacDowell in 2023 to oversee the creative mission as well as the financial well-being of the nation’s first multidisciplinary residency program. “Chi” comes to MacDowell from Girl Be Heard (GBH) where she served as the executive director for the last four years. GBH is a global NGO that advocates for social change through performing arts and storytelling in all of its forms. Prior to GBH she served as executive director of Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy, a 30-year-old Brooklyn-based arts and culture organization. Chi is an avid traveler, having lived on three continents. She holds a law degree from the London School of Economics and a master’s in international affairs from Columbia University’s School for International and Public Affairs. She also serves on the Board of Directors of three New York City-based nonprofits: the International Contemporary Ensemble, The Center for Fiction (formerly The Mercantile Library), and The Jazz Leaders Fellowship of Brooklyn Conservatory of Music. Originally from Zimbabwe, Chi lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband, the political theorist Andrew Sabl and their children. Connect with Chi on Twitter @chiwonisok or Instagram @chiwoniso. Contact Chi via e-mail.
Karen Keenan (she/her/hers) joined MacDowell in 2004 as admissions assistant. With duties expanding and changing over time, including 11 years as scheduling coordinator, Karen now focuses her time and talents on her role as admissions coordinator. In harmony with the admissions director, Karen oversees the processing of an ever increasing pool of applications and supports the admissions department in all needed areas. Karen’s appreciation and respect for the staff of MacDowell and their Herculean efforts in all areas fuels her motivation to continue to serve and support MacDowell’s mission. In her off time, Karen and her husband are discovering new hobbies and new destinations for motorcycling now that their kids are grown and they’ve run out of walls to knock down in their house. Contact Karen via e-mail.
office manager & Virtual MacDowell production assistant
Rayan “Ryan” Khan (he/him/his) started at MacDowell in 2018. Originally from Dhaka, Bangladesh, Ryan has been living in New York City since 2000 and graduated from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in 2016 with a double major in international relations and economics with a concentration on the intersectionality of decolonization, economic development, and religion-based conflicts in the Middle East and South Asia. In the past, he worked for BlackRock Solutions as a Portfolio Analyst, but he has always had an interest in NGO’s and nonprofits. Contact Rayan via e-mail.
Anja Mei-Ping Kuipers
development officer, NYC outreach, events, & special projects
Anja Mei-Ping Kuipers (she/her/hers) joined MacDowell in June 2023. Anja comes to MacDowell from the National Book Foundation, where she was their operations & finance manager. Anja has also worked for New England Review, 826DC, East City Bookshop, and Dance Omi. She holds a degree in English and American literatures from Middlebury College. Born in the Midwest, raised in Hawai’i, and currently living in New York, Anja enjoys writing poetry, reading across genres, watching reality television, finding new recipes, and tending to her growing collection of house plants.
Yedida Landis (she/her/hers) joined MacDowell as its lead gardener in the spring of 2023. Growing up in Austin, TX, Yedida was often found in a tree or with a cat (or both). She grew up passionate about the Earth and planted her first vegetable garden at age eight. As a young adult, Yedida led the Jewish Environmental Voices of Austin, helping her synagogue to get LEED certified and teaching gardening to children. In June 2007, Yedida got in her car and drove northeast, eventually getting as far as New Hampshire where she now counts herself a happy and grateful resident. She soon met her future family while farming and is now blessed with a great partner, two children, three cats, six chickens, a home and land to steward. Sometime in there, Yedida also obtained a B.A. in environmental studies and Spanish and an M.A. in environmental education. She still teaches organic gardening to children at Mountain Shadows School and is happy to be in her role caring for the gardens and landscapes at MacDowell.
accounts payable administrator
Tammy Lester (she/her/hers) started with MacDowell in 2002 and has been handling payroll and accounts payable here for all 17 wonderful years. In her off time, this New Hampshire native enjoys spending time with her family and fluffy pooch Meesha, making memories to last a lifetime. She enjoys camping, boating, and playing in the sun and most often these days you’ll find her at the barn working with or riding the family horses, enjoying every second. Life is precious!
A lifelong NH resident, Colette Lucas (she/her/hers) moved to Peterborough and was hired by MacDowell in 2000, and has been head librarian since 2004. Colette manages the library collection and institutional photo archive, and fields historical inquiries. In her spare time she enjoys reading (of course), gardening, art, and walking at the beach. Since becoming a master gardener in 2009 she has managed a summertime community food project called The Garden Tithe, which provides premium produce to the Peterborough Food Pantry. In 2022 Colette assisted with development of the Peterborough Community Seed Library. She has taught drawing, collage, and printmaking in classrooms and workshops throughout New Hampshire, and has been awarded residencies at I-Park, Rensing Center, and the Loomis Chaffee School.
assistant to the house manager & health communications assistant
Jackie Lundsted (she/her/hers) first joined MacDowell as a gardening assistant in 2017 while working on a B.S in environmental studies and sustainability at Keene State College. After graduating in 2019, Jackie worked through the pandemic as our interim head gardener and started filling in in housekeeping. The Rindge native then returned to school to earn a certificate as a medical assistant and joined the housekeeping staff fulltime in fall of 2022. She was named to her new title in January of 2023 and adds tasks that have her helping to coordinate cleaning MacDowell’s studios and other buildings and working with the resident director to adjust and update our COVID protocols. In her free time Jackie rides her horse Bunny a few times a week, likes to kayak, hike and garden with her dog Neville near at hand.
Keeping artists at the center of all decision-making, David Macy (he/him/his) works with about 30 Peterborough staff members to sustain ideal working conditions and an unpressured atmosphere conducive to the exchange of ideas. Working with architects, staff, contractors, and the Board’s physical plant committee, Macy has directed more than $10M in capital improvements since 1994. Past projects include the installation of underground utilities and a one-acre solar energy system, renovation of Colony Hall and about two thirds of the studios, as well as new construction of Calderwood Studio and The James Baldwin Library. To deepen MacDowell’s relationship with the regional community, Macy established two free public programs, MacDowell in the Schools (1996-present) and MacDowell Downtown (2001-present), each introducing hundreds of volunteering writers, composers, performers, filmmakers, playwrights, journalists, architects, and visual artists to thousands of local students and enthusiastic regional arts lovers. Macy has served on the boards of the Alliance of Artists Communities, Monadnock Arts Alive!, the Peterborough Arts Council, and New Hampshire Citizens for the Arts. Macy moved to Peterborough from Northern California where he managed the Djerassi Resident Artists Program. In 2000 he earned his M.Sc. in management at Antioch University New England. Contact David via e-mail.
After learning about MacDowell, lifelong supporter of arts and education Deb Marsh (she/her/hers) started working summers to be a part of the organization beginning in 1992. Her first task was with housekeeping to bring the Lodge dormitory back online after it received a full renovation. Since then, she has played several roles as an employee, working special events and in the kitchen as well as with the housekeeping staff at the same time she was co-director of a local private school. In 2003, upon retiring from 20 years of teaching, Deb joined MacDowell’s team as its fulltime house manager and is responsible for coordinating all aspects of the housekeeping department, fellows’ services, assisting the scheduling coordinator with the master schedule, and working closely with the resident director to provide an optimal residential setting by working on renovations, upgrades, and maintaining furnishings and equipment for studios. Deb supports staff and artists as a member of the DEIA Advisory Group as well as MacDowell’s Safety Committee. In her spare time Deb enjoys spending as much time as possible with her family of mariners. Contact Deb via e-mail.
Dan Millbauer (he/him/his) joined the MacDowell staff in 2012. From the main office, he greets and assists Fellows and guests, and completes a wide array of tasks and special projects. He was born and raised in Mystic, Connecticut, served three enlistments in the United States Army as a broadcast journalist, and has taught elementary school. He holds a B.A. in mass communication studies and a M.A. in elementary and general special education. Dan is an avid amateur photographer and loves to travel with his wife and daughter.
Joanna Eldredge Morrissey
Joanna Eldredge Morrissey (she/her/hers) is a Peterborough native and has been MacDowell's official photographer since 1989. She has completed more than 6,000 portrait sessions of MacDowell Fellows during their residencies for the MacDowell archives. After graduating from California State University at Fullerton with two bachelor degrees (in communications and philosophy), she worked at a commercial photo studio and at the Corona Public Library for many years before returning to New Hampshire to raise her two daughters and run her family farm. In 2016, her photographs appeared in a book called Sheds, which was written by Howard Mansfield. Jo also works freelance and covers many subjects including but not limited to architecture, PR, and events. Her other interests include music, gardening, farming, outdoor activities, and anything with a motor attached.
director of development & communications
Jericho Parms (she/her/hers) is passionate about serving artists across disciplines and joined MacDowell in February 2024 as the organization's first director of development and communications. She is an avid advocate for the power of storytelling to drive engagement and organizational growth, and has held positions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Vermont chapter of the National Alliance of Mental Illness. Most recently, Jericho served as the vice president for institutional advancement at Vermont College of Fine Arts (VCFA), where she oversaw fundraising and community engagement, and also helped establish VCFA’s Center for Arts + Social Justice. Jericho is a native New Yorker and a published essayist who holds a B.A. in history and political science from Colorado College and an M.F.A in creative writing from VCFA. Contact Jericho via email.
manager of board & executive relations
Virginia Podesta (she/her/hers) is an Argentine writer, producer, and director who joined the MacDowell staff as executive assistant and board liaison in 2019 after an ample body of work in TV, film, theatre, and advertising as well as brand name events. At MacDowell NYC she provides support to MacDowell’s executive director and works closely with the board of directors. In her spare time, Virginia develops passion projects, mostly for the stage. She is an avid reader and a lover of all animals. Contact Virginia via e-mail.
assistant to maintenance foreman
Jamie Sargent (he/him/his) began working at MacDowell as a seasonal employee for the maintenance department during his college years. Upon graduating from Springfield College (where he studied secondary education) in 1996, he was hired for a full-time position with MacDowell’s mavens of maintenance, and has been part of the team ever since. When not involved in helping keep the studios, roads, and other buildings on MacDowell’s 450 acres in top shape, he enjoys spending time with his family, camping, and attending live music and sporting events.
John Sieswerda (he/him/his) has the distinction of being the longest-serving fulltime staff member at MacDowell, having begun in the maintenance department in the spring of 1988. At the time, he had gained many years of experience as an independent home and business contractor and immediately put that background and his interest in forestry to work caring for the buildings and land on MacDowell’s 450 acres. He has overseen many studio winterizations, renovations, burying of power lines, keeping the woods and meadows healthy, and eventually took over the department as its responsibilities increased. He is proud that all of the changes he has seen in the last three decades have led to the improvement of the program and the artist experience. John is married to MacDowell Fellow Amy Jenkins and the two are parents to Adam and Elias. John also has two adult children, Eliza and Jesse, and likes to ski in winter, and if he can find the time, fish in summer. He also has studied the visual arts at the University of Utah and has plans to get back to his painting practice when his schedule permits.
Brett Evan Solomon
director of public programming & events
Brett Evan Solomon (he/him/his) is a Brooklyn-based writer, filmmaker, and arts administrator originally from Baltimore. He has held positions with New York City Players, Ripe Time, Target Margin Theatre, Young Jean Lee's (MF ’08, ’10, ’11) Theatre Company, Lincoln Center Festival, and The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He was a member of the Tank’s 2018 TV Pilot program and produces theatre, podcasts, and films through the production company, Special Events. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree double major in playwriting/screenwriting and theatre and performance studies from the Conservatory of Theatre Arts at SUNY Purchase College. Contact Brett via e-mail.
manager, corporate, foundation & government development
Karen Spolar (she/her/hers) is thrilled to join the MacDowell team! A development professional with 20 years of experience driving fundraising strategy and donor diversification, Karen has led development efforts at such organizations as Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, The Billie Holiday Theatre, The Noel Pointer Foundation, and Girl Be Heard. Her passion is building sustainable institutional funding for organizations at the intersection of community, social justice, and the arts. Karen graduated summa cum laude from Penn State University with degrees in English and political science; and holds a M.P.A. in public policy from the University of Pennsylvania. Contact Karen via e-mail.
Emeric Szep (he/him/his) is a dedicated maintenance assistant with a rich background at MacDowell. His journey here began in the summer of 2007 when he participated in MacDowell’s 100th anniversary project, “Landlines.” After that experience, he joined the kitchen staff and worked weekends throughout high school and college. In the summer of 2016, he joined the J-Crew as a seasonal worker, which then transitioned into a full-time position in 2024. He loves walking the trails on the property and being able to experience, in his own way, a version of Marian MacDowell’s vision.
Scott Tyle (he/him/his) has been the chef at MacDowell since 2004. He’s responsible for managing the daily operations of the kitchen and talented staff that serve artists-in-residence breakfast and dinner in the dining room and a picnic basket lunch at their studio door. His staff also provides the food and beverage service for the Medal Day Garden Party, New Hampshire Benefit, and annual holiday party. Scott lives in Peterborough with his wife Beth, son Jack, and daughter Molly. He enjoys being in the woods in fall, cutting and preparing his home’s firewood, ice fishing, and spending time with his family.
Jeannine Wegmueller (she/her/hers) came to MacDowell after owning her own business, Earthlings Baked Goods, and having worked at the Dutch Epicure bakery in Amherst, NH. She started part time as a cook at MacDowell in 2012, and moved into the kitchen full time in October of 2015. She became sous chef in 2021. Her hot breakfasts and freshly baked goods have only added to the magic of the MacDowell kitchen where she exercises both her experience and education in culinary arts as a graduate of Johnson & Wales University. She has three children and lives with her husband in Temple. She keeps busy in her spare time wrangling a collection of geese, ducks, chickens, turkeys, dogs, and cats at home. She plans on adding a mule to the mix in retirement.
chief of staff
Jenni Wu (she/her/hers) started at MacDowell in 2013 and has held positions in administration and development in New York and New Hampshire. As the chief of staff, Jenni leads HR functions and manages cross-departmental projects and meeting schedules. Her work focuses on strengthening and maintaining a healthy and inclusive work culture, creating opportunities for staff professional development, and coordinating our ongoing work in diversity, equity, inclusion, and access. Jenni studied art history and French at Grinnell College and has a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Artist Community Alliance and enjoys spending time with her dog Marvin, reading, and painting. Contact Jenni via e-mail.
communications & marketing associate
Cassandra Yerkes (she/her/hers) started at MacDowell in Spring 2022 as the communications and marketing associate working alongside Jonathan Gourlay and Christian Holland to spread the word about MacDowell and its Fellows. A life-long enthusiast for all things art, she graduated from Westminster College with a degree in arts administration with the aim of helping other creatives achieve their goals. She spent the first years of her career at the Cultural Core in Salt Lake City where she ran programs, events, and marketing campaigns to support individual artists, build the area as a cultural district, and raise awareness about the creative community there. Now back in her hometown, Cassandra looks forward to pursuing her own career as a working artist alongside her position at MacDowell.