Artists with Impact

The FAME Shop

Clement Brown, Jr. celebrates Fashion, Arts, Music & Entertainment in an underserved area of Detroit

The west side neighborhood around the intersection of Joy Rd. and Meyers in Detroit can be a tough place, but theFAME Shop, located at 10608 Joy Road, is a brightening presence. FAME...


Thomas Armour Youth Ballet students

It takes a ballet company: Thomas Armour Youth Ballet teaches life skills along with dance

The Thomas Armour Youth Ballet (TAYB) was established over 60 years ago in 1951 by renowned classical ballet dancer, Thomas Armour. Originally called the Miami Ballet, the for-profit school and...


Joan Vorderbruggen

Joan Vorderbruggen is the one-woman powerhouse behind Minneapolis's Made Here

There’s really no better word that can be used to accurately describe Joan Vorderbruggen than “dynamic.” Vorderbruggen has a dynamic personality that she is able to use to lead...


Jonathan Sears

PAR Projects is building a home for arts education and programming in Cincinnati's Northside

Things don’t always work out the way you plan, but they do tend to work out the way they’re supposed to. Jonathan Sears is the co-founder of Professional Artistic Research (PAR) Projects,...


Beth Rutkowski

GroundWorks builds movement from the ground up

GroundWorks Dance Theatre is a contemporary dance company founded in 1998 by Artistic Director David Shimotakahara. The company primarily splits its performance time between Akron and Cleveland with a...


Power House Productions

Mitch Cope and Gina Reichert are the power duo behind Power House Productions

The first time most people heard the words “Power” and “House” attached to the names Mitch Cope and Gina Reichert was in fall of September 2008, when the...


Sphinx Organization

Afa Dworkin seeks to transform lives through the power of diversity in the arts

In 1996, when the Sphinx Organization was first founded, only three percent of orchestras around the nation represented those of Latino and colored descent. That number...


Satori Shakoor

Satori Shakoor and the power of telling true stories

Stories heal. They provoke. They reassure.  When told in the intimate setting of The Secret Society of Twisted Storytellers at the Charles H. Wright Museum of...


Literary Detroit

Anna Clark sees the future of a Literary Detroit

Last year, Anna Clark received an email from Anne Trubek, an author from Cleveland whom she had interviewed in 2010 for a blog feature. Since then, Trubek had gone on to...


Hunter Franks

Hunter Franks leads simple steps of creativity to inspire big change in Akron

This story was originally published on Knight Blog here. Artist Hunter Franks uses people as his medium to break down barriers and make neighborhoods more neighborly. It’s simple, really. He...


Asia Ward

Artist/educator Asia Ward: Creating the unexpected through a singular blend of art and science

Bre McGee Science, magic, memory and art: These are among the tools artist and educator Asia Ward brings to her work. She’s a longtime developer of educational experiences for the Learning...


Amanda Lovelee

St. Paul City Artist Amanda Lovelee inspires joyful connections

Amanda Lovelee’s life and work have taken her all over the world. A native of upstate New York, she graduated from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, has traveled extensively...


Jessie Rommelt

Bunker Projects is an experimental gallery and live/work space for artists to engage the community

Artists Jessie Rommelt, Abagail Beddall, and Cecilia Ebitz all graduated from Penn State University in 2011. The three friends decided to head over to Pittsburgh afterwards, the closest city with an...


April Denée

April Denée is the mother of BUSK!

“Busking” refers to artists performing in public places for tips. Unfortunately, “busking” all too often gets mistaken for begging, and buskers are treated by the police and...


Viviane Le Courtois

Viviane Le Courtois creates processes and Processus

Viviane Le Courtois is a Denver-based multi-media artist from Brittany, France. Her work ranges from etchings and drawings to video to interactive installation pieces that go outside of the studio and...


Andrew Simonet

Artists U teaches artists how to make a life

The hardest thing about making a life as an artist is actually making a life as an artist. That’s where Artists U comes in. Andrew Simonet is a choreographer and a writer who directed the...


Floco Torres

Floco Torres is a self-made man in Macon

What do you do on your lunch break? Rush out the office door to grab something from the nearest fast food joint or food truck you can find? Order take-out from a nearby restaurant to eat at your desk?...


Lauren Reskin

Gonna Make You Sweat: Sweat Records promotes Miami's independent, local music scene

It’s impossible to talk about the arts in Miami without mentioning Art Basel – how does this or that scene/event compare to Art Basel and how does it contrast; does it “fit in”...


Sidewalk Festival of Performing Arts

Ryan Myers-Johnson founded Sidewalk Festival of Performing Arts to showcase alternative arts

When Ryan Myers-Johnson left Detroit after graduating from the Detroit School of Arts in 1999, she was already planning her return.   At first she didn’t go far — just...


Terry Blackhawk

Terry Blackhawk teaches Detroit kids the power of poetry through the InsideOut Literary Arts Project

InsideOut Literary Arts Project started out as so many other well-intended projects do: as an idea that didn’t quite seem realistic enough to become reality. Until it did. It is worth quoting...


Yvonne Escalante

Of corn and men: Yvonne Escalante explores themes of social and environmental justice through corn

Corn: it’s a rather pedestrian agricultural product. Chances are, you probably don’t think too much about corn as you go about your daily life. You buy ears of corn for your summer...


Ta-coumba Aiken

Public art as social activism: Ta-coumba Aiken creates art that heals the heart and soul

Ta-coumba Aiken grew up in Evanston, Illinois during the peak of the Civil Rights Movement, the rise of the Black Panther Party and Black Power, and the prominence of the NAACP’s civil rights...


Lisa Hoffman

The McColl Center offers urban residencies to socially-conscious artists

What is “environmental art”? Specifically, environmental art is public art that mitigates some sort of environmental issue at its location site. But in a more general sense, environmental...


Sara Ansell

The Porch Light Program takes the transformative power of art to the streets

The Porch Light Program is a program of the City of Philadelphia’s Mural Arts, a citywide transformative arts project that has been ongoing for 30 years. Porch Light takes the idea of the...


Joey Stuckey

Joey Stuckey is a blind musician who teaches people how to hear

Joey Stuckey is a recording artist, a recording engineer and producer, a radio personality, a television host, and an educator. He is also blind. The latter part is important not because it impairs...


Ismail Al-Amin

A new rep for rap: Keepers of the Art educates as it entertains

Rap has a bad rep. What started out as a way for young black and brown kids in the Bronx in the 1970s to have a voice and share what was going on in their community has been co-opted and diluted by...


Lucas Levya

Say hello to my little film festival

Certain cities become victims of their own representation in the press. Right or wrong, when a story sells, the media will tell it. For the city of Miami, the story that has historically sold best is...


Liza Bielby and Richard Newman

Experimental performance group The Hinterlands explores the outer limits of identity

In contemporary usage, “hinterland” is defined as “an area beyond what is visible or known.” And this is why Richard Newman and Liza Bielby named their experimental performance...


Kyle Tran Myhre

The media is the message: Guante uses hip hop culture to educate and engage the community

Canadian philosopher and communication theorist Marshall McLuhan coined the expression “The medium is the message” in 1964 (long before the creation of the Internet), implying that...


Laura Alma McCarthy

Swaraj Yoga teaches self-rule to those in recovery

The image you might conjure of a “stereotypical” yoga devotee – thin, probably affluent, likely to be white and even more likely female, any age but with a decided youthfulness – is in...