Wendy Holmes is curious about cities, and what makes them work well and equitably. She’s lived in Minnesota since attending Macalester College, but her roots are on an Illinois farm, which is now an organic farm where her daughter goes to occasional “farm camp.” Wendy has worked for the Walker Art Center, the Science Museum of Minnesota, Minnesota Public Radio, and her alma mater.
Ask Wendy what she does and she’ll tell you that she and her team of five are “community whisperers.” She is always on the go to new places—large and small—to help figure out puzzles that lead to equitable community development where creative people and organizations have a strong voice at the table.
Wendy has been active on local and national boards and advisory committees including James Sewell Ballet, the Urban Land Institute, Cantus, the Minneapolis Park Foundation, and the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. She has been a speaker at numerous national arts and urban affairs conferences, as well as a guest lecturer at the University of St. Thomas, Macalester College, and the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of the University of Minnesota. Wendy is a national resource for information about urban redevelopment issues, and has been interviewed by many local and national publications.
Aneesha Marwah joined Artspace Consulting in 2017. She moved to Minneapolis from Chicago, where she previously worked for Goodman Williams Group, a real estate research firm. Aneesha earned her Master of Urban Planning and Policy with a concentration in Economic Development from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in 2015. Major projects she’s involved with at Artspace include the Preliminary Feasibility and Creative Space Market Studies for Artspace’s consulting communities. She's assisted over 50 communities and arts organizations to date. Before joining Artspace, her work included transit-oriented development studies, downtown master planning, and housing market studies.
Prior to moving to Chicago for graduate school, Aneesha lived in New Orleans for nine years, where she attended Tulane University and was a legislative aide. She saw firsthand the relationship between politics and urban planning, and furthered her interest in affordable housing policy, art as a tool for economic development, and the need to preserve space for culturally distinct communities. Aneesha spent her childhood in Saudi Arabia, and her love for travel and learning about new communities has not waned. She brings her knowledge and experience living and working in different parts of the world to the Consulting team and looks forward to continuing to assist communities creating affordable spaces for artists.
When she is not at Artspace, you can find Aneesha playing with her puppy, Paws; exploring all the amazing biking, hiking, and cross-country ski trails in the Twin Cities; or hanging out in the North Loop with her husband. Aneesha is a 2019 Fellow of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators and currently serves as a Minneapolis City Planning Commissioner for the 2020-2022 and 2022-2024 terms
Crystal Colleen Mercer Watson is celebrated as a Black, Queer, Textile Artist, Actor, Activist, Poet, Playwright, and Published Author ("A Love Story Waiting to Happen," Butterfly Typeface Publishing, 2018; and "From Cotton to Silk: The Magic of Black Hair," Et Alia Press, 2021). Executive Director of A BLACK SPACE and Lead Designer of Mercer Textile Mercantile, she fuses arts and activism with an emphasis on making marginalized populations visible. Watson also holds full-time work with Artspace Projects, Inc., and as a team member in Consulting, she hopes to advance bridging real estate and racial justice. She also holds contract work with notable foundations, architecture firms, and is on the M2 Gallery roster of artists. She has a BA in Theatre Arts and Dance and a Master’s in Public Service. Follow her journey at crystalcmercer.com or on all social platforms @ccmercertoo.
Kelli joined Artspace in 2022 as the Consulting Coordinator. She believes that art is a tool for economic development and community enrichment. Within the Consulting Department, Kelli is the administrative switchboard operator for all consulting projects, the wrangler of schedules, and the first point of contact for new inquiries.
A passionate artist herself, Kelli is also a Minneapolis-based dancer, choreographer and teacher. She is constantly inspired by the way in which this movement form sparks conversation, invokes empathy and creates community. Throughout her training, she has spent time dancing in New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, Nashville and Israel. Kelli holds a BFA in Dance and a Minor in Leadership from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities.
When she isn't working, Kelli enjoys being a tourist in her own city - exploring local eats, drinks and activities. She is a lover of live music, rock climbing and board games. She is constantly planning her next trip to cities and countries around the world.