Homegrown Steering Committee & Board of Directors
The Homegrown Music Festival is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to organize the annual Homegrown Music Festival for the cultural benefit of the Twin Ports, continued showcasing of local music, and helping sustain a supportive arts community.
Melissa La Tour
Melissa “Ginger” La Tour is serving her second year as Homegrown Music Festival’s Executive Director. Prior to that position, Melissa was Homegrown’s Volunteer Coordinator for 5 years. Melissa has been involved with Homegrown in several roles since 1999. She also performs during Homegrown as a member of Sing! A Women’s Chorus.
In 2007, Melissa founded Harbor City Roller Dames, the Twin Port’s first women’s flat track roller derby league. She is a Commissioner with Duluth Public Arts Commission and has worked for local Indie record label, Chaperone Records. In her spare time, she is a DJ for KUMD’s Women’s Music Show and is an active member of Junior League of Duluth.
Brennan Atchison has been involved in the Duluth arts and music scene in one capacity or another since 2000. He has played in Homegrown since 2007 and has been on the steering committee since 2011. During the day he works as an IT Professional at UMD.
Crystal is a proud new member of the DHMF Steering Committee. She is photographer/artist/small business owner and a busy Mama to three adorable children. She is obsessed with the outdoors and her hobbies change with the seasons.
A newer member to the committee, Dereck has been involved in the Duluth arts for almost 10 years. His connections from his involvement in the Duluth scene as well as his job as a local hairstylist gives him an eclectic taste that adds to the committee.
Elizabeth Koltes has lived in Duluth over 25 years. Over this time she’s volunteered in the community for various events and organizations, as she likes to give back to the community. Her love of promoting all things local and enjoying Homegrown grew. Elizabeth started out as a volunteer delivering Field Guides in 2007, moved to venue volunteer, then eventually as venue manager over the past few years, finally becoming a steering committee member in 2015. Currently she works as an IT Analyst for Maurices, has two grown children, family in the Twin Cities and California, and various hobbies.
ENG has been on the steering committee for four years helping make/keep the event safe and accessible for all those who attend. Erin has done a little bit of everything. Assisting with the Photography Show and Children’s Music Showcase, as well as helping with volunteer coordination.
With more than 20 years in Social Services, and nearly as many in live music Jason brings a unique perspective to Homegrown. Jason keeps his eye on liabilities, seeks ways to maximize assets, and jumps in to any situation that needs rectification. Jason decided to join the steering committee to give back to a festival he has attended annually since 2003.
Duluth’s favorite Placenta Lady and Homegrown Festival’s Volunteer Coordinator landed in Duluth in 2008 and on the HGMF Steering Committee in 2015. When she ain’t clucking she is likely camping, cooking, dancing at a festival or hanging with the wife and teenager.
Jesse “Jaze” Unger
Jesse “Jaze” Unger a pioneer to the hip hop scene in Duluth, and has been actively promoting shows and performing for 15 years.
Joe is a Duluth native, a technology geek, and guitar player. Some of his favorite memories of the Duluth music scene are from the days of the Recyclabell all-ages venue and the Urban Grounds coffee shop in the 90s.
Kip moved to Duluth in 2004 and started attending Homegrown around 2010 in an attempt to find something new to photograph. He has since been absorbed by the festival and its community and joined the steering committee in 2016. He spends his non-festival time working as a software engineer in Duluth.
Scott Hebert has been involved in the Duluth theatre scene since 2008, and he’s lurked around the Homegrown scene since 2012. Added to the steering committee in the Summer of 2017, it’s only taken Scott one month to figure out he’s in over his head. The rest of the committee is now taking bets on how long until he “cries and runs home.” The smart money is on mid-April.
Sean is an Iron Range native and permanent Duluth transplant. Homegrown is in his top three reasons for staying in Duluth. A live music and local music junkie; loves most flavors, but particularly rock and punk. Is part of Homegrown because he like to be part of the group, and it’s a joy to help put together his favorite event.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
Kelli Latuska served on the steering committee for four years before being elected Treasurer of the Board of Directors. By day, she is a Community Development Manager, and by night she is crime-fighter by way of listening to true crime podcasts and armchair-sleuthing on the internet. She also likes painting and local politics.
Lyz Jaakola vaguely remembers being at the first Homegrown 20 years ago… and started playing in the festival a few years ago. Lyz is music faculty at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College in Cloquet and directs the Ojibwemowining Digital Arts Studio when she’s not singing, parenting or serving on various boards and committees. Lyz is honored to serve on the DHGMF Board of Directors.
Mags David is a Duluth-based singer songwriter. She is the director of Sing! A Women’s Chorus.
Margie first attended Homegrown in 2010 and joined the Board of Directors in 2012. She is an active patron of local music and art and supports the nonprofit functions of the festival. Her day job consists of marketing and fundraising for Life House, and she is actively involved with the Duluth nonprofit and civic community.
Ryan is a 12-year veteran of the Duluth music scene, having played drums with the likes of the Hotel Coral Essex, Bradical Boombox, and currently with The Farsights and The Social Disaster. Having served five years as a Steering Committee member, he has since transitioned to the Board of Directors.
Likes: rock and roll, pizza, tacos, inclusion and representation in the music scene.