About the Wyoming Arts Alliance
WyAA is a nonpartisan, statewide non-profit 501c(3) organization dedicated to improving the climate for arts and culture throughout the state.
Vision: More Art. Better Wyoming
Mission: The mission of the Wyoming Arts Alliance (WyAA) is to advance a creative and culturally-vibrant state.
WyAA strives to represent citizens in all regions of the state. Because public funding . . particularly state arts funding . . has played an important role in building Wyoming’s cultural infrastructure, the Wyoming Arts Alliance focuses much of its attention on the preservation and expansion of state and local arts support.
To accomplish its goal of strengthening cultural development in Wyoming, WyAA engages in the following activities:
- provides statewide leadership in advocating for arts and culture to enhance Wyoming’s quality of life
- coordinates the work of a legislative lobbyist to advocate for the interests of Wyoming’s art & culture community
- informs Wyoming citizens of state and federal arts initiatives, issues and trends
- synchronizes arts advocacy efforts by communities, constituents and supporters
The Wyoming Arts Alliance is managed by eight Board members and one staff person . . all passionate about Wyoming culture and committed to making a difference in cultural development throughout Wyoming.
Feel free to contact any Wyoming Arts Alliance representative to learn more!
Wyoming Arts Alliance
P.O. Box 681
Casper, WY 82602
Voice – 307-215-1542
Email – email@example.com
Online – wyomingarts.org
Karmen Rossi – Cheyenne (President)
Richard Burke – Douglas (Vice President)
Shawn Day – Sheridan (Treasurer)
Rita Basom – Cheyenne (Secretary)
Lindsey Grant – Casper
Sarita Talusani Keller – Laramie
Chad Banks – Rock Springs
Andrew Schneider – Director of Operations
Find me out walking in Cheyenne.
Offices held on the WyAA Board: Secretary, Vice-President
I joined the WyAA Board in 2016
If I was a WY Arts Experience or Destination, I would be headed to Sheridan and camped out at the WYO Theater.
If I was a WY Nature Experience or Destination, I would be exploring Curt Gowdy.
If I was a WY Historical Experience or Destination, I would be checking out Fossil Country.
Jobs I’ve held: nonprofit manager, domestic engineer, retail sales, line cook.
My current occupation is Acting State Director for Congresswoman Liz Cheney
In my volunteer time, I promote arts and culture in Wyoming and the West. I know that the arts and culture sector make places where we want to work AND live.
Find me sculpting outside or painting in my studio.
I joined the WyAA Board in 2022.
If I was a WY Arts Experience or Destination, I would be an unassuming gallery on a rural main street..
If I was a WY Nature Experience or Destination, I would be kayaking the North Platte River with my wife Joey.
If I was a WY Historical Experience or Destination, I would be hiking through the sage steppes admiring petroglyphs among boulders and cliff
Jobs I’ve held: Artist, Financial Advisor, Independent Bookstore owner, Minister, cheese maker and Christmas tree farmer.
My current occupation is sculptor and painter.
In my professional life, I have been an artist, financial advisor, independent bookstore owner, minister, cheese maker and Christmas tree farmer.
In my volunteer time, I teach art and help when needed at the Boys and Girls Club of Douglas.
Find me in a local coffee shop in Sheridan..
I joined the WyAA Board in 2022.
If I was a WY Arts Experience or Destination, I would be a nationally known music festival in the Big Horns.
If I was a WY Nature Experience or Destination, I would be a horse packing outfitter in the Big Horns.
If I was a WY Historical Experience or Destination, I would be Buffalo Bill Days at the Historic Sheridan Inn.
Jobs I’ve held: Artist, Music Producer and DJ.
My current occupation is City Councilman, Record Label Owner and Real Estate Manager..
In my professional life, I was awarded a publishing and record deal with Columbia Records and Sony/ATV Publishing
In my volunteer time, I create strategic plans to help progress, sustain and provide quality of life for our community in Sheridan.
Rita Ortloff Basom
Find me in Cheyenne, Wyoming
Office Held on WyAA Board: Treasurer (2019 – Present)
I joined the WyAA Board in 2019
If I was a Wyoming Arts Experience or Destination, I would be any one of the Community Theatres across WY
If I was a Wyoming Nature Experience or Destination, I would be the Tetons – My favorite view as I drive from east to west across the state!
If I was a Wyoming Historical Experience or Destination, I would be Register Cliff on the Oregon Trail near Guernsey.
Jobs I’ve held: Babysitter; Discount Store Clerk/Cashier (several times); Graduate Assistant at University of Oklahoma Theatre Box Office; Red Cross “Blood Runner”; Bakery Sales Clerk; Commercial Painter’s Assistant; Gas Company Office Manager; Physician’s Office Manager; County Public Health Office Manager; LCCC Adjunct Professor in Theatre; Wyoming Arts Council (WAC) Office Manager, Fiscal Officer, Performing Arts Programs Manager, Community Services Program Manager, Assistant Director, Interim Director (twice), and WAC Director.
My current occupation is Retired State of Wyoming WAC Arts Administrator; Artist in Community Theatre, Music, and Visual Arts/Crafts.
In my professional life, I served on State and National Grants Panels; Coordinated various conferences and events, including a National Assembly of State Arts Agencies Professional Development Conference in Teton Village; Governor’s Arts Awards events, Arts Beyond Boundaries 5-state conferences and participated in various NEA and WESTAF trainings.
In my volunteer time, I serve on six non-profit Boards – Wyoming Arts Alliance; WY Developmental Disabilities Advisory Council; Cheyenne Concert Association; Ark Regional Services Foundation; Cheyenne Civic Center Foundation; First Christian Church. I collect art by Wyoming artists; create art from natural resources and in acrylic paintings; act in local Community Theatre productions; sing in church and local choirs; enjoy gardening; and collect handmade dolls and various types of frogs.
Find me in my hometown of Casper, and frequently at the historic Grant Street Grocery & Market
I joined the WyAA Board in c. 2017
My current occupation is Executive Director of The Lyric; a performing arts hall project in downtown Casper, owner of Third Street Lab; a graphic design and marketing company, and a partner in the historic Grant Street Grocery and Market
In my volunteer time, I support several non-profit organizations with either my time or treasure, like the Wyoming Symphony Orchestra, Mercy Family Resource Center, and Seton House.
Sarita Talusani Keller
Find me teaching at the University of Wyoming Art Museum or traveling across the 97,914 square miles of Wyoming in the Ann Simpson Artmobile.
I joined the WyAA Board in 2022.
Find me in Downtown Rock Springs or off the grid at our family cabin in Atlantic City, Wyoming.
If I was a WY Arts Experience or Destination, I would be the Broadway Theater and/or the Community Fine Arts Center in Rock Springs. Both are underappreciated gems for our community and state.
If I was a WY Nature Experience or Destination, I would be hiking in the Winds, Grand Teton National Park or Yellowstone National Park. Snapping as many pics as I could with my husband and dog, Beaumont. If I’m lucky, I could cajole my adult kids in tagging along.
If I was a WY Historical Experience or Destination, I would be the White Mountain Petroglyphs in Sweetwater County. With every visit I discover something new and am left amazed. I might also be at the Wyoming State Capitol; which I love.
Jobs I’ve held: Dad and grandpa are at the top of the list for sure. But professionally I’m a community and economic developer. I’ve also been a marketing manager, retail manager, customer service representative, tour guide, and food service worker.
My current occupation is the manager of the Rock Springs Main Street/Urban Renewal Agency where I’m charged with developing my beloved Downtown Rock Springs.
In my professional life, I was awarded Leadership Award from the Wyoming Main Street/Wyoming Business Council, Innovation Award from the Wyoming Main Street/Wyoming Business Council, Great American Main Street Award winner, Certified Tourism Ambassador…
In my volunteer time, I’ve served on a number of boards including Cowboys Against Cancer, Wyoming Special Olympics, Nowcap, the University of Wyoming Alumni Association Board of Directors, Wyoming Rural Development Council, Wyoming Travel Industry Coalition and many others. I’ve also served 3 terms on the Rock Springs City Council and one term in the Wyoming State House of Representatives.
WyAA Thanks our past board members, many of whom continue to be active supporters and participants in the alliance.
Find me in my visual art studio in Laramie
Offices held on the WyAA Board: President (2019-Present),
I joined the WyAA Board in 2018.
If I was a WY Arts Experience or Destination, I would be a cultural guide promoting Wyoming’s arts events, activities, sites, and individuals who make it all happen.
If I was a WY Nature Experience or Destination, I would be floating the upper North Platte River with my husband and guide, Roger, with fishing pole, camera and sketch book in hand, and yellow lab, Lyra, alongside.
If I was a WY Historical Experience or Destination, I would be visiting Wyoming’s historic sites, learning all I can about the amazing archeology, geology and history of the state.
Jobs I’ve held: artist, statewide cultural administrator, museum arts educator, arts advocate, community arts leader, grants writer and fundraiser, recreation director, floral designer, grocery clerk, substitute teacher and family wrangler.
My current occupation is Visual Artist (wlbart.com).
In my professional life, I was awarded a 2020 Governor’s Arts Award, 2019 Wyoming Visual Art Fellowship, a 2016 Wyoming Visual Art Fellowship Honorable Mention, the 2015 WY Art Education Association Museum Educator of the Year, and numerous grants for artistic research and travel, and artist residency opportunities.
In my volunteer time, I have served on numerous boards, advisory and grants panels, ranging from the National Endowment for the Arts and the US Department of Education to the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF), the State Historic Records Advisory Board, and the Jeffery City (WY) Arts Council. I am a member and co-founder of the artists’ groups Sequencing, Pipeline Art Project (Pumping art from the energy state of Wyoming), and the Laramie Artists Project.
Find me in my home library, Casper
Offices Held on the WyAA Board: Secretary, 2019-Present
I joined the WyAA Board in 2014.
If I was a Wyoming Arts Experience or Destination, I would be taking folks to see local theater in Casper, Cheyenne, Laramie, Torrington, Rock Springs, Jackson, Pinedale, Sheridan, Powell and everwhere else where people just gotta put on a show.
If I was a Wyoming Nature Experience or Destination. Over half of the world’s geysers are in Yellowstone. I would be waiting for an eruption of Grand and talking with geyser lovers and visitors about to be struck with awe by what is coming—a pool rocketing 200 feet up.
If I was a Wyoming Historical Experience or Destination, I would be at the remains of circles and camps of the people thousands of years ago who roamed the area.
Jobs I have held: University teacher and administrator, arts and humanities consultant, editor, writer, taxi driver, roof work.
My current occupation: thinking and reading and advocating
In my professional life I was awarded The Ellbogen Lifetime Teaching Award and four other teaching awards, A Governor’s Arts Award, The Distinguished Public Service Award for Arts Advocacy for national and local work, Casper Citizen of the Year, Two National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships, UCLA Dickson Fellowship in Art History, other grants, fellowships, and awards.
My volunteer experiences include President of the Wyoming Arts Council, Officer and Board Member of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, President and Board Member, Nicolaysen Art Museum, Vice President, ARTCORE, President, Wyoming Council for the Humanities, Panelist, National Endowment for the Arts, advising and consulting to many arts and other public organizations.
Alison Quaggin Harkin
Find me in a play, whenever I have an opportunity to act.
I joined the WyAA Board in 2021.
If I was a WY Arts Experience or Destination, I would be a local theater focusing on diversity and the inclusion of all community members.
If I was a WY Nature Experience or Destination, I would be the huge, brilliant sky that’s everywhere in Wyoming.
If I was a WY Historical Experience or Destination, I would be a place where the rights of ALL Wyoming women were being promoted before, during, and after the passing of the 19th Amendment.
Jobs I’ve held: I’ve spent most of my working life as a medical and academic editor, and for the past several years, I’ve taught Gender and Women’s Studies and Disability Studies at the University of Wyoming.
My current occupation is freelance editing and teaching at the University of Wyoming.
In my professional life, I was awarded a Governor General of Canada Academic Gold Medal (2010), Phi Kappa Phi Faculty Nomination and Membership (2018), Promoting Intellectual Engagement Award (University of Wyoming) (2019).
In my volunteer time, I am delighted to work with WyAA and the local theater community.