Cultural Arts Commission


The Kirkland Cultural Arts Commission is a volunteer board that works to help arts, culture and heritage grow and thrive in the City of Kirkland. Along with supporting art and cultural initiatives throughout the year the Kirkland Cultural Arts Commission advises the City Council on art acquisition and promotes strategic arts planning in Kirkland. The Cultural Arts Commission is charged with managing and curating the City's public art collection, including a 1% for the Arts mandate for City projects over a certain threshold. In addition, the Cultural Arts Commission has partnered with neighborhood associations as well as private developers to expand the public art offerings. 

The Commission meets from 5 to 7 p.m. on the third Wednesday of every month, at Kirkland City Hall. In response to COVID-19, Commission meetings have transitioned to virtual, and are held on an as-needed basis. The public is always welcome at Commission meetings, which take place via Zoom. 

Next Kirkland Cultural Arts Commission Meeting

The next Kirkland Cultural Arts Commission meeting takes place 5 to 7 p.m., Wednesday, January 20, 2021 via Zoom. You are welcome to share your art ideas by attending the meeting or emailing

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: In response to guidance from Public Health Seattle-King County, we encourage members of the community to implement social distancing as much as possible and in the interim use the following methods to interact at the PC meeting. The virtual meeting audio will be recorded and posted on the City's website.

Time: 5 p.m.

Location:  Virtual/ Zoom Meeting Information: Zoom link here

Agenda - Wednesday, January 20, 2021 5 p.m.

  •  Agenda

Meeting Packet Information

  •  Meeting materials


If you have any questions about the meeting, contact Public Art support staff at:


Meet the Kirkland Cultural Arts Commission

Position 1 (Youth) - Vacant

This position is appointed by the City Council.


Position 2 - Teresa Alonso Thompson (term expires March 31, 2023)

Tere Thompson headshot Commissioner Teresa (Tere) Alonso Thompson has served on the KCAC since April of 2019 after becoming a Kirkland resident in 2018. Prior to that she lived in Bellevue for 15 years. Born in Havana, Cuba she immigrated to the U.S. with her parents and three sisters at a young age and grew up in the Washington, DC area. Tere was raised in a family that appreciates a variety of art forms from diverse cultures, how they influence our homes and public gathering places, promote positive cultural exchanges, and create aesthetically pleasing places for everyone to enjoy, learn and connect. Tere is excited to be working on public art projects and exhibits in Kirkland that reflect values of inclusivity, are welcoming, and promote cultural exchange for Kirkland residents and visitors.

Prior to living in the PNW, Tere spent more than 20 years in operational and business development roles in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries managing international programs and teams. She enjoys working with others and finding ways to connect people and ideas. Tere has been an avid volunteer and fundraiser for non-profit organizations focused on education, health, and the arts. She has a B.S. degree in Biochemical Sciences from the University of Vermont and has completed graduate studies in Business Administration at the George Washington University. Tere is fluent in English, Spanish and Italian.



Position 3 - Dana Nunnelly, Chair (term expires March 31, 2021)

Dana Nunnelly headshotDana is a northwest native who has been involved in the arts all of her life, and holds a Fine Art degree from the University of Puget Sound. Her career focus is in art direction, branding and marketing, where she has worked both domestically and internationally with some of the northwest's favorite companies like, and Microsoft. In Kirkland she has taught painting classes and facilitated life figure drawing sessions at the Kirkland Arts Center. She also started the very popular Summerfest Life Drawing Jam - a free open life drawing time with costumed models from Studio East.

Horticulture is another passion that Dana works in, adding that to her repertoire of mediums, where she creates custom garden container designs for private residential and commercial clients. She also serves as vice president for the Kirkland Parks and Community Foundation,, a 501c3 organization raising funds for park and community improvements, projects and activities that enhance the quality of life for the residents of Kirkland.



Position 4 - Tracy MacLean, Vice Chair (term expires March 31, 2023)

Tracy MacLean headshot Tracy MacLean has a Ph.D from the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California and taught film and media studies courses for many years. Before moving to Kirkland in 2011, she was Academic Director for Intercollegiate Media Studies at the Claremont Colleges. Currently, she works as the Accreditation Liaison Officer and Policy Coordinator at Bellevue College. She has been an art docent at Peter Kirk Elementary School. She and her husband are regular subscribers to the Seattle Opera and enjoy traveling to other cities for special opera performances.


Position 5 - Vacant

This position is appointed by the City Council.

Position 6 - Vacant

This position is appointed by the Kirkland Cultural Arts Commission. 

Position 7 - Vacant

This position is appointed by the Kirkland Cultural Arts Commission. 

Position 8 - Barbie Collins Young (term expires March 31, 2021)

Barbie Collins Young headshot Barbie Collins Young is on the Board of Trustees for the Lake Washington School Foundation, and has lived in Kirkland for nearly three decades.  Her passion for art and community and intense creative spirit keeps her highly engaged in the Kirkland community. She is currently working on mental health advocacy and initiatives and furthering her education. Barbie has over 25 years of professional experience in operations, fundraising, customer service, grant writing, sales, marketing, recruiting and training for high profile positions. Her own art includes cartooning, video production, writing and painting. 



Position 9 - Michelle Lustgarten (term expires March 31, 2021)

Michelle Lustgarten headshot I'm a graduate of the University of Washington with a BFA in Visual Communications and the graphic designer for two area Honda dealerships. In addition to design, my passion is teaching art to elementary school children in multiple schools in the Lake Washington School District. Art inspired me as a young child and still does today!  I see public art as an extension and expression of the residents of an area with the potential to engage viewers and elicit a response from its very existence. Art shows that people care about their world in which they live in! 

Position 10 - Lani Brockman (term expires March 31, 2023)

Lani Brockman headshot Lani Brockman is the Founding Artistic Director of Studio East Training for the Performing Arts, an established theater school for youth in Kirkland. She teaches and directs at the Studio as well as at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts (WICA) and Whidbey Children’s Theater where she also serves on the Advisory Board. She is a proud member of the board at Kirkland Performance Center and the Kirkland Chamber of Commerce as well as a graduate of Leadership Eastside, class of 2015. With her writing partner Susan Bardsley, Lani co-created and writes the musicals for StoryBook Theater, Studio East’s professional touring company, that entertains over 50,000 children and parents a year. Their shows introduce young children to the magic of theater and have been produced nation-wide as well as in Canada.



Position 11 - Ryan James (term expires March 31, 2021)

ryan james in gallery with arms crossed Ryan James is Gallery Director and Art Advisor at ryan james fine arts, founded in 2011 by James, who was joined by business partner Jessica Kravtiz in 2014. Located in the Totem Lake area, ryan james fine arts showcases both known and emerging artists specializing in abstract, modern and conceptual arts. A champion for arts on the Eastside and beyond, Ryan serves on the Bellevue Arts Museum Board of Trustees, is the former Kirkland Cultural Arts Commission Chair and serves on the Greater Kirkland Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. This award-winning art advocate and curator has been widely acknowledged for his excellence in the field, with his gallery earning Best Art Gallery from 425 Magazine for three consecutive years (2018, 2019 and 2020). Also known for his extensive volunteerism including and beyond the world of art, Ryan won Best Community Volunteer in 2020 from the Kirkland Reporter.  


Position 12 - Vacant

This position is appointed by the Kirkland Cultural Arts Commission. 

Position 13 - Dawn Laurant (term expires March 31, 2021)

Dawn Laurant headshot Dawn Laurant has more than 30 years of experience curating and developing exhibitions and programs for art organizations including VALA, Kirkland Art Center and ryan james fine arts, as well as the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, and Marin County History Museum. Currently Dawn is senior art broker and advisor with Art Brokerage Inc., and as a certified art appraiser is owner of Laurant Art Appraisal. Dawn holds a master’s degree in the field of Museum Studies and earned a bachelor's degree in Fine Arts from the University California, Santa Cruz.  Alongside her work with the KCAC, Dawn has served as chair and co-chair for local community art programs including Summerfest Art Festival, Young Artist Exhibition at Summerfest, Kirkland Fish Frolic, and the National PTA Reflections Art Program.