Artists with Impact

ComiqueCon celebrates women in comics

The #MeToo movement may have become a cultural phenomenon in 2017, but the seeds of it were already very much planted prior to the election of Donald Trump. And just as Trump’s election brought...


Of art and baseball: Rachel Wacker brings art to the community by working with some unlikely partners

Rachel Wacker hasn’t had what might be called a “traditional” experience working in the art world. Based in Saint Paul’s Lowertown neighborhood, Wacker has eschewed more...


Caroline Woolard defines what it means to be a solidarity economy artist

The work of Springboard for the Arts is rooted in arts-based economic and community development. We believe artists are critical assets in that work, and support them by offering a variety of...


The Chinatown Art Brigade fights for housing rights in one of the most gentrified cities in America

Ten years ago, when urban activists spoke of “gentrification” they might as well have been speaking of the Bogeyman. Often dismissed as so much liberal hand-wringing, gentrification was an...


Thomas Wimberly finds his own artistic and political voice in provocative pieces

If Thomas Wimberly’s work seems reminiscent of Shepard Fairey’s, well, that’s because it is. Fairey, the internationally-renowned street artist and activist who found mainstream fame...


From Derry to Detroit, Éist works to address trauma and healing through art, culture, and media

Éist – pronounced “aysht” – is an Irish Gaelic word that means “to listen.” It is also the name of a Detroit-based organization sponsored by Allied Media Projects that...


Wesley Fawcett Creigh asks people what makes them feel like they belong

Wesley Fawcett Creigh grew up in rural Vermont in what she describes as a “very homogenous zone.” In high school she got excited about the arts, but she couldn’t figure out how to...


Mary Welcome welcomes new neighbors all around the country

Mary Welcome, née Mary Rothlisberger, is a citizen artist based in Palouse, Washington, a tiny rural town with a population of 998. While Welcome’s numerous and diverse artistic involvements...


Meet Loriann Hernandez, Riverside's "Art Hustling Roller Skating Ninja"

Loriann Hernandez – also known as “Elle Seven” – describes herself as an “Art Hustling Roller Skating Ninja.” While the overlap between street art and skating culture is...


Graffiti Camp for Girls is breaking up the boys' club of street art

“I was a disgruntled teenager. My mom moved us out to the country while I was still in high school and there was nothing to do. I basically just wanted to get into trouble,” says Nina...


Hip Hoppa Locka brings Muslim hip-hop culture to Northwest Miami

Miami Dade College is the largest educational institution in the country, spread out across eight campuses throughout Miami-Dade County. MDC’s moniker is “democracy’s college”...


Sculptor Billie Grace Lynn creates provocative political pieces that spark dialogue (and outrage)

Billie Grace Lynn lost her mom when she was only 19 years old, and it was the experience of this loss that she credits with her calling as an artist. “At that moment [of losing my mom] I...


An "American Riad" in Detroit

A “riad” is a traditional Moroccan style of housing featuring either a house with an interior garden or town houses built around a central courtyard. The latter promotes a community of...


Art on the Block and NOIS envision economic power for the people in Southwest Detroit

Amelia Duran was born into a family with a strong heritage of activism in Southwest Detroit, a predominantly Latin American neighborhood. Her mother’s family has roots in the area that date back to...


A celebration of Afro-Cuban dance and culture in Little Havana

While Corinna Moebius isn’t a native of Miami, she is deeply rooted in Little Havana, her home of the last decade. She is the owner of Little Havana Tours, and was previously the Interim...


Mariachi Femenil Detroit combats machismo and promotes female musicians

Maria Contreras-Cantu didn’t necessarily set out to become a business owner or cultural organizer when her children began attending Detroit Public Schools. With a background in social justice,...


Ifrah Mansour finds light in the darkness of civil war

Ifrah Mansour bubbles over with energy when she talks. She is so cheerful and positive, it’s all too easy to forget the nature of her work as a mixed media artist and theatre maker. Confronting...


Tana Hargest's wide-ranging work addresses issues of surveillance, policing, and public policy

As a long-time arts organization leader and cultural producer based in the Twin Cities, Tana Hargest says now that she is “mid-career” she has made a shift to focus on three different, yet...


Lucas Koski sees lawn art as a vehicle to diversifying funding sources

Lucas Koski, Asset Manager at Minneapolis-based Artspace, has always enjoyed a good spectacle. In high school he got into event production because he wanted to see bigger and better events than those...


"Miss Neighbor Lady" Kathy Mouacheupao hosts "Gatherings" in her St. Paul neighborhood

Kathy Mouacheupao has worked in arts-based nonprofits her entire professional career, working as the Executive Director for the Center for Hmong Arts and Talent in Saint Paul for ten years and as...


Emmett Phillips is a hip-hop artist, teacher, organizer, and Army vet who encourages people to just talk to each other

Emmett Phillips is a hip-hop artist, poet, teaching artist, and United States Armed Forces veteran based in Des Moines. It would be hard to say which of these he would list first on his life’s...


Ryan Romer tells visual stories of where the modern world collides with traditional culture in the Alaskan bush

Ryan Romer considers himself a “late bloomer” as an artist, not having delved into the professional art world until he was already in his 30s. Prior to that, he was “one of those...


Honoring Inuit culture through traditional tattoos

Holly Mititquq Nordlum is an Inupiaq artist born in Kotzebue, an Inuit village in the Northwest Arctic Borough of Alaska. As an artist, she has followed a lifelong call that has led her to painting,...


Leon Wang designs posters with impact

It was the Philando Castile shooting in July 2016 that ultimately drove Leon Wang to action. “It happened in my community, on the streets I drive on, in the area my kids are growing up...


Rosalia Torres-Weiner brings magic kites to children impacted by deportation

Rosalia Torres-Weiner is a multi-media artist, muralist, and activist, but she prefers to call herself an ARTivist. Through her Charlotte, North Carolina-based Red Calaca Studio, Torres-Weiner uses...


ARROW Public Art welcomes one and all to Monroe...AND West Monroe

Brooke Foy is an artist and sculptor originally from West Monroe, Louisiana. She moved away from Louisiana for 10 years but came back when she got assistant professorship at the University of...


Tennessee Ukulele Lady Kelle Jolly continues the legacy of Affrilachian music

Kelle Jolly is a singer, musician, actor, TV and radio personality, and community organizer. She is also the Tennessee Ukulele Lady. “‘Tennessee Ukulele Lady’ is a song I made up for...


Heidi Brandow documents definitions of "home" for Native peoples, refugees, and normalized residents

Santa Fe artist Heidi K. Brandow came by her creative practice somewhat naturally – on her mother’s side, she comes from a long line of Native Hawaiian singers, musicians, and performers; and...


Ehren Kee Natay works in the rhythm of creation

Ehren Kee Natay has been a drummer for 20 years and refers to rhythm and percussion as his “principle art form.” But at age 23 he began to shift his focus more towards visual and...


The Arnaudville Experiment: Creative placemaking and economic development in rural Louisiana

George Marks moved back to his tiny hometown of Arnaudville in Louisiana prior to Katrina in 2005, after 15 years of living as a successful working artist in Baton Rouge. He left home in 1989, earned...