Steve Baker, Chair

Jeff Tyler, Commission Chair and Public Art

Jeff Tyler is a founding member of the Cultural Arts Commission, serving the community since the commission's formation in 2011. Currently, Tyler is the Chair of the Commission as well as the leader of the Public Arts Program Area. For many years Jeff Tyler was Director of Corporate Advancement and Development for Lamb’s Players Theater where he used both his MBA and a strong management background developed as a senior U.S. Naval officer and as President of a San Diego Electronics Company. Currently, as a realtor with Ascent Realty, Jeff brings a long history of community involvement and a true love of the arts to his current position as the Commissioner of Public Art. He is excited with the opportunity to help make a difference inspiring and stimulating artistic awareness of Coronado residents and visitors. Already his leadership, initiative, focus, and communication skills have contributed to community collaborations enhancing Coronado’s Public Art opportunities.

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Helen Kupka, Arts Partners, and Advocacy

Helen Kupka has been fascinated by the performing arts since she was a little girl. Growing up, she played the viola in the school orchestra, performed as a folk singer and sang in a jazz quartet later in life. She studied piano for many years and plays on a regular basis. She minored in Theatre Arts at Denison University. She is an avid art collector and donor/subscriber to the San Diego Symphony, La Jolla Playhouse and San Diego Repertory Theater. Helen volunteered with the Cultural Arts Commission during Coronado's 125th Celebration planning an open-air jazz concert and a family fun night, both in the Coronado Cays Park. Helen was the co-owner of TLA Technology. An engaged resident of the Coronado Cays, Helen served on the Coronado Cays Homeowners Association for four years including service as President for two years. Under her leadership, the Cays partnered with the City of Coronado to redesign the entryway to the Cays to improve safety. She acted as the project manager for the $3 million dollar renovation to Montego Village.. Helen's ability to organize and energize groups around a common goal makes her uniquely poised to serve with Coronado's Arts Partners.

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Lei Udell, Literary Arts

Lei Udell joins the Cultural Arts Commission as Commissioner of Literary Arts as a life-long reader with a love of the written word. A 24-year resident of Coronado, Lei grew up in and maintains ties with Iowa City, Iowa, home of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop and a UNESCO City of Literature. She reads and writes for business as an appellate attorney, and reads for pleasure as a member of two local book clubs and a volunteer with Coronado Friends of the Library. For many years Lei was active with Coronado’s community schools, where she ran the book fairs at Village Elementary and Coronado Middle School before serving as president of the PTOs at Coronado High School and Middle School, a member of the Presidents’ Council, and on various budget task forces for the school district. She also served the San Diego legal community as a member of the San Diego County Bar Association, where she was programming chairman for the Appellate Courts Committee and headed a task force that developed a new self-help program for litigants without lawyers. Lei is excited to work with the Commission and its Arts Partners to promote a vibrant literary arts community in Coronado.


Mariah Gillespie, Arts Education, and Musical Arts

Mariah Gillespie, Arts Education, and Musical Arts Commissioner holds a BA in Music from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and an MA in Journalism & Communications from the University of New South Wales, Sydney. She has played the piano since age 5 and the harp since age 10. Mariah’s piano studies have earned her national and international awards, and at age 13 she was a featured soloist (harp) with the Southern Great Lakes Symphony Orchestra. She has taught private and group music lessons in the United States and Australia, having completed Yamaha Music Education Certifications in both countries. Her teaching experience spans from leading classrooms of 3-4-year olds to conducting private lessons with students ranging from 5-75 years old. Mariah is the founder of Coronado-based Ms. Mariah’s Music, and she is passionate about arts and music education.


Maryellen McMahon, Visual Arts

Maryellen McMahon joins the Cultural Arts Commission as Commissioner of Visual Arts with a love and appreciation of the arts.  She brings 30+ years of experience in the profession of Interior Design, owning her own business for more than 24 years in central Texas.  Since making Coronado her home in 2011, she was the design lead for the Qualcomm design team at BKM Officeworks in San Diego and served in account management on many local and out of state projects.  Art installations have always been an integral part of her interiors projects. In 2015, Maryellen became a licensed Real Estate professional to complete a passion she has always said will benefit from her previous work as an interior designer.  She currently works for Teles Properties and a member of the Alan Kinzel Professional Realty Group, who just completed sponsoring Coronado’s very first community-wide “Coronado’s Got Talent” talent show. Maryellen has two daughters, her youngest a 2013 musical theatre graduate of CoSA.

William M. Lowman, Commission Vice Chairman, Development and Special Events

Bill Lowman graduated from the University of Redlands with a BA in History,  Music, and Civilization. He started out as a young vocalist, conducting church and community choirs as well as performing as a tenor soloist. He helped found the Las Vegas Symphony, consulted for many small arts organizations and moved into arts administration as the founder and Director of the Nevada School of the Arts; a summer music camp and year-round community school. In 1985 he was appointed the Executive Director of the Idyllwild Arts Foundation. He retired in 2011 as the President of Idyllwild Arts. From 2012-2014 he served as Director of the University of Redlands Salzburg Semester. A new resident to Coronado, Bill brings to the Cultural Arts Commission and the program area of Arts Education a wealth of experience, having over the years assisted in the development and training of many of the outstanding musicians, dancers, artists, actors, writers and filmmakers who are working at the heart of contemporary art and culture across the US, Europe and Asia. Lowman served as the ad hoc chairman of Coronado CREATES, a strategic plan for arts and culture. He is currently serving as Vice-Chair of the Commission.


Sherril Altstadt, Communications: Public Relations & Media

Sherril Altstadt joins the Coronado Cultural Arts Commission leading the Communication: PR and Media program area. She is the former CEO of Coronado Home Care and a published author. Sherril has been a resident of Coronado for over five years.   Dedicated to the arts, Sherril believes that the offering of the arts is a hallmark of a great community.  Sherril served as a volunteer for the inaugural Coronado Film Festival, a CoSA Gala volunteer for the past six years, and was a CoSA Parent from 2009 through 2013. Sherril volunteered for the Commission as a CoSA Parent Liaison where she advocated having the talented youth of Coronado be included in future programs of the Commission.  Sherril is leading the Communications: PR and Media Program area of the Cultural Arts Commission and is responsible for the website and the popular weekly e-mail publication 3 on Thursday.



Kelly Purvis, Senior Management Analyst/Arts, and Culture

Kelly Purvis was hired as the first Contract Arts Administrator for the City of Coronado and staff liaison to the Coronado Cultural Arts Commission. She joined the team in December of 2013. In February 2019 she was hired as a Senior Management Analyst for Coronado and continues to work in support of Arts and Culture and the Cultural Arts Commission.  A local arts supporter and longtime community volunteer, Purvis assists the Cultural Arts Commission in fulfilling its mission to strengthen, coordinate and connect the arts with the citizens of Coronado. Purvis served as the first director of development for the Coronado Historical Association and did event coordination for the San Diego political fundraising firm of Dorsee Productions. Volunteer experience includes work with the University of Southern California, Coronado Unified School District, P.E.O., International and the City of Coronado. A strong proponent of preservation, Purvis served on the City's original Residential Standards Improvement Committee as well as the Vice-Chair of the City of Coronado R-4 Standards Committee. She was named the San Diego Save Our Heritage Organisation "Preservationist of the Year" in 2007 and was honored by the University of Southern California in 2012 with an Alumni Service Award.