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Springboard has a team of Artist Career Consultants (ACCs), each of whom is a working artist, well-established in their field, with considerable experience in mentoring and teaching individual artists. ACC bios and areas of specialty are listed below. You can request a specific ACC, or we can match you with one, when you sign up for Consultations.

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Consultations can cover career planning, project support, artist resources, or specific questions around marketing, promotions, grants, tech, writing, web support and more. All consultations are available on a sliding scale for accessilibity.

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Springboard Staff

Professional Development and Operations Coordinator

Artist Resources Coordinator
 
 
Career Consultation FAQ

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Artist Career Consultant Roster

Alison Bergblom Johnson (she/her)
Artist Career Consultant, Minneapolis
Skills: Literature, storytelling and performance, public relations, artists with disabilities
Bio: Alison Bergblom Johnson is an artist whose work often approaches uncomfortable, difficult subjects. Her genres and media include storytelling, creative nonfiction, installation, and collage, and her work explores gender, disability, and sexuality. Some venues she’s performed at include Patrick’s Cabaret, the Northfield Artists Guild, and Strike Theater, in addition to the Minnesota Fringe Festival. Flock, Diverse Voices Quarterly, and Minnesota Public Radio’s website have published her essays. alisonbergblomjohnson.com

Headshot of Cecilia CornejoCecilia Cornejo (she/her)
Artist Career Consultant, Northfield
"I can help artists general career planning, goal setting, and grant-writing. I can also help those working on documentary film, community-engaged art, and/or those interested in Latin American Cinema, Third Cinema, and Essay Film."
Skills:
Documentary film, public art, socially engaged art, Latin American cinema, Third cinema, essay film
Bio: Cecilia Cornejo is a Chilean-born documentary filmmaker, artist, and teacher based in Northfield, Minnesota. Known for placing community members at the center of the creative process, she uses a range of approaches and production methodologies to engage them as active participants and co-creators of meaning. Locally rooted yet globally minded, her work examines notions of belonging and the immigrant experience while exploring the traces of historical trauma on people and places. Cecilia is an inaugural recipient of the 2020 McKnight Fellowship for Community-Engaged Artists and has received support from the Minnesota State Arts Board, the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture (NALAC), the Jerome Foundation, and the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council. She teaches in the Cinema and Media Studies department at Carleton College. http://thewanderinghouse.com/

Headshot of Amanda CortesAmanda Cortes (she/her)
Artist Career Consultant, Minneapolis
Skills: Writing, Editing, Strategic Planning, Conflict Mediation, navigating bureaucracy
Bio: Amanda Cortes works at the intersection of racial equity, grassroots community development, art and culture. Her theory and practice are informed by her upbringing in working class, immigrant, Latinx communities on Chicago's south west side. Amanda is inspired by connecting artists and cultural workers to resources, helping overcome obstacles in current projects and planning for new possibilities. She holds a B.S. in Speech Communication and a J.D. from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale.

Headshot of Dominic FacioDominic Facio (he/him)
Rural Program Coordinator, Fergus Falls
Skills: Performance (makeup artistry & effects, event producer, DJ) and administration
Bio: Dominic is a creative known for his production of many niche and place-based community events, including The Fergus Falls Zombie Crawl, Danse Macabre, and Ms Lexi D’s Catwalk Party. After a year studying digital photography at Brown College, he was recruited as the Department Head of FX for the movie "Geist," a haunting film shot on the grounds of the Kirkbride Building in Fergus Falls, MN in 2011. In 2015, Dominic was awarded first place in the makeup competition at Crypticon, and has since then been the recipient of three separate Legacy Grants from the Lake Region Arts Council. https://www.deviantart.com/domfreq/

Anika Fajardo (she/her)
Artist Career Consultant, Minneapolis
"I can help artists ensure that their online presence communicates who they are and what they offer."
Skills: Writing, Editing, Websites
Bio: Anika Fajardo is a writer, editor, and teacher whose work is informed by her half-Colombian, half-Minnesotan background. She is the author of two books about that experience and her work has earned awards from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Jerome Foundation. Anika teaches at Augsburg University’s MFA in Creative Writing and at the Loft Literary Center, where she serves on the board. A former librarian, she uses her information organization skills to provide web services to writers, artists, and other creatives, giving them the tools they need to create functional, beautiful websites to showcase their work and offer their services. https://www.anikafajardo.com/

Headshot of Aaron FiskradatzAaron Fiskradatz (he/him)
Artist Career Consultant, St. Paul
Skills: Theatre (acting, directing, writing, puppetry), Arts Education (all ages and abilities), Live streaming and related technology
Bio: Aaron Fiskradatz is a theatre artist, educator, and technician from the Twin Cities. He collaborates with artists in the disability community through Upstream Arts, and is an active theatre teaching artist for youth. As a freelance artist, he works as an actor, writer, director, and puppeteer. In 2020, he began assisting theatres and other organizations in their moves to live streaming platforms. He holds a BA in Theatre Arts from the University of Minnesota. https://fiskradatz.com

Felix Foster (he/him)
Artist Career Consultant, Minneapolis
Skills: Writing, Editing, Web & Technology Services, Networking, Nonprofit Administration
Bio: Felix Foster works to couple a wide range of experience in the fields of writing, project management, and planning, with personal interests in the arts, philosophy, technology, and community engagement. He loves working with artists and community builders, while creating works of his own including; serving as editor in chief of the saint paul almanac, managing and producing events like the Aardvark in the Park Festival and serving on the board of Twin Cities Pride, creating websites for small businesses, and providing admin support to organizations like McKnight Foundation. In his free time he is reading, writing, creating video game concepts, and co-hosting a film podcast. https://www.lexiconwc.com/

Candida Gonzalez (they/them)
Artist Career Consultant, Minneapolis
"I can help artists with visualizing next steps in their career paths, mapping out how to become a career artist, grant writing, and social media."
Skills:
Visual art career development, grant writing and fund sourcing, budgeting, arts admin, accessibility
Bio: A Puerto Rican native of South Minneapolis, Candida Gonzalez is passionate about arts education, community engagement through the arts and equitable arts access. They have worked as an arts program coordinator, curator, arts integration educator, co-founded a national public art business in 2016 and now works as an arts consultant and independent artist. They enjoy helping artists visualize and reach for the next steps in their careers.

Kaamil A. Haider (he/him)
Artist Career Consultant, Minneapolis
"I can help artists with art organizing, grants, archiving, graphic design, resume building, heritage studies, exhibitions, art making and installations."
Skills:
Visual art, graphic design, activism/organizing and community development
Bio: Kaamil A. Haider is a Somali born visual artist and graphic designer based in Minneapolis. In his work and research, he considers the power of memory, heritage and archives in relation to his personal experiences and that of his community. In addition to pursuing his practices, Kaamil is a co-founder of Soomaal House of Art, a Minneapolis-based Somali artists collective supporting a growing number of emerging and established Somali artists living in Minnesota and beyond. www.byhaider.com.

Tish Jones (she/her)
Artist Career Consultant, Saint Paul
"I can help artists with strategic planning, creative ideation, community organizing/cultural production, culturally relevant pedagogy, arts (spoken word, creative writing, emceeing), arts administration, project management, and public speaking."
Skills:
Poet, educator and cultural producer
Bio: Founder & Executive Director of TruArtSpeaks - an arts & culture nonprofit in Saint Paul, MN - Tish Jones is a poet, educator, and cultural producer. As a published author, Jones has performed poetry in venues throughout the United States; her work can be found in A Moment of Silence (Tru Ruts and The Playwrights Center, 2020), the Minnesota Humanities Center's anthology entitled, Blues Vision: African American Writing from Minnesota (Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2015) and more.

Aziz Kamara (he/him)
Artist Career Consultant, St. Paul
Skills: Financial Literacy and Services (planning, budgeting, investing)
Bio: Years ago, my siblings and I were left to pick up the pieces following a major tragedy, Soon after, I was introduced to the financial services industry wherein I quickly realized that the industry had failed us and countless others not deemed important enough to help. Over time, I developed the skills and tools required to help others prepare for the worst, while creating strategies for their financial success. My mission is to guide those who need it most, regardless of where they may be. https://www.westernsouthern.com/wslife/

Troy King (he/him)
Artist Career Consultant, St. Paul
Skills: Music (hip-hop emcee, songwriting, poetry, spoken word, artist development) and Administration (social justice, activism, customer service, clerical, leadership).
Bio: Troy King is a recipient of the McKnight Fellowship for performing musicians and has worked with Springboard for the Arts as both a grant recipient and project coordinator. Attended NC State University before moving to Minnesota in 2011 and has released a mixtape as well as two full-length albums. https://soundcloud.com/king-fuvi

Headshot of Oskar LyKa Oskar Ly (she/her/they/them)
Artist Career Consultant, St. Paul
"I can help artists with ideating/adapting projects, developing their creative brand, identifying grants, resources, and opportunities, self-management, creative entrepreneurship, and nonprofit development coaching. I specialize in community-engaged art, organizing, and cultural productions."
Skills: Creative Ideation and Strategy, Artistic Branding, Planning and Management.
Bio: Ka Oskar Ly is a queer Hmong French American multi-disciplinary artist, creative strategist, and cultural producer. Their work span from experiential events, public installations, social enterprise (ArtCrop.co), fashion art (Os.Couture), curating, creative branding, and community building. They have received MSAB, Jerome, Forecast, and CURA grants. They support creatives to ideate and identify their options, providing admin and management coaching to help artists find the focus to follow through. oskarlyart.com

Headshot of Jessica Lopez LymanJessica Lopez Lyman (she/her)
Artist Career Consultant, St. Paul
"I can help artists negotiate MFA or other academic programs, envision new directions for the work and strategize accountability practices. Plus grant writing, developing CV/resume and artist statement, arts engagement and academic scholarship."
Skills:
Research, Screenprinting, Grant writing
Bio: Jessica Lopez Lyman, Ph.D. is an interdisciplinary performance artist and Xicana feminist scholar interested in how Indigenous and People of Color create alternative spaces to heal and imagine new worlds. Jessica built, La Luchadora, a mobile screen printing cart as part of the Ready Go! program and prints political posters with communities across the state. She is a an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chicano and Latino Studies at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

Headshot of Ifrah MansourIfrah Mansour (she/her)
Artist Career Consultant, Minneapolis
"I can help artists with multimedia art projects, visual storytelling performance, installation, poetry, puppetry, community centered collaboration, building sustainable relationships and navigating identities of Muslim/refugee/immigrant."
Skills: Playwriting, acting, experimental film, puppetry, poetry and Somali language.
Bio: Ifrah Mansour is a Somali, refugee, Muslim, multimedia artist and an educator. Her artwork explores trauma through the eyes of children to uncover the resiliencies of blacks, muslims, and refugees. She interweaves poetry, puppetry, films, and installations. She's been featured in BBC, Vice, OkayAfrica, Star Tribune, and City Pages. Her critically-acclaimed, “How to Have Fun in a Civil War” premiered at Guthrie Theatre and toured to cities in greater Minnesota. https://m.facebook.com/ifrahmansourart

Sharon Mansur (she/her)
Artist Career Consultant, Winona
"I can help artists with dance, interdisciplinary art, artistic & community collaborations, improvisation, public art, site-inspired art, somatics, performance/installations, socially engaged art, dance for film, dance education, arts admin for the independent artist."
Skills: Dance, Interdisciplinary art, Public art, Dance Education
Bio: Sharon Mansur is an Arab/SWANA American dance and interdisciplinary experimental artist, educator, curator, community mover and shaker. Her creative practice weaves movement, multi-sensory landscapes, food, and audience participation. Sharon currently directs The Cedar Tree Project, presenting and amplifying creative voices from the Arab/SWANA diaspora, and curates SHIFT~ performance salons. She teaches dance at St. Mary’s University, and is also a therapeutic bodyworker. www.mansurdance.com

Headshot of Zaraawar MistryZaraawar Mistry (he/him)
Artist Resources Coordinator, St. Paul
"I can help theater and other performing arts artists with career and project development, teaching and workshop development, networking, grants, touring and funding."
Skills: Theater (acting, directing, producing).
Bio: Zaraawar Mistry is a co-owner of Dreamland Arts, a 40-seat theater attached to his home in St. Paul. He has performed in and directed many works for several Twin Cities theater companies, and mentored dozens of artists in the creation and production of original works for the stage. He has an M.F.A. in Theatre from UC, San Diego and a B.A. from Bennington College in Vermont. http://dreamlandarts.com/zaraawar-mistry/.

Felicia Perry (she/her)
Artist Career Consultant, Minneapolis
"I can help artists with career planning, goal setting and strategy mapping, identifying resources, grant writing, creative entrepreneurship."
Skills:
Radio/Podcasting (hosting, producing), Dance, Visual Art (performance, teaching), Arts Administration, Project Management, Grant Writing, Public Speaking
Bio: Felicia is an ARTreprenuer based in Minneapolis specializing in fashion design, performance art, and curating spaces. Felicia is a 2019/20 Springboard for the Arts 20/20 Artist Fellow and is a Northside Awesome Fund Trustee. She currently serves the Northiside business community as the Executive Director of the West Broadway Business and Area Coalition.

Raymond Rea (he/him)
Artist Career Consultant, Fargo/Moorhead
"I can help filmmakers develop budgets and offer my experiences and resources re. the Film Festival circuits (I'm specifically experienced with the LGBTQ+ film festival circuit but my work has played in other festivals as well). I can also offer some help with writing grant statements."
Skills:
Film/Video, Film Festivals, Project Management, Grant Writing
Bio: Raymond Rea is a Transmale filmmaker and writer . His film and video work has screened extensively nationally and internationally, mostly on the LGBTQ Film Festival circuit and in Microcinemas. Ray's writing has been produced at EXIT Stage Left, EXIT Mainstage, BUILD, Theatre Rhino (all in San Francisco) and Theatre B in Fargo-Moorhead. Ray is deeply committed to sharing resources and information and elevating unheard voices in the arts. http://densityoverduration.com/

Headshot of Jes ReyesJes Reyes (she/her/they/them)
Artist Career Consultant, St. Paul
"I can help artists with goals related to career planning, time management, marketing, grant writing, portfolio development, artwork presentation, program/project development/management, and community organizing. I specialize in working with artists with disabilities."
Skills: Film (production, presentation), Visual Art (painting, mixed media), Administration (programming).
Bio: Jes Reyes is an artist, arts administrator, community organizer, and social service provider. She holds a B.A. in Women’s Studies and Film/Electronic Arts from California State Long Beach and a Master of Liberal Studies from the University of Minnesota. Jes has exhibited and screened her artwork throughout the Twin Cities and is the founder of the Altered Esthetics Film Festival and Moonplay Cinema. Currently, she is the leader of a team of service providers at Avivo ArtWorks, an art program supporting artists living with mental illness. www.jesreyes.com.

Naomi RaMona Schliesman (she/her)
Artist Career Consultant, Fergus Falls
"I can help artists with visual arts (career development, studio arts and teaching), public art, creative placemaking, grant writing, arts advocacy, arts administration, rural arts and residencies."
Skills: Visual Arts (career development, studio arts and teaching), Arts Administration, Public Art
Bio: Naomi is a multidisciplinary artist with an MFA in Studio Arts. Schliesman has received multiple Fellowships, grants and has attended residency programs nationally and internationally. She has traveled abroad to study art and art movements. Her practice consists of studio art, collaborations with artists, organizations and communities in creative placemaking nationwide as a freelance artist, and is an active Arts Advocate in her rural community. She serves on multiple boards and committees. https://www.instagram.com/naomi.schliesman/

Headshot of Patrick ScullyPatrick Scully (he/him)
Artist Career Consultant, Minneapolis
Skills: Performing arts (dance, theater, perf. art) & Administration (spaces, solo career, small non-profit)
Bio: Patrick is a long time Mpls artist - choreographer/dancer/performance art/theater, entrepreneur, gay and HIV+ activist. His works range from intimate/autobiographical, to boat ballets on rivers in MN and Germany. In 1986 he founded Patrick’s Cabaret, making the local performing arts ecosystem more inclusive and democratic. He's had 8 different spaces in town. A mature artist who has persevered, he’s thought about artists' sustainability. He's been a successful fundraiser & grant writer. patrickscully.org

Dana Sikkila (she/her)
Artist Career Consultant, Mankato
"I can help artists with individual career planning, social media marketing, creative placemaking specific to rural communities, grant and statement writing, and creative curriculums."
Skills: Administration, Grants, Statements and Proposals, Place Based Projects, Rural Arts, Education
Bio: Dana Sikkila is a Minnesota-based interdisciplinary maker and creator. At just 35 years old, Sikkila has been named one of the most well-known creative leaders of Southern Minnesota. Known for her social practice and activism programs, creative consulting, public speaking, and her theory development within creative curriculum, Sikkila's practices span from working in communities from rural to the Twin Cities. Her self-defining administration style has bridged the gap between arts creation and administration. Developing numerous grassroots cultural projects and exhibitions throughout the state. danasikkila.com

Krista Soukup (she/her)
Artist Career Consultant, Brainerd
Skills: Marketing and Promotions
Bio: Krista Rolfzen Soukup is a literary publicist and owner of Blue Cottage Agency. She has a passion for helping writers and authors successfully promote their work and establish their platform. Through her expert guidance, knowledge of the publishing industry and vast experience, she has successfully supported writers and authors across the country and Europe. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Marketing. https://www.bluecottageagency.com/

Headshot of Jeremy StaabJeremy Staab (he/him)
Artist Career Consultant, St. Paul
Skills: Entrepreneurial development, grant administration, business planning, sales, project management
Bio: Jeremy served as Project Manager for First Peoples Fund (FPF), a national Native-led non-profit, who puts artists and culture bears at the center of community development. Through FPF, he managed the First Peoples Fund’s Indigenous Arts Ecology Grant program and grantees from all across the continental U.S. and in Alaska and Hawaii. He was also the Program Manager and a certified instructor of FPF’s flagship values-based training, Native Artist Professional Development (NAPD) training.

Headshot of Andy SturdevantAndy Sturdevant (he/him)
Artist Resources Director, St. Paul
"I can help artists and performers with writing about themselves and their work for grants, marketing, websites or other purposes — especially those who don’t always feel comfortable writing about their work. I can also assist with portfolio development, resume writing, books and publishing questions (traditional or self-publishing), e-commerce, starting a business and (very, very basic) legal issues."
Skills: Visual Art and Literature (non-fiction).
Bio: Andy Sturdevant is a writer, publisher, artist and very occasional performer. He has written about art, history and culture for a variety of publications, and is the author of three books of nonfiction. He is also the creator of a number of small-run art and design books, distributed in the United States and Europe. His artwork has been exhibited at venues in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Seattle, and he has presented public programs with many organizations locally and regionally. Andy holds a B.F.A. in painting from the University of Louisville and a graphic design certificate from Minneapolis Community and Technical College.

Headshot of Adia Morris SwangerAdia Morris Swanger (she/her)
Professional Development and Operations Coordinator, St. Paul
Skills: Theater (acting, directing and teaching) and On Camera (film, commercial, hosting).
Bio: Adia Morris is a freelance artist and educator. She has performed at the Guthrie Theater and Park Square Theatre, and danced with Threads Dance Project. She has taught dance and theatre workshops for Guthrie Theater, Youth Performance Company, and Minneapolis Public Schools. Adia earned her BA in Classics from Duke University.

Headshot of David UnowskyDavid Unowsky (he/him)
Artist Career Consultant, St. Paul
"I can help artists with getting their book ready, published, sold, and marketed."
Skills:
Writing and publishing: sales, marketing, event planning
Bio:For 34 years, David Unowsky owned and ran Hungry Mind (later known as Ruminator), one of America’s great bookstores which also fostered a literary magazine and a publishing company. He later helped create successful event series at Magers and Quinn and SubText bookstores. A published writer, he is a recipient both the Kay Sexton award and the Pat Bell Award. Currently doing sales and marketing consulting with 4 publishers.

Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay (she/her)
Artist Career Consultant, St. Paul (Note: Saymoukda is unavailable to take consultation requests until June 2021)
"I can help artists with grant proposal writing and artistic project ideation (fine-tuning details, imagining possibilities into action)."
Skills: Artistic/Creative Project Ideation, Grant Proposal Writing, Artistic+Professional Planning
Bio: Saymoukda is a playwright, public artist, and grant writer. She's received awards from Jerome Fdn, Bush Fdn, John S. and James L. Knight Fdn, MAP Fund, MN State Arts Board, Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, Playwrights’ Center, Loft Literary Center, Twin Cities Media Alliance, Forecast Public Art, Midway Contemporary Art, and elsewhere. She is also an experienced grant review panelist (national/local). She's currently the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Playwright in Residence at Theater Mu. https://www.saymoukdatherefugenius.com/

Headshot of Laura YoungbirdLaura Youngbird (she/her)
Artist Career Consultant, Fargo/Moorhead
Skills: Visual Art (drawing, painting, printmaking), Instructor, Art Advocate and Administrator (leadership)
Bio: Youngbird earned her BS, BFA and MA from Minnesota State University at Moorhead with a minor in American Indian Studies. Laura is an enrolled member of the Minnesota Chippewa, Grand Portage Band and currently lives in Breckenridge, Minnesota. Laura is the Director of Native American Art at the Plains Art Museum in Fargo, North Dakota. Using the dress as a metaphor, her work explores the boarding school experience and influences of Christianity on American Indian spirituality and life views. laurayoungbird.com

Patricia Zurlo (she/her)
Artist Career Consultant, Minneapolis
"I can help artists understand their legal rights and responsibilities as well as how to strategize best practices in management of their business."
Skills:
Legal (Intellectual property, Contracts, Business entities)
Bio: Patricia Zurlo works with creative individuals and organizations locally and nationally providing strategic mentoring and legal advice to artists, creative entrepreneurs and non-profits with a focus on intellectual property, contracts, entity formation and more. On the advisory board for Minnesota Lawyers for the Arts, Patty and is a past president of the Minnesota State Bar Association Forum on Art, Entertainment and Sports Law. A committed teacher, she served as Adjunct Professor at Mitchell Hamline College of Law, St Mary’s University’s masters program in Cultural Leadership, and is a frequent guest speaker and lecturer. Patty is a former professional classical musician, and plays with yarn and textiles for fun. Learn more at http://www.zurlolawoffice.com.

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