Staff

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Amanda Jackson Mott

Executive Director

Amanda’s work emphasizes cross-discipline collaboration and the utilization of arts as a driver in economic development. Amanda serves on the boards of the Icicle Fund, Okanogan County Economic Alliance and Twisp Chamber of Commerce. She is the Artist Trust Ambassador for North Central Washington and serves on the Town of Twisp’s Economic Revitalization Committee. Previously Amanda worked for The Center for Health and Aging at RUSH University Medical Center in Chicago, IL and the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization in Portland, OR. Amanda holds a Master’s degree in Social Service Administration and Non Profit Management from the University of Chicago and a Bachelor’s degree in Comparative and German Literature from The Colorado College. She lives in Twisp with her husband Kraig and daughter Micah, her two cats and dog.

Email: amanda@methowartsalliance.org, Phone: (office) 509.997.4004, (cell) 509.341.4413


Ashley Lodato

Arts Education Director

Ashley is responsible for management of the Okanogan Region Arts Education Partnership for six school districts (Pateros, Brewster, Omak, Okanogan, Methow and Paschal Sherman Indian School on the Colville Reservation) and for the Youth Arts Initiative programs in the Cascade and Methow Valley school districts. Ashley holds a Master’s degree in English Studies from Western Washington University and a Bachelor’s of Arts in English and Italian Literature from Stanford University. She writes for the Methow Valley News as well as for other publications and is the Vice President of the board of the Methow Conservancy. She resides in Winthrop, WA with her husband, Jon Albright, and daughters Wyatt and Leki.

Email: ashley@methowartsalliance.org


Emily Nelson

Outreach Coordinator

Emily’s background spans many aspects of the arts, education, and administration. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Music from Lewis and Clark College, where her focus in musicology gave rise to her desire to increase accessibility and opportunities in music. After completing an internship in arts administration at The Kennedy Center, she returned to her hometown to work for the San Francisco Symphony in their Education, Special Events, and Community Engagement departments. She most recently worked as the Logistics Manager at the Northwest Outward Bound School in Mazama.  Emily is the Vice President of the Board of Cascadia Music, teaches piano, and plays trumpet in the Methow Valley Orchestra and Vera Love Vinyl. She lives in Winthrop with her partner Joel.

Email: emily@methowartsalliance.org


Bethany Wray

Youth Arts Initiative Instructor

Bethany is the Youth Arts Instructor for an Icicle Fund Pilot Project – Youth Arts Initiative (YAI.) The YAI Project provides consistent arts instruction for grades K-3 in the Methow Valley Elementary school. Bethany is a working artist and teaching artist who relocated from Leavenworth to the Methow Valley in 2019 to teach art at North Omak Elementary School through Methow Arts’ Youth Arts Initiative for grades K-2. Bethany enjoys working alongside classroom teachers at Methow Valley Elementary School to create engaging, high interest art lessons that align with the fundamental elements of art and the inquiry-based units of study being taught in the classroom. Bethany also teaches art through Wenatchee Valley College in Omak on a weekly basis. You can learn more about Bethany on her artist page (CLICK HERE).

Email: bethany@methowartsalliance.org


Christa Culbert


Youth Arts Initiative Instructor

Christa teaches art in the school districts that are part of the Okanogan Region Arts Education Consortium. She earned her BFA in painting and drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Christa lives in the Methow Valley and works as a horse trainer, artist, and teaching artist. By imagining the people around her as animals: sweet, grumpy, gentle, sad, and joyful, her artwork reveals the love and humour in everyday moments, while celebrating her home and all its inhabitants (furry, scaley, four-legged, two-legged, no-legged, and all the rest!). She also enjoys observational painting as a means to investigate the intricacy and tranquility of nature. Learn more about Christa on her artist website (CLICK HERE). 

Email: Christa@methowartsalliance.org


Lore Smart

Youth Arts Initiative Instructor

Lore is the Youth Arts Initiative (YAI) Instructor for Peshastin-Dryden Elementary K-2 for the Cascade School District in Leavenworth, WA. Lore earned her bachelor’s degree in Family and Consumer Sciences-with an emphasis in interior design. She is currently attending Central Washington University, earning her master’s degree in Teaching. Lore has a deep passion for art and educating others on the importance of creative thinking.  A strong believer of original expression, Lore is drawn to the beauty and uniqueness of animals and earths landscapes, providing the perfect springboard for her diverse paintings. Her love for children drives her passion for teaching. With four children of her own, Lore and her husband love taking their family on many outdoor adventures including: skiing, paddleboarding, hiking and surfing (we need a lot of garage space for all our gear).  Residing in Wenatchee, WA, Lore finds her greatest joy in creating memories with her loved ones.

Email: lore@methowartsalliance.org


Amber Zimmerman

Youth Arts Initiative Instructor

Amber Zimmerman is the lead Youth Arts Initiative (YAI) Instructor at Alpine Lakes Elementary in the Cascade School District. Art is a way of life for Amber and her family. A fourth-generation artist, Amber earned her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Art from Evergreen State College. Amber has taught art extensively in the Cascade School District, developing and delivering both the KArt and LEAAP (Leavenworth Elementary Art Appreciation Project) programs in K-2 and K-5 respectively. She is active in the Leavenworth arts community, participates in gallery exhibits, and teaches community art classes for students and adults. She has participated in Washington State’s Teaching Artist Training Lab (TAT Lab) and Icicle Fund’s Conservation, History, and Art (CHA) residency. A mother of two, Amber refers to art as “the great problem-solver” and looks forward to helping students explore visual arts in a strategic, sequential way.

Email: amber@methowartsalliance.org