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From Executive Director Laura Zabel:

I love parades. I love the tiny parades in the small town where my family lives where nearly the entire community participates. I love big giant parades, like the Minneapolis May Day parade by In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre that somehow combines solemn ceremony and wild abandon. There’s something so moving to me about people coming together to celebrate in the street, to share culture, joy, and connection. And I love the idea that parades can mean a lot of different things to a lot different people.

So I’m extra excited that artist Mychal Batson chose a parade as the metaphor for Springboard’s Year In Review for 2016. We want Springboard to be a place where people can come together and share culture, joy, and connection, and we know that Springboard means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Mychal’s work reflects that perfectly. Our last year was marked by growth, change, and new partners and collaborators, and here are a few highlights:

-A record number of people involved in our work across the US – 24,117 artists and 8,329 community members – through workshops, consultations, partnerships, and direct services.

-Partnership with the International Downtown Association and National Endowment for the Arts to provide training, technical assistance, and project support for downtowns to work with artists.

-Artist-led creative placemaking projects, including Roots of Rondo: Black Artists Rising, in partnership with Aurora-St. Anthony Neighborhood Development Corporation, and HOMELAND: Native Artists Create on the Ave, in partnership with the Native American Community Development Institute.

-Over 2,800 downloads of toolkits from Creative Exchange, our national program, including the Work of Art: Business Skills for Artists curriculum, with replications and adaptations by SCORE Boston, Gonzaga University, Kent State University, University of North Carolina, and others.

-We celebrated 25 years of work as an independent nonprofit, and 5 years in Fergus Falls!

In 2016 we also adopted a new 5-year strategic framework. We are working towards a day when every artist in the US has access to the tools they need to make a living and a life and impact their community, and where every community in the US has access to their local creative capacity. We do this work because of your partnership, collaboration, and support, and are so grateful for you.

Marching forward,

Laura Zabel
Executive Director