Our Staff

Mary McNamara Bernsten

Mary McNamara Bernsten

Executive Director

Mary is an enthusiastic Rockford native with more than two decades’ experience teaching and promoting the arts in our community and beyond. Mary’s passion and commitment to community connection, public service, and justice in all forms make her a powerful advocate for the Arts Council’s mission: to support, promote, and develop access to the arts for everyone.

Kayla Acton

Kayla Acton

Program Director

Kayla is a proud Rockford local! She has traveled the country and the world working in the arts for the past 10 years and is excited to bring her experiences to the Arts Council. Kayla brings enthusiasm for the arts and a passion for bringing people together and looks forward to partnering with local community members and organizations to develop arts programming in our region.

Aria Childers

Aria Childers

Program Coordinator

Aria is a graduate of Rock Valley College and Judson University with a Bachelor’s degree of Arts in Human Services. She holds over five years of experience working in the non-profit world with an emphasis on community engagement, communications, and programming. She’s ready to bring her experience, perspective, and skill set to RAAC to help continue to serve the existing Rockford arts community while breaking down barriers, inspiring new creatives, and encouraging engagement in the arts in our area.

Rhiannon Yandell

Rhiannon Yandell

Office Manager

Rhiannon is a Rockford native, working visual artist, and children’s art and yoga teacher.  She is an active member of the local art community and brings enthusiasm and passion to her work; connecting artists and community members together.