Jane Orme has been a resident of Winthrop, Washington for close to 40 years, having had a long teaching career at Liberty Bell High School from which she retired in 2013. Jane taught English, history, and various electives, including drama classes, each one culminating in a full stage production. She estimates that during those teaching years, she probably directed at least 35 junior high plays, at times directing 2 plays during the same school year.
Missi Smith has been the Executive Director at The Merc Playhouse for seven years. Prior to that, she was on the board of directors for a number of years. In her time at The Merc, she has directed, choreographed, and acted in a number of plays. Missi grew up in Indiana where she trained and performed in dance and musical theater. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and a Master’s Degree in English before finding her way to Washington in 2004.
Born in Santa Ana, El Salvador, Martha Flores immigrated to California in 1962 where she enrolled at California State University and received both a Masters in Fine Arts and a Masters in Psychology. Aside from many accomplishments in the arts spanning a variety of mediums, Martha Flores worked as a mental health counselor for 30 years. Flores has called Wenatchee, Washington her home since December 1992, where she displays and teaches art across the valley.
Fran Palkovic is one of the instructors for Introduction to Art, Three Dimensional Design, Ceramics, and Art Survey Modern Art classes at Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake, Washington. He has been teaching at Big Bend for 23 years, and he’s a proud member of The Seattle and Moses Lake Art Museums, The Washington and National Teacher’s Associations, and The College Art and Foundations in Art and Theory Associations.
Dan Nanamkin (Thunder & Lightning) grew up on the Colville Indian Reservation. During his upbringing he experienced great blessings in storytelling, language, spiritual teachings, ceremonies and traditional songs and knowledge passed to him from a very early age by his elders. Through his adult life he has served the youth and communities as a community events director, prevention programs coordinator, cultural educator, health and wellness instructor and through selfless community service.
Mary Big Bull-Lewis was born & raised in Wenatchee, WA. She is a member of the Colville Confederated Tribe in Washington State – from Moses, Entiat, and Wenatchi bands & a descendant of the Blackfoot Tribe in Brocket, Alberta, Canada. Her vision for Wenatchi Wear was a modern spin on Native American art while keeping the traditions preserved and sharing important historic stories.
Perri Howard is a multi-disciplinary artist and community-based art planner, creatively engaging the public through original artworks and setting a powerful stage for multiple voices through art master plans. Perri’s work uses painting, drawing, sculpture and sound as means to explore the relationship between human perception and sense of place.
Mary Jensen is Principal Flutist of Symphony Tacoma, Olympia Symphony Orchestra, Tacoma City Ballet Orchestra, and is Principal Flutist and Artist-in-Residence of the Lake Chelan Bach Festival. Mary maintains a private studio in Tacoma, where she also is a flute and chamber music coach for the Tacoma Youth Symphony Association and is on the faculty of the Evergreen Music Festival. As a sought-after adjudicator, clinician, and Masterclass presenter, Mary has recently taught Masterclasses for NAfME All-National and All-Eastern Honor Groups, Pacific Lutheran University and Tacoma Youth Symphony.
Elvia Lima Espinoza is a paraeducator at Pioneer Middle School in Wenatchee, WA. When she was 12 years old, her family moved to the Wenatchee Valley from Mexico. She was enrolled at Pioneer Middle School and was pleased to find the mariachi dance program that allowed her to connect to her culture and heritage. Today, Elvia teaches the class herself and shares the love of mariachi and folkloric dance with students in the Wenatchee School District.