Arts Center Staff
Melissa Griffin was born and raised in Tangipahoa Parish. She holds a degree in Communication from Southeastern Louisiana University. Over the years, she has pursued professional development opportunities—through classes and mentors—to further her education and understanding of her passion: nonprofit marketing and management. She’s volunteered and supported organizations like the Alzheimer’s Association, Loaves of Fishes Soup Kitchen, Children of Destiny and 90.9 FM KSLU. Melissa’s career path has taken her to locations across southern parts of the U.S. and allowed her to hold many different positions, including radio producer, downtown event coordinator, business development and marketing manager and even executive director of the Hammond Regional Arts Center (2011-2013). Melissa returns to HRAC with a renewed passion for her hometown community and looks forward to the challenges of managing an organization that contributes to enriching people’s lives through culture and the arts. Melissa, her husband Josh and their two young sons are happy to be back home in Hammond.
Tara Bennett is the Media Coordinator for the Hammond Regional Arts Center. A graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University, Ms. Bennett has worked extensively in the theatre department as an actor, makeup designer and publicist. In 2012, she obtained her Master’s degree in Organizational Communication, focusing on news media and social media. Since accepting her position in April 2014, Ms. Bennett has applied her extensive education to modern technologies to increase the HRAC presence in print, radio and online media. In her spare time, Ms. Bennett is an involved member of the Hammond arts community as an active alum of Southeastern’s chapter of Alpha Psi Omega, serving on the board for the Hammond Horror Festival and dancing as a member of Jelly Jelly Not Jam Belly Dance.
Dakota Dupree is the bookkeeper for the Hammond Regional Arts Center. He is a graduate student at Southeastern Louisiana University, seeking his MBA. Dakota loves to spend his free time watching sports and movies and hanging out with his friends and family.
Board of Directors
Seth Pevey is a local author and businessman. Originally from Shreveport, he fell in love with south Louisiana after attending Tulane during the turbulent “Katrina Years.” He has six published novels, and is married to lettering artist Lisa Pevey.
Brandon Mulina has been involved with Hammond Regional Arts Center since 2006 and joined the board in 2016. Brandon is the Director of Customer Experience for Dixie RV Superstores. He also volunteers as an adviser for Theta Chi Fraternity at Southeastern. He loves to share what the Arts Center has to offer the community and is working to expand the platforms of art offered even further with music, theatre and dance.
In recent years, Pat owned and operated The Oak Street Gallery, presenting exhibitions of local and regional arts, while supporting the efforts of the Hammond Regional Arts Center. Macaluso’s career as an artist has included participation in many national, regional and local invitational and juried shows with prizes and awards for her work. She continues to create work and exhibit throughout the U.S. Currently, Pat serves on the HRAC Board and chairs the Gallery Committee.
Denise Tullier-Holly is an accomplished artist and award-winning arts educator. Ms. Tullier-Holly is a long-time member of the HRAC and a critical element of HRAC's community educator outreach. Ms. Tullier-Holly is a lifetime member of the HRAC Board of Directors.
Dana Goblowsky, as a former educator, is passionate about providing children in the greater Hammond area access to art. She believes art and art education are critical to an individual’s well-being and a community’s growth and development. She is the long-time chairperson and organizer of HRAC’s Culinary Arts Series. Ms. Goblowsky is a life-long resident of Hammond. She is the proud mother of a daughter who lives and works in Texas.
Gabrielle earned a degree in interior design from Louisiana State University in the Spring of 2019. Shortly after that, she joined H/S Architects and has had the opportunity to work on several projects where she can express her creativity and continue developing her technical skills. Gabrielle’s interest in interior design stems from the desire to make an impact in the lives of others. To her, being an interior designer allows her to influence other people's lives in any given environment. Showing that interior spaces can make a difference in how life is experienced makes being an interior designer special to her. Outside the office, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, attending LSU football games, traveling and reading a good book.
Bryan currently serves as Tax Director at James Lambert Riggs & Associates. He began his career in accounting in 2004 and joined the firm as an Associate Director in 2017. His responsibilities include accounting and review services, estate tax and income tax planning and compliance and other accounting and consulting services.
Beverly Covington has been active in volunteer work in the community her entire life. She has lived in Hammond since 1980 and has participated in several local service and charitable organizations. She was a past Executive Director for the Hammond Regional Arts Center, serving from 1993-95. She holds a degree in Business Management from LSU, is a member of the Hammond Junior Auxiliary and serves on the Board of Trustees for the First United Methodist Church.
Dusty Cooper was born and raised in Ponchatoula, Louisiana. He has been a photographer for 25 years and pursued fashion photography in New York City. In 2013, he received his master's degree in creative writing. Dusty exhibits at local galleries, creates music videos for local musicians and experiments with different photography techniques. He now lives with his fiance, Stephen King (not the author), in his hometown, where he is the Director of Videography at Anntoine Marketing and Design.
Lauren Kimble Smith
Lauren is a local CPA Associate Director at James Lambert Riggs & Associates in downtown Hammond. Originally from New Orleans, she came to Hammond in 2009 to attend Southeastern for her accounting degree. Hammond has since become her new home. Lauren has always greatly appreciated the arts and believes it is a vital part of our community. She wants to help promote the arts and grow its impact on our communities.
Gallery / Office Hours:
Monday - Tuesday: By appointment only
Wednesday - Friday noon - 6 p.m.
Closed: Saturday - Tuesday
P.O. Box 2974
Hammond, LA 70404
Gallery / Office Address:
217 E Thomas Street
Hammond, LA 70401