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Arts Festival Staff

The Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts employs three full-time staff who also produce and manage First Night State College. Scroll down to learn more about:

  • Rick Bryant, Executive Director
  • Carol Baney, Director of Operations
  • Jennifer Shuey, Director of Development

Our work is also supported by Annie and John Nelson of Brown & Associates, Inc. Bookkeeping Services, and Doris Mack, Performing Arts Consultant. Our website has been designed and is supported by Courtney Shelton Hunt of Denovati Digital, who also provides social media and other digital engagement expertise and guidance.

Rick Bryant, Executive Director

Rick Bryant joined the paid staff of the CPFA as its director of visual arts in 1999, though his involvement with the Festival dates back to 1984, when he first volunteered on the Trash Crew. Rick was named Executive Director of the CPFA in 2005.

Born in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, before the county hospital moved to State College, Rick attended public schools in State College, and afterward the University of Virginia, where he earned a bachelor’s degree from the School of Architecture in 1979.

After college he toiled away in the insurance business and pursued professional education, earning a Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter designation in 1986. He completed the Pennsylvania Rural-Urban Leadership Program in 2013.

In addition to serving as a long-time Festival volunteer, he has volunteered for many community organizations. He has served on many committees and boards including the board of the Art Alliance of Central Pennsylvania, the State College Board of Health, the Board of Deacons of State College Presbyterian Church, the Community Advisory Board for Penn State’s Center for the Performing Arts, and the State College Historic Resources Commission. He currently serves as the chair of the State College Design Review Board.

You can read about Rick’s adventures as a doofus hipster-wannabe at his blog, The Wandering Wahoo.

Carol Baney, Director of Operations

Carol Baney has been with the Festival for nearly twenty years. She is a native of Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. After attending public school in Bellefonte, she received an associate in arts degree from the Hagerstown Business College in Maryland. She has continued her post-college education and earned an associate in liberal arts degree from Penn State in 2009.

Carol holds an Emergency Medical Technician certification from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and has earned a Master Gardener designation from Penn State Cooperative Extension. For the third (and last, she claims) year, she is serving as the chair of annual plant sale for the Centre County Master Gardeners. The sale, which takes place on Penn State’s Ag Progress Days grounds, raises over $10,000 annually.

In March 2013 and again in 2014, one of Carol’s dreams–to visit Africa–came true when she volunteered at the Urkundo Home and Learning Center in the Muhanga District of Rwanda.

In her spare time, Carol creates jewelry which she sells at festivals in the mid-Atlantic region. This is not just a creative outlet, but also gives her the opportunity to learn about the festival business from the artists’ perspective.

Jennifer Shuey, Director of Development

Jennifer joined the Festival staff in April 2015. Prior to that, she served almost 15 years as the Executive Director of ClearWater Conservancy, a well-respected land trust and natural resource conservation organization in central Pennsylvania. Jennifer grew up in the small village of Hublersburg in the Bellefonte area and earned a B.S. of Landscape Architecture from Penn State.

Since about 2005, Jen has been exploring her artistic side. She is a pastel painter whose work focuses mainly on landscapes of central Pennsylvania. Jennifer is a Signature Member of the Central Pennsylvania Pastel Society, the Secretary of the Farmland Preservation Artists of Central Pennsylvania, and a member of the Artists Registry of the Bellefonte Art Museum. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Art Alliance of Central Pennsylvania.

Jen remains committed to conservation and the teaching of new generations of community leaders who are connected to nature. She serves as the Chair of the local Millbrook Marsh Nature Center Advisory Committee and she is on the Boards of the Centre County Farmland Trust and the Mount Nittany Conservancy.

Jen lives with her high school sweetheart husband Chris in Pleasant Gap, with their two kitties, Hammie and Moe.  The kittens – and their names – came from Hameau Farm, in the Big Valley, where Jen first picked up a pastel at an artists’ retreat.

As CPFA’s Director of Development, Jennifer helps the Festival’s past, current, and future supporters find the best ways to make a difference in the community as part of the Festival family.

You can see some of Jen’s art on her website.

Ryan Adam Myers, Festival Intern

Ryan Adam Myers started with the Festival team during 2017 First Night State College as the overall office gofer, before returning to the “intern office” in May as the official Summer Intern. Originally from Tyrone, Pennsylvania, Ryan is a senior at Penn State pursuing a degree in Recreation, Park, & Tourism Management with a focus in Commercial Recreation. When not in the office or the library Ryan can be found jumping around campus with various organizations including the Penn State Sailing Team and the Shaver’s Creek Outdoor School Program.

After completing his studies, Ryan wants to work in the live events & entertainment industry. Having worked for multiple festivals he is passionate about bringing sustainability & accessibility to the front lines of event tourism.

When his planner is clear, he is often out on hikes getting lost in the wilderness, or off to some obscure location for a little adventure. When there is snow on the ground he is often on the ski slopes. During the summer, Ryan enjoys observing new and exciting industry trends, especially if they are found at EDM (electronic dance music) or jazz festivals, or craft beer festivals.

Ryan lives in State College with his fluffy black cat, Shamu.

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