Our Excellent Teaching Staff
The Guild offers weekly classes in dance, music, theater, literary and visual arts. Students, young and old, novice and experienced, are invited to explore their creative voices as they are guided by teachers who are working professionals, certified art instructors and passionate artists.
El Guild ofrece clases semanales de danza, música, teatro, literatura y artes visuales. Los estudiantes, jóvenes y mayores, novatos y experimentados, están invitados a explorar sus voces creativas mientras son guiados por maestros que son profesionales en activo, instructores de arte certificados y artistas apasionados.
GUILD CLASS LEADERS & FACILITATORS
Jennie Autonoe is a visual artist and writer of poetry and prose, has released a children’s book and a poetry book, and is currently working on a graphic novel, as well as a new painting series. She is a credentialed teacher, bilingual in Spanish, and currently the Education and Engagement Manager for the Guild. She considers art to be a gathering point for people of all ages, backgrounds and proficiencies… it’s one of the “foods” of the heart and soul.
Ana Baez Fredrickson Ana Baez Fredrickson is a teacher, dancer, and choreographer. She founded the Guild’s Baile Folklorico Mexicano group in 2005. While living in Sinaloa, Mexico, Ana earned degrees in dance, choreography, and folkloric arts, as well as dancing professionally with the Folklorico group Mukila Mazo for 15 years. Before moving to the Northfield area, Ana served as director of dance education for the state of Sinaloa
Joshua T Berglan is a renowned personality in the field of new media and the inventor of “Media Company in a Box”. As a Partner and Executive Producer for Dirt Merchants Movie Company, he utilizes this innovative concept in his work. Known as the “World’s Mayor”, he has produced award-winning films and TV shows, earning accolades as both a filmmaker and a talk show host. He is also a two-time international best-selling author. Beyond his professional achievements, Joshua is deeply passionate about teaching youth media literacy and advocating for those battling mental illness, HIV, sexual identity issues, trauma from abuse, and injustice. His commitment extends to his personal life, where he cherishes his family, his partner in life, love, and business, Jessica, and their two amazing daughters.
Tasha Bokman has been working with adults with disabilities and on the autism spectrum for several years as part of the Guild’s “Creating Community Club” class.
Bill Cooper has been involved in the film, video and television industry for 40 years working primarily as an actor. He’s appeared in over thirty films, hundreds of television commercials and corporate projects. In 2003, he expanded his artistic journey to producing and directing short films. That led to three feature films that have gotten worldwide distribution. His most recent film, CHARCOAL SKIES won numerous awards and is distributed by Mill Creek Entertainment. In addition, Bill created the Twin Cities Acting Studio (www.billcooper.info) and served as the Managing Director of the Twin Cities Film Fest (www.TwinCitiesFilmFest.org). Currently, Bill is the Founder/Co-Owner of HafAple Films (www.HafApleFilms.com).
Zoe Davis is a Career Coach at St. Olaf College by day and has an extensive background in music, theater, and dance. Before her career in education, Zoe worked in Northern California as a private violin, piano, and voice teacher, ballroom dance instructor, pit orchestra musician, podcast editor, and music composer. Zoe is excited to bring her performance and art experience to the Northfield community and especially loves helping wedding couples prepare for their first dance. Zoe lives in Northfield with her fiance Cameron and their two cats, Simba and Otter.
Rafael Estrella is a graduate of Carleton College, a certified art educator, and currently teaching for the Northfield School District. When he is not teaching art, he is drawing, creating ceramics, coaching, playing soccer, or reading.
Julie Fakler creates vibrant original domestic animal paintings and pet portraits. She received individual artist grants from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council for projects that promote animals from the Prairie’s Edge Humane Society (2011), S.A.F.E. Sanctuary (2014), and Southeastern MN Farm Animal Portraits (2017). Fakler is the Visual Arts & Education Director at the Paradise Center for the Arts, and sits on the SEMAC Arts Advisory Panel. She holds a BFA in painting and drawing from Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Recently Julie has received a 2021 Creative Support for Individuals grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board.
Iaswarya (Ice) Ganapathiraju was born in India but raised in Northfield from the age of seven. As a child, she learned several styles of Indian classical dance and never wasted an opportunity to get her Bollywood shoes on. As an adult, she further developed an interest in hip hop and got her regular dance fix from learning KPOP choreographies with friends. Dancing and teaching dance are two of her favorite hobbies and she’s excited to continue doing both.
Fred Gustafson taught Art for 39 years in the Duluth Schools, before moving to Northfield about 5 years ago and became involved with the Northfield Arts Guild Clay Studio. His work reflects his interest in both Mexican Folk Art as well as Chinese Brush Painting: Hua.
Rachel Haider is an accomplished theater arts director, instructor, and performer working with both adults and children of all ages. Her extensive resume includes work with professional, community and educational theaters. Some of her recent area productions include Newsies Jr, The Humans, Peter and the Starcatcher and It’s a Wonderful Life. She has taught in public and private schools, as well as with several arts organizations. Rachel founded, manages and directs the award-winning Purple Door Youth Theater.
Judy Kutulas has been an amateur potter since high school who found an outlet for her interest at the Guild about 15 years ago. That interest has intensified since she retired from her day job, teaching History, Gender, and Film\Television classes at St. Olaf College. She is also on the Arts Guild’s Board of Directors, where she advocates for all things clay
Melissa Martinson began to fall in love with clay in the fall of 2013 by taking ceramics courses with Ron Gallas at St. Olaf College. Melissa has taught clay classes to children and adults at multiple art centers. While teaching, Melissa hopes to teach others the impact clay can have on an individual. Melissa is currently a Licensed Social Worker at Rice County Social Services and is currently attending Adler Graduate School to pursue a master’s degree in Art Therapy.
Stephen McKenzie has found printmaking to be his medium of choice since undergraduate days at St. John’s University. Upon introduction there was an instant rapport with the process. Further academic pursuits involved a Master’s degree at St. Cloud State University and an MFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. Throughout McKenzie’s career he has maintained an artistic output that has garnered him praise and awards for his work. Additionally he has sought to expand the horizons of printmaking by taking the medium to the streets, so to speak. His move to Northfield has begun the third act of his life for which he intends will be his most productive period of creativity.
Victoria Nolasco is a 38 years old mom of 4 kids. She’s been a Northfield resident for more then 20 years, and started her fitness journey 6 year ago, and has been a Zumba instructor for 5 years. She is so happy for each and every one who attends her classes, because they have fun forgetting about the every day problems life. In her Zumba classes she sees people let go of stress and show happiness every time they finish a class. “You also burn more then 600 calories!” she says. Victoria’s classes are for everyone, at all levels, and everyone is so welcome.
Susan Shirk is returning to the Guild to teach Music Together Family Classes after taking some time off to raise her own children. She also owns and instructs at North Star Haidong Gumdo, a martial arts school in Northfield.
Kate Stuart teaches dance, dance fitness, and music in Northfield and the Twin Cities. She has been involved with the Guild teaching dance and music since 2009, and more recently has participated in several Purple Door Youth theater projects as costume supervisor and as stage manager. Kate is also the Music Director of the Twin Cities Recorder Guild and the costume designer for Baile Folklorico at the Northfield Arts Guild.
Jessica Linn Toft is an educator, entrepreneur, and mother of two. She is the founder of the app Think N Grow Big, an educational networking app that offers a comprehensive learning experience that combines the best of traditional and online education. She has over 15 years of experience in education and media, and is dedicated to using her skills and experience to help young people reach their full potential. She is also passionate about giving back to her community, and is committed to raising her daughters in a community that values creativity, innovation, and social justice.
Meg Witt has been involved in the ceramics world since 2004 when she began taking classes with Ron Gallas at St Olaf College. Meg has taught classes both at Northfield Arts Guild and at the Paradise Center for the Arts in Faribault. She has also participated in the Studio Art Tour of Southern Minnesota in past years. Meg is passionate about using ceramics to express oneself and hopes that everyone can find balance in the pursuit of playing in the mud. Meg is a clinical mental health counselor at River Valley Behavioral Health and Wellness Center.