Volunteers of the Year 2019-20

We are grateful for the contributions of all volunteers, but appreciate this opportunity to honor four people who were nominated by the community and staff in recognition of their exceptional work on behalf of the Guild in our 2019-20 season! The Northfield Arts Guild was pleased to honor Birch Carlson, Christina Sauer and Jan Shoger as our 2019-20 Volunteers of the Year, and Kosmo Esplan as our 2019-20 Arts Advocate. They were honored at our Virtual Members Meeting on October 27, 2020. Please take minute to read their bios below.

Birch Carlson
From her Nominator, Rachel Haider
“Birch has been a tireless theater costume shop volunteer for several years. This requires assisting directors and designers with putting together their shows, meeting costumers and directors from other regional theaters to track down pieces, cataloging their rentals and returning them to proper storage. This requires the endless task of keeping the costume shop tidy and organized. During the theater closure, due to the pandemic, Birch continued to volunteer her time to get the Guild’s costume collection in even better shape. At all times, Birch is kind-hearted and generous with her time and approach. She is a valuable volunteer and a true star.”

Christina Sauer
From her Nominators Paul Niemisto & the CVRO Council
“When Christina arrived in Northfield she immediately identified the Cannon Valley Regional Orchestra as her musical home. She showed herself to be an energetic supporter of community music, full of ideas and willingness to contribute her many talents. Not long after, the orchestra saw her as a breath of fresh air to their cause and nominated her to the CVRO Council. During these years she has spearheaded many new efforts as well as participating often in chamber music. It was with sadness that we learned this past summer of her leaving Northfield, bound for the west coast. Many of us had no chance to wish her farewell. We hope this tribute will let her know how much we’ll miss her.”

Jan Shoger
From her Nominator, Katherine Norrie
“I have volunteered on the Guild’s Gallery Committee with Jan for many years and I am constantly in awe of her energy and commitment to the Guild. She approaches every in-person or Zoom meeting, show installation, artist reception and volunteer opportunity with unmatched energy and a willingness to help. It has been an inspiration for me to watch Jan throughout my career as an artist and teacher and to look up to her as a mentor. She is a true champion of arts education and she is an invaluable volunteer. We are incredibly lucky to have Jan Shoger as a member of our arts community who is always putting in work that goes and beyond!”

Kosmo Esplan
From his Nominators, Gerald Lillie, Laurie Lillie and Guild Staff
“Kosmo has done so many videos for the visual arts program, he’s volunteered for the theater by box officing, ushering, and every behind-the-scenes role imaginable. He is always ready and willing to help wherever he’s needed. Kosmo is highly committed to the success of the Northfield Arts Guild and willing to give hours and hours of his time to support every aspect of the Guild. His dedication to supporting the Guild and offering his skills and talents is even more important now with Covid-19. His volunteering has allowed the Guild to remain prevalent and visible on social media.”