Sarah Carlson, Executive Director
Sarah Carlson is the executive director of the Historic Homestake Opera House. Sarah is an imaginative and proud Wakonda, SD farm kid. She moved to Lead in 2008 after spending 15 years in Sioux Falls, SD where she used her design talents as a custom publishing creative director and as a volunteer for downtown revitalization and her voice talents in the 40-member choir at St. Joseph Cathedral in Sioux Falls and as an on-air and live event promotions emcee for nearly 10 years.
Passionate about imagery and interpretation her whole life, she joined up with TDG Communications in Deadwood, SD in 2008 as an associate creative director for the advertising agency who assisted clients in tourism and nonprofit work. Sarah dove into the executive director position at the Opera House in 2011, assisting in strategic planning, organizational structuring, and the funding and planning of restoration projects, including the design of a large in-house interpretive exhibit for the century-old theater. In three years, the organization doubled the number of performing arts, educational events, and tours.
Sarah encourages people to get involved with their community in any way they can, and is grateful to live in a town that is truly Miles Beyond Ordinary.
Sarah is the 2017 Lead Historic Preservation president, 2017 Lead Area Chamber of Commerce president, and a 2017 board member of Black Hills and Badlands Tourism.
Shanon Morrison, Office Manager/Bookkeeper
Shanon was born in Lead, SD where her family is one of the few who can boast five generations of workers at the Homestake Gold Mine.
Shanon started her school years in Lead, SD when her family moved from the area for a few years, she spent all of her summers and vacations in the Black Hills, returning to Lead in 1986 to graduate from Lead High School in 1987.
Shanon is the proud wife of Daniel, who years ago was a lifeguard at the HHOH in his teen years and where she spend many hours swimming. She is the mother of three adult children and currently three grandchildren.
She has been involved with many organizations as a volunteer from a Girl Scout Leader, Boy Scout Popcorn Chairman, Lead Deadwood Youth Bowling Organization and Lead Deadwood Booster Club, to name just a few.
Shanon's heart is definitely proud to be from Lead. She loves the history of the area. When not working at the HHOH she spends her time with her children and grandchildren, riding motorcycles with her family, or spending time at the MX track or working on genealogy research. Shanon has worked in the nonprofit world for 11 years and enjoys her job at the HHOH with all its history and enjoys the people she meets every day.
Dennes Barrett, Facility Manager
Dennes grew up in the Homestake Opera House, and his mother, Mary Jane Barrett, worked for the Recreation Center. Dennes is a favorite grandpa and a friend to kids who love the building and also to those seeing it for the first time through our Elementary Field Trips program. He is also a retired Black Hills Power serviceman (38 years) – the skills and imagination he brings to the theater as he takes care of the building are what make him a gem. Dennes handles relationships with vendors, utility companies, tenants, and visitors (you may see him giving his special tour of the building.) Dennes assisted in the design success of the 2016 Interpretive Center, and has helped the restoration continue in the theater by spending hundreds of hours handcrafting perfect plasterwork molds. He is forever keeping the building "spit-shined", accessible, safe, and efficient. We thank Dennes for his dedication.