Board of Directors
Mary Henry
Chair, Teacher

Dr. Colleen Brennan
Founder, Executive Director, Ex Officio Board Member
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I've known since the second grade I was going to be an Artist. Making art is the first thing I came to love doing, and I maintain an active practice integrating darkroom and digital photography with fibers, fabric surface treatments and printing, design, illustration, and other needlecraft and sewing artforms. In 1999 earned my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in Graphic Design from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. After several years working as a professional Graphic Designer in the Twin Cities, I returned to school at Minnesota State University, Mankato to earn my K-12 Visual Arts teaching license and Master of Arts in Teaching.

I've been teaching Visual and Media Arts since 2003 in public, charter and alternative schools, and I consider teaching the second thing I came to love doing.​ I earned my PhD in Curriculum and Instruction with supporting programs in Art Education, Teacher Education, and Media Arts and Design Education from the University of Minnesota in 2012, and the majority of my teaching career has been dedicated to  helping middle and high school students develop their personal voice, and to advancing teaching practices in Visual and Media Arts to include contemporary approaches.​ 

In addition to remaining grounded as a practicing Art instructor, I have also served  as a University Pre-Service Art Teacher Educator and Student Teaching Supervisor ​at the University of Minnesota, Illinois State University, Minnesota State University Mankato, and University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Currently I am working to earn my K-12 Principal and Superintendent licenses through the Educational Leadership program at the University of Minnesota, and I expect to complete this endeavor in the spring of 2019.

Starting a school for high school students who thrive and learn best
​by making and doing things has been a long-time dream of mine, and I'm excited to see it become reality!
I am an Artist and Educator. I received a Master of Education/Initial Licensure in K-12 Art Education from the University of Minnesota in 2008, and a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art with a concentration in Environmental Studies at St. Olaf College in 2006.

In my 10 years of teaching I have created curriculum for Media and Digital Arts in both public and charter schools, and taught and created content for Studio Kids Summer Camps at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. As an artist, I work in photography, graphic design and filmmaking. 
Aaron Monson
Secretary, Teacher
I am a Ceramic Artist, Diving Coach and Teacher. I have over 10 years of teaching experiences as a K-12 Visual Arts Teacher. I earned my Master of Education degree in Art Education from the University of Minnesota in 2008, and in 2005 I earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in Studio Art and a minor in Asian Studies from Saint John's University. From 2005-2006 I lived abroad in Niigata, Japan as an Assistant Language Teacher through the Japanese Exchange and Teaching program.

During my career I have been a peer coach, a Professional Learning Community lead, a member of a National Urban Alliance cohort, a Beyond Diversity trainee, and a Positive Behavior Intervention Strategy committee member.
Craig Farmer
 Vice Chair, Teacher
I have been teaching art history at the high school level for over twenty-six years. I hold a Bachelors degree in Art History and History from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, and a Masters in the Art of Teaching from the University of St. Thomas.

I have been teaching at the Perpich Center for Arts Education for
over twenty one years. Since 2008 I have also been a graduate level Adjunct Instructor in The University of Minnesota’s Curriculum and Instruction Department.


Over the last seventeen years I have become a leader in Art Education in the State of Minnesota. Since 2001, I have presented twenty-one workshops to various groups of Art Educators. Some of my most recent teacher professional development work includes producing a workshop for Art and Science magnet elementary school teachers in Eagan, consulting with two social studies teachers from Buffalo High School, and presenting contemporary art history teaching methods to visual arts teachers at a workshop in Albert Lea.
Justin Larson
Treasurer, Community Member
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I am a Trust and Estate Officer with Alerus Financial in downtown Minneapolis, and have over 10 years of experience working in wealth management with a focus on trusts and estates and financial planning. I hold a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University in central Minnesota, and also hold the designations of Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and Certified Trust and Financial Advisor(CTFA). I'm an avid supporter of the performing and visual arts, educational causes, and community development and engagement, and have served on several non-profit boards throughout the Twin Cities in support of those efforts. A native of the northern suburbs of Minneapolis, I currently reside in downtown Minneapolis.
Maria Sperl
Board Member, Teacher

Moriah Thielges
Board Member, Teacher

I am a Speech-Language Pathologist with a passion for art, and I have been working in public and charter schools for four years. Recently
I worked with Speech Partners, a company that provides speech therapy in schools through telepractice, and currently I work in the Hastings school district. 


I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Art, Design and Business Administration from Concordia University-St. Paul in 2009, where
I also played volleyball. After recognizing that Speech Pathology was the perfect career for me, I began graduate school at Northeastern University in Boston and earned my Masters of Science in 2014.
I work to ensure that students of all learning styles have full access
​to a meaningful curriculum and to the world.
I am an Art Educator who has been teaching elementary Art in the Twin Cities since 2014. I grew up in in Moorhead, MN (go Spuds!), 
​and I received a Bachelors degree in Art Education from Minnesota State University, Moorhead in 2012.


I have explored many different types of art of all varieties in order
​to incorporate many approaches to my curriculum. You name it, I've probably done it; 2-D and 3-D, Art and craft, music, dancing, writing and poetry, theater and film make up, I love all forms of creating. Except acting. That's an Art I'm terrible at. I am equal parts paint splatters and fairy dust and I try to bring as much magic and wonder to my "superheroes" (what I call my students) as any Art we make!
Alethea Ballard
Board Member, Teacher
Vacant
Board Member, Parent


As a child, I was typically seen with an assortment of supplies in my hand that I was ready to use to create the perfect tool or structure that I had imagined. Whether it be my trusty practice hammer and nail set, a needle and thread, or my green mixing bowl and wooden spoon,
​I had a vision and a plan to create.


The day after finishing my Bachelor of Fine Arts at Minnesota State University, Mankato I moved to Bozeman, Montana and began working on my MFA in Printmaking and Design. Through teaching undergraduate foundational classes I quickly gained a new passion for teaching and Art Education. Putting my Master of Fine Arts studies on hold, I received a teaching license from Montana State University and haven’t been out of the classroom since. I've had the opportunity to work all over Montana teaching Commercial and Fine Arts to middle and high school students, and was an Academic Interventionist Teacher on Special Assignment​ at North Middle School in Great Falls, Montana. Last year I moved back to Minnesota to be a STEAM Teacher, and I taught web design and coding to middle school students in Robbinsdale.
 
As an artist, my work has traveled the country in various shows and expeditions, and, currently I am finishing my Masters in Reading at Minnesota State University, Mankato. My personal focus now is with
​a design and production company I started with my sister, Mill Creek Dry Goods. I have been so fortunate to blend my passion for art with my fervor for teaching and look forward to opportunities that allow me to apply these skills and be a value-added team member in art education.

Bio goes here.