Board of Directors

David Stephens

David grew up in Ohio and has summered in Stonington and Deer Isle his entire life. He watched movies at the Opera House in his youth, walking over from the family camp near Sand Beach. He has since lived in New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Fort Worth, and Dallas. After his critically noted performance as Bill Lewis, desk clerk, in Fort Worth’s Stage West 1984 presentation of The Hot l Baltimore, David pursued an extended career in municipal finance. He works for a global financial institution in New York City.

John McVeigh Headshot

Acclaimed for his “fresh-toned and touching portrayal” by Opera News and lauded by the New Orleans Times-Picayune for his “rich lyrical tenor, fabulous top notes, and striking good looks,” John garners attention for his countless world-class performances at the most revered houses throughout the United States and worldwide, including productions of Turandot and The Merry Widow with The Metropolitan Opera. Both a professional opera singer and jewelry artist, John founded J. McVeigh Jewelry in 2017. Situated on Main Street in Stonington, the gallery showcases 30 of today’s leading jewelry and metals artists from around the world. A Stonington summer resident and frequent Opera House performer, he returns to the island when he is not performing elsewhere.

Sasha Gross Headshot

Sasha grew up coming to Deer Isle every summer and has fond memories of seeing live Shakespeare for the first time at the Opera House. Sasha’s love for theater continued to her time at Vassar college where she designed award winning costumes for the Powerhouse Theater. Sasha has lived and worked in Austin, TX and NYC – first in the world of TV production and then interior design and marketing. In the wake of the pandemic, Sasha was able to realize a life long dream when she and her family relocated to Stonington as year round residents. Sasha is excited to join the Opera House team in their mission to inspire a love for the arts and build community.

An audio producer, sound artist, and writer based in Portland, Maine, Galen grew up in Stonington and spent her teenage years on and off the stage at the Stonington Opera House. After graduating from Skidmore College and the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, she began working as a freelance journalist. Galen has produced stories for BBC World Service, NPR’s Morning Edition, The New York Times, and various nationally-syndicated podcasts. In 2017, she founded the community storytelling project The First Coast and began documenting the lives of coastal Maine residents and teaching radio storytelling at the College of the Atlantic. 

Born in Washington D.C. Bill first came to Deer Isle at age 15. After a stint in the U.S. Navy, he went to Harvard Law School and practiced law in Boston, New York, New Jersey and Seattle. For a time, Bill was CEO of Olympic Foods and Stewardship Chair of the Deer Isle Sunset Congregational Church. Bill’s interest in theater bloomed in high school, when he played the title role in Coriolanus. He was last seen on the Opera House stage as Michael in God of Carnage.

Michael, a Stonington resident, is a graduate of Colby College and earned his PhD in Biological Sciences from the University of Maine, completing his thesis research at the Jackson Lab in Bar Harbor. He works for a biomedical research agency, administering the review of grant applications in molecular biology. Michael also has an MBA. Before joining the Board, he was a member of the Opera House Arts gala committee for several years and has provided housing to visiting artists. His son, Niccolo was an Opera House Arts intern.

Jimmy Cook Headshot

Jimmy was born and raised in Bangor, Maine and has always had an interest in music and politics. He has attended hundreds of concerts throughout the country — and has worked on countless federal, state, and local campaigns. Jimmy believes in the power of organizing for the benefit of all working families and the community in general. Recently retired after 36 years with UPS, the last 12 on DIS, Jimmy knew he wanted to relocate to the island and give back to the community that has given him so much joy. He describes the Stonington Opera House as the “mothership” and joined the Board of Directors of Opera House Arts in November of 2023 to help achieve its mission.

Grace Gregor Headshot

Trained as an educator, Grace has undergraduate and advanced degrees from Simmons College and Boston University, as well as a Certificate in Management from Radcliffe Seminars. It was in the mid 1990s when Grace started working as a professional fundraiser at organizations ranging from a children’s theater company to The Concord Museum, where she served as Director of Development. At the United Way of Massachusetts Bay she specialized in major gifts development and acquisition, and on occassion consults with organizations planning capital campaigns. Grace and her husband, Bill, live in Brooksville, Maine and Boston. 

Kate Caldwell Headshot

For over 35 years, Kate has helped a broad range of nonprofit organizations in the Washington, D.C. and Maryland area achieve their fundraising goals. In 1989 She founded and served as lead Consultant with Caldwell & Associates, focused on capital campaigns and planned giving for nonprofits. Her fundraising articles have been published in Planned Giving Today and Fundraising Management. Kate holds in B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and is certified as a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP®) through the American College. She holds a M.M. from Catholic University in vocal performance. Kate began coming to Deer Isle in the 1960s to visit her grandparents. She now spends summers on the island and winters in Maryland.

Sal Taylor Kydd headshot

British-born artist Sal Taylor Kydd is a fine art photographer, writer, and educator. Sal’s fine art photographs have been exhibited both domestically and internationally, and her work has been featured in a number of photography publications, including Shots Magazine, Don’t Take Pictures, Lenscratch, Diffusion Annual and The Hand. Sal has also self-published a number of books combining her poetry with her photographs that are held in private and museum collections throughout the country. Originally from the UK, Sal earned her BA in Modern Languages from Manchester University in England and has an MFA in Photography from Maine Media College in Rockport, ME.

Sarah is a Deer Isle native who began volunteering at Opera House Arts as a child. Throughout her teenage years she worked as a house manager, box office associate, and intern coordinator. She participated in performing arts through school plays, Cabin Fever Theater, and Sue’s School of Dance. Sarah took theater and dance classes at Bowdoin College, where she was a Neuroscience major and education minor. Her passion for early childhood development led her to pursue a career working with infants and their families. Sarah lives in Portland and plays rugby for the Portland Women’s Rugby Team. 

Opera House Arts employs the performing arts to foster and promote excellence in all the ways we perform our lives: Incite Art, Create Community.

View the Bylaws of Opera House Arts as of April 7, 2022.