SLC Arts: Local art for everyone

Our Mission 

SLC Arts promotes collaboration within the arts community, and encourages public and private support of and involvement in the arts, throughout St. Lawrence County and the surrounding region.

SLC Arts is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization located in Potsdam, St. Lawrence County, New York State.
Originally incorporated on August 31, 1972 as the Arts and Humanities Council of the St. Lawrence Valley, then reincorporated as the Tri-County Arts Council on March 17, 1989, and amended to the St. Lawrence County Arts Council on July 18, 1997.


Board of Directors

  • Geoffrey van der Woude (President) settled in Northern New York after growing up in Cortland, NY and spending several years in Colorado. Geoffrey holds degrees from Clarkson University and SUNY Potsdam, having also studied at University of Colorado and SUNY Cortland. In 2014, Geoffrey began working at SUNY Canton where he is currently the Director of Planned Giving, as well as serving as the chair of the campus artwork committee. Before moving back to New York, he served as the manager of sales and consignment at an internationally focused ancient art gallery and auction house. As a musician and an appreciator of all art, Geoffrey is excited to help serve SLC Arts and promote art throughout the North Country. Term: 2017–2019
  • Annie Chase (Vice President), Director of the Potsdam Public Library, is a north country native, fiddler, writer, and graphic designer, with a bachelor’s degree in creative writing and foreign languages from St. Lawrence University, and graduate degrees in law and library science from the University at Buffalo. She believes that the arts are central to community and personal well-being and is grateful for the opportunity to support the arts in our region. Term: 2019-2021
  • Nathan Deschaine (Treasurer)  grew up in the North Country and moved back in July 2018 to start working at Pinto Mucenski Hooper VanHouse & Co., CPAs in Potsdam. Nathan earned an M.B.A. from Clarkson University and his undergraduate degree in Business Administration from SUNY Potsdam. He developed an appreciation for art and history at an early age and can often be seen listening to music in his free time. The youngest member of the board, he is excited to bring his experience and enthusiasm for the arts to the Arts Council. Term: 2019-2020
  • Romi Sebald (Secretary) of Norwood is the Collections Manager for The Art Museum at SUNY Potsdam and a SUNY Potsdam Fine Art alumna. In her spare time, she enjoys primitive folk art forms, such as rag rugs and sawdust dolls. Terms: 2014–2016, 2017-2019
  • David Crowell is a longtime North Country resident and artist. He paints local scenes and wildlife in watercolour and oils. David is a SUNY Potsdam alumnus, having majored in anthropology. When not painting he enjoys fishing and outdoor recreation. Term: 2016-2018, 2019-2021
  • Bethany van der Woude is a North Country native with a deep love for music, theater, dance, and visual arts. She is a counselor with SUNY Potsdam’s Educational Opportunity Program and an amateur gardener, musician, and all-around “dabbler.” After graduating from SUNY Potsdam with a degree in English, Bethany worked as inventory manager for an art gallery and auction house in Colorado. She then returned to Potsdam to complete an M.A. in Literature and build an art-loving life with her husband, Geoffrey, and their family of dogs and cats. Term: 2018-2020 
  • Lorraine Njoki is passionate about social entrepreneurship, supporting local organizations and developing her community. She is a Clarkson University graduate with a degree in Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Political Science. She is currently pursing her Masters in Public Health at SUNY Potsdam. Although she calls many places home, her favorite by far has been in Potsdam, NY since 2010. She loves all forms of art: from dance to literature to music, painting, and theatre. In her free time, you can catch her being a foodie, travelling and making friends with random adorable animals.  Term: 2018-2020
  • Kayla French has been living in Potsdam since 2000. She is a middle and high-school English Language Arts teacher. Kayla is a lover of art in all forms, but she is particularly fond of language arts; her oldest of two sons is named for the title-character of one of her favorite novels. Kayla is a writer herself. She studied poetry under NYS Writer’s Hall of Fame, twice-Pulitzer nominates, North Country native Maurice Kenny. He not only taught her how to write, but how to appreciate art in all its forms. Kayla has also been dabbling in the world of children’s literature. It’s also possible you have seen Kayla on stage- she performed in the recent past in The Vagina Monologues and the play Birth. While she is not visually artistic or musical herself, Kayla has a deep love for visual art and music and believes that art is at the foundation of a culture and a community- it is what makes a person want to live somewhere. Art is the truest expression of humanity; it is what connects us all. Kayla is excited to join the Arts Council board and contribute to spreading beautiful expression across this amazing part of the world. Term: 2019-2021

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