Artists with Impact

The Blue Sky Center is building a creative economy in rural California

The New Cuyama townsite in California's Santa Barbara County is relatively young. Built in the early 1950s by the Richfield Oil Company, it was a company-driven town where the company came in, built…


On the Red Road

The idea for the Red Road Project first formed when Danielle SeeWalker was visiting Carlotta Cardana in England where she now lives. SeeWalker remembers reading an article about an area of land for…


Realize Bradenton realizes it takes a village to raise a city

The City of Bradenton is a riverfront community of 53,000 people in the urban core of Manatee County, Florida. In 2007, Bradenton created a citizen-driven visioning plan called “Downtown by Design,”…


Al-Bustan plants the seeds of Arab culture and community in Philadelphia

Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture started in Philadelphia in 2002 when founder and executive director Hazami Sayed wanted a place for her two young sons to go where they would learn and apply the Arabic…


Jer Thorp creates data-based public art to engage and empower communities

Jer Thorp is an accomplished public speaker—check out some of his selected talks here—and an artist based in New York who has participated in highly visible public art projects, like designing the…


Rachel Breen sews in support of garment industry workers

Minneapolis-based artist Rachel Breen is probably best known for her work with textiles, which she finds funny, since her connection to her sewing machine was purely accidental. "Three days before…


Indie Grits Labs is nurturing a filmmaking community in Columbia, South Carolina

Seth Gadsden went to grad school to study painting and left a filmmaker. At that time, the South Carolina native and another art school friend of his decided “this whole grad school painting thing at…


Lolita Hernandez writes about the Detroit that she knows

Lolita Hernandez’s writing career started in earnest in a Detroit factory. Before that, she had dabbled in poetry here and there, mainly writing about people from Trinidad and Tobago because that was…


Maamoul Press prints comics by Middle Eastern women, for Middle Eastern women (and everyone else, too)

Leila Abdelrazaq is a Palestinian author and illustrator living in Detroit. As an author and artist, she has tabled at zine and comics shows, but felt that there was room at her table—both literally…


Dana Sikkila takes Project Bike all over the state of Minnesota

Visual artist Dana Sikkila grew up in Litchfield, a farm town in West Central Minnesota with a population of a little over 6,000 people. She describes her family and the area she grew up as being…


Jaime Carrejo's sculpture installations force viewers to see "the border" differently

Jaime Carrejo has been making art since before he even knew what “art” was. He just knew he liked to make things, experiment with different materials and surfaces, maybe do some painting, maybe burn…


Krystal Ramirez's text-based work highlights the invisible labor of marginalized communities

When Krystal Ramirez was in art school studying photography, she didn't think about who she was making art for. She didn’t question who her influences were, those Very Important Artists that defined…


Photographer Xavier Tavera documents the Latinx community from one border to the other

Xavier Tavera remembers picking up a camera when he was 11 or 12 years old and fell in love with photography immediately. To this day, he says, that “magical feeling” he gets from photography still…


Leila Awadallah dances stories of Palestine

Leila Awadallah, a 2018-2019 Springboard for the Arts 20/20 Artist Fellow, moved to Minneapolis from Sioux Falls, South Dakota to study dance before she had a sense of the kind of artist she is. “I…


Jose Alvillar is preserving ancient dance traditions in paint

Jose Alvillar is a Minneapolis-based dancer and painter, but rarely have those two parts of his life his met. Now, as a 2018-2019 Springboard for the Arts 20/20 Fellow, he plans to make those…


Collective Magpie explores the concepts of race and identity in cultural borderlands

“Collective Magpie = Tae Hwang & MR Barnadas + Participants” So says the equation at the top of the Collective Magpie website, and it is meant to underscore the fact that they function as a…


Tony Gómez-Morales explores cultural identity through cowboys and wrestlers

Antonio "Tony" Gómez-Morales is American. He was born in Mexico where he lived until he was 14, then moved to Southern California, attended Wayne State University and the College for Creative Studies…


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 "traditional" arts…


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 urban…


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 after designing…


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 works to cultivate and promote…


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 apply that to "real…


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 take her…


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 nothing new, the way…


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 Wright, aka…


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" because of its…


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 realized…


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 neighbors…