Artists with Impact

Sioux Falls' Zach DeBoer loves to paint street lines

When Zach DeBoer graduated from the University of South Dakota with a degree in art education and an emphasis in print making, he just assumed he would be a teacher. Even when he worked at the…


Baltimore gallerist and fashion historian Joy Davis on Black spaces and Black stories

Joy Davis attributes her love of "old stuff" to her father, who worked as an antique buyer in the Baltimore area when she was growing up. "Through him I learned the value of material culture, but at…


Michael Dantzler maps the interconnectedness of Eastover, South Carolina

Michael Dantzler is a full-time photographer, creative, and budding community organizer living in his rural hometown of Eastover, South Carolina, a town of only about 800 people that is predominantly…


Rivers Run Through It: Shel Neymark's Mural Map & Community History Project in Rural New Mexico

Shel Neymark was born and raised in Chicago, near Oak Park. He remembers there were 52 Frank Lloyd Wright houses within biking distance of where he lived as a kid and he was "fascinated" by them. "I…


Holly Doll is creating a Native-based art economy in rural North Dakota

This article is part of a series highlighting artists and leaders featured at the Rural Arts and Culture Summit, a biennial, practitioner-driven gathering hosted by Springboard for the Arts that…


Delina White designs apparel and produces fashion shows celebrating and perpetuating Native cultural heritage

This article is part of a series highlighting artists and leaders featured at the Rural Arts and Culture Summit, a biennial, practitioner-driven gathering hosted by Springboard for the Arts that…


Jamie Horter is a rural artist working in community engagement—in her own words

This article is part of a series highlighting artists and leaders featured at the Rural Arts and Culture Summit, a biennial, practitioner-driven gathering hosted by Springboard for the Arts that…


From Trenton, New Jersey to rural Vermont, Will "Kasso" Condry uses art as a catalyst for activism and revitalization

Will "Kasso" Condry, Jr. is a pioneer of the street art movement in New Jersey, and made national headlines in 2014 when he painted a mural of Michael Brown, the Ferguson teenager who was shot and…


Michelle Angela Ortiz uses public art to address detention and deportation issues

Michelle Angela Ortiz is a child of immigrants, born and raised in South Philadelphia—a community she describes as one that has benefited tremendously from the immigrant communities that have…


Maria de Los Angeles tells "Migration Stories"

June is Immigrant Heritage Month as well as Refugee Awareness Month. In solidarity and support, we will run a series of artist profiles and features this month about the experiences of undocumented…


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…