On August 1, 2017, James Menaker became the Festival’s third Executive Director. James was born and raised in Fairbanks, returning from school in 2000 to invest in his family and community. He has nearly 20 years of nonprofit experience, including the past five years in management. He also holds a Foraker certificate in nonprofit management. He is married with three children and, when not working, stays busy with freelance writing. A published author, James is thrilled to be continuing the Festival’s work empowering people of all skills and abilities to awaken their inner artist. “I am looking forward to using my skills and passion for the arts to further the Festival’s already rich legacy.”
Dori Nix is a graduate of Georgia Southern University, and is still fairly new to Fairbanks after spending most of her life on the east coast. Dori graduated with double majors in Art History and Studio Art with a focus in photography. She has developed a love for community, craft, and handmade arts over the years and now specializes in photography with a passion for non-profit organizations. Dori is excited to be a part of the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, and is looking forward to the development of community through the arts here in Fairbanks.
Abby recently relocated to Fairbanks from her lifelong home in Maryland. There, she worked as a Veterinary Technician and has volunteered with multiple Maryland festivals, including Artsfest, Park Your Arts and Barktoberfest, a festival for dogs! She is currently pursuing a degree at UAF and is very excited to both become more involved with the artistic community in Fairbanks and experience her first summer in Alaska. In her spare time she enjoys photography and exploring the outdoors.
A life-long Alaskan, Rhonda fell in love with music as soon as she could sing along, and has never stopped since. She also has a weakness for any percussion instrument, and can usually be found joyfully banging away. She earned a BA in Music from UAF, and started working for local arts non-profits. Currently, she is the Operations Manager for the Fairbanks Concert Association, as well as Festival's bookkeeper. In her free time, she loves gardening, reading, photography, walking, and any animal with fins, fur, or feathers.
Music Librarian/Artistic Administratorniamh@fsaf.org
A lifelong Californian, Niamh came to Alaska in 2015 to pursue her Masters in Percussion Performance at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She is currently a graduate teaching assistant as well as the instructor of the World Beat Ensemble, and the Interrelation of Arts and Drama. She is an avid performer, and is passionate about percussion in its various settings, from orchestral to world music.
Amanda grew up in Anchorage, Alaska. She moved to Fairbanks to finish her business management degree at UAF in 2005. She’s always been captivated by the local culture of arts and nature here. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, biking, traveling and volunteering for various non-profits.
Rural Outreach Director
Terese Kaptur returned to Alaska after being Executive Director at Fort Collins Symphony and National Repertory Orchestra in Colorado. Always passionate about outreach, early childhood and the healing powers of the arts, Terese helped pioneer new programs for Ages 0 to 3 and Music Therapy while working in Education/Community Engagement and Artistic Planning at the Pittsburgh Symphony. She has worked with festivals, orchestras, ballet and opera. Since starting her career at the Fairbanks Symphony and earning her degrees at UAF, Terese composed numerous works which have been performed internationally.The symphonies of Charlotte, Winston-Salem and Anchorage, Carolina Chamber Symphony, and Pittsburgh New Music Festival have performed her orchestral pieces.
Originally from Michigan, James has been an Alaskan resident since 2004. He attended Albion College where he majored in mathematics and chemistry, the University of Maine, where he studied physical chemistry, and the University of Alaska Fairbanks where he studied music theory. James's love for science has transferred well into the kitchen, where he gets to experiment and eat the results!
Adam Gillette, Production Manager
Dan Wiley, Personnel Manager
Josh Bennett, Sound & Lighting Designer
Jon Huff, Outreach Production Manager
Kris Capps, Denali Outreach Coordinator
Todd Paris, Festival Photographer
Lynda Sather, PresidentBuki Wright, Vice PresidentDoug Lange, SecretaryGlenn Brady, TreasurerJoy McDougallDon GrayDavid PruhsMike SfragaTim SatreCorlis TaylorJanVerné Hnilicka
Louise Kowalski, AccordionRyan Bowers, American RootsLorri Heneveld, CabaretCaitlin Warbelow, Celtic ArtisticSimon Traynor, Celtic LocalRobert Franz, Classical Music ArtisticCathie Harms-Tordoff, Comedy-ImprovStephen Lias, Composing in the WildernessJeanne E. Clark, Creative Writing ArtisticPatty Kastelic, Creative Writing LocalSean Walklin, Culinary ArtsSherrie Martin, Dance ArtisticKrista Stamper, Dance LogisticsYvonne McHenry, Gospel MusicDebra Pearson, Gospel MusicDennis Rogers, HarpJoy McDougall, Housing & TransportationGianna Drogheo, Healing ArtsRobin McDougall, Healing ArtsKeith Karns, Jazz ArtisticTeresa Lantz, Jazz LocalMarsha Knobel, Lunch BitesAndie Springer, New MusicMari Eikeland, NorwegianJaunelle Celaire, Opera ArtisticJessica Anderson, Opera LocalAmy Horstman Ingram, Opera LocalTheresa Reed, Opera LocalPeggy Carlson, MarimbaDennis Stephens, Scottish LocalMarlene McDermott, Steel PansDonna O’Dowd-Robb, Steel PansEvelyn Sfraga, Steel PansBryan Hall, Strings ArtisticMaureen Heflinger, StringsMarcia Boyette, UsherNelda Nixon, Visual ArtsAnn Tremarello, Visual ArtsJanVerné Hnilicka, World Dance
Administrative Offices600 University AvenueFairbanks, AK email@example.com