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The 2023 HMC Board of Directors Election is now open. As a valued Member, you are entitled to a vote in our annual Board of Directors election, which is available virtually and by mail. There are five board seats open at this time. Current candidates are listed below. 

Ballots can be submitted until October 31st, either electronically through the link below, or through the mail (postmarked by October 31st). 

There is one vote per member. All current and lifetime members may submit one ballot for the candidates of their choice. Memberships at the $250 and above levels may submit up to two ballots, one for each individual member named. Duplicate or invalid ballots will be reviewed and eliminated.  

Results will be announced at the Annual meeting on Saturday, November 5th, at 6:30 pm at Barrel + Beam Brewery in Marquette. 

Please contact HMC if you are not sure about the status of your membership or have any additional questions at or call (906) 226-8575.

Candidates for the 2023 Hiawatha Board of Director’s Election are provided below.

Candice Blackstone-Larson


I have been a member for a couple years and have volunteered since 2013.The first couple years that I volunteered was as part of the security team, then I wanted to do more so I asked Susan if there was anything I could do beforehand and that is when I took over helping to organize and reach out to businesses on the Program Ads for the festival. In 2019, I ran for my first term on the Board.

Roles I have served in include: 

  • Past Board Member of Connect Marquette & Event Chair for their Annual Professional
  • Development Conference
  • Member: Marquette Arts & Cultural Committee
  • Event Coordinator: Superior Health Foundation
  • Event Committee Member: Beacon House Golf Tournament & Mom Prom
  • Volunteer: 906 Adventure Team & Iron Range Roll

More than anything, I want to see the Hiawatha Music Co-op be a sustainable organization. I think I offer good discussion and insight from my event experience and time outside of the UP. Being a transplant, I think sometimes brings a different perspective and I relish those experiences. I will fully admit that my first term on the board was sometimes difficult in the sense that for almost the first two years our meetings were on Zoom due to Covid and finding a sense of self within a very established group of people sometimes felt distant. That being said, after the past year of getting to meet in person, I feel like we have a good rhythm going with decisions that are being made to move the organization forward and I want to continue to be a part of that rhythm.

I think I have many qualities that I contribute to Hiawatha. I am honest, I have good communication skills, I am organized, I have a good self-drive and I am passionate. All these and many more are what makes up a good board member. The fact is, we need more people on the front lines if this is going to continue to be a success. We need people to step up to the plate. I want my children to be able to bring their children to these events, to love it as much as we do.

Melinda Britton

Melinda Britton BIO photo

I have been on the HMC board for three years, did social media at one of the festivals, Membership Committee, Ticket Sales team, and am currently the Board Treasurer. I contracted with Hiawatha for a while doing some social media, newsletters, and posters. I also connected my friend, Heather Picotte, to Hiawatha which has led to many amazing things! We also do things with Hiawatha through our homeschool group, which all the kids LOVE!

Additional Community Activities, Memberships, Achievements, etc.: I am a local doula in our community, my family belongs to Northwoods Learning HUB (a homeschool/unschool co-op) and we are members at the Marquette Food Co-op and Drifa Brewing Co-op. I am a member of Connect Marquette, Michigan Doula Coalition, Upper Peninsula Breastfeeding Network, and Marquette County Perinatal Collaborative.

Over the last three years, I, along with the other board members, have had to make many difficult and unprecedented decisions to keep Hiawatha going. We have been strategic and intentional and have always brought it back to the mission. I know that the first three years of going through the fire (so to speak), has taught me many things. What it has taught me most is the power of listening to each member of the board, of exhausting all our options, and also how as a board we have to be really aware of our systems in place. I will continue to bring that lived knowledge forward. Also, finances have been KEY in the last three years and as a board member (and person) being financially responsible, accountable, and accurate is extremely important to me.

With this being my second term on the board, I know what is required to be a board member. I’m happy to help out and will continue to contribute. I am currently an active member of the board and will continue to make time for HMC.

I value continually learning and creating a safe space for people/HMC to grow. I am willing to acknowledge that I don’t know everything about HMC, but I am not afraid to ask questions to make sure that I continue to learn and grow. I also value learning from others, whether it’s other board members, our membership, or executive director. It’s important to me that as a board we continue to learn and be willing to shift gears while staying true to our mission.

I am passionate about bringing other people into “the fold.” With having a growth mindset for the organization and also a deep love for HMC, I am constantly thinking how can we grow and who can we invite in. We have invited many friends to the festival, and they have started inviting other friends too! I love that everyone is welcome at Hiawatha and it’s a safe space for all. I am committed to continue to cultivate that environment and encourage others to come be part of Hiawatha.

Julie Foster-Lindquist


I became a member of the Hiawatha Music Co-op when I was in college – way back when! Over the years, I have volunteered for many different jobs and positions within the organization during Festival and throughout the year, many times, as a board member. I am currently serving my third consecutive year as Board President. Attending Festival every summer has become a very beloved tradition for the entire family. It’s been a privilege to be a part of Hiawatha, through thick and thin! 


I am so proud of this organization, what we have achieved together, and the people who work so hard to make it what it is. If I am reelected to the Board, I will continue to work hard to be an active volunteer and advocate for all things Hiawatha.