Staff Bios

Julie Horn, Interim Executive Director

Julie is the visual arts director for the Maine Arts Commission and manages the State’s Percent for Art program. She relocated to Augusta after working for six years as the director for visual arts, craft, media and design at the Tennessee Arts Commission in Nashville. Her tenure there also included curating and managing the TAC gallery. Her education includes a BFA in painting from the University of Arizona, a MFA in print media from Cranbrook Academy of Art, and a fellowship at the Wexner Center for the Arts, at The Ohio State University. Her professional work experience includes facilitating a variety of studio and lecture classes at several colleges in middle TN and serving as adjudicator for grants for Louisiana and Tennessee. In 2013 she was invited by Tennessee’s First Lady Crissy Haslam to curate TN craft and traditional artwork for the TN Executive Residence. She is also a published writer of art criticism for Numbers Inc., Art Papers and the Nashville Scene. She was the curator of public programs for the Frist Center for Visual Art and has received her certification in both nonprofit leadership and nonprofit management. In 2016, she was an invited speaker at Center for Craft, Creativity and Design, on Contemporary Craft Apprentice Programs and served on the panel, Being and Doing: Legacies of Creative Practice and Education, at Black Mountain College. She also serves as a member of the Maine/New Brunswick Cultural Task Force. 

Contact Julie Horn | vog.eniam@nroh.eiluj | 207-287-2790

Eli Cabañas, Grants & Website Manager

Eli joined the Maine Arts commission with over 15 years of web design and development experience. He spent most of his career in New York City using his background in economics, video production, and website design to bring content and stories to life for financial companies and news organizations. Eli left the city in 2016 to be closer to his family. He moved to Friendship, Maine where he was immersed into a wonderful life of art and lobstering. Most mornings he worked as a sternman out of Friendship Harbor. He also worked with artists to create digital and physical presences throughout his mid-coast community. Equipped with a diverse skillset, he hopes to do his part to support artists and achieve the goals of the Maine Arts Commission.

Contact Eli Cabañas | vog.eniam@sanabac.ile | 207-287-6746

Kimberly Jablon, Office Manager 

Kimberly has a deep appreciation for the arts and enjoys photography and other creative outlets. In addition to her office management experience for over 10 years, she has held positions in the Chicago area as a corporate photographer, freelance photographer and studio specialist, editing architectural photography. Kimberly has a passion to serve in the local community by organizing and leading a monthly community dinner, as well as  feeding hungry hikers at different access points along the Appalachian Trail. She has a bachelor’s degree in photography from Grand Valley State University, in Michigan.

Contact Kimberly Jablon | vog.eniam@nolbaj.ylrebmik | 207-287-2724

Sheila Jans, Regional Development Director

Sheila is the Regional Development Director at the Maine Arts Commission, a new part-time position that focuses on extending the Commission’s presence and support in under-resourced areas in northern Maine. A native of Canada, Sheila grew up mostly in the Maritimes, moving from Montréal to Maine in 1997. She brings a long history of direct and on-the-ground experience in urban and rural environments, and with private, public, and nonprofit sectors. Her work is rooted in the idea that art and culture are powerful forces to build better places to live – she’s motivated by the possibilities that emerge when culture, place, and the economy intersect. Sheila has presented nationally and internationally, and designed Project Cultivate, an initiative that grew from her creative economic research with the University of Maine. She serves on the Maine Policy Review Editorial Board and Cultural Alliance of Maine, and has served on multiple committees and state-wide boards, such as the Maine Humanities Council. Sheila has a B.A. Honours Art History from Carleton University in Ottawa. Along with her part-time position with the Maine Arts Commission, she continues to work in cultural development with her consultancy, CultureWorth. Sheila lives with her husband in Madawaska of Maine’s St. John Valley, a stone’s throw away from New Brunswick and Québec.

Contact Sheila Jans | vog.eniam@snaj.aliehs |

Khristina Kurasz, Program Director

In April 2022, Khristina Kurasz joined the Maine Arts Commission as the new Director of Special Projects. She comes to the Maine Arts Commission having spent the past two years at The Lunder Institute for American Art, Colby College Museum of Art as their Manager of Operations and Special Projects. Khristina brings a holistic view of the arts, Maine's creative economy and workforce development to her position. She holds a B.A in health arts and sciences from Goddard College and an M.F.A in creative writing from Fairfield University. She lives in Pittston, Maine in a historic home on the Kennebec river with her husband Edward, their two cat friends, and Kupcakes the Shiatzu. 

Contact Khristina Kurasz | vog.eniam@zsaruk.anitsirhk | 207-287-2713

Ryan Leighton, Communications Director

 Ryan Leighton grew up with a healthy dose of fishing culture and tales from the sea. A native of Boothbay Harbor, Maine, he realized he might not be cut out for the salty life of lobstering, Leighton attended the University of Maine in Orono to study journalism and advertising. His passion for storytelling has taken him from reporting in small town coastal newspapers, to writing on the high seas aboard a 19th century whaling ship. Before joining the Arts Commission in January of 2017, Leighton completed a full length documentary film about walking the Appalachian Trail. In 2018 his documentary won Best Maine Film at the Maine Outdoor Film Festival. In his current position at the Maine Arts Commission, Leighton says he enjoys the art storytelling through the power of digital content creation. 

 Contact Ryan Leighton| vog.eniam@nothgiel.j.nayr | 207-287-7050

Danielle Moriarty, Program Director

Danielle comes to the Maine Arts Commission from Massachusetts having previously worked for the City of Newton as the Associate Director of Cultural Development. In this role, she was actively involved in arts and culture planning, supporting the local creative community, facilitating cultural events and programming, and cross-sector collaboration through the arts. Danielle’s dedication to connecting people to creative ideas and places has been a lifelong passion. She is a strong advocate for integrated cultural resources and programming and fostering spaces for arts and culture in our communities. She is particularly interested in creative placemaking/keeping efforts, public art, and socially engaged art. Outside of work, she’s taking care of her houseplants, checking out local art and cultural experiences, trying new restaurants, or you might find her at a bakery searching for the world’s greatest almond croissant. Danielle holds a BLA in Cultural Studies and MPA in Public Humanities and Arts from UMass Lowell.

 Contact Danielle Moriarty| vog.eniam@ytrairom.elleinad 207-287-6719

Martha Piscuskas, Program Director

Martha brings 30 years of nonprofit organizational leadership alongside a deep understanding of the State’s issues. Most recently she was Executive Director at Waterfall Arts, the community arts center in Belfast that she co-founded in 2000.  One of five siblings, all artists, with parents in secondary education, Martha grew up immersed in active creative inquiry. In addition to serving on her local school board, she has led and founded numerous Maine organizations including MaineShare, Maine Center on Economic Policy, and Maine Initiatives. Martha has presented nationally and served on multiple boards, including as the Chair of the Waldo County Fund of the Maine Community Foundation, and the Chair of the Maine Board of Haymarket People’s Fund. A member of the Zeta class of Leadership Maine, she holds a BA in Cultural Anthropology from Wesleyan University, and a BFA from the Maine College of Art. A longtime resident of Waldo County, Martha lives on a homesteading solar-run farm with her family.

Contact Martha Piscuskas| vog.eniam@saksucsip.ahtram | 207-287-2750