Mark Fraire | Director, Dane Arts

Mark Fraire has worked as an arts administrator for over 20 years and has been involved in supporting theater arts on every level from producer to writer to actor to comic to playwright to manager to director.  He was the Grants and Fund Development Director for the Madison Metropolitan School District and helped raise in 2013-14, over $2 million in funds.  Fraire spent 17 years as the state’s Grants Officer for the Wisconsin Arts Board. 

Prior to that position, Fraire created the Community Education Department for the Milwaukee Repertory Theater where he was awarded the President’s Coming Up Taller Award for creating TEENworks, an innovative youth and community theater arts training program.  Fraire has an MBA in Corporate Finance from the University of Wisconsin- Madison.


Meghan Blake-Horst | Founder,  Absolutely Art

Meghan Blake-Horst is a native Madisonian raised in the Madison arts scene with a BS degree in Kinesiology from UW–Eau Claire. For ten years Meghan ran Absolutely Art, a community based art gallery, and has been involved in community and business organizing throughout her life.

Meghan is the Co-Founder and Market Manager for MadCity Bazaar. She is also currently working on project with Safe Communities (the Artful Crossing Initiative), Dane Arts (Dane Arts Buy Local, DABL) and through Absolutely Art, curates local art exhibits in businesses around the Madison area. Meghan is a strong community advocate, organizer, and arts ambassador deeply rooted in Madison.  


Taeli Turner | Cultural Affairs Specialist, Dane Arts

Taeli Turner is the Cultural Affairs Specialist for Dane County Cultural Affairs – Dane Arts.  In 2013, she received a BA in Art and General Business from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  In 2017, she received a graduate certificate in the Executive Program in Arts & Culture Strategy, which was offered through National Arts Strategies and the University of Pennsylvania.  Taeli currently serves on the steering committee for WestFest, is working towards her PCM certification in Digital Marketing, and loves to Illustrate.


Brent Gerlach | BG Creative

A rich history of community engagements where people create together has taught Brent that Art is at the core of every meaningful relationship and human progress. Whether creating cost effective business solutions for artists to grow professionally, producing novel pop-up markets like DABL, or designing installations for sold out music festivals: Art is at the HeART of it All ~


Sarah Akawa | Queer Pressure

Sarah is an events organizer, advocate, and artist.  A co-founder of Queer Pressure, she focuses on community engagement and promoting underrepresented artists (visual, music, and performance). Sarah has been involved in events production and nightlife for over ten years and works as a consultant and graphic designer for various entities in Madison.  Currently, she is continuing to curate art exhibits focusing on queer identities and queer people of color’s experiences, and exploring performance and video art.  Always collaborating and hoping to engage people in making Madison a great place to live, she encourages people to find their community and do something for it.


Anna Strand | Cultural Affairs Intern

Anna Strand is a Cultural Affairs Intern and Dane Arts and an MBA candidate in the Bolz Center for Arts Administration in the Wisconsin School of Business. Anna has worked as a consultant for major national organizations, been part of a large development team for a statewide organization in Wisconsin, and served as development director for a Madison-based nonprofit. She is active in the community and currently serves as a docent and Director-at-Large on the Volunteers Board at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. She is a lifelong lover of art and studied Art History and Political Science at Indiana University-Bloomington. Anna is excited to work with Dane Arts to empower artists and arts organizations across Dane County.