Minneapolis

“Blackness has everything in it” – Kenna-Camara Cottman

Kenna-Camara Cottman’s eyes light up when talking about three things; family, art, and the Northside. Kenna grew up immersed in the arts, thanks to parents “Auntie” Beverly and Bill Cottman. “I…


Duaba Unenra: Black People Exist In The Past, Present AND Future

Duaba Unenra comes from a family of creators. He can trace his own career path back to teachers, architects, musicians and entrepreneurs. He attributes many of his creative impulses to his mother,…


Ricky Collins

Ricky Collins builds from parties to profit-sharing

Ricky Collins’ entrepreneurial mindset took hold when he was just 15, while growing up in Minneapolis’ Northside. As a young rapper, he and his brother Nino were known for throwing outrageous…


Za'Nia Coleman

Za’Nia Coleman’s Tangible Collective, tangible impact

A community baby turned community organizer, Za’Nia Coleman is creating space for cultural expression in a way unlike what is typically reflected at the center of the Twin Cities arts scene. The…


DejaJoelle

DejaJoelle brings forth prayers for healing

Webbed in DejaJoelle’s full-bodied silhouette is the ancestral story of a Black woman’s ability to transmute pain into purpose through healing, love and resilience. Just as all colors of the rainbow…


Garrett McQueen in Studio G

Garrett McQueen, Perpetually in Motion

Atop a winding hill on the West Side of Saint Paul, Garrett McQueen records a broadcast associated with the Lakes Area Music Festival. McQueen is an Artistic Advisor to the Festival, and he’s…


Bringing artists and local government together for lasting change

How can artists, local government, and civic organizations collaborate effectively? Art-Train brings them together and offers ongoing support for proven models of artist-led change. Artists use their…


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…


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…


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…


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…


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…


Handbook for Artists Working in Community

In this day and age of continued disparities, injustices, pandemics and systemic racism, artists are critical agents of change in our communities. More than ever, we need artists to be catalysts and…


Accomplished dancer, vocalist, and yogi Vie Boheme is embracing the world's yin energy right now

The multi-disciplinary artist Vie Boheme likes to say she was born in Motown, developed in Pittsburgh, and refined in Minneapolis, where she still resides today. She is a dancer, choreographer,…


Emergency Relief Funds Toolkit

The Personal Emergency Relief Fund is a long-standing program of Springboard for the Arts. The purpose of the Fund is to provide short-term, immediate relief to artists who are facing lost income or…


Leslie Barlow is working to build community, capacity, and equity in the arts world, 9 artists at a time

Leslie Barlow says she's always been interested in art from a young age, then laughs as she adds, "A lot of creative people probably say that, but it's true." The Minneapolis artist says she was a…


TruArtSpeaks the power of poetry for youth empowerment

Tish Jones has been a poet for as long as she can remember. The performer, organizer, and educator from St. Paul is also the founder and executive director of TruArtSpeaks, an organization that uses…