The Rafala Green Fellowship Program is named in honor of the late Rafala Green, an African American artist, community activist, and former Artspace board member who helped Artspace make enduring bridges into the Twin Cities's African American community in the 1990s. Green is best known for her painting, loom-work, mosaics, and her mentorship. She is also known for her development of the Touchstone Plaza, a cultural cornerstone at Peavey Park in Minneapolis, and her renowned ability to use art as an effective tool for advancing social change.
The mission of the Rafala Green Fellowship Program, made possible with funding from the Ford Foundation, is to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion for people from communities traditionally underrepresented in the real estate development field. Fellows are introduced to the core competencies of property development and exposed to Artspace best practices while working on current projects in the Artspace pipeline across the country.
ABOUT THE INAUGURAL RAFALA GREEN FELLOWS (2018-2020)
In 2018, Artspace welcomed Rafala Green Fellows Amanda Cortés and Jeremy Staab for the first iteration of the Rafala Green Fellowship Program. Cortés relocated to Artspace from Chicago, where she worked with a myriad of artistic, housing, and community organizations including Chicago ACT Collective, Instituto Grafico de Chicago (IGC), and the City of Chicago supporting the work of Alderman Ricardo Muñoz in the 22-Ward. Amanda continues to serve the Twin Cities Arts and Culture community through her consultant work with Springboard for the Arts, and non-profit board leadership.
Jeremy Staab is an enrolled member of the Santee Sioux Tribe of Nebraska. Before relocating to Minneapolis to participate in the Rafala Green Fellowship Program, Staab served in many management roles at First Peoples Fund (FPF), a national Native-led nonprofit organization that puts artists and culture bearers at the center of community development. Jeremy Staab joined the Artspace National Advancement team in 2021, after completing the fellowship program winter of 2021.
Read our inaugural Rafala Green Fellows early reflections in an excerpt from the 2018 Artspace Annual Report below.