Meet the Staff

Brenda Macon
Brenda MaconExecutive Director

Brenda was searching for meaning and inspiration. She discovered these things by exploring the arts. She found her best self through Shakespeare, she found meaning and connection through music and choir, and for years, found therapy in channeling her emotions through the piano. She later discovered she was a painter at heart and delved into the pure world of color.

What can offer the trifecta of human experience: Meaning, beauty, and authenticity?

The DAC can do that.

Contact Brenda about:

Read more about Brenda Here

Keith Alewine
Keith AlewineTechnical Director

Keith needed a place to be creative but not in the spotlight.  He found a place behind the scenes, literally, in the theater. 

What can offer a creative outlet as unique as you?

The DAC can do that.

Keith has been in the creative world most of his life.
After finishing his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism, he began a career as a newsroom graphic artist, creating charts, maps and illustrations at papers in Abilene and El Paso before doing the same at the Durango Herald for 7 years. He gave up that path when different passions — singing, playing music and helping people — turned into a full time job at Grace Church, where he now works with and trains a growing team of musicians in his role as music pastor. That role gives him experience diving into the technical ups and downs of a non-profit’s lighting, sound and stage needs.
Keith is a lifelong lover of music and has a collection of more than 3,000 albums in various formats, from beloved classic country on vinyl to well-worn classical cassettes to 80s hip hop CDs to his packed iPods that feature a little of everything. (Actually a LOT of everything!) He’s developed a keen ear over the years and loves learning all the details involved in engineering great sound.
Joining the staff in 2019, Keith has been in Durango for 20 years now.

Contact Keith about:

  • Technical needs (lights, sound) for the DAC theater
Jason Lythgoe
Jason LythgoeTheatre Director

Jason needed a place where he could pass along his passion for theatre and being onstage to the next generation of performers. He found a place where creative minds come together and share the goals of togetherness, support and a true community through shared experience.
What can bring people together in times of triumph and tragedy?
The DAC can do that.

Contact Jason about:

  • DAC Youth Theatre
  • Classes, camps and performance opportunities
  • Annual Snowdown Kids’ Follies
Julie Madden
Julie MaddenFinance Manager

I love discovering the different layers in both visual and performing art. While not an artist myself, I have always appreciated the creative process in each of us and find that art and theater resonate with us even if we are not performers or artists per se. When I became an accountant my goal was to work with non-profit organizations to support their vision.  Ten years into it, I still find it challenging and fulfilling.

Contact Julie about:

  • Accounts Payable & Receivable

Read more about Julie here.

Mandy Gardner
Mandy GardnerTheater Coordinator / 10-Minute Play Director

Contact Mandy about:

Denise Leslie
Denise LeslieGallery Art Space Director

Working in a stadium and performing arts center, Denise promoted concerts, theatre performances as well as a variety of sporting events and festivals. In Durango, she developed her love for the visual arts by publishing an arts magazine and playbills for arts organizations.  She enjoyed working with artists and produced a series of artists studio tours. She discovered her love for the ukulele and created the Rocky Mountain UkeFest. Denise teaches ukulele and leads groups throughout the region.  She is passionate about helping artists develop their talents and create opportunities to display and sell their work.  

What can bring artists together in a creative space to connect and showcase their art?

The DAC can do that.

Contact Denise about:

  • General inquiries about the Barbara Conrad Gallery
  • Winter Solstice Artisan’s Market
Deena Carney
Deena CarneyVisual Arts Education Director

Durango has been my home for over 50 years. I’m a graduate of Durango High School, and a graduate of Colorado Institute of Art. I have had the privilege of traveling the world studying art, art history and architecture. My life experiences include Art Director – Purgatory Ski Resort, Medical Illustrator and Graphic Artist – Micromedics, Art Teacher – School District 9-R, St Columba Elementary/Middle School.

I’m also a professional Potter, Sculptor and Painter.
And a rancher too.

Almost seven years ago,I walked into the Durango Arts Center and was immediately hired as an After School Art teacher. I began building classes to bring joy to my students through art, because, I feel, art can get you through anything. After five years of building the After School Art Program, I became the Education Director!  My passion is to teach art to others, art is a gift, and it really can change your life.

ART CAN DO THAT!

Contact Deena about:

  • Visual Art classes
  • Creativity Festivity
Åsa Björklund
Åsa BjörklundDevelopment Director

Åsa searched for a way to channel positive change with words and actions. She found passionate artists, a cause, and a community.  

Which place inspires new thoughts and ideas?

The DAC can do that.

Åsa Björklund joined the DAC in September 2019 as a grant writer. Originally from Sweden, she is a happy Durango transplant who confidently wanders the land of grant- and project management, fundraising, and nonprofit communication. She brings to DAC her experience of development work for both small nonprofits and large international aid organizations, such as the European Commission and the United Nations.

She has a law degree from Sweden and a B.A. in journalism & communications from Prescott College, Arizona.

When off work she can be found exploring the Southwest by foot, ski, or from the back of a horse. Photography is her favorite art form and she plans to one day pick up the oil paint brushes she left somewhere in her 20’s.

Contact Åsa about:

  • Grants
  • Sponsorship
Jen Olguin
Jen OlguinBox Office Manager

Jen needed a place to reconnect with the arts.

She ended up finding the value and impact that the Arts Center reaches within our community. The diversity that our building can hold, meeting the different types of people that came in and wanted to see what we had to offer. Whether it was what we had exhibited in the gallery, to what shows or plays we had coming up in our theater.  

What can the impact of one building bring to a community? Diversity and versatility, accepting people and art forms from all walks of life.

The DAC can do that.

Contact Jen about:

  • Tickets
  • Shows
  • Membership
  • Events
  • Classes
Selena Trujillo
Selena TrujilloMarketing Director

Selena has a vast imagination.  She grew up, loving to draw and write stories.  With siblings 17+ years older than her, she was raised as both the youngest and an only child.  Art kept her from being lonely.  In school she discovered theatre and that you didn’t have to be in the spotlight to be part of a team.  After losing both parents, she knew that the community in the arts would be like family. 

What helps you find community?

The DAC can do that.

Selena  is native of Durango, Colorado. She has been involved in many of the theatrical productions in the Durango area over the last few years and is an active company member of Merely Players.  She was the production and backstage manager for the popular Salt Fire Circus and Bare Bones Burlesque shows.  She has been the stage manager for the productions of CABARET, RENT, FOOL FOR LOVE and the collaboration with Merely Players in GOD OF CARNAGE at the Durango Arts Center, the 2014 Melodrama, 2014-1018 ROCKY HORROR SHOW, DRAG-RANGO at the Henry Strater Theatre, and the Assistant Stage Manager for MARY POPPINS, SECRET GARDEN and the upcoming production of MAN OF LA MANCHA with Merely Players.  She has also worked as tech crew for Snowdown Follies from 2013-2018, 20 Moons Dance CompanyMerely Players, Asa Fire Tribe and Imaginario Circus.  She has also worked security for FLC events & Tami Graham Presents, done spotlight for Montgomery Gentry and was backstage staff for Chippendales for two years.  She has dabbled in acting and performing with Merely Players’ IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE, and The Living Tarot productions in Mancos and Durango.  When not working on a show, Selena enjoys time with her dog Ely, drawing, learning guitar, painting miniatures and playing Dungeons & Dragons with friends.

Contact Selena about:

  • DAC Marketing
  • DAC website