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

Evan Alvarado

Film & Media Coordinator

Having deep roots in the arts and music, Evan Alvarado seeks to understand life through a creative lens. His mother an artist & videographer, and father a musician, Evan has had lifelong inspiration in crafting his creative abilities.

After moving coast-to-coast with his family in pursuing a growing acting/modeling career as a preteen, in 2002 his family decided to finally settle back down in Northwest Arkansas where his parents had previously lived together in their earlier years. Evan has been sharpening his creative skills in Northwest Arkansas since then, and now happily juggles his different passions. Between managing & playing in his reggae band The Irie Lions, owning and running his video/media business AENIMATE MEDIA PRODUCTIONS, and now a team member of CACHE–Evan hopes to be a lifelong student of the arts/music/film, and to contribute to the creative consciousness of his community.

Lucas Cowan

Director of Public and Visual Arts

Lucas has over 18 years of curatorial and arts administration experience. He has served as Director & Curator of Public Art For the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy, Director of Public Art for the Maryland State Arts Council, and Senior Curator of Exhibits for Millennium Park and the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture. He is the founder and Chief Consultant for Arts & Culture, LLC, a consulting firm specializing in curation and arts strategy. Cowan attended the Maryland Institute College of Art where he studied Fiber and Material Studies and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Master Program in Arts Administration.

Meghan Dale

Chief of Staff

Meghan Dale brings over 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 3 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.

Jesse Elliott

Chief Strategy & Creative Officer

Jesse moved to NWA from Colorado where he served as the founding director of the Bohemian Foundation’s Music District, a 57,000-square-foot campus for the music industry in Fort Collins and co-wrote the state of Colorado’s music strategy.

Previously, Jesse was a full-time touring rock musician, songwriter and band leader, releasing six albums and performing live 1,200 times over a decade, from SXSW to Lollapalooza with his bands These United States and Ark Life.

Before music recaptured his heart, Jesse wrote books and speeches with economist Richard Florida, co-founded a community nonprofit at the University of Iowa, and helped film a documentary on water rights in southern Mexico and Guatemala. With his company Range Music Ecosystems, Jesse and his co-founder Dr. Bryce Merrill researched and wrote the music strategies for the city of Denver, and brought together international thinkers for the City of Austin, the Biennial of the Americas, and more.

Allyson Esposito

President & CEO

Allyson is an arts administrator, lawyer, and artist from a family of artists with more than 12 years of change management experience in the philanthropic sector. She moved to NWA from Boston where she served as Senior Director, Arts & Culture Program for the Boston Foundation, responsible for creating and implementing the Foundation’s new arts strategy focused on improving diversity, equity and access within Greater Boston’s arts sector.

Prior to Boston, Allyson served as Director of Cultural Grants for the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, managing a portfolio of more than 300 grantees and leading the first restructure of the Cultural Grants program in more than 20 years.

Allyson is a life-long dancer/choreographer who founded and led Chicago-based contemporary dance company Space Movement Project from 2004-2015, co-creating more than 10 original evening length works and touring nationally and internationally.

Lisa Marie Evans

Director of Creative Development

BIO
Lisa Marie Evans is a filmmaker, animator and curator. Evans has participated in artist residencies and screened her work internationally, including venues in Hungary, France, the Philippines and Canada. She has developed curricula and taught filmmaking to all ages, curated film festivals and events, and served on the board for multiple arts organizations.

In 2016 Evans co-produced “Beyond Belief,” a digital storytelling project through the Association of Independents in Radio and Kansas City PBS. She is currently in the distribution phase with the feature documentary, “In Her Words: 20th Century Lesbian Fiction,” the first film to win the Publishing Triangle’s Leadership Award. Evans is a 2021 recipient for the Arkansas Arts Council’s Fellowship in Cinematic Arts.

Evans has worked in various capacities with Artist INC, Mid-America Arts Alliance’s entrepreneurial program for artists, and has mentored hundreds of multidisciplinary artists. She was the Project Manager, Editor & Animator for OZCast, an online creative variety show featuring local, regional and national artists. She is Currently the Project Manager for Creative Development with the Creative Arkansas Community Hub and Exchange (CACHE). In 2021 Evans completed a Diversity and Inclusion Certificate through Cornell University, and has 20 years of experience as a generative artist and arts administrator committed to diversity and representation.

Kelsey Howard

Director of Arts Services & Strategic Partnerships

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 children’s museum 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 recently 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.

Jerrell Jackson

Production Technician, 214

Jerrell Jackson is a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma with an extensive background in Music/Performing Arts production. Jerrell started early, playing drums in church at six years old all the way through high school. His experience evolved into playing with various local and professional artists, such as Barry Manilow on his Farewell Tour, Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond, Marvin Sapp, Toby Keith, Blake Shelton, Darrius Rucker, Wayman Tisdale and more. Noticing the need for sound engineering while playing with local artists about 8 years ago, Jerrell learned and later taught studio recording techniques and live sound engineering. Jerrell has mixed live recordings as well as FOH mix for various artists, and worked as Director of Entertainment for Margaritaville Tulsa, and Hollywood FL. One thing you must know and never forget: You can always find fun in everything.

Peter Jasso

Director of Operations

Peter has worked in government arts administration for the past 20 years. He is a graduate of USC’s School of Cinema-Television and worked in a variety of capacities in the entertainment industry before becoming Director of the Kansas Film Commission in 2002. He also produced several short films and documentaries that screened at festivals including AFI Fest in LA. In 2012, Peter was tasked with establishing the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission, a new state arts agency located within the Kansas Department of Commerce focused on the role arts and culture play in community and economic development. During his tenure, he oversaw the writing of a new statewide arts plan, the development and administration of 10 new grant categories, the reestablishment of partnerships with the National Endowment for the Arts and Mid-America Arts Alliance, the creation and management of a team of field representatives, and the implementation of several professional development convenings and original programs including the Tallgrass Artist Residency, Indigenous Arts Initiative, Arts in Medicine, New Play Lab and New Dance Lab.

Brittany Johnson

Director of Communications

Brittany Johnson is an arts administrator originally from Houston, Texas. She fell in love with Northwest Arkansas after moving to the region in 2017 to join the Communications and Marketing team at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. While at Crystal Bridges, she held multiple positions, led DEAI efforts for the institution and it's sister venue, the Momentary, and founded the museum's first Black and African-American staff resource group. Brittany has held positions at Houston Arts Alliance, Mexic-Arte Museum, and SFMOMA. She holds dual graduate degrees in Arts Management from both SMU in Dallas, USA and HEC Montréal in Montreal, Canada and has a masters in Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin.

Thalia Madewell

Operations Coordinator, 214

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 6 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 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.

With an analytical mind to keep artistic ecosystems flourishing, Thalia now employs her talents on the CACHE team as the 214 Operations Coordinator, cultivating connections between nonprofits, municipalities, cultural institutions, and funders to build a more equitable and inclusive region for artists and creatives.

Amber Perrodin

Artist & Community Manager, 214

Inspired by the Ozark region she was born in, Amber Perrodin is a community-focused artist, friend of the forest, and chronic grassroots organizer that feeds on empowering others.

Perrodin is currently the Artist Fellow with “Looking for America” and as a result has curated the Ozark Story Project, a creative storytelling project exploring and cataloging the intersection of immigrant and traditional folklore in the Ozarks. Since 2018, Perrodin has served as a local team member with “Live in America”, a collaborative research project presented by The Momentary, that seeks to amplify the full and rich terrain of performance art in America.

A mixed-media artist based in Springdale, Arkansas, Perrodin is energized by the sense of place and community. Previously serving as the Program Director with the Downtown Springdale Alliance, Perrodin organized over 100 events in just two years.

Amber is the creator of The Little Craft Show and Team Springdale. She also co-founded and organizes The Creative Social Retreat and, along with her husband, they’ve nurtured an artist-led space in their downtown Springdale art studio that’s services the neighborhood and surrounding community through public and private events.

It’s clear for Perrodin, that art, nature, and community go hand in hand. Often found foraging for wild mushrooms, swimming in creeks, and searching for tumbled creek glass, Perrodin brings the essence of these quiet moments into her artwork and community-focused projects, living by the motto: “What you focus on becomes what is.”.

John Wayne Pharr

Facilities & Technical Manager, 214

John Wayne is a Pilipino-American who has spent each half of his life on opposite sides of the world. But no matter where he has been, there has always been 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, then finally a self-taught guitarist. That path proceeded to 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 over five years now of experience in various aspects, he is looking to transform the space in Downtown Springdale into a safe and evolving one providing to the needs of local creatives.

Preston Poindexter

Music & Events Coordinator

Preston Poindexter is a writer, musician, and event producer from Memphis, TN. HIs love for the arts and self-expression has led him to create new opportunities for creatives across the region.

Cynthia Tran

Production Manager, 214

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 artists in our community:

Karen Castleman

CACHE Studios Dance & Event Manager

Karen Castleman has spent over 20 years immersed in the art of dance as professional dancer, educator, choreographer and community leader. Following a professional career dancing with MOMIX, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Rubberbandance Group, she has spent the past decade 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 7 years as a dance instructor and 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 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 2021, Castleman received a research grant from the Walton Family Foundation for the purpose of mapping the existing dance and movement ecosystem in NW Arkansas, connecting with national organizations to investigate potential organizational models for elevating dance and filling gaps identified by the research.

As a pilot project of the research, Castleman introduced DanceChance NWA, a choreography focused performance series featuring local choreographers and a unique response process giving useful feedback to choreographers and audiences to further understanding and fluency around the craft of making dances.

Karen seeks to connect people to the power, beauty, and joy of dance. She enjoys creating spaces for people to deepen their experience of the artform, whether by introducing novice viewers or students to movement that brings joy, 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.