Forecast Public Art’s mission is to strengthen and advance the field of public art locally, nationally and internationally by expanding participation, supporting artists, informing audiences and assisting communities.
Director of Artist Services + Consultant
Melinda directs Forecast’s Artist Services program, working closely with Minnesota artists interested in public art, by coordinating both a Jerome-funded grant program for emerging public artists and a new McKnight-funded grant program for mid-career public artists. She also works in partnership with Minnesota’s Regional Arts Councils to create region-specific grants serving rurally-based artists. In addition to managing grant programs, Melinda conducts “Public Art 101″ workshops for artists and communities, and manages the ongoing development of the onlinePublic Art Toolkit to further assist those interested in working in the public realm.
Melinda completed a self-designed degree at the University of Minnesota titled “Art and Social Change” with an emphasis in public art. In addition to her work at Forecast, her professional experience includes co-teaching a college-level, off-campus study program on Art and Social Change through HECUA (Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs), coordinating artists for the Red Hot Art community festival, curating exhibitions, creating public art project,s and serving on the advisory board for the Art Shanty Projects.
Education + Community Engagement Specialist
Kirstin expands Forecast’s reach by testing new models of engagement with various community partners, including instructors and teaching artists who bring public art into educational settings.
Kirstin has worked as artist, teaching artist, and administrator, offering Forecast’s constituents a unique set of skills for working with schools and community groups interested in engaging with public art. Kirstin holds a master’s degree in Arts & Cultural Administration from Saint Mary’s University as well as a Bachelor’s in Ceramics and Design from the University of Kansas. Prior to working at Forecast, Kirstin worked in the Education Department at the Ordway Center for Performing Arts and the Lawrence Arts Center, and painted murals in community settings. Kirstin serves as Chair of the Arts Council and Vice Chair of the Board at In the Heart of the Beast Theatre in Minneapolis and has recently joined the faculty of her graduate program in Arts & Cultural Management. In her free time, Kirstin enjoys riding bikes, growing flowers and vegetables in her garden, and making pickles to last year-round. If given the opportunity, Kirstin would spend all her days outside and encourages outdoor meetings whenever possible.
The Alliance gives a collective voice on behalf of its members, small and large, that leverages support for the field as a whole; promotes successful practices in the field; and advocates for creative environments that support the work of today’s artists.
Alix Refshauge, Research + Special Projects Associate for Alliance of Artist Communities
Alix joined the Alliance on a contractual basis in 2011, setting up a west coast satellite office in San Diego to assist with research and special projects. From 2007-2011, she was the Director of the Artists-in-Residence Program at HUB-BUB in South Carolina, a community-based residency for emerging young visual artists and writers. During that time she wrote successful grant proposals to the National Endowment for the Arts, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Nimoy Foundation, and the Dedalus Foundation. In 2009-2010, she was selected as the Alliance’s Emerging Leader Ambassador by Americans for the Arts. Previously, she worked in an administrative position at Christie’s Auction House in New York and then for Burton Snowboards out of Vermont, a one year opportunity that involved continuous travel to 25 countries. Alix is a painter and a printmaker with a BA in Fine Art from Furman University and an MPA in Arts Management from the College of Charleston.
Springboard for the Arts is an economic and community development organization for artists and by artists. Our work is about building stronger communities, neighborhoods, and economies, and we believe that artists are an important leverage point in that work. Springboard for the Arts’ mission is to cultivate vibrant communities by connecting artists with the skills, information, and services they need to make a living and a life.
Andy Sturdevant, Artist Resource Manager
“If you’re looking for someone who’s always on the cutting edge of the Twin Cities art scene, Andy Sturdevant is your man.” - Minnesota Public Radio
Andy Sturdevant is an artist, writer and arts administrator living in South Minneapolis. He has written about art, history and culture for a variety of Twin Cities-based publications and websites, including mnartists.org, Rain Taxi, Art Review and Preview!, Mpls. St. Paul, and heavytable.com. His essays have also appeared in publications of the Walker Art Center and the Jerome Foundation. Andy writes a weekly column on arts and visual culture in Minneapolis-St. Paul for MinnPost.
His collaborative and individual art-making practice is generally site-based, interactive, and dealing with relationships between place, history and personal experience. The results of these explorations and conversations often take physical forms, in pamphlets, printed matter, books, and drawings. Most of these projects are outlined in the boxes below.
He is also artistic director and host of the monthly live-action arts magazine Salon Saloon, and is co-creator of the annual Common Room interactive exhibition series at The Soap Factory. He is also Artists Resources Manager at Springboard for the Arts in Lowertown St. Paul.
The inspiration for Art-o-mat® came to artist Clark Whittington while observing a friend who had a Pavlovian reaction to the crinkle of cellophane. When Whittington’s friend heard someone opening a snack, he had the uncontrollable urge to have one too.
The year was 1997, the town was Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Whittington was set to have a solo art show at a local cafe, Penny Universitie (which eventually became Mary’s Of Course Cafe). This is when Whittington used a recently-banned cigarette machine to create the first Art-o=mat. In June 1997, it was installed, along with 12 of his paintings. The machine sold Whittington’s black & white photographs for $1.00 each.
This art show was scheduled to be dismantled in July 1997. However, Cynthia Giles (owner of the Penny Universitie) loved the machine and asked that it stay permanently and machine remains unaltered in its original location to this day. At that point, it was clear that involvement of other artists was needed if the project was going to continue. Giles introduced Whittington to a handful of other local artists and Artists in Cellophane was formed.
Artists in Cellophane (A.I.C.), the sponsoring organization of Art*o*mat® is based on the concept of taking art and “repackaging” it to make it part of our daily lives. The mission of A.I.C. is to encourage art consumption by combining the worlds of art and commerce in an innovative form. A.I.C believes that art should be progressive, yet personal and approachable. What better way to do this, than with a heavy cold steel machine?
Kathleen Richert, Wearing Hat as Artist
A Minnesota native, Kathleen Richert graduated magna cum laude from the School for American Craft at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY, with a BFA in Textile Design. She was awarded a residency at the Shelburne Craft School, Shelburne, VT, in 1992. She teaches and shows her artwork regionally and nationally, and has work in both public and private collections, including the Minnesota Historical Society and the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, and the American Swedish Institute. Kathleen has run a business for ten years designing and creating clothing and soft props for museums, theater, commercial and private clients. In 2006, Kathleen received a Jerome Foundation/Minnesota Center for Book Arts Fellowship. Kathleen is responsible for the design of Springboard’s Work of Art: Business Skills for Artists workshop curriculum and has presented Springboard workshops all over Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the Dakotas. Kathleen also manages Springboard’s new Adjunct Career Consultant Program.
The Perpich Center for Arts Education strengthens the arts education community, and improves access to high quality arts experiences to students statewide.
Barbara Cox is Arts Education Partnership Coordinator at the Perpich Center for Arts Education. Since 1998, she has worked statewide to develop collaborative partnerships and professional development opportunities with educators, administrators, artists, arts organizations, and students. Barbara has worked in art and education for over 20 years—as a K-6 classroom teacher, arts coordinator, education specialist, arts education consultant and jazz radio broadcaster in Minnesota, New York, and California. Barbara was the founding director of Jazz in the Classroom, a nationally renowned curriculum based jazz history project that brought the authentic voice of jazz musicians into K-12 classrooms through artist residencies and workshops.
Jane Oxton served for 16 years as a music teacher and fine arts coordinator at Jefferson Elementary School in St. Cloud, MN. She conducts an auditioned community choir for middle school girls, Cantabile, sponsored by the Music Department at St. Cloud State University. She is working with the Paramount Arts Resource Trust in St. Cloud, which works to provide quality arts programming in visual and performing arts for Central Minnesota.
The St. Cloud Arts Commission is a citizen board appointed by the Mayor to advise the City on matters of arts and culture. The Arts Commission is part of the Planning Department and oversees development and execution of the City’s Community Cultural Arts Plan.
Jennifer Penzkover, Arts Commission Coordinator