Rhonda Lyne, Executive Director
Rhonda is a scientist by day and avid supporter of the arts by night. Rhonda has had an active role with the Midwest Music Foundation since the inaugural fundraiser, Apocalypse Meow, in 2008. Inspired by our founder, Abigail Henderson, Rhonda is dedicated to the mission of the MMF. Current duties include fundraising, volunteer and event coordination, overseeing the health care fund, and other day to day activities of the organization.
Sondra Freeman, Director of Promotions and Artist Relations
After meeting Executive Director, Rhonda Lyne, while buying raffle tickets at an MMF function, Sondra was immediately interested in the organization’s mission and quickly became an active volunteer. Sondra’s extensive fundraising background and her lifelong love of music made her an immediate asset. Her duties have grown, and she functions as a band liaison by managing booking, promotions and many other aspects of event planning.
Sondra’s life outside of MMF includes Assistant Manager at the Buffalo Room, a performance space in Westport, and co-owner of Big Mac’s Fireworks.
Michelle Bacon, Editor
Michelle Bacon is a musician and writer dedicated to Kansas City’s thriving music community. As a web content writer at 90.9 The Bridge, she highlights emerging local artists and upcoming music events; she also freelances for The Kansas City Star and Ink. In addition to playing bass with The Philistines and drums with Chris Meck & the Guilty Birds, Michelle plays with and works as a social media/marketing consultant with a number of other local music projects. She works as a writer and editor for Midwest Music Foundation.
Brenton Cook, Promotions Specialist
Brenton became involved with the Midwest Music Foundation after attending the first two years of the MidCoast Takeover events in Austin, TX, which helped cultivate his desire to give back to the Kansas City music scene.
Brenton started independent Kansas City-based record label Haymaker Records in 2014 and coordinates the Outer Reaches music festival. He is the curator of the Midwestern Audio local compilation CD series. Brenton has also assisted with concert and music promotions for MMF. Brenton functioned as a DJ, business manager and assistant music director of his college radio station and has carried this passion for new music with him ever since. He is interested in growing Midwest Music Foundation’s visibility within the community and providing different ways for people to access new local music.
Canyon McClung, Production Specialist
Canyon started volunteering for MMF at the ripe old age of 17. He took particular interest in the technical aspects of making live music happen and quickly began learning how to run sound and lighting. He is now an intricate part of making any MMF show happen. By day you’ll find Canyon printing your band’s merchandise at Seen Merch.
Scott Easterday, President
Scott Easterday is a singer/songwriter, performer, producer, composer, recording artist and promoter. Easterday is songwriter and guitarist for Expassionates. Easterday has been active in many projects in the Kansas City music and arts community for over two decades. He was a producer of the rock stage at the Kansas City Spirit Fest. He is the local host for the multi-city showcase The Love Hangover on the day after Valentine’s Day. Easterday wrote review articles and produced video interviews for KCMetropolis, Kansas City’s online arts journal. He maintains the MMF website and also works as a library professional at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
Chris Meck, Vice President
Chris is a musician and the co-owner of CM2 Audio. He has been captivated by music his whole life and has been playing guitar since he was able to lift one. As a founding member of the Midwest Music Foundation, Chris is dedicated to supporting musicians and promoting the amazing music developed in the greater Kansas City area. Chris is responsible for coordinating all aspects of music production for MMF, from live shows to recording.
Don Simon, JD, Secretary, Legal Advisor, Chair Education
Don Simon is a music attorney and the Managing Partner of MudStomp Records, a Kansas City-based roots and Americana label. He is also co-owner of Little Class Records, The Westport Roots Festival, and BandHack.com. Don also serves on the boards of CinemaKC and Kansas City Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts.
Don acts as an advisor on MMF’s legal and business affairs. He is also the chairman of MMF’s education committee.
Don lectures and writes extensively on music law issues and has appeared in Billboard, DownBeat, Screen Magazine, and KC Business. Prior to becoming an attorney, Don worked in the broadcasting, cable, and publishing industries as an award-winning producer and director. He also played bass guitar in several bands.
Don received his Juris Doctor and Master of Laws (Intellectual Property) degrees from The John Marshall Law School, his Master of Arts (Media Communications) from Webster University, and his Bachelor of Arts (Communications) from Missouri Southern State University.
Garrett Nordstrom, Treasurer
D. Garrett Nordstrom has 30 years music industry experience and an unique understanding of what musicians need. Nordstrom has been a songwriter, producer, guitarist, band manager, grant writer and an elementary school music teacher. Nordstrom is the chief operating officer of Governmental Assistance Services in Lawrence KS and manages the musical group Maria the Mexican. He was born in St Joseph MO to a soldier and Playboy Bunny and serves as the treasurer for the Midwest Music Foundation.
Dr. Thomas Cuevas, MD, Chair Abby’s Fund for Musicians’ Health Care
As a physician, MD, Dr. Cuevas sees patients with health problems and limited resources at the Duchesne Clinic, a safety net clinic located in Kansas City, Kansas. Dr. Cuevas is a longtime resident of Kansas, originally from the Topeka area and still has family in the Topeka area, but now lives on the Missouri side. He enjoys learning to play the violin, the same violin his mother, Teresa Cuevas, a mariachi musician, used to play, when she performed with Mariachi Estrella alongside two of his nieces who continue to make music and perform regularly in the KC area. Dr. Cuevas is driven to lend a hand where he can together with the other members of the MMF to help the Kansas City community of musicians.
Vi Tran, Chair Membership
Vi Tran is a storyteller, singer/songwriter, actor and arts advocate. He is the curator of The Buffalo Room, an artists’ salon and performance venue in Kansas City. Born in Vietnam and raised in southwestern Kansas, Tran considers himself equal parts sea salt & wheat fields.
Sarah J. Beasley, Chair Marketing and Communications
Sarah has been a long-time human rights activist and passionate supporter of the music scene. In 2004, Sarah & Abigail Henderson co-founded an activist organization that promoted civic involvement, fought against political apathy and inspired action through collaborations with the creative community. Through the years, Sarah has been involved in many non-profit groups that work towards progressive social change. As a committed lead volunteer & one-time staff person, she continues to contribute to the goals of the ACLU. Sarah holds a belief that music can change lives, bring communities together and drive essential social transformations. She loves playing the spoons, listening to old soul & garage rock & encouraging her friends & neighbors to get out & support live music.
Calandra Ysquierdo, Chair Volunteers
Calandra has been playing music in KC for 20+years. Calandra’s energy got her involved with MMF and in 2016 she accepted a position on the board. She plans to focus on volunteers and help the MMF double its reach in the next year. She currently plays bass with Chris Meck and The Guilty Birds.
(One open Board position)