The Board of Directors serves to uphold ethical standards of conduct and operation of the Garrett County Arts Council. Members are nominated and voted for two-year terms. Duties include aided, encouraging, and coordinating activities dedicated to the promotion of cultural arts in Garrett County.

Board Members

Mary McEwen

Board of Directors President

Mary is a writer and editor, having served as a full-time journalist for 26 years with The Republican newspaper, and one more year as the arts and entertainment editor and a columnist for the newspaper. She is now a full-time freelance writer. Mary earned a bachelor of fine arts in theatre from West Virginia University, and furthered her studies at the University of North Carolina in English and creative writing. She sings with the Garrett Choral Society and St. Mark’s Lutheran Church choir, plays the piano, and dabbles in painting. Mary won a MDDC Press Association editorial award in column writing, and has been published in several juried literary journals. She and her husband John live in Oakland and are the parents of three grown sons.

Kirk Miller

Board of Directors Vice President

Kirk, a former High School teacher and principal, is now making a go at the glass and wood art business. The natural beauty and complexity of glass and wood has in intrigued him since he was a young boy growing up in central Pennsylvania. Now, as a former educator, he searches out unique materials and develops innovative techniques to create pieces that reflect the complexities and beauty within all things. Although highly inspired by Glass Masters throughout the world, he says he thrives by forging his own hybridized path. “My ultimate goal is to create reminders of our strength and fragility, and empower each of us to appreciate our world in new ways.”

Frank Shap

Board of Directors Treasurer

Frank is a 17-year resident of Garrett County and has served as the GCAC Board Treasurer for the past three years. Frank’s professional background is in technology, project management, and economic development. He served as Garrett County Assistant Director for Economic Development from 2001 to 2015 and has a continuing interest in promoting sustainable growth for both the county and its municipalities. Frank’s interest in the arts is lifelong, with a special fondness for the visual and performing arts. Frank is active in several other non-profits, including Garrett Mentors, Greater Oakland Business Association, and County United Way. He lives in Mountain Lake Park with Karen and their “son” Nico, whom they adopted from HART for Animals almost three years ago. When not busy in retirement, Frank enjoys travel to visit his two sons and families, including four grandkids, as well as sports car and motorcycle adventure travel.

Sue Lisannti

Board of Directors Secretary

Sue is the Executive Director of The Reading Station, a non-profit organization that offers free reading instruction to children and adults in Garrett County. She is an enthusiastic hiker, yoga student, writer, reading addict, and theatre lover. Sue also takes an interest in local politics and is a member of the Oakland Rotary and the Events Committee of GOBA. An English and theatre teacher for 30 years in Maryland Public Schools, Sue taught for 27 of those in Garrett County. Her true passions are her grandson River, her two sons and family, and interacting with the youth of Garrett County.

William Hentosh

Board Member

A resident of Garrett County since 2012, Bill Hentosh recently retired from service to Mineral County, W.Va., where he was the Emergency Management and 911 Director. His interest in the arts has been with landscape and nature photography for more than 40 years. His other interests are hiking and gardening. 

Kendall Ludwig

Board Member

Kendall Ludwig, president and principal designer of CurlyRed, believes in good design for everyone. She began her company, CurlyRed, in Baltimore in 2007 with the desire to create “usable art.” Over the past 11 years, Kendall has provided creative and timeless branding, print, and web solutions for companies and non-profits across the country. A Baltimore native, Kendall met and married “Garrett County local” Mark Ludwig and relocated to historic Mountain Lake Park with their two daughters. Kendall loves theatre, playing bass guitar, drinking coffee and/or red wine, and being outdoors.

Sarah Myers

Board Member

Sarah Myers is a marketing and operations professional serving businesses in the Deep Creek Lake area and surrounding Appalachian region. She founded her business, Curb Appeal Marketing, in 2015 as the only Google Trusted Photographer in the area. Part creative and part strategist, Mrs. Myers enjoys helping business owners think differently. She also co-owns the local online news source She earned her undergraduate degree from West Virginia University and her MBA from Mississippi State University. In her spare time, she can be found painting with acrylics or road biking throughout the county.

MC (Maggie) Pratt

Board Member

Maggie Pratt is a dedicated working artist whose visual work chiefly in oils, but also including watercolor, drawing/mixed media, and 3D/installations.  She has also been writing creatively for many years, primarily as a published poet. The capricious and transitory qualities of the natural world often find their way into her art and poetry. Personal history and the philosophies, spiritual, literary, and artistic traditions from several cultural sources such as Celtic/pre-Christian, Hebrew and Norwegian, can be found in her work. Maggie has had careers as an art educator K-12 and college, and as a director of development and marketing. She was the originator and owner of The General Art Store in Frostburg, Md., for ten years, managing all aspects of the business and working as a certified picture framer. She holds a Master of Education in art education and currently works with children and adults as the Art Education Director for the Evergreen Heritage Center, Mt. Savage, Md. She has recently been vetted by the Maryland State Arts Council as an Artist in Residence/Artist in Education. She is currently the only roster member/visiting artist from Western Maryland.

April Hershberger

Board Member

April has volunteered with various arts and community organizations for the last decade while establishing a home in nearby Pennsylvania with her husband, Andy, and starting a family of two boys, Alex, 8, and Will, 5 years old.  Her passion for all forms of art and design is evident in her home, a relocated antique timber frame barn from Canada, a project which she oversaw from concept to completion.  She has worked as a wedding and event planner over the years and has recently accepted a position with the local wedding design company Farmhouse Fete.  Her hobbies include Airstreams, antiques, and all things Disney World. 

Barbara Baker

Board Member

Barbara Baker is the superintendent of Garrett County Public Schools. She began her career as a German instructor at Southern Middle School in 1990. Since that time, she has served as elementary teacher, principal, director, and assistant superintendent, culminating in her current position.  A graduate of Northern Garrett High School, she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education and a minor in German at Ohio University, and a Master’s Degree in School Guidance and Counseling and certification in Administration and Supervision. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in educational leadership. She is an active member of the Oakland Rotary Club, for which she serves as chairperson for the annual Christmas Project. She is a member of Delta Kappa Gamma, a professional honor society of women educators whose mission is to promote professional and personal growth and excellence in education.

Susan Johnston

Board Member

Susan’s activities in the arts have included teaching art in the public schools, working as an illustrator and feature artist in the national publication HousePlant Magazine, working as an adjunct faculty in painting, conducting watercolor workshops, and volunteering in historic downtowns to bring more arts programming to communities. Her watercolors have been accepted in regional and national shows where she has garnered numerous awards. Solo shows include Davis and Elkins College, Ameriflora, Ohio State University Eastern, Tamarack, Bethany College, Culver/Stockton College, Iowa Wesleyan, and through the Delaware Division of the Arts, a show at the State Carville Building, Wilmington, Delaware. Her husband is a retired college president and they now live near Friendsville.

Mikey Virts

Board Member

Mikey Virts was born and grew up in Garrett County. He is a finance lead for an international consulting firm based in Washington, D.C. He is also Artistic Director of Our Town Theatre in Oakland. He has been involved with Our Town Theatre since its inception in 1997 and has served on the theatre board for 11 years, with a 5-year break where he lived and worked in Chicago. Mikey believes that the arts make life worth living and loves to share his passion with the community. He lives in Deer Park with his wife Jennifer and their three daughters.

Mikal McCartney

Board Member

Mikal McCartney was born in Virginia but grew up in the Appalachian mountains in a small WV town where kids hustled home at the chime of the six pm church bells. Growing up with modest means, her family read books, mostly from the public library. Her Mother was a librarian for 35 years and her Dad could recite poetry that he learned when participating in childhood Christmas plays. Their home was infused with books and the love of reading. In college Mikal studied journalism and english literature getting a B.A. and later an M.Ed in Education. She settled in Oakland after graduation from college and taught school, worked for GCMH and Community Action.  In 2000 she slid off the mountain to Annapolis where she has enjoyed working and living in the heart of a beautiful downtown. She knew that she would return to Oakland and four years ago she was lucky enough to buy a charming home on Second Street that called her name. She has two wonderful children with wonderful spouses, two awesome grandsons, a great family, cherished friends, a stubborn dog, a spoiled grand dog and the beauty of the mountains. 

GCAC Staff

Karen Reckner

Executive Director

Karen Reckner is a life-long resident of Garrett County and is extremely proud of her Appalachian heritage.  The beauty, traditions, and lifestyle of the mountains bring her great joy.  She has been the executive director of Garrett County Arts Council since April 2009.  She is active in the County Arts Agencies of Maryland (CAAM) and represents that statewide group on the board of directors of Maryland Citizens for the Arts.  She also serves on the board of the Grantsville and Oakland Arts & Entertainment Districts and the Western Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area, and is an ex-officio member of the board of Garrett County Chamber of Commerce.

Rachel Precht

Assistant to the Executive Director

Rachel Precht grew up in Frostburg, Maryland. In addition to traditional drawing, Rachel is interested in block printing, photography, watercolor and gelatin monotypes, aquatint and drypoint etching as well as digital illustration.  She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2012 from Frostburg State University. Rachel’s work appeared in the Center for Contemporary Printmaking’s 9th Biennial Miniature Print Exhibition from June 2013 – 2014. Her Master of Arts show, Cacophony, a block-print installation, ran in the Annex Gallery at Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2014.  She created thread-based installation works, Traced Paths and Echo in locations across the IUP campus in 2016. Her work Weary was part of Mireia Sentis’ 2016 exhibition Words and Objectivity in Kipp Gallery at IUP.  While at IUP, Rachel served as Vice President of the Graduate Arts Association, and helped to organize visiting artist events as well as a group trip to art galleries and museums in Chicago.  She received a Master of Fine Arts in Drawing & Print degree from in May 2017.  Her Thesis show, Canary in a Coal Mine (Kipp Gallery, IUP), brought her focus back to Western Maryland.  Rachel began working with the Garrett County Arts Council in July 2018.

Rebecca Diller

Gallery Shop Staff

Rebecca Diller was born and raised in Garrett County. She is a photographer and jeweler and also enjoys painting, drawing, and many other art medias. Ever since she was little she always had a love and interest in the arts as well as animals and nature. She loves and owns multiple pets which include cats, rabbits, a horse, a goldfish and a turtle which is where she draws most of her inspiration for her art. When she is not working or in the middle of an art project she also enjoys other hobbies such as reading, horseback riding, swimming, being with friends, and playing with her pets (especially her cats). She currently works at The Gallery Shop as an employee of the Garrett County Arts Council where she is also juried in for her photography and jewelry. She graduated From Garrett College in 2014 with an Associate in Business Management. Before working at the Gallery Shop she worked as a photographer at ASCI white water course for 6 years and also worked part-time for a catering business and as a receptionist at the CARC.

Kathy Beachler

Community Arts Development Coordinator

Kathy Beachler joins the Garrett County Arts Council after 20 years in arts education and performance management, partnership development, communications and community organizing. She has worked at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, Smithsonian Institution, Arts Education Partnership and Arts Every Day. Kathy was hired in May 2018, as the Garrett County Arts Council’s Community Arts Development Coordinator. She provides general oversight and manages day-to-day operations of the Grantsville and Oakland Arts & Entertainment Districts and outreach to other Garrett County municipalities related to development and expansion of their arts programs. Kathy is also an independent artist, running her illegible ink printmaking studio in her Swanton home. Her work has been displayed at galleries, restaurants and shows in Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Richmond and Seattle. Kathy, her husband, Nate, and their two boys moved to Garrett County in 2015, so they could open Deep Creek Seafood. (In addition to her role with the Garrett County Arts Council, Kathy also bakes the desserts for the restaurant.)