Blowing Rock Art & History Museum
159 Chestnut St
PO Box 828
Blowing Rock, NC 289605
Lee Carol Giduz, Executive Director
Lee Carol serves as the Executive Director of the museum. She is a native of Kentucky and was raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. She was lured to the great state of North Carolina first to attend camp and later to attend Davidson College where she graduated with honors with a BA in Public Policy. She and her husband, Bob, live in Lenoir where they raised their 3 children.
Lee Carol has over a 25 year history of working with non-profits in a leadership capacity with over 23 years in art non-profits. Among her previous roles, she served as the Executive Director of the Caldwell Arts Council (1994-2015) and on the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Arts Council (2002-2011). Lee Carol is excited to be working with the staff and Board of Trustees of BRAHM at this exciting time in the museum's development.
828.295.9099 ext. 3008
Tom Kip, Business Manager
Tom and his wife Jann made the move to the cool North Carolina mountains from Columbia, SC in 2000 while he was working as a Project Manager/Consultant in the software and services industry for some 23 years. Shortly after that, Tom started a people development business promoting programs in customer service, management and supervision training, team building, small business development and computer skills. Other experience includes being operations manager for a printing company and to serving the Watauga County community for over 10 years as Finance Officer for Watauga County Schools at Watauga High School. Tom joined BRAHM as Business Manager in April 2017. He earned a BA in Economics from St. Andrews University and enjoys hiking in these beautiful mountains as well as aviation, including radio controlled flight. Tom and Jann reside in Blowing Rock and have 4 children between them as well as nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild. “I’m excited to be a part of BRAHM, a wonderful cultural offering for Blowing Rock and look forward to furthering BRAHM’s impact on the community.”
828.295.9099 ext. 3003
Mark Brackbill, Facilities Manager
Mark and his wife, Linda Hanawalt, purchased a farm in Banner Elk several years ago while living and working in Florida. In 2015, they decided to make the High Country their year-round home. Since 1999, Mark has been a small business owner. He has owned a painting and renovation company and has managed several rental properties. In Florida, Mark and Linda owned retail and foodservice businesses. BRAHM’s Business Manager, David Harwood, said, “We feel very fortunate that Mark is taking over the care of the Museum’s facilities. Through his own business experience, he understands the needs of a building like this and his expertise is exactly what we were seeking. I know he’ll make significant contributions to the organization.”
Dianna Cameron, Curator of Exhibitions & Collections Director
Dianna has served as the Curator at the Museum since July 2014. She graduated from Appalachian State University with degrees in Arts Management and Studio Art. Previously, Dianna curated for the Looking Glass Gallery on campus and held positions at both the Smith Gallery and Turchin Center for the Visual Arts. She lived in New York while completing a curatorial internship at the Museum of Modern Art in New York after graduation, and returned to the mountains of North Carolina after finding a love for small cultural organizations. Her roles include curating and developing exhibitions, acting as registrar for the collection, managing changeovers in the galleries, leading tours and talks, and assisting with the long-term development of the Museum’s exhibitions and collections departments overall. Outside of the Museum, but never really far away, she finds herself exploring the Blue Ridge Parkway, enjoying a craft beer in town, experiencing culture in nearby cities, or spending the evening at home with her artistic husband, fluffy gray cat, and two little dogs. Her dedication to the Museum stems from a belief in always giving back to something much greater than herself.
828.295.9099 ext. 3007
Jennifer Garonzik, Education Center Coordinator
After graduating from Thomas Johnson High School Magnet Program for the Visual and Performing Arts, Jennifer earned her BFA in Fine Arts from UNCG with additional coursework in Education. She has taught art in both private and public settings. After spending 12 years in the fields of deadline oriented print graphic design and educational publishing, she is eager to return to the creative classroom. Jennifer has lived in the High Country with her husband, Michael, for 17 years, enjoying the hiking and scenic beauty that brought them here from Frederick, Maryland. She volunteers at Blowing Rock School, where her son currently attends and her daughter will begin kindergarten this fall.
828.295.9099 ext. 3010
Amanda Melanson, Visitor Services
Amanda is a native of Melbourne, FL, and moved to Banner Elk, NC in 2016. She obtained a B.A. with a concentration in studio art and art history, starting at the University of Central Florida and finishing at Florida International University. After taking a few months off to enjoy the mountains, she will then work on a masters in art conservation. In her spare time, Amanda enjoys watching old films with her high school sweetheart, lounging around the house with her two rescue cats and tortoise, and working on various art projects.
828.295.9099 ext. 3001
Jonathan Smith, Marketing and Communications Director
Jonathan has been involved in graphic design and communications for nonprofit organizations since 2000. While working as a youth director in the coalfields of Appalachia he realized that the small nonprofit organizations he worked with would significantly improve relationships with clients and donors through quality design and thoughtful marketing. Armed only with an inquisitive mind, a tenacious will, and a desire to leave the world better than he found it, he taught himself the skills to achieve his goal. Jonathan’s nontraditional experience in marketing ranges from local nonprofits to corporate global efforts spanning 24 languages in 33 countries. He serves as president of the Board of Directors for The Children’s Playhouse (a local children’s museum), and has been involved with the sexual violence prevention efforts of OASIS, Inc. Jonathan lives in Blowing Rock with his wife, Corinne, preschool-aged son, Graison, and a large grey and white cat.
828.295.9099 ext. 3004
Ashley Warren, Administrative Assistant
Originally from just outside of New Orleans, Ashley moved to North Carolina in 2005. She attended UNC-Chapel Hill and graduated with a BFA with a concentration in Art History. While at UNC, she focused on film photography and working in the analog darkroom. In August 2012, she became the store manager at the Music & Arts located in Cary, NC, which is one of the chain's highest volume stores. Steeped in the music, art, and cultural diversity that southeast Louisiana offers, she loves jazz and blues, always wants to know the best restaurants in town and tries to remember that working hard should always be followed up by playing hard. She is also a freelance photographer and musician, frequently traveling across the state for work, new experiences, and to explore. Through her love for art as well as her talent for business and management, Ashley hopes to be a valuable addition to BRAHM and is excited to be a part of the museum's current period of growth and transition.
828.295.9099 ext. 3005
Leila Weinstein, Education & Outreach Director
A New York City native, Leila has lived in the mountains of western North Carolina for the past decade. She received an MA in Appalachian Studies from Appalachian State University and a BA in history from UNC-Chapel Hill. She has been a college instructor, director of Caldwell Junior Appalachian Musicians, and cheesemaker. Since 2013, she has explored the culture, history, and arts of this diverse region with children and adults as BRAHM’s Director of Education and Outreach. She enjoys playing music, traveling, growing vegetables, and learning tidbits of all kinds.
828.295.9099 ext. 3006