Vermont Humanities


Rep. John Lewis and Andrew Aydin with students in front of a schoolbus


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

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.

Jonny Flood

Literacy Programs Manager

(802) 262-1352

Jonny has direct classroom experience as a middle and high school humanities teacher, as well as a preschool teacher. He has been a Director of Get Thee To The Funnery and the Education Director for New England Youth Theater. He manages our Literacy Programs Team.

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.

Executive Director, Christopher Kaufman Ilstrup

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.

Chelsea Cockrell Lafayette

Director of Development & Communications

(802) 262-1360

Chelsea joins us with over 15 years’ experience working in the arts and culture sector in Vermont. She started at Vermont Humanities in July 2022 as the lead fundraising and communications strategist to grow support for Vermont Humanities and the cultural organizations we fund.

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 wearing a blue and gray scarf indoors

Wendy Martin

Early Literacy Associate

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

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 in front of a beige wall indoors

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

Leanne Porter

Early Literacy Associate

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.

Vermont Humanities staff member Toussaint St. Negritude smiles through a grey beard and round glasses wearing an orange scarf and brown leather hat.

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.

Kathryn Tufano wearing glasses, a black sweater, a blue and black striped top, and a necklace

Kathryn Tufano

Development & Data 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