Advisory Team

Bradley Barrett

Dr. Bradley T. Barrett has been director of chorale activities with Chorale Midwest and Chorale Midwest Chamber Singers for over 20 years. He was a choral music teacher in public school for 16 years and an instructor at the University of Northern Iowa from 2002-09. He is active in many professional organizations, including the National Collegiate Choral Organization, the National Association of Teachers of Singing and the American Choral Directors Association, and is a clinician, adjudicator and director for festivals and competitions throughout North America and Europe.

Barrett also has a voice studio with over 60 private students and is the coordinator of music for St. Ludmilla’s Catholic Church in Cedar Rapids. Outside his musical endeavors, he enjoys raising and showing draft and quarter horses.

Diana Nollen

Arts & Entertainment writer Diana Nollen has held various positions at The Gazette since 1982, but this is her favorite, bringing the stories of the rich and varied local arts scene, as well as the stars who bring their artistry to Eastern Iowa stages.

Lauren Tucci

Lauren Tucci is the Gallery Director at Gilded Pear Gallery and her studio is located at the Iowa Ceramics Center and Glass Studio, where she previously attended as a resident artist. She received her Associates degree in Art at the Community College of Allegheny County and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in Ceramics at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. Her artworks have been featured in various publications including Ceramics Monthly and have been exhibited nationally and internationally. She has been invited as a visiting artist, juror, and curator around the Midwest.

Nicole Schroeder

Nicole Schroeder is the Marketing Director at Wired Production Group in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Nicole works with clients to produce powerful events and videos with an incredible brand image. Her creative eye and focus on each event feature, both for in-person and online events, makes the production process easy. Outside of work, Nicole is heavily involved in the Cedar Rapids community. She serves on multiple boards and advisory committees. She enjoys volunteering with local fundraising projects, events, and other fun stuff across Eastern Iowa. She likes fun.

Heather Wagner

Heather Wagner is the Executive Director for the Eastern Iowa Arts Academy, an arts non-profit in Cedar Rapids that promotes equity in the arts for all children. She also serves as a Commissioner on the Cedar Rapids Public Art Commission and she serves on the Non-Profit Advisory Council for the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation. She is an artist herself with a studio at the Cherry Building for the last 17 years in the NewBo District in Cedar Rapids, specializing in painting, inks and colored pencil.

Jason Zbornik

Jason Zbornik is a multi-disciplinary creator with over 30 years of professional experience helping emerging talent grow and succeed. Jason has a degree in Visual Communications and Graphic Design, and has provided marketing and branding support for established and startup companies. Over the past two decades, he has worked relentlessly with students and the city to launch five successful music and art spaces which have hosted hundreds of events. He is the founder of Nexus Entertainment Arts, a  501c3 nonprofit serving young creatives. He also helped launch 319 Fest, a multi-stage music and art festival showcasing local talent. He is currently serving as the Executive Director of CSPS, a historic music venue and art space in downtown Cedar Rapids. Over the years Jason has established himself as a passionate leader and advocate for young and emerging talent throughout Linn County.

Leslie Nolte

Leslie Nolte is a celebrated and seasoned visionary in the realm of performance arts and arts education. She is the founder of Iowa Conservatory, where she serves as head of school; The James Theater; and various other performance opportunities, including Open Doors Dance Festival, Youth Rising, DanceWorks and Performing Arts Preschool. She is a producer and artistic director of many varied productions; an award-winning choreographer with numerous professional accolades; an investor in several theatrical productions including the Tony-Winning Broadway musical The Cher Show; an accomplished business leader; and a teacher by trade and by heart.

Tone Da Boss

Tone Da Boss is a nationwide touring hip hop artist from Iowa. Da Boss is known for his high energy performances with Anthems, laughter, antics, and all around good entertainment. Whether it’s just him on stage, if he brings a guest, dancers, a live band or sometimes he even brings his daughter. You can always expect a very fun entertaining performance. In 2022 Tone had received a call that his song “Give Me My Ring” was being used by the WNBA and NBA Champions and in 2023 he had another song “Victory Lap” that was used by the NFL Super Bowl champions. Tone has now reached over 500,000 online streams for his music. Tone is also the ceo of T1 Entertainment the promotions and management company that runs Iowa Summer Jam and the Iowa Music Awards.

Excellence in the Arts Sponsors

Hills Bank
Wired Production