New faces join the ranks at Strings Music Festival in Steamboat Springs |

New faces join the ranks at Strings Music Festival in Steamboat Springs

Longtime local Nancy Nagler Engelken will now join the Strings Music Festival team as the new development director.
John F. Russell

Steamboat Springs — With opening day of the Strings Music Festival swiftly approaching, there will be a few new faces joining the ranks.

One of those will be Nancy Engelken.

Known as the executive director of Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp since 2015, she will take on her new role at Strings as development director May 7.

“She brings with her a wealth of experience in fundraising as well as knowledge and passion for Steamboat, the arts and a love of music, too — all of those factors alone made her a stand out candidate to us,” said Elissa Greene, executive director and CEO of Strings Music Festival.

Greene said when they recently started looking for a new development director, Engelken was identified as someone who would be a great fit.

“We really have been trying hard to reach out to the community and make sure we’re providing programs for everyone,” Greene said. “With her connections in the community, we can continue to build upon those relationships, create new and exciting partnerships and collaborative programs.”

Other new faces include Les Wong as the new office manager, who was previously known as operations leader of Smartwool from 2011 to 2017, as well as Yoshi Yonekawa as the new production director, known for his role in technical theater productions for more than 14 years AND working with Strings for more than 11 as the lighting designer.

Previously, Engelken held managerial roles in the nonprofit, philanthropic, public and university sectors in Minnesota and Colorado. She has served as a program officer with The Minneapolis Foundation and was associate director at the Center for Rural Design at the University of Minnesota. Engelken also served as an aide to a St. Paul (Minnesota) City Council member and was a program coordinator with the city of Steamboat Springs and has called the Yampa Valley home since 2004.

Before Perry Mansfield, she operated her own consulting firm providing program development, research and grant writing services to national, state and local nonprofit and educational organizations.

“Perry-Mansfield is a national treasure,” Engelken said. “It’s a bittersweet departure from Perry-Mansfield because I adore that amazing place. The faculty and students are nationally renowned and continue Charlotte Perry and Portia Mansfield’s commitment to producing ground-breaking new work.”

Gary Wilner, board president of Perry-Mansfield’s board of directors, said change is always difficult, but the board views this as an opportunity to continue building upon its programming and accomplishments.

“It is both with regret and fondness that Perry-Mansfield is saying goodbye to Nancy,” Wilner said. “We wish her good fortune in her new adventure.”

He explained the board will be meeting to discuss future plans for the new executive director. Toni Quick, director of Perry-Mansfield will step in during the interim until a new executive director is hired.

After being engaged in an intense summer performing arts program at Perry-Mansfield, Engelken said she is ready for the Strings summer lineup as well as its year-round programs.

“I think the Strings team is amazing,” Engelken said. “They’re open to new ideas and eager to explore how they can have an even greater impact in our community. The staff, board and their music director brings incredible skills and passion to Strings, and I’m thrilled and honored to be part of that team.”

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1.

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