Art Center East is managed by a diverse and committed Board of Directors, including artists, small business owners, and educators. Board members are actively involved in all aspects of the organization, including long-term strategic and fiscal planning.

Nancy Knowles

Board member since 2009


Nancy Knowles is Professor of English/Writing at Eastern Oregon University. The child of two architects, she prefers writing to drawing. She originally joined the ArtsEast board to better understand nonprofit governance from then Executive Director Jane Howell, and over the years, her work on the ACE Board has deepened her commitment to artists and to community spaces for sharing artistic expression and cultural heritage. 

Nathan "Nate"  Prouty

Board Member since 2018


Nathan Prouty received a BFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, and an MFA from Ohio University. Widely exhibited nationally and abroad, Prouty works in ceramics and mixed media, using glitter, glaze, resin, and anything else that fits the bill. Prouty is represented by The Lucy Lacoste Gallery in Concord, Massachusetts. He lives in Union, Oregon with two overweight cats and a scruffy dog, and currently runs EOU'S 3D and ceramics areas as Associate Professor of Art.

April Curtis


April Curtis is a retired theatre and communication professor who is an encaustic and fibre painter. 

April served on one of the early iterations of the Arts East board in the 90’s. She believes that arts heal and strengthen both communities and individuals. A healthy art center serves to enliven and educate a healthy town.
She’s thrilled to serve on the Board,  and hopes her teaching and art backgrounds prove to be of benefit to this fantastic organization. 

Amelia Díaz Ettinger

Board Member


Amelia has participated in Arts Center East as a teacher and a board member. As a writer, drawer, and lover of the arts, it’s been a privilege for her to be able to participate in this organization. She believes that art is the healing force of our shared humanity and ACE provides a safe and creative space for artists and students, this is why she joined the ACE Board of Directors.

Jennie Tucker

Board Member, 2022


Jennie is not new to art -- having grown up in an art/humanities family in Portland and belonging to most of the arts/humanities groups in NE Oregon.  Looking to link and communicate with the other groups on a regular basis and market ACE to the agricultural community.  Semi-retired as a research analyst; continues house painting and pruning trees.  Long volunteer for the Library communities in the state, Hospice/NODA, OCH, World Affairs of Oregon and other non-profits.

Carrie Caselton Lowe

Board member since 2020


Carrie is a science educator and owner of RedTwig Education, an environmental education contracting business in La Grande. Her primary contract is developing a community science project that engages youth in watershed monitoring with the Grande Ronde Model Watershed and in partnership with the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. Enjoying art in a variety of mediums, Carrie’s passion for ACE is focused on youth STEAM opportunities that weave nature, science, and art. Carrie, with a team of youth educators, began Discover After School, an Arts Center East nature and art after-school program in 2021. 


Joanne Hellen

Board Member  2021


Joanne currently works at Eastern Oregon University as a Grounds Worker 2 maintaining all the small beds on campus.  She has always been into the arts, going to Massachusetts College of Art, moving on to woodworking, then landscape work, and also served as a LaGrande Arts Commissioner for 7 years.  She has supported Arts East for manys years by buying art, attending events, teaching a couple of classes for children wanting to explore the arts, and decided it is time to get more involved.

Connie Sherrard

Board member since 2018


Connie is a social worker and is currently the Training Manager at Northeast Oregon Network in La Grande.  She is happiest when she has the opportunity to create - whether it’s a training curriculum or pottery, knitting, baking, etc.  In La Grande since 2016, ACE has been a big part of making this community a home for her, and she wants to see that for others. 

Berenice Chavez

Board member since 2021


Berenice is an Admissions Counselor and Social Media Coordinator at Eastern Oregon University. She graduated from Eastern Oregon University in 2019 with a Bachelors of Science in Art and Anthropology. During her time at EOU, Berenice gravitated towards photography and worked for the university as an event photographer. Over the years her work has been featured at Art Center East in a group and solo exhibition. Berenice joined the ACE Board of Directors to support the arts and her community.