Homegrown Steering Committee & Board of Directors
The Homegrown Music Festival is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to organize the annual Homegrown Music Festival for the cultural benefit of the Twin Ports, continued showcasing of local music, and helping sustain a supportive arts community.
Melissa La Tour
Melissa “Ginger” La Tour is serving her 5th year as Homegrown Music Festival’s Executive Director. Prior to that position, Melissa was Homegrown’s Volunteer Coordinator for 5 years. Melissa has been involved with Homegrown in several roles since 1999. She also performed during Homegrown as a member of Sing! A Women’s Chorus for several years.
In 2007, Melissa a.k.a. Ginger Suicide founded the Harbor City Roller Derby (formerly the Harbor City Roller Dames), the Twin Port’s first women’s flat track roller derby league. She is a Commissioner with the Duluth Public Arts Commission and has worked for local Indie record label, Chaperone Records. In her spare time, she is a DJ for KUMD’s Women’s Music Show and is a member of Junior League of Duluth where she serves as President-Elect and is most recently is a 2020 graduate of Leadership Duluth.
Crystal is on year 4 of her HGMF Steering Committee career. She is a photographer/artist/graphic designer and small business owner in addition to being a Mama to three busy kids. She is always on the go, she loves music, she is obsessed with the outdoors and her hobbies change with the seasons.
A newer member to the committee, Dereck has been involved in the Duluth arts for almost 10 years. His connections from his involvement in the Duluth scene as well as his job as a local hairstylist gives him an eclectic taste that adds to the committee.
Left the homestead in 09’ and relocated to Duluth. Practicing percussionist, and mom to 2 punk rock little girls. During the day she works with the Police Department doing outreach, at night she’s either at a live music event or folding clothes. First year of many on the steering committee.
Joe is a Duluth native, a technology geek, and guitar player. Some of his favorite memories of the Duluth music scene are from the days of the Recyclabell all-ages venue and the Urban Grounds coffee shop in the 90’s.
Garrett is an enthusiastic new member of the DHMF Steering Committee. A native Duluthian, he has been DJing and helping promote concerts/parties in the area for about the past six years, and is currently studying Communications and Music Business at the University of Wisconsin, Superior. While a huge fan of rock in all its forms, his first-love is dance-music, and he can often be heard advocating for the area’s DJs. Being a die-hard Homegrown fan, Garrett is excited to get more involved with what he considers to be his favorite thing about the Twin Ports.
Mother of three boys and PTA parent. Don’t look so horrified, it is not that bad, I swear! I have been volunteering with Homegrown since 2010, and this will be my second year on the steering committee. This year I will be focusing on the children’s showcase.
Activities: Yoga, hiking, running, coffee and moving my body. I am essentially a golden retriever in a human body.
Musical Mutt with a sorry-not-sorry love of bass beats and 90’s rap.
Going into her second year on the Homegrown steering committee, Kara spends her free time obsessing over her 3 cats, spending too much money on books, taking too many selfies, and attending events in the Duluth music, film, and art scene. She has an obsession with the Decemberists that some have referred to as cult-like.
This is Sara’s second year as a Steering Committee member and she is very excited to be a part of something greater than the sum of its parts. Although she personally has neither musical expertise nor talent, she enjoys the vibrant and varied local music scene. A Milwaukee native, she and her family have been in the Poplar/Superior area for the past twenty-five years. She likes to knit, watch Danish crime series, and hang with her young adult children as well as her old man, if he is still awake past 8 o’clock at night.
Sean is an Iron Range native and permanent Duluth transplant. Homegrown is in his top three reasons for staying in Duluth. A live music and local music junkie; loves most flavors, but particularly rock and punk. Is part of Homegrown because he like to be part of the group, and it’s a joy to help put together his favorite event.
Scott is a Duluth native. Started as Homegrown Music Festival’s production manager, late 2018. Scott LOVES music and has been an advocate for the Twin Ports’ music scene all his life. He serves on the boards of four local arts-related organizations and is frequently found producing, mixing sound, networking, creating and promoting their programs. He was a partner in Crane Song, a manufacturer of high quality audio electronics. Scott Co-founder & produced Duluth’s High Schools’ “Battle of the Bands” raising thousands of dollars for Junior Achievement. This rockin’ event let kids be rock stars for the day!
Scott is currently, employed by Sound Central. He is also the devoted father of Tawna Rae, his terrific daughter. She loves music almost as much as her old man.
Matt relocated to Duluth in 2010 and had his first Homegrown experience seeing Trampled By Turtles at the old NorShore Theater that same year. He regularly attends Homegrown with a camera in hand to enjoy live music and photography together. Outside the festival he work as a consultant for IBM, spends a lot time photographing local high school sports and the night skies, enjoys time with his kids, and all the outdoor activities Duluth offers.
Cory is an earth human obsessed with music and not at all an extraterrestrial hell bent on world domination. He burned up the last two decades by playing in some trashy bands, booking and promoting some wild shows, recording some weird music and doing a little touring. His other interests include horror movies, record collecting and spending time with his wife Suzy and his furry friend Rex. He’s not the greasy strangler.
Paul Lundgren has managed the content of the Homegrown Music Festival Field Guide, the annual magazine promoting the festival, since the first issue in 2006. Before that he covered Homegrown for the Ripsaw newspaper, so he’s been chronicling the festival since its inception. He served on Homegrown’s steering committee from 2006 to 2010, and was the committee chair in 2010. Paul also covers local culture on the Perfect Duluth Day website when he isn’t walking around daydreaming.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
Kelli Latuska served on the steering committee for four years before being elected Treasurer of the Board of Directors. By day, she is Executive Managing Director of the Minnesota Ballet, and by night she is crime-fighter by way of listening to true crime podcasts and armchair-sleuthing on the internet. She also likes painting, reading, and hanging out with her nephews.
Lyz Jaakola vaguely remembers being at the first Homegrown 20 years ago… and started playing in the festival a few years ago. Lyz is music faculty at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College in Cloquet and directs the Ojibwemowining Digital Arts Studio when she’s not singing, parenting or serving on various boards and committees. Lyz is honored to serve on the DHGMF Board of Directors.
Ryan is an umpteen-year veteran of the Duluth music scene, having played drums with the likes of the Hotel Coral Essex, the Farsights, and the Social Disaster. Ryan is currently drumming with Mallards. Having served five years as a Steering Committee member, in 2017, he transitioned to the Board of Directors.
With advanced degrees in management and business, plus thousands of hours working live music events, Jason brings a unique perspective to the Homegrown Music Festival. Jason keeps his eye on liabilities, seeks ways to maximize assets, and jumps into any situation that needs rectification. Jason joined the Steering Committee in 2016 and the Board of Directors in 2019 in order to support a festival he has attended annually since 2003.