Gina Cote (co-chair)
Gina Cote lives in Westminster and has served as an MSA board member, co-chair, and chair for 6 years. Gina is a pathologist and former retail store owner with many crafting hobbies but especially scrapbooking. She is passionate about community gatherings and art in all its forms. Gina has organized all the MSA archive memorabilia, so she has a broad knowledge of all things MSA.
Susan Still (co-chair)
Susan comes to MSA’s board after enjoying its classes, gallery shows, special events, and performances—especially those involving her grandkids. Retiring to Saxtons River to be close to those grandkids, she and her husband, Peter Bergstrom, have loved the sense of community and creativity in this village with an arts center at its core. After a career as an organizational development consultant (Johns Hopkins M.S. in Applied Behavioral Science and Fielding Graduate University M.A. in Human Development), Susan aims to bring best practices in governance to the MSA board. Her skills include strategic planning, group facilitation, creative problem-solving, and conflict resolution. For fun, she works in her garden, bakes, and makes costumes. As a young drama student at Carnegie-Mellon, she recorded the voice of the first talking computer.
Marc Cote (treasurer)
Marc Cote lives in Westminster and is a pharmacist and former business owner. Marc has 30 years of business administration and finance management experience and will be treasurer for MSA. He enjoys astronomy, swimming, and playing video games.
Kathleen and her family have been involved with Main Street Arts for nearly 30 years. They have participated in classes, theater productions, and community events; and have volunteered in many capacities to help strengthen the organization. Kathleen has served on the board multiple times over the years as a member and board chair, and led the capital campaign to expand Main Street Arts’ building and footprint in Saxtons River. She has worked in development for 35 years, lives in Grafton, and is currently Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations for Dartmouth-Hitchcock and the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.
Rick Cowan has enjoyed minor roles in various MSA theatrical productions over the years. Most of his career has been devoted to independent schools. He held teaching and administrative positions at Choate Rosemary Hall, Pingree, and St. Paul's Schools and served as executive director of The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS) in Boston and Washington, D.C. Locally, he was head of The Grammar School (TGS), Director of Admission at The Putney School and Compass School before retiring in 2016. Rick lives in Cambridgeport and has two grown daughters. He serves on the Rockingham selectboard and the TGS board of directors.
Catherine Despont is a newcomer to Saxtons River. She grew up in New York City where she was a founding program director at Pioneer Works, an art center in Brooklyn. She is passionate about the intersection between arts and education and has organized several conferences including a Summit on Pedagogy, and The Alternative Art School Fair. More recently she lived in rural England, producing events and doing research in the archives of the art colony at Dartington Hall. She has an MFA from Columbia University and is working on her first book. She loves learning with others and is excited to join the conversation at MSA.
John Hadden is a theater maker, writer, builder, teacher, and actor living on a small farm compound in Landgrove, VT. He was a founding member of Shakespeare & Co in Lenox, MA, and ran the Hubbard Hall Theater Company in Cambridge, NY. He played Romeo, Hamlet, Iago, Richard II, Leontes, MacBeth, Lear, the Merchant, the Bastard, the Fool, Scrooge, and Salieri in regional theaters, as well as roles on film, radio, and TV. He has directed about fifty productions here and abroad. A solo show based on his book Conversations with a Masked Man: My Father, the CIA, and Me (Arcade, 2016) began its New England/NYC tour at Main Street Arts. He has taught at universities and schools; he is a Vermont Teaching Artist with a BFA from SUNY Purchase and a writing MFA from Goddard College.
Amy Harlow has been a member of the Saxtons River community as a longtime teacher in the elementary school, a parent at Vermont Academy, and a member of the Saxtons River Playhouse. Amy also worked for The River Valley Performing Arts Center and the Whetstone Theater Company in their box offices. Amy's love of world music has given her opportunity to travel and sing in Europe and the United Kingdom. Offering creative and educational opportunities for all ages has been an important part of Amy’s life and career. A school principal in Central Vermont (for now), Amy brings a lifetime of experience with children and families to Main Street Arts. She is thrilled to be a part of this new artistic adventure!
A charter member of Main Street Arts, Maryann has been involved with the organization since its inception, previously serving as a member of the board in the 1990s. She performed regularly in MSA’s annual Christmas Revels, portrayed The Other Woman in MSA’s production of Trial By Jury, and was co-musical director with founder Mary Hepburn for MSA’s first production of Kiss Me Kate. Maryann has worked at Vermont Academy for over 30 years, serving in their advancement and communications offices, and currently as a college counselor. She lives with her husband artist Mark Ragonese in Bellows Falls. She is an avid gardener and plays jazz piano with The Little Big Band and the Interlude Trio.
Aminah Christine Pereira
Aminah Christine is a lifelong dancer who was poised to perform as one of the Kit Kat Girls of Cabaret just as the pandemic began, which led to the show being postponed. While completing a Ph.D. in Curriculum, Teaching, and Educational Policy at Michigan State University, Aminah Christine performed in a variety of theatrical roles. In addition to being a part of two productions of The Vagina Monologues, other experiences included writing for and acting with E5M (Every Five Minutes), a social action theater troupe that raises awareness about sexual violence, and being a member of the Transforming Theater Ensemble, a group of actors who use theatrical sketches to provide interactive educational experiences that promote collaborative problem-solving around issues of social justice and advocacy. Now living and working as a principal in Springfield, Aminah Christine is passionate about living authentically, teaching and learning, laughter, love, and adventure.