Christina deRoos

Christina deRoos is an artist (mixed media, multimedia, performance), curator and arts organizer. Her work lies at the intersection of art, activism and personal reflection, and draws from her background in political science (B.A., University of Colorado) and law (J.D. with honors, University of Washington). Previously based in New York, Christina co-founded Bushwick Open Studios and Arts in Bushwick, and was the Managing Director of Chez Bushwick, a Brooklyn nonprofit dedicated to the advancement of interdisciplinary art and performance, with a strong focus on experimental dance. From 2009 – 2016, Christina was the co-director of Spread Art, an artist-run nonprofit providing residencies to local, national and international artists, and presenting contemporary and experimental work across all disciplines.

Katie G. McGowan
Managing Director

Katie G. McGowan is an interdisciplinary artist, cultural producer, and committed advocate for creative workers. Originally from the metro area, Katie returned to Detroit in 2011—following  a decade of working as an artist, educator, and writer in several U.S. locations and in Croatia—to collaboratively build the Department of Education and Public Engagement at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD). In this position she co-founded the museum’s DEPE Space residency program and helped launch and program the Mike Kelley Mobile Homestead (a sculptural edifice on the museum’s grounds), in addition to designing and executing museum programming. Subsequently she has lectured at the College for Creative Studies and Eastern Michigan University, created and run an art consulting firm, and served as program director for the Ann Arbor Film Festival—the oldest experimental and avant-garde film festival in North America. Katie’s artwork explores empathy and affect. She engages in genre-bending performance, writing creative nonfiction, and working as an amateur private eye. She holds an M.F.A. from The University of Iowa in Intermedia as well as M.A. and B.A. degrees from Wayne State University, in English. katiegracemcgowan.com/


Nicole Peterson
Program Coordinator

Nicole Peterson is graduate of Oakland University, where she earned her B.A. in Art History and Drawing with a minor in Graphic Design. She graduated with departmental honors in both majors, and received first place in the research essay category of writing awards for three consecutive years. Nicole has presented twice at the Meeting of Minds Undergraduate Research Conference, and has been published in its subsequent journal on each occasion. In addition to her role as Program Coordinator at Kresge Arts in Detroit, Nicole is also a freelance graphic designer. Her clients include Sidewalk Detroit, Creative Many Michigan, Allegro Dance, and Aspire Pilates, to name a few.


Nichole Christian
Communications & Events Coordinator

Nichole Christian is a writer and veteran journalist who began her career on staff for some of the nation’s top news outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, Time magazine, The New York Times, and the Detroit Free Press. She is co-author of “Canvas Detroit” and also creative director, editor, and lead writer for “A Life Speaks,” The Kresge Foundation’s most recent monograph, celebrating 2019 Kresge Eminent Artist Dr. Gloria House. Nichole’s writing appears in the books: “A Detroit Anthology”; “Portraits 9/11/01: The Collected ‘Portraits of Grief’ from the New York Times”; “Dear Dad: Reflections on Fatherhood,” and the online arts journal, Essay’d. She has collaborated on and designed arts and community engagement projects for the Detroit Free Press Film Festival, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the BBC’s World Book Cafe, and Chalkbeat, to name just a few. Nichole is a native Detroiter, and in her spare time, a budding mixed media artist, blending words, photos, and all things in between.


Asukile Gardner
Program Assistant

Asukile Gardner is a draftsman, painter, printmaker, and sequential artist born and raised in Detroit. His artwork has been exhibited throughout the city in venues such as the Scarab Club, Detroit Repertory Theatre, and the Ellen Kayrod Gallery. Asukile has worked in the art sector for years with such notable institutions as the Virgil Carr Center, Detroit Institute of Arts, and the community+public arts: DETROIT program at the College for Creative Studies. He received his BFA in drawing and printmaking, and recently completed his MA in fine art at Wayne State University

Michelle Perron
Founding Director

Over more than 20 years with the College for Creative Studies, Michelle Perron ran three major cultural programs: Center Galleries, Woodward Lecture Series, and Kresge Arts in Detroit. In Detroit and beyond, Michelle has curated countless exhibitions, hosted over 100 lectures by major international artists and scholars, served on boards and committees of Detroit’s major visual arts organizations, and been a vocal arts community activist since the mid-1980s. A native Detroiter, Perron’s professional career has included posts at organizations such as Michigan Gallery and O.K. Harris Works of Art in the Detroit area, and Merce Cunningham Dance Company and Art et Industrie Gallery, both in New York.