Meet the MRAC Board

Blues Fest

Julianna Albershardt
 received a BA in Creative Writing at the University of Pittsburgh. She traveled the country as a sound engineer and photographer before landing in the art town of Ojai, California. After working in the arts, recreation, and psychological fields, she spent ten years in Reno, Nevada, where she played folk harp in the Valley Harpers Ensemble. Drawn to the beauty of New Mexico and the small town, artistic ambience of Silver City, Julianna and her husband bought the Murray Hotel in 2004 and moved here full-time in 2009. The hotel continues to be a work of art in progress, and a home for arts, music and culture in Silver City.

Mimi Clark, President, grew up in Iowa and received her BA in Public Relations and Marketing Communications from St. Ambrose University.  She grew up in a very musically talented family.  Her parents were both in the performing arts and her mom was a gifted music teacher.  In 2010, her husband accepted the Head Football Coaching position at Western New Mexico University and they settled into Silver City.  They have one dog, a cat and a growing family.  She is currently the Marketing Coordinator at Western New Mexico University.

Melody CollinsVice President, Love for all art forms is a part of my core starting from a very early age. The position of Executive Director of a Chamber, as well as owning and operating art related businesses, interior and gift stores and an international import business all presented many opportunities to cross paths with communities and individuals that have inspired me and caused me to grow personally. Living overseas offered me exposure to cultural experiences that are still very humbling. During my time abroad I had a wonderful start with my art education in London, England at the Heatherly School of Fine Art and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, Holland. Oil painting is a love of mine and I paint on a regular basis.

My early years were spent in Denver, Colorado. Summers from the age of 8-16 were spent traveling and performing music concerts and marching in parades all across the nation. These years gave me a love and respect for music.

Claudia Elferdink  A third generation Southern Californian, Claudia cultivated a love for the arts in public school. Water colors, pottery, and jewelry making became life-long passions while studying at UCSB and the College of Wooster in Ohio. After living in Philadelphia, meeting her lawyer husband John Egnal, and receiving an M.Ed. at the Antioch Graduate School of Education, they moved to Springfield, Massachusetts, where they raised their family.Claudia taught elementary school, then became a PBS producer at WGBY-TV, and an independent producer specializing in cultural documentaries. Claudia later went on to Harvard Divinity School to study for the Unitarian Universalist Ministry. After frequent visits to family in Silver City, they started building a small passive solar home here. Recently Claudia and her husband retired and moved to Silver City to join their children, Martha and Stuart and their families. Claudia is delighted to support the Mimbres Region Arts Council and its vital work.

Amanda Holguin was born and raised right here in Grant County. After graduating from Cobre High School, she attended Eastern New Mexico University, where she studied Art. Though she has lived throughout the Southwest in places such as Taos, NM and Tucson, AZ, she decided to return to her hometown in 2013. Currently, she works at Gila Regional Medical Center in Marketing and Public Relations. Upon her return home, she began looking for ways to become more involved within the community. With her strong background and passion for the arts, she decided to join MRAC as a way to become more intimately involved with her love of art and community.

Linda Smith moved to the Southwest from upstate New York as a youngster and grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, where her love of music led her to crave the local music scene and eventually to work in local radio, TV and print. While raising her two daughters, she taught fourth grade and worked on advanced education degrees, but continued to dabble in radio (the bug never goes away). Attracted to the small town friendliness and prevalence of the arts found here, she moved to Silver City in 2009. Always passionate about the environment and its wildlife, she feels like she has found the perfect sense of place here in SC and hopes to make a positive contribution to the Arts Council and the community.

Are you interested in helping our organization grow?  Join or a committee or grow as a board member.  Contact Mimi Clark at or call 575.538.2505