FWAC Board

The Five Wings Art Council Board consists of an eleven-member panel with representation from each of the five counties served. The function of the FWAC Board is to serve as a panel of professionals that review grant applications while facilitating arts development in the Five Wings region. Criteira for board consideration is:

  • FWAC recruits board members through an open nomination process.
  • Council must reside within one of the five counties in the Five Wings Region: Todd, Wadena, Morrison, Cass and Crow Wing Counties.
  • FWAC board members are chosen for their knowledge, expertise, and participation in the arts.

For more information about how you can become a member of the FWAC board, email Mark Turner at mark.fwac@arvig.net or Vicki Chepulis at vicki.fwac@arvig.net


Noelle Wygant | Pine River 


“Noelle is a licensed tattoo artist who owns a private tattoo studio in Pequot Lakes, MN. As a tattoo artist, she gets to experience making art every day and enjoys getting to work in different styles. Noelle has been involved in art her whole life and believes that it has the ability to heal, teach, and make us feel. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to serve on the FWAC Board.”

Paul Nye | Walker 


A former award-winning journalist, Paul is a registered songwriter and publisher with BMI. He has performed over 4,000 shows at clubs, colleges, schools, libraries, churches and concert venues, and festivals all over the U.S. in his music career. Paul’s performances are engaging; inviting audiences into his wild & wacky, creative & colorful world where an adventure is expected, passion
is infectious, and an occasional surprise is the fuel that drives the engine. Paul has released seven
recordings in his career and has been nominated for two international music awards. His music can be heard on iTunes, Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Music, Rhapsody, and dozens of other online
streaming sources. Paul is a member of Northern Minnesota Songwriters.


Dawn Espe | Brainerd 


With a Masters of Education from the University of Minnesota Duluth, Dawn is the Regional Development Planner and Communications Manager for the Region Five Development Commission. She has volunteered with the Five Wings Arts Council and the Browerville Food Shelf.

Amanda Nygard | Crosby 


Amanda Standalone is a writer, folk musician, and multi-instrumentalist from Minnesota. Standalone has released two albums, Millions of Blackbirds (2010), which bears the Title track Bird flew Hard for the HBO documentary ‘Paycheck to Paycheck: The Life and Times of Katrina Gilbert,’ and Trouble (2014), funded in part by a grant from the Lakes Region Arts Council and a successful indie go-go campaign. Her music is a soulful blend of acoustic folk/blues strongly influenced by American Roots music. She skillfully attacks the guitar, banjo, and her single-stringed washtub, while packing an extra punch with her rich vocals. Currently, Standalone is working on her 3rd album 'Ghost Stories'. Amanda has a Bachlor of Arts in Music from the University of MN Moorehead.

Susan Smith-Grier | Brainerd 


Susan Smith-Grier is a writer, grant writer, blogger, and award-winning poet. She regularly contributes to magazines both locally and nationally. Her work is also published in Blues Vision, an anthology of African American Minnesota Writers.


Brigid Fitzgerald | Little Falls 


Brigid is a recently retired attorney who continues to live in Little Falls and is in her second term as FWAC board member from Morrison County. She is interested in music and art, spending her energy supporting both, since, according to her, she has no artistic bone in her body. Brigid believes it is the people which bring life and growth to our communities; and that by involving oneself in a communities' committees, boards and arts not only do you stay aware of arts events but also keep energy flowing in your community. And, when people see you involved, they consider getting involved.

Michael Burr | Little Falls 


Michael Burr was elected to the Five Wings Arts Council Board of Directors in April 2020. He represents Morrison County, where he works and lives with his wife of 32 years. He owns and operates Burr Energy LLC dba Microgrid Institute, an independent consulting enterprise that he launched in 2013 to help communities, tribes, and businesses develop resilient renewable energy systems.

Michael has a long history of community involvement, with a focus on arts, culture, and education. In 2019 he co-founded Little Falls Summer Musical, a 501(c)3 nonprofit theatre company, and serves as its president, producer, and scenic designer. In addition to the Five Wings board, he currently serves on the Buildings & Grounds and Strategic Planning Committees for the Morrison County Historical Society and provides volunteer service for Little Falls Community High School, the Charles A. Lindbergh House & Museum, the Minnesota Historical Society, and Great River Arts. From 2019 to early 2020 he served as Grant & Fund Development Officer for Great River Arts and has served on the Boards of Directors for the Minnesota Astronomical Society and the Naperville Astronomical Association.


Chad Groetsch | Staples 


Chad Groetsch is dedicated to serving in and improving upon communities where he is able. He has served in many civic capacities for a variety of non-profit organizations for nearly thirty years. He currently serves as president of the board of the Lamplighter Community Theater in Staples, MN. Chad also has experience reviewing and approving grant applications for students of the MNSCU system who developed community-based internships within Minnesota. Chad recently relocated to Staples in 2016. He lives in a grand old brick house with his wife, two kids, and two cats.

Vacant  | Todd County 



Allan Lynk | Wadena 


A retired social worker for Wadena County Social Services, Allan had various responsibilities with adult mental health, vulnerable adults, developmental disabilities, and management of client personal funds. He volunteers with Knute Nelson Hospice, which includes visiting and companionship as well as building ramps, installing grab bars, or building special equipment. He is a court-appointed guardian for a person with dementia and another with traumatic brain injury. Active in his church and community, his art interests have been fueled by the Madhatter Community Theatre for which he has directed. He has also volunteered with the Wadena Area Concert Association, selling memberships and choosing programs.

Cheryl Bannes | Wadena  


Arts have been a passion for Cheryl for over 30 years. Not only is she an artist herself art is a true reflection of who she truly is. She believes in the transformative power of the arts; for both the artist and participant. Cheryl is a graduate of Eastern Illinois University with an MA in 3D studio art and received a K12 art certification from Montana State University. Cheryl is currently the Programs Director at the New York Mills Cultural Center. Her experience, passion, and commitment to the arts and the people will bring exceptional insight into the Five Wings Art Council board.

Five Wings Arts Council

Serving Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison, Todd, and Wadena Counties of Minnesota

© Copyright 2022 Five Wings Art Council
All Rights Reserved


Street Address:
121 4th St. NE
Staples, MN 56479

Use West entrance
located in parking lot behind
1st International Bank & Trust

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 118
Staples, MN 56479