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Arts Midwest Welcomes 5 New Members to Board of Directors

Arts Midwest is thrilled to announce that Dionne Custer Edwards, Jasmin DeForrest, Craig Howe, Mia Khimm, and Megan Laudenschlager have joined our Board of Directors.

These five individuals bring myriad skills and talents to our Board. As artists, educators, grantmakers, fundraisers, and community leaders, they will help broaden the range of perspectives, insights, and experiences on the Board. Collectively, they work across five states, developing important partnerships and initiatives that fosterern Midwest creativity.

“We are honored to welcome these five new members to our Board,” said Arts Midwest President & CEO Torrie Allen. “They bring a wealth of creative experience from across our region that will inform and guide Arts Midwest’s work as we move forward.”

Headshot of a smiling person of medium dark skin tone, with black hair in a bun on top of their head, and wearing a bright yellow shirt.
Photo Credit: Dionne Custer Edwards
Dionne Custer Edwards

Dionne Custer Edwards

Director of Learning and Public Practice, Wexner Center For The Arts

In 2005, Dionne Custer Edwards, Director of Learning & Public Practice, joined the Wexner Center for the Arts. Her work at the Wex has included pioneering and managing several groundbreaking education programs. Embedded in her art and education practices is Dionne’s commitment to work in diversity, equity, inclusion, and access. Alongside colleagues and community partners, Dionne leads institutional equity work at the Wex and helped to conceptualize and sustain the work of the Shumate Council—a group of Wex supporters, ambassadors, and volunteers; committed to diversity, inclusion, and access. In addition to being an arts educator, arts administrator, and programmer, Dionne is also a practicing artist. She has published critical and literary writing, internationally and nationally. Dionne has an MA, Antioch University and a BA, The Ohio State University.

Headshot of a smiling person of dark skin tone with short black hair in braids, wearing hoop earrings, red lipstick, and a striped shirt in vibrant shades of blue, pink, orange and green.
Photo Credit: Jasmin DeForrest
Jasmin DeForrest

Jasmin DeForrest

Director Of Community Sponsorships, Rocket Community Fund

Jasmin DeForrest is a native Detroiter, inspired by creativity, vision, and strategy. Jasmin leads and maintains a diverse portfolio of Detroit-based strategic community investments to support inclusive arts and culture programming that attracts diverse audiences and contributes to the creative economy of Detroit. With extensive experience in sponsorships, event production, and partnership development, she manages funding decisions that support thriving neighborhoods and communities while also curating artistic programming. During her time at the Rocket Community Fund, she has transformed the traditional idea of sponsorships by building mutually impactful community partnerships. Jasmin lives by a simple work mantra: “do what I can, while I’m here.” It is her hope that she’s made an impact on the city and people that she loves so much.

Headshot of a smiling person of medium light skin tone and long grey hair, wearing a blue and red patterned Bolo tie over a vibrant pink shirt and black suit jacket.
Photo Credit: Dr. Craig Howe
Dr. Craig Howe

Dr. Craig Howe

Director, Center For American Indian Research And Native Studies

Dr. Craig Howe, founder and director of the Center for American Indian Research and Native Studies (CAIRNS), earned a Ph.D. in architecture and anthropology from the University of Michigan. Howe has authored articles and book chapters on numerous topics, including tribal histories, Native studies, museum exhibitions, and community collaborations. He has developed innovative tribal histories projects and creative museum exhibitions, lectures on American Indian topics across the U.S., and provides professional development and cultural awareness training to schools and organizations. Howe was raised and lives on his family’s cattle ranch in the Lacreek District of the Pine Ridge Reservation where he is designing and building Wingsprings, an architecturally unique retreat and conference center that is featured in New Architecture on Indigenous Lands. He is a citizen of the Oglala Sioux Tribe.

Headshot of a smiling person of light skin with long dark brown hair, wearing a red shirt under a black blazer.
Photo Credit: Andrei Severny
Mia Khimm

Mia Khimm

Culture Program Director, Joyce Foundation

Mia Khimm has worked for 13 years across the nonprofit, philanthropic, academic, and commercial arts sectors in Chicago, developing collaborative cultural programs and partnerships. As Joyce’s Culture Program director, Khimm collaborates with community leaders and other partners throughout Chicago and the Great Lakes region to advance the Foundation’s culture grant making strategy, anchored in support of BIPOC-led organizations and artists. She also oversees the Foundation’s signature Joyce Awards. Khimm has a master’s degree in Art History from the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s from Wesleyan University in Connecticut.

Headshot of a smiling person of light skin tone with long wavy brown hair, and wearing a red blazer over a black shirt.
Photo Credit: Megan Laudenschlager
Megan Laudenschlager

Megan Laudenschlager

Founder & Executive Director, Strengthen ND

Megan Laudenschlager is the Founder & Executive Director of Strengthen ND. Laudenschlager is a graduate of Minot State University with a B.A. in Mathematics and has obtained a Certificate in Fundraising through the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University. Laudenschlager’s areas of expertise include board and staff development, fundraising planning, grant writing, strategic planning, organizational action planning, program design and evaluation, succession planning, and meeting facilitation. In addition to her position at Strengthen ND, Laudenschlager is active in the community and across North Dakota by serving in leadership positions with numerous organizations and initiatives. Through her experiences, Laudenschlager has been able to refine her approaches to rural community fundraising, organizing, and advocacy.