Meet our Staff
Katharine Dinneen, Artistic Executive Director
Katharine Dinneen grew up along the St. Lawrence River in Waddington, NY and currently resides in Potsdam. Her background is primarily in producing new theatre, with an emphasis on ensemble-based, devised work, and she is proud to have spent her entire career working with non-profit organizations.
Kat followed her passion for the arts to Syracuse University, where she received her degree in Theatre Management (Arts Administration). Her journey in non-profit began then, during her undergraduate career, when she was hired as the General Manager of Building Company Theatre. There, she grew to love the tight-knit, all-hands-on-deck environment of non-profit arts. She went on to serve as the Touring Stage Manager for the Syracuse Stage Department of Community Engagement and Education, and as the Company Manager for the RedHouse Arts Center, before returning back to the North Country during the summer of 2022.
Kat has been with SLC Arts since her return to the North Country in various capacities, previously as Co-Executive Director alongside Maggie McKenna. She is incredibly excited to continue connecting with artists, deepening community connections, and developing arts programming across the North Country.
Erica Kelso, Managing Executive Director
Born and raised in the vibrant community of Ogdensburg, Erica Kelso has embarked on a diverse and eclectic journey that has shaped her into a dedicated advocate for the arts and sustainable education.
Erica’s journey began with a profound sense of service, as she enlisted in the United States Marine Corps right out of high school. Driven by her passion for creative expression, Erica earned a BFA in Creative Writing from SUNY Potsdam. Building on her commitment to education, she furthered her academic journey with an MST in Secondary English Education, also from SUNY Potsdam. Currently, Erica is pursuing a PhD in the Philosophy of Sustainability Education at Prescott College, a testament to her dedication to fostering sustainable practices in education and leadership settings.
Erica’s career path reflects her diverse skill set and dedication to community service. From teaching in public schools to working in outdoor education, she has consistently sought ways to make a meaningful impact. Most recently, her work with the local nonprofit GardenShare focused on addressing food insecurity in St. Lawrence County, specifically by supporting local farmers’ markets.
As a mother of four beautiful children, Erica understands the transformative power of art in shaping young minds. A poet herself, she is not only an advocate for creating a better world but also a practitioner of art, recognizing its importance in personal and community development.
Thrilled to bring her wealth of experience and passion for the arts to the SLC Arts Council, Erica is excited to contribute to the council’s mission as the Managing Executive Director. Art has been a constant in her life, and now, as she raises four budding artists of her own, she is eager to play a role in creating opportunities for local artists and increasing access to artistic programs in the North Country. Erica Kelso’s commitment to service, education, and the arts makes her a valuable addition to the SLC Arts Council, and we warmly welcome her to our community.
Mary Grow, Finance Manager
Mary comes to SLC Arts after 40+ years in the for-profit sector, and is looking forward to applying her experience to furthering the mission and growth of the organization.
Originally from Brasher Falls, Mary grew up in Massena. She received a BA from Nazareth in Rochester, NY, and an MBA from Clarkson. Her career includes, among others, jobs in consumer products manufacturing, phamaceuticals development, software sales, and IT consulting. Immediately prior to joining SLC Arts, Mary helped finance and launch a software start-up.
Mary recently returned to the North Country and now resides in Brasher Falls.
Alicia Murphy, Grants and Services Manager
Alicia Murphy has served as SLC Arts Regrants Coordinator since May, 2014. She administers the New York State Council on the Arts’ Statewide Community Regrants Program in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence Counties, a program that awards over $80,000 annually to North Country artists, municipalities, libraries and non-profits, for the purpose of arts programming. She is responsible for the smooth, cyclic operation of the program, including its management, promotion and implementation. Alicia also coordinates a professional development program that serves the tri-county area. In 2022, she will also administer the National Endowment for the Arts American Rescue Plan, which will regrant $100,000 to local arts-focused organizations and individual artists.
Alicia received her Bachelor of Science, in Business Administration, from SUNY Potsdam in 2003. She has worked in customer service, in one form or another, for most of her adult life, and has run a couple of small, home-based businesses. Prior to coming to SLC Arts, Alicia served as local Coordinator for a statewide non-profit organization, the purpose of which was to help individuals and families to meet needs that may met through other resources – where she successfully launched and branded the program; developed and supervised five new community initiatives, and coordinated a team of 20 volunteers.
In addition to work experience, Alicia credits a great deal of her pertinent experience to being very active in her community. She has served on the boards of the Waddington Redevelopment Association, the Waddington Main Street Alliance, and the Waddington Chamber of Commerce, organizations focused on economic development, neighborhood revitalization, enhanced communications, and socioeconomic growth. In 2011, Alicia was awarded the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce’s 2011 Commitment to Community award. In 2012, she graduated from the St. Lawrence Leadership Institute.
Alicia lives in Waddington with her husband and four cats. She loves her job, and considers herself fortunate that she “gets to give away money for a living,” and play an active role in bringing the arts to North Country communities.
Janice Pease, Arts Center Manager
Janice Pease, a native of Northern New York, grew up in Hopkinton. Early in adulthood, she left the area in search of adventure, living a few years in Alaska where she met her husband, Joe. They chose to raise their boys, Indigo and Bowyn, here in the North Country.
Janice is a poet, tattoo artist, and mixed media artist with a focus in watercolor and photography. Much of her artwork are intricate pieces inspired by nature. Having taught art therapy, S.O.A.R., and homeschool, Janice understands the importance of art to the individual as well as the community.
For the last 8 plus years she has worked at the Potsdam Food Coop as the Produce Manager/Buyer, Bulk buyer, and Volunteer Coordinator. Janice has a passion for local artists and is dedicated to working for SLC Arts creating opportunities in our area and increase access to artistic programs.