The Staff

General contact questions?
Call 541-754-1551 or Email The Arts Center

Cynthia Spencer-Hadlock

Executive Director

Cynthia moved to Corvallis in 1985 and immediately became a member and volunteer of The Arts Center. She continued to support The Arts Center over the years, becoming Executive Director in 2014. Prior to The Arts Center, she was Director of Corvallis Fall Festival and sold her ceramic work in galleries across the United States.

As a professional artist, Cynthia understands the challenges of leading a creative life and running a business. When not in the office, she enjoys time with her dawgs and husband.

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Barb Malloy


Barb, an economics graduate from UCSD, moved to Benton County in 1995 in time to see the 75-year flood. She learned to love the rivers and trails while leading the child care center staff right next door to The Arts Center. Her last full-time position was at the Benton Community Foundation as Operations Manager.

She appreciates this creative and generous community, enjoys volunteering, sings in a choir, loves nature hikes, and paddles rivers and lakes.

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Claire Elam

Artist Accelerator Program Director

Claire joined The Arts Center in 2017 as the Artist Accelerator director and is most excited to support professional development and community for artists through career-building workshops and meetups. Claire comes to The Arts Center with a diverse background in non-profits, startup sustainability, and a BFA from Bennington College in Painting & Ceramics.

She also enjoys backpacking and learning about behavioral sociology. Claire thinks that the view from Chip Ross Park is pretty great.

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Ellen Fuller

Business Manager

In 2015, Ellen brought more than three decades of government, government contracting, non-profit and small business owner experience to a Business Manager position at The Arts Center. She attended Oregon State University and graduated from Linn-Benton Community College with a Certificate in Supervisory Management. She has volunteered at the state and local level for over 40 years with various Boards of Directors, the 4-H Program and Boy Scouts.

She enjoys photography, cooking, reading, and spending time with her family. Her favorite places in Corvallis are the plant nurseries.

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image of person with short brown hair, glasses wearing read shirt

Carl Conner

Arts Learning Coordinator

Carl Conner (they/them/theirs) is incredibly excited to be joining the team as the new Arts Learning Program Coordinator.

They are excited to combine their love for the arts with their passion for community & youth engagement. They moved to Corvallis in 2016 from southern Oregon to pursue an education at OSU and graduated in 2020 with an Honors degree in Psychology.

Carl enjoys yoga, drawing, painting, cooking, baking, tabletop role playing games, and spending time with their sweet dog, Almond.

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Dawn Figueroa

ArtShop Manager

Dawn has worked with several university museum collections over the past 15 years and is currently in the process of cataloging and digitizing a collection of historic textiles and apparel at OSU. Prior to that, she managed two bead shops.  

The Corvallis community has been a great source of inspiration to Dawn’s work as an illustrator. She is a member of Voices Art Cooperative, enjoys hiking on Bald Hill, and sitting at the family table making art with her two teenage children.

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Jen Bouton

Community Engagement Coordinator

Jen returned to The Arts Center in 2017  as the Community Engagement Coordinator. She is a seasoned volunteer in the community and is excited to grow and modernize the volunteer experience at The Arts Center. Jen has a B.S. in Human Development & Social Policy from Northwestern University.

Jen has lived all over the world and has also milked cows, sold fancy Oregon wine, and written biographies of stuffed animals. Jen thinks Willamette Park has the best recreational opportunities for dogs and humans in town.

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Vanessa Smith


Vanessa has a strong background in fine arts and graphic design and is a true asset to the organization.

She enjoys spending time with her partner of 11 years and their two dogs, Arrow & Oblio, as well as learning to play the violin.

Currently, Vanessa sits on the Arts Commission for the city of Lebanon and has been greatly involved in the progression of art throughout the surrounding communities.

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black and white image of young woman, Curator Jennie Castle

Jennie Castle

Curator, Public Programs Manager

Jennie joins us to work in tandem with Curator Hester Coucke, slated to retire in September. Jennie comes from Lower Columbia College’s Rose Center for the Arts. She discovered her passion for artistic collaboration while earning her MFA in photography from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design – her love for curating was born!

When she’s not in the gallery, you can find Jennie running on the local trails and tracks, or working on her latest photo projects.