The dedicated, national team of Artspace.
Kelley Lindquist is renowned for building Artspace Projects, Inc.--America's leading
nonprofit real estate developer for creative communities--from the ground up. Since Mr.
Lindquist joined Artspace in 1987 as the sole employee managing a budget of $60,000,
he has grown the nonprofit organization to a team of 70 with a national Board of
Directors, and an annual average budget of $20 million. Today he oversees the
stewardship of 51 mixed-use projects that Artspace owns and operates nationwide,
representing more than a $600 million investment in America's urban and rural arts
infrastructure. These properties provide more than 1,700 live/work units to low-income
artists and their families, as well as more than $3 million in rent subsidies delivered
annually. Nearly 500 commercial tenants--including arts and cultural organizations,
creative entrepreneurs, and small businesses--also benefit from below market rate
spaces. In 2017, Artspace established the Lindquist Legacy Fund in recognition of Mr.
Lindquist's 30 years of leadership advancing Artspace's inclusive work with culturally
distinct and underserved communities.
Along with running Artspace's daily operations, Mr. Lindquist increasingly focuses his
energy on restoring national confidence in America's creative communities, and he is
much in demand as a consultant and speaker at national and international conferences.
His expertise has garnered Artspace numerous awards including the Minnesota
Brownfields Rescape Awards for Community Impact, the 2018 Award for Excellence in
Historic Preservation from the Louisiana Landmarks Society, 2018 Affordable Housing
Finance Reader's Choice Awards in Historic Preservation, the 2017 MetCouncil Livable
Communities Demonstration Account, the Michigan Downtown Association CREW
Impact Award, a 2017 Gold Nugget Award of Merit for Best Affordable Housing
Community, National Trust for Historic Preservation's Honor Award, the State
Preservation Award from New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic
Preservation, The Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award from the New York Landmarks
Conservancy, the Preservation Award from The Preservation League of New York, and
Will Law joined Artspace in 1992 and has worked in property development, asset management, consulting, and financial management. Among the major projects for which he has had primary responsibility are the Tilsner Artists’ Cooperative in Saint Paul, the Washington Studios in Duluth, the Riverside Artist Lofts in Reno, and El Barrio’s Artspace PS109 in New York.
As chief operating officer, Mr. Law is a member of Artspace’s senior management team and is responsible for overseeing the organization’s day-to-day operations. Mr. Law graduated from the Metropolitan State College in Denver, Colorado, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Political Science.
Jordan (he/him) joined Artspace in 2021 as the Human Resources Manager and Communications Specialist. As a second-generation immigrant, he is passionate about working with organizations which create meaningful and impactful change in the communities that need it most. Prior to his work with Artspace, Jordan worked with the non-profit Minnesota Community Care as an HR Business Partner, working to champion healthcare throughout underserved communities.
While not working, Jordan enjoys spending time with his partner, Hailey, and dog Seymour, as well as photography, trying new restaurants and spending time in nature.
Tionenji Aiken (Tio Aiken) is the Vice President of Communications for Artspace Projects Inc. Recruited to Artspace in 2016 as the Communications Manager, Aiken has slowly shifted the Artspace brand to focus on multi-format storytelling with a deep desire to highlight the intersectionality of Artspace's diverse residential communities and partnerships nationwide. In 2017, Aiken became the Director of Communications. She also became the Program Director for the Rafala Green Fellowship program, a two-year fellowship that promotes equity and inclusion in non-profit real-estate by training the next generation of POCI emerging leaders working at the intersection of arts, real-estate, and community development, funded by the Ford Foundation.
Outside of her formal roles at Artspace, Aiken is a practicing poet and a champion of anyone using their creative expression to make space in the world for positive change. She currently sits on the advisory boards of Made Here MN and Giant Steps MN, and the Board of Directors for the Twin Cities Jazzfest.
She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, and holds a BA., in Cultural Studies, Comparative Literature, and Media Studies.
Kevin Duong (he/him) joins Artspace as the Communications Manager. He is a second-generation Asian American marketing, communications, and design professional whose intentions have always been to explore creative and meaningful ways to provide a voice for others. Prior to Artspace, Duong was the Marketing & Communications Director at Theater Mu, the second-largest Asian American theater company in the nation.
Outside of work, he is consuming all types of media and entertainment ranging from the vibrant theater scene in the Twin Cities to trashy reality TV.
He is a graduate of the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Theater.
Lee Jin (he/him) joined Artspace in 2021 as Lead Designer on the Communications & Community Engagement team.
He recommends you read "All About Love" by bell hooks and "A New Earth" by Eckhart Tolle.
He holds a Bachelor of Design in Architecture and a minor in Landscape Design and Planning from the University of Minnesota.
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.
Nu Lee joined Artspace Project’s Performance Property Management Company team in May 2011 after graduating from Metropolitan State University in St. Paul with a BA in Accounting. Nu is Bookkeeper for several of Artspace’s real estate commercial and residential properties locally and regionally. She performs regular accounting duties, prepares monthly financial statements, and conducts regular accounting audits.
Nu brings a sense of enthusiasm to the Finance team, as well as an attention to detail that is necessary for her position. Her previous work experience varies from providing administrative support at the Department of Natural Resources; extensive customer service at the House of Wong family restaurant; and peer tutoring at St. Paul Public School’s Bruce F. Vento Elementary.
When she is not working, she cooks for big family parties, keeps the house polished, and enjoys scrapbooks and photography.
Addison joined Performance Property Management's team at the beginning of 2021. With a BA in mathematics and theatre arts from Simpson College in Iowa, Addison believes that she's found an excellent place to work! Addison is a bookkeeper for a handful of Artspace's real estate properties and performs regular accounting duties for the team.
When she's not in the office, Addison spends much of her time around Lake Bde Maka Ska, singing showtunes around her apartment, and reading the same novels over and over. An Iowa native, Addison is thrilled to be in the Twin Cities where the winters are only marginally worse and the accent is contagious.
Carly Karjala graduated from South Dakota State University with a BS in Art Education. Karjala is certified through the Professional Picture Framers Association and has worked as a CPF for 10 years. She recently finished an AA in Accounting. She is excited to be a part of the finance team at Artspace. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, biking, camping, and traveling with her husband, Brent, and their son, Owen.
Mary Jo joined Artspace in 2009 as a temp after taking a few years off to raise 3 children. Mary Jo is responsible for master lease accounts receivable, El Barrio accounts receivable and accounts payable and helps the Finance Team with other projects as needed. She also files annual reports for all Artspace entities keeping them in good standing. Prior to joining Artspace, Mary Jo worked as a legal secretary at a law firm in Minneapolis.
When not working, Mary Jo enjoys going on walks, exploring new places and going to plays at community theaters.
Teddy Hamilton (she/her) graduated from Ithaca College with a BS in Video Production and holds an MFA in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Teddy's fiction has appeared widely online and in print and has been included in the Wigleaf Top 50 and anthologized in Best of the Web.
After living and traveling throughout most of North America, Teddy returned to her home state of Minnesota where she is currently pursuing a certificate in Accounting and is excited to join the finance team at Artspace!
While not at work, Teddy volunteers with Pet Haven, creates custom embroidery, and hangs out with her zoo of resident and foster pets. Her favorite book is "Don't Sleep, There are Snakes" by Daniel Everett and she is unashamed of her love for Hootie and the Blowfish.
Molly McKeen (they/them) joined Artspace as a Temporary Assistant to the Finance department in the spring of 2022. McKeen is a freelance pet sitter, plays video games, and enjoys spending time with their nieces and nephews.
Kathleen Kvern is Senior Vice President of National Advancement at Artspace. The core responsibility of this position is to raise the private funds necessary to complete individual Artspace projects in communities across the country.
Prior to joining Artspace Kathleen was Development Director for Northwoods NiiJii (NiiJii means “friends” in Ojibwe), a nonprofit Economic Development organization located in rural Northern Wisconsin assisting Native American communities. While there she developed and implemented a regional Woodland Indian Arts Initiative, and opened the Woodland Indian Art Center located on the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa reservation. Prior to Northwoods NiiJii, Kathleen worked at the Walker Art Center as Project Director of mnartists.org, providing her with a depth of knowledge working with individual artists, community building in the arts, and internet technologies and social networking.
Kathleen has a strong entrepreneurial background and was co-founder and owner of The Fine Line in Chicago; and assisted in opening Studium in Manhattan. She was a founding member of the Twin Cities Fine Arts Organization and has done independent consulting and development work for diverse organizations including the Minnesota Museum of American Art, All My Relations Gallery, the Loring Park Art Festival, and the Madeline Island School of the Arts.
Being part of a creative community and developing her own creativity and creative process is vital to her sense of well being. She participated in Intermedia Arts’ leadership program, The Creative Community Leadership Institute, one of only a few programs nationwide to provide comprehensive, professional-level training and support for local, community-engaged artists and community developers.
Kathleen lives in South Minneapolis with her daughter, Emma, and their squirrel-chasing English Springer Spaniel, Daisy.
Stacey Mickelson joined the Artspace team in 2001. Mr. Mickelson was raised in Minot, North Dakota, and represented that community for six years in the North Dakota House of Representatives. Elected in 1994, he was one of the youngest legislators in the state’s history. He went on to win subsequent elections in 1996 and 1998 before retiring from elective office.
As Vice President of Government Relations he was responsible for the public funding effort of the Minnesota Cowles Center campaign, leading a team that secured $12 million from the Minnesota Legislature. He has also secured nearly $1 million in federal funds for education efforts at the Cowles Center for Dance, resulting in the creation of a national, award-winning, technology-based distance education program with a global reach. Together with Artspace staff and other leaders, he has helped secure additional funds, numbering in the millions, to support other key projects in the Artspace portfolio.
In 2008, as part of a consortium of other Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) housing developers, Mickelson helped influence change in federal policy that clarified the General Public Use Requirement of the LIHTC Code to explicitly protect the creation of affordable live/work spaces for artists and their families.
In addition to his VP role at Artspace, Mickelson works within the National Advancement division of Artspace.
Dana Mattice joined Artspace in 2017 and currently manages capital campaigns for Artspace properties in Loveland, CO; Colorado Springs, CO; and Utica, NY; in addition to supporting Artspace General Operations and other needs. She was a key contributor on the design and launch of Artspace’s inaugural, nationwide resident survey that achieved statistically significant results; and nominated Artspace and senior leadership for a variety of awards that were received, including ACHP/HUD Secretary’s Award for the Bell Artspace Campus. During the height of the pandemic, from 2020 through 2022, Dana also achieved revenue goals for The Cowles Center, Artspace’s performing arts venue in downtown Minneapolis.
Dana has worked as a nonprofit administrator for 15+ years and was previously the Interim Executive Director and Development Communications Director at the Duluth Art Institute, a community art center in Northern Minnesota, where she increased grant funding by more than 60%. Before that, Dana lived in Texas and was the Publicist for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston—one of the largest art museums in the country—where she promoted some 30 exhibitions per year as well as special initiatives like the construction of the Arts of Asia wing. She pitched and placed news stories locally and nationally, including at the BBC, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, ARTnews, and Travel + Leisure, and was named “Best Flack” by the Houston Press. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Dana lives in Minneapolis with her partner, Tom, and their dog, Arlo. She can often be found indulging her addiction to narrative through reading books or watching movies; or out hiking in the woods, looking for mushrooms, or kayaking on the Mississippi River.
Pace Winkels (He/Him) joined Artspace in 2022 as the National Advancement Manager. The son of a musician and costume designer, Pace has been steeped in the Minneapolis artist community and understands the importance of fostering and housing the arts across the globe. After receiving his BA in writing for TV and Film at DePaul University, Pace returned home to Minneapolis and began work at an accessibility company, creating audio description for television and film.
When he's not working, Pace enjoys a wide variety of horror films and is an avid practitioner of Muay Thai. He's also the father to the light of his life - his pitbull, Imelda Mae.
Sarah Kass (she/her) joined Artspace in 2022 as Grants Manager for The Cowles Center. She uses data and storytelling to develop cases for support which raise contributed revenue. Sarah studied fine arts at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design where she developed writing skills by composing artist statements and infusing poetry into her practice. She also holds an MA in Museum Studies from Johns Hopkins University and has worked in museums, private clubs, professional associations, and arts nonprofits.
Sarah lives in Northeast Minneapolis with her partner, Nate, and their cats, Agnes and Mabel. When not at work, Sarah enjoys many types of crafting, growing houseplants, and listening to K-pop. She is also an avid collector of earrings, enamel pins, and rocks.
April Houston joined Artspace in 2022 as the Individual Gift Manager for the Cowles Center. She works within the Artspace National Advancement team cultivating relationships with donors, fundraising, and strengthening movement & dance communities.
Houston played Division I volleyball at Eastern Michigan University and holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications and Public Relations. She love all things sports, which is also one of her favorite ways to engage with community. When not at work, Houston enjoys walks with her dog Frida, listening to podcasts, reading, and spending time with family & friends. She also enjoys all things True Crime and has a huge collection of makeup (one might say an obsession).
Freddie, despite all attempts, has been able to skillfully evade his colleagues and refuses to write a bio of himself. It's okay, Freddie. We've got your back.
Here is what we know:
Freddie is our talented Vice President of Performance Property, and we are so fortunate to have him taking care of myriad things at our properties. Rock on, Freddie.
Kim Sanchez joined the Artspace team in 2017 as the tech support and programming manager at El Barrio's Artspace PS109. She is certified by I.A.OT.S. as a wedding and event designer and planner, as well as certified by I.C.O.E.S. as a music and film events manager. Currently, she is working towards achieving her associate degree in business management.
Kim is a proactive, results-oriented, bilingual professional with solid experience in the finance and nonprofit fields. Her expertise spans project management, financial reporting, office management, and customer service. Her excellent analytical, research, and writing skills has led her to much success within the entertainment and events industry. Kim has more than 14 years of experience planning various types of events, and brings her eye for design and sense of style to each. She has planned, designed, and executed weddings, various private social events, and much more. Her detail-oriented and organized mind motivates Kim to create the perfect journey for her clients, where they get to experience their events as a guest. She likes everything to be just right, even the small details, because they can make a huge difference in a special event. She is a dedicated professional who is not afraid to put in the extra time to make her client's event special.
When Kim is not being a worker bee, she likes to spend time with family and friends, dance, and travel.
Stacy Malbon joined Artspace as a member of the finance team in 2015 and transitioned into Property Management over the next few years. When Artspace purchased the Northrup King Building in 2019, Stacy instantly knew that spending her days trying to get over 350 independent artists to agree on any one thing was the life purpose she had been waiting for.
As Director of Operations and Programming at the Northrup King Building, Stacy manages the day-to-day operations at Artspace’s largest building while coordinating and hosting a number of art events that bring thousands of people through the iconic building’s front doors.
Born and raised in the Twin Cities, she graduated from the University of Minnesota and stubbornly insists that all of the good beer, good food, good dogs, good art and well, good pretty much everything is found in Northeast Minneapolis. On the rare occasion that you can convince her to leave the northern part of the city, you can usually find her in the northern part of the state, getting sunburnt in a canoe or hopelessly lost on a trail in the Superior National Forest.
Toi joins PPMC with a Regional Management agent and compliance background. She has held supervisory roles with property management companies for portfolios of HUD/ Tax Credit, Public Housing, and Trust Fund affordable housing sites. She holds a broker’s license and is COS, TCS, and CLIHTF certified.
Toi has extensive knowledge of the Tax Credit, Low Income Housing Trust Fund, Housing Choice Voucher, Project Base Section 8, Statewide Referral Network programs and regulatory compliance for all. Toi has worked as a consultant and trainer to provide on-site and remote staff services for these program types for nationally known organizations and management companies.
Toi is a playwright and short story writer. Toi’s love for writing and acting was further enhanced when she studied under Artistic Director Runako Jahi of the ETA Theater in Chicago. Although a writer of plays and short stories, Toi has utilized her oratory, broadcasting and marketing skills while working with A.C. Green of the A.C. Green Radio Show and early on for public speaking engagements for the City of Chicago’s Department on Aging.
Mary joined Artspace/PPMC April of 2022, but she has been the Community Manager at Uptown Artist Lofts for two years. She started March of 2020 days before Covid struck and changed everything. She is a Jane of all trades here at the property, Taxi driver, a grocery deliverer, pet walker and pet sitter and the occasional babysitter. Mary has been in Indiana five years but she is originally from Texas. She has four bio kids, two girls and two boys and one bonus son and one granddaughter. She is a dog mom as well with two rescue dogs. She holds an Associate degree in Applied Science from Ivy Tech in Valparaiso In, and is currently continuing her education for a Bachelors in the same field. When she is not at work or at school, she likes to be outside enjoying the pleasant weather Indiana has to offer. She is incredibly happy to be part of this team and is enthusiastic about Uptown and Switching Stations opportunities for the future artists in the area.
Dr. David Stark has served as Community Manager of Artspace Hamilton Lofts since February 2018.
It’s a decision we’ve regretted ever since he was hired.
Originally from Nashville, he is a former high school All-State and collegiate All-American basketball player. But he only got those awards for being 7ft tall. He wasn’t really that good.
He postponed adulthood for as long as he could by just staying in school until like the 30th grade. This insecure over-achiever earned three master’s degrees (at the same time, under full scholarships, and with honors, no less… what a nerd!) including one in Organization Leadership and Admin from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington (2007).
He also holds a PhD (one of the British kinds that you actually have to earn with an “original thought”, which is specifically funny because his closest acquaintances and co-workers call him a “himbo” right to face) from the University of Manchester, England (2011). But only a few other geeks have yet to care about his revisionist thoughts on religion and perfectionism in the 18th century Age of Enlightenment because, you know, it’s a total snooze fest that didn’t shake anything up for anyone.
And he’s not that smart so he must have cheated anyway.
He’s spent ten years as a high school history teacher at private schools in the Kanas City and Cincinnati areas because this guy isn’t really suited for the public. And he just showed YouTube clips the entire time and no one learned anything. He also coached several sports team at the time and his teams lost every single game they played and never once won a championship or anything.
When it comes to the arts, he is entirely talentless.
But he knows plenty of great artists and creatives who indulge him and his title of Founder and Director of The Strauss Gallery (at Artspace Hamilton) as a kind of long-running practical joke. When he throws an event, there is often standing room only, which is testament to how much of the City of Hamilton and Butler County, OH are in on the joke of David’s affability and relevancy.
He’s also way too involved with local civic organizations and causes, like Hamilton’s “17 Strong” Neighborhoods executive board, The Corn Stand Jam for Mental Health Awareness, Hamilton LGBTQ Pride, and Hamilton’s Charter Review Commission, to name a few. They give him leadership titles at the top out of a sense of pity because everyone else involved in said groups knows they are his only “friends”.
If we had to say one nice thing about this silly giant man, it would be…
Becky's contagious enthusiasm for Galveston, its history, and its arts community is the first encounter potential tenants have when contacting the National Hotel Artist Lofts. As the building manager for over a decade, Becky exemplifies the grassroots community building efforts championed by Artspace. Her tireless volunteer efforts continue to connect a diverse range of artists and patrons, Galvestonians and tourists, and regional and international arts organizations.
Becky wears many hats at NHAL as landlord, maintenance, janitor, event coordinator, dog walker, fish feeder, and partner in all things good. She has served on the City's Cultural Arts Commission and the Galveston Theater and Arts Partnership for a number of years. She believes that if there were more institutions like Artspace that empowered creative people to do what they do best, the world would be a better place and NHAL is evidence of that!
Greg Handberg joined Artspace in October 1999. During his 20 + years at Artspace, Greg has played a variety of roles. From his initial role as Project Manager responsible for the Shubert Theater (Cowles Center) development, Greg transitioned to Director of Property Development in 2001, and Senior Vice President of Properties in 2004. As SVP, Properties, Greg is responsible for leadership of all new project development efforts and the the stewardship of Artspace’s ever growing portfolio of Real Estate Owned. Greg is an avid photographer, painter and mountain biker. Photography and painting keep his eyes open. Mountain biking keeps his synapses active. Greg has a B.A. degree in Urban Studies from the University of Minnesota, and received his M.S. degree in Real Estate Finance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has lectured nationally and internationally on arts facility development and real estate finance.
Naomi Chu is the Vice President of Asset Management, currently responsible for the direct supervision of the Asset Management team and the operational aspects of the Artspace portfolio. This includes supporting Asset Managers as they encounter challenges in the operational aspects of their properties, as well as supporting Asset Managers in identifying solutions when facing challenges in the community. Naomi partners with the Senior Vice President of Properties to plan and implement departmental initiatives. She also ensures smooth transitions from the property development phase of activity to operations.
Naomi is also a Program Manager of the Rafala Green Fellowship Program. This fellowship program seeks to promote equity and inclusion in nonprofit real estate by training the next generation of POCI emerging leaders working at the intersection of arts, real estate, and community development. 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. Previously, she served as the Director and visionary behind Artspace’s Art Bridge Program, a long-distance collaboration program that worked with social justice arts organizations across the country to advance the use of video conferencing technology for artistic collaboration, expanding the vision of new work spaces for artists and arts organizations.
Naomi began working with Artspace in 1997 through a local property management company, handling Artspace's commercial properties in the Twin Cities. In 1998, she was hired to create Artspace's first for-profit subsidiary, Performance Property Management Company, which allowed Artspace to run their local commercial property management team in-house. In 2005, Naomi took leave from Artspace to become Executive Director of the Asian Pacific Cultural Center, a nonprofit organization focused on developing a Pan-Asian center to celebrate, promote, and foster understanding of Asian Pacific cultural heritage in Minnesota, where she gained valuable experience employing the Artspace model. In 2008, Naomi returned to Artspace in the role of Finance Manager.
Naomi graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Anthropology and Saint Paul Technical College with an Associate Degree of Applied Science as an American Sign Language Interpreter/Translator.
Naomi brings a unique skillset to the Artspace team, from her managerial experience and financial expertise; to her comprehensive background in government relations, development, and community engagement. She takes great pride in her contributions to Artspace's partnerships with First Peoples Fund in South Dakota; PA'I Foundation in Hawaii; and Turtle Mountain Tribal Arts Association in North Dakota.
Educated in the Chicago Community College system, and DePaul University, Doran also holds the following certifications: “Certified Property Manager (IREM-NAR); Community Association Manager (License – Illinois); and Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA/CAI). Doran has specialized in the management and development of affordable housing assets for most of his career in the real estate industry, but he has also managed commercial assets that were adjunct to his assigned residential assets. Geographically, Doran’s asset assignments have included sites in Illinois, Ohio, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky, Arkansas, Missouri, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. And his program experience includes: Section 42/LIHTC; Project-Based Section 8 for Families and Seniors; Section 236; RAD; Rural Development; Public and Indian Housing; and Market Rate. Doran’s connection to the arts is in music. He was a performing percussionist, who later wrote and taught youth in the field of marching percussive arts. Doran is married to the love of his life: Tina, and they have 6 adult children and 10 grandchildren.
Jean Kramer-Johnson first joined the Artspace family remotely while managing a travel agency in Whitefish, Montana, as lead travel coordinator for Artspace staff. In 2002, when Jean moved back to her hometown of Minneapolis, she was offered the position of Executive Assistant to the President. Three years later, Jean joined the Asset Management team and now manages seven Artspace properties including the Northern Warehouse Artists' Cooperative in Saint Paul; the Traffic Zone Center for Visual Arts and Grain Belt Studios in Minneapolis; the Kaddatz Artist Lofts in Fergus Falls, Minnesota; the Riverside Artist Lofts in Reno, Nevada; Minot Artspace Lofts in North Dakota; and the Artspace Loveland Lofts in Loveland, Colorado. In addition to overseeing her projects, Jean partners with both the Senior Vice President and Vice President of Asset Management in the establishment of department-wide initiatives, activities, meetings, and agendas; and takes the lead in commercial leasing enterprises. Jean also continues to serve as travel consultant to Artspace staff.
When not working, Jean loves to camp, ski, and go on long walks with any dog that is willing.
Jennifer was born and raised in New York City, where her parents met after migrating from the Dominican Republic. Jennifer is the youngest of three children and the first college graduate in the family. She holds a bachelor's degree in Forensic Science from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and is always seeking to learn more, with an interest in a wide variety of subjects.
Before joining Artspace in 2014, Jennifer was a project manager at El Barrio's Operation Fightback, a property management and community organization focused on housing, economic development, and social service needs of East Harlem's El Barrio neighborhood. Her bright and easygoing personality, along with her deep understanding of the El Barrio neighborhood, brought great strength and coordination to Artspace's largest project to date: El Barrio's Artspace PS109; of which Jennifer is the Asset Manager.
Shaela Wilson graduated from the Academy of Design and Technology, Chicago, in 2004. She then began to freelance while pursuing her dream of owning her own FedEx Kinkos. Shortly after that idea was born-- and after giving birth to two dance machine, lip gloss-popping divas; and after reading “The Secret”-- she began working at Artspace Projects in 2010. From making coffee and scheduling appointments to drawing up leases and managing the Artspace database, Shaela puts her awesome multi-tasking skills to work at Artspace daily. She is not limited to being the Queen of the front desk, however-- she was also MVP of the Minneapolis Pee Wee League Championship game in 1991.
In her free time, she likes to draw, spend time with her two lovely daughters, watch popcorn pop in the microwave, watch the exercise channel while eating that butter-soaked popcorn from the couch.
Becky Carlson St. Clair joined Artspace in 2011. She played a key role in the development of projects in Minot, ND; Dearborn, MI; Hastings, MN and Minneapolis, MN and is currently leading the development of SOMO Artspace Lofts, Artspace Utica Lofts, and the NKB Residential Project. Prior to joining Artspace, Becky worked for five years at Somerset Development Company, an affordable housing development company in Washington, D.C. Before moving into real estate development, she worked for two years as a cartographer at Syracuse University and at a custom cartography company in D.C. Becky has a Master of Urban and Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia, a B.A. in Geography from the Maxwell School of Citizenship, and a B.A. in Spanish from Syracuse University. Becky lives in Minneapolis with her husband and two boys.
Lucas Koski is a Director of Properties at Artspace, having previously worked in both Artspace’s Asset Management and Consulting & Strategic Partnerships departments. He is a former resident of Artspace’s Tilsner Artists’ Cooperative in Saint Paul, and is a multidisciplinary artist who balances big picture concepts with detailed minutiae, explores mise en place with produce and protein, programs in pseudo-public places, and loves the business side of art.
He is a proud graduate of Carleton College and has lived a professional and artistic life through creative and professional event production, dynamic installations, and functional art, often using cuisine as metaphor. As a board member of the Creative Enterprise Zone, Lucas helped the organization establish earned revenue streams through the creation of a real estate department that helps place creative businesses in Saint Paul; he also helped guide the creation of Creative Enterprise Zone’s mural festival, Chroma-Zone (a first of its kind in Minnesota).
Lucas fervently believes that the answer to the challenges of tomorrow will be met by the meticulous planning and creative leadership of today. He has been a Jerome, Wilder, Knight, ArtPlace America and McKnight Foundation grantee, an Elsewhere resident, an Art Shanty-er, a member of Intermedia Arts' Creative Community Leadership Institute, a member of Saint Paul’s 2040 Visioning Project, A James P. Shannon Institute member, a fellow of the Young Cultural Innovators Forum of the Salzburg Global Seminar, and has created photovoltaic sculptures mimicking rain cycles for the Bakken Museum.
When he is not at Artspace, you may often find Lucas on his bike, at the market, with his son, listening to some jams, or thinking about noodles.
Andrew Michaelson has more than 10 years of experience in the field of affordable housing. He began his career with Artspace as an intern in 2006, and is now Director of Property Development. He played a key role in the development of the Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts, and is currently team lead for the Pullman Artspace Lofts in Chicago and the Space to Create Colorado initiative. He has extensive experience in historic adaptive reuse, including the rehabilitation and conversion of former cavalry buildings at Fort Snelling into supportive housing for homeless veterans and their families (a project he completed as a Senior Project Manager for CommonBond Communities).
Andrew holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Forensic Science Certificate from Hamline University, and a Juris Doctor from William Mitchell College of Law (now Mitchell Hamline School of Law).
Andrew is a Minneapolis native, and currently resides in the Fulton neighborhood with his wife and two young daughters. He plays drums in his spare time, dabbles in home brewing, and enjoys tinkering in his basement workshop.
Sarah Swingley joined Artspace in 2011, serving in Artspace’s Property Development division for over a decade. Sarah oversees a number of financial processes for Artspace, from financing applications to managing the successful closings of projects, thereby launching new construction in Artspace’s pipeline. Sarah also administers construction draws for projects across the portfolio, and had significant responsibilities advancing developments in Elgin, IL; Waukegan, IL; Hamilton, OH; and El Paso, TX—enabling 184 new units of affordable housing for artists and their families. Previously, Sarah was Senior Mutual Fund Accountant at First American Funds. She holds a Master of Urban & Regional Planning degree from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, and a B.S. in Finance from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management. In her free time, Sarah stays busy with her three very active children. She enjoys home improvement projects, exploring parks and playgrounds, geocaching, kayaking, and hitting the pool. She is also a candy addict.
Neda Shahghasemi joined Artspace in 2022. She works closely with the project leads on development projects particularly, the Artspace Utica Lofts in NY, and the Northrup King Residential Project in MN. Prior to joining Artspace, Neda worked for Seward Redesign, a nonprofit community development corporation in Minneapolis. Before moving into real estate development, she was a director for an alternative dispute resolution provider in NY. Neda has a J.D. from Hamline University School of Law (now Mitchell Hamline) and a B.S. in engineering from University of Minnesota.
Neda is a calligrapher and a painter. She is inspired by representational modern paintings as well as abstract work with a calligraphic twist.
Get in touch with Pablo here.
Pablo Lituma is a first-generation Ecuadorian-American with roots in New York. Mr. Lituma is Indigenous from Azuay, Ecuador, and advocates for the cultural preservation of diaspora communities in the U.S.A. His experiences of living in distinct cultural communities have shaped a path to advocate for equity and diversity in communities. Mr. Lituma's early aspirations to create equity through community and real estate development led him to obtain his Bachelor of Science of Architecture degree from the University at Buffalo, in New York, and later his dual Master's degrees in Architecture and Community and Regional Planning from the University of New Mexico. Mr. Lituma was part of the second cohort Rafala Green Fellowship at Artspace and now supports Artspace in a Project Manager role in the Property Development department.
Dana K. Kassel (she/her/hers) brings a wealth of experience to the Program Director position with her long history as a performer and a highly skilled and respected administrator. She served in an administrative capacity for several Twin Cities dance organizations, including Threads Dance Project, Voices of Sepharad, Corning Dances & Company, and for writer/choreographer Judith Brin Ingber. She was Co-Coordinator of the Minnesota SAGE Awards for twelve years, has been an advisory member for DanceMN, and a board member for Young Dance. In addition, she worked in event management and catering for over two decades.
Kassel graduated from the University of Minnesota Dance program in 1992; she was a company member in JAZZDANCE by Danny Buraczeski; and danced with Cathy Young and Zenon Dance Company, among others. In recent years Kassel has performed with Laurie Van Wieren, the New Standards Holiday Show, in Rhythmically Speaking, and as part of Choreographers’ Evening at the Walker Art Center.
Photo credit: Canaan Mattson
Colin Edwards (he/him/his) joined the team as Program Assistant beginning in January 2021. Edwards is a Twin Cities-based multidisciplinary artist, event coordinator, administrator, and performer with a passion for movement, music, and unique visuals. Founder of Meridian dance company, he has created and coordinated events such as Cell Games (I & II) and Air It Out, located at Gamut Gallery. Edwards has performed at various major venues including The Ordway Theater, Guthrie Theater, First Avenue, and many others.
He graduated from Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Arts and studied at TU Dance with artists such as Marciano Silva dos Santos and Berit Ahlgren. In addition to dance, Edwards also works in animation and creates clothing. His choreography was recently seen in Rooted: Hip Hop Choreographers’ Evening as well as The Walker Art Center's Choreographers Evening in summer 2021.
Photo credit: Canaan Mattson
Tameka Davidson (she/her) joined The Cowles team in April 2021 as the Education Programs Manager. Tameka is happy to find a home in the local Twin Cities’ dance and art scene and has always had an innate spark for dance and learning. She had a brief apprenticeship with Ananya Dance Theater in 2013 and joined the multidisciplinary performance ensemble Energy Dance Collective in 2014. Tameka has had the pleasure of performing at The Southern Theater, Intermedia Arts, The O'Shaughnessy, and The Cowles Center. She’s also been a featured dancer in several music videos for music artists in the Twin Cities.
Her professional background is in education and youth advocacy. She spent several years as an Academic Specialist for the Northside Achievement Zone based out of Elizabeth Hall STEM Academy in North Minneapolis. This work centered on lifting the voices of students to empower them in the classroom while nurturing their spark for learning. She enjoyed collaborating with educators and families to address ever-present barriers to opportunities in the community for students to reach their educational goals. She is grateful that her current role as Education Programs Manager at The Cowles allows her to marry two of her greatest passions to serve learners of all ages through arts education.
Tameka was proudly born and raised in the heart of Minneapolis in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood and North Minneapolis. She attended Minneapolis Public Schools for K-12 and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Language Theory from Augsburg University. Tameka currently lives with her husband and daughter in Powderhorn Park in South Minneapolis. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, yoga, being in nature, reading, honing her French and Spanish language skills, salsa dancing in the kitchen, and working (very slowly) on writing a collection of short stories. Tameka is also a huge pop-culture geek, so she’s always up for a good chat on anything related to Game of Thrones, Buffy, Lost, The Good Place, or whatever new thing is buzzing in the zeitgeist.
Hannah has been engaged in the art world for nearly her entire life. Growing up in Duluth, she began her ballet training with the School of the Minnesota Ballet and instantly fell in love with the art form. She later graduated from Perpich Center for Arts Education, after which she began her professional dance career. Hannah has since found a strong passion for teaching as well as working administratively in the field of dance. She hopes to continue to be a part of the greater impact dance can have on society with each step along her career path.
Jackie Ralles (she/her/hers) joined The Cowles team in May 2022 as the Marketing & Sales Manager. Ralles began her career as a teaching artist with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Minnesota while performing locally with Crash Dance Productions. Most recently, she was the Marketing & Programs Manager for See Chicago Dance, a dance service and advocacy organization in Chicago, IL.
Ralles hails from Minnesota where she received her BA in Marketing Management and Entrepreneurship from the University of St. Thomas. She continued her education at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, receiving an MFA in Dance Performance and Choreography.
Having worked with a full spectrum of organizations, including national market management tours with Microsoft to program coordination with the MN Music Coalition, Symone Wilson brings a range of skills to her position as the Marketing and Events Manager at The Cowles Center.
At the intersection of arts and business, Symone is a record label owner and pop musician who has performed on the First Ave mainstage, shared sets with Dorian Electra and Mark Mallman, and hosted several event series across the Twin Cities. With her experience in performance and event production, she seeks to assist in creating collaboration between art forms, mentorship opportunities for burgeoning artists, and systems for support across Minnesota’s creative communities and organizations.