Friends Leadership Council

The Friends Leadership Council (FLC) is an engaged group of volunteers from around the community and beyond who advocate for the arts at Penn State and help to plan a variety of events, including our premier fundraising event, the Palmer Gala.

Council Members

The purpose of the FLC is to further the educational and public service mission of the Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State.

Members of the Friends Leadership Council at their membership table during a Community Day event 

It achieves this by advocating for the needs of the Museum, assisting in its efforts to grow and obtain membership support, and raising funds for the benefit of the Museum, its collection, and public programs. Members of the Friends Leadership Council serve as ambassadors of the Museum by strengthening town and gown relationships; sustain the Council through active recruitment, orientation, and succession planning; and actively support the vision and goals of the Director. 


For more information about getting involved with this dedicated group of volunteers, call 814-865-7673.


Friends Leadership Council Members – 2023–2024

  • Tara Banerjee – Chair 
  • Gail Hurley – Interim Vice Chair
  • Deborah Meszaros – Docent Representative
  • Grace Tran – Student Representative 
  • Laura Anderson
  • Keleigh Asbury
  • Meghan Flannery Hayes 
  • Cleveland Johnson
  • Urszula Kulakowski
  • Roy Long
  • Charmaine Rapaport
  • Tracy Riegel
  • Kay Salvino
  • Vaughn Shirk
  • Ex-officio Members: Erin M. Coe (Director); Joyce Robinson (Assistant Director); Jo Bergsma (Assistant Director for Advancement and Membership); Terri Sowerby (Immediate Past Chair)

Friends Events

The Friends Leadership Council organizes, plans, and hosts multiple events for members of the Friends of the Palmer and the public.
Friends during a purchase party event

Annual Meeting

The Friends of the Palmer Annual Meeting happens every summer. Annual meetings are special events that include guest speakers, receptions, and sometimes participation in choosing new museum purchases and acquisitions.
The Palmer Museum of Art Gala 2019


The Palmer Museum’s spectacular annual gala includes dinner and dancing, special guests, live and silent auction items, and more! It’s an unforgettable way to raise money for art, the collection, and the museum.
A preview event for the Friends members

Preview Receptions

Throughout the year, Friends members can attend exclusive opening reception previews for major exhibitions at the Palmer Museum. Preview receptions occur before public openings and include intimate viewing of the latest exhibitions, special guests, cocktails, and hors d’oeuvres.

Programs at the Palmer are made possible by our Friends! Learn about membership here.