A couple months ago, you got to meet the Business Development division of Salt Lake City’s new Department of Economic Development. The Department is made of three (yes, three) divisions: Business Development, the Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City (RDA), and the Salt Lake City Arts Council.

If you enjoyed getting to know the Business Development team, you’ll enjoy getting to know the rest of the department throughout the week! Today, we introduce the Arts Council staff.


Karen Krieger is the Executive Director of the Salt Lake City Arts Council and works on activities and programs that create a vibrant city through the arts. She has planned, funded, and implemented cultural programs of many forms for over 25 years. Karen currently oversees the City’s arts grant program that provides arts funding to local arts organizations and schools, public art program, Living Traditions Festival, Twilight Concert Series, Brownbag lunch concert series, Guest Writers series, and a full slate of visual art exhibitions in the Finch Lane Gallery. When she’s not attending great local arts events, you can catch Karen at an Oktoberfest. If there’s one happening where she is, she won’t miss it because she loves to (wait for it)… polka.


Kelsey Ellis is the Arts Council’s Assistant Director. She has over 10 years of experience in the nonprofit arts community. She has worked teaching arts education programs, directing grants programs, and managing budgeting processes. Kelsey will never miss the chance to watch Star Wars, especially if it comes with a cold amber ale (sounds like a nice night in if you ask us). Also, she can sing any line to any Disney song at the drop of a hat (if only that were a useful talent).

Kandace Steadman-color-John Schaefer photo

As the Visual Arts Program Manager for the Salt Lake City Arts Council, Kandace Steadman manages a roster of changing exhibitions, a Guest Writers series, continuing education classes, and public programming. Kandace’s experience is extensive, so we’ll just say she has many years of high-level positions at numerous museums across the country – and she’s also used her talents to teach (Westminster College). When she’s not working, Kandance enjoys hiking, creating mediocre art (gotta love the honesty), and is a recovering food blogger and marathon runner.

Jesse Bio Photo

Jesse Schaefer is the Arts Council’s Performing Arts Program Manager, with over 15 years of experience in planning, developing, and implementing performing arts programs. Jesse’s experience includes stints with the Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival in New York, AFI Dallas International Film Festival, and CineVegas Festival in Las Vegas. In his off-time, Jesse enjoys spending time with his family and camping and exploring the canyons of Southern Utah (if you couldn’t tell from his photo).


Dana Hernandez, the Salt Lake City Arts Council Public Art Program Manager, began her career as an industrial and systems engineer in San Diego, California. In 2009 she decided to follow her passion for arts and culture, which led her to Utah to begin a master’s degree at the University of Utah in art history. Since she’s gotten here, Dana has engrained herself in the local arts community, working with and volunteering for Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Utah Film Center, CUAC, Utah Division of Arts and Museums, and more. When she’s not immersing herself in art, you can find her hiking in Millcreek Canyon or eating a bowl of Golden Grahams (we have to stay young and fun somehow).

Wendy Evanoff

Wendy Evanoff joined the Arts Council in 2015 as Office Facilitator. She has 15 years of experience in banking and business management. Her work at the Arts Council consists of managing the financial operations, payroll, bank accounts, and coordinating staff schedules. Wendy was born in Roswell, New Mexico. Naturally, her kids think she is of Alien descent. (She is pretty super-natural if you ask us.)