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About US

At Coutts Museum of Art, our dedicated staff and esteemed board members are passionate advocates for the transformative power of art. Together, we are committed to fostering creativity, enriching lives, and building a vibrant artistic community. With diverse backgrounds and expertise, our team works tirelessly to ensure that the museum remains a beacon of inspiration and cultural enrichment for all.

Meet Our Staff

Dedication. Expertise. Passion.

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Executive Director

Thea Howard


Thea has been with the Coutts since March 2017. Thea grew up between Rose Hill and Augusta, KS. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a focus in metalsmithing and jewelry from Kansas State University. After spending seven years in Japan, she returned to the Butler/Sedgwick area in 2008.


Thea has over 20 years of experience in both traditional and non-traditional educational programming. She served on the executive team at the Museum of World Treasures as the Programs Director, directing the exhibits, educational programs, and collections.


As the Executive Director, Thea has been involved in a little of everything at the Coutts, but her focus will be working with the board to form strategic plans, development at all levels, and the continued development of a professional and dynamic team.

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Experience & Engagement Coordinator

Cam Austin

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Cam is the newest member of our team starting in July of 2022. Cam grew up in El Dorado but moved away to become an Early Childhood educator for 15 years, ending their career teaching for the US Army. After deciding to be a Stay at home parent and moving back to El Dorado, Cam served on many boards within our community including City of El Dorado Parks and Recreation, Church council, and serving on PTO.  He also began to volunteer their time helping to coordinate and streamline several community non-profits social media and marketing departments.

As Experience and Engagement Coordinator for the Coutts Museum of Art Cam hopes to engage our local and regional area in the amazing exhibits, events, and of course the amazing history behind our beautiful museum.



Sheila Yrjanainen


Sheila has worked at the Coutts Museum of Art since 2017. Sheila takes her stewardship of the Coutt’s collection very seriously.. Each piece of art has an aesthetic as well as historical value to be preserved for future generations.  Incoming exhibits are treated with equal care. She is the Coutts historian.


Sheila graduated from the University of Wisconsin with an Art degree in 2008. Her hobbies are art (any form), gardening, hiking, and exploring Kansas.  Sheila has also sheared sheep, made soap and candles, canned her own food and currently likes to sew unique outfits for work.

Meet our Board

Dedication. Expertise. Passion.



Robin Gonzalez

Dispatcher Butler County Dept on Aging



Debi La Forge



Tabitha Sharp

Assistant City Manager City of El Dorado

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