Your Guides

Laurie Phillips

LAURIE PHILLIPS, a co-founder of Museum Sage and a Master Guide and Trainer, loves helping people find answers to life challenges through artworks and historical objects. Laurie is an artist whose art asks the question, "what's it like to be you?" Laurie also works as a life coach for women who feel overwhelmed by their job, their health or their relationships. She’s an international workshop leader for institutions like Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, and Adler School of Coaching.
612-460-1382  |

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JON SPAYDE, a co-founder of Museum Sage, is a solo performer, writer, editor, and a good guy. He's been on stage since he was 3 months old (playing a baby, to rave reviews), 29 years in journalism and a love for spirituality, literature, art, culture, and history. He studied East Asian languages at Harvard then flunked out of Stanford where he studied Comparative Literature. He was a writer and editor for Utne Reader magazine for thirteen years, covering all of the above and more. He currently writes about art for Public Art Review magazine. He's pretty good at taking a complex topic and making it accessible and intriguing for his audience.

SUSAN GANGSEI is an artist, author, and marketing professional.  “Museum Sage came into my life as a healing force after my husband passed way from Parkinson’s. Today I'm energized by sharing Museum Sage with the world as a guide, trainer and program developer.”  Susan is a tapestry weaver and printmaker. Her tapestries have been exhibited in art galleries as well as educational and faith-based organizations. She was also a family caregiver for her husband, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2000 and passed away in 2013. From that experience she has written two books, The Light in the Middle of the Tunnel: Harrowing but Hopeful Stories of Parkinson’s Family Caregivers and Stuck With It, Not In It: Redefining Life with Parkinson’s Disease. Susan has a Masters in Training and Development from the University of Minnesota and an MBA from the University of St. Thomas.

KAREN OLSON is a coach, workshop leader, writer and editor who helps people create more elemental, artful lives and a more peaceful, healthy world. Since she accidentally set a wildfire—and was in a flood, a tornado, an explosion in a cave, and lost at sea—Karen has been fascinated with elemental and energetic balance and has studied permaculture, holistic health, tarot, feng shui, and leadership development. Karen is the executive editor of Public Art Review, which covers international art in the public realm, and was formerly editor-in-chief of Utne Reader. She holds an M.F.A. in creative writing and a B.A. in art history and literature, and writes about art, culture, the environment, health, home, food, and spirituality for numerous publications. She also coaches people who want to live freely as their most natural, powerful selves, develop resilience, and turn their big ideas into real-world impact. She loves training future Museum Sage Guides.

JERRY BOARDMAN, Museum Sage Trainer, first experienced Museum Sage in 2002 on a trip to Vancouver when his wife, Mary Cayan, led him through the experience at the Northeast Coast Museum.  He was awed by the experience and became an active supporter of the work.  Jerry’s career led him to become director of the Housing and Redevelopment Authority for the City of Bloomington, MN, and the Director of Housing for the City of Minneapolis, MN.  He worked for several years with Fannie Mae assisting homeowners in foreclosure to remain in their homes. Now retired, Jerry enjoys his time as an usher at the Ordway Center for Performing Arts.  Jerry’s background in urban architecture and his love of museums, art and the impact that these can have on people’s lives has inspired him to become an Museum Sage Guide. An avid traveler and museum visitor, Jerry is always ready to grab his suitcase and bring Museum Sage into the world!

MARY CAYAN, MSW, PCC, Master Guide and Museum Sage Trainer, is an organizational development whiz, a personal coach and artist with 20+ years of experience in assisting organizations and individuals to articulate and design their visions and make them real. She has worked extensively in the non-profit and government sectors doing needs assessment, grant-writing, strategic planning and fundraising. She's a founding member of the L’artivist public art movement, partnering with the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, the Toronto, Ontario school system, and Friends School of Minnesota. Mary is a certified New Equations teacher. She's been a docent with the Minneapolis Institute of Arts for 13 years.  

DANETTE OLSEN works in the arena of sustainable community development, using the arts and participatory learning as the most effective tools she knows to help groups reimagine the future.  Danette is a creative and tenacious civic leader who believes in the transformative power of the arts and the restorative qualities of nature to awaken, mobilize, and replenish people of all ages to be knowledgeable, active citizens who are committed to social and environmental justice.  Danette is also a Life-Cycle Celebrant, writing and officiating ceremonies of all kinds.

BEKAH RIEKE is a certified Integrative Nutrition Coach trained at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition's cutting edge Health Coach Training Program.  Bekah also holds a Masters in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Bekah coaches clients in the Twin Cities to achieve their health goals (e.g., weight loss, digestive concerns, emotional eating) through REAL food and sage new-found body intelligence. She uses her passion for real food and her expertise in the kitchen, to help intelligent, creative, beautiful, and in-need-of-nourishment folks, to transform their health and care for themselves by turning on the stove and learning to cook wholesome healthy food.

MARGARET TODD MAITLAND is a writer and editor with a focus on art, artists, and travel. During a post-college art school stint in Mexico, she learned to draw and discovered that intense visual engagement with the world was the most fun she’d ever had. After ten years at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, she found a happy combination of visual and literary concerns as managing editor of the Hungry Mind Review and as editor of Ruminator Review. With an MFA in Creative Writing from Bennington College, she has published essays, book reviews, and interviews with artists. Her current project is a memoir, The Girl in the Fresco: A Year in Italy.


KAREN HALL has spent over 20 years as a trainer and mentor. She's also been a textile artist for over 30 years and is passionate about all the arts. You might see her at quilt shows with a dreamy look in her eyes, or wandering around an art museum greeting artworks as if they were old friends.


CAROL WICHERS, MA, LICSW, LMFT, is a therapist who believes everyone has the capacity to change and create a more fulfilling life. She brings the benefit of many years of experience. A wide range of clients have told her that her strongest asset is her ability to connect deeply. Carol has helped produce a documentary on aging and is a poet.

PAIGE TIGHE is an artist who weaves creative knowledge into caring for the aging. With a Master's in Public Practice from Otis College of Art and Design, she brings community organizing skills to events, exhibits and institutions. Trained with ArtSage and becoming a Wellness Coach through the Mayo Clinic, she's trained to teach and coach adult learners. She co-organizes Feminist Video Quarterly, a video screening held in Minneapolis. Her practice ranges from painting to video to performance. Her most extensive art piece is Walk with Me. She looks forward to enjoying the surprises placed inside a thoughtful question asked of an artwork or historical object while walking with you during a Museum Sage session. 

KIRSTEN FRANTZICH is a creator, researcher, and performer. A professional actor trained at New York’s Juilliard School, she recently finished her MA and PhD in depth psychology, a form of psychology committed to understanding soul through the study of art, religion, science, and nature. Kirsten’s recent focus brings theater into the field of psychology in a fresh way. Her doctoral work She Myth — embodied research in theatrical space — travels through the everyday into myth, memory, and personal soul journey. Kirsten is an artist of possibility. She is known for her ability to trust the unknown, live and create in liminality, give voice and gesture to what is often withheld, and to invite the truest aspects of individuals, professionals, and groups to be experienced and witnessed — in themselves and others — for communal benefit. 

VIK ORENSTEIN founded KidCapers Portraits and creates portraits of kids just being kids — no posing, no sitting still, no stiff clothing. Just pure expression, energy, and grace. Along the way she's published two books on the art and business of photographing children, founded two additional portraits studios, and photographed kids for commercial clients such as Nikon, Pentax, and Microsoft. In 2003, she discovered a passion for teaching photography online.

KATHERINE J. POHLMAN is a nurse attorney/holistic coach/artist/author who lives and practices in the Twin Cities. In her integrative law and holistic coaching practices, she helps health care providers transform difficult legal challenges — including medical malpractice and licensure complaints — into opportunities for personal healing and professional growth. She brings heart and mind to the art of practice, partnering with clients to help them identify and realize their goals and to see themselves as whole and empowered.  She is dedicated to promoting wellness and resiliency, believes passionately in the power of art to heal, and weaves those values throughout all that she does.

KAREN MUELLER feels lucky to have worked in the arts for over 25 years in a variety of positions.  She directed the general operating support program at the Minnesota State Arts Board for ten years and more recently worked as a national consultant to small and mid size arts non-profits, helping them with strategic planning and capacity building. Karen began her career in arts education at the Minnesota Museum of Art in St. Paul.  She is currently managing director at History Theatre, which commissions and produces new theater work about Minnesota and the Midwest.

THERESA FRICKE, BSN, MA, brings 30+ years of experience in nursing and Holistic Health, and is a New Equations certified teacher. She provides energy healing for clients experiencing chronic medical conditions, painful life transitions, grief, and past trauma. Theresa provides support pre- and post-surgery and support during doctors’ appointments. She also helps healthy clients maintain their physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness. Theresa weaves images and symbols gleaned from Museum Sage into her clients' sessions and healing plans.  

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JOY YOSHIKAWA is CEO of The Design Company, a graphic design firm in St. Paul, Minnesota. A docent at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, she has been conducting formal tours there since 2005 as well as various “pop-up” tours throughout her travels. She is known for engaging her audiences in lively discussion as they explore the world through art: the creative expression of what it means to be human. Her presentations are aimed at empowering viewers to “trust their eye” and to make connections with one’s community and oneself.