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The Taos Arts Council

Is a non-profit organization working to ensure that Taos County has a vibrant, vital and active arts environment. The mission of the TAC is to promote awareness, understanding, appreciation and development of all of the Creative Arts (literary, visual, tactile, musical, performing, etc.) in order to enhance the quality of life in our Northern New Mexico area.

If you would like to be involved the the TAC, please feel free to contact us anytime. We’re always inviting motivated individuals to be a part of our efforts to support the Taos Arts Community, either by participating on our boards or committees or as part of individual projects. We can be contacted via email at: or 575-224-2720 for more information.

Board of Directors - Executive Committee

Sonya Davis, President:

Sonya Davis joined the Taos Arts Council board in May 2018. She has lived in Taos since May 2017 when she accepted the position of Director of Development at the Harwood Museum of Art.

Prior to moving to New Mexico, Sonya spent nearly two decades in Florida where she worked in various non-profit leadership roles. During that time, she was the Executive Director of the Lighthouse Arts Center (Jupiter/Tequesta, FL) and later, at the Pensacola Museum of Art (Pensacola, FL). Sonya also served on the staff of the Palm Beach County Cultural Council as Chief Operating Officer and then as Vice President for Services and Education. During that time, she sat on the arts curriculum development committee for the Palm Beach County School District as well as serving six years on the board of the Florida Alliance for Arts Education, a statewide arts education and advocacy organization. She was their Interim Director in 2012-2013.

Beginning in 2012, she was a fundraising and organizational development consultant. Some of her recent projects include campaigns to build a K-8 school addition for Autistic children and to build a public skatepark under the I-110 overpass. She has helped numerous organizations, both clients and pro bono, with setting up fundraising infrastructure through their strategic planning processes.

Among her volunteer activities, Sonya was the Past Chair of National Philanthropy Day for the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) West Florida Chapter where she also served as Chapter President. In addition to her membership on the Taos Arts Council board, she currently serves on the board of Sunday’s Child, a grants-making non-profit, and on the Advisory Council for the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra. She is a current member of “Women Give” at the Taos Community Foundation.

With family roots in Minnesota, Sonya received both Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from UMN, focusing her graduate work in Art History.

Mark Griffith

Mark Griffith, Treasurer:

Mark Griffith joined the Taos Arts Council board in 2019. He is in Taos as an entrepreneurial consultant, small business coach, and arts manager supporting entrepreneurs, visionaries, and artists in their quest to connect vision to action.  He brings more than twenty years’ experience achieving creative solutions for commercial and nonprofit business concerns with entrepreneurial ingenuity and spirit.

He earned a Master of Arts in Arts Administration from Golden Gate University; and Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Texas Tech University. He was the recipient of the Arts Administration Scholarship Award, Outstanding Graduate of the Master’s Program in Arts Administration, Golden Gate University, 1995.  Mark is a co-founder of Moving On Center – School of Participatory Arts and Research (Oakland) and The Foundation for Educational Enhancement (Santa Fe). Active in artistic, cultural and professional arenas, he is a self-taught visual artist and dancer and lives the creative life.

Cindy Atkins

Cindy Atkins, Board Member:

Cindy moved to Taos upon retiring from a career in the medical device industry. Since moving here she has enjoyed giving back to the community by serving on arts and community-service related boards, docenting at the Taos Art Museum, volunteering in schools and with the Lions Club and restoring her 100+ year old adobe.

Jules Epstein

Jules Epstein, Board Member:

A Philadelphia native and graduate of the Pennsylvania State University (Graphic Design), Jules settled in the Boston area where he later founded the brand design and management firm known as Primary Design, Inc. in 1981. As CEO and Creative Director of this company, it grew to have a national following with annual sales of $5M. In the nearly 33 years that Jules led the firm, it won numerous regional and national awards for design and marketing in the areas of real estate, food, healthcare, travel and non-profit. In 2013 Jules sold the business and relocated with his wife, Georgia, and their two daughters to Arroyo Hondo, NM.

Today, Jules is a partner and gallery director at the Taos Ceramics Center – a community ceramics studio, gallery, and purveyor of ceramics supplies that was founded in 2020. He concurrently runs a part-time design consulting practice, Consulting ThreeSixty, and is the treasurer of the Atalaya Acequia in Arroyo Hondo. Since 2004, when he was first introduced to Taos, Jules has been very much engaged with the Taos arts community and has been a member of the Taos Arts Council since 2018.

Michael Gorman

Michael Gorman, Board Member:

Michael Gorman brings a wide range of experience to the table. From 2002 through 2014 he was an instructor for the American Red Cross. He trained both lay responders of all ages to professional rescuers. He also designed training programs for several restaurants during his career in hospitality as well as through the Red Cross. He has a certificate of Volunteer Management from the University of New Mexico, and a long history as a leader in the Civil Air Patrol Emergency Services and Cadet Programs. He plans to use these skills and experience to add to the Taos community and the Taos Arts Council.

Dianne Frost, Board Member:

Dianne received her Master’s of Social Work from the University of Denver.  Her professional career included work at the University of Texas and a private practice of clinical social work in Austin as well as serving on professional boards.  She was a board member and cofounder of The Spicewood Arts Society, providing the community with performing, literary and visual arts.  After retiring in 2008 she moved to Taos, devoting her time to the arts, serving on the boards of The Taos Opera Guild and Taos Soundscapes as well as working on her own art at UNM, participating in many art shows and exhibitions in Taos. 

Ann Landi, Board Member:

Ann Landi is currently Director of The Wright Contemporary, a new gallery on the Paseo: She has been an art journalist for nearly 30 years, writing for publications like The Wall Street JournalSmithsonianThe New York TimesSculpture magazine and others.

For more than two decades she was a contributing editor of ARTnews, and for six years the editor and publisher of, a website for an audience of about 2,500 artists. She is the author of the four-volume Schirmer Encyclopedia of Art, and holds degrees in art history from Princeton and Columbia universities.

Lauren Dana Smith, Board Member:

Lauren Dana Smith is a multidisciplinary artist, writer, educator and art psychotherapist. Smith relocated permanently to Arroyo Hondo from New York in 2020, where she had lived for more than twenty years. Smith’s career is rooted in non-profit leadership, community arts organizing and clinical arts psychotherapy.  Smith is a Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Taos Abstract Artist Collective, an inclusive organization for abstract artists in Northern New Mexico, offering curated and juried exhibitions, artist talks, studio visits and collaborative community concepts.

Smith owns and operates a private arts psychotherapy practice, based in New York and New Mexico.  Smith studied studio and performing arts at Skidmore College, in Saratoga Springs, New York, where she received her B.A. Smith completed the Shakespeare Programme with the British American Drama Academy at the University College of London in the UK. Smith received her M.P.S. in Creative Arts Therapy and Creativity Development from Pratt Institute in NYC, where she has also served as a faculty member since 2016.

Ekin Balcıoğlu, Board Member:

Ekin Balcıoğlu (b. 1990) is a Turkish American visual artist and editor, and the cofounder and editor-in-chief of Hamam, a print magazine dedicated to the art and culture of bathing and letting go. She is also the proprietor of Cloud Hands Studio, which specializes in ceramics and paintings. She recently began studying with painting masters Sherrie Mcgraw and David Leffel, further refining her artistic skills.

Ekin actively contributes to her community as a board member of the Taos Arts Council and a member of the Taos Ceramics Center. She contributes as a writer to Taos News and collaborates with companies such as Slowdown and Goodland. She holds an MFA in studio arts and an MA in visual and critical studies from California College of the Arts (2016) and a BA in fashion design from Central Saint Martins (2013). She divides her time between Taos, New Mexico, and Izmir, Turkey.

Additional Standing Committees:

Bylaws – Article X: Committees

All members of the Board of Directors shall serve on at least one committee. Each year at the July meeting the President shall appoint a member of the BOD to chair each of the Standing Committees (listed below). The Executive Director shall be an ex-officio member of each committee.


The Vice-President is the designated chair of the Nominating Committee. The President shall appoint at least two other members from the Board of Directors. The Committee reviews needs of the Council throughout the year, propose slate of Office / Board members and develop an orientation plan / list of responsibilities for Board Members.

President & (2) Board Members minimum
Responsible for recruiting, appraising and orienting new board members for the TAC


The Treasurer is the designated chair of the Finance Committee. The Committee assists in the preparation of the annual budget, reviews the books and records at fiscal year end, and recommends policies.

  • President & (2) Board Members minimum
  • Responsible for the review, reporting and financial policy recommendations for the TAC

Recruits, encourages and invites members, seeks to develop a diverse array of individuals and talents to insure the TAC serves a broad spectrum of the Creative Arts Community. Encourages gifts and members, knowledge of grants and funding sources, trainings and workshops for Board.

  • Focus on Longer Term Community Planning
  • Responsible for identifying grant and funding sources
  • Responsible for inviting, encouraging and recruiting individuals to participate in various projects of the TAC

Responsible for developing programming, events and activities to serve artists and audiences throughout the community. Specific activities of COC shall be carried out by ad hoc committees with the support of the Executive Director. The committee advocates, promotes, educates and on behalf of the Council, builds relationships with other organizations, creates opportunities for artists and develops / maintains communications, website, social media. Includes outreach to other communities in New Mexico and US. May assist with Art in Public Space in Art in Taos Town Hall.

  • Focus on Developing Community Interests and Resources
  • Responsible for advocating on behalf of the greater Taos Arts Community
  • Responsible for aligning with other community organizations in areas of common interests and goals
  • Responsible for marketing and communications

The president may appoint ‘ad-hoc’ committees from the Board of Directors or task teams from the membership at large, as circumstances warrant, or as directed by the BOD.

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