Staff Members

Ellina Kevorkian
Artistic Director

Kate Arford
Gallery and Residency Director

Joni Van Bockel
Community & Outreach Coordinator



Board of Directors

Roy M. Close (Board Chair)
Roy M. Close is a Minneapolis native and graduate (English lit., 1965) of the University of Minnesota. He spent two decades writing about classical music, dance, theater, and other art forms as a critic and editor for The Minneapolis Star and Saint Paul Pioneer Press. Since leaving the newspaper biz he has worked mainly for nonprofit organizations, including (for a short time) the Ordway Music Theatre in St. Paul and (for a long time) Artspace in Minneapolis. He has written more than a dozen plays, many poems (chiefly sonnets and limericks), and the odd letter to the editor. Before joining the Board of Directors of The Soap Factory in 2017, he served on the Boards of the Center for Arts Criticism, James Sewell Ballet, the Playwrights’ Center, the Minnesota Fringe Festival, and Frank Theater. He and his wife Linda live near Cedar Lake in Minneapolis.

Colin Rusch
Colin Rusch is a Managing Director with Oppenheimer Cos. in New York City. As such he manages research of over 40 new energy sector companies and is intimately familiar with structured finance, and capital markets. A Twin Cities native, Colin is a trained dancer and has a long history of arts administration, advocacy and networking in the region and nationally.

Joseph Butler
Joe Butler has a 30-year background in national and international community organizing, community and economic development and design/project management. A New Orleans native, Joe is a Project Manager with Artspace Project, Inc., leading the $30 million Treme’ Bell School Artspace Project in New Orleans, as well as work in Memphis, El Paso, Washington DC and Mt. Rainier, MD. He brings a significant network of national funders and experts, as well as extensive experience in project management and community engagement. His international experience includes design and project work in Durban, SA.

Rosemary Williams
Rosemary Williams is an artist and filmmaker based in the Twin Cities. She had a solo exhibition at the Soap Factory in 2010-11, an 11-channel silent video work, Belongings. Rosemary has exhibited her work locally, nationally and internationally, including exhibitions at the Drawing Center in New York, the Aldrich Museum, the San Jose Museum of Art, as well as other shows in New York, London, Berlin, and beyond. Her work has been profiled in the New York Times Magazine, the Times of London, and National Public Radio. She was a Jerome Foundation Emerging Artist Fellow in Visual Arts for 2007-8, and in 2016 became a Sundance Institute Fellow for her episodic film project in development, MXC: The Invention of Tomorrow. Rosemary received her MFA in Combined Media from Hunter College, City University of New York, and is Professor of Integrated Media at St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, MN.

Liz Summers
Liz Summers is a trusts and estates and tax attorney with a passion for contemporary art and a background in the nonprofit space.  Liz received her J.D. from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, and her B.A. in English from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio.  She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and dog.

Steve Ozone
Born in Rochester, New York, Steve Ozone lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He graduated from Ball State University in Indiana (David Letterman's alma mater) witha B.A. in Photojournalism. His work has been shown nationally and is in private collections. In 2008 he worked with the St. Bernard Project in Louisiana to photograph families displaced by Hurricane Katrina. In 2009, he received a Minnesota State Arts Board Cultural Community
Partnership grant to work with at-risk teens.

Currently he is at work on a documentary film titled The Registry. Funded by a National Park Service
Confinement Site grant, The Registry tells the story of the over 6,000 second-generation Japanese Americans trained to become Japanese linguists during WWII at Fort Snelling, Minnesota. Through translation of documents, military transmissions and interrogation these experts are credited by U.S. military personnel with shortening the war against Japan by two years.

Carol Cooksley
Carol Cooksley ventures outside her comfort zone by serving on boards that support arts. (Things she can’t do - but is fascinated by the process, outcome and participants).   With an undergraduate degree in journalism (University of North Dakota) and an MBA (University of St. Thomas), she has never had a job that focused on her writing skills - but rather jobs where she could ask the how and why and then get things done.  Her experience includes magazine publishing, public relations, investor relations, operational management of marketing firms, accounting, human resources, acquisitions and consulting.  Travel and reading are her greatest pleasures.  She likes to say she’s a knitter but really just buys a lot of yarn. Carol is from South Dakota - formerly known as “The Land of Infinite Variety” but now just “Great Places, Great Faces.”

Interested in joining the Soap Factory’s Board of Directors? 

Advisory Board

Christi Atkinson
Chris Fischbach
Mitch Redepenning
Heather Beal
Kate Iverson
Giselle Restrepo
Zach Burnett
L. Kelley Lindquist
Robyne Robinson
John Capecci
Herman Milligan
Charlene Roise
Julie Caniglia
David Moore Jr.
Alec Soth
Peter Eleey
Diane Mullin
Ben Schein
Meghan Elliott
Matt Olson
Sarah Schultz
Andy DuCett
Ryan Kronzer
Jill Smith
Alexa Horochowski
Blake Iverson
Naomi Marx

Program Committee Members

Kerry Morgan
Alexa Horochowski
Katinka Galanos
Jehra Patrick
Erik Ullanderson
Roderic Southall
Ute Bertog
Rachel Jendrzejewski
Moheb Soliman