Board | Staff | Our Story
bringing audiences and artists together
Our community will be a vibrant hub for the arts, bringing audiences and artists together in quality environments.
bOARD OF dIRECTORS
Todd Drenth, Chair
Julie DeVoe, Treasurer
Mary Tobin, Secretary
John Wenger, Vice-Chair
Meet the Board of Directors
Early On Coordinator and Occupational Therapist at Montcalm Area Intermediate School District (retired), Grand Rapids Modern Quilters Member, LowellArts Music Committee Member
Jeweler and Owner of Chimera Design - jewelry store in downtown Lowell
Comstock Park High School Teacher
Founding member, writer, and performer for the comedy group Public Domain, LowellArts Theatre Committee Member
Owner of Scripted Expressions Studio, Art Instructor at Northville Art House and LowellArts, Arts Juror for the Kent County Youth Fair, LowellArts Fallasburg Arts Festival Artist Chair, LowellArts Gallery Committee Member
High School English Teacher (retired), published Author and Editor, Lowell Area School Board of Education Trustee,
LowellArts Theatre Actor / Director / Committee Member
Designer at Newell Brands Design (retired), Creative Director of West Michigan Graphic Design Archive, LowellArts Gallery Committee Member
High School and College Art Teacher (retired), Interior Designer (retired), Fine Artist, LowellArts Gallery Committee Member
Graphic Designer, Fiber Artist, Mackinac Arts Council Member, Grand Rapids Modern Quilters Member
Owner and Lead Sound Engineer at Clear Sky Technologies, LowellArts Music Committee Member
LowellArts connects artists and audiences through the visual and performing arts.
Janet Teunis has 23 years of experience working in arts management. She joined the LowellArts staff as Project Director in 2013 and was hired as Executive Director in 2023. From 2000-2013, she held positions at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (UICA). Janet has experience in artistic and programmatic leadership, human resources, management of programs and events, management of operations and marketing, and special event planning. Janet has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Michigan School of Art, and is a practicing visual artist.
Laurel Conrad joined the staff at LowellArts in 2021. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre from Adrian College. Primarily an actor, some of her performance credits include Agnes in Agnes of God and Older Elizabeth Law in When the Rain Stops Falling. Laurel has received two Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship nominations, one of which she took to compete at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Previously, Laurel held a position as the Social Media Specialist & Purchasing Manager at Memories Bridal and Evening Wear in Kalamazoo, MI.
Lorain Smalligan, MACC Minigrant REgrantor
Lorain Smalligan held the position of Executive Director at LowellArts from 1999 to 2023. Under Lorain Smalligan's leadership, the organization tripled in its capacity, and held a successful $1.3 million capital campaign to move to a new state-of-the art facility in the heart of historic downtown Lowell. Lorain will continue to work for LowellArts in her retirement as the Minigrant Administrator, managing the Regional Regranting Program for 8 counties in West Michigan through the Michigan Arts and Culture Council (MACC).
Artrain's visit to Lowell in 1976 inspired the formation of the Lowell Area Arts Council, later to become LowellArts.
LowellArts has been serving the greater Lowell community since its inception in 1977.
LowellArts connects artists and audiences through the visual and performing arts. Our welcoming, vibrant organization has been growing since its inception in 1977 and is made up of committed arts enthusiasts.
The Lowell Area Arts Council (DBA LowellArts) is a vital resource for the greater Lowell community, connecting artists and audiences through the visual and performing arts. For over 40 years, LowellArts has promoted and supported artists through exhibitions, performances, and events. LowellArts continues to be a welcoming, vibrant organization, and serves both as a catalyst for local economic development and a source of valuable art experiences for the community.
LowellArts began with the enthusiasm of community volunteers and funds raised through a visit to Lowell by Artrain USA in November 1976. Originally called Lowell Area Arts Council, the organization was incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1977 with initial projects that included community beautification, gallery exhibitions of local and regional artists, and theater productions. In September 1978, LowellArts took over the management of the Fallasburg Fall Festival for the Arts, a two-day outdoor event which had been started by the Lowell Historical Society in 1968.
The space on Hudson Street that served the organization from 1977-2016 was generously made available by King Doyle and the King Milling Company. Located in the front third of one of King Milling's buildings, the space consisted of a 1000 sq. foot gallery, a classroom space, and office space.
In April 2015, LowellArts purchased two adjoining buildings on the corner of Main and Broadway, and launched a $1.25 million "Moving to Main" capital campaign to renovate the space. In November 2016, the organization moved to its current home on 223 W Main Street, which is in a highly visible location, easily accessible, has an abundance of parking space, and is centrally located in the popular Downtown Lowell Historic District.
The new facility, with 4,700 sq. foot of programming space on the first floor, offers twice the gallery space, a flexible performance space, a larger classroom, and an open upstairs space for theater rehearsals and artist-residency programs.
The LowellArts stated purpose is: to encourage the understanding, appreciation, and importance of the arts in the schools and communities we serve, and to provide expression and enjoyment of the arts to all segments of these communities. In the coming years, the staff, volunteers, and supporters will continue to make exceptional, heartfelt efforts to bring exciting artwork and performances the community.