Creative People Power: Hubs & Homes

Remaking a Jail in Rural America

When Calvin Phelps first met Nik Nerburn at the inaugural Artists Working in Community Intensive training in Fergus Falls, Minnesota in September 2018, he knew immediately that he wanted to bring him…


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…


These New Orleanians use poems and portraits to create deeper connections in their community

Jose Cotto and Christian Davenport come from very different backgrounds, and both have very different practices: Cotto is an architect, educator, and photographer raised in Worcester, Massachusetts,…


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…


Sioux Falls' Zach DeBoer loves to paint street lines

When Zach DeBoer graduated from the University of South Dakota with a degree in art education and an emphasis in print making, he just assumed he would be a teacher. Even when he worked at the…


Baltimore gallerist and fashion historian Joy Davis on Black spaces and Black stories

Joy Davis attributes her love of "old stuff" to her father, who worked as an antique buyer in the Baltimore area when she was growing up. "Through him I learned the value of material culture, but at…


Rivers Run Through It: Shel Neymark's Mural Map & Community History Project in Rural New Mexico

Shel Neymark was born and raised in Chicago, near Oak Park. He remembers there were 52 Frank Lloyd Wright houses within biking distance of where he lived as a kid and he was "fascinated" by them. "I…


Using Performance Art as a Means of Engagement

Artists are everywhere, on every block and in every community. Finding the opportunities for artists to share their creativity and networks can strengthen community bonds, build relationships, and…


Holly Doll is creating a Native-based art economy in rural North Dakota

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…


Two women in hijabs talking and holding camping lamps.

Connecting Community in Cedar-Riverside

Jamie Schumacher is the Executive Director of the West Bank Business Association, a partner with Springboard for the Arts and People’s Center Health Services on connecting and celebrating the…


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…


Jamie Horter is a rural artist working in community engagement—in her own words

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…


A rural renaissance: How small towns are leading the way in creative placemaking

In 2014, New London was the recipient of a $262,500 grant from Artplace America. The grant helped fund nine different projects. Full disclosure: I was lucky enough to be one of those recipients. We…


The Blue Sky Center is building a creative economy in rural California

The New Cuyama townsite in California's Santa Barbara County is relatively young. Built in the early 1950s by the Richfield Oil Company, it was a company-driven town where the company came in, built…


Al-Bustan plants the seeds of Arab culture and community in Philadelphia

Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture started in Philadelphia in 2002 when founder and executive director Hazami Sayed wanted a place for her two young sons to go where they would learn and apply the Arabic…


Jer Thorp creates data-based public art to engage and empower communities

Jer Thorp is an accomplished public speaker—check out some of his selected talks here—and an artist based in New York who has participated in highly visible public art projects, like designing the…


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…


Five Years of Creative Exchange!

Give your feedback and take our survey here! February 20, 2014 was the day that we launched Creative Exchange. I had just become a father, and here was another baby about to go out into the world. We…


Growing Up in the Arts Toolkit

“We are excited about the potential to use the toolkit for preparing other communities to host their own “Growing Up in the Arts” activities. We have found a method that facilitates collaboration…


New toolkits from the 2018 Toolkit Cohort

Creative Exchange is based on the idea that artists are everywhere, that artists are shaping their communities in all sorts of ways, and by sharing stories and tools from those artists, we can build…


Creative People Power

Springboard for the Arts and Helicon Collaborative are excited to launch Creative People Power, a new report and framework for combining creativity-centered and people-centered development to build…


Collective Magpie explores the concepts of race and identity in cultural borderlands

“Collective Magpie = Tae Hwang & MR Barnadas + Participants” So says the equation at the top of the Collective Magpie website, and it is meant to underscore the fact that they function as a…


Tony Gómez-Morales explores cultural identity through cowboys and wrestlers

Antonio "Tony" Gómez-Morales is American. He was born in Mexico where he lived until he was 14, then moved to Southern California, attended Wayne State University and the College for Creative Studies…


The Boston Ujima Project is working to create economic equity for artists

The work of Springboard for the Arts is rooted in arts-based economic and community development. We believe artists are critical assets in that work, and support them by offering a variety of…


Springfield Regional Arts Council helps youth grow up in the arts

For eight weeks each summer, the Creamery Arts Center in Springfield, Missouri is home to a whirlwind tour through the arts. Students from kindergarten through eighth grade try ballet one week, opera…


Ujima Theatre Company uses theatre to foster self-determined communities

The work of Springboard for the Arts is rooted in arts-based economic and community development. We believe artists are critical assets in that work, and support them by offering a variety of…


Graffiti Camp for Girls is breaking up the boys' club of street art

"I was a disgruntled teenager. My mom moved us out to the country while I was still in high school and there was nothing to do. I basically just wanted to get into trouble," says Nina Wright, aka…