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The WVMA currently has one part-time paid staff person, executive director Janis Carper.

A lifetime professional musician, Janis Carper has accumulated a myriad of skills that qualify her to lead the WVMA on its journey. She is a graduate of the Ford Family Institute Leadership Program, and a participant in the Oregon Arts Leadership Exchange Program.

Ms. Carper is a published songwriter, with several recordings of original music. An accomplished singer and guitarist, she has performed as a solo artist, with bands, in musical theater and recording studios. She has taught songwriting workshops around the Pacific Northwest, and for several years was a regular columnist for the Victory Review, a widely distributed northwest music magazine.

Her “Songmaking Children” project with partner Susie Hammond was highly praised by the families and faculty of Pacific Crest Montessori School in Seattle, WA, where the pair worked with groups of students pre-school through third grade, writing songs and producing their own CD. They also produced a children’s musical performance including original songs, for the Earth Day 2000 celebration at the Seattle Center.

In Wallowa County, Carper has worked with area youth teaching guitar, songwriting and creative writing, organizing talent shows and other musical events, and also works with a small group of students to help them develop their skills in ear-training and playing in a band together. Her current favorite musical project is her band The Alibis.

Carper has a good deal of experience organizing events, concerts and music showcases, and has worked closely with non-profit organizations in the Northwest, including Victory Music, Seattle Performing Songwriters, the Foundation for Young Female Composers, and Fishtrap.