The Decatur Park District believes that the arts make invaluable and unique contributions to the educational process and to the enrichment of the lives of all.
Marie Jagger-Tayler (Ms. Marie) is the Cultural Arts Manager for the Decatur Park District and a member of Actors Equity Association, Chicago National Association of Dance Masters, and a Certified Dance Educator. She and is also a past member of AFTRA and SAG. Prior to the Decatur Park District, Marie enjoyed being a professional actress/dancer/choreographer and director who performed on Broadway, toured nationally with A Chorus Line, and appeared in countless television commercials, industrials and resident theatre companies. She was a freelance director/choreographer until she met her agrarian husband, Jody, and settled down in rural Macon where they reside with their 3 children. Marie has developed curricula and taught musical theatre and dance in various capacities for the past 30 years. She served as adjunct professor of dance at Millikin University (Decatur, IL) for 8 years and as Director of Education for the Little Theatre on the Square (Sullivan, IL) for 10 years. In this role, she was intimately involved in all aspects of the theatre, including drama/dance instruction, sets/costumes/lighting for performances, and program syllabi for all workshops, sessions, camps and classes. At the Decatur Park District, she has been instrumental in building community interest and involvement in the arts, where she manages all of the Cultural Arts programming. She also served as co-host of the Decatur Park District’s Parks at 5 weekly radio show from 2008 – 2016. Marie was awarded the 2011 Women of Excellence award for her work in the Cultural Arts and most recently the 2013 Jennifer Song Community Spirit Award.
Tami is the Cultural Arts Supervisor for the Decatur Park District, joining the staff in January of 2016. Tami holds an Associates of Arts Degree from Richland Community College. Prior to coming on staff with the Decatur Park District, Tami mentored high school students through Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) for 35 years and was named the Illinois FBLA Businessperson of the Year in 1993 and 2005. She also served as the FBLA State Adviser from 1999-2005 and as the Mt. Zion Jr. High Show Choir President from 2007 – 2010 where she served as parent liaison, costumer and fundraising chairperson. Tami served as instructor of dance and drama at the Little Theatre on the Square and currently teaches dance at the Decatur Park District as well as assisting in various capacities to ensure quality programing in the Arts. She has always had a passion for arts and teaching, and at the Park District she has the opportunity to pursue both of her passions.
Jen Petagno is the Cultural Arts Technical Supervisor, joining the staff in May 2017. Jen is a 2014 Millikin University graduate with a degree in Technical Theatre. At Millikin, her emphasis was in technical direction and scenic painting. While at Millikin, Jen had the opportunity to be the scenic artist for the Department of Agriculture for their State Fair Display and scenic design a production at the Station Theatre. Millikin also gave her the opportunity to be Technical Director over four productions and Paint Charge over four productions. Before becoming the Cultural Arts Technical Supervisor, Jen had worked part time for the Park District in our Cultural Arts programs since the summer of 2013 as a technician, scenic designer, scenic artist, and has helped with many special event and cultural art activities and needs including movies, concerts, and assisting with the technical set up for many of the Park Districts performance programs.