St. Paul

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…


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…


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,…


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…


Getting Closer

In 2014, Springboard for the Arts was faced with a question – How do we grow our work and support more artists across the country while staying grounded in our work as an artist-led organization…


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…


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…


Creative Exchange Survey

At Springboard for the Arts, we’ve learned a lot as we've published Creative Exchange. As we've published the site, we've centered artists and their work, stories about communities coming together to…


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…


Creating space for Somali artists to thrive

As hundreds of thousands of refugees fled Somalia over the last 30 years, Minnesota, and the Twin Cities in particular, was quickly established as a welcoming place with ample work opportunities for…


The Life of an ARTrepreneur

Some people know Felicia Perry from her time as a dancer with Ananya Dance Theatre. Others know her as an economic activist who served on the inaugural executive committee and board of the…


Find Creative People Power on Creative Exchange

"I honestly feel so inspired by the work that these artists have created that represents a life, challenges the status quo, or brings in communities. I feel so incredibly lucky to have the…


Reflections on Springboard's intensive trainings

For over a decade, Springboard for the Arts has been offering business skills workshops to artists to help them build a living and a life. Since 2017, we have offered an annual series of intensive…


How Grand Rapids, Minnesota Thrives Through Creative People Power

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…


Creative Community Development Trainings

Do you believe that artists generate creative people power, and that communities thrive when they are connected to their artists? Have you downloaded the Irrigate: Artist-led Creative Placemaking…


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…


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…


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…