History

The LunART Festival has been a vision of Dr. Iva Ugrcic for a very long time. As a young musician from the Ex-Yugoslav Republic of Serbia, Dr. Ugrcic experienced many troubling situations that nearly stopped her from pursuing music. While poor political and economic situations were among the issues that ultimately led to her departure of Serbia, one of the most troubling problems she faced was gender inequality, an issue that would follow her through my Master studies in France and Germany.

 

Iva moved to the United States in 2014 to pursue a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The intent of her dissertation “Doina Rotaru – The Voice of Romania,” was to introduce this extraordinary Romanian woman composer to the U.S., giving her music the recognition it so richly deserves. The immensely positive responses Dr. Ugrcic received validated her belief that there are many women artists who have much to say, but have not had the opportunity to share their voices with the world. This was the catalyst for the creation of the LunART Festival. 

 

Dr. Ugrcic launched the project in August of 2017 in collaboration with her friend and colleague Dr. Laura Medisky. The first-ever LunART Festival was held in June 2018 Madison, Wisc., with the mission to support, inspire, promote, and celebrate women in the arts through public performances, exhibitions, workshops, and interdisciplinary collaboration. The LunART Festival has a vision of raising awareness of the position of women in the arts through engaging, accessible concerts and events. The artistic goal was to share works of women artists and ensure the progress of women in the arts will continue to flourish and grow, overcoming issues of gender inequity in the arts. 

Meet Our Team

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Dr. Iva Ugrcic

Founder & CEO/Artistic Director

Described as “a natural star on her instrument,” Serbian flutist Dr. Ugrcic has been featured as a solo artist as well as a chamber and orchestral musician at numerous music festivals and concerts, performing throughout Europe and North and South America. After completing her studies in Paris and Belgrade, Iva moved to the USA to finish her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at UW-Madison as a recipient of a prestigious Collins Fellowship. Since then, Iva won the Shain Irving Competition, multiple concerto competitions, and received the James Smith Orchestra Award for excellency and leadership. Additionally, she won the C.R.E.A.T.E. Project Competition at the 46th National Flute Association (NFA) Convention, was awarded First Prize award from The American Prize, Second Prize at the UW Arts Business Competition, Silver Medal at the International Vienna Competition, was a finalist for the Pro Musicis International Award in NYC, and has been named the "Musician of the Year for 2018" by the Well-Tempered Ear. In addition to LunART, Dr. Ugrcic currently serves as the Artistic Director of the Rural Musicians Forum, is a member of the Career & Artistic Development Committee of the NFA and holds the position of Board Liaison & Strategic Initiatives role at Overture Center. www.ivaugrcic.com 

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Marie Pauls 

Educational Program Coordinator

​Marie Pauls (viola) is a versatile freelance musician, residing in Madison, WI.  Classically trained since the of age 3, she can be seen performing in venues ranging from the Overture Center to local wineries. She earned both the Bachelor of Music and the Master of Music degrees at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she received a full scholarship to study with Professor Sally Chisholm.  Marie is a founding member of Arbor Ensemble, a classical chamber music group dedicated to the promotion of women composers. A seasoned orchestral musician, she frequently performs with the Madison Symphony Orchestra and formerly held principal positions in the Illinois Valley and Beloit-Janesville Symphony Orchestras.  Beyond the classical realm, she performs with the acoustic rock group Evan Riley Band, with whom she has recorded two original albums. As a committed string educator, she maintains a private studio and has taught at the American Suzuki Institute.

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Dr. Satoko Hayami

Community Engagement Coordinator

A native of Japan, Satoko Hayami is an active collaborative and solo pianist, also performing on harpsichord and toy piano. A versatile artist, Satoko has performed and taught piano chamber music and accompanied instrumental and vocal repertoire all over the world, most notably, Croatia, Hungary, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, and Canada, as well as throughout the United States. A passionate performer of new music, she co-founded Sound Out Loud Collective, a contemporary chamber ensemble, which won the first prize in Chamber Music Performance, American Award in 2018. She is on the piano faculty at Beloit College and serves local communities in Madison through her community engagement projects, and was a Public Humanities Exchange Scholar at UW-Madison Center for the Humanities. Satoko holds masters degrees in Collaborative Piano from Rice University and the Cleveland Institute of Music. She was awarded a Paul Collins Fellowship, and is pursuing a DMA at UW-Madison under the mentorship of Professor Martha Fischer. www.shxpiano.com

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Dr. Midori Samson

Community Engagement Coordinator

Dr. Midori Samson (she/her) is a bassoonist, educator, activist, and scholar. In addition to her role with LunART, she teaches bassoon and music history at Oklahoma State University and is 2nd bassoonist of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra. Other recent activities include collaborations with Yo-Yo Ma and Youth Music Culture Guangdong (China), Artists Striving to End Poverty (India/New York), Ubumuntu Arts Festival (Rwanda), Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and Project Tumugtog (Philippines). Since 2017, she has commissioned twelve solos for bassoon by composers from across the African continent, and she continues to champion these works through a grassroots sheet music distribution program. She holds degrees from The Juilliard School, University of Texas at Austin, and recently completed her doctoral degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison studying bassoon and social welfare. Her dissertation suggests that musicians operationalize social work principles in order to create a more anti-oppressive, anti-racist classical music landscape. She brings this philosophy to her role as founding Artistic Director of Trade Winds Ensemble, a group of teaching artists that host community engagement and composition workshops in partnership with social impact organizations in Nairobi, Chicago, and Detroit. www.midorisamson.com

Nevena Stanic Kovacevic

Marketing Coordinator

Nevena Stanic Kovacevic is a multi-instrumentalist, music writer, educator, and music-art curator. She graduated in musicology from the University of Miami and the University of Belgrade and in double bass performance from the University of Kragujevac. Nevena performed as a double bassist and pianist all over Serbia, Europe, and Miami. In her research, she focuses on women in postminimalism and experimental music. 


As a music curator, organizer, and marketing manager, Nevena collaborated with multiple ensembles, artists, and organizations from Belgrade and Miami. So far, her music articles and reviews have contributed to ArtBurst Miami, Culture Owl, South Florida Classical Review, and Soundologia.

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Augusta Brulla

Visual Arts Coordinator

Augusta Brulla is an arts administrator and art consultant from Madison, WI. She holds bachelor’s degrees in Art and Communication Science and has over seven years’ experience in art administration, installation and community outreach. Augusta has worked with hundreds of visual artists locally and nationally as a representative of various Wisconsin art galleries. She believes in the power of art to strengthen communities and is an ardent supporter of artists' rights. Augusta is also a member of the Tania Tandias Flamenco and Spanish Dance Company and has performed at numerous schools and festivals including Overture Center’s annual International Festival.

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Emma Thomas

Graphic Designer, Intern

A practicing multimedia artist who is a current undergraduate student at the University of California San Diego studying Visual Arts Media and Psychology. Loves to explore her creativity through many mediums such as graphic design, video-editing/visual effects, installation design, and music production. Draws inspiration in her art from the psychology of the subjective experience of humanity---both the beauty and the danger in it. Would love to one day become involved in the production of experienced based arts festivals. Currently is a co-founder and leading graphic designer/videographer for an official Women’s Surfing Club at University of California San Diego called “Betty Boarders”. Through this club she is actively shaping a community of positive and supportive women who align based on their love for surfing, ultimately to unite in contrast to a highly male dominated sport and culture.

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Ana Tinder

Event Production, Intern

Ana Tinder is a senior studying music performance (violin) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She currently studies under Professor Dawn Wohn, a student of Dorothy Delay, and previously studied under Professor Soh-Hyun Park Altino. Ana is the founder of the Mead Witter School of Music study program, which provides free tutoring and classes on musicology and music theory. She also organized and produced a virtual benefit concert, donating over eight-thousand meals to food banks in southern Wisconsin. Ana is a Dane Arts Grant recipient and is currently working on “The Brink of Burnout,” a spoken memoir detailing her experience and struggles from overuse injuries.

Meet Our Board of Directors 

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Sue Godlwomon

Sue Goldwomon’s career began on Halloween,1947 when she came out singing. She’s been interested in music ever since. She was active in Madison’s first feminist choir, Anna Crusis and was co-founder of Madison’s second feminist choir, Womonsong. Her women’s music distribution company, Lunacy Distributors, provided recorded music at community concerts in the 1970’s and early ’80’s. Working in the Apple Island production collective for four years (1990’s) she helped to organize concerts of national and local women artists. Sue is probably best known for hosting Her Infinite Variety, a program of women in music, on WORT-FM community radio, spinning everything from classical to jazz, folk, rock, blues and world music and interviewing hundreds of women musicians, dancers, actors, comics and poets from around the globe (1984-2009). Organizations which have recognized her for her work include The United/OutReach, Goodman Community Center and the National Women’s Music Festival. Sue is thrilled to be a lesbian and women’s cultural worker and is blessed to have Arlene Zaucha as her partner in life and in activism!

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Dr. Yana Avedyan

Yana Avedan, pianist, educator, and volunteer, is originally from Kharkiv, Ukraine. She began her studies with Dr. Karen Becker at SUNY Plattsburgh in 2007 and in 2011 made her debut as soloist with the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra. She completed her bachelor’s degree with a double major in Music and Accounting in 2012. Yana Avedyan was one of the winners of the Shain Woodwind-Piano Duo Competition in 2013 and Beethoven Competition in 2014. Avedyan taught private students through Piano Pioneers Program at UW- Madison, Wisconsin Conservatory of Music in Milwaukee and Steinway Store in Madison. In 2018, Avedyan completed her DMA degree in piano performance at UW– Madison, where she was a student of Christopher Taylor. In 2018 Yana participated in an inaugural concert series of LunART festival in Madison, and as a result in the fall of 2018 performed on the Guest Faculty Series at the Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter MN, with Sarah Leuwerke and Laura Burns celebrating women in arts. In 2019, Yana won a second place at the American Protégé Competition in solo piano category and performed at Carnegie Hall. Avedyan is currently serving as treasurer and secretary on the LunART’s board of directors.

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Kelly Parks Snider

Kelly Parks Snider explores contemporary cultural and social issues. Using art and words, she stimulates dialogue about targeted issues and creates social change. As a visual artist, Kelly’s work exhibits nationally through both public and private galleries. Kelly is the co-founder of Project Girl (www.projectgirl.org), a nationally recognized non-profit, award-winning
program and touring exhibition that combines art, media literacy and youth- led activism into a unique educational experience for children, parents and educators. Project girl was recently featured in Family Circle Magazine and was an awarded youth program in the new national youth empowerment and philanthropy program called Best Buy’s @15 Change Exchange project. Activism is the foundation for all of Kelly’s endeavors. Her objective is to educate young people, parents, educators and communities about targeted issues in the hopes of shaking up the status quo, creating a catalyst, examining the questions that shape and inspire all of us. Kelly lectures nationally, serves in artist-in-residence programs and produces workshops.

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Dave Alcorn

Dave Alcorn is a digital marketing specialist and videographer with a focus on the performing arts. He has recorded over 550 concerts and performances and has created videos and promotional material for a wide range of music, theatre, and dance groups in Wisconsin. With a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in percussion performance, Dave has a unique perspective for video creation. Dave is the Director of Digital Marketing at Overture Center for the Arts and the President of Microtone Media.