Our Team

Kellen Boice

Executive Director

Kellen Boice was born and raised in Sioux Falls, SD. She graduated in 2000 from Roosevelt High School where she excelled in Marketing, Photography, Theatre and Graphic Art. Following high school, she started working full-time as a studio photographer for Harold’s Photo Center and freelancing weddings and seniors portraits. From 2004 – 2007 Kellen attended the Art Institute of Phoenix,  graduating with a BA in Advertising. After graduation, she started work as a marketing representative and in-house graphic designer for a master-planned community in Peoria, AZ. In 2011 she moved back to Sioux Falls to be closer to family and in 2014 started her role as Executive Director for the Sioux Falls Design Center where she worked hosting events to support and elevate the design community. November of 2019, she left the Design Center and started as the Executive Director for the Sioux Falls Arts Council. Kellen sits on the Visual Arts Commission for the City of Sioux Falls, is an inaugural member of the Dakota State University Digital Arts and Design Advisory Board for 2021-22, and board member for the Friends of McKennan Park Neighborhood Association.

Joel Rische

Board President

Joel Rische is a partner at Davenport, Evans, Hurwitz, and Smith, LLP, where he is a civil litigation attorney. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Joel traveled South Dakota learning about its arts, culture, history, and music as a videographer, editor, and producer at South Dakota Public Broadcasting. Through the years, Joel has also participated in the local scene as a drummer (and sometimes guitar player and singer) in several bands. After a stint in Nebraska, where Joel attended the University of Nebraska College of Law, he and wife Jackelyn Severin returned to Sioux Falls in 2015. Joel and Jackie enjoy raising their rambunctious toddler, attending local shows, and strolling the downtown sculpture walk.

Sara Telahun

Board Vice President

Deya Thorin

Board Secretary

Mark Millage

Tresurer

Sara Telahun Birhe is an Augustana University graduate, (B.A. in Government, International Affairs, and Philosophy). Sara currently works in the public sector in Sioux Falls. Her current work focuses on connecting community members and governmental systems. Sara has spent the last decade living and working in the Sioux Falls area. Community, connecting, and interpersonal conversations are at the heart of Sara’s work.
She has perversely written on the place of black individuals in philosophy to open a dialogue for marginalized groups. Most recently Telahun presented at the University of Texas, Austin’s 2021 Assemblages of Empire: an American Studies Symposium. Their writing centered around ideas of natural law, belonging, ethical responsibility, and identity within the Black community. They have joined classical and contemporary philosophy to attempt to understand modern-day blackness. Sara hopes to continue this work as her understanding of what it means to be black and belong in a space.
When not working she spends time watching movies, listening to podcasts, and exploring the outdoors. She enjoys life with her family, friends, and her step-dog Mabel.

Deya Thorin was born on the Island of Hispaniola, in the Dominican Republic. She became a United States citizen in 1994 and loves the founding principles of this country. She and her husband Todd have been married for 35 years and have raised six children and are the proud grandparents of seven grandchildren. She has worked as a freelance Spanish Judicial Interpreter and Translator. She is an accomplished artist and professional model with a second degree black belt in Taekwondo. She can also twist a chicken’s head off and turn it into dinner. She has served as a Counselor in the Young Women and Relief Society Organizations of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints. She also served as a leader, together with her husband, in the church’s addiction recovery program. She loves to entertain, cook and watch baking shows. Reading daily has become a great habit and she loves her book club sisters. Her children and grandchildren are her joy and her husband is her hero.

Mark Millage is a proud Patriot (SF Lincoln), Jackrabbit (SDSU), husband (37 years), dad (three adult children), and grandpa (one adorable grandson). Mark discovered his passion for storytelling while in college and embarked upon a 25-year career in television news. Journalism opened many doors, offered amazing experiences, and provided leadership opportunities locally and globally. For the past decade, Mark has worked in higher education, public relations, and non-profit leadership helping to strengthen organizational outreach and impact. As Director of Community Relations for Furniture Mart USA, Mark creates partnerships and bridges connections with media while providing philanthropic support to non-profit organizations across the upper Midwest. Through the years, Mark has been privileged to serve more than 30 different local and regional agencies including Make-A-Wish, The Banquet, St. Francis House, Multi-Cultural Center, and United Way. With the Arts Council, Mark served on the steering committee for Sioux Falls Imagined and chaired its task force on Cultural Facilities and Public Art.

Wes Eisenhauer

Past President

Wes Eisenhauer is a photographer and musician residing in Sioux Falls, South Dakota with his wife and 2 daughters. Wes has spent the last 15 years making music and touring the country as well as embracing many other creative pursuits and side hustles. His recent obsession with photo and video work has lead him down a new creative path, inspiring him to embrace the beauty and culture in his own back yard.

Erin Castle

Board Member

Erin Castle has been active in the arts industry of Sioux Falls for the past 20 years as a creator, curator and cultivator. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Augustana College in 2006 with an emphasis on painting and has worked in arts-based retail spaces ever since. Before joining the Visual Arts Center at the Washington Pavilion as the Assistant Curator, Erin served as General Manager for Rehfeld’s Art & Framing for 8 years. Her extensive experience spans custom framing, art conservation approaches, artful design and both corporate and residential art consultation. She has developed a wide network of artists and creators, cultivated through her experience representing artists in this region and beyond. Erin works every day to build a stronger and more vibrant arts community as seasoned musician, writer and singer for her Americana band, The Clover Fold, and continues to pursue her own creative practice through painting as well. When she’s not on stage, she is spending time gardening or exploring the outdoors with her husband, Jon, and two boys, Oscar and Arthur.

Mel Cotton

Board Member

As the founder of Rose and Eugene Presents, Mel Cotton has established a dynamic space, serving as a hybrid gallery and retailer that showcases contemporary art and gifts from talented artists and makers in the Great Plains and Midwest. Before dedicating her efforts to Rose and Eugene Presents, Mel played a pivotal, nearly decade-long role in managing, marketing, and purchasing for a distinguished American craft gallery, collaborating with high-craft artisans from the United States, Canada, and Europe. With a background in studio arts and an emphasis in printmaking, Mel’s academic journey at SDSU laid the foundation for her passion for the arts. Beyond her professional pursuits, Mel enjoys relaxed moments at home, snuggling with her husband and furry companions, and cultivating a domestic jungle.

 

Maren Engel

City Liaison - Advisory

Maren Engel is the Arts Coordinator for the City of Sioux Falls. Her past work as Engagement Leader with Thrivent, supporting the organization’s philanthropic, community partnership, and generosity efforts as well as coaching new financial advisors through strategic business and marketing planning. She holds a bachelor of arts in music from Augustana University. Maren also works as a professional performing artist, voice teacher and arts advocate in the Sioux Falls area, performing with local organizations including the Good Night Theatre Collective, Midtown Coffee Radio Hour, and Transept. In addition to her work on the SFAC, Maren serves as board president for Breathe Bravely, a local non-profit that supports individuals with cystic fibrosis through singing lessons and music therapy. Maren lives in busy downtown Sioux Falls and is passionate about the continued development and support of the arts throughout the city.

 

Chase Kramer

Board Member

Chase Kramer grew up in Sioux Falls and has been actively involved in artistic endeavors since his youth, benefiting from the active arts culture already present in Sioux Falls. He attended Augustana University and studied Art and Pre-Architecture, all while being actively involved in various theatre productions and singing in the Augustana Choir (as well as being part of cover-band for a short stint). After Augustana, he went on to Iowa State University and received his Master’s of Architecture. Upon graduation, he returned to Sioux Falls and is currently a project architect at TSP, Inc. He has been involved in productions with the Sioux Empire Community Theatre, is an active musician at the Cathedral of St. Joseph, as well as a member of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra Chorus. He also currently serves as the Chair of Washington Pavilion’s Visual Arts Center Advisory Board. Chase lives in Sioux Falls with his wife Rachael and his 3 children Veronica, Lucia, and Ezra.

James Landon

Board Member

James Landon is a music Artist and Fashion Designer born and raised in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. After serving four years honorably in the Marine Corps, James moved to LA to start his music and fashion career then returned to Sioux Falls to open a clothing and arts event space. Passionate about infiltrating the art scene into the community, James brings to the table innovative thinking, unique perspective, and a drive to diversify art accessibility.

April Meyerink

Board Member

April Meyerink, is VP, Business Development with American Bank & Trust in Sioux Falls – River Centre.  April grew up near a small town called Revillo, SD, graduated from Brookings High School, and completed her higher education at South Dakota State University (SDSU). April and her husband Troy have a beautiful daughter, Grace, and a 2-pound Mal-Chi named Miss Pepper. Outside of work, there are lots of activities that keep her busy. She enjoys golfing, kayaking, painting, listening to music, going to the beach, hanging out with friends, and trying new restaurants. April serves on numerous boards and love giving back to our wonderful community.

 

Luke Tatge

Board Member

Luke Tatge is a local playwright and theatrical director whose work includes the locally premiered original musicals Daytime: A Soap Opera Musical, Alvin Fletcher’s Surprise 34th Birthday Party, Reality Wives and Suspect. In addition, Luke serves as Executive Director for the quarterly publications Sioux Falls Stage and Sioux Falls Gallery, which highlight and showcase the work of local arts organizations and artists making an impact in the performing arts and visual arts scenes and is the Creative Director at Epicosity a full-service growth partner specializing in creative, strategy, digital and media services.

 

Shane Wuebben

Board Member

Shane Wuebben is a Sioux Falls native, and, because of the vibrant arts community, he is proud to continue to call Sioux Falls his home.  He serves as the Fine Arts Coordinator for the Sioux Falls School District, where he works with all teachers and programs for visual arts, music, theater, speech and debate, oral interp, and most recently Esports.  Shane is now in his 20th year working in education, which has included teaching vocal music at both elementary and secondary levels as well as building and district-wide administration.  He enjoys being able to continue making music as a member of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra Chorus.

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