Board Members & Staff

Scott Myers – President

ScottScott Myers is Senior Pastor of Westport Presbyterian Church and a playwright (JFK: A Ghostly Evening,  A Goat Song and STEALING KANDINSKI!).

Scott’s efforts were instrumental in developing community arts programming at the church which led to the establishment of Westport Center for the Arts. He serves as an artistic advisor for WCA events, coordinating the film discussion series Cinema ‘n’ Soul, and has lead a foreign film discussion group, “Mostly Foreign Film School.”


Marian Thomas – Secretary

marian-mccaa-thomasMarian McCaa Thomas founded the Westport Brown Bag Concert Series, now in its twenty-second season. She has a B.A. in History from Oberlin College, and a M. Music in Organ Performance from Boston University. She was organist/choir director at Saint Paul School of Theology for fifteen years, taught music at Purple Dragon Preschool for thirty-two years, and retired in June 2009 from her position as Music Director/Organist at Westport Presbyterian Church. Marian has a piano studio at her home and also teaches harpsichord. She is one of the founders of The Westport Center for the Arts.


Bobbie Testa – Treasurer

A recent retiree from St. Luke’s Center for Health Enhancement Health Educator, Bobbie has served as both President and Treasurer for WCA.  Bobbie’s contributions to the organization are numerous as she serves as the head of the Hospitality Committee.


Deanna Capps

Deanna CappsDeanna is a professional artist and graphic designer. She earned her BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree) in Illustration and Graphic Design from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2004. She has a career as a freelance graphic designer specializing in producing marketing materials for artists, small businesses, and non-profit organizations. She works with Westport Center for the Arts’ marketing committee to develop the organization’s visual marketing materials and serves as the board’s “financial secretary”.

Deanna also enjoys sharing her love of art with others by teaching art to children. For eight years, she has been the lead Art Instructor for Peace Quest, a program by Westport Presbyterian Church that teaches elementary age kids about different cultures from around the world as well as teaching for the Arts’ Youth Program Kids Team Up for Art. Deanna has also served on the Board of Westport Center for the Arts as Secretary.


Stanley Brian Morgan

stan-morganMorgan is an arts activist and an alumnus of the Kansas City Arts Institute. He creates 2-D and 3-D art, specializing in found and recycled materials.

For Stan working with children is always a rewarding experience whether as a teacher, graphic artist, muralist, recreation leader, and even lifeguard. With a certification in child-care and child development, Morgan enjoys sharing his talent in art and design with children of all ages, races, and economic backgrounds. He has contributed to the arts educational programs at the Boys and Girls Club, the YMCA and YWCA, and the Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center and was a contributing artist at the Tim Rollins and K.O.S. (Kids of Survival) project at Grand Arts in 1998. He is a leader of WCA’s Kids Team Up For Art: Children’s Art Workshops at the Kansas City Public Libraries.


Helen Richardson


Adjunct Staff:
Mark Lowry – Grant Writer


Lyra Pherigo – Brown Bag Concerts Director

pherigo-lyraLyra Pherigo is an active musician in the Kansas City area. She received her Bachelor and Masters degree in Flute Performance from Arizona State University and Northwestern University respectively.  As a flutist she plays with: newEar, Kansas City’s premiere Contemporary New Music Ensemble, Starlight Theater and Theater League productions. She also plays with the KC Symphony, KC Chamber Orchestra, KC Ballet, and KC Civic Opera.  Recent highlights include recording for a documentary titled “We the People” created for IMAX Theater, and learning to play 4 Asian flutes, called Dizi flutes, for Starlight’s production of Miss Saigon.

As a singer Lyra adds her soprano voice to Unity Temple on the plaza, and she has sung with the KC Chorale.  Her favorite musical collaboration is with her husband; pianist, singer, conductor and composer, Robert Pherigo!  She also has a son, Lucas, who is a talented singer songwriter. She is grateful for a family filled with music.


Mackenzie Goodwin Tran – Artistic Director, WCA Theatre

mackenzie-goodwin-tranMackenzie Goodwin Tran is a local director, actor, and playwright who has appeared both onstage and behind the scenes at many Kansas City and regional theatres. She received her education in theatre at Kansas State University and University of Missouri, Kansas City. Recently, she directed a production of Vi Tran’s performance memoir The Butcher’s Son (originally produced by WCA) that will tour throughout Kansas and Missouri in the Spring. Mackenzie is a founding ensemble member of Omaha’s Aetherplough company, and also teaches dance and movement classes with the ROAD program through the Kansas City Ballet. With her husband (actor/musician Vi Tran) she co-curates the Buffalo Room performance salon in Westport and is a director for the Stuffed Buffalo Productions staged readings series. Mackenzie is also a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab.

Amanda Hashagen – KTUFA Director (Kids Team Up for Art):

amanda photoAmanda Hashagen is the Founder and CEO of CreativeWorks, an Arts Education nonprofit based in Kansas City. CreativeWorks is thrilled to partner with Westport Center for the Arts to provide arts programming to youth in Libraries throughout the metro.  Amanda is a theatre and film director and facilitator who has used the arts for social change for almost 20 years.

She has facilitated Applied Theatre and Digital Media programs throughout the world, including the US, Uganda, England, Burkino Faso, and Canada. Her work has focused on collaborating with marginalized people to use theatre and digital media as a means to explore and address issues that are important to them. She has run programs for youth in juvenile detention, youth with special needs, new immigrants, teachers, homeless teens, youth in foster care, and community development workers.  Amanda obtained an M.Phil. in Drama from the University of Manchester, where her research focused on Theatre for Development to achieve gender equity in Uganda. She has an MA in Applied Theatre from the University of Manchester, UK. There she studied TIE, Theatre of the Oppressed, and Prison Theatre.  Amanda has BA degrees in English and Theatre from Benedictine College.

Rae Petersen – Web Worker

img-417100708Rae Petersen, whose earliest school memory is of painting at an easel in her one-room country school, has taught K-12 art in Michigan and Missouri. She owns several looms and spinning wheels (and will get back to those when time and space allow) and paints as meditation/active imagination in self exploration.

Rae is active in community having worked on the World Peace Celebration in Kansas City from 1987 thru 2000, is one of the founders of the Troost Ave. Festival, as well as restoring her 1906 home in the Old Hyde Park midtown neighborhood.

Rae, and Fred Culver, publish and market The Creative ProcessGlobal PathMarkers posters, notecards and bookmarks. She also consults with small not-for-profits and businesses for a presence on the web.

Patrick Murphy – Press Releases


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