Skip to main content

CACHE is a dedicated and disciplinarily diverse team of working artists bonded by a love for the intersection of creativity and community.

Karen Castleman

Arts Services Coordinator

Karen Castleman has spent more than 20 years immersed in the art of dance as a professional dancer, educator, choreographer and community leader. Following a professional career dancing with MOMIX, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Rubberbandance Group, and others, she has spent just over a decade now teaching and creating in NW Arkansas. Her work has involved engagements and collaborations with some incredible organizational partners in the high south and beyond, from more classical commissioned works of contemporary ballet, Red Rover for Tulsa Ballet II, and Late Summer Cycle for NWA Ballet Theatre, to abstract creations for engagements at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and The Momentary. Both within the gallery and outdoors, in site specific conversations with sculptural works of art, Karen’s work stretches across the boundaries of contemporary concert dance genres.

As an educator, Karen has taught ballet, modern, jazz, contemporary and social dance forms to students of all ages at schools in California, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Arkansas, including Loyola University of Chicago and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s Youth Education Department. Karen spent 6 years as director of the high school dance program at Arkansas Arts Academy in Rogers, AR and serves on the faculty of NWA Conservatory of Classical Ballet. She is also an adjunct lecturer in dance as a part of the theatre department at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. She has been the recipient of grants and awards by the Artists 360 program, Arkansas Arts Council, Mid-America Art Alliance and the Walton Family Foundation.

In 2022, Castleman co-founded NWA Movement Hub, an organization dedicated to bringing the power, beauty and joy of dance to people of all walks of life. Programs of the Movement Hub have included a choreography lab and performance series, giving regionally based choreographers the opportunity to present work locally and receive feedback and financial support, as well as a project-based dance company, Flyover Contemporary Dance, presenting new works of contemporary dance in collaboration with many of our regions premier art organizations including Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, The Momentary, and 21c Museum/Hotel.

Karen enjoys creating spaces for people to deepen their experience of the artform of dance, whether by introducing novice viewers or students to movement that sparks curiosity, or engaging experienced audiences in work that challenges preconceptions, motivating dialogue. Whether creating dance in a theater, museum, parking garage or open field, utilizing ballet, modern, popular or pedestrian vocabularies, or facilitating spaces for arts activity, she welcomes communities to join together in engaging the senses to make new meaning out of the most familiar subject, the body.

Meghan Dale

Chief of Staff

Meghan Dale brings more than ten years of arts and media experience to the team, including backgrounds in sports broadcast journalism, freelance film production, and performing arts.

A New England transplant, Meghan made her way to Arkansas by way of Louisiana, where she spent three years managing production office teams and on-site locations for independent and studio productions. Most recently, she worked in community engagement for Walton Arts Center’s Learning team, coordinating the residency schedules of incoming performing artists. Meghan’s work also focused on creating opportunities for local students, teachers, and life-long learners to engage deeper with the arts. She was the on-site coordinator of Walton Arts Center’s VoiceJam A Cappella Festival, managing logistics, communication, and scheduling of national competitors, judges, and educators, as well as international partners.

In 2018, Meghan was named to the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) class of 30 Under 30.

Lisa Marie Evans

Director of Creative Development

Lisa Marie Evans is a filmmaker and animator. She co-directed, edited, and animated In Her Words: 20th Century Lesbian Fiction. In 2020, In Her Words was the first film to win the Publishing Triangle’s Michele Karlsberg Leadership Award. Since April 2022, the film has reached audiences across Italy, Ireland, Spain, Germany, England, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, Poland, Peru, Argentina, Mexico, Australia, the Philippines, Canada, and the United States.

Evans was a keynote speaker at VIII Gendercom: the International Conference on Gender & Communication in Viterbo, Italy in 2022. She received a grant from the US Embassy in Rome to support the 2024 International Day of Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia and the advancement of the LGBTQI+ policies, including a screening of In Her Words at Sapienza University in Rome.

Lisa Marie debuted an animation to accompany a bassoon performance by Lia Uribe of Fernando Fernández's Enredadas Alegrías at the 2023 International Double Reed Society conference in Bangkok, Thailand. She is a 2021 recipient of the Arkansas Arts Council’s Fellowship Award in Cinematic Arts. Evans co-produced Beyond Belief: Three Stories of Faith in Action, part of a 2016 national initiative funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in partnership with Kansas City PBS.

For more than 20 years, Evans has mentored multidisciplinary artists. She is the Director of Creative Development for CACHE where she designs and leads professional development programming, project support, and grantmaking for artists. Since 2020, she has overseen the distribution of more than $840K dollars to more than 190 creatives.

Kelsey Howard

Managing Director

Kelsey Howard is a world traveler at heart who’s grateful to call Siloam Springs, AR home. After teaching English in South Korea, Kelsey received the Rotary District 6110 Ralph R. Kirchner Award, which funded her graduate studies in the History of Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art (University of London) with a specialization in British architecture.

She has worked at the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, the Scott Family Amazeum in Bentonville, John Brown University in Siloam Springs as an adjunct professor teaching Art History, and was most recently the Executive Director of Main Street Siloam Springs. In the last several years, she’s had the privilege to combine her love of public art with enhancing historic downtown spaces; she was honored with the Main Street Arkansas Outstanding Director award of 2018-2019. Kelsey currently sits on the governor-appointed Arkansas Historic Preservation Review Committee to protect our state’s historic buildings.

Brittany Johnson

Director of Communications

Brittany Johnson is an arts administrator from Houston, Texas.

Brittany made her way to Northwest Arkansas to join the team at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art where she served as the Communications and Marketing department’s first email marketing manager before joining the Interpretation team, and including the Momentary in her scope of work. With the Interpretation team, she developed 21 exhibitions in two years and worked with curators to keep the museum’s permanent collection—more than 500 years of American art—inspiring and engaging for museum guests. She additionally oversaw the museum’s efforts to become fully bilingual, working with translators and museum stakeholders to create and solidify the language used to describe the museum and it’s offerings in Spanish. Finally, she aditionally led DEAI efforts on behalf of the museum and helped found the museum's first Black and African-American staff resource group.

She has held positions at Houston Arts Alliance (Houston, Texas), Mexic-Arte Museum (Austin, Texas), and SFMOMA (San Francisco, California). She is the editor of the MMIAM Journey, an online journal for international arts management, a member of the Fayetteville Public Library’s Public Art Committee, and Capacity Building Co-Chair for the Creative States Coalition.

Brittany has a Masters in International Arts Management from SMU in (Dallas, USA), HEC Montréal (Montreal, Canada), and Universitá Boconni (Milan, Italy) and another n Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin.

Outside of work, Brittany is a reader, live music enthusiast, aspiring podcast host, and avid language learner; Brittany speaks Spanish and French, and can be found forgetting to complete her German and Italian lessons—the Duolingo owl is frequently disappointed.

Thalia Madewell

Operations Manager, The Medium

Since 2015, Thalia has been a vital liaison between performing arts and the community, following more than a decade of in-home education fueling the minds and passions of her five children. Combining her scientific background — a Cum Laude University of Arkansas graduate with a degree in Environmental, Soil, and Water Science — with the artistic, athletic, and academic world in which she was immersed, Thalia began her career as Production Manager for the Northwest Arkansas Conservatory of Classical Ballet, the region’s premiere dance school.

In 2019, Thalia continued to cultivate a relevant landscape for dance in Northwest Arkansas, working with acclaimed directors, artists, and choreographers as Project Manager on a successful six-month pilot program called Dance Anywhere/Everywhere. Later, as Executive Director of NWA Ballet Theatre, she managed 22 professional dancers and administratively supported art that began receiving national attention. Thalia orchestrated the day-to-day operations of NWABT and quickly became the hub of information flowing in and out of the organization. She not only solidified the continuation of the company, but found her niche in the curation of relationships among artists, venue operators, arts organizations, and community leaders.

Thalia is an Enneagram 6, born and raised in Muskogee, Oklahoma. She’s been married 22 years and has five children, aged 19 to 10, whom she gave birth to at home. She is a Sagittarius Sun (barely) who identifies as a Capricorn, Gemini Moon, Gemini Rising. Thalia used to be a tap dancer and marathon runner; now she goes on long walks for exercise and to binge podcasts. Thalia geeks out on astrology but will also talk anything Kardashian with you too.

Kevin Nguyen

Back of House and Technical Coordinator, The Medium

Kevin Nguyen is a Vietnamese-American musical artist, producer, and audio engineer from Salt Lake City, UT. He is a graduate of the Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences in Gilbert, AZ. For two and a half years, Kevin worked on his craft in an intimate studio in Bentonville’s famed CACHE Studios, collaborating with the new wave of Hip-Hop and Rap artists in our flourishing and eclectic art and music scene. Having recently served as a barista at a local cafe, known for its excellence in hospitality, he is looking to help facilitate these qualities, at The Medium, for everyone in the creative community.

Amber Perrodin

Artist & Community Manager, The Medium

Inspired by the Ozark region she was born in, Amber Perrodin is a community-focused artist, storyteller, creek baby, mushroom hunter, painter, mother, wife, and Northwest Arkansas Master Naturalist. Since 2020, she has worked with CACHE as the Artist & Community Manager at The Medium, helping to establish the Creative Exchange Fund. This initiative celebrates creative risk-taking while putting more than $270,000 into the hands of artists.

As a four-year Artist Fellow with Looking For America, Amber published "The Ozark Story Project," a book exploring the intersection of immigrant and traditional folklore in the Ozarks. From 2018 to 2021, she was a local team member with the Live in America Festival, a festival and research project by the Momentary amplifying performance art in America.

As a mixed-media artist based in Springdale, Arkansas, Amber is inspired by her community. She recently painted an outdoor mural at Hillfolk at 8th Street Market and was the featured Chalk Artist in 2024 at the Walton Arts Center’s Artosphere. As Program Director with the Downtown Springdale Alliance, she organized more than 100 events in just two years, including the popular Outdoor Street Dinner and Ozarktober Fest. Amber now serves on the Board of Directors with the Downtown Springdale Alliance and is an active member of Springdale Rotary.

Amber created The Little Craft Show, Team Springdale, and co-founded The Creative Social Retreat. Together with her husband, they’ve opened their art studio, Perrodin Supply Co., as a mindful, artist-led space that serves the neighborhood through public and private events. Recently, they hosted the NWA Film Club and the "Women of the Ozarks" exhibition.

John Wayne Pharr

General Manager, The Medium

John Wayne is a Filipino-American who has spent half of his life on opposite sides of the world. But no matter where he has been, he has always had an innate desire to make sounds and capture them. He began his musical journey as an avid listener, which then progressed into learning to become a keyboardist, a choir member, and finally a self-taught guitarist. That path proceeded to him taking on roles as an audio engineer, videographer, and live sound technician. Later on in life, he was introduced to his second passion, construction. With more than five years of experience in various aspects of construction, he is looking to transform The Medium in Downtown Springdale into a safe and evolving space that provides for the needs of local creatives.

Cynthia Tran

Event & Front of House Coordinator, The Medium

A creative at heart, Cynthia D. Tran is a fine art photographer, educator, event curator, and multi-disciplinary artist. With a heart-felt passion for empowering others to embrace their authenticity, Cynthia leads by example through her own embodiment work and keen sense for self-expression. Mindful of the ever-changing moments in her life, she thrives to capture the essence of every place and every person she encounters with the utmost attention to detail, reminding others to find joy in the little things. A lover of nature, collector of crystals and plants, and avid fan of travel and adventure, she has a zest for working alongside natural beauty, finding herself currently residing in NWA now for the very same reasons.

Since 2012, she has always had a camera in her hand. In 2016, she funded her own art space, Transcendence Crystal & Art Collective, a hybridized gallery showcasing nature’s finest hand-picked minerals alongside talented local artists sourced throughout Oklahoma and beyond. Cynthia gained newfound appreciation for the diversity of culture, community, and collaboration through her business and moved on in 2018 to serve bigger organizations such as RAW Artists and Art Con with photography and visual production.

In 2019, she founded Women & Wildlife, an innovative retreat and art project, promoting overall mind, body, and spiritual wellness, while connecting to nature through exploration, art cultivation, and radical vulnerability. Combining her artistic vision alongside therapeutic practices such as yoga, meditation, sensual movement, hiking, and art therapy, this experience has expanded across the midwest in various locations with the support of the community she has developed through her career and by following her purpose. The offering is a unique way to connect within and with others. She is dedicated to uplifting those around her and finds herself to be the connector of people from all walks of life.

CACHE is grateful for the consulting support of our community:

Raven Cook

CACHE Nonprofit Liaison

Graham Stewart

Creative Calendar Liaison

Meredith Wagner

Social Media Consultant