Board of Directors & Staff

Fletcher Farm School for the Arts and Crafts is operated by the Society of Vermont Artists and Craftsmen, Inc. The Board of Directors consists of a number of dedicated and diverse individuals who generously volunteer their time and talents. Our commitment is to quality arts and crafts education, to keep alive old traditions, and to teach new techniques in a special Vermont setting, at a reasonable cost to the public. Those individuals elected to the Board by the membership are as follows:

Board Director Biographies

BOARD CHAIR. PIPER STRONG has been teaching, making sculptures and painting for most of her life. She graduated from Maine College of the Arts and received a Masters from the University of Pennsylvania in fine art and Sculpture. Creativity is her passion and how she identifies and communicates as a visual artist. Piper enjoys watching people grow and pursue their own imaginations and skills. She has taught at the college and high school levels, most recently at the Expeditionary School at Black River. For over eight years, Piper has taught at Fletcher Farm school and is excited for the school’s future.

FINANCE DIRECTOR. KAREN BRUYN was introduced to crafts and creativity at an early age with knitting and sewing her own clothes, under her family’s guidance. She has been creating both traditional and modern quilts for over 40 years. Karen graduated from Babson College with a degree in Finance and spent her career in the accounting field for both private and publicly held companies. Since retirement, she continues to work as an accountant for a few local companies, volunteers to assist seniors with preparing and filing income tax returns, as well as learning and perfecting quilting skills and interests.

SECRETARY. KATHRYN SVEC has always been creative and grew up taking courses at Fletcher Farm School. Her love of creating followed her through college where she studied painting, drawing, and design alongside her biochemistry curriculum. After graduating with a PhD in Cellular, Molecular, and Biomedical Sciences, she realized that a scientific career disallowed many things she values deeply–community engagement, creativity, and making. Since moving back to Cavendish, Kathryn has gotten involved in community organizations and is rediscovering her creativity. She is invested in reenvisioning Fletcher Farm School to foster creativity and wellness in the community and in the next generation of makers.

DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR. POLLYANNA SIDELL is a retired marketing professional with 20 years of experience writing content for manufacturing companies and 14 years experience teaching humanities in public schools in the Boston area. As a project-based learning teacher she used many forms of art to help students connect with the curriculum. With a love for learning, Pollyanna has undergraduate degrees in Hotel & Restaurant Administration and Human Resources & Personnel Administration and a Master in Business Administration from Babson College and a Master in Creative Arts in Learning and Elementary Education.

DIRECTOR AT LARGE. ANN TURNER has been involved with arts and crafts since childhood. She attended Framingham State University in Massachusetts where she studied Art and Geography. Though she has dabbled in many things over the years, her passion is constructing art quilts. Her work has been in shows across the country. She became involved with Fletcher Farms Art and Crafts School in 2022. She now serves on the Board of Directors and heads the Festivals and Auction committee. She is amazed by the new skills and techniques she has learned during her time here and she plans to learn many more.

FACILITIES DIRECTOR. KYLE KENNEDY is the Facility Coordinator at Fletcher Farm. He came to Fletcher Farm with a vision of his daughters being a part of an art campus. His family has enjoyed engaging with Fletcher Farm arts through classes and volunteering. Kyle was a stay at home Dad who enjoys introducing his daughters to different passions. He enjoys cooking both indoors and out. He loves to ski, rock climb, ice climb, ice skate, and mountain bike. Kyle is excited to be a part of something that has been around for 75 years!

DIRECTOR AT LARGE. BETTY McENANEY grew up outside of Boston but came up to Vermont in 1973 for a summer job and never left. She and her husband enjoy the quiet back roads and call Cavendish home. Betty is an active real estate broker in Ludlow and has created the Goodwill Project where she donates to Vermont nonprofits from each transaction. When she retires, she is looking forward to spending more time practicing the crafts she learned at Fletcher Farm, notably weaving, rug hooking and decorative painting. Betty enjoys the outdoors, all things historical and creative, and being active in the community.

DIRECTOR AT LARGE. CLAUDIA SHROPSHIRE is a Para-educator at Chester Andover Elementary School. She became a SOVAC Board member in 2022. She has taken numerous classes at Fletcher Farm School and is especially involved with the Silver Fabrication Program working as a Teacher’s Assistant in the Young Artists Program. She is deeply committed to keeping SOVAC vibrant and sustainable.

If you are interested in learning more, contact SUSAN DAMONE BALCH, INTERIM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, at, or call the office at 802-228-8770. We are available Monday through Friday in the Summer and Monday and Wednesday in the Spring, Fall, and Winter.

Staff Biography

INTERIM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR. SUSAN DAMONE BALCH is an accomplished quilter, fly fisher and teacher. From 2018-2023 she served as SOVAC Board Chair. Previously, Susan ran the women’s fly fishing school at Orvis and was instrumental in the development of Casting for Recovery, a national nonprofit organization offering healing outdoor retreats to survivors of breast cancer and served as program director for ten years. Susan lives in Reading, Vermont with her husband, John, where they grow their own vegetables and enjoy playing music together and with friends.