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A majority of us on the LV Arts Board have lived in Leavenworth for most of (if not all) our lives. We deeply care about our mission to build, broaden, and nurture a love for the arts in our community because this is our home and we want it to grow into an even more beautiful place.


Incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 2021, LV Arts came to life to provide more unique and tangible ways to engage with art and culture right here in our very own community.


We believe the arts wield a special ability to open our eyes and help us see our world in new and different ways. Our teams are dedicated to creating unique experiences through the arts, and we hope you'll find our programs and events to be innovative, enriching, and special. We do hope you'll support our organization as we continue to connect art and community.  

We are grateful to our community of art supporters and explorers. Thank you for believing in the power of art to create a better tomorrow. 

Michaela B. Fitzgerald

Cofounder & CEO of LV Arts


Michaela Fitzgerald

Cofounder & CEO

Michaela strives to be the person in the ring daring greatly She has lived in Leavenworth for nearly her entire life and has always been a dreamer of grand ideas, from owning a chocolate factory to making it big in a girl band. By day, she teaches Visual Art Education at Lansing High School; by night she develops plans for an awesome arts organization in her hometown that provides unique aesthetic experiences for the entire community. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Education degree from the University of Nebraska-Kearney while also devoting time to her husband and three sons. Michaela's vision for LV Arts includes establishing a physical location within historic downtown that offers a modern art gallery, a space for artistic exploration in the form of classes and programs, and a whole lot of other arts and humanities-based opportunities and events. Michaela especially appreciates modern art in its ability to challenge the societal norms of today's technologically advanced world. In addition to a serious love for donuts, Michaela is also passionate about cultivating a culture of art appreciation right here in our community and bringing downtown to life by offering creative outlets and opportunities. The future of LV Arts is bright!


Brooke Bristow

Design Extraordinaire

Loves Disney World, coffee, and her markers in rainbow order. Brooke received her BFA in Visual Communication from KU in 2005. For the past 12 years she has been working for Colonial Patterns in the Kansas City River Market district as the art director and illustrator. An avid sewer, embroiderer, and all around crafter she can be found most weekends working on a project for one of her daughters, hiking or cooking a meal with her husband. An amature at far too many crafts she loves to learn new things and will always be a student of the arts. Some of her favorite artists include: Mary Blair, Sandy Skoglund, Charley Harper, Ed Emberley, Jon Klassen, Charles and Ray Eames, Cindy Sherman, Vivian Maier, and Sister Corita Kent. She will always have a Dolly Parton song in her heart, and be on the hunt for good St. Louis style pizza in KC. She is a member of the LV Arts board because she sees a need for more artistic opportunities in our community, especially for the youth. Growing up in Leavenworth she had the Carnegie Arts Center, St. Mary's theater department and a wonderful high school art teacher to help encourage and foster her love of art. Without those things she would probably be a barista in a vintage camper or running a gift shop in Weston with her mom.

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Jennifer Tobey


Bio coming soon

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Lacey Connell


Lacey is a graduate of Manhattan School of Music where she received a BM in vocal performance. Some of her favorite stage credits include Judy Garland (u.s) in "End of the Rainbow" (Arvada Center,) Peter Pan in "Peter Pan," (Starkey Theatrix,) Dorothy in "Wizard of Oz," and Louise in “Gypsy” (Colorado Springs FAC.) Lacey is a teaching artist who is passionate about educating young performers as well as running her own private vocal studio. Her teaching experiences include music directing and leading musical theatre workshops at Roxy Regional Theatre, Nashville Children's Theatre, and the Colorado Springs FAC. Currently, Lacey is a teaching artist with the Coterie Theatre in Kansas City. Recently, Lacey completed the ETPI program in partnership with Theatre in the Park and the White Theatre at the J as an emerging music director. She looks forward to upcoming directorial and teaching opportunities as well as continuing to encourage arts growth in the Leavenworth area.


Sue Lednicky

Board Member

Even though Sue has lived in Kansas since 1981, she is a Colorado girl through and through. Back on January 8, 1958, Sue came into this world just three weeks after Elvis Presley received his Army draft notice. Yes, Elvis is one of her favorite performers. Some of this is due to the fact she shares a birthday with him and the rest is because her oldest sister listened to Elvis all the time. Besides Elvis, Sue loves the older country and music singers as well as performers from the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Sue was born and raised in Brush, Colorado, and spent vacations with her family camping in the Rocky Mountains. One place she loves to visit and can always find peace is the mountains around Estes Park and Ft. Collins, Colorado. She also loves spending time anywhere around water where she can sit or lay on sand and spend time swimming. Over the years Sue pretty much lived at football and baseball fields as her sons, John and Paul, both played. At the age of 8 Sue knew she wanted to be a teacher. At one time she though she wanted to teach elementary kids, but then in high school she found out she was really good in business classes and that led her to pursue a career in business education at the high school level. Sue has done other jobs throughout her life, but teaching is what she loves the most. Sue’s interest in the arts comes from being an observer not necessarily as a participant. Her dad drew and painted as a hobby, and she two sisters that do the same. She has always loved to read poetry, is an avid book reader and used to write imaginary short stories. When asked to join LVArts, Sue was not sure how she could help since she has not actively been involved in the fine arts; however, she is a good organizer, listener, and loves the arts as a spectator. Sue is close to retirement from education and wants to be involved in the community.


Karah Maiava-Suter

Board Member

After leaving Leavenworth for four years, Karah moved back in 2019 with a renewed sense of self and a passion to bring attention to all of the positive things about the town she grew up in. Photography is how she became reacquainted with Leavenworth, by documenting with a fresh perspective and a romanticized vision of where the city could go. As she continued taking photos, she saw how alive the city was with artistic expression and recognized the need for a hub where the community could pour into its artists. The daughter of a writer and self-taught musician, Karah grew up in a home where the arts were encouraged. She vividly remembers cleaning the house to the Phantom of the Opera soundtrack on Sundays and celebrating the end of the week dancing to The Judds. Karah also fondly remembers taking piano and voice lessons at the Carnegie Arts Center as a child and participating in the yearly Christmas program at the Hollywood Theater. Now a wife to a talented musician, Karah and her husband continue to nurture a creative environment for their own five children through local dance, theater, and art programs. Though Karah's time is limited between her work and family, she is committed to the mission of LV Arts and sees the vision at hand with such clarity, that it feels just within reach. Karah became a board member of LV Arts because she believes wholeheartedly in the artistic community of Leavenworth and the stories they have to tell. She knows that with the right pieces in place and a little kismet, the community at large will believe in them too. Some of Karah's favorite things: Storytelling through photography. Downtown Leavenworth. Devouring gluten-free pastries. Smelling non-gluten-free pastries. Movie nights at home with the family. Love letters from her husband.


Nancy Lillegard

Board Member

Nancy grew up around Nashville, TN and graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in 2007 with a BS in Biology. She then served in the United States Army for four years, which included two deployments to Afghanistan. After her time in service ended, she married Walter Lillegard. They have two school aged boys. Nancy and her family have lived in many places including Virginia, Georgia, Hawaii, and here in Leavenworth, Kansas. Nancy has been moved by art throughout her life. She started painting and drawing at a very young age. At thirteen she took an oil painting class at Volunteer State Community College with her mother and fell in love with the medium. Her art was put to the side for several years while she was in the Army and raising small children. In 2015, she started doing commissioned work. In 2019, she started working with resin casting and resin and wood projects. In 2022, she started selling at art and craft shows around Honolulu, Hi. In 2022, Life In The Moment Art became an official LLC. In 2023, she is partnering with First City Creatives to teach painting classes. Her travels and experiences have played a large role in the development of her painting style, subject, and expression. She loves a good hike with her family, working in her garden, or a gathering with friends. She will never turn down a good cup of coffee or tea and can often be found in a local coffee shop with a watercolor close at hand. Some of her favorite artist include: Monet, Van Gogh, Klimt, Alex Grey, and Jack Vettriano. As a LV Arts Board member, Nancy has the desire to share arts with the community she has been planted in. She has a deep desire for everyone to find an art to soothe their soul.


Sara Filbert

Vice President

Sara has a dual background in child development and graphic design. LV Arts provides a sense of purpose and direction as she stays home with her toddler. She strives to appreciate the outdoors and messy, varied art projects with her son on a daily basis. Sara has an affinity for typography, plein air painting, and creek exploring. Her list of favorite illustrators includes illustrator/animator Rafael Varona, children's illustrator/artist Carson Ellis, and children's illustrator/animator Christian Robinson. The world is bursting with opportunity and potential, and Sara has a vision for LV Arts. It's a place where everyone feels welcome to explore their talents, the ones they're aware of and the ones which thoroughly surprise them.

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Janovia  Glass-Martinez

Board Member

Bio coming soon

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Karen Baker

Board Member

Bio coming soon


Kurtis Ritchey

Board Member

Kurtis is a long-time resident of the Lansing/Leavenworth area, a life-long Kansan, and son of 101-year-old Mary Lou Euler. He graduated from Lansing High School and went on to study at KU, receiving a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Design and a Master's degree in Urban Planning. He also attended Washburn Law School in Topeka, KS and the Military Intelligence Officers Advanced Course in Fort Huachuca, AZ. He is employed at Fort Leavenworth, KS as an Intelligence Specialist/Capability Developer. His special interests include AI and VR/AR related to machine learning, robotics, telepresence, and transcendence. With nine US patents, six are active and two are pending. He has been a proud member of the Salvation Army Executive Board since 1996 and the High Prairie Church since 1992. He is the founder of the Lansing Historical Society, which collaborated with the Lansing Pride committee members to save Lansing's 1887 Santa Fe Depot. Kurtis and his wife, Carrie, raised three children in Leavenworth County: Kylie, Kara, and Kenneth. He works with LV Arts to explore new technologies that will advance local opportunities in our community.

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Sadie Schubert

Board Member

Bio coming soon


This could be you!

We are always looking for talented, passionate, giving people to serve on our board. Join a team that works collaboratively to ensure that Leavenworth is not short on arts-based experiences. Every voice matters!


Please complete the Board Member Information Form by clicking here.


Email if you'd like to attend a board meeting and to meet our team!

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