Board of Directors and Staff

We are governed by a 13 - 18 member volunteer Board of Directors who are elected for three-year terms.

Meet Our Board of Directors and Staff:







Adrienne Roellgen, who has been with the arts council for four years, became executive director on July 1. She wants to continue and expand work that to create partnerships that bring the arts to more places throughout Caldwell County. One of the most notable has been the Artists in Schools program. 
Citing a concept called “creative placemaking” that sees the arts as one of a community’s tools for driving change and growth, Roellgen said the arts can have a place in many areas of life. “Arts better our quality of life and instill a sense of pride,” she said. “Arts can speak to an emotion or energy or passion inside of you, and you never really know what piece it will be.”
Roellgen is a native of Canton, Ohio, who moved to this area about 10 years ago from Greenville, S.C., when her husband, Enno, took a job with Bernhardt Furniture, where he now is the manager of Plant 3. They first lived in Morganton but about five years ago moved to Lenoir with their children, now ages 5, 9 and 17, and Roellgen calls that a good move.






Originally from Alleghany County NC, Emily Miller, her partner Daniel, and their two children moved to Lenoir in 2011. Emily has a long history of involvement with the arts. She is an avid maker, largely in the disciplines of fiber art and wood working. Emily completed undergraduate degrees in English Literature and Psychology with a concentration in Creative Writing, a Master of Arts in English Education and a Doctoral degree in Educational Leadership with a graduate certificate in Expressive Arts Therapy. Emily's work explores art and craft practices as an extension of human wellbeing within the context of an economic metanarrative. Delighted by the vibrant arts community in Lenoir, Emily is thrilled to join the Board of Directors for the Caldwell Arts Council.

Kim Greene McClure


Kim’s art focus has primarily been in the performing arts. She played clarinet in the Happy Valley School band, before switching to bassoon in 9th grade at Hibriten High School. Kim continued playing bassoon at Appalachian State University, as a member of the Wind Ensemble. She currently plays in the Harper Band, part of the James C. Harper School for the Performing Arts. Kim has been on the board of directors for the Caldwell Arts Council since January 2012, and also serves on the board of directors for the Historic Happy Valley Old-Time Fiddler’s Convention.

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John Francis serves as the Northwest Regional Associate for the North Carolina Community Foundation where he works with NCCF's local affiliates and endowment funds across ten counties in northwestern NC. Prior to joining NCCF, John worked for three years with City Year Boston, an AmeriCorps organization, and served as Fellow with the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation. John is particularly interested in local art as a community asset and economic development tool.




My husband, John, and I moved to Lenoir with our family in August of 2007 from Syracuse, New York. The first public event we attended in our new town was the Sculpture Celebration. At this event I immediately fell in love with sculpture and the Arts Council! I am employed with Bernhardt Design and am the proud parent of 8 children and 3 wonderful grandchildren.
Susy Barnett


Susan Barnett, Susy to her friends, grew up in upstate New York, the daughter of a hospital administrator and teacher. She is a graduate of Marshall University and Appalachian State University. Now retired from Caldwell County Schools, Susy enjoys reading, knitting, watching movies, gardening, volunteering at the Caldwell Arts Council and entertaining friends. She and Scott, also recently retired from Caldwell County Schools, have two grown sons.


Helen (Nell) Fisher


Nell and her husband Bill Karr serve as a Board Member Couple for the Arts Council. Originally from Westchester and Dutchess Counties in New York, we now live at The Coves in Collettesville. We are extremely excited about the area with such natural beauty, culture and history, the wonderful people, and the outstanding work The Arts Council offers here in Caldwell County. As a retired preschool and elementary teacher, I know how much inspiration and culture the Arts Council contributes to every aspect of the county, the people, and most importantly, the children. We can't help but get more deeply involved in such a great effort.







Originally born and raised in Minas Gerais, Brazil, Jimmie Griffith attended Appalachian State University and moved to Lenoir, NC in 2004 where he lives with his wife and two daughters. He currently works at Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute as an instructor and amongst other things coordinates the College’s Brazilian educational partnerships and co-chairs the CCC&TI Global Diversity Committee. Jimmie is also a musician/composer that has participated in several different musical projects (
Banana da TerraMaisCéu and UNC- Chapel Hill’s Viva Cackalacky – Latin Music in the New South) promoting Brazilian music in NC since 2000. As an educator, artist and Caldwell County resident, Jimmie is delighted to be a board member of the Caldwell Arts Council in order continue to bring cultures and people closer together through the arts, education, and business.





Sam is a native Texan who with her husband, Don, has found a wonderful home and community in Lenoir. She was introduced to the world of arts and crafts as a child by her grandmother. As an adult she has explored a wide variety of mediums, from pottery to stained glass, but has found her true passion lies in the fiber arts. Samantha is a knitter, crocheter and most of all a weaver and felter. An active participant in Lenoir’s vibrant fiber arts community, she occasionally teaches fiber arts classes and contributes annually to public street art projects. She enjoyed assisting the Caldwell Arts Council with 2014’s Satie's Holiday Sale and hanging art installations over the past year.  Sam is grateful for the opportunity to give back to the community by serving on the Caldwell Arts Council Board.    


Bill Karr


Bill and his wife Nell Fisher serve as a Board Member Couple for the Arts Council. Originally from Westchester and Dutchess Counties in New York as well, we are very happy to have found The Coves, Lenoir and The Caldwell Arts Council. As a retired guidance counselor for 6th-8th grade students, The Arts, in all its forms, are some of the best influences kids and adults can have in their lives. So I am looking forward to being more involved in the great work the Arts Council does for our community and people. The visitors who see Lenoir and what the Arts Council does, cannot help but be touched and impressed.

Pete Lupo


My wife, Sheree and I are native North Carolinians. We currently live in the Kings Creek area of Caldwell County. My wife and I love the outdoors and try to spend as much of our free time there as possible. I have been a practicing artist for 30 years and recently my wife has become involved more with her passions of pottery and photography.Becoming involved with the Caldwell Arts Council has introduced us to like minded people who share the love of small town living and an appreciation of the incredible amount of artistic talent that the area has to offer. Pete served as Secretary of our Board of Directors in 2013 & 2014.



Dawn Mathews is a native of Caldwell County and has been displaying art at the Council since high school.  She is the owner of The Thankful Goat, a local goat milk soap and bath products business in Granite Falls. Dawn is a homesteading, homeschooling mom of two boys, wife to Steve, and a local author. Connect with her at









Erik and Kourtney have been Lenoir residents since 2005. Although careers brought them here, the aesthetic of the Appalachian Mountains, its culture, and its art forms were a definite draw. While here their family grew with the birth of their two girls. Kourtney is an English teacher at Hibriten High School, and Erik is an Associate Professor and Area Director of the Recreation Management Program at Appalachian State University. Originally, Erik is from Virginia and Kourtney from the midwest. While from diverse backgrounds, both Erik and Kourtney were exposed to the arts throughout their whole lives and their appreciation for art, in all of its forms, has blossomed. The Rabinowitz family is proud to be new Caldwell Arts Council board members.



 Matt Underwood


Matt is Network Systems Engineer at Siemens Healthcare for Caldwell Memorial Hospital, and is also owner/operator of the famous Mystery Hill in Blowing Rock, NC.  Matt served as President of our Board in 2013 & 2014. 









 Launi Higgs was originally born and raised in Southern Indiana, and has travelled and lived in many places throughout the US. Caldwell County has been her home since 2009 after graduating from Indiana University with a degree in Visual Art Education. She has worked for North Carolina Public Schools in Caldwell County and Hickory City schools for six years, teaching visual arts to students from pre-school to high school. 

Art is an integral part of her life, and she is excited to have the opportunity to further this through her new position at the Caldwell Arts Council. 

 She co-owns Blue Ridge Apiaries with her husband Ryan, who is a fourth generation beekeeper. They have two daughters, ages 6 and 2, who help with the bees, create art, and maintain quality control with the honey. 



Cathy McCoy




Cathy takes care of the office needs for the Arts Council, answering the phone and keeping everyone updated on arts events in our region. Married to Mitchel, they have one daughter.

 Bob Fitzgerald


Bob has been Facilities Manager for Caldwell Arts Council since 2003 and helps with many tasks in the office, keeps the gallery lights shining as nicely as the floors!



My family and I moved here from Syracuse, New York in 2007 and I am following in the footsteps of my mother, Nancy Crawford, and proudly working here at the Caldwell Arts Council. I have been involved here since my mother has after we attended that year's Sculpture Celebration, and plan to be here for many years to come. I am also a proud mother of my beautiful daughter Sophie.