Mark Hannon, President
What excites Mark about our mission? I especially like when people find us because they are looking for opportunities to be creative. Many of these new friends had found little opportunity to explore their creativity before they came to us. They will find plenty of encouragement here.
Mark Hannon is a graduate of the Paier School of Art in Hamden, Connecticut, where he studied illustration. Professionally Mark works as an illustrator, graphic designer, and web designer. His primary mediums are pen & ink, acrylic and digital.
Mark has been a Board member since 2014, and now as President, wears many hats; sometimes webmaster, sometimes master of ceremonies at the monthly meetings as well as the organizer of the online figure drawing sessions. Mark lends his support to the other board members who run the education, membership, marketing, Make Music Day planning, and show committees wherever he can.
Debbie Gilbert, VP & Treasurer
What excites Debbie about our mission? We make the arts available to everyone, whether as an active participant in creating it or as a consumer!
Debbie founded the original Arts Alliance of Stratford in 2007 from a personal need to create and be around others who wanted to do the same.
After a long career in corporate America, Debbie has stayed busy in retirement with The Alliance and was instrumental in developing our partnership with Sterling House Community Center.
She is a sculptor, collage, and fiber artist, with occasional forays into watercolor and photography. She enjoys mixing mediums such as natural elements, paper, reclaimed and recycled materials. Her wearable art collection includes one-of-a-kind felted purses and scarves and jewelry. Ms. Gilbert favors 3-dimensional art, as it brings more senses into the enjoyment and practice of art. She has a long list of shows and awards.
Fourteen years later, Debbie is the proud mama of us all and continues to shape the organization and guide its strategic mission. She has two grown sons and lives with her husband and a sweet old dog.
Anne K. Mulligan, Board Secretary
What excites Anne about our mission? The inclusion of all forms of creative expression.
Anne K. Mulligan is a graphic designer, jewelry maker, and all-around creative. She is a lifelong Connecticut resident who makes her living in graphic design, creating everything from advertising and trade show signage to logos and toy packaging.
She currently serves as Board Secretary for the Alliance and lives in Stratford with her husband and three cats. In addition to print design, Anne creates jewelry under the company name “Flotsam and Whimsy.”
Anne joined the Alliance in 2011 and has been in her current role since 2016.
Her proud achievement is chairing Artists & Artisans in Paradise for four years. The show included art, fine crafts, music, poetry, food, and children’s activities.
Colin Healy, Music Director
What excites Colin about our mission? I enjoy being part of a community of artists, musicians, and other creatives who meet regularly to “make art happen.”
Colin Healy owns Colin Healy Design LLC, a residential design firm specializing in creative home transformations in Fairfield, Litchfield, and New Haven Counties in Connecticut.
He joined the Arts Alliance Board through his involvement in Stratford Place Makers, whose mission of promoting arts as a driver of economic development in Stratford was folded into the Alliance. He is also a musician and plays many instruments. He has been producing our annual Make Music Day for three years and even took on the challenge of producing a virtual event during last year’s pandemic summer.
Colin got to use his architectural design skills to design and coordinate the renovation of the gallery at Sterling House Community Center as a step towards producing more live arts events in Stratford.
Megan Bonneau McCool, Education Director
What excites Megan about our mission? I’m excited by AAS’s commitment to building community in Stratford by offering artists and creatives opportunities to collaborate with the public and art lovers.
Megan Bonneau McCool holds an A.B. in American Studies and an M.F.A. in Dance, both from Smith College. She danced as an apprentice with the New York City Ballet in the early 1990s and later spent ten years serving in various capacities for Pioneer Valley Ballet.
She has taught classical ballet for over 25 years throughout the northeast and has choreographed over 30 commissioned ballets. Her choreography has been performed at ACDFA’s National Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.
In Stratford, she has been actively involved in the public schools and will teach Advanced Ballet and choreograph for the faculty dance concert at Smith College in the fall of 2021. She has also spent the last few years occasionally photographing arts organizations’ performances and activities throughout CT and the northeast.
Select awards include Arts & Culture Empowerment Artists Award (2018) – Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County, Mae L. Wien Award for Outstanding Promise (1991) – School of American Ballet, National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (currently called National Young Arts Foundation) First Division Award (1991), US Department of Education – Presidential Scholar Semi-Finalist (1991).