We look forward to welcoming everyone for the 52nd Festival of the Arts July 12-15, 2018. Children and Youth Day will be July 11. Save the date(s)!

Arts Festival Board of Directors

The Board of Directors of the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts

The 2016-2017 Board of Directors of the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts

Front Row, L to R: Diana Malcom, Kathleen Raupach, Amy Caputo, Jean Galliano, Bob Hicks. Back Row, L to R: Jonathan Friedman, Yvonne Gaudelius, Steve Watson, Kristen Coombs, Steve Sampsell. Missing from photo: Renata Engel, Brad Keen.

To many people the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts is something that “just happens” each summer. School lets out for the summer, and in what seems like the blink of an eye, the Festival is upon us. Landscapers, stage hands, musicians, artists, and volunteers all appear – and in their wake both State College and the Penn State campus are alive with visitors.

The Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts also produces First Night State College, an arts-centric, family oriented, alcohol-free celebration of the New Year’s holiday. First Night State College features one of Pennsylvania’s largest displays of ice carving, performances in downtown churches, theaters, and public buildings, resolution sculptures, a giant puppet procession, children’s activities, and a 5k Resolution Run.

The Festival is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors that determines the mission and goals of the organization. The Festival’s mission is ”to celebrate the arts with presentations of diverse, high-quality visual and performing arts through the cooperative volunteer support of the community and The Pennsylvania State University.” The Board of Directors is made up of men and women from both Penn State and the State College community.  They set policies, raise funds, monitor budgets, and of course, attend lots of meetings.

Meet Our Current Board Members

Click on the + next to each board member’s name to read his/her brief bio.

Amy Caputo is currently Director of Strategic Communications for the Penn State Alumni Association. She has more than twenty-five years of experience in business development, marketing, communications, and management for corporations, non-profit associations, government, education, and media organizations.

Prior to returning to Pennsylvania in 2007, she was Director of Marketing and Business Development for a top-tier Southeastern regional law firm with 300 attorneys based in Richmond, Virginia. Amy earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Penn State and a master’s in mass communications with a concentration in media management from Virginia Commonwealth University. She currently serves on the board of Altrusa International of Centre County and is an alumna of the 2013 Leadership Centre County class.

Kristen Coombs is the Founder and Financial Advisor with Kristen Coombs Financial Advisors in State College, where she focuses primarily on financial planning and investment management for individuals and business owners. In addition to her investment advisory business, Kristen is the owner of New Life Financial, LLC, a financial divorce planning firm that works with individuals creating budgets, asset statements, and other financial schedules. Through this process she coaches her clients to make educated decisions on divorce settlement options as well as helping them to understand how those decisions will impact their financial future.

Kristen attended Katherine Gibbs School, Penn State, and is an honors graduate of the Central Atlantic School of Trust & Investment Management at Bucknell University. She has earned several professional licenses and designations including Certified Financial Planner™.

Kristen served on the Board of the Friends of the Palmer Museum where she was the chair of the museum’s annual gala. She has also volunteered for the Central PA 4th Festival and the State College Football Booster Club. Kristen and her husband, Tom, enjoy skiing, biking and traveling to spend time with their four grown children who live in Oregon, Colorado, North Carolina and State College.

Renata S. Engel, Ph.D. is Associate Vice Provost for Online Programs at Penn State. In that role, she has responsibility for the academic affairs of Penn State’s World Campus, which encompasses the 130+ online programs and includes support for academic advising, faculty teaching online, the development and evaluation of online curricular innovations, and advancing student affairs practices for online learners.

A member of the Penn State faculty since 1990, she is Professor of Engineering Design and Engineering Science and Mechanics, and served as the Associate Dean for Academic Programs in the College of Engineering from 2006-2014 and the Executive Director of the Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence from 2000-2006.

Engel is an avid Sidewalk Sale shopper and considers the Festival to be one of the highlights of the summer.

Jonathan Friedman is a rarity in some circles in State College—he’s a local kid. Born and reared in the State College area, Jonathan was graduated from State High (’95) and afterward earned a bachelor’s degree in Baltimore at Johns Hopkins University (B.A. ’99). He subsequently attended the University of Illinois College of Law (J.D. ’02).

He practiced law in Chicago for ten years, focusing mainly on corporate litigation in the healthcare industry. Once he and his wife Natalie decided to start a family, it became clear that they should move someplace where they could rear their kids close to family and in a friendly and safe environment. As a result, in 2012, they moved back to State College. They have two daughters, Beatrix and Margaux, who enjoy the local parks, museums, libraries and presence of many doting family members.

Jonathan is the Director of Development for several entities within the Friedman Real Estate Group. His career focus is on real estate within the Centre Region and the continued improvement of downtown.

Jean has spent more than 24 years serving in the financial industry in the Centre Region. She joined the Commercial Banking Group of Fulton Bank in May of 2005 and was one of a team of three who started the State College Division of Fulton Bank. She is currently responsible for leading the State College Commercial Banking Group in building corporate lending relationships with investment real estate, commercial and industrial customers. She also serves as co-chair of the Fulton Bank Central Regional Loan Committee.

Jean earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management from Moravian College, Bethlehem, PA and she graduated with special honors from the Graduate School of Banking, University of Colorado. She is active in the community, and currently serves or has served in a number of organizations in the Centre County community including: CBICC’s Business and Industry Partnership, Finance Committee Member for the Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania; School Board Member for Nittany Christian School and Grace Prep High School; Community Outreach Committee Member for State College Access Church; and Family Services Committee Member for Habitat for Humanity.

Jean and her family reside in State College.

Yvonne Gaudelius is originally from Toronto, Canada, but has considered State College home for more than twenty years. She is an associate vice president and senior associate dean for undergraduate education at Penn State and a faculty member in the College of Arts and Architecture. Yvonne earned undergraduate degrees from Queen’s University and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and a doctoral degree from Penn State. She is the author of numerous articles and two co-authored books about art and education.

Yvonne is an avid gardener and cook who also loves to travel. She is married to Nigel Higson, a math professor at the University. They have one daughter, who is a senior at State High. Together the three of them enjoy travel, especially biking through the countryside and small towns that are off the beaten path.

Bob Hicks was recently ordained and installed as the Pastor of the Upper Spruce Creek Presbyterian Church, near Warriors Mark, PA.

Bob is also a board member on the Friends of the Palmer Museum of Art as well as Project Education, Inc., which oversees a secondary school in Kenya. Bob has a B.S. in accounting from Penn State, an M.B.A. in corporate finance from Fairleigh Dickinson, and a master of divinity degree from Drew Seminary. Bob previously managed various commercial lending groups in the U.S. and Europe during a twenty-four-year corporate career.

Bob recently moved to State College with his lovely wife, Irene, and loving daughters, Emilia and Claire. Bob and Irene like to bike, golf, and run (ok, maybe only Bob likes to run). In addition to serving as an ambassador for the Arts Festival, Bob has participated in the First Night Resolution Run for many years as he continues to try to prove to himself that he is not aging!

Brad Keen was named the Assistant Athletic Director for Marketing for Penn State Athletics in September 2014.

He oversees the marketing and promotions initiatives for Penn State’s broad-based and highly successful 31-sport athletic program. He works directly with Coach James Franklin’s football program in a variety of areas, including ticketing, branding and gameday fan experience.

Brad came to Penn State after serving as the Director of Marketing at Wake Forest University and prior to that served as the Assistant Director of Sales and Marketing at Vanderbilt University. He began his career as the Assistant Director of Marketing and Promotions at Middle Tennessee State University in 2010.

A native of Tuscaloosa, Ala., Keen earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Alabama and was a member of the Crimson Tide’s Athletic Marketing staff as a student.

Diana Malcom is an Associate in Ministry at State College Presbyterian Church, where is responsible for both middle-school and campus ministry. As such, she is an affiliate staff member at Penn State’s Pasquerilla Spiritual Center. She earned an undergraduate degree in management science from Lock Haven University, and a graduate degree in Recreation and Parks from Penn State in addition to a second master’s degree from Columbia Theological Seminary.

Diana enjoys living in the borough with her family – husband Blair, an engineer at Penn State’s Office of Physical Plant, son Wilson, a Penn State student, and daughter Lydia, a student at State College Area Senior High and a member of the school’s Thespians. Diana enjoys hiking, biking, cooking, reading and gardening, volunteering for various organizations in the community.

Since 2004, Kathleen has been guiding Penn State Recreation, Park and Tourism Management students in the successful planning and implementation of 20 annual special events to benefit local nonprofits, state parks and campus organizations. She earned degrees in Recreation and Parks from Penn State. She loves event logistics, and understands the benefits of special events to individuals and communities.

Kathleen began her professional career in Vermont, working in drug and alcohol rehabilitation, public health, and directing a nonprofit teen center. She served on the Vermont Reparative Board and the Vermont AIDS Council.

A State College native, Kathleen grew up attending the Arts Festival. Her sons have been Children and Youth Day artists. She volunteers weekly with Centre County PAWS as an Adoption Counselor, and has fostered many PAWS dogs, helping each on their journey to find their forever home.

Steve Sampsell is director of strategic communications for the College of Communications at Penn State. He’s also an adjunct instructor, teaching introductory news writing and reporting, sports writing and a freshmen seminar titled “Happy Valley: Your New Hometown.” He has worked at Penn State since 2000.

Sampsell has served on numerous University-wide committees and collaborative efforts, often focused on charitable efforts. In 2014, he earned the University-wide Barash Award for Human Service. His community involvement includes volunteer roles with the Centre County United Way, Leadership Centre County, Pennsylvania Pink Zone and Centre Soccer (as a former board member), among others.

Before joining Penn State, he was the assistant sports editor of the Centre Daily Times. He has also worked for Tribune-Review in Pittsburgh and the Lock Haven Express. He continues to write a freelance column for the Altoona Mirror. He also self-published two books for his college-bound daughters (in 2011 and 2012, respectively) — titled Men Are Pigs: 93 Things a Dad Wants His Daughter to Know About College and It’s Not a Big Deal: A Dad’s Book of Advice About What Matters and What Does Not for His College-Bound Daughter. He lives in State College with his wife Susan.

Steve Watson is a university planner with Penn State’s Division of Campus Planning and Design in the Office of Physical Plant, where he has worked since 2002. Campus Planning provides the “big picture” view of Penn State’s campus environments and ensures the highest standards of design quality for all buildings and civic spaces throughout the University system. Steve, who holds a professional registration as a landscape architect, is responsible for leading the development of campus master plans, facilitating site selection and evaluation, participating in site and building feasibility studies, reviewing and critiquing planning studies prepared by consultants to the University, assisting with transportation planning studies, serving as the University authority on municipal zoning, and assuring that site development plans adhere to the principles and requirements of campus master plans.

Steve serves on various University committees, including the Outdoor Public Art Committee, the Intermodal Transportation Committee, and the Environmental Forum Committee at University Park. He also serves as the University representative on the Centre Regional Planning Commission. A Centre County native and graduate of Penn State, Steve resides in Bellefonte with his wife, Valerie, a post-doctoral researcher in environmental engineering with a focus on microbial fuel cell technologies. They have two daughters, Alina and Kira, who enjoy competitive gymnastics.

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