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Springboard for the Arts offers free or low-cost artist career consultations to artists, artist entrepreneurs, and creative small business owners. MN-based artists can start with one free 1-hour consultation with a consultant from our Artist Career Consultant Roster.

Sign up for an Artist Career Consultation!

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 would like to thank MN DEED, LISC and Elevate Business Hennepin County for underwriting free Artist Career Consultations for artists and creative businesses across Minnesota. Register for a consultation for details!

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Program Specialist
 
 
Career Consultation FAQ

Frequently asked questions about Artist Career Consultations.

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Artist Career Consultant Roster

Alison Bergblom Johnson (she/her) Sign up for a Consultation
Artist Career Consultant, Minneapolis
“I can help artists dream big and then attend to the details (event planning, proposal and application writing, marketing and promotion, creating partnerships) that make such dreams feasible. As an artist with disabilities whose work and arts organizing often centers people with disabilities I’m equipped to help other artists navigate access and accommodation needs in addition to career planning.”
Skills: Literature, storytelling and performance, public relations, teaching artist, collaborating with community care and art organizations (small, grassroots endeavors and very large, established institutions), public speaking, 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 worked with include Patrick’s Cabaret, the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, COMPAS, and Strike Theater. Flock, Entropy, and the Walker Reader have published her essays. Visit her website at alisonbergblomjohnson.com and read more about Alison on Creative Exchange.

Headshot of Cecilia CornejoCecilia Cornejo (she/her) Sign up for a Consultation
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. Visit her website at http://thewanderinghouse.com/ and read more about Cecilia on Creative Exchange.

Anika Fajardo (she/her) Sign up for a Consultation
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) Sign up for a Consultation
Artist Career Consultant, St. Paul
"I can help artists with live streaming and related technology."
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. Visit his website at https://fiskradatz.com and read more about Aaron on Creative Exchange.

Felix Foster (he/him) Sign up for a Consultation
Artist Career Consultant, Minneapolis
"I can help artists with event planning and event logistics, writing and editing artist statements, bios, and product descriptions for the web, and basic conflict mediation strategies."
Skills: Event Planning, 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. Visit his website at https://www.lexiconwc.com/, and read more about Felix on Creative Exchange.

Candida Gonzalez (they/them)
Artist Career Consultant, Minneapolis
"I can help artists with public art engagement, visualizing next steps in their career paths, mapping out how to become a career artist, grants and funding resources, 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. Read more about Candida on Creative Exchange.

Kaamil A. Haider (he/him) Kaamil is unavailable for consultations at this time.
Artist Career Consultant, Minneapolis 20/20 Artist Fellow, 2019-2020
"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 HeadshotTish Jones (she/her) Sign up for a Consultation
Artist Career Consultant, Saint Paul - Descendant of Old Rondo 20/20 Artist Fellow, 2019-2020
"I can help artists with with budgeting, strategic planning, event planning & organizing, marketing & communications, small (local) to large (international) event, organizing, planning & production, ideation/visioning, intercultural collaboration, grant writing, youth development strategies, Hip Hop Education, and more."
Skills:
Poet, educator and cultural producer
Bio: Founder & Executive Director of TruArtSpeaks, Tish Jones is a writer educator, organizer and cultural producer with a deep and resounding love for Black people, arts & culture, youth development, and civic engagement. As a performance artist her work has been shared in venues throughout the United States. Her writing can be found in We Are Meant to Rise (University of Minnesota Press, 2021), 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) Aziz is unavailable for consultations at this time.
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. Read more about Aziz on Creative Exchange.

Headshot of Oskar LyKa Oskar Ly (she/her/they/them) Sign up for a Consultation
Artist Career Consultant, St. Paul 20/20 Artist Fellow, 2020-2021
"I can help artists with ideating/adapting projects, developing their creative brand, and identifying grants, resources, and opportunities. I also offer peer coaching on creative entrepreneurship and nonprofit development strategies to help artists identify options and next steps."
Skills: Creative Ideation and Strategy, Artistic Branding, Planning and Management.
Bio: Ka is a multi-disciplinary artist ranging from textile art, murals, installations, and events through the power of culture and identity. They co-founded Ua Si Creative, an artist collective that emerged out of ArtCrop.co. They have a background in community development, organizing, and facilitation and have been a recipient of McKnight, Jerome, Forecast, MRAC, MSAB, and CURA grants and fellowships and more. Visit their website at oskarlyart.com and read more about Ka on Creative Exchange.

Jessica Lopez Lyman (she/her)  Sign up for a Consultation
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. Read more about Jessica on Creative Exchange.

MaLLy (he/him) Sign up for a Consultation
Artist Career Consultant, Minneapolis
"I can help artists with individual career planning, ASCAP registration, music distribution (physical/digital), live event coordination, networking, artist statement/resume development and project management."
Skills:
Music (songwriting, recording, performance), Entrepreneurship and Arts Education.
Bio: MaLLy is a rap artist, entrepreneur and educator. For over a decade, MaLLy has successfully released four full length albums, toured nationally and internationally with legendary acts like Atmosphere, Brother Ali and is a McKnight Foundation fellowship recipient. He has been voted Twin Cities' best hip-hop artist by the City Pages and recognized by other local and national press outlets, including Star Tribune, 2DopeBoyz, Uproxx, HHDX and Complex Magazine. His content possesses a robust artistic duality exploring themes of love, social justice, relationships, and spirituality. Through his music, MaLLy’s main desire is to empower people of all backgrounds to celebrate life as it is in the present moment. Visit his website at https://www.mallympls.com/

Headshot of Ifrah MansourIfrah Mansour (she/her) Sign up for a Consultation
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. Visit her Facebook page https://m.facebook.com/ifrahmansourart and read more about Ifrah on Creative Exchange.

Sharon Mansur (she/her) Sign up for a Consultation
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

Yan Pang (she/they) Sign up for a Consultation
Artist Career Consultant, St. Paul
"I can help artists with grant applications (from non-profit organizations and academic institutions). As an assistant professor of music, I can also help artists with any projects that involve music creation."
Skills: Music (composition, performance, scholarship), Theater and Dance (interdisciplinary collaborations), and Mandarin language
Bio: Yan Pang is a composer, performer, and scholar. She is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Music and Musical Director at Point Park University Conservatory of Performing Arts. She received her Ph.D. in Music with a minor in Theater Arts & Dance at the University of Minnesota. Her work focuses on inter-cultural composition and performance. A selection of her varied publications includes the album Glory Times (as songwriter and music director) by the China Scientific & Cultural Audio-Video Publishing Company, the scores “Nowhere Home” and “The Others” by Contemporary Music Score Collection 2020, UCLA, the peer-reviewed paper “Scene of Sichuan Opera” (co-author with Mingzhu Song), and the textbooks Cool Math for Hot Music, All About Music, Basic Music Technology, and The Future of Music (co-authored Guerino Mazzola et al.) by Springer.  Visit her website at yanpangcreate.com.

Felicia Perry (she/her) Sign up for a Consultation
Artist Career Consultant, North Minneapolis 20/20 Artist Fellow, 2019-2020
"I can support creative entrepreneurs with career planning, goal setting and strategy mapping, identifying resources, grant writing, and offer tools for managing a life of creative entrepreneurship."
Skills:
Radio/Podcasting (hosting, producing), Dance, Visual Art (performance, teaching), Certified Yoga Instructor, Arts Administration, Project Management, Grant Writing, Public Speaking, Creative Placemaking, Marketing, Non Profit Leadership
Bio: Felicia is an ARTrepreneur based in Minneapolis, MN specializing in fashion design, performance art, and curating spaces. Felicia is a 2019/20 Springboard for the Arts 20/20 Artist Fellow, 2019-2020 , serves on the  May Day Council, is a Northside Awesome Fund Trustee, and proudly serves as Board Chair of Vivid Black Paint . Previously the Executive Director of the West Broadway Business and Area Coalition. Felicia currently serves as Business and Commercial Real Estate Manager at the Partnership in Property Commercial Land Trust.

Jes Reyes (she/her/they/them) Sign up for a Consultation
Artist Career Consultant, St. Paul
"I can help artists with goals related to career planning, time management, grantwriting, portfolio development, program/project development/management, exhibition planning, and community organizing. I am also great at supportive counseling so if you are looking for someone to listen and hear you, I can be that person. I have a background in supporting artists with disabilities."
Skills: Film (production, presentation), Visual Art (painting, mixed media), Administration (programming).
Bio: Jes Reyes is an interdisciplinary artist, curator, and arts administrator. Their artwork is rooted in play, vulnerability, experimentation, collaboration, and the blending of disciplines. She a long history of working with community organizations to build art access, offer art workshops/programming, coordinate exhibitions, and assist with artist career support. Art facilitation and resource building for artists is an extension of their practice. She has exhibited and screened her artwork throughout the Twin Cities and is the founder of Moonplay Cinema. They identify as queer, punk, feminist, and an artist living with a disability. Visit Jes' website at www.jesreyes.com and read more about Jes on Creative Exchange.

Naomi RaMona Schliesman (she/her) Sign up for a Consultation
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) Sign up for a Consultation
Artist Career Consultant, Minneapolis
"I can help artists with career planning and grant writing, as well as with questions related to space acquisition, nonprofit startup and graduate school. I can also help mature artists confront the challenges of ageism."
Skills: Interdisciplinary art, improvisation, public site-inspired art, and performance/installations
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) Sign up for a Consultation
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. Visit her website at  danasikkila.com and read more about Dana on Creative Exchange.

Krista Soukup (she/her) Sign up for a Consultation
Artist Career Consultant, Brainerd
"I can help artists define their brand, identify their goals and channel their marketing and publicity to create action. Let’s talk about how to best present ourselves as an artist to the outside world to garner the attention of a target audience, achieve goals and continue to grow an artist brand."
Skills: Branding, Marketing and Promotions
Bio:
Krista Rolfzen Soukup is a publicist and owner of Blue Cottage Agency. She has a passion for helping artists successfully promote their work and establish their platform. Through her expert guidance, knowledge of the industry and vast experience, she has successfully supported artists across the country.  She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Marketing. Visit her website at https://www.bluecottageagency.com/ and read more about Krista on Creative Exchange.

Headshot of David UnowskyDavid Unowsky (he/him) Sign up for a Consultation
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. Read more about David on Creative Exchange.

Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay (she/her) Saymoukda is unavailable for consultations until December.
Artist Career Consultant, St. Paul
"I can help artists by reviewing their grant proposals and provide creative project ideation -- such as helping you fine-tune details of your project, taking your imagination into actionable steps, identifying collaborators/partners."
Skills: Artistic/Creative Project Ideation, Grant Proposal Writing, Artistic+Professional Planning
Bio: Saymoukda is an award-winning Lao American poet, playwright, public artist, and grant writer. She's received 50+ grants/fellowships and is an experienced grant review panelist and grant program designer (national/local). She's currently a Bush Leadership Fellow, a Mellon Foundation Playwright in Residence at Theater Mu, a McKnight Foundation Fellow in Community-Engaged Practice Art, a Jerome Hill Artist Fellow in Playwriting, and serves as a member at large on the City of Saint Paul Cultural STAR Board. www.refugenius.net

Cynthia Weitzel (she/her) Cynthia is unavailable for consultations at this time.
Artist Career Consultant, Red Wing
"I can help artists with big picture planning, discovering opportunities and mapping out their career paths as working artists and cultural producers. I'm bi-lingual (American Sign Language and English) and bi-cultural, able to work with artists both Deaf and hearing."
Skills: Career and business planing, budgeting, resume development, grant writing, artist residencies, community engagement, accessibility planning, and self-advocacy.
Bio: Cynthia is a Deaf visual artist with studio at the Anderson Center in Red Wing, MN. She holds a BBA in business management with minor in studio fine art from Austin Peay State University. Prior to making the transition to working artist, she served 25 years in the nonprofit field as counselor, services director and human rights lobbyist. Her work involves the continuum of visual art media with primary focus on the Deaf life experience. She is also co-founder and coordinator of the nations’s first Deaf Artists Residency (DAR) program at the Anderson Center and an Alliance of Artist Communities "Diversity & Leadership Fellow (2019)". Learn more about her in the StarTribune.

Headshot of Laura YoungbirdLaura Youngbird (she/her) Sign up for a Consultation
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. Visit her website at laurayoungbird.com and read more about Laura on Creative Exchange.

Patricia Zurlo (she/her) Sign up for a Consultation
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."

Note: Patricia can advise artists on general legal concepts, but not on an artist's specific legal situation. If you have questions about your specific legal situation, consider an attorney referral through MnLA.

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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