Meet the Management Team
Director of School and Community Programs
Heidi Swevens, she/they
Director of Community Partnerships
Alexandra Turner is a teaching artist, professional development instructor, and Inclusive Arts Specialist. Alexandra works with all ages in a variety of settings including public and private schools, preschools, galleries and community programs. In addition to residencies and workshops for students and community members, Alexandra works with statewide organizations to develop and lead professional development workshops for teachers, Teaching Artists, after-school and early-childhood professionals. Alexandra joined the staff of Inclusive Arts Vermont in 2018 after three years of working as an independent contractor for Start With the Arts, Adults Arts, Arts to Smarts, and professional development programs. She brings over ten years of experience in teaching artistry. Alexandra holds a BA in Studio Arts and an M.Ed. in Arts in Education. Alexandra is an multidisciplinary artist working mainly in kiln-formed glass and digital photography.
Through her art and teaching, Alexandra investigates light, nature, and narrative and enjoys helping others to notice the beauty in the world around them and the joy in experiencing art.
When not making art or leading arts experiences, Alexandra can be found hiking, swimming or paddling with her family and dog.
Heidi Swevens enjoys people, stories, and connections. Their first summer job was at a childcare center where they engaged with toddlers and infants. After experiencing changes in their vision a couple years later, they returned to school and earned a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Vermont (UVM) in 2001. Since that time they have worked in and served a variety of organizations whose missions relate to people with disabilities, older adults and families and communities. One volunteer role led to a synchronous opportunity to show their photography in a solo exhibit they titled “Do You See What I See?” which was part of UVM’s Disability Awareness Month’s events in 2006.
Heidi was first introduced to VSA Vermont when one of her photographs was accepted in the 2011 Engage Exhibition, a juried show featuring artists with disabilities. After that initial experience, Heidi was eager to get involved with the organization including the first BOOM VT drum festival. When a staff position became available, they moved into a more formal role with the organization.
Heidi currently focuses their time with the organization’s system level efforts including professional development, capacity building, and exhibitions. As part of Inclusive Arts Vermont’s professional development team, Heidi engages with learners of all ages and appreciates developing curriculum that gets at the heart of understanding and increasing inclusion through the arts. They believe communication and accessibility can be approached as forms of art. Heidi also values the connections made with artists who have participated in the organization’s professional exhibitions and is excited to explore additional ways to support artists with disabilities.
Heidi enjoys nature, trees, rivers, hiking, snowshoeing, zip lining, writing, and much, much more. They also enjoy taking photographs of both the adventures and the simple details that remind them meaning and beauty are present in the everyday ordinary elements of life.
Director of Development & Communications
Director of Early Childhood Programs
Kat Redniss believes that the arts are one of the greatest tools for developing empathy, understanding, self-awareness, compassion, and joy! As the Communications and Development Director, Kat gets the honor of telling and sharing the stories of the powerful and beautiful work that Inclusive Arts Vermont does, showing the poignant impact this work has across our state. Kat has been connected to the work and mission of Inclusive Arts Vermont for many years before joining the staff, collaborating on numerous exhibits, programs, trainings, and recording verbal descriptions for both the Flourish and ANEW exhibitions.
Before Inclusive Arts Vermont, Kat was the Youth Programming Manager and Accessibility Coordinator for the Flynn Center, where she dedicated her days to breaking down barriers to access for performances and programs, focusing primarily on access for individuals on the autism spectrum. Prior to the Flynn, Kat worked with youth in public libraries and taught at alternative schools serving students on the spectrum and students with intellectual, emotional, behavioral, and psychological needs. Kat loves performing, and the community created by performing arts experiences. She has her MA in Teaching Educational Theater and English from NYU and her Masters in Library and Information Science from the University of Washington and a BA in English and Economics from Smith College.
Kat moved to Vermont in 2007, and found the most beautiful community of humans here. She loves floating in rivers, her cats, reading comedic memoirs, cooking food for people she loves, laughing and imagining with the awesome kids in her life, dancing, and spending time with her beloved circle of humans.
Peggy Rainville holds a BFA from Massachusetts College of Art and has over 20 years of experience leading children and adults on creative adventures. She is inspired by nature, little children, animals, and love.
In 2000 Peggy began her time at the organization as a teaching artist and in 2009 became the full-time Director of Children’s Programming (now the Director of Early Childhood Programs). In this role, Peggy leads Start With The Arts and the other children’s programming. She is continuously updating the programs to keep them relevant to the current needs in Vermont and keeps herself inspired by continuing to work in Start With The Arts as a teaching artist.
Peggy is committed to the mission of Inclusive Arts Vermont and to encouraging joy, creative self-expression, and professionalism. She carries this to her work outside of Inclusive Arts Vermont, as a visual artist in her art studio. In addition to creating her intuitive paintings and pottery, she encourages others to connect to, or reconnect with, the power of their creativity, and to find the magic that it holds.
Peggy enjoys spending time with her family, in nature, in her wildflower garden, with her horses, as a honey bee whisperer, a cuddler of cats and dogs, and all things creative.
Digital Content Manager
Megan Bent recently joined the management team at Inclusive Arts Vermont as the Digital Content Manager. She received her BFA from the School of Visual Arts in NY, NY, and her MFA and Graduate Certificate in Disability Studies from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Megan is a chronically ill/disabled lens-based artist interested in the malleability of photography and the ways image-making can happen beyond using a traditional camera. She is interested in using photo processes that reflect and embrace her disabled experience; especially interdependence, impermanence, care, and slowness. Her art has been exhibited domestically and abroad. You can check out her art at www.meganbent.com
Megan is passionate about working at the intersections of art and accessibility. She comes to Inclusive Arts Vermont with experience in making online content and virtual events accessible. She gets a lot of joy and fulfillment from working behind the scenes to create access to IAV’s digital content from writing image descriptions and alt text, transcribing interviews, or being present at virtual events for access support.