As Executive Director, Brian manages the day-to-day operations of the Arts Council as well as securing the artists for all of our events. He’s been a leader in the Big Sky arts and nonprofit community since 2001 when he first joined the ACBS. Originally from western New York, Brian has a BA in International Studies from the University of Buffalo (SUNY) and attended the University of Montana Graduate School of Journalism. In addition to leading the ACBS, Brian is also an accomplished writer, musician and snowboarder, and father to two adventurous kids. He’s proudly lived in Montana for 30 years.
Nearly 30 years ago, Katie moved to Big Sky where she’s lived ever since, sinking deep roots and falling in love with the people and organizations that make Big Sky exceptional. She’s worked in government, academia, and the private sector, but after 20+ years of nonprofit work, helping organizations get things done has become her passion and specialty. With a BS in Soils and a MA in Education, she’s found that mastering a useful skill set and developing meaningful relationships has been her career path roadmap. Katie loves recreating outside, traveling, enjoying music, building things, snapping photos, and being amazed daily at the beauty of the world around her, often with family, friends, and their four-leggeds.
Julie manages our BASE Studio and Classroom and teaches the majority of classes offered in this new, transformational space. She has been passionately advocating for creativity within the realm of the public education system for close to 30 years, and is excited to bring her love of teaching to the Arts Council. The mountains, culture, art of México, especially the town of San Miguel de Allende, captivated her very early on in her career as an Educator. This inspired her to complete her M. Ed. in Spanish Dual Language (Curriculum and Instruction). Though a native of Illinois, Julie’s preference is mountain living, adventure, and taking in nature at every possible moment. She has resided in the mountains of Colorado, Utah and Montana and currently lives in Big Sky. Julie has two grown boys, Max and Joe, who also live in Big Sky. She loves having them close by. When Julie is not creating, teaching, or working, you’ll find her walking or skiing the river’s edge with her dogs, Charlie and Lu , 365 days a year.
Emma grew up in Gardiner, Montana, and has had the opportunity to live in multiple beautiful places across Western Montana. She has attempted to live outside of Montana enough times to figure out that Montana is her home, sweet home! She graduated from the University of Montana with a B.F.A. in Media Arts. After college, Emma worked in the outdoor industry, helping run ski and bike shops and showrooms. Much of that time was spent marketing those businesses, and she has continued with freelance design and communications work since. She loves putting all of her media art skills to use to communicate visually and verbally. When not in front of her computer, you’ll find her mountain biking, hiking, being a nerd in Yellowstone, snowboarding, reading, or crafting.
Jesine Munson was born and raised in Montana and has no intention of leaving - this special place will forever be her home. Hailing from Havre, she has lived in Bozeman since 2007. Jesine holds a Master’s and Bachelor’s degree in Art History and a BFA with a focus in Ceramics. She is currently working on her Ph.D. in American Studies and teaching as an adjunct professor at the Montana State University School of Art. Her research is in Pragmatist Aesthetics and Moral Imagination, and she profoundly believes that living more artistically is key to the survival of our species. She is the Board President of Compassion Project, a Bozeman non-profit whose mission is to teach and spread compassion through art and mindfulness. Jesine embodies these values every day and believes the key to community building is through compassionate dialogue and creative connection, the art of living, as she calls it. Public art is foundational in these beliefs, and she is eager to get to work in cultivating a strong community in Big Sky. Jesine loves art and the outdoors, and her dream day is to be out-of-service with her dogs (Lucy & Chester) and husband (Austen Sumanis), exploring and taking in all the wonder this great state has to offer.
After graduating from Miami University of Ohio in 2002, with a degree in Sports Marketing, Katie decided to pack a bag and spend a winter skiing in Big Sky. After only one winter working at Big Sky Resort, and living at the base of Lone Peak, she knew this was home. Her experiences in the community eventually turned into a career with LTD Real Estate and owner-operator of Pinnacle Property Management. It only took one pottery class with Julie to reignite her love of pottery and the desire to be more involved. The access offered by ACBS and BASE has given her the opportunity to learn and share her passion with the community. Away from work Katie loves spending time outdoors, snowboarding, running, camping, and traveling.