Why did the Board accept her? Everyone agrees that by having lived in Paonia most of her life, her knowledge of the community and its residents will be a useful tool for the Blue Sage as it continues to broaden its reach in the community. She also serves on many other Boards, including the North Fork Historic Society, Sacred Heart Catholic Church and Friends of the Paonia Library.
Judy’s favorite Blue Sage event is the historical series. We agree, it’s pretty awesome. She loves the Blue Sage because it brings people from all walks of life together and offers a venue for music and art that otherwise wouldn’t be available. Despite her commitment to the Blue Sage, Judy manages to fit in spending time with her husband, Laddie, and their family, working one day a week as the proofreader for the High Country Shopper, playing Duplicate Bridge one afternoon a week, and fulfilling her duties on other Boards.
As to having lived here her whole life, Judy says, “I love living here, which I guess is obvious since I’ve chosen to live here most of my life. I love the way Paonia has evolved while still retaining the traditional attributes I’ve always cared so much about. We are fortunate to have such a dynamic and diverse population that continues to enrich the cultural, social, and economic opportunities available in this small, rural community.”
Celia brings to the Board great listening skills, which allows her to connect the dots in a unique way while maintaining her sight on the bigger picture. Her undergraduate degree in math makes her good with the numbers side of the community center business. Having served on the Paonia Chamber of Commerce Board, and being a working artist gives her a unique insight into the needs of the community.
Celia’s favorite Blue Sage Event is the Black Eyed Pea Jubilee on New Year’s Day and she loves the Blue Sage for offering beautiful classical music and other events and gallery exhibits that bring our valley community together. In 2020 she would like to see the Blue Sage be fiscally sound and be offering inspiring art and music classes for the community, especially for the youth and seniors.
When not volunteering for the Blue Sage, she likes to photograph nature and people. She is presently working on a project documenting the lives of our nation’s farm workers and their families. Celia has been advocating for social issues since the early 1970s, especially with respect to world hunger. Participating in “Dances of Universal Peace” is one of her favorite activities, along with traveling abroad and camping in her little trailer, always with a camera, of course!
Cyndi Wegner is a fiber artist and new Paonia-ite.
I renewed my passion for creating art after a career in corporate human resources. Up-cycled and repurposed materials often appear in my work. I love the texture, patterns and contrasts that they provide. In addition to my love of creating mosaic art, I have interests in fiber art and oil painting, sometimes blending them together for mixed media pieces.
In addition to my creative interests, I am an arts advocate. My desire for arts advocacy has led me to the position of Executive Director at the Blue Sage Center for the Arts. In this position I look forward to supporting this organization in promoting art and culture to the North Fork Valley, and to further develop educational opportunities for our members and community. A sampling of my previous experience with the non-profit arts sector includes: Former Program Chair for the Colorado Mosaics Artists, Secretary of the Board of the Civic and Cultural Arts Center of Pineville, NC, and a contract position with the Society of American Mosaic Artists. I am happy to lend my business knowledge and skills wherever needed to further build strong organizations.
Kortnee Desatoff landed in the North Fork Valley after a year-long adventure roaming the west with her husband, both searching for this kind of utopia. With a B.A. in Visual Communications and 2+ years of creative non-profit work both locally and internationally, Kortnee is excited to bring a little more pep to the volunteer program and make sure that every renter has a positive experience.
Some of Kortnee’s favorite things are coconut lattes, weekend brunch, rock climbing, fruits and veggies, autumnal hues, and her pup Poppy!
Susan Ellinger grew up in rural Vermont, chasing bugs and adventures in the woods behind her house in between practicing the piano (she could read music before she could read words!). She officially joined the Blue Sage in January of 2012 after volunteering her talents as a concert pianist to start a classical music series at the Blue Sage.
Susan received her undergraduate degree in music from Oberlin, and her graduate degree from The Manhattan School of Music (The Juilliard School). Her years of experience as a pianist, composer, and producer, have made her uniquely suited to program and perform in an annual music series at the Blue Sage. We often wonder if she’s ever had to learn as much music in one year as she does working with the series.
When not feverishly practicing or planning the concert series, Susan enjoys a wide range of outdoor activities with her dog, Scout, as well as gardening.
David Alderdice is a father, percussionist, educator, recording artist, performer, and enthusiastic rhythmist. His expertise includes drum set, frame drums, tambourines, marimba ensembles, and auxiliary hand held percussion instruments with a focus in jazz studies, grooveability, and ethnomusicology. He has collaborated with many wonderful artists, musicians, and dancers in a variety of styles, and settings. David offers lessons, classes, workshops, and playshops focusing mainly on the musical, creative, experimental, improvisatory, healing, universal, and interdisciplinary concepts of the percussive arts.
Tamara has a MA in English from Northern Arizona University. She has worked as a development officer for Friends of Great Salt Lake, House of Hope, the Harm Reduction Project, and the Utah Pride Center Youth Program Director all in Salt Lake City. She moved to Paonia five years ago and was recently hired by the Blue Sage to help with grant development. Active hobbies include: watercolor painting, horse training/riding, and cooking.
Neal used to be the Mayor of Paonia and is happy to put his administrative skills to use helping local kids gain access to quality arts education.
STOP, WAIT, OMG, this reads more like a treatise on municipal waste water effluent standards than a bio for an Arts organization. So please gentle reader, we will start anew:
Neal’s life began rather innocently as the third child of four in the mundane trappings of the overcast Mid-West. Luckily, hard work is valued in that land of rolling blandness. Through toiling at the brimstone and such, Neal managed to make his way west after earning not one but 2 college degrees. By all appearances, everything appeared normal, marriage to a bright, wage earning, attractive lady. And as nature intended, a child was born. Again all quite normal in appearance, then at 8 months, it happened. The baby uttered her first word, “Angel.”
How could this be? So minivan, so scrapbook-esque , so kitschy. Neal sunk into a deep morass. So much effort, time and patience had been put into the much more common first word of glockenspiel. The word was uttered to the baby, 15 times daily as required by the Baby Einstien series. She napped and slept the best glockenspiel recordings with a few quality hand bell recordings thrown in for variety. How could this be? The weight of the failure bore down.
The guilt was masked from the general public by over achievement in other areas, community service, free kayak instruction for kids, a perpetual smile. They would never know that his very soul was snatched away by that happenstance, that lonely midnight artic snow.