Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.
— Helen Keller

About Empire

Empire Arts Collective provides support for performing artists to collaborate, learn, and share resources. We believe that art is best built in supportive communities, and that diverse voices create stronger stories. Our values include hard work, creativity, basic kindness, aiming for greatness, and long-term community investment -- after all, an empire isn’t built in a day.

Are you an artist looking for someone to help you produce a creative project? Contact us to learn more!

Empire in the News

Serious Talk. Seriously Podcast


Good Day Sacramento

Emily Perez and Jessilee Windhaus stop by Good Day Sacramento to sing one of the songs from the Broadway musical Hamilton in preparation for their Hamilton Sing-along on June 25th, 2018.



Watch full episode here

Sac&CO on ABC10

Watch EAC Co-Founders Jessilee and Emily on Sac & Co discussing our mission statement,  Once More with Feeling , art, and more! Check it out  here.

Watch EAC Co-Founders Jessilee and Emily on Sac & Co discussing our mission statement, Once More with Feeling, art, and more! Check it out here.


Watch Co-Founder Emily interview with the folks at sac&Co and cast member Joel Case perform a song from our March 2019 production of “Once More, with Feeling.” Check it out here

Insight with Beth Ruyak on Capital Public Radio

Co-Founders Emily and Jessilee    on Insight    with Beth Ruyak on Capital Public Radio.

Co-Founders Emily and Jessilee on Insight with Beth Ruyak on Capital Public Radio.

Sacramento News and Review

Comstock Magazine

Empire Arts Collective in Comstock's magazine

Empire Arts Collective in Comstock's magazine

The Founders

Empire Arts Collective was founded by Jessilee Windhaus and Emily Maghanoy. They serve respectively as the Producing Artistic Director and Managing Director of That Plus Chips and were Top 10 Finalists in the 2015 Sacramento TedX Fellows competition, chosen as a top-5 project for Start-up Weekend and as Capsity Fellows. 

Emily Maghanoy is a local creative with fifteen years of experience in marketing in the private, public and nonprofit sectors, and an M.A. in Spanish from Sacramento State. She trained as a music teacher at Sacramento City College Vocal/Choral Program and the Sara Harris Piano Studio. She works as a music educator and vocal coach and maintains a private studio of piano and voice students.

Jessilee Windhaus is a proud Sacramento native, queer woman, and eighteen year theatre and improv veteran who has performed in cities all across the country. Jessilee holds a BA in Theatre and Dance from Sacramento State University and is the Co-Founder of the local performing arts nonprofit Empire Arts Collective which seeks to provide resources to performing artists. She also founded That Plus Chips live sketch and improv comedy ensemble where she served as the Producing Artistic Director as well as a writer, performer, and director. She has toured with the world-renowned Missoula Children’s Theatre and was a mainstage performer at Sacramento Comedy Spot and ComedySportz Sacramento where she served as the Director of the High School League program. Jessilee’s passion is creating positive and inclusive performing arts environments and opportunities for folks of all walks of life, with an emphasis on the LGBTQIA+, sex positive, and ethically non-monogamous communities.

Board of Directors

Jessilee Windhaus - President
Jessilee has sixteen years of experience in the Sacramento theatre and comedy scenes, and a Bachelor's in Theatre from California State University, Sacramento. Jessilee has served as a writer, director, producer, actor, and founder of That Plus Chips live sketch comedy ensemble since its creation in 2013

Emily Maghanoy - Treasurer
Emily Maghanoy is a Sacramento creative, the Co-Founder of Empire Arts Collective and the Managing Director of the Empire Pop Choir. She maintains a private studio teaching piano and voice lessons in the Sacramento Area. She has an AA in Music, a BA. in Sociology and an MA in Spanish.

Marc Ashbourne - Secretary
Marc is a professional film actor and lawyer in the Sacramento area. Marc graduated from college with a BA in Japanese, and later went on to receive a law degree. He is also a performer with That Plus Chips live sketch and improv comedy ensemble.

Rose Mendonca
Rose is the founder of Pieces People Productions, and carries a Bachelor of Science in Digital Filmmaking and Video Production from the Art Institute of Sacramento. She has years of experience producing, writing, and directing films in the Sacramento area.

Sandi Lang
Sandi has danced for most of her life. She’s taught for Showstoppers Dance Studio in Lodi and for the Mendocino Ballet And Performing Arts studio in Ukiah where she also stage managed productions of The Nutcracker. She has also choreographed for The Raven Theater in Healdsburg. She has her BA in Theater from Sacramento State.

Joel Case
Joel Case is a musician with over a decade of experience in the Sacramento music scene. In recent years he has been looking for ways to serve the community, and he is thrilled to join the EAC board in its mission to support Sacramento performing arts.

Judi Miel
Judi Miel is a Human Resources professional who has been a life long supporter of the arts. She graduated from Notre Dame de Namur University with a Bachelors in Communications and a Masters in Public Administration. The Bay Area native was looking for a way to serve her newly adopted city when she was invited to join the Board of Empire Arts Collective. She’s looking forward to supporting EAC’s mission and being more involved in Sacramento’s creative community.