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 | Street Vending Coordinator, City of Madison & 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 owned Absolutely Art, a community-based art gallery, and has been involved in organizing throughout her life.
Meghan has been a juror and/or judge for Art Fair On the Square, Art Fair Off the Square, Watertown Art Fair, Overture Center’s gallery exhibits, the UW Art Business Competition, DABL Night Market and curated the work of over 200 artists at Absolutely Art. For four years Meghan was on the grant review team for the visual arts for Dane Arts. Through Absolutely Art Meghan curated exhibits at many local businesses including the Monona Public Library. She has also been on the operations team for American Craft Week and since 2015 has been on the organization team for Dane Arts Buy Local (DABL).
She is currently the Street Vending Coordinator for the City of Madison where she oversees Art & Craft vending, Food Cart vending, Sidewalk Cafes, Game Day vending, Southeast Campus vending, and Late Night vending. She also staffs the Vending Oversight Committee, sits on the City’s Street Use Staff Commission and most recently was part of the Operations Team and assisted in installing the Bucky on Parade project.
Brent Gerlach | BG Creative
Brent runs a conceptual agency called BG Creative that designs websites and develops brands through both physical and digital mediums. Brent has worked on productions ranging from local art market initiatives like DABL, to creating art installations for sold out music festivals like Electric Forest. Brent enjoys being a part of DABL because it serves as a vehicle to enhance the the economic infrastructure of the arts throughout Dane County, growing relationships and helping to get artists paid. This is Brent’s fifth year producing DABL.
Sarah Akawa | Saint Saunter
Sarah is an event producer, dj, and community builder. Sarah has been involved in event production and nightlife for over ten years and works as a strategist/consultant and graphic designer for various entities in Madison. Currently, she is curating art exhibits focusing on queer identities and experiences, exploring performance/VR art, and studying technology culture. Her goal is to engage the audience and activate individuals as participants in curating and creating. Her passion is creating queer community and engagement, specializing in promoting underrepresented artists (visual, music, and performance). Some notable projects of hers are: Queer Pressure, Makeshift Festival's Disco Trees, She Said Party, QPOC Pride Brunch, and SPHERES.
Daryna Ou | BG Creative
Daryna is a PR Strategist, event producer, social media instigator, and photographer. She specializes in brand building, marketing and creating meaningful client relationships. She has 10+ years of sales administration experience, 7 years of directing multifaceted projects, managing events and fundraising. Currently, her skills are used to assist businesses and organizations to engage, develop and retain partners, in addition to producing a variety of fun events. Leading with the heart in the areas of beauty, art, and wellness, she creates reciprocal networks that inspire and grow communities holistically.