Michelle Stanley, D.M.A - Director of Program
Michelle Batty Stanley is associate professor of music, flute at Colorado State University where she is also the director of the LEAP Institute, an arts management and program. Praised for her “fine breath control and offers subtlety in playing and a strong sense of the long, lyrical lines, Michelle is a performer of solo, chamber and orchestral music. She is a regular international artist and has enjoyed giving masterclasses from China to the U.S. She has performed in throughout the U.S. and in Russia, Japan, China, France, England, Scotland, Italy, Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary, and Russia. She is on the faculty of the Interharmony Music Festival in Italy.
Michelle is a regular performer in the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, and is principal flute for the Pro Musica chamber orchestra and the Colorado Bach Ensemble and Festival. She was the second flutist/piccolo player with the Colorado Ballet Orchestra from 2008-2013. She has presented and performed for the National Flute Convention (2019 in Salt Lake City, 2018 in Orlando, 2017 in Minneapolis, 2016 in San Diego, 2012 in Las Vegas, 1999 in Atlanta), College Music Society Regional and National Conferences, Colorado Music Educators Association conference (2010, 2013, 2018, 2019), and Music Teachers National Association State and National conferences. She has performed at the Berkeley Early Music Festival, and spent five seasons as the second flutist with the Colorado Music Festival orchestra.
She has commissioned and premiered more than 20 works from composers throughout the United States. Her first CD of newly commissioned chamber music was released by Centaur Records in 2006 and her second recording of French flute music was released by Navona records in 2018. Michelle is the flutist in Quatra Duo, a flute and guitar duo that will be recording an album contemporary flute and guitar to be released by Navona records in 2020.
In addition to her active performing career, Dr. Stanley is the author of an online music appreciation textbook published by Great River Technologies called Music Appreciation: Successful Listening in All Music. This text is used at CSU for more than 3,000 students each year.
A strong advocate for the arts, Dr. Stanley was one of the founding creators of the LEAP Institute at Colorado State University. LEAP (Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Advocacy and the Public) is an interdisciplinary program that offers an undergraduate minor and a master’s degree in arts management. Director since August of 2018, Michelle is committed to helping LEAP thrive for its students.
Michelle received a M.M. and D.M.A. in flute performance from the University of Colorado at Boulder and received a B.A. in Music from the University of New Hampshire. She also attended Trinity College of Music in London where she studied with Anne Cherry.
Richard Andrews - Instructor
Richard S. Andrews is an author (Arts Entrepreneurship: Creating a New Venture in the Arts. Routledge, 2020), instructor, and Associate Director of the UC Berkeley Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (CNMAT), a leading research and training laboratory focused on the creative interaction between music and science. He is also Executive Director of the Eco Ensemble, UC Berkeley’s professional new music chamber group dedicated to contemporary music by emerging and established composers. He has over 20 years experience in arts management and specializes in arts entrepreneurship, fundraising, project management, marketing and organizational development. His research and teaching interests include the creation of modern cultural policies in the U.S. and France, the intersection of government arts policy and arts management/arts practice, and the impact of public/private support for the arts. He has developed and taught courses and workshops at UC Berkeley, the San Francisco Art Institute, Colorado State University, the UC Paris Study Center Program in French & European Studies, the Université Côte d’Azur (UCA) and the American University of Paris (AUP), and has lectured at the Savannah College of Art and Design SCAD/Lacoste, the Institute for American Universities, Parsons Paris, Arcadia University, San Francisco State University (SFSU), the University of San Francisco (USF) and the University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne.
Emelie Borello - Instructor
Emelie Borello is an instructor at Colorado State University for the LEAP Institute for the Arts, as well as a recent graduate from LEAP Master’s program. She has a strong background in management, human resources, and project planning as well as a decade of experience as a director and designer in the local Fort Collins community theatre. In addition to teaching, Emelie is working to create collaborative arts projects within the community, and looking toward pursing a doctoral program in sociology of arts and celebration in the near future.
Sandy Ceas - Instructor
I am considered a Social Practice artist who engages the culture through the arts to provoke social change. My entire career life has flourished from a deep psychological understanding of humanity, and how the creative arts can be a strong advocate for social justice. My art practice embraces this calling, and I teach this efficacy of art for cultural production at the college level. I have engaged with various cultures around the world using art engagement as a catalyst for breaking down barriers and encouraging healthy discourse towards a cause. This includes College Study Abroad encounters.
Zhanna Gurvich - Instructor of Theater
Zhanna Gurvich is an award-winning designer and painter who has designed for theatre, dance, opera, and film at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Joyce Theatre, Chautauqua Opera, and the Juilliard Theatre. Ms. Gurvich’s favorite designs include Radiance for Axial Theatre Co., Hello and Goodbye for Rattlestick Theatre, Ladies in Retirement and Chaos Theory for Pulse Ensemble Theatre, The Most Dangerous Room in the House for The Susan Marshall Dance Company, Tears for Violetta and Tierra del Nadie for Ballet Hispanico, The Seagull, Man and Superman, and Three Sisters for Juilliard, In the Air and La Llorona for Stageplays Theatre, Hansel and Gretel for Chautauqua Opera, Ping Pong Diplomacy, Havana Bourgeoisie, and Billboard for Reverie Productions, and Luck for Epic Rep. Ms. Gurvich received an HOLA Award for Outstanding Set Design for her work on La Llorona. She has painted for Scenic Art Studios, Goodspeed Opera House, Virginia Opera, Dallas Theatre Center, Mannes Opera, and The Mint Theatre Company, including critically acclaimed portraits for Mary Broome and a mural for Black Snow. Ms Gurvich is a member of United Scenic Artists Local 829 and holds a B.F.A. in Studio Art from Clark University, as well as an M.F.A. in Stage Design from Southern Methodist University, with a concentration in scenery and lighting design.
John Kuker - Instructor
John Kuker was born and raised in Texas and received his B.A. in Political Science from Texas A&M University. Prior to law school, Mr. Kuker was a lobbyist and government affairs professional with an international oil & gas concern in Houston, Texas. He came to Wyoming in 1997 to attend the University of Wyoming law school. While at the University of Wyoming, John was chosen as a member of the Wyoming Law Review. He also was a co-finalist in the annual Mock Trial Competition during his final two years of law school.
Following a summer clerkship with the Agricultural Commissioner of Texas in 1997, and a subsequent summer clerkship at Dray, Thomson & Dyekman, P.C, he joined Dray, Thomson & Dyekman P.C. as an attorney in 2000, wherein he practiced in the areas of business litigation, taxation and tax litigation, government affairs, business planning, estate planning, probate, construction, real estate, banking, creditors’ rights, international contract disputes, appeals, and administrative licensing issues. While at Dray, Thomson & Dyekman, John Kuker’s daily workload entailed analyzing everything from highly complex Wyoming severance tax appeals for oil & gas companies to international contract litigation to commercial disputes between small to mid-sized companies. John reluctantly left his colleagues at Dray Thomson after being offered a senior position with a boutique state tax litigation firm in Boulder, Colorado and New Orleans, Louisiana. At Oreck Bradley, John spent two full years exclusively litigating complex multimillion-dollar tax cases for Fortune 100 companies.
John Kuker then became a partner at Romsa & Kuker, LLC from 2005 to 2012, when he was then afforded the opportunity to form The Kuker Group, LLP in early 2013, which transformed into Overstreet, Homar & Kuker in early 2018. Mr. Kuker continues his practice in the business law arena and other areas mentioned above, and he has expanded it to include school district representation and more services as a mediator and public affairs professional. Mr. Kuker is also an adjunct professor at Colorado State University. When not at the office, John enjoys spending time with his wife Becca and their children Hayes and Bosley, as well as writing and playing music.
Jack Rogers - Instructor
Jack has worked in the performing arts for over 24 years. During that time he has been an artist, and advocate, a tour manager, a festival producer, a venue director, and worn countless other hats. Jack received his BFA in Acting with a minor in dance and a concentration in music from Long Island University at CW Post. Jack has received multiple awards for his performance work both professionally and academically. He received his MPA in Nonprofit Management from Georgia State University. As an advocate, Jack served as Vice President of Programming for the Georgia Arts Network, the state’s official arts advocacy organization. Jack has served as a juror on programming committees for the City of Atlanta’s Office of Cultural Affairs, the Georgia Assembly of Community Arts Agencies, Georgia Presenters, and the Southern Arts Federation’s Performing Arts Exchange. Jack’s interests include multi-disciplinary collaboration, event management-safety and security, advocacy, and performing arts programming. Jack is a member of Actor’s Equity of America, Americans for the Arts, the International Association of Venue Managers, and the Western Arts Alliance. Jack currently provides administrative, artistic, and operational leadership to The Lincoln Center, a multi-venue events facility and Northern Colorado’s largest performing arts presenter.
Michael Seman - Assistant Professor
Dr. Michael Seman is an assistant professor in the LEAP Institute for the Arts’ arts management program at Colorado State University. He received his doctorate in urban planning and public policy from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2014 and his work primarily examines the intersection of music, entrepreneurship, and economic development on the urban landscape. Before joining Colorado State University, Michael was Director of Creative Industries Research and Policy at the University of Colorado Denver College of Arts and Media.
Michael teaches both undergraduate and graduate students and is currently writing a book about music scenes and how they can transform cities for the University of Texas Press. His co-edited volume concerning the production and consumption of music in the digital age was published by Routledge in 2016 as part of their Contemporary Human Geography Series and Michael recently helped author music strategies for both the City of Denver and the State of Colorado. Michael’s work can also be found in many academic journals including Cities, Regional Science Policy and Practice, Applied Research in Economic Development, City, Culture and Society, Industrial Geographer, Artivate: A Journal of Entrepreneurship in the Arts, and most recently in Growth and Change.
National Public Radio, Vice, Wired, The Washington Post, and many regional media outlets seek Michael’s insight and he is often invited to speak at professional and civic events across the country. Prior to completing his graduate work, Michael spent several years as an executive at Creative Artists Agency in Beverly Hills, California where he focused on internal marketing and project development. Michael also managed daytime programming for the “35 Denton” and “Oaktopia” music festivals in Denton, Texas while earning his doctorate. He is represented by the Creative Class Group for speaking engagements.
Mike Solo - Instructor
Mike Solo is the Creative Director in the marketing office of The School of Music, Theatre and Dance at Colorado State University. His degrees are in Design and Digital Media and he currently teaches Technology in the Arts and Creating your Arts Career for the Arts Management program.
Jill Stilwell - Instructor
Jill has 25 years of experience in the public arts and culture sector. From 2003 to 2016, Jill was the Director of Cultural Services for the City of Fort Collins. In this role, she spearheaded Fort Collins’ first Cultural Plan and nominated the City for the 2011 Governor’s Arts Award, which the community received. She was proud to direct the Department’s two largest capital projects: the $8.4 million renovation of the Lincoln Center and the $27 million public/private partnership that is the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery.
Jill has facilitated large vision-oriented projects, like master plans and community cultural plans, but also enjoys the personal aspects of team building and board development. Jill shares her experience with others as an adjunct faculty member at the LEAP Institute for the Arts at Colorado State University and at Front Range Community College. She teaches courses in arts management and museum studies and learns as much from her students as they do from her. Jill also engages with her local community through activities like presenting at Start-Up Week.
Jill has a bachelor’s degree in fine art from Colorado State University and a master’s degree in art history and museum studies from the University of Denver. She is certified through the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2) in planning effective public participation processes.