Vermont Humanities



Our main phone number is: (802) 262-2626 and our general email address is

To reach a specific staff person, dial the direct lines listed below or email them using the links on their bio pages.

Cathleen Barkley

Accounting Assistant

(802) 262-1359

Cathleen holds a Masters in Art History from Goddard College. She has spent nearly two decades as an adjunct faculty, community educator, and organizer.

Noel Clark wears a blue and black checkered shirt standing in front of a green outdoor background

Noel Clark

Communications Officer

(802) 262-1357

Noel holds a Bachelor’s in Professional Journalism from the University of Minnesota and spent over a decade as a radio journalist and a communications professional for diverse arts and cultural organizations. He has served in nonprofit communications roles in both Minnesota and Massachusetts.

Image of Richelle Franzoni

Richelle Franzoni

Community Programs Officer

(802) 262-1355

Richelle is primarily responsible for the management of five community programs – Veterans Book Groups, Literature and Medicine, Reading and Discussion, Speakers Bureau, and Grants. She works with other Program Team members on the Fall Conference and Vermont Reads.

Christopher Kaufman Ilstrup wears black glasses and a purple shirt and smiles standing in front of a green outdoor background

Christopher Kaufman Ilstrup

Executive Director

(802) 262-1351

Christopher became Vermont Humanities’ third executive director in August 2018. He previously served as a Senior Philanthropic Advisor at the Vermont Community Foundation for 10 years and has held leadership roles at the Flynn Center, Outright Vermont, Rural Vermont, and the Pride Center.

Elizabeth Malone wearing a blue top standing in front of a green outdoor background

Elizabeth Malone

Director of Finance and Administration

(802) 262-1359

Elizabeth has worked in mission-driven organization management since 2010, most recently as the Executive Director of Northwest Access TV. She is pursuing a Master’s in Public Administration from Norwich University.

Wendy Martin in a red top and checkered raincoat standing in front of a green outdoor background

Wendy Martin

Literacy Programs Officer

Wendy co-develops professional development opportunities for early childhood educators through the new Foundations of Educational Philosophy and Literacy Development and Never Too Early programs. She also works closely with public librarians through the Vermont Early Literacy Initiative.

Ryan Newswanger wears a grey newsboy cap and a gray and blue checkered shirt standing in front of a green outdoor background

Ryan Newswanger

Director of Programs

(802) 262-1354

Ryan joined Vermont Humanities in September 2015 as Director of Communications. In addition to managing the Programs Team, he also produces the Before Your Time podcast series in collaboration with the Vermont Historical Society.

Jacob Pelletier wearing a blue and white patterned shirt and smiling, with a dark beard and grey black hair standing in front of a green outdoor background

Jacob Pelletier

Community Programs Officer

(802) 262-1353

A seasoned program manager and community organizer, Jacob Pelletier joined Vermont Humanities in 2022. He is primarily responsible for the management of our First Wednesdays, Fall Conference, and Words in the Woods programs and works with other Program Team members on Vermont Reads.

Leanne Porter stands in front of a wooden wall with hung instruments holding a white coffee mug wearing a jean jacket

Leanne Porter

Literacy Programs Officer

Leanne is an accomplished author, teacher, and education consultant. In addition to her role at Vermont Humanities, she is an assistant professor and the coordinator of Early Childhood Education online at Northern Vermont University.

Rory Stein

Development & Communications Intern

Rory is a junior at University of Vermont majoring in philosophy and classical studies, and minoring in music. He has worked previously as a photographer for nonprofits such as the Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival and YMCA Camp Abnaki.

Toussaint St. Negritude wears a gray newsboy cap and tan jacket with a green collared shirt, blue tie, and tortoise shell round glasses standing in front of a green outdoor background

Toussaint St. Negritude

Community Programs Officer


Toussaint St. Negritude comes to Vermont Humanities with a lifetime’s breadth of community enhancement, advocating the essential intersectionality of perspectives on the arts, spirituality, justice, sustainability, ethnicity, queer life, and the restorative benefit of our connection to Vermont’s landscape.

Emily Timmerman

Programs Support Specialist

(802) 262-1360 x312

Emily comes to Vermont Humanities with a background in collections management at non-profit art museums and university art collections.

Kathryn Tufano smiling wearing glasses and earrings and a green patterned top standing in front of a green outdoor background

Kathryn Tufano

Senior Development Officer

(802) 262-1356

Kathryn has worked in non-profit cultural institutions in a variety of roles for the last 20 years. She previously held development positions at the Ridgefield Historical Society, the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, and MASS MoCA, among others.

Vermont Humanities*** November 30, 2014