The FARM Board of Directors has nominated the following candidates for the three open positions on our board:

  • Karen Rigotti (Incumbent)
  • Sandy Wong Ronkoske
  • Elexa Dawson

 The FARM board would like to open our nomination process up to our membership at large. If you have any interest in running for a position on the Folk Alliance Region Midwest Board of Directors, please return an email to No later than September 6, 2022

Please include your:

  • NAME
  • Location
  • Industry connection
  • 3rd person bio. 100 words or less
  • 1st person platform – 50 words or less
  • Headshot

Elexa Dawson

(from the Oklahoma Potawatomi Nation)
Location: Emporia, KS
Industry Connection: Artist, festival organizer, educator, facilitator, venue owner-to-be

Candidate Bio

Elexa Dawson creates community-focused Americana music where sultry soul meets rural roots. Her debut album “Music is Medicine” brings her storytelling to life through transcendent melodies connecting land-based musical programming to folk stages. Music is Medicine names Elexa’s original debut album and describes the motivation behind sharing story and song. At home in natural environments, and brilliant in theaters, attentive rooms, educational spaces, and cultural venues.

Platform Statement

FARM has been a welcoming and empowering environment for me, and I think I can contribute a unique perspective and energy, based on my various identities and networks.


Sandy Wong Ronkoske

Location: Addison, IL
Industry connection: Volunteer, Fan and Founder of St Tim’s Coffeehouse-Skokie, IL

Candidate Bio

You might say she’s a groupie or just a fan, but without question, Sandy is believed to have lived at Amazingrace Coffeehouse-Evanston, IL many moons ago. Her exposure to folk music was formed by the talented acoustic singer-songwriters she grew to hear and follow. She became a volunteer and served on Unity Temple (Oak Park, IL) Concert Series BoD to learn how to present music. In 2016, opportunity knocked at her door through a high school friend and she co-founded St Tim’s Coffeehouse-Skokie, IL. Since then, she curates and operates the six-concert series. Motto: A busy person gets things done.


Participation is the name of the game. I’m putting my name in the hat because my previous experience and knowledge are to be shared with this esteem, grassroots organization called FARM. Their actions since 2020 have enrich the lives of both performers and venues. I want to contribute to it.

Karen Rigotti (incumbent)

Location: Wilmette, IL
Industry Connection: Arts Advocate

Candidate Bio

Retiree Karen Rigotti focuses on non-profit arts advocacy.  She volunteers at WFMT for “The Midnight Special” and “Folkstage” (20 years.)   As an active singing member (35 years), former volunteer, and current contracted GM of the 110 members, 86 year old, Evanston, IL, community choral group North Shore Choral Society, she continues to facilitate administrative activities and a successful music outreach program.  Ms. Rigotti gained extensive managerial experience at AT&T, especially with executive-level customer service escalations.  She is self-directed, but collaborative and flexible, has problem-solving capabilities, and experience in team leadership, project management, budget/data analysis, and human resources.

Platform Statement

Music, an all-inclusive, universal language, is integral to my life and might be what carries us through these divisive times.  Experience and love of music enable me to support FARM. FARM is essential to the continued viability of FAI and is increasingly impactful with Virtual Connections and other regional offerings.


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