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Springboard has a team of Artist Career Consultants (ACCs), each of whom is a working artist, well-established in his or her 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.

Keesecker_Headshot_sml2013Noah Keesecker
Program Director – Artist Development, Lowertown St. Paul

Background: Music (composition, multimedia) and Administration (leadership). Noah Keesecker is a composer and multimedia artist. He has been a McKnight Fellow and a recipient of awards from the Jerome Foundation. He has been a Knight Foundation Fellow for Emerging Leaders, an Americans for the Arts Emerging Arts Leader liaison, and serves on the  Board of Minnesota Citizens for the Arts.  He holds a Master of Music in Composition from the University of Minnesota.

troy_king_photoTroy King
Artist Career Consultant, Lowertown St. Paul

Background: Music (hip-hop emcee, songwriting, poetry, spoken word, artist development) and Administration (social justice, activism, customer service, clerical, leadership). 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.

Zaraawar_HeadshotZaraawar Mistry
Artist Resources Coordinator, Lowertown St. Paul

Background: Theater (acting, directing, producing). 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.

Adia_HeadshotAdia Morris Swanger
Operations Assistant, Lowertown St. Paul

Background: Theater (acting, directing and teaching), Dance (dance, choreography), and On Camera (film, commercial, hosting). 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.

Jes Reyes
Artist Career Consultant, Lowertown St. Paul

Background: Film (production, presentation), and Visual Art (photography, mixed media). Jes Reyes is an interdisciplinary artist, curator, and arts administrator. She has exhibited with Feminist Video Quarterly, Made Here, and the Walker Art Center and is the founder of the Altered Esthetics Film Festival. She coordinates programming for Avivo ArtWorks (formerly Spectrum ArtWorks), a multifaceted, community-focused art studio for artists living with mental illness. She has a BA in Women’s Studies and Film/Electronic Arts from California State University, Long Beach and a Master of Liberal Studies from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

Naomi RaMona Schliesman
Artist Development Director, Fergus Falls

Background: Visual Art (sculpture, installation, mixed media, performance and teaching). Naomi RaMona Schliesman received her BFA from the University of Minnesota, Moorhead, and her MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has shown her art nationally and has participated in artist residencies and fellowships at the Vermont Studio Center, Ragdale, Kimmel Hardening Nelson Center for the Arts and Hospitalfield Arts in Arbroath, Scotland.

Andy_HeadshotAndy Sturdevant
Artist Resources Director, Lowertown St. Paul

Background: Visual Art (public art) and Literature (non-fiction). Andy Sturdevant is a writer, public artist and occasional performer. He has written about art, history and culture for a variety of Twin Cities-based publications and websites. 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.

David_Unowsky_HeadshotDavid Unowsky
Artist Career Consultant, Lowertown St. Paul

Background: Writing and Publishing. 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 David is working in the food and beverage world and is a sales and marketing consultant and mail boy for the Saint Paul Almanac.

Consultation for Community Emergency Relief Fund

Amelia Brown
Community Emergency Relief Fund Consultant, Lowertown St. Paul

Background: Arts and emergency response. Amelia Brown is a writer, speaker, artist and consultant with more than 20 years of community development experience spanning four continents. She earned the first and only self-designed master's degree from the University of Minnesota integrating arts, emergency management, and community development.  She managed the first Twin Cities placemaking residency and organized community partners in the development of the Cultural Corridor to maximize arts and cultural assets and increase economic growth along the Green Line with Twin Cities LISC.  Amelia's presentations and articles are the first to focus on the role of arts in disaster recovery in multiple publications, conferences, and locations from New Orleans to New Zealand.  She developed the first Community Emergency Relief Fund to support artists to respond to urgent community needs with creative leadership with Springboard for the Arts. As the Creative CityMaking Program Manager, she was the first to implement the program in the City of Minneapolis that partners artists with City staff to work on addressing the City's equity goals. Amelia created  Emergency Arts to help people creatively navigate emergencies, build community capacity and resilience, and advance the role of artists in emergency management.

Springboard Staff

Artist Resources Coordinator