Strategic Planning
and support
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.

Executive Committee

Andrea Beall

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.

Robert "Coop" Cooper
Vice President

Robert “Coop” Cooper is the Assistant Vice President of Student Engagement 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.

Griffin Detrick

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

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 QuarterlyQuartoTrailer Park Quarterly, and the print anthology All Poems are Ghosts, edited by Louisa Schnaithmann and Dana Knott.

Board Members

Sue Arnson

Sue Arnson grew up in Seattle and graduated from the University of Washington. She holds a master’s degree from George Washington University. She moved from Seattle, WA, to NYC, and then to Bethesda, MD, teaching in each place. In 1986, Sue and her husband Alan moved to their weekend retreat in Garrett County. Sue opened The Loft Shop in 1987, selling the art and crafts of people of Western Maryland. In 1995, on a whim, she took a watercolor class from Alexis Levine and a passion was born. She continues to paint and has branched out into other mediums, including collage, monoprints, and alcohol ink. She has taken numerous workshops over the years. Sue is an active member of the arts community in Garrett and Allegany counties. She served on the Board of Garrett County Arts Council and is currently the vice chair of Garrett Lakes Arts Festival Board of Directors. She is a long time member of the Western Maryland Watercolor Society. Sue and Alan have hosted Plein Air Painters for the past several years. Sue has participated in Artist Studio Tours for many years in both counties, particularly enjoying demonstrating her artistic skills. She believes that if people see how art is made, they have a greater appreciation of art and that art enhances our lives. Sue’s work is on display at The Loft Shop studio, The Garrett County Arts Council Gallery, Firefly Farms Market, and the Western Maryland Watercolor Society show at the Saville Gallery.

Rachael Darkow

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.

Martin Heavner

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. In addition, Frostburg State University has invited him to mount an exhibit of his work in September 2020 in the university’s Stephanie Ann Roper Gallery.

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, and returns to the Board of Directors after serving as its President from 2022-2024.

Larry Jackson

Since 2000, Mr. Jackson has been the managing partner of several firms specializing in commercial real estate development, including Town Center Development Group, L.L.C., Decatur Heights Development, L.L.C. and Alco Towers, L.L.C.

He has been very active in the redevelopment of the Downtown Cumberland area and has specialized in historic rehabilitation. Mr. Jackson is also co-owner of Allegany Retail, LLC, and Western Maryland Music Center, a retail store which supplies musical instruments and instruction to people of all ages. He also has been a management consultant for Chaney Architects, Inc. of Cumberland, Md. since 1997.

Mr. Jackson also has served in numerous local development roles, including the chair of the City Economic committee, the precursor to the current CEDC. He also currently serves as the chair of the City of Cumberland’s Historic Preservation Commission and vice-chair of the Downtown Development Commission. He serves on Cumberland Levitt AMP Cumberland Music series committee and the Downtown Cumberland arts and entertainment committee.

He has an MBA from Frostburg State University and a Bachelors of Music Education degree from West Virginia University. He has been on the Board of Directors and is a co-founder of the Cumberland Jazz Society, Inc., a non-profit arts promotion corporation, and is active in many other professional and cultural organizations.

He is a founding member and board member of the Loft 129, Inc, a performing arts venue. In 1997 Jackson was the recipient of the Maryland Music Educators Award for Excellence /Outstanding Music Teacher of the year. In 2009 Mr. Jackson was one of five educators in the nation to receive the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation award for teaching excellence, which was presented in April at New York City’s Carnegie Hall.

In addition to his work as an arts educator, Larry is an accomplished musician himself.

Mary Ann Riley

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.

Sandi Saville

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.

Robin Summerfield

Robin Summerfield has deep roots in the people and traditions of the Allegheny Mountain region of Maryland and West Virginia.  He completed undergraduate study in Political Science at Frostburg State University and earned a Master of Social Work with concentration on rural practice and community organizations from West Virginia University. His professional background includes working as a professional chef and commercial pilot as well as social work with at risk youth, community organizing, nonprofit leadership, and political campaigning. Since 2007, he has been employed as U.S. Senator Ben Cardin’s Western Maryland Field Representative.

He currently serves as Secretary of the Cumberland Scottish Rite Foundation 501(c)3, Secretary of the Cumberland Masonic Temple, Inc. 501(c)3, and is a founding and current member of the Board of Directors of Savage Mountain Punk Arts 501(c)3 and Mountainside Baroque 501(c)3.  Robin can be found at DelFest every Memorial Day Weekend leading a crew of volunteers serving beverages in support of the event and The DelFest Foundation. He has been a member of the Maryland State Democratic Central Committee since 2010 and was elected as a Delegate to the 2016 Democratic National Convention. He is Treasurer of the Western Maryland Democratic Political Action Committee and principal organizer of the Western Maryland Democratic Summit, which draws three hundred attendees to Rocky Gap Casino and Resort every spring.

Robin has played guitar and keyboard since the age of twelve and has been involved in the Western Maryland music scene since his college years. He writes and records as Graysweater and is a member of the garage punk outfit The Downstrokes. He can be heard on the band’s 2019 EP “Fall in Love with Punk Rock Again” (Snubbed Records), the 2021 LP “Unsafe at Any Speed” (Coffin Curse Records), the 2023 LP “This Close to Vertigo” (Coffin Curse/Allegedly Records), and a number of digital releases and CD compilations.

Robin lives in Rawlings, Maryland with his wife, Paula (PJ), and their children Max, Moss, and Madeleine. He spends his leisure time cooking for family and friends and hiking, biking, and boating in the beautiful outdoors of Western Maryland.

Stephanie Hutter-Thomas, PhD, CPH, CCHW, RPS

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.

Michael Hunter Thompson

Michael Hunter Thompson is a sales representative for Mondelez International and aspiring photographer. He is a 1999 graduate of Allegany High School and 2004 graduate of Frostburg State University, receiving a bachelor’s degree in graphic design.

His love of photography began in 2011 and has earned acclaim at the local, state, and national level. Notably, Michael has been awarded Maryland State Arts Council’s Independent Artist Award twice and his work has received many awards in national call for entry exhibitions. He was also chosen to represent Allegany County in First Lady of Maryland, Yumi Hogan’s book, “Artists of Maryland: Visual Art.”

Most recently, Thompson’s photography/oral history project and self-published book of his former high school titled, “Fade to Blue” was awarded The Maryland Historical Trust’s 2023 Maryland Preservation Award for Excellence in Community Engagement. The project also received senatorial, congressional and gubernatorial citations.

Thompson helped develop and launch Allegany Arts Council’s Allegany National Photography Competition and Exhibition (ANPCE) in 2015 and now serves as co-chair of its photography committee.


Julie Westendorff
Executive Director

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.

Diane Webb
Manager, Finance & Administration

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 Webb
Gallery & Program Associate

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.

Lily Jackson
Program Associate

Lily Jackson is a full time student at Frostburg State University working to receive her undergraduate degree in business administration. She also enjoys her on-campus job as a student team member for the Cultural Events Series. Lily spends her free time actively participating in local theater where you may have seen her at the Embassy Theater, Cumberland Theater, or the Mountain City Center for the Arts.

Cindy Weisenmiller
Gallery Assistant

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

Board Committees are required by our bylaws and open only to members of the Board of Directors. These committees include:

  • Executive Committee: Led by the President, and comprised of the Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Executive Director and Immediate Past President (ex officio), the Executive Committee is responsible for recommending agenda items, grant guidelines, and development of long-range strategic planning goals. The Executive Committee also makes formal recommendations to the Board of Directors.
  • Governance/Human Resources: Led by the Vice President, the Governance Committee’s chief responsibilities are to determine the composition of the Board of Directors, and to measure the quality of performance of the Board and its individual members. The President must appoint at least three additional members of the Board of Directors to serve on the committee.
  • The Human Resources Committee is responsible for creating and monitoring values-based systems to ensure the organization is in compliance with local, state and federal laws. It also assists the Executive Director as needed to manage human resource and employment matters.

Standing Committees

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:

  • Investment: Led by the Treasurer, the Investment Committee is responsible for oversight of the organization’s restricted funds and other unrestricted investments of the organization, for proposing investment strategy, and for the development and maintenance of an investment policy.
  • Grants: Led by the Executive Director, the Grants Committee is responsible for reviewing and evaluating all grant applications and for proposing funding recommendations to the Board of Directors.
  • Fundraising/Special Events: The Fundraising Committee is responsible for the development of programs and initiatives to be recommended to the Board of Directors, as needed by the organization, to sustain its operations.

Ad Hoc Committees

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:

  • Creative Placemaking: The Creative Placemaking Committee is responsible for cultivating, developing and proposing projects which include art as a part of community development. The committee also seeks opportunities and funding for the implementation of public artworks.
    Wellness through the Arts: The Wellness Committee is responsible for developing programs and initiatives which utilize art as a means to promote health and well-being in our community.
  • Exhibition: The Exhibition Committee is responsible for the review of exhibition applications for the Arts Council’s Saville and Schwab Galleries, and for recruiting artists to exhibit in our community.In addition to the Exhibition Committee, several other annual exhibitions maintain committees which support the planning, juror selection, sponsorship and implementation of signature events of the Arts Council, including the Allegany National Photography Competition & Exhibition, Mountain Maryland Plein Air Competition & Exhibition, and Will’s Creek Exhibition of Fine Art.
  • Membership: The Membership Committee is responsible for the recruitment and retention of members of the organization.

Complete information about our mission, membership, leadership, elections and meetings may be found in our bylaws.