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IAC > About the Commission > Commissioners Commissioners

Members of the Indiana Arts Commission are appointed by the Governor to act as commissioners-at-large, to represent the state as an entity, and to take the citizens of Indiana as their constituents. Individual commissioners should exercise partisanship on behalf of the cultural development of Indiana. Commissioners' terms follow the fiscal year calendar. For example, a term listed as 2015-2018 would begin July 1, 2014 and conclude June 30, 2018.

Commissioner Responsibilities | Meetings | Meeting Minutes

Nancy P. Stewart

Commission Chair
Fort Wayne
First Term:  2012-2016

Nancy graduated from college with an Arts History degree. Since moving to Fort Wayne from San Diego, California in 1972, she has been an active community volunteer. She served as President of the Junior League of Fort Wayne, Chairman of the Canterbury School Board (eight years) and as Chair of the Fort Wayne Museum of Art. Nancy Co-Chaired Capital Campaigns for the Arts Plaza, Museum expansion, Arts United Auer Center and most recently for a Community Grief Center. She continues to be involved with the Boards of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Arts United and the Fort Wayne Museum of Art. While her primary involvement has been in the arts and education, Nancy has enjoyed working on special IPFW community projects; Tapestry, Mastodons on Parade, RiverFest, and Sculpture with Purpose, as well as serving on the United Way's Women United Steering Committee.

Kathy Ziliak Anderson

Commission Vice-Chair
First Term:  2012 - 2016

Native Hoosier Kathy Anderson has moved back to Indiana after having lived for 37 years in Philadelphia.  A graduate of IU’s School of Nursing, Kathy raised her five children and was focused on volunteering in schools and supporting her children’s basic education during her early years there. Pennsylvania Ballet was the focus of her later years in Philadelphia as she joined the Board and went on to be the Chairperson. Moving back to Brown County for retirement, Kathy has become involved with the Brown County Community Foundation, the Brown County Playhouse, Indiana Heritage Arts, and a member of the IU’s Jacobs School Advisory Board. She received a Distinguished Alumni Service Award in 2014 from Indiana University.  

Linda S. Levell

Commission Secretary
Vigo Elementary School, Vincennes
Second Term: 2014-2017

Mrs. Levell began her education career in media arts as an Education Advisor for The Letter Shop, a children's television series developed at Tecumseh-Harrison School in Vincennes, Indiana. As part of The Letter Shop team, she was also the co-author of a teacher's manual for the series. Mrs. Levell is involved on the Board of Directors of the Knox County Community Foundation, the PACE Policy Council, and has served on the Board of Directors for the Vincennes Education Foundation. She is also a Beginning Teacher Mentor with the Indiana Professional Standards Board. Mrs. Levell is currently a kindergarten teacher at Vigo Elementary School in Vincennes. 

Alberta Barker

1st Source Bank, Lafayette
First Term: 2016-2020

Alberta Barker graduated summa cum laude from Indiana Wesleyan University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She is also a graduate of the University of Wisconsin ABA National Trust School and Cannon Trust School, earning the designation of Certified Trust and Financial Advisor.

Alberta is heavily invested in her community through endeavors with the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette, Past President; Art Museum of Greater Lafayette Foundation Board; Lafayette Symphony Orchestra Foundation, President; Estate Planning Council, Treasurer; 100+ Women Who Care, Steering Committee; and Ivy Tech Regional Development Committee, Chair.

Barker is currently Vice President and Personal Trust Administrator to 1st Source Bank’s Lafayette Wealth Advisory Services. Barker has more than three decades of financial experience in personal trust and estate administration.

Gilberto Cárdenas

University of Notre Dame, South Bend
Second Term: 2012-2016

Gilberto Cárdenas is an Assistant Provost at the University of Notre Dame and Director of the Institute for Latino Studies. Dr. Cárdenas has extensive experience in Latino arts. He is a member of the Board of Directors of The Mexican Fine Arts Museum, Chicago, and Self-Help Graphics, Los Angeles. Additionally, he is the founding Executive Producer of the award winning NPR radio program, Latino USA, and a member of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships. Dr. Cárdenas also serves on the Advisory Council of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation "Gates Millennium Scholars Program," the Board of Directors of the Mexican American Legal and Educational Defense Fund, the Smithsonian National Board for Latino Initiatives, and the editorial boards for both the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center’s A Ver project and MFAH’s Documents of 20th Century Latin American and Latino Art. Dr. Cardenas teaches a course on the Aesthetics of Latino Art and Culture. He is an avid collector of Latino art. A part of the collection is on long term loan at the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin, and a significant body of works will be on loan to the Snite Museum of Art for exhibition and tour in the near future and as a promised gift to the museum.

Libby Chiu

Adjunct Professor, Ogden Dunes
First Term: 2015-2019

Libby Chiu is currently an adjunct professor at Goucher College where she teaches Arts Education and International Arts Policy. Libby's past service includes senior leadership positions at Urban Gateways Center for Arts Education, Harris Theater Chicago, The Boston Conservancy, Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities, and Boston Public Schools. She recently served as an evaluation consultant to EdAdvisors of Boston's arts education curriculum, and to the Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library of its Education Department. She has also provided pro bono program evaluation services to the Lyric Opera of Chicago's Education Department. Libby is a frequent speaker, facilitator and panelist for local and national agencies including many state arts agencies, the National Endowment for the Arts, Southeast Asian Women Conference and, most recently, the Berklee College of Music City Music National Conference. She is active in community service for organizations including the Corporate Responsibility Group of Chicago, the Asian American and Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy and the Boston Dragon Boat Festival Committee, the later since its founding in 1979. Libby retired in February 2013 as Chief of Staff at the Illinois Arts Council where she also managed the Arts and Foreign Language program, and was co-designer, project director and advisor to the Education Leaders Institute, and initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Ruth Ann Cowling

First Term: 2015-2019

Ruth Ann Cowling has been an art educator for over 40 years. Having earned her M.A. from Indiana University in Art Education, she has taught elementary through college level students, most recently as adjunct professor at Indiana University Southeast. Previous to this she taught elementary art at Portage, Indiana, Jr. High Art at Hazelwood and Scribner Jr. High Schools in New Albany, Indiana, and art at New Albany High School in New Albany, Indiana. She has been integral in developing school curriculum, academic content, and the planning and execution of student art shows. During her teaching career she served as Chairperson and coordinator for Teacher IN-Service of the New Albany Floyd County School Corporation, chaired the Performance based Accreditation Correlate, and instituted student art shows throughout the community. She has been a member of the Louisville Visual Art Association, leading free art classes for 12 years, as well as establishing their summer art camps curriculum and serving as camp director. Beyond her teaching experience, Ruth Ann has worked as a freelance commercial artist creating numerous ads for Louisville Magazine, and a variety of art work for numerous clients to meet their needs. She has worked as a professional watercolor artist in which she owned her own business, traveled extensively for art shows and garnered numerous awards. Her adult life focus has been art. She is a patron of the arts and is an advocate for the arts and art education.

M. Susan Hardwick

Vectren Corporation, Evansville
First Term:  2012-2016

Susan Hardwick was named vice president, controller and assistant treasurer of Vectren Corporation effective March 31, 2000. Prior to joining Vectren, Hardwick’s most recent experience was with Cinergy Corporation, a utility holding company based in Cincinnati, Ohio, in numerous financial roles, including assistant corporate controller.  Hardwick also has extensive public accounting experience and has spent the majority of her career involved in the regulated utility industry. Hardwick received a B.S. in accounting from Indiana University and is a certified public accountant. She is past president of the Evansville Museum of Arts, History and Science.  She has also served on the boards of directors of many not-for-profit organizations, including Safesitter, Inc. and the Reitz Home Preservation Society. Most recently she was elected to serve as President of the Board of the Evansville Celebration of Diversity Distinguished Lecture Series, and serves as Treasurer of Gilda’s Club of Evansville. She also serves as financial expert on the Board and audit committee of St. Mary’s Medical Center. She is also on the Board of Directors, as the Treasurer, of the Richard G. Lugar Excellence in Public Service Leadership Series and, in 2007, was named to the Advisory Board of SOAR, Inc., a national women’s leadership development initiative based in Lexington, Kentucky. She was awarded the Athena Award in 2009 by the Chamber of Commerce of Southwestern Indiana. And in 2011, she was awarded the Maverick Award by the Midwest Energy Association.  Finally, she has held numerous leadership and committee roles in the American Gas Association and the Edison Electric Institute. 

Hardwick, an Indiana native, resides in Newburgh, Indiana.

Jennifer Perry

Marketability, LLC, Terre Haute
First Term: 2015 - 2019

Jennifer has been working in the marketing profession since 1999 providing expertise to a variety of clients in the arts or tourism related industries. She launched her own marketing firm, Marketability in 2012. During the course of her career, clients have included the Indiana Office of Tourism Development, Terre Haute Convention & Visitors Bureau, Indiana State Department of Agriculture, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Swope Museum of Art, and Crossroads Repertory Theater. In addition, she has served as a volunteer and board member with several organizations in the Terre Haute area. She was the account lead with Indiana Tourism when the Indiana Artisan initiative was started, and understands the impact cultural tourism can have on a state’s economy. Helping to develop the Rivers and Roads Artisan Trail in West Central Indiana provided the challenge of finding and engaging independent artists. Through her work as a board member and volunteer with Swope Art Museum, Jennifer has seen first-hand the trials of running a world-class, accredited art museum in a mid-sized town.

Allen C. Platt III

Samtec, Inc., Floyds Knobs
First Term: 2014-2017

Allen C. Platt III serves as General Counsel for Samtec, Inc., a global manufacturer of electronic connectors, with its world headquarters located in New Albany, Indiana. Platt has a long commitment to and leadership of many of the arts organizations in his community, including The Carnegie Center for Arts and History, Arts Council of Southern Indiana, and the Hayswood Theatre Group where he currently serves on the Executive Committee and as the Gala Chairman. He has been a lifelong participant in the arts, performing with the JCC Orchestra (Louisville) and as a frequent actor in community theatrical productions throughout Southern Indiana. 

J. Allan Rent

Ball State University, Muncie
First Term:  2012 - 2016

J. Allan (Al) Rent is a Muncie, Indiana native and a graduate of Ball State University with a degree in Speech and Mass Communications. Al is currently Director of Relationship Marketing and Community Relations for Ball State University. Al has been involved in marketing, advertising and public relations work for the past 45 years having formerly served as Director of Public Relations for Marsh Supermarkets, President of J. Allan Rent Advertising, and Vice president and co-owner of radio stations WLBC and WXFN in Muncie. He has been honored by the American Advertising Federation with numerous Gold and Silver ADDY Awards. He has also been the recipient of many Silver Microphone Awards for radio production, National Telly Awards for television production, and is a two-time EMMY nominee.  Al is known for his many community and statewide volunteer efforts especially in the arts. He was instrumental in founding public radio and public television in Muncie, currently serves as a board member of the Muncie Symphony Orchestra, and was a member of the coordinating committee for the Governor’s Arts Awards for the IAC held in Muncie in 2009. He has also been honored by United Way of Indiana as Volunteer of the Year, United Way of America for outstanding achievement in communications, and was named the 2010 Person of the Year by The Muncie Star Press.

Micah L. Smith

Mocha Notes, Indianapolis
First Term: 2012 - 2015

Micah has been working with various forms of communications since 2003. Beginning in graphic design while at Indiana University, and moving more into strategic marketing and branding, post college, and her career.  In 2006, Micah was hired by Young & Laramore to work on Brizo -, a luxury kitchen/bath product manufactured by the Delta Faucet Company. In addition to the Brizo account, Mrs. Smith managed a book proposal and podcast productions of the Carmelite Nuns of Indianapolis - a long time client of Young & Laramore. She also supervised and worked closely with the New Business Team to enter Young & Laramore into industry achievement awards throughout the year: the Effies, The One Show and Communication Arts awards, to name a few. Over the past four years, Micah has started and currently runs her own graphic and web design company called Mocha Notes, LLC. The company produces print materials for both businesses and individuals. Her company also partners with a web development firm to ensure her web design is both visually pleasing and developed with the best quality possible.  In addition to running her business, Micah spends a lot of her time working with non-profits who share her passion of the arts and education. Micah has volunteered with The Center for Leadership Development as a facilitator for both their Precious Miss program (serving girls from 6th to 8th grade) and their Self Discovery Program (serving high school students). Micah has also worked with the Iibada Dance Company, helping them acquire first time grant funding as well as working to improve their overall brand management and awareness, board development, community involvement and marketing.

Sherry Stark

Retired, Columbus
First Term:  2012-2016

A Lafayette, Indiana native, Sherry has spent most of her adult community life in Columbus. Previously she was President and CEO of Heritage Fund – the Community Foundation of Bartholomew County for 12 years. During her tenure the foundation partnered with the local Community Education Coalition in obtaining a $38 million grant from Lilly Endowment for EcO15 – an initiative that addresses educational and career training needs in southeastern Indiana. Earlier positions include serving as Executive Director of the Columbus Area Arts Council for two years and being Senior Deputy Mayor and Director of Community Development for the City of Columbus for ten years. Active on a number of local boards, Sherry continues to work with the national Council on Foundations in ensuring that foundations comply with high ethical and operating standards. She is a frequent speaker and/or trainer on leadership, governance and community collaboration matters.

Yolanda "Dusty" Rodriguez Stemer

First Term; 2015-2019

Yolanda "Dusty" Rodriguez Stemer is a community volunteer and long-time advocate and supporter of the arts. She has served the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago as a trustee and Gala Board co-chair for the museum's Annual Gala De Arte. She has served on the Art Institute Auxiliary Board, The Smithsonian Latino Center Board of Directors and on other various gala committees including that of the Joffrey Ballet. She and her husband, Dr. Alexander Stemer, a board certified physician in internal medicine and infectious diseases, have hosted and opened their home to numerous fundraisers for many organizations, including the Service Club of Chicago and the National Museum of Mexican Art. The Stemer's have extended their philanthropy to not only cultural organizations, but to Institutions of higher learning and medical centers. they have six children: Jordan; Brian, noted shoe designer of the brand B Brian Atwood; Cameron; Andy, who is completing a neurology fellowship; Emily; and Zak, a Senior at Duke University. Yolanda and Alexander reside in Chesterton, Indiana. 

Trevor Yager

TrendyMinds, Indianapolis
Second Term: 2015-2018

Trevor Yager is owner of the advertising and public relations agency TrendyMinds, which he founded in 1995. The company specializes in advertising, marketing, mobile, PR, social, video and web services for local, national and international brands. The company's client list includes Indiana University Health, Eli Lilly and Company, Wellpoint, Allison Transmission, ExactTarget, Starbucks, Teachers Credit Union, Harrison College, NASCAR's Kevin Harvick, Inc. and more. A graduate of Anderson University, Trevor is a board of visitors member of Butler University's Jordan College of the Arts, a past board member of the Damien Center and a past board member of American Cabaret Theatre.

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