“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” – Pablo Picasso
The Gallatin Arts Council is a non-profit 501(c)(3) arts organization dedicated to supporting and encouraging the growth of artists and the arts in Gallatin, Tennessee and surrounding areas.
The Gallatin Arts Council was first launched in 1993 and has been serving the Gallatin Area for almost 28 years by hosting classes, bringing in world-class performers, and more.
Megan Lange is a singer, dancer, and bandleader with a passion for the performing arts. She has served on the Gallatin Arts Council since November 2019 and is excited to see it grow!
Kristina Howard is a Gallatin calligrapher/stationer who came to Sumner County after graduating from Florida State University in 2002 with degrees in Theatre, Spanish, and Education. She has lived in Michigan and Florida, and in her travels between them, she always felt Tennessee would be her true home. Kristina sings in the choir at First Baptist Church Hendersonville and has performed on stage at Hendersonville Performing Arts Company before serving on their board of directors for several years. She met her husband, Judge David Howard, while performing in the Gallatin Candlelight Cemetery Tour, and together they are raising a wildly imaginative little boy.A self-confessed “nerd”, she draws inspiration from all her favorite fandoms, as well as nature, theatre, books, and ballads of yore. Her creative outlets include lettering, watercolor, knitting, spinning, tatting, nail art, cardmaking, miniatures, and even the occasional prizewinning gingerbread construction. Though not a quilter herself, she attends the AQS International Quilt Show in Paducah, KY every year to celebrate their artistry.Kristina loves seeing young artists find their own inclinations, natural talents, and potential for wonders through creative means, and she is very excited to help the Gallatin Arts Council inspire a new generation.
Anastasia is an old soul creative spirit. She likes to dabble in DIY decor, repurposing old into new, antiquing hunts and crafts, floral arrangements and potting, playing with herbs, mural painting, modern cross stitching, and working with acrylics. She is a self-taught artist and has always been passionate about creating! Another passion of hers is homesteading, and on her mini farm she raises chickens, rabbits, and ducks, where her nurturing heart goes into both her animals and her artwork. In the summer, she can be found on a trail in the woods and in the winter she’s often curled up with a warm cup of tea and a cross-stitch underway. She looks forward to serving on the board of the Gallatin Arts Council to better promote the culture that surrounds so many talented artists in this community and raising true awareness of the many forms of art in Gallatin!
Stephanie Benelli is an actor, singer, and performance coach who settled in Gallatin with her husband and daughter after more than a decade in New York City’s performing arts community. She currently works in voiceover performance and post-production, including work on the 2019 Grammy Award(tm) winner for Best Spoken Word Album. She is passionate about encouraging young artists and leads community creativity clubs for young people.
Currently based in Hendersonville, Tennessee, Jesse Benfield received his first platinum record in 2004 for Young Buck’s Straight Outta Cashville, and he hasn’t slowed down since. Over the course of an eighteen year career, Jesse has worked with some of the best producers and engineers in the recording industry and is credited with many recording projects, including; Willie Nelson’s Stars and Guitars, Dolly Parton’s For God and Country, Peter Frampton’s Now, and many more. As an award winning Audio Engineer, Jesse has spent many years becoming more than proficient with all aspects of studio as well as live production. Renowned for his craft, Jesse was asked to design the multi-track Meyer surround sound system for the Warhol Live exhibit at the Frist Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, the largest Andy Warhol exhibit in North America. In addition to his experience in audio, Jesse has extensive experience as a video producer and is also a talented sound designer, having contributed compositions to short films, animation, and video games.
Kirsten O’Rourke comes to Tennessee via Bethel, Alaska,. She has been a collegiate art instructor for the past 22 years, as well as a lifelong visual artist who maintains a successful portraiture business. Kirsten has a Master’s of Fine Arts in Printmaking from East Carolina University, in addition to a B.F.A. in Graphic Design from the University of Connecticut. In addition to teaching, and creating portraits, Kirsten spent 10 years as a faculty member of the Art Institute of Tennessee – Nashville, where she also served as the Director of Faculty Development. Currently, Kirsten teaches classes at Volunteer State Community College, in addition to running a summer art camp and maintaining her portraiture business.
Tiffany Brown is a Gallatin artist, creator, and small business owner. As a child, her parents spent many an afternoon browsing flea markets and antique malls, and by the age of 8, Tiffany was creating ruffle bears to sell in their family-owned small grocery store! Thus began a passion for buying, selling, and – most importantly – creating. Although Tiffany taught art in school for fourteen years, in the early 2010s she began working with a local estate sale company and, after some time, was was handed the opportunity to open up her own brick-and-mortar space. Most days, you can find her downtown at A Daisy A Day Vintage and Antique Store or running an estate sale!
Kelsi Carter is a graphic designer, photographer, muralist, painter, and overall creator.
Precious Eacholes is a Gallatin-resident with a love for music and spreading joy. Precious is a member of the current Leadership Gallatin class and spends her spare time with her husband and children as well as singing at church!
Gail grew up in Guntersville, AL, but moved to Tennessee in high school. She briefly attended the University of Alabama for one year before transferring to UT when her father was promoted to a new job in Knoxville with TVA. She married while at UT and finished college in three years majoring in biology with a math minor.Her husband left for the Marines the day after her graduation and she taught a year in Knox County while living with her parents. Over the next two years, she had two children while stationed in Quantico, VA. They then returned to Knoxville, and Gail taught to put him through law school.The Ingrums moved to Gallatin in the fall of 1976, and Gail started teaching in January of 1977 at the old Gallatin Junior High. While teaching there. she went back to school and earned a Master’s degree in special education. She continued teaching there until 1990, when she began a five-year stint of evaluating teachers across the state. Upon her return, she taught at T.W. Hunter Middle School in Hendersonville until retirement in 2002.Gail taught one year in a private school in Mississippi until her daughter was diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma, at which point Gail spent time with her getting treatments in DC until her death in 2005. Her parents were in a serious auto accident in 2004 and she spent a great deal of time caring for them in Alabama until 2012. She still lives in the same old house on East Main.Gail has been on the Gallatin Arts Council longer than any of our other members, and has been referred to as “a scientific type – who appreciates art and culture but is not necessarily a performer herself.” She has dabbled in many art forms, but most recently uses her artistic ability to enjoy “paint parties” with her grandaughter and arrange flowers – in fact, she’s created a unique flower arrangement every day for the past year!
Cole Shepherd is originally from rural Fayette County, Alabama. After receiving his master’s degree from the University of Alabama, he entered the military and served 20 years as an intelligence officer. Upon retiring from the Air Force, Mr. Shepherd served an additional 10 years as a senior intelligence officer with the Defense Intelligence Agency focused on China- related issues. During his period of military and civilian government service, he served in multiple diplomatic postings, including as Senior Advisor at the US Embassy, Beijing, China. Additionally, Mr. Shepherd completed combat deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Horn of Africa. Mr. Shepherd and his wife, Denise, became Gallatin residents and bought a home in Gallatin’s Historic District in 2013. Continuing military/government service required frequent absence from Gallatin. The Shepherds finally were able to relocate full time to Gallatin in December 2018 after retirement from government service. Mr. Shepherd currently works for UBS in Nashville and is active in community service including voter registration, serving on the board of Historic Rose Mont, and volunteering with local food assistance.
Raised in Gallatin from the age of around one, this has always been my hometown. I grew up on Ziegler’s Fort Road a quarter mile past Bledsoe Creek State Park. I’m a graduate from Gallatin High School and Volunteer State Community College via Tennessee State University nursing program. I have been a board member for the Sumner County Museum from 2017 to present as well as a member of the Sumner County Historical Society since 2018. My fiancé and I have two adult children that have left the nest and we have lived in the historic district of Gallatin since 2015.