20/20 Fellow

Sharon Mansur

A Whole Life: A Portrait of Sharon Mansur

Sharon Mansur describes her childhood home as a place of collaborative creativity. “My dad used to draw,” she says. “We’d look at the Sunday comics, and if there was one strip we liked, he drew it on…


“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…


Maria Isa

María Isa – Music, Movement, and Soul

Looking out the window at El Cubano on St. Paul’s West Side, María Isa can point out nearly each house and tell you the story of who lived there. Isa is an international recording artist, cultural…


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…


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…


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…


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…


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…


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…