Author: Nicole Rupersburg

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,...


A small area plan with big ambitions: Frogtown's illustrated SMAPL is a document of tactical urbanism

A “small area plan” is a very common development document for individual districts within a city. Typically the stuff of purely esoteric urban planner interest, these are documents...


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...


Connecting creative practice to healthcare through Ready Go tools at the People's Center Health Services

Amid all the uncertainty around health insurance, the fact remains that people need access to healthcare. Clinics and healthcare systems around the country have been seeking new and innovative ways...


What would happen if the NEA were defunded, and why should we care?

It has been a little over six months since Donald Trump took office, and a lot has happened during that time. Although the budgeting process for the federal government is a long and arduous process...


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...


Ori Alon spreads positivity through paperwork

Ori Alon’s inspiration for the Center for Supportive Bureaucracy began ten years ago when he was an art student in West Jerusalem. He started a performance project by sitting in outdoor markets...


Spencer Merolla uses ashes and the visual language of mourning in her post-election art

Spencer Merolla says she has been interested in art for as long as she can remember, having grown up with a mother who was an artist herself. But when she attended Wesleyan University she pursued a...


Ian Trask transforms one man's trash into another's treasure

Ian Trask didn’t study art in school. Instead, he studied science, with the intention of pursuing a career in research and being able to “pursue something novel and new every day for the...


The Center for Media Justice addresses inequality in our media-saturated digital world

At a time when legitimate news sources are decried as “fake news” by our country’s political leadership and fear-mongering partisan websites that specialize is sensational stories...


Free Music for Free People builds a community for youth musicians in Denver

When Mona Magno – aka “Monalicious” – first had the idea to form Free Music for Free People in Denver, it was because, as a musician with many musician friends, she wanted to be...


Theatre artist Haley Honeman works to break the silence around suicide

Haley Honeman is a theatre artist who grew up rural Fergus Falls, Minnesota. She attended the University of Minnesota Twin Cities where she earned a degree in theatre arts with a minor in Spanish,...


Photographer Tom Kiefer documents the things that are carried across the border

In Tim O’Brien’s short story “The Things They Carried,” the items each of the soldiers choose to carry with them through the grueling jungles of Vietnam become an allegory for...


Jaclyn Roessel is Grownup Navajo

For nearly a year now, members of the Standing Rock tribe located in North Dakota along with other supporters of environmental protection have protested the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline,...


The Mexican Woman's Post Apocalyptic Survival Guide in the Southwest and other stories of life on the border from M. Jenea Sánchez

Photographer M. Jenea Sánchez grew up in Douglas, Arizona, a city that shares a border with Mexico. She remembers crossing the border to and from Agua Prieta multiple times every day as a child –...


Warren Montoya has created something that Rezonates

Santa Ana Pueblo/Santa Clara Pueblo artist Warren Montoya knows a little something about resilience. Though he has been an artist since childhood, drawn to the art of comic books and surrealism – he...


Poet Ursula Rucker uses rage to find humanity

On April 21, 2016, the world collectively mourned in purple as we learned of the death of one of pop music’s most enigmatic icons, Prince Rogers Nelson. Philadelphia poet Ursula Rucker was among...


Philadelphia Poet Laureate Yolanda Wisher dreams while walking on the ground

Philadelphia might best be known as the City of Brotherly Love, but it could also be called the City of Poets for its dedication to supporting and promoting the literary form. With a citywide Poet...


Lisa Jo Epstein encourages just acts through Just Act, using applied theatre in community development

Philadelphia-based theatre director, educator, and community artist Lisa Jo Epstein has spent 27 years working in the realm of applied theatre. She calls her latest project, Just Act – which...


Beth Grossman encourages civic engagement through participatory art

Beth Grossman has worked as an artist full-time for the past 25 years. As a social practice artist, she creates site-specific experiential work designed to engage the public in matters of political...


Tia Richardson is an integrative community artist making an impact in Milwaukee

Tia Richardson describes herself as an “integrative community artist.” She works as a muralist, teacher, and bridge builder in Milwaukee, leading visual arts projects designed to help...


Dylan Yellowlees is creating an LGBT arts festival for everyone in Akron

Dylan Yellowlees moved to Akron two years ago to work at the Akron Civic Theatre. Having come from Atlanta, where there is a strong LGBT presence with a huge pride festival, an LGBT film festival, and...


The Democratic Cup wants to bring people together in conversation over a cup of coffee

It has been nearly two weeks since the 2016 presidential election was called in favor of Donald Trump. In those two weeks there have been protests, riots, and a rash of hate crimes some have said is...