VSA Vermont (VSA VT) employs three full-time staff and up to 40 part-time artist-instructors.
Katie Miller, Executive Director
Katie Miller stands against a white background. Her short auburn hair frames her face, which smiles behind white-framed glasses. A large maroon scarf is around her neck.
Katie joined VSA Vermont in May of 2016 after working for arts and youth empowerment organizations across the East coast. She enjoys bringing together her creative background as an artist and skills in non-profit management to serve the community through work at mission driven organizations.
Katie 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. Katie brings enthusiasm and humor to her work and extensive experience in program development, communications, and fundraising at youth development and arts organizations across the East coast. She completed her graduate research on how to make the arts more accessible to rural communities.
“What I love most about being a part of the team at VSA Vermont is the opportunity to bring together my two biggest passions: the arts and inclusion. The work we do truly makes a difference in our community and the opportunity to spread joy is something I am so grateful for.”
When not at work you’re likely to find Katie with a camera, spatula, or hammer in hand, finding some way to be creative. She enjoys working on home renovations, photography, hand-lettering, cooking, and spending time with her family.
Contact Katie. 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.
Peggy supervises the staff of statewide Start With The Arts instructors and keeps in touch with the participating childcare providers, plus alumni each year. She also is a teaching artist in the Start With The Arts program. She supervises and oversees VSA Vermont’s other children’s programs that serve children K-8 as well.
Through her years of work at VSA Vermont 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.
Heidi Swevens (nee Pfau), Director of Community Partnerships
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.
Heidi Swevens enjoys people, stories, and connections. Her first summer job was at a childcare center where she engaged with toddlers and infants. After experiencing changes in her vision a couple years later, she returned to school and earned a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Vermont (UVM) in 2001. Since that time she has worked in and served a variety of organizations whose missions relate to people with disabilities, older adults and families and communities. One volunteer role led to a synchronous opportunity to show her photography in a solo exhibit she titled “Do You See What I See?” which was part of UVM’s Disability Awareness Month’s events in 2006.
Heidi was first introduced to VSA Vermont when one of her photographs was accepted in the 2011 Engage Exhibition, a juried show featuring artists with disabilities. After that initial experience, she was eager to get involved with VSA including the first BOOM VT drum festival. When a staff position became available, she was grateful to contribute to VSA’s mission in a more formal way.
Heidi currently manages a variety of programs including Adult Arts Education, residencies that focus on social and emotional learning, inclusive programming with partners in the community, and professional development. She has facilitated groups and trainings throughout her career and particularly values presentations about disability awareness and inclusion. As part of VSA Vermont’s professional development team, Heidi engages with learners of all ages and appreciates developing curriculum that get at the heart of understanding and increasing inclusion through the arts.
Heidi enjoys nature, trees, rivers, hiking, snow shoeing, zip lining, writing, and much, much more. She also enjoys taking photographs of both the adventures and the simple details that remind her beauty is everywhere.
Ashleigh Ellsworth-Keller, Development & Communications Assistant
Ashleigh stands in front of a waterfall, smiling brightly. Her brown bangs frame her face, and she is wearing a puffy jacket.
Ashleigh joined VSA Vermont in December 2018, after serving as Director of Camp DREAM in Fletcher, VT for 10 years. In her previous role, Ashleigh wore a lot of hats, directly supervising both youth and young adults, and serving in an administrative capacity overseeing operations, fundraising, and development of Camp DREAM and DREAM’s Vermont Teen programs.
Ashleigh’s primary creative outlet is writing, and she believes in the power of writing to stimulate, calm, and heal. She is excited to bring together her organizational background and deep passion for the arts and to continue to develop VSA VT’s fundraising and outreach across the state and beyond.
Ashleigh has a BA in English from Wake Forest University, an MA in Religion from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, an MA in Sustainable Communities from Northern Arizona University, and a Graduate Certificate in Non-Profit Management from Marlboro College.
Ashleigh loves running, writing, reading, and hiking, and spending time with her husband and daughter.
Lisa Condino, Senior Teaching Artist
A close up image of Lisa, smiling into the camera. She has wavy brown hair and is wearing a red scarf.
Lisa joined VSA VT as a teaching artist in September 2011. During the Fall of 2018, she began her role with the VSA VT management team while continuing to contribute her teaching artistry to the many wonderful programs offered.
Lisa is a visual artist who has dedicated 20+ of her art career years to support learning, empower individuals, and build community. She believes everyone has a voice that deserves to be heard and seen. The root of her teaching approach promotes self-advocacy, cultivates a safe environment for creative expression, supports social & emotional learning, active engagement, and the inclusion of ALL learners. She developed the VSA VT arts integration curriculum used for engaging reluctant and reactive learners.
Lisa earned a BFA in Painting and Photography with a minor in Art History, Paper Science & Technology, and Museum Studies from Western Michigan University. She also holds a certificate of Art Therapy from Northwestern University. Lisa brings humor and professionalism to her creative work and has considerable experience engaging a complexity of wonderful learners. When not at work Lisa can be found adventuring and taking note of the endless metaphors that surround us.
Alexandra Turner, Inclusive Arts Specialist
A closeup of Alexandra in warm orange light. Her brown hair comes down over her shoulders and she is wearing a scarf. Behind her is a bright green, blue, and white piece of art.
Alexandra joined the staff of VSA in 2018 after three years of working as an independent contractor for VSA in Start With the Arts, Adults Arts, Arts2Smarts and professional development programs. She brings over ten years of experience in teaching artistry. Alexandra holds a BA in Studio Arts and an M.Ed. in Arts in Education. Alexandra is an multidisciplinary artist working mainly in glass and digital photography. Through her art and teaching, Alexandra investigates light, nature and narrative and enjoys helping others to notice the beauty in the world around them and the joy in experiencing art.
Toby MacNutt, IT Manager
Toby has dark, rectangular glasses, light brown short hair, and a brown long-sleeve shirt. They are smiling. Behind them is an abundance of greenery and purple flowers.
Toby MacNutt graduated with a BA in Anthropology from UVM, where they also received training in Universal Design for Learning and sampled a wide range of classes related to identity, body, health, and communication. Toby 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. They manage the high school performing arts program, and launched VSA VT’s first ever mentoring program. When they get the chance, they still enjoy teaching dance, textiles, and other arts.