Norwalk Arts Center
Norwalk Arts Center is a non-profit organization founded around the mission to create art and build community. Art plays an important role in society and we want to foster a community that recognizes its importance. We pioneer events, projects, and other activities that help promote community involvement in theatre. Our projects and events are all based around this mission.
Our staff is passionate about what we do. Our staff has years of experience in the music, performing arts, and other industries. Being able to be involved in the community through something we are passionate about is something we appreciate.
The Norwalk Arts Center is built around teamwork and leadership. We have a fine staff that allows us to manage every aspect of our projects and events.
NAC Board Secretary
Mrs. Cook holds an undergraduate degree from Baldwin- Wallace Conservatory of Music in Music Therapy and obtained a Master of Arts in Theater from Regent University. Mrs. Cook is the owner of Cook Theatre Designs LLC, a freelance design and education company specializing in arts education and set, costume and prop design/production. Cook Theatre Designs, LLC has been affiliated with Cleveland Opera Theatre, Cleveland Musical Theatre, Dobama Theatre, Cassidy Theatre, Traumatic Players, French Creek Theater, Baldwin-Wallace University, Hathaway Brown Theater Institute. Heidelberg University and Community School, and Spark Theatre 4 Youth. Mrs Cook resides in Norwalk with her husband Jeff and their four sons.
Mrs. Barcus studied theatre at Kent State University. Starting her career in Cleveland, she performed as as vocalist for Dobama Theatre, Singing Angels, and other freelance work. She is a board member of Mira Family Charity and has had several executive roles with Mira Productions. Mrs. Barcus has directed several musicals for St Paul High School. In addition, she served as Assistant Director at Greenbriar and Cassidy theaters. She is currently an aide at the Early Childhood Center at Norwalk Catholic Schools and also teaches for Spark Theater 4 Youth. Mrs Barcus resides in Norwalk with her husband David and their three children.
Meet The Team
Dina is a native to the Norwalk area and the youngest of Norb & Sheila Barman’s eight children. She graduated from St. Paul High School, where she was very involved in the marching, concert and jazz bands and the church music ensemble. Following high school Dina went on to Bowling Green State University earning a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration, along with marching in the BGSU Falcon marching band. Dina is a licensed real estate agent for the State of Ohio and has been serving the buyers and sellers of the
Erie/Huron County area since 1992. She works for Ewell & Associates Real Estate in Norwalk. Along with her real estate career, Dina also plays the flute in the Last Call Trio and plays at “The 5” mass at St. Paul Catholic Church. She and her husband Jay have raised 4 children and enjoy traveling, sports and of
course…the arts! Her love for music, theater, dance and art started at an early age with tap dancing lessons, flute lessons and her admiration for the cultural diversity that live theatre exudes. Her goal as President and Fundraising Chairperson for the Norwalk Arts Center is to open the doors at 57 E. Main Street again with a vast array of performances of art, music,
dance and theatre for the Norwalk and surrounding areas to enjoy and be part of!
Kathleen Sigsworth is the board treasurer. After graduating from St. Paul High School and North Central State College with an Associate’s Degree of Applied Science, her career started in the criminal justice field where she met and married her husband, Paul.
After 10 years as a patrol deputy at the Huron County Sheriff’s Office she developed the criminal justice curriculum at Pioneer Career & Technology Center in Shelby, teaching
there until her family began to grow. She stayed home to raise her daughter, Lexie and son, Sam and took on various part-time jobs as her children grew and became more independent. She has held many bookkeeper positions over the years which has led her to her current position as Office Manager at RKS Power Solutions in Norwalk.
Kathleen’s love of music was instilled early-on, playing trombone in the band and
playing guitar at church. She has been actively involved in music ministry at St. Paul's Catholic Church for over 40 years. She is also involved in the Last Call Trio with Dina Lukasko and Tiina Ruffing. Kathleen is also Co-Chair with Vanessa Cook on the Restoration Committee tasked with bringing our beloved Norwalk Theater back to its former glory and transitioning it into a multi-faceted facility that will provide arts and education to the greater Norwalk area. Growing up in a construction family (Barman), Kathleen is no stranger to hard work ethic. She intends to use that work ethic to bring back the grandeur of the Norwalk theater.
Jeffery Cook has been involved in the arts since his youth. His family participated in family singing competitions with Grange. He was part of the school musicals and show choir. After joining the
United States Marines and finishing his tour, he again went back to the theatre performing in "Guys and Dolls" at The Ritz in Tiffin, where he met his wife, Vanessa. He was the scene shop foreman at Baldwin-Wallace College for two years. He performed on stage in the production of
You Can't Take it With You. He worked with Berea Summer Theatre as a set builder. After college, he returned to the Ritz stage again in Les Miserables, Shrek, and for the third time in his life, Guys and Dolls as well as helping out with numerous other productions behind the scenes. He currently is a cantor at St Paul and enjoys singing with the choir and the "5" band.
His love of the arts has led him to his position on the board. Jeff is excited to be a part of the wonderful journey of saving and reviving the Norwalk Theatre.
Mary Lisa Boose
MaryLisa Boose started volunteering for Norwalk Arts Center to help with grants. Inspired by the vision and dedication she saw in the board members and other volunteers, she soon found herself showing up at every opportunity to help with the mission of restoring the theater and expanding the arts in the area. A Texas native, she moved to rural Norwalk in 1984 when she married her husband, Terry. As they raised four children – Will, Brynna, Weston and Joel – she ran an in-home day-care, served as township clerk, taught school and worked in journalism. She also volunteered for many organizations over the years. With fond memories of attending live events and taking her kids to the movies at Norwalk Theater, MaryLisa now looks forward to bringing her grandkids to experience the arts at the restored theater.
Arts Education Chairperson
Tiina Ruffing grew up in a family that emphasized a deep appreciation for arts and culture. She plays piano for several area churches, accompanies area choirs, and plays in the pit for several musicals. She also makes up one third of Last Call Trio with fellow board members Dina Lukasko and Kathleen Sigsworth.
She is the Library/Media Instructor at Norwalk Catholic School but has been an educator most of her adult life with various jobs and volunteer positions. She is excited to share her passion for the arts and her education background with the Norwalk Arts Center board. Her committee promises to provide diverse programming that make arts and culture accessible to all people in our community.
Brooke Gfell is the former chair of the Norwalk Arts Center marketing committee. A lifelong Norwalk native, she graduated from St. Paul High School and Lorain County Community College's dental hygiene program. She has been a dental hygienist at Sommers Family Dentistry for over 14 years. Brooke is actively involved in the Boy Scouts of America and with the St. Paul school and church community. She currently lives in Norwalk with her husband Jamie and her two sons, Everett and Weston. Brooke is, "Passionate about NAC and excited to build our community in a cultural way. We will have a beautiful theater downtown to not only serve our residents but also draw people to our beautiful community."
Business Affairs Chairperson
Lisa Bleile is the Business Affairs Chair for the Norwalk Arts Center. She is a graduate of Monroeville
High School and Terra Community college with a degree in Business Administration. After college she
moved to North Carolina to work for a clothing manufacturer in High Point. She worked as the
Operations Manager and Buyer for the Outlet Division. After moving back to Norwalk and getting
married to Greg, she stayed home to raise their three daughters (Courtney, Rachel, and Brooke). During
this time she volunteered for Vacation Bible School, served as President for Norwalk Catholic School
(NCS) PTO, fundraising for FCEDO, parent representative for Huron County Family Children’s First
Counsel, held a position on NCS Elementary Advisory Counsel, and coached volleyball for Norwalk Rec
Center, NCS Elementary, St. Paul Junior High School, and Northshore Volleyball Club. In 2015, Greg and
Lisa opened Norwalk Ace Hardware and recently purchased Huron Ace Hardware. “While, I have not
been a part of the arts in the past, I see the importance of having art programming available to the
youth and families in our community. Norwalk Arts Center, allows another avenue for the area youth to
express themselves in a fun, safe, and positive environment.”
Fundraising Chair Person
Paige is a recent transplant to Norwalk, with a majority of her family living in Buffalo, New York. She is currently the director of strategic initiatives at Fisher Titus Medical Center. Paige has always had a love of arts, and has been involved in plays and musicals from middle school through college. A few of her favorite roles have been: Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan in M*A*S*H, Mrs. Higgins in My Fair Lady, and Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables.
Paige is excited for the opportunity to work with a great group of people on the board and the community. Her goal for the fundraising committee is to raise money and awareness of NAC, all while having fun. She hopes to bring a bit of her upbeat New York tempo to her new Norwalk neighbors.
Really. Ask us anything.