Artists with Impact

Atlese Robinson Headshot

Atlese Robinson’s Journey Toward the Divine

When she was in elementary school, Atlese Robinson started journaling and writing letters to her mother. Robinson’s childhood included times of adversity and some traumatic experiences. She wanted to…


Create new worlds with Chamindika Wanduragala

Chamindika Wanduragala can turn paper bags into papier-mache. She can sew cloth into creatures. She stirs ingredients into food for family and peers, and she has converted many rookies into…


Ditch your comfort zone with Ka Oskar Ly

In a publicity photo for Ua Si Creative, three Hmong women pose against a pink background. Christina Vang smiles in dark red lipstick on the left; next to her, Ka Oskar Ly wears a dark brown sweater,…


Imagine futures with heather c. lou

Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay tried — and failed — to buy art from heather c. lou. She was strolling through Appleby Hall at the University of Minnesota, where both women worked at the time,…


Amoke Kubat in Black and White

Amoke Kubat is Still Exploring

An Artist Inhabits Her Identity Amoke Kubat begins at the very beginning. “I always loved making art as a child,” she says. In her formative years, after Kubat saw the Beatles movie “A Hard Day’s…


Ayolanda Mack Builds Up Black Families

Ayolanda Mack is a rebel and an idea generator. She didn’t always see herself that way. Mack comes from a long matrilineal line of artists, and art is one way she reveals her rebellious side. It’s a…


Chitra Vairavan is Committed to Seeking

Chitra Vairavan started dancing when she was two years old, watching her older sister learn and practice South Indian Classical dance. Vairavan was born and raised on the north side of Milwaukee (on…


Zaraawar Mistry and plant

Zaraawar Mistry is in Dreamland

Zaraawar Mistry gets the job done. In India, he says, his last name translates to “worker” or “laborer.” “Sometimes it's used for a carpenter,” he explains, “but if the electrician comes, you might…


Graphic: THE SOTA MOVEMENT, JUNE 11, 12 & 13, 2021

Maia Maiden's Golden Brain, Dedication to Dance

Maia Maiden has a golden brain. People with golden brains are said to be equally adept at right hemisphere (creative thinking) and left hemisphere (logical thinking) functioning. As proof of her…


Laura Youngbird Knows We Need Art

Laura Youngbird’s art isn’t pretty, and she doesn’t want it to be. Her striking pieces convey the reality of many Native people in America in all its harshness. Laura draws inspiration from her…


Contradiction and Creation Thrive in Ifrah Mansour

Ifrah Mansour is everything but a painter and a singer.  As a Muslim person and a Somali refugee, she has a quite particular point-of-view, which she channels into her quite particular artistic…


Ka Oskar Ly Creates Connections and Understanding

As a kid growing up in France, Ka Oskar Ly wasn’t sure how to define “being Hmong.” Their parents were refugees, having fled Laos after the Secret War. “My parents didn't talk about who we were,” Ly…


Financial Planning with Aziz Kamara

Many of our Artist Career Consultants work with paintbrushes, scripts, or chord progressions. Aziz Kamara did have a “guitar bro” phase, he says. But these days, he works as a financial advisor,…


Felix Foster has Stories to Tell

In an arts world of critics and gatekeepers, Felix Foster invites artists into his life and sends them off with a knapsack of knowledge. He entered the publishing world as a high schooler, helping…


Jessica Lopez Lyman Knows la Cultura Cura

Jessica Lopez Lyman names her influences: Chicana feminist scholar Aida Hurtado. Writer/theatrical jazz artist Sharon Bridgforth. Artist/scholar Omi Jones. Performance artist/scholar Stephanie…


Fair Warning, Herbert Johnson III Is Here to Dance

Herbert Johnson III has a whole persona. He has a moniker he uses when he’s performing, when he’s Krumping. His moniker is “Fair Warning.” He also goes by “JDot Tight Eyex” sometimes. Johnson said…


Minnesota Through the Eyes of Joseph J. Allen

When the photographer Joseph J. Allen talks about his work, even when he’s talking about photographs of landscapes, he often talks about people. Allen describes himself as an introvert, and nothing…


From Words to Web, Meet Anika Fajardo

One of the coolest things about Anika Fajardo is her attitude toward learning. Not only is she a mentor at Augsburg University’s MFA in Creative Writing and an Artist Career Consultant at…


David Unowsky, Literary Rolodex

What’s the last good book David Unowsky read? Well, this veteran bookseller is in a bit of a slump, but he wholeheartedly endorses Why We Revolt: A Patient Revolution for Careful and Kind Care,…


Cecilia Cornejo embroiders community connections

Cecilia Cornejo is an educator, filmmaker, and artist who engages with different communities in order to create meaningful art. Originally from Chile, Cecilia focuses on the immigrant experience as…


A man in a sweter kneels and watches a rehearsal

Aaron Fiskradatz Brings Zoom Expertise to In-Person Creativity

Aaron Fiskradatz is a theater artist, an educator, and, most recently, a “Zoom consultant” – a technical consultant for livestreamed productions, which we all need these days. A longtime advocate of…


Candida Gnozalez headshot

Candida Gonzalez; Experimenter, Traveler, Adventurer

Candida Gonzalez is unafraid. They are not only a lifelong adventurer but a jewelry maker, an arts administrator, a teacher, and a visual artist. Committed to racial justice, Candida collaborates…


A woman in a tank top and shorts paints a bright mural with a butterfly

Dana Sikkila Flies Her Flag for Creativity

According to Dana Sikkila, she graduated high school “by the skin of [her] teeth.” Months later, she earned a 4.0 in her first semester of college. She attributes the drastic change to the…


Building a Brand, Getting the Word Out, with Krista Rolfzen Soukup

Editor’s note: As the national platform for Springboard for the Arts, Creative Exchange has long been a platform to highlight the artists, resources, and efforts in our national network. In this…


A group of people in spooky and glamorous costumes.

Don't get spooked! Dominic Facio is here for you

Editor’s note: As the national platform for Springboard for the Arts, Creative Exchange has long been a platform to highlight the artists, resources, and efforts in our national network. In this…


Jes Reyes, a woman with short brown hair, paints a colorful grid

Jes Reyes, Artist We Admire

Editor’s note: As the national platform for Springboard for the Arts, Creative Exchange has long been a platform to highlight the artists, resources, and efforts in our national network. In this…


Community Development with Amanda Cortés

Editor’s note: As the national platform for Springboard for the Arts, Creative Exchange has long been a platform to highlight the artists, resources, and efforts in our national network. In this…


Patrick Scully Contains Multitudes

Editor’s note: As the national platform for Springboard for the Arts, Creative Exchange has long been a platform to highlight the artists, resources, and efforts in our national network. In this…


Hello? It's Andy Sturdevant!

Editor’s note: As the national platform for Springboard for the Arts, Creative Exchange has long been a platform to highlight the artists, resources, and efforts in our national network. In this…


Black and white photo of A woman writing, with a box and tin of art supplies in the foreground

Alison Bergblom Johnson's career builds on fruitful partnerships

Editor’s note: As the national platform for Springboard for the Arts, Creative Exchange has long been a platform to highlight the artists, resources, and efforts in our national network. In this…