Stephen has spent his life engaged with the arts. Originally from Houston, Texas, Stephen spent his early professional career acting, directing, and managing theatre productions in and around Houston. He turned this passion toward non-profit arts administration and the festival and event industry, producing hundreds of arts and live music events and cultural festivals throughout his career.
Stephen is an active member of the global festivals and events industry. He is a director of the International Festivals and Events Association World Board, which he proudly chaired in 2017. He also serves his local community as a director of Bravo Greater Des Moines and chaired the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Arts & Culture Reopening Festivals and Live Music Venues Task Force. Stephen is a past director of the National Association of Independent Artists, IFEA Foundation Board of Directors, and is a founding member of ZAPPlication™, the art fair industry’s universal online application system. Stephen is a regular speaker and contributor to various festival, marketing and sponsorship conferences and conventions, and a faculty member of the IFEA/NRPA Event Management School. Stephen holds a BFA in Theatre from Sam Houston State University, an MA in Directing from the University of New Mexico. He is a graduate of the Certified Festival and Event Management program at Purdue University. Stephen is Executive Director of Des Moines Arts Festival®.