Administrative Offices: 518.584.4132
Louise Kerr, Executive Director
Katharine Hayes, Operations Manager
Grants & Community Relations
Charlie Owens, Grants and Community Relations Manager
Programs & Exhibitions
Christian Wechgelaer, Programs Coordinator
Kerry Connolly, Education Coordinator
Olivia Walton, Membership Coordinator
Mae Hailu, Administrative Coordinator
Born and raised in Texas, Katharine has called New York home since 2017. She grew up in her parent’s frame shop and gallery, surrounded by her mother’s watercolor paintings and an art studio. This childhood upbringing helped foster her love and appreciation for artists and artisans. Katharine has a bachelor's degree from the University of Houston in Communication Sciences and Disorders, and spent 12 years as a speech therapist, a rewarding opportunity to impact individuals and families. Katharine’s love of textiles and color inspired her to teach herself how to sew and knit, and she spends most of her evenings working on or planning new projects. She is thrilled to be a part of Saratoga Arts, an ideal place to pursue her passion for people and the arts, sharing and connecting individuals to familiar and new art experiences. In her spare time, you can find Katharine and her husband spending time with their two dogs or out on a long run.
Grants and Community Relations Manager
Charlie is an arts administrator who has worked at premiere regional theatres across the northeast, including Barrington Stage Company (Pittsfield, MA), Long Wharf Theatre (New Haven, CT) and Capital Repertory Theatre (Albany, NY), and local performing arts organizations like the Albany Symphony Orchestra and Proctors Collaborative. He studied Theatre at SUNY Albany. He has previously served on New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) Decentralization panels for the Capital Region, the FairGame grant panel and several art selection committees. Charlie is passionate about connecting artists in Fulton, Montgomery and Saratoga counties with funding and opportunity to advance their art and enhance their communities.
Kerry comes to Saratoga Arts after 12 years with Girl Scouts most recently as VP, Business Consulting at GSUSA in Manhattan and, prior to that, CEO, Girl Scouts of Northeastern NY based in Albany. Before serving in the non-profit world, Kerry held senior management positions in the industries of financial services, technology, management consulting and higher education.
A Saratoga resident, Kerry spends her time loving the arts: classical and jazz music, museum browsing, nature and historical talks and experiences, and cinema and theatre shows. She travels when she can, spends every day dabbling in her kitchen with new recipes, and is learning to watercolor. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Anthropology from SUNY Plattsburgh and her MBA from Bryant University. To work within the arts arena is a dream fulfilled for Kerry. Promoting a culture of arts within the Saratoga region is the vison for Saratoga Arts and she is excited to be part of this endeavor.
Having grown up in Saratoga her whole life, the deep ties that Mae has to the area have continuously inspired her to seek out involvement in the local community. This fervor for advocacy work brought her to Mount Holyoke College, where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Politics and Africana studies. During her time in college she focused her academic pursuits on the field of affordable housing, leading her to dedicate multiple years to various community based projects situated in the Western Massachusetts region. After graduating from college and returning to the Saratoga Springs area, Mae was able to reconnect with both a love for her hometown, as well as her deep-rooted excitement for both the written word and crochet. She is excited to continue her dedication to the Saratoga Springs community through her work here at Saratoga Arts.
Christian Wechgelaer was born and raised in Saratoga Springs and has a deep love and commitment to bettering this community. In 2021, Christian graduated from the Center for Art & Design at The College of Saint Rose with his BFA in Studio Art with concentrations in Printmaking and Photography and a minor in Art History. Having studied in such a strong and tightly knit department, in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic, further solidified the importance of community for Christian.
In 2020-21, Christian completed a remote internship at IPCNY (International Print Center New York) which provided a critical exhibitions background. In summer 2021, Christian was an instructor for Teen Summer Art Camp at Saratoga Arts which was an experience that blossomed into a part-time position at Saratoga Arts as Program Coordinator. Christian looks forward to continuing to serve his community, and to work toward providing new and exciting programs at Saratoga Arts.
Raised by two artists-turned-project managers in the San Francisco Bay Area, Olivia pairs a passion for creativity with a love of logistics. She grew up in the theater and has over a decade of acting and improv experience. Olivia graduated with a degree in English and double-minored in Business Administration and Writing, Critical Reasoning, and Public Speaking from the University of Oregon. After college, she moved north to Portland, Oregon working as a content manager, copy editor, and account coordinator for multiple international technology and standards organizations.
Olivia and her husband moved to the Capital Region in 2021 and feel very fortunate to call Saratoga “home.” Her work is rooted in the belief that everyone is an artist in their own ways, whether it’s with pastels, textiles, lumber, bread flour, or spreadsheets. She is thrilled to work within a community that seeks to make art accessible by encouraging the discovery, growth, and broadcasting of such talents.
Saratoga Arts' programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.