2021-22 Board of Directors
President/Tucson Folk Festival Director – Matt Rolland
Vice-President – Greg Aiken
Secretary – Don Copler
Treasurer – Claud Blackburn
Gertrude “Gertie” Lopez
Carra Stasney (“Mamma Coal”)
Board of Directors Meetings are currently be held virtually the second Tuesday of every month from 7:30-9:00 p.m.
If you would like to attend the Meetings open to Members, Staff and Volunteers, please request to be added to the ZOOM distribution list by emailing the President , here.
You can contact the officers and/or board members using the contact form here.
JOIN THE BOARD
The Tucson Folk Festival is produced by a passionate group of volunteers and Board members that include a diverse group of professional backgrounds. Being a part of the team who produces the annual Tucson Folk Festival is a rewarding and meaningful experience. We’re always looking for new community members interested in service! The Board is currently made up of 9 members-at-large and 4 officers on three year terms. New board members are elected each summer at the annual member meeting, or to fill a vacancy. Applications are open to the public and due June 30 of each year.
STAFF & COMMITTEES
All Board members sit on at least one project committee, working alongside many passionate volunteer staff to plan the annual Tucson Folk Festival and our year-round programming.
BOARD MEMBER BIOS
Matt Rolland enters his second year as TKMA Board President and fourth year on the Board. Matt is the bandleader and fiddler for Tucson-based band Run Boy Run and is the Director of Programs at SAACA (Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance). He is committed to cultivating the festival while respecting its roots and community-focused mission, intending on building a strong foundation for the Tucson Folk Festival’s next decade.
Greg Aiken begins his first term as TKMA Vice President and third year as a Board member. Following retirement from his role as Operations Director at Salpointe Catholic High School, Greg looks forward to his expanded role with the festival. For years, Greg has been a true “working member” of the TKMA Board, leading the charge on ground operations for our fest.
Don Copler is a long-time contributor, performer and volunteer with the Tucson Folk Festival. He currently serves as the TKMA Board Secretary, and also assists in maintaining our membership database. Don has been a member of the Arizona Balalaika Orchestra since 1985 and has been part of the Stringbean Folk Orchestra for the last five years.
Claud Blackburn continues his long-standing role as TKMA Treasurer. He enjoys traveling out to the Folk Alliance International conference most years. When he isn’t keeping up-to-date records of TKMA finances, he is living his best life in Cottonwood with wife Tieann.
Stephanie Engs has worked tirelessly to grow our membership community alongside Don Copler, as well as to oversee the musical petting zoo at the festival. You may also recognize her as Bookmans’ Community Manager. She is also a part of the KXCI Education Team and can be heard on the air as DJ Wesley Rae.
Jonathan Frahm is an author, podcast host, and music journalist and promoter whose byline includes PopMatters and For Folk’s Sake, as well as several local outlets. With our new season approaching, he continues to serve as TKMA’s Marketing Team Leader. You may run into him at Monterey Court, where he helps to manage their social media and promotions.
Ryan Green is best known as one half of Tucson-favorite acoustic duo, Ryanhood. An acclaimed musician, performer, and bandleader, Ryan has played in four separate continents and has been named “Best Guitarist” twice in the Tucson Music Awards.
Sophie Gibson-Rush has been an active performer, community radio host, and music organizer in Tucson since 2014. She has cultivated a passion for music and theatre into a multi-faceted career. Currently, Sophie works with Arizona Arts Live, where she spearheads the Tucson Studio project, and is the band Female Gaze’s creative producer and manager.
Gertrude “Gertie” Lopez is a button accordion player in the Tohono O’odham waila tradition and is a leading force in the performance and preservation of Tohono O’odham culture and music in Arizona and Mexico. She leads Gertie N the T.O. Boyz, who have found fame for their crowd-moving, old-time Waila music.
Ron Pandy is a beloved singer-songwriter who has been an active part of TKMA since its very inception. During the First Annual Tucson Folk Festival, he played along with his singing dog! Now, Ron continues his long-standing role as Board Member, helping to cultivate community events like our member social gatherings. He has also performed in the Tucson Folk Festival’s Family Show.
Eric Schaffer is a Tucson-based singer-songwriter, business owner, and leader of the band, Eric Schaffer and the Other Troublemakers. A long-standing friend of TKMA as performer, MC, and more, Eric looks forward to formally bringing his combined experience to the Board.
Carra Stasney might best be known by her Country/Americana stage name, Mamma Coal. A working mother, public school teacher and singer-songwriter, Carra is looking forward to getting to know the greater Tucson musical community through TKMA, especially when it comes to helping it grow.
Syndenn Sweet continues to serve on the TKMA Board whilst working as a singer-songwriter, artist, poet, and children’s author. She has performed in the Tucson Folk Festival’s Family Show as part of Mr. Nature’s Music Garden, is a regular representative at TKMA outreach opportunities, and is spearheading the Festival’s songwriting competition. She also runs Sad Salad Studios, a local music production company, and works as a luthier at Bookmans.