for the arts
The Allegany Arts Council is a 501(c)3 organization registered in the State of Maryland, and is one of 24 County arts agencies as established by the Maryland State Arts Council. It is governed by a Board of Directors, who are tasked with ensuring the organization meets its mission, maintains and sustains its operations, and works with its professional staff to implement its strategic plan. It is governed by the organization’s bylaws.
Members of the Board of Directors serve two or three year terms and are unpaid. They are major contributors to the work and vibrancy of the organization, and are expected to contribute time, talent and financial support to the organization.
Each year, Arts Council members are presented with a slate of candidates who will serve the organization. All members of the Allegany Arts Council are entitled and encouraged to take part in voting for Board candidates.
Martin is an award-winning fine arts photographer, business writer, and marketing executive. A native of Cumberland, he is a graduate of Fort Hill High School and Potomac State College and received his bachelor’s degree in Journalism from West Virginia University and his MBA from Frostburg State University.
He has exhibited his photographs in three solo exhibits and participated in exhibits at the Maryland State House, Maryland Governor’s Mansion, Washington County of Museum of Fine Arts, and galleries throughout the region. In 1999, he was recognized as one of Maryland’s top visual artists by the Governor’s Office.
Martin frequently judges photography competitions throughout Maryland and was a juror for the multi-media Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts in State College, PA. He also helped to curate a 2018 exhibit of A. Aubrey Bodine’s classic black-and-white images of Western Maryland.
A member and former president of the Frederick Camera Clique, Martin also is a member of the Allegany Arts Council, Delaplaine Visual Arts Center and Frederick Arts Council. Currently, he serves as co-chair of the Photography Committee of the Allegany Arts Council. His photographs have won more than 100 awards in national and regional competitions.
Andréa Beall serves as the Director of Marketing for CareVentures Inc. Andréa has 10 years of healthcare marketing and communications experience with Life Plan Communities, Skilled Living Facilities, Assisted Living/Personal Care, Outpatient Clinics, and Home Health. Her background includes experience in developing and executing successful advertising campaigns, digital marketing, and social media outreach, web development, CRM programs, corporate identity and branding, internal communications, design and buys, radio, television, and media relations strategies. She directly supervises and works with a graphic design team to develop overall branding and style of advertising campaigns successfully increasing ROI profits up to 25%.
Previously, Andréa held the position as Director of Outpatient Services responsible for daily oversight, supervising and managing, completing annual reviews and educational training. Andréa actively participates in corporate partnerships with state and national affiliations to increase awareness and support advocacy for aging services. Born and raised in Cumberland, Maryland, and a graduate of Frostburg State University, and a 2016 graduate of Leadership Allegany, a program designed to help identify regional issues within Mountain Maryland and across the State. Andréa has been involved with many organizations in Western Maryland. She currently acts as the Director of the Bishop Walsh Spartan Theatre and continues to serve with many community organizations.
Griffin is a 2005 graduate of Bishop Walsh School, and a 2010 graduate of Frostburg State University where he majored in accounting. He is a Certified Public Accountant licensed in the state of Maryland. He currently serves as a Senior Accountant for Northrop Grumman. Griffin has helped produce several short films in the Baltimore film community, one of which he wrote and directed and was accepted into several film festivals. He also serves as Treasurer for AHEC West and the Community Trust Foundation. In his downtime, he enjoys hanging out with friends and family, including his two rescue dogs, Barney and Lady.
Jennifer Browne is a Lecturer in English at Frostburg State University and the Director of the Frostburg Center for Literary Arts. She began teaching college-level composition and literature courses at Garrett College, which fostered her interest in advocacy for underprepared and educationally-disadvantaged students, an interest that was enhanced while she served as Director of the Upward Bound Program at Potomac State College of West Virginia University, a federally-funded educational-opportunity program for low-income and first-generation high school students. Upon joining the faculty of Frostburg State University in 2008, she returned to teaching, focusing on the needs of developing writers, who frequently describe her as “passionate,” “knowledgeable,” and “boring.”
In addition to issues of educational access, Jennifer is interested in gender, ecology, the environment, and popular culture, which she investigates in her own writing. She has recently had poems accepted by Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Quarto, Trailer Park Quarterly, and the print anthology All Poems are Ghosts, edited by Louisa Schnaithmann and Dana Knott.
Robert “Coop” Cooper is the Director of Student Activities & Fraternity and Sorority Life at Frostburg State University. He has been working at Frostburg State University for almost 12 years but has been in higher education for almost 22 years having worked at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, Union College, and Roanoke College. Robert graduated from the University of Lynchburg (Lynchburg College at the time)in Lynchburg, Virginia. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Development and a Master’s degree in Higher Education with an emphasis in Student Affairs. Due to his position, he has had the opportunity to plan events on and off campus with some of the events crossing over into the arts. In September 2019, Robert took 50 students to see the Lion King in Pittsburgh. He also hosted actor Martin Sensmeier, The Magnificent Seven. Robert has collaborated with the Cultural Event Series and worked with bringing International films to the university.
Before his time at Frostburg State University, Robert use to work with local art venues by promoting them to students who had never experienced the arts. His goal is to aid with the growth and exposure of the local arts to the community. Currently he and his wife are exposing their three children to the arts locally and regionally. Although he is not a native of Allegany County, he has grown to love the area and wants to share it with others.
Al Delia is vice president for regional development and engagement at Frostburg State University in Frostburg, Maryland. He oversees the University’s efforts to help advance the region it serves through engagement with business, industry, community organizations and government. Al has extensive professional experience in economic and community development, healthcare, government and academe. Al is a political science graduate of Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. He is married to Cecelia Karas and lives in Cresaptown, Maryland. He has two adult sons, Jordan and Alex.
Rachel Darkow is originally from the Philadelphia area, where she was born and raised in Media, PA. She received her Bachelor's in English from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD, moving to Cumberland in 2015 after starting at IBM, where she continues to work in workforce management and staffing government projects. In her free time, she enjoys walking with her dog, Nucky, on the towpath, reading, and watching movies. One of her favorite parts about Cumberland is the strong and passionate arts community and she is excited to be a part of that.
Jazz Pianist and Vocalist Barry Gurley, started playing local gigs at an early age while studying with Jazz Pianist and Verve Recording Artist, Don Scaletta. Since then, his career has taken him to Jazz Clubs like Washington, D.C. Blues Alley and New York City club, The Blue Note, to the Bilboquet in Paris, France.
In 1990, Washingtonian Magazine named Barry Gurley Best Pianist-Vocalist in Washington, D.C. Gurley has also appeared as a pianist in two Hollywood films: Barry Levinson’s Tin Men (Richard Dreyfus and Barbara Hershey), and Gregory Nava’s Why Do Fools Fall in Love? (Halle Berry and Lorenz Tate.) More recently, Gurley has appeared with Diane Coburn Bruning Chamber Dance performances of Ballet, Brass and Song: The Songs of Cole Porter with Vocalist Lena Seikaly at Sidney Harmon Hall and the Kennedy Center.
Gurley currently resides in Frostburg, Maryland, and is a native of Cumberland.
Marion Leonard is a Professor Emeritus, MBA department of Frostburg State University. Prior to her teaching career, she was successful in both retail management and financial consulting and planning.
She integrates her academic background in management, psychology, body mind wellness, yoga and meditation with her business experience to serve the community and promote wellness throughout the region. Marion serves in various leadership positions in the Allegany Arts Council, Community Trust Foundation, Community Wellness Coalition, Frostburg State University Foundation and the Imagination Library of Allegany County, Maryland.
Donna Miller is a retired graphic design artist. She was raised in Doylestown, Pennsylvania and can remember doing art from an early age. With the encouragement of elementary and high school educators, she was able to pursue a career in art. She received a BFA from Moore College of Art in Philadelphia, and eventually landed at the National Wildlife Federation in Washington, DC, where she continued her work in the arts for 40 years. During her time as art director at NWF, she designed books, calendars, educational materials and published a children’s craft book of her own. She won many design awards for her work on Ranger Rick, the Federation’s popular publication for children. Since retirement, she has spent her time volunteering and enjoying her true love of gardening. Her property outside of town features many native plants and an organic vegetable garden. She serves as committee chair for the quilt show and co-chair of the plein air event for the Allegany Arts Council. She is also a member of the exhibition committee and strives to bring a variety of art to our area.
Riley has lived in the Cumberland area for the last five years with her husband and two children. She is a practicing Internist at UPMC Outpatient Care Center and the Medical Director of the local Hospice office. She was initially attracted to the area for the quaint small town feel but quickly fell in love with the vibrant arts community. While in Cumberland her family has been avid supporters of the arts community through participating in Plein Air and multiple Allegany Arts Council gallery events. During her tenure on the Allegany Arts Council she looks forward to integrating her love of both medicine and art within the community she now calls home.
Trina recently moved to Allegany County from West Virginia, where she taught high school for over three decades as a National Board-Certified Teacher. During that time, she focused on empowering young people to explore avenues through which they could contribute to society. Because so many students had mental health concerns, Trina created a suicide prevention program that raised awareness of resources and provided a safe space to those who struggled.
Now a Marketing and Special Events Coordinator for Cumberland’s Downtown Development Commission, Trina continues to advocate for small businesses, human rights and social justice causes. Although she has written professionally for local news sources, she is now dedicating her time to creative endeavors such as writing poetry, learning to paint, and exploring the world through travel.
Trina has served on the Sacred Heart Children’s Charity and United Way boards and is involved with the Mineral County Chamber of Commerce. She lives with her husband, Chris Mullett, in Barton, MD and has six adult children who add richness and humor to her life.
Sandi grew up in Cumberland where she graduated from Fort Hill High School. She is a graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center and a member of the Maryland Bar Association. After graduation from law school, she spent thirty years in Alaska practicing trial law and raising her two sons. She returned to Cumberland in 2003 and has been living here ever since. She has been active in the community including being Treasurer of the Cumberland Cultural Foundation, member of the Boards of Frostburg State University and Western Maryland Hospital Foundation, President of the Allegany Arts Council, President of the Evergreen Heritage Foundation and is currently chair of the Arts & Entertainment District of Cumberland's Advisory Board and secretary of the Downtown Development Commission, of which she recently served as chair for nine years.
Sandi has served as an adjunct professor at Frostburg State University teaching intellectual property and the arts. While on the Arts Council, Sandi has been especially active in promoting public art efforts.
Dr. Stephanie Hutter-Thomas is the research program director for the Buprenorphine Implementation Research & Community Health (BIRCH) Project, a partnership between WVU & Yale Schools of Medicine; educator for the Maryland Rural Opioid Technical Assistance (MarylandROTA) program, University of Maryland; and founder of Appalachian Recovery Concepts, LLC. As a Western Maryland native, Stephanie has remained dedicated to the region serving as a socio-behavioral researcher, public health community educator, peer support specialist trainer, and advocate for harm reduction services. After spending over a decade in the professional body art industry, prior to her current career path, she remains passionate about the intersection between artistic expression and mental well-being.
Westendorff serves as Executive Director of the Allegany Arts Council, and began with the organization in January 2018. She and her husband relocated to Allegany County after living and working in the Washington, D.C. area for more than 15 years. Her career includes more than 15 years of corporate event planning, managing logistics for several high-profile lawmakers, and managing operations for several non-profit organizations. Westendorff is active in the community and serves on the Boards of the Western Maryland Health System Auxiliary and Allegany County Chamber of Commerce.
Webb joined the Arts Council in June 2018 and manages its finance, bookkeeping and accounting practices. She previously worked for Kenney Signs in Frostburg, MD, as a bookkeeper and has extensive experience in managing daily financial operations. She and her husband live in Cumberland, MD, and have three children.
Garrett serves as Gallery & Program Associate, where he supports gallery and program operations of the Allegany Arts Council. He originally served as the Gallery Assistant during the weekends for several years, and has returned to serve the Allegany Arts Council in a greater capacity. He is from the mountains of Appalachia, and is a self-taught, operatic vocalist of 15 years. You can often find him in local theatre productions, and the occasional choir. He is currently serving on the board of a new nonprofit in the community called Blackcrowe Entertainment which is devoted to offering theatre work to locals who are 14-30 years old.
Cindy Weisenmiller has served as part of the Arts Council's weekend support team for several years, where she greets visitors to the rotating exhibits and supports membership needs. She is an experienced artist and musician and is a champion of the arts in Allegany County, Maryland.
In addition to the Board of Directors and staff, the Allegany Arts Council is supported by a variety of committees who carry out the mission of the organization and its work supporting the community.
Board Committees are required by our bylaws and open only to members of the Board of Directors. These committees include:
Standing Committees are required by our bylaws and provide opportunity for the organization to utilize the expertise and abilities of Arts Council members, volunteers and donors, putting their talents and experience to work for the organization’s success. All members of the Arts Council are eligible to join committees and may co-chair a committee, along with a member of the Board of Directors. These committees include:
Ad Hoc Committees provide opportunity for the organization to utilize the expertise and abilities of Arts Council members, volunteers and donors, putting their talents and experience to work for the organization’s success. All members of the Arts Council are eligible to join committees and may co-chair a committee, along with a member of the Board of Directors. These committees include:
Complete information about our mission, membership, leadership, elections and meetings may be found in our bylaws.