Board & Staff
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The Cabarrus Arts Council serves the entire county and carefully selects its board members to provide community-wide representation. Directors are nominated by a committee that includes board and non-board members who consider a matrix of priorities including municipalities, race, gender, arts expertise, professional expertise and many other factors. Every director fills a specific need on the board in order to build an effective team.
The arts council board is a working board. Every director attends monthly board meetings and is active on at least one committee. 100% of board members donate to the council and raise funds for it. The arts council board of directors works closely with the President and CEO and actively promotes the arts throughout Cabarrus County.
Cabarrus Arts Council
Pat K. Horton, Chair
Keith M. Gehl, Vice Chair
William C. Dusch, Treasurer
Kristel Dalton Swayze, Secretary
Dan Boone, Past Chair
Ryan G. Dayvault
Betsy B. Liles
Mitchell L. Neely
Perla B. Nunes
Betsy Hamilton Smith
Dianne O. Snyder
Jennie Martin Tomlin
Every staff member of the Cabarrus Arts Council was meticulously interviewed and selected by the President and CEO to create a team of professionals who bring a combination of knowledge, experience and talent to the council. Skill, character and competence are evident in each member, and the team has specialists in a variety of art disciplines: theatre, dance, music, literary and visual art.
Visitors to the galleries and theatre discover a friendly, warm atmosphere where everyone is accessible. Community partners quickly learn that the arts council CEO and staff are team players, working for the good of the whole.
Noelle Rhodes Scott
President and CEO
The Cabarrus Arts Council hired Noelle Scott as its President and CEO in September of 2000. Noelle’s profession in arts administration began shortly after graduating magna cum laude with a BA degree from Wake Forest University. She interned with the Arts and Science Council in Charlotte during its first $1,000,000 fund drive, and then was selected as an intern with the North Carolina Arts Council where she worked with the United Arts Council of Greensboro and the Goldsboro Arts Council. Following these internships, she was hired by the High Point Arts Council as Associate Director, and then served as Interim Director after one year. During this time she graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Business Management Institute for Arts Administrators, based on the Harvard program.
Instead of accepting the offer of becoming Executive Director of the High Point Arts Council, Noelle married Edward Scott and moved to Alexandria, Virginia. While there, she was selected as a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow and upon the conclusion of this program she was hired by the NEA as a research assistant. When the research was completed, Noelle was hired by the Arts Council of Fairfax County as its Program and Marketing Assistant where she served as curator of the council’s art gallery, helped coordinate the International Children’s Festival at Wolf Trap and promoted the arts.
Returning to North Carolina, Noelle served as Sawtooth Center for Visual Design’s first Associate Director and then as Interim Director before she was hired by the Winston-Salem Symphony as its Marketing Director. She has enjoyed working for arts council-supported agencies as well as arts councils and feels that it gives her the advantage of understanding both sides of the equation.
Growing up in Davidson as a professor’s daughter, Noelle had the opportunity to learn from excellent teachers. From an early age she took ballet and then modern dance, piano, and flute. Noelle attributes her passion for all arts and especially the theatre to her teacher, Constance Welsh. Noelle took Connie’s Children’s Creative Drama classes from the age of eight and revelled in the creativity and precision that Welsh nurtured. When Noelle was in high school, Welsh dreamed of a creative drama troupe that would go into the elementary schools and perform shows of excellence. When this became a reality, she called it Tarradiddle Players and selected Noelle to be a part of its first cast. At about the same time, Connie developed the Davidson Community Players and cast Noelle as Abigail in The Crucible. Both Tarradiddle and the Davidson Community Players are strong, years after Welsh’s death.
At Wake Forest, although majoring in French, Noelle concentrated her energies on acting. She performed in numerous plays, took many theatre classes, and seriously considered going to New York after graduation, but she realized that although she adored acting and was encouraged to make it her profession, she wanted to do something in the arts that would nurture communities. She found the right fit with arts administration.
Visual Arts Director
Rebecca Collins received her Bachelor’s degrees in Art History and Fine Art from Hofstra University and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Business Administration from American Public University. While obtaining her undergraduate degrees, Rebecca worked for The Roerich Museum and Marvelli Gallery, where she became an active supporter of New York City’s art districts. Rebecca continued her professional career working with 19th and early 20th century American paintings at Hawthorne Fine Art located on the upper east side of Manhattan. As Assistant Director she contributed to the procurement and sales of important works by historic artists such as Frederick Carl Frieseke, Jasper Francis Cropsey, Maurice Prendergast, Childe Hassam, George Inness, and Martin Johnson Heade. After relocating to North Carolina in 2009, Rebecca held a position as the Director of Wooden Stone Gallery. She soon discovered the exceptional talent of contemporary artists and artisans of the Southeast. Rebecca joined the Cabarrus Arts Council in 2013 and is dedicated to the mission of community arts enrichment.
Lisa Baker McCombs
Lisa McCombs is a cum laude graduate of the University of North Carolina Charlotte where she received a BA in Communication Studies in 2008. After completing the Disney College Program internship in Florida, she interned with Clear Channel Radio and was hired to work with radio programming, traffic networking and event promotions. Lisa has been involved with arts all of her life, participating in art camps, dance choreography and competition choirs throughout Cabarrus County. At Concord High School, she took several semesters of theatre and was the winner of the 2003 Theatre Award for "Outstanding Leadership and Director Assistance." She was first introduced to the Cabarrus Arts Council during an Art Walk with her family and friends and joined the arts council staff in July 2008. Lisa is a 2014 alumna of the Chamber of Commerce Leadership Cabarrus program.
Performing Arts Director
A native Midwesterner, Bunny comes to the Cabarrus Arts Council from Terre Haute, Indiana where she was the Performing Arts Director at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. While at Rose-Hulman, she managed the 600-seat Hatfield Hall Theater and oversaw the extracurricular activities of the student performing arts groups. She was responsible for programming and promoting the vocal, instrumental and theatrical student activities at the science and engineering school. Bunny also has extensive experience as a theater director. For 22 years she was the artistic director of the Rose-Hulman Drama Club where she had the pleasure of directing college students in over 70 stage productions, including over 30 musicals. Bunny also has over nine years’ experience as a performing arts presenter. She was responsible for booking artists for the popular Hatfield Hall Performing Arts Series, Family Series and school-day matinee program. In addition to arts programming, Bunny also has experience in fundraising and patron development.
Juliette Shelley has a Master of Arts Degree in Arts Administration from Goucher College, MD. She currently teaches in the Master's program at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC where she specializes in Principals of Arts Administration, Financial Management, Grants and Sustainability.
Juliette has over ten years of non-profit arts administration experience. She started her career as Office Manager of the Charlotte Civic Orchestra, in Charlotte, NC in 1999. Juliette was the Executive Director of the Gaston Arts Council from 2006 to 2012, during which time she initiated several new arts programs in schools; eliminated a sizable debt dating from renovations carried out in 2000; created a new partnership with the City of Gastonia for a visual arts gallery and artist studio spaces; and started the Gaston HomeGrown Music Festival. In 2008 she was recognized for her commitment to the arts in Gaston County Schools.
Juliette has extensive experience in grants administration, grant writing, facility management, community events, and financial administration. Juliette lives with her husband and two children in Gastonia NC.
Pat Verner became involved with the Cabarrus Arts Council in 1999 when she began editing the council's newsletter on a freelance basis. She joined the staff in February 2003 as Program Director and became Communications Director in 2008. A native of Grassy Creek in the North Carolina mountains, she received bachelor’s degrees in journalism and history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where a senior year internship led to three years as a newspaper reporter. Her career also has included jobs in media relations, publications and fundraising for several nonprofit organizations, including Hospice of Cabarrus County, UNC Chapel Hill, UNC Charlotte, and Peace College. Her freelance clients have included Cannon Memorial YMCA, the UNC Center for Public Television and the Ackland Art Museum.
Natasha Benjamin, a native of Cabarrus County, graduated from Jay M. Robinson in 2003. Prior to joining the Cabarrus Arts Council, Natasha worked a combined 9 years in the hospitality field as well as various clerical positions. After employment at a previous non-profit organization she knew that she wanted to continue working with non-profits and helping to enhance Cabarrus County. Natasha is a strong believer that Art programs can improve our community and youth. She looks forward to expanding her knowledge in the Arts field.
Catherine Clark graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she received her Bachelor’s degree in English Literature and Communications Studies. While attending she worked as an Office Assistant, and later as the Office and Project Coordinator, of the Carolina Union’s Communications and Creative Services department. Catherine also served two years as the Administrative Producing Director for Company Carolina student theatre group, producing four musicals during that time. After completing an internship at Elsewhere Living Museum, Catherine joined Cabarrus Arts Council in January 2016. She is thrilled to learn from and be a part of such a dedicated, creative team of women.
That Art Night
Friday, Sept. 2
Cabarrus Brewing Co., Concord
Enjoy a craft beer and hear from artist Andrea Sowle in the Tap Room!
Wednesday, Sept. 14
10am, $5 per child, call 704-920-2787
Immersive arts experience includes a guided tour of the exhibition and fun art crafts. Registration required.
A Closer Look
Thursday, Sept. 22
7pm, free, reservations appreciated; 704-920-2787
Exhibiting artists Erin Canady and Charles Farrar will discuss their inspirations, methods, and demonstrate artistic techniques.
Save the Date
Dancing for the Arts
Sat, Nov. 12
Want to volunteer for the arts council?
The arts council is looking for volunteer docents for The Galleries and ushers for Davis Theatre productions. More information...