VSA Vermont (VSA VT) employs three full-time staff and up to 40 part-time artist-instructors.
Susan Evans McClure, Executive Director
Against a slightly blurry background of a brick building and the top green branches of a tree, a woman with a bright smile, sparkly brown eyes and dark hair that falls gently over her shoulders and dark short-sleeved top, stands out brilliantly with the sun glancing warmly over her face and shoulders.
Through her academic and professional experiences in arts education and museums, Susan Evans McClure is deeply committed to the power of the arts to inspire and impact lives.
As the Director of Programs and Audience Development at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, Susan leads a team responsible for inspiring national conversations on the importance of the humanities to civic life. From theater to music to food, she is responsible for public engagement around topics that help individuals see themselves in history and feel connected to their communities. Previously, Susan launched the museum’s Food History Program and managed on-site educational opportunities for visitors.
Before coming to the Smithsonian, Susan worked in the education departments of the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts and the Shelburne Museum. She also worked in fundraising and development at the Henry Street Settlement in New York City.
Susan holds an Ed.M. in Arts in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a B.A. in Theater from McGill University. She is an adjunct professor in the Museum Studies department at The George Washington University and has spoken nationally and internationally on topics from food history to performance theory to museum education.
Contact Susan. Phone: 802 871 5002
Peggy Rainville, Director of Children’s Programming
Peggy, Rainville, a brightly smiling woman, looks up from a gleaming desk in a yellow room with a bulletin board and a turquoise table lamp on a purple bookshelf behind her. Wearing a purple floral shirt, sitting on a purple chair with a purple jacket draped upon it, she gives the impression of a flower on a sunny day.
Peggy has a BFA from Massachusetts College of Art. She has been with VSAVT since 2000, when she began teaching in Start With The Arts. In 2006 she became director of the statewide program. In 2009 Peggy became a full time staff member as the Director of Children’s Programming. She has extensive work teaching children of all ages, as well as working with adult learners. She supervises the staff of 12 statewide Start with the Arts instructors and keeps in touch with 42 participating childcare providers, plus alumni each year. Peggy also is a teaching artist in the Start with the Arts program. She supervises and oversees VSAVT’s other children’s programs that serve children K-8 as well. Through her years of work at VSAVT she created innovative partnerships such as the summer collaboration between Start With The Arts and the Franklin-Grand Isle Bookmobile, which grew into our statewide Start with the Arts Summer Library Outreach program, as well as “Aha! Adaptive Horses and Arts,” art programming in conjunction with therapeutic horseback riding programs. She is committed to our mission and to encouraging joy, creative self-expression and professionalism.
Contact Peggy. Phone: 802 871 5418
Katie Miller, Development Director
Katie miller stands against a white backdrop in this black and white photograph. She smiles behind large black-rimmed glasses , a white scarf worn around her neck.
“To bring the joy found through self-expression in the arts to all people is a truly magical thing that I am honored to be a part of. An artist myself with a background in non-profit management, this position gives me the unique opportunity to support the mission through both sides. Working at VSA is a dream come true!”
Katie joined VSA Vermont in May of 2016. She has a BFA in Photography from Rochester Institute of Technology, an MA in Arts Administration from Savannah College of Art Design, and a graduate certificate in non-profit management from Marlboro College. She’s also a trained Results Based Accountability trainer and has years of experience in program development, communications, and fundraising at youth-focused organizations in the arts and beyond. When not at work or volunteering you’re likely to find her with either a camera or spatula in her hand and her dog at her side, finding some way to be creative.
Contact Katie. Phone: 802 871 5043
Heidi Swevens (nee Pfau), Volunteer Coordinator and Adult Program Manager
Heidi Pfau, stands relaxed, hands resting partly in the pockets of her jeans, illuminated in sunshine, wearing a brilliant blue shirt in a peaceful grove of trees.
“I am an artist and social worker with passion for exploring creativity, building community, and sharing joy. I have worked in human services for over fifteen years having earned a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Vermont in 2001. Today conversations are classrooms so I’m always learning. I believe it is a privilege to listen to people’s stories, and I have learned invaluable lessons and shared many laughs with those who teach me every day.”
Toby MacNutt, Program Manager
Toby MacNutt smiles thoughtfully in this close up portrait. Toby is wearing a grey shirt with a silver tie, silver hoop earrings, and blue-rimmed oval glasses.
Toby MacNutt graduated with a BA in Anthropology from UVM, where he also received training in Universal Design for Learning and sampled a wide range of classes related to identity, body, health, and communication. He has taught or presented in contexts including the Society for Disability Studies annual conference, Yale’s Transgender Awareness Week, Middlebury College’s Clifford Symposium (2015, “The Good Body”), medical and mental health services trainings, and teachers’ conferences. As of 2017 he is also a member of the Statewide Independent Living Council.
He is a published author & poet, a textile artist, and an internationally-recognised dancer and choreographer. Toby has studied adaptive/integrated dance with AXIS Dance Company, Candoco Dance Company, and Stopgap Dance Company, and performed with Heidi Latsky’s GIMP Project.
Toby started teaching dance and improvised expressive movement for VSA VT in 2013. Currently, he manages and teaches in the high school performing arts program, and recently launched VSA VT’s first ever mentoring program. Additionally, he coordinates the Arts Connect graduate course and occasionally teaches textile arts (weaving and dyeing) in the adult arts program.
Contact Toby. Phone: (802) 857 5653.
Lisa Aschbacher, Regional Coordinator
Lisa Ashbacher, VSA Regional Coordinator for Southern Vermont, smiles surrounded by four children in VSA VT’s Start With The Arts program.
Lisa Aschbacher brings more than 3 decades of experience in arts education and community based arts administration including three years teaching in VSA VT’s Start With The Arts program to her role as Regional Coordinator for the southern part of Vermont.