ARENA DANCES Board of Directors

In addition to our current members (below), ARENA DANCES is seeking new board members with expertise in any of the following areas: Event planning, Donor cultivationEducation, Finance and Marketing. Please click the links for more information on the role(s) and how to apply!

Catherine Malmberg Dannenbring, Board Chair  | Malmberg Projects
Catherine has worked as a real estate developer on mixed-use, transit-oriented, urban infill developments with a focus on a triple bottom line investment approach that incorporates environmental, social and economic goals. In 2017, she founded her own practice with the aim of positively impacting our built environment through a creative, cross-disciplinary practice.Design excellence, resiliency planning and innovation are common threads in her past projects through the U.S. She completed her undergraduate work magna cum laude in History & Literature at Harvard and holds a Master’s degree in Architecture from Princeton University.

Jessi Fett, Board Secretary | The Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts
Jessi is a graduate from Hamline University with a degree in Theatre Arts and a K-12 Dance/Theatre teaching license. For the past 8 years she has successfully and sustainably grown The Cowles Center’s school residency program, building partnerships with schools across the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota and extending dance education nationally through distance learning technology. As Education Director, she oversees all aspects of the education department including Dance without Barriers and First Moves residency programs, which provide dance experiences for more than 6,000 MN students annually.

Gustave Mutombo, Board Treasurer | Best Buy Corporation
Gustave is a graduate of St. Thomas University with an MBA from Hamline. His career in corporate banking and finance has lead him to his current role as a Legal Financial Analyst with Robins Kaplan. His commitment to service instilled by his education and through his work with Project for Pride in Living, coupled with his desire to expand his horizons, has lead him to Board service with ARENA.

Anna Growcott, Board MemberArtspace
Anna joined Artspace in 2012, upon returning home to Minneapolis after living just about everywhere else. From Chicago to China, and New York to Australia, she has worked in a wide range of communities as a dancer, educator, and presenter. As Director of Consulting & Strategic Partnerships, Anna works with communities and arts organizations that are at various stages of envisioning affordable space for the arts. This often includes working with civic leaders to assess the feasibility and market for creating new, sustainable, affordable space for the creative sector in their communities. She also leads Artspace Immersion, a cohort program focused on capacity building for organizations that are planning for space-related initiatives.

Tom Hines, Board Member | W+Noordijk, Inc.
Tom brings his wealth of experiences from his time at The Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts. Having worked on the Grand Opening of The Cowles Center in 2011, Tom lead the growth of staff, the development of the Distance Learning Program, and supported the Center’s vision for being the premier stage for Minnesota dance. Tom currently works with W+Noordijk, Inc. in coordinating special events for marketing, leasing arts focused real estate projects, and adjudicating the Artist Selection Process.

Marisa Epstein, Board Member | Daily Harvest
Marisa graduated from Duke University with a major in Public Policy and minor in Dance. After spending some time in Boston working in consulting, she now resides in New York City and works in strategic analytics for Daily Harvest, extracting insights from data to enable others to make more data-driven decisions. Marisa has been dancing since the age of 3 and today continues to dance recreationally whenever possible. She also enjoys volunteering for arts organizations, leveraging analytics to assist organizations in achieving their goals and is excited to be contributing her time to ARENA DANCES.

Betsy Maloney Leaf, Board Member | University of Minnesota
Betsy Maloney, PhD, MFA, is a Lecturer in the Arts in Education program. She works with the interarts (visual art, dance, theatre arts) initial license program and teaches undergraduate courses in the C & I department. Maloney is also a research associate with Dr. Bic Ngo on the Innovating Culturally Relevant Pedagogy project. Prior to teaching at the University, Maloney taught dance at Main Street School of Performing Arts, a public performing arts high school in suburban Twin Cities for 10 years. In 2007-2008, she served on the Minnesota State Arts Standard Review Committee.

Deanna Thompson, Board Member | Robins Kaplan
Deanna Thompson is an associate in the firm’s Intellectual Property and Technology group. Deanna is dedicated to zealously advocating for her clients at every stage of litigation. She draws from her chemical engineering background and trial advocacy experience to represent her clients in an analytical and persuasive manner. Deanna earned her law degree at the University of Minnesota. During law school, she developed a passion for the courtroom while competing on the Intercollegiate Mock Trial Team. Deanna further honed her litigation skills as a Certified Student Attorney with the University’s Housing Clinic, where she represented tenants in eviction, expungement, and rent escrow proceedings.



ARENA DANCES Managing Director

                                                                          Kelli Miles
Kelli Miles is a Minneapolis-based dancer, teacher, choreographer and arts administrator. In spring 2018, Kelli graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BFA in Dance and minor in Leadership. Artistically, she has created numerous works of her own, as well as performed works by nationally-renowned artists, including Joanie Smith, Martha Graham, Angharad Davies, Uri Sands, Mathew Prescott, Ohad Naharin and Anne-Rene Petrarca. Kelli has danced with Threads Dance Project and Borealis Dance Company, as well as in projects of freelance collectives. Administratively, she has held an officers’ position for the student group Open Stage and has interned with Springboard for the Arts.