Kristina Coopman

Administrative Coordinator

Kristina Coopman (she/her) is a curator, art historian, and community arts advocate. Originally from Madison, WI, she spent two years living in Edinburgh pursuing a master’s degree in art history. With experience in community/public art projects, nonprofit management, and art advocacy, Kristina is excited to be a part of the MYArts team. When not working, she coaches youth soccer and spoils her cat, Indigo.

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Jessica Courtier

Director of Community Partnerships

Jess Courtier (she/they) is the MYArts Director of Community Partnerships, a role in which she provides leadership for the organization and works closely with the many partners that hold programming in the building. Jess earned a PhD in musicology from UW-Madison, and turned her interest in connections between music and society into work creating public arts and humanities programs—everything from workshops on Yiddish arts and culture to modern dance for adults to seminars on the history of migration into Wisconsin, and now her work at MYArts. The thread that connects all of this work is her interest in creating opportunities for people of all ages to engage more deeply and creatively with the world around them. Jess is also an aerial dance hobbyist, and serves on the Madison Circus Space board of directors.

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Jarrod Bainter

Technical Operations Manager

Jarrod Bainter is a veteran stage technician and designer with a career in live performance spanning over 20 years. In his role as the Technical Operations Manager at MYArts, he manages the Starlight and Sunrise theaters, maintains the stage technology equipment, and supports groups who use the theaters with the needs of their event.

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Ali Beyer

Administrative Coordinator

A native of Madison, Wisconsin, Ali Beyer (they/she) is a visual artist and a fire juggler who enjoys working with artists of all ages as a teaching artist in the Madison area. Ali’s artwork ranges from traditional two-dimensional work to installations incorporating digital imagery and performative aspects. Ali has an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts and Media from Columbia College Chicago and teaches in the Cinema & Television Arts Department. Ali is also interested in mental health and works at Cornucopia Arts & Wellness hosting weekly drop-in workshops and is currently attending Edgewood College in pursuit of an MA in Art Therapy with the hopes of becoming a licensed counselor.

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Rachel Erickson

Operations Specialist

Rachel Erickson (she/her) has worked with nonprofits for over 15 years, focusing her efforts on social justice and education programming. She earned her B.A. in Anthropology at B.Y.U., where she developed a love of world cultures.  She spent semesters abroad in China (teaching grade school children English through arts workshops) and India (learning about Ayurvedic medicine in south Indian culture). After finishing her degree she spent time career coaching veterans, refugees, and immigrants through Americorps in Ohio. In 2013 she moved to Wisconsin with her husband Dan. She has worked for Epic as a software trainer and at Boys & Girls’ Club of Dane County as a programming coordinator. Rachel loves to nerd out about event planning, social equity, and the brilliant creative energy of teenagers. She can often be found playing outdoors with her 2 kids (9yrs and 4yrs old) or reading books with historical themes.

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Julio Flores

Administrative Coordinator

A native of Madison Wisconsin, Julio is a local musician and teaching artist who is an avid Latin percussionist, vocalist, and guitarist specializing in Brazilian music. He is a current member and frequent performer with Madison’s own community Brazilian percussion ensemble, The Handphibians. Julio is also a teaching artist with Whoopensocker. He is passionate about the local arts community due to his early exposure to Madison’s many music and art festivals as a child. Julio received a degree in Audio Engineering and Music Technology at Madison Media Institute, and has volunteered as an Audio Engineer at The Bubbler at the downtown Madison Public Library. At The Bubbler Julio led audio engineering classes at the Media Lab along with recording patrons songs, audio books, and readings. Julio recorded local afro-pop band Kikeh Mato’s second album, Toumbousouri, at Madison Media Institute.

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Kortney Pohl

Administrative Coordinator

Kortney (they/them) is overjoyed to be working with everybody at MYArts! You’ll typically see them at the front desk when you first walk into the building. Along with the other members of MYArts, their job includes general building and community knowledge, along with building upkeep and many other miscellaneous tasks. Their favorite part about working with MYArts is having the chance to form connections with long term residents of the building and even simply one-off visitors! When Kortney isn’t hanging out at MYArts, you’ll see them working part-time at True Coffee Roasters to indulge in their love for coffee. Kortney is a long term Madison resident and has called this place home for over 17 years! They look forward to what the future of MYArts holds!!

Shepherd Sightless

Administrative Coordinator

Shepherd Sightless (they/them) has worked predominantly in arts education since 2018. Through Whoopensocker, Shepherd has worked both in the classroom and on stage, helping young creators bring their ideas to life. Shepherd spends their free time researching contemporary history, drawing and coloring, and playing outside with their friends.

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Desia Xiong

Administrative Coordinator

Desia Xiong (she/her) is a 1st generation Hmong American, having recently graduated from Madison College with her 2nd Associate’s degree in Visual Communications. She started working at MYArts in the summer of 2021 as a Boys and Girls Club of Dane County summer intern, and then was brought onto the MYArts team as a part-time administrative coordinator. Some of her responsibilities include welcoming community partners at the front desk, maintaining the MYArts social media pages, setting up and taking down events, data entry, and other administrative tasks that help the building and programs run smoothly. Desia loves working on projects, whether it be a video, photo, graphic design, sewing, or gardening. She is passionate about community building, spreading kindness, and advocating for mental health. Her biggest passion is running Okami Taiko, a Japanese Okinawan Taiko drumming group founded by Desia in 2017. A quote Desia wholeheartedly believes in is that “every opportunity is a FUNpportunity!”

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Ahleea Zama

Director of Development

Ahleea Zama (she/her) is the MYArts Director of Development. In this role she ensures the access and growth of funds to further support the needs of MYArts, which enables stable and meaningful youth arts programming. Ahleea feels privileged to be a part of the MYArts community and its mission to provide an inclusive and safe environment allowing visibility, inspiration, exploration, and wonder. Prior to her current role, she worked in development at AMC Networks in Santa Monica, CA and The Theater Offensive in Boston, MA. More recently, she managed Client Development at the law firm of Turke & Strauss LLP in Madison, WI. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Loyola Marymount University and a BA in theater from East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania. Ahleea possesses a profound passion for the arts and its ability to shatter barriers, while uplifting individuals and revitalizing communities. Her work in the arts has always been in concert with social justice and LGBTQI+ awareness. Outside of work, Ahleea is a yoga and Pilates enthusiast and enjoys spending time with her niece and nephew.

“What a magical facility full of great people and great programs!”