Meet the Staff
Jon Vickers is the founding director of the Indiana University Cinema. He works both independently and in collaboration with IU faculty to schedule film screenings, retrospectives, festivals, traveling exhibits, topical programs, and guest lectures.
He previously served as managing director of the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center at the University of Notre Dame, home to Indiana’s first THX® Certified cinema, as well as four live performance spaces. He also co-owned and operated the Vickers Theatre, an independent, single-screen arthouse in Three Oaks, Michigan, with his wife Jennifer. You can email Jon Vickers here.
Brittany D. Friesner is the Indiana University Cinema’s associate director and a double Indiana University alumna with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in arts administration. As associate director, Brittany manages logistics for the Cinema’s various events, researches and develops programming, and contributes to marketing, development, and audience and community-engagement efforts. Since 2008, she has served in theater operations each January at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Brittany has also worked in programming, marketing, and theater operations for the Tribeca Film Festival, the CMJ Music Marathon and Film Festival, the Bloomington PRIDE Film Festival, and the Seattle and Indianapolis international film festivals. You can email Brittany Friesner here.
Barbara Grassia comes to us with a wealth of experience, including the supervision of presentation for film festivals such as Telluride, Turner Classic Movies, Traverse City, Tribeca, Sundance, Telluride MountainFilm, Bermuda, Dubai, and the Dominican Republic. She also served as lead coordinator on the print build-up team as well as presentation supervisor in Southern California for The Hateful Eight 70mm roadshow. At IU Cinema, Barbara is responsible for all technical aspects of public presentations. You can email Barbara Grassia here
Carla Cowden, a graduate of IU and a long time employee of the university, is the Cinema’s Business Manager. She assists the director in building and maintaining the necessary relationships with studios, film distributors, filmmakers, and other industry professionals outside of IU, as well as stewarding relationships with IU partners and offices critical to the mission of the IU Cinema. As an enthusiastic lover of film, her tastes run from the Hollywood classics to the James Bond series. And yes, she admitted to seeing all of the Twilight films. You can email Carla Cowden here.
Jessica Davis Tagg, Assistant Director of Events, Facilities, and Guest Services, has over a decade of arts administration experience working with groups such as the Interlochen Center for the Arts, Tanglewood Festival, and most recently served as the executive director of the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra. Jessica continues to focus on developing and implementing ways to help people gain a deeper understanding and enjoyment of the arts. You can email Jessica Davis Tagg here.
Kyle Calvert, Design and Marketing Manager, is passionate about finding unique and creative approaches to design. Since graduating from the Pratt Institute with an MS in Communications Design, he has gained experience in marketing, branding, design, and instruction. As the Design and Marketing Manager for the Cinema, Kyle uses his creative skills to conceptualize, develop and implement dynamic marketing materials across communication platforms. You can email Kyle Calvert here.
Caitlyn Stevens, Social Media Specialist, graduated from the University of Missouri with a bachelor of arts with emphases in Women & Gender Studies and Film Studies in 2015. A passionate cinephile and art house cinema enthusiast, Caitlyn believes strongly in the power of representation and diverse storytelling. She is now pursuing a masters of arts in Arts Administration at Indiana University and is so grateful for the opportunity to express her love of film as part of the IU Cinema team! You can email Caitlyn Stevens here.
Michaela Owens, Editor of A Place for Film, the IU Cinema Blog, is an IU alumna with a bachelor or arts in Communication and Culture. Michaela has also been a volunteer usher at IU Cinema since 2016. She never stops thinking about classic Hollywood, thanks to her mother’s introduction to it, and she likes to believe she is an expert on Katharine Hepburn. You can email Michaela Owenshere.
The balance of the Cinema’s staff includes a team of part-time staff, volunteers and interns that includes Graduate Assistant Projectionists, Student House Managers, and a variety of Interns. The Cinema also has dozens of exceptional volunteers that offer their time each semester as ushers, designers, and outreach coordinators. This team is critical to the success of the Cinema. We are so appreciative of our staff, volunteers and interns We thank them all!