Dance

Suchitra Sairam

Kala Vandanam is a life-long commitment to one of India's oldest dance forms

Suchitra Sairam, founder of Kala Vandanam Dance Company in St. Paul, has been dancing classical Indian dance for 30 years. Still, she says, she got a later start than most girls. “It’s...


Leslie Neal

ArtSpring's arts-based workshops for underserved communities promote self-esteem and understanding

Leslie Neal has been involved in the Miami dance community since 1981. In 1992, she held a tenured faculty position at Florida University as an Associate Professor of Dance with a focus on community...


Grupo Folklorico Los Laureles

Grupo Folklorico Los Laureles conserves traditional Mexican folklorico dance and culture

Grupo Folklorico Los Laureles in San Jose is a dance academy and professional dance company co-founded by Ashley Lopez-Gonzalez and Cesar Gonzalez. They started in the summer of 2007, teaching...


Three human services organizations are within a few blocks of each other.

Arts with Purpose: Catalyzing Civic Engagement in Denver

Pay no mind to the woman in tattered layers with dirt caked onto the hands with which she holds a cardboard sign. Disregard the worn-out sleeping bags strewn across the sidewalks and trash-bag...


René Conrad and Bill Rodgers

New Hazlett Theater offers a CSA for the performing arts

You’re probably heard of community-supported agriculture, and if you’re a regular Creative Exchange reader you have most likely also heard of community-supported art – you can even...


2 Years of Creative Exchange!

It’s hard to believe, but Creative Exchange just turned 2! The platform was launched in March of 2014 in response to the question, “How do we support a movement around the power of local art and...


D.S. Kinsel

BOOM Concepts is a creative hub that reflects the faces of the community on Pittsburgh's Penn Ave.

D.S. Kinsel, co-founder of Pittsburgh’s BOOM Concepts, is a painter, installation artist, event maker, and art curator. He says he is always trying to make sure that his art is relevant to and a...


Tony Garcia, executive artistic director of Su Teatro.

Building Equity in the Arts in Denver

Suzi Q. Smith was excited to bring her daughter to her first opera. A prominent Denver poet and teaching artist, Smith grew up listening to classical opera; she trained as an opera singer for two...


World Dance Party

Are you looking to build connections between elders and young people? Do you want to strengthen ties between neighbors of different ethnicities? Do you want people to have a space to have fun and...


Elementz

ArtsWave Cincinnati is the oldest and largest united arts fund in the country

Funding sources for many arts organizations tends to be a hodgepodge of foundation, government, corporate, and patron support, which makes ArtsWave Cincinnati remarkably unique – it is the Greater...


Dickerman Park

Bringing People to Play in Urban Green Spaces

In 2013, Springboard for the Arts launched the Artist Organizers (AOs) pilot program as part of Irrigate’s artist-led community development. Supported by the Surdna Foundation, the pilot planted...


Jen Garlando

Verb Ballets is a dance company for the community

Verb Ballets is a contemporary ballet company based out of Shaker Heights – just north of Akron – and performing all over Northeastern Ohio. A repertory-based company without...


Chelsea Radgens

ARTLAB J moves with Detroit

Detroit might not be the first city you think about as having a significant dance presence, but you should really think again. Between major performance theaters like the Detroit Opera...


Theresa Madaus, Tara King, and Monica Thomas

Mad King Thomas are the most earnest postmodern dance group probably ever

There is a pretty hard line between the high brow and lowbrow in art and culture. Postmodernists like to toy with that line. Mad King Thomas likes to play jump rope with it.  ...


Alexandra Wright

YEPAW encourages youth to pursue lifestyles of excellence through the arts

Youth Excellence Performing Arts Workshop (YEPAW) got its first start when founder and artistic director Leslie Barnes had a conversation with a friend who claimed that the youth...


Devon Akmon

Arab American National Museum is the first and only museum of its kind

The metro Detroit area is an area rich with cultural institutions that celebrate the heritage, history, legacy, and continued contributions of artistic, cultural, and intellectual...


janera solomon

The Kelly Strayhorn Theater welcomes the community into their home

The Kelly Strayhorn Theater is a performing arts and cultural center in Pittsburgh’s East Liberty neighborhood. Named for two of Pittsburgh’s most celebrated talents in the...


Sheila Womble

Arts for Learning teaches valuable life skills through paid arts internships

Miami’s Arts for Learning (A4L), a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing teaching and learning through the arts, launched nearly 15 years ago with a vision of connecting...


Morgan WIllis

Allied Media Conference incorporates all varieties of media to incite social change

This is the first in a series of artist profiles featuring the work of artists around social justice, policing, and activism. Look for more profiles in the coming weeks.  The Allied Media...


Haleem Rasul

Haleem Rasul is teaching the world to Jit

Haleem “Stringz” Rasul is a dancer, designer, and filmmaker born and raised in Detroit. The dancers in his family were on his father’s side, and Rasul was inspired by his late cousin...


Hattie Mae Williams

Hattie Mae Williams brings guerrilla dance performances to public places with Tattooed Ballerinas

Hattie Mae Williams grew up in Miami and attended the New World School of Arts magnet high school where, she says, she learned a lot about how to use art as a way to promote social change. She then...


Open-air Social Dance Series

“How come there is no public dancing in Chicago?” That was the question in 1997 that prompted the creation of the first SummerDance, an outdoor, public, free dance series in parks in...


Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands

TU Dance makes modern dance accessible to a diverse community in St. Paul

TU Dance, a professional dance company and dance education center located in St. Paul, was founded by Uri Sands and Toni Pierce-Sands in 2004. Initially called Space TU Embrace, the organization...


Gayle Isa

Asian Arts Initiative shepherds community engagement and integration in Philly's Chinatown North

Gayle Isa started working at the Painted Bride Art Center in Philadelphia in 1993. This was in the aftermath of the infamous Rodney King verdict and the riots in Los Angeles that followed. Racial...


Laura Zabel

Welcome to Creative Exchange (again)

“I believe in the magic of storytelling, not only for teller but also the listener,” says agrarian artist Nikiko Masumoto, who lives and works in California’s Central Valley....


Cleo Parker Robinson: Denver's modern dance pioneer

Cleo Parker Robinson grew up in Five Points, where her company resides today, and has been immersed in the mystique of the arts since birth — her mother played with the San Diego Symphony and...


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...


Jun-Li Wang leads an Observation Tour

Artists as community leaders

What a journey! Three years ago, Springboard for the Arts launched Irrigate, a creative placemaking project in partnership with the City of Saint Paul and the Twin Cities Local Initiatives Support...


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...


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...