Staff & Artists

Adjoa Akofio-Sowah

Communications & Marketing | started w/JXTA: 2014

Adjoa Akofio-Sowahcred3B.S. in Urban Studies – University of Minnesota

Quote3“What we are merely taught seldom nourishes the mind like that which we teach ourselves.” – Carter G. Woodson

about32012’s FLOW was Adjoa’s first encounter with JXTA and she became a supporter of the organization ever since. “JXTA serves as a beacon of hope, transformation and renaissance and those traits are what kept me returning to it, ” she says. Through meaningful communicative snapshots, Adjoa loves finding new ways to convey the spirit of JXTA’s creative atmosphere. In her free time, Adjoa re-imagines urban life by examining urban policy and the functionality of an environmental city through her own writing-intensive endeavor, The IYE Project.

Betsy Altheimer

Development & Strategy | started w/JXTA: 2014

Image of Betsy Altheimer by Rebecca McDonald of B. Fresh Productions.cred3B.A. in Art – University of Wisconsin Eau Claire

Quote3“Travel is the only context in which some people ever look around. If we spent half the energy looking at our own neighborhoods, we’d probably learn twice as much.” – Lucy R. Lippard

about3Betsy’s role in non-profit management centers on one foundational focus: building healthy individuals and communities through the arts. Her current work with JXTA encompasses strategic planning to increase the organization’s visibility and capacity development, while helping to employ more young artists on the Northside. Along with running her consulting practice, Table Fort, and dedicating generous amounts of energy to projects that cover food systems, health and technology, Betsy is also working on her home studio while drumming up ideas of her next travel adventure.

Coal Dorius

Environmental Design Studio Instructor | started w/JXTA: 2014

Coalcred3M.L.A. – University of Minnesota

Quote3“If the person you are talking to doesn’t appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.” – A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

about3Adjunct professor and artist Coal Dorius, was first introduced to JXTA through the U of M ongoing service learning collaboration, Remix/Streetlife while pursuing her M.L.A. Coal’s thesis focused on the relationships between urban planning and cultural imprints, and how they influenced the history, equity and growth of North Minneapolis. She continues to explore placemaking opportunities in Minneapolis city policy. “My intent has always been to be as creative and purposeful as possible and I feel like that is right in line with JXTA – teaching apprentices to look for opportunities and help build an infrastructure to encourage an exchange of ideas in everyday life.”

Grace Empie

Evaluation and Youth Development Fellow | started w/JXTA: 2014

cred3B.A. Anthropology & B.A. International Development – Michigan State University

Quote3“Sarvodaya.” – Mahatma Gandhi

about3Grace’s role as a New Sector Research in Social Enterprise Fellow is based upon helping create the infrastructure of JXTA’s new Pathways to Careers and Colleges initiative. Since her move to the Twin Cities, Grace is eager to become involved in volunteer opportunities with the public library system as well as financial empowerment projects in the area. “Community development projects are all about empowering a community or a population,” she says. “That is an amazing thing to be a part of.”

Samuel Babatunde Ero-Phillips

Environmental Design Studio Instructor | started w/JXTA: 2007

Samuel Babatunde Ero-Phillipscred3B.S. Architecture – University of Minnesota | M.Arch – University of Illinois | Fulbright Fellow, Nigeria

Quote3“Plan your work and work your plan.”

about3“I love being an architect for many reasons but mainly because design is such a valuable tool to express solutions creatively,” says Sam Ero-Phillips. An architect and educator, he brings his passion for problem-solving to the Environmental Design Studio at Juxtaposition where he works with students on projects that connect directly to the surrounding community. When he’s not at Juxtaposition, you might just find him in Nigeria lecturing at the University of Lagos where he’s also working on a PhD in sustainable development.

Jared Hanks

Sales JXTALabs | started w/JXTA: 2014

cred3B.S. in Youth Development & Education – University of MinnesotaJH Headshot

Quote3“Elegance is simplicity. Elegance is to get rid of all the superfluous things, and focus on the most beautiful one.” – Paulo Coelho

about3 As a mentor, writer, reader and explorer, Jared funnels the energy of his combined experiences – working in Minneapolis Public Schools AVID program, creating an enrichment program for homeless youth and families which he continues to run, board president of a South Minneapolis housing co-op – into his current efforts in youth work. “JXTA allows me to combine my passion for youth development and education in my role,” he says, “while also tapping into my affinity for social enterprise and innovation.”

Caroline Kent

Visual Art Literacy Training & Public Art Studio Instructor | started w/JXTA: 2008

Caroline Kentcred3M.F.A. – University of Minnesota |  Peace Corps volunteer 2000-02

Quote3“Real generosity towards the future lies in giving all to the present.” – Albert Camus

about3What do building community and an artist’s studio practice have to do with one another? Ask Caroline Kent. At JXTA, she has found an environment where she can  be an  artist, an educator and an agent of change in her community. Recipient of a  Jerome Fellowship for Emerging Artists, her arts activities extend across the Twin Cities with teaching appointments at St. Paul College and Bethel University, and directing the artist-driven exhibition space, The Bindery Projects.

Justin Kirkeberg

Office & Facilities | started w/JXTA: 2010

Justin Kirkeberg

cred3M.F.A. Acting and Directing – Tisch School of the Arts, New York University

Quote3“There are too many books I haven’t read, too many places I haven’t seen, too many memories I haven’t kept long enough.” – Irwin Shaw

about3Theater is Justin Kirkeberg’s first love; a passion that has afforded him opportunities to work throughout the United States and internationally. On returning to the Twin Cities following periods of living in New Orleans, New York, and Chicago, Justin wanted to find a way to make a living and make a difference in the community where he grew up. He felt a natural affinity with JXTA and has been playing a role in advancing the organization’s work with his diverse organizational support skills ever since.

Shelley Martin

Youth Engagement & Apprentice Human Resources | started w/JXTA: 2013

Shelley Martin

cred313+ years of experience working with Minneapolis-based community organizations | founding member of S.P.E.A.C. (Sustainable Progress through Engaging Active Citizens) community organizing and neighborhood leadership training.

Quote3“Think critically, act strategically, love daily, reflect often.”

about3Shelley Martin is passionate about building community. Attending community events even tops her list of extra-curriculars. “I am excited to learn from and build more community inside of the arts,” says Martin. “Juxtaposition Arts is a great place to do that.” A longtime admirer of the organization’s community-focused work, Martin brings more than a decade of experience in managing and developing youth programs, community organizing, and education to Juxtaposition in the role of youth engagement coordinator.

Kristen Murray

Tactical Urbanism & Community Engagement  | started w/JXTA: 2013

IMG_3268cred3Bachelors in Electrical Engineering – Rice University; Masters in Landscape Architecture with Public Policy – University of Minnesota

Quote3“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” ― R. Buckminster Fuller

about3For Kristen, JXTA is a place where love of learning and love of art-making come together. Incorporating her backgrounds in youth development, urban design and program development into her role at JXTA, Kristen sees the intersection of design and entrepreneurship as a boost to a youth artist’s impact in their immediate environments. “It is a wonderful thing,” Kristen says, “to be a part of a team of young people, artists, designers and leaders who ask big questions and look at the world with a sense of possibility and a desire to create.”

Drew Peterson

Visual Art Literacy Training | JXTA Alum – started teaching w/JXTA: 2010

drew petersoncred3M.F.A. – School of the Art Institute of Chicago | BFA – University of Minnesota | Ellen Battell Stoeckel Fellow, Yale Summer School of Music and Art Anderson Ranch Residency

Quote3“ There are no impossible dreams: there is just limited perception of what is possible.”

about3Drew Peterson began working with Juxtaposition Arts as a 16 year old participant in a summer mural project! He says that summer experience had a tremendous impact on his decision to become a working artist.  In thinking about his work today as both a practicing artist and teaching artist Drew says, “What I enjoy most about my work at JXTA is seeing young people make their own discoveries and gain a sense of understanding and accomplishment. Engaging with young people and the JXTA community helps me escape the individualist mentality that a studio practice can develop. Its meaningful. It feeds my soul.”

Kenneth Rooker

Graphic Design Lab Instructor | started w/JXTA: 2014

Kennethcred3Philadelphia University of the Arts | Art Director and Creative Strategist

Quote3“A rooster crows only when it sees the light. Put him in the dark and he’ll never crow. I have seen the light and I’m crowing.” -Muhammad Ali

about3Kenneth joins JXTA with over a decade of experience working for Fortune 1000 companies in New York as well as smaller, locally owned businesses and nonprofits. He was lead to this current role by referral, and he maintains the guiding principles of instilling a sense of belief in the possibilities that life has to offer youth. “I love seeing young artists struggle, learn, and experience the joy of breakthroughs that come with creative growth.” In his down time, Kenneth is a competitive volleyball player, coach, and a huge classic and genre film enthusiast.

Lindsay Splichal

Textile & Screenprinting Lab Instructor | started w/JXTA: 2011

cred3B.F.A. Print, Paper and Books – Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Quote3“Don’t make things harder for yourself.” – Andy Warhol

about3Educator, artist, Girl Scout (yes, Girl Scout!), Lindsay Splichal embraces her role teaching young people how to make art and think like artists. Working at JXTA has reinforced her belief that making art can change lives and confirmed that empowering youth through arts training is her destiny. When not making art, Lindsay is most likely talking about it or experiencing it.

Nate Young

Contemporary Art Studio Instructor | started w/JXTA: 2004

cred3B.A. Visual Arts Education – Northwestern College | M.F.A. California Institute of the ArtsNate Young

Quote3“A work […] generates its own discourse. At a minimum, if affects its own discourse, At a maximum, within artistic practice, it demands the receiver to take a critical position within the material world.” -Michael Asher

about3A practicing artist with an arts residency and gallery shows to his credit, one of the things Nate Young likes most about his work is the passion and motivation he observes in the young people he meets at JXTA. He’s motivated by the fact that he’s able to provide high-quality arts education to youth who are committed and engaged. In addition to his work at JXTA, Nate runs The Bindery Project artist space and plays a pretty mean game of ping pong.