The nine-member Board of the Nevada Arts Council (NAC) is appointed by the Governor of Nevada. Board members serve terms of four years and are selected for their knowledge of and experience in the arts, and to ensure geographic and ethnic representation of all areas of the state. The NAC Board advocates on behalf of the arts and arts education in Nevada and promotes policies and viewpoints to benefit members of the creative industry and residents throughout the State of Nevada. The NAC Board attends meetings to receive public comment, develop recommendations for cultural policies and priorities for the State of Nevada, and approve grant allocations.
Jerry Schefcik, Chair, North Las Vegas
Jerry has been a Las Vegan since 1961. His college career took him to Brigham Young University where he earned his BA in Art and Design, and on to the University of Denver for a MA in Art History and Museum Training where he interned with the Denver Art Museum. He worked as curator of Visual Arts for the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center in Pueblo, CO, and then moved to the Amarillo Art Center, Amarillo, TX as its Curator of Art. From Amarillo he returned to Las Vegas. Schefcik joined the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) in 1989 as curator of the Donna Beam Fine Art Gallery; he was promoted to its director in 1991. He concurrently served as Exhibitions Curator for Nevada Institute for Contemporary Art for more than a decade and curator for the McCarran International Airport Arts Advisory Sub-Committee for five years.
As Director of Galleries, Schefcik oversees the Donna Beam Gallery and five satellite galleries throughout the UNLV campus, teaches the three-part Gallery Practices series and supervises the gallery internship program. In addition to his responsibilities at UNLV, he currently serves as a Commissioner for the City of Las Vegas Arts Commission and as a member of the RTC Arts in Transit Advisory Council. A central figure within the ever-growing Las Vegas art scene, Schefcik demonstrates his dedication to the past, present and future art endeavors of this city by contributing much of his time as an advisor, juror, and mentor to numerous arts organizations in Las Vegas and the Western Region.
NAC Board Member since 2013: Term – 8/30/2024
Claire Muñoz, Vice Chair, Reno
Claire currently serves as the Charles N. Mathewson Senior Director of Education at the Nevada Museum of Art. She has been with the Museum since 2008, serving several roles, including Director of Public Programs and E.L. Cord Museum School Director. Claire is deeply engaged in the local community and passionate about bringing organizations and individuals together through dynamic programming and education in the visual, performing, and literary arts.
Claire is co-chair of the Museum’s Diversity Team and a member of the Governor’s STEAM Subcommittee. She is committed supporting arts integration in the classroom and providing resources and access to students and educators across the state. Claire and her family moved to Northern Nevada from her hometown of Pasadena, CA in 2007 where she worked in programming and events at the Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens.
Claire received her Master of Arts in Urban Leadership from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and her Bachelor of Arts in Art from the University of California, Los Angeles. She lives in south Reno with her husband Leonard, a firefighter for the City of Reno, and their two children.
NAC Board Member since 2021: Term – 6/30/2024
Andy Lott, Treasurer, Las Vegas
Growing up, Andy wanted to be a dolphin trainer. But when he figured out engaging with audiences and mc-ing the Sea World show wasn’t actually the job, he decided to pursue a career in the performing arts instead.
Andy’s internal monologue is that of a creative thinker, problem-solver, and collaborator at the highest level. His passion for humans and helping people tell their stories means he’s adept at seeing multiple perspectives at once and making space for the power of possibility to work its theatrical magic. A graduate from the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts, he went on to earn his BFA in Dance from Marymount Manhattan College in New York City. He toured nationally with “The Wizard of Oz,” “Bye Bye Birdie,” and was the equity guest artist for The Nevada Conservatory Theatre’s 2017 production of “Peter Pan,” playing the title role. Andy previously taught and directed inside the nationally awarded Rainbow Company Youth Theatre, the City of Las Vegas company he spent his youth growing and developing his artistic point-of-view. A public high school arts educator for four years, Andy has a particular understanding of the triumphs and challenges of the southern Nevada arts education landscape; he believes strongly in the value of collaboration to develop meaningful creative learning opportunities for all students.
Andy continues to work with individuals and groups to help them find themselves in their stories. And while training dolphins is no longer at the top of his list – he remains open to new possibilities for collaboration in our community.
NAC Board Member since 2019: Term – 9/30/2023
Gail Rappa, Immediate Past Chair, Tuscarora
Gail is a professional artist who creates one-of-a-kind wearable art and sculpture from precious metals, hand carved elements, and semi-precious stones. Her work has been featured in numerous publications, articles, and group shows throughout the country. Founder and president of Friends of Tuscarora & Independence Valley, Rappa has served on the Elko Arts and Culture Advisory Board, taught for Very Special Arts in its youth detention program, served on the board of Elko Family Resource Center, and both helped create and held the position of gallery curator for the Great Basin College Art Gallery. She presently teaches metal fabrication classes part-time at Great Basin College.
Rappa moved to the small northeastern Nevada town of Tuscarora with her husband, plein-air painter Ron Arthaud, in 1997. They live and work year-round with their two young children in a brick house and assay office from the 1870’s that they have restored. If you are unfamiliar with Rappa’s artwork, check out “Wild Women Artists” at: http://www.wildwomenartists.com/
NAC Board Member since 2016: Term – 6/30/2023
Dr. Javon Johnson, Las Vegas
Javon Johnson is an Assistant Professor and Director of African American & African Diaspora studies and holds an appointment in Gender & Sexuality Studies in the Interdisciplinary, Gender, and Ethnic Studies Department at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He received his Ph.D. in Performance Studies with a certificate in Gender Studies and Cognate in African American Studies from Northwestern University in 2010. Dr. Johnson’s scholarly interests include performance, blackness, African American literature, black pop culture, slam and spoken word, black feminist theory, black queer theory, masculinity studies, black sexualities, and ethnography.
Dr. Johnson’s first book, Killing Poetry: Blackness and the Making of Slam and Spoken Word Communities (Rutgers University Press 2017), unpacks some of the complicated issues that comprise performance poetry spaces and argues that the truly radical potential in slam and spoken word communities lies not just in proving literary worth, speaking back to power, or even in altering power structures, but instead in imagining and working towards altogether different social relationships.
Having recently completed his first book of poems, Aint Never Not Been Black (Button Poetry 2020), Dr. Johnson is a creative scholar who has mounted exhibitions at the California African American Museum where he managed the History Department. A renowned spoken word poet, he is a three-time national poetry slam champion, a four-time national finalist, and has appeared on appeared on HBO’sDef Poetry Jam, BET’s Lyric Café, TVOnes Verses & Flow, The Steve Harvey Show, The Arsenio Hall Show, United Shades of America with Kamau Bell on CNN, and co-wrote a documentary titled Crossover, which aired on Showtime, in collaboration with the NBA and Nike.
NAC Board Member since 2020: Term – 6/30/2023
Melissa Melero-Moose, Hungry Valley
Melissa was born in San Francisco, CA in 1974 and spent most of her childhood living in Reno, Nevada. She is a Northern Paiute enrolled with the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe with ties to Fort Bidwell Paiute, California. Melissa holds a BFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, NM and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Fine Arts from Portland State University, Portland, OR.
Her works are a part of the permanent collections of the School for Advanced Research (IARC), Santa Fe, NM, Autry Museum in Los Angeles, CA, IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe, NM, the Nevada State Museum in Carson City, NV and the Lilley Museum, at the University of Nevada, Reno.
She is currently exhibiting regionally and nationally as an individual artist and with the GBNA art collective. Her influences are imagery found in the Great Basin landscape, petroglyphs, beadwork, and basketry from the Indigenous tribes of Nevada and California.
Melissa currently lives with her family in Hungry Valley, Nevada working as a professional artist, contributing writer for First American Art Magazine and founder/independent curator of the Great Basin Native Artists (GBNA).
NAC Board Member since 2021: Term – 6/30/2023
Mark Salinas, Reno
Mark resides in Reno where he provides public art consulting, creative content, and program management for clients including Forecast Public Art (MN), Smart Growth America (DC), and the Town of Truckee (CA). In Nevada, he provides statewide curatorial services for exhibition and arts education programming he has created in partnership with Reno-Tahoe International Airport, Nevada First Lady Kathy Sisolak, and the Nevada State Museum in Carson City.
Mark has served as an arts and culture administrator in public, private, and nonprofit sectors for nearly two decades. As a practicing public artist, he has been awarded public art commissions across the county including Times Square and Lake Tahoe as well as artist residencies in Scotland and France. Mark is the recipient of the 2019 Nevada Humanities Rising Star Award and the first Nevadan accepted to both the Leadership Institute and the Advocacy Institute of the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC).
Prior to Nevada, Mark lived in New York City for nineteen years having founded a commercial fabrication business and a community non-profit arts organization. He holds degrees from Washington University in St. Louis, Parsons School of Design in New York City, and Central St. Martins in London.
In addition to the Nevada Arts Council, Mark serves as a board member for Art Spot Reno, the City of Reno Arts & Culture Commission, the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts, and Americans for the Arts Public Art Network Advisory Council. Mark is an advocate for equity and cultural competence in the arts, believing transparent and inclusive practices create progress towards a healthy democracy.
NAC Board Member since 2017: Term – 6/30/2024
Yale Yeandel, Las Vegas
Yale’s unique and detailed sets have been bringing shows to life throughout Las Vegas since the mid-1990’s. He has designed the environment for productions from UNLV to College of Southern Nevada and high schools throughout Las Vegas, the outdoor refugee camp in the middle of Sandy Valley’s back roads to Spring Mountain Ranch, and theatre companies throughout the valley. Some of his favorite sets have been “Pump Boys and Dinettes” at CSN, “A View From the Bridge” on the Las Vegas Little Theatre mainstage, which was nominated for the Las Vegas Valley Theatre Awards Best Scenic Design, “Annie” at Spring Mountain Ranch, a fundraising production, for Super Summer Theatre, “Spring Awakening” at Majestic Repertory Theatre, which was also nominated for Best Scenic Design for the Las Vegas Valley Theatre Awards, and the Summer Melodramas for the City of Las Vegas Parks and Recreation. Yale’s
Yale is a Theatre Program Specialist for the City of Las Vegas Office of Cultural Affairs and focus much of his time on The Rainbow Company Youth Theatre, a nationally acclaimed, award-winning youth theatre group of forty dedicated students selected annually through open auditions. Serving as an Ensemble member requires participants to make a serious commitment to learning the art of theatre.
He worked at Le Reve from 2004 – 2020, where his scenic painting, set and prop work was seen five nights a week. His professional work includes innovative magic design with Penn & Teller, and back-stage work up and down the Strip for the Stratosphere, Cher and Debbie Reynolds. Creating the backdrop for great performances offers both artistic and professional opportunities, and Yale has been proud to volunteer at numerous Las Vegas high schools, training students on scenic design, painting, and construction.
A Midwestern transplant, Yale found his way to Las Vegas from South Bend, Indiana after graduating with a B.A in Theater from Indiana University at South Bend. Yale and his wife Jennifer love to travel to see their beloved Chicago Cubs take the field at the Friendly Confines and across the country.
NAC Board Member since 2019: Term – 9/30/2023