St. Paul

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…


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…


Ready Go Toolkit

Ready Go is a resource from Springboard for the Arts that connects neighborhoods, non-profits, businesses and individuals to artist-created, mobile tools that are purpose-built to pique curiosity and…


Lightning Rod is performance for the present moment

Imagine a group of artists gathering: writers, directors, and performers; many of whom have never met before; some who don’t even call themselves “artists.” They’re handed news headlines from the…


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…


Saying “Yes” to 4th Street

In a downtown core experiencing change, the 4th Street Market District partnership leads creative experiments & looks to the future It was a summer Sunday afternoon in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and…


Toolkit Cohort Announced!

New toolkits are coming! We're excited to announce a new round of artists and organizations selected from our open call for toolkits, and we'll be working with these artists over the summer to create…


Announcing IdeaLab:Westwood in Denver on April 17!

IdeaLab is rooted in the notion that everyone is capable of being part of a movement, based around events that cross-pollinate local and national experts, create new opportunities for community…


Toolkit Toolkit

Yes, this is what you think it is. Since the launch of Creative Exchange in 2014, over 6,000 toolkits have been downloaded from the site, facilitating artist-led projects, business skills…


Creative Exchange Call for Toolkits!

As the national program of Springboard for the Arts, Creative Exchange hosts free, practical toolkits created by artists and arts organizations along with our editorial work sharing the stories and…


5 Questions with Creative Exchange: What we have learned from our artists

Since August 2016, Creative Exchange has been asking each of our Artists With Impact a series of five questions, which appear at the end of every profile. We did this to create a thread of continuity…


Ifrah Mansour finds light in the darkness of civil war

Ifrah Mansour bubbles over with energy when she talks. She is so cheerful and positive, it's all too easy to forget the nature of her work as a mixed media artist and theatre maker. Confronting…


Tana Hargest's wide-ranging work addresses issues of surveillance, policing, and public policy

As a long-time arts organization leader and cultural producer based in the Twin Cities, Tana Hargest says now that she is "mid-career" she has made a shift to focus on three different, yet…


Lucas Koski sees lawn art as a vehicle to diversifying funding sources

Lucas Koski, Asset Manager at Minneapolis-based Artspace, has always enjoyed a good spectacle. In high school he got into event production because he wanted to see bigger and better events than those…


"Miss Neighbor Lady" Kathy Mouacheupao hosts "Gatherings" in her St. Paul neighborhood

Kathy Mouacheupao has worked in arts-based nonprofits her entire professional career, working as the Executive Director for the Center for Hmong Arts and Talent in Saint Paul for ten years and as…


Connecting Americans to Healthcare

I’ve said it on this platform before, but artists need access to healthcare. In fact, everyone needs access to healthcare, but artists, who often work non-traditional jobs and have sporadic income,…


A small area plan with big ambitions: Frogtown's illustrated SMAPL is a document of tactical urbanism

A "small area plan" is a very common development document for individual districts within a city. Typically the stuff of purely esoteric urban planner interest, these are documents containing focused…


Leon Wang designs posters with impact

It was the Philando Castile shooting in July 2016 that ultimately drove Leon Wang to action. "It happened in my community, on the streets I drive on, in the area my kids are growing up in," Wang…