Juxtaposition Arts attracts people with bright minds, deep talents and sincere hearts.
Much of our work could not be accomplished without the help of the team of full-time summer interns. We are thankful to Ilyana Duby and Jane Hornsby from Macalester College, and to Hawa Adula, who joined us from Yale University. The trio’s energy and get-it-done attitude buoyed our team this summer. We’re grateful!
Youth at JXTA who are nearing high school graduation now have someone in-house who is focused on helping them achieve their next steps. Tanika Reese joined us this summer to work on our Pathways to College and Careers program as a family achievement coach employed by the Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ). Tanika spends half her time with youth at Juxtaposition and the other half across the street supporting youth from Cookie Cart. Tanika studied Organizational Administration at Metropolitan State University and has over 15 years of professional experience in public welfare, human services, employment training and administration. She is a native of Chicago, who moved to Minnesota 24 years ago, and raised three children here. Tanika has a “passion to eradicate generational poverty” and views college-readiness as a strategy in that fight. Our team is grateful to Tanika and NAZ for our deepened partnership which will ensure that youth at JXTA have a leg-up as they move into adulthood.
Our new Communications team is eager to help us stay in touch.
Davu Seru our new Communications and Marketing Manager has returned to Juxtaposition 20 years after being among the first class of JXTA participants when he was a student at North High in 1995. With eight years of PhD work and a pre-graduate school stint in academic publishing, Davu has strong research, communication and administrative skills. In addition to his work at JXTA he is active in the Twin Cities literary and performing arts communities and is a part-time adjunct professor of African American literature and culture at Metropolitan State and University of Minnesota. Davu is particularly excited about working with JXTA’s Youth Media Team apprentices and activating the JXTA alumni network.
Onward! JXTA team members exploring exciting opportunities!
Adjoa Akofio-Sowah, our former Communications and Marketing Manager, is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Landscape Architecture at George Washington University in D.C. following a residency in her ancestral hometown in Ghana this past fall.
Selah Obinrin (fna Shelly Martin), left her 2-year post as Outreach and Engagement Manager and Jared Hanks was promoted to the position she vacated. Selah is currently working in spaces where she can support sustainable food systems and holistic, integrated lifestyles with community. She’s back at JXTA temporarily this summer as the manager and an artistic contributor to Wild Seed which will be unveiled at FLOW on July 30!
We celebrated Nate Young’s 10 year anniversary with JXTA last summer. This fall we wish him well on his next journey, as he has accepted a tenure track faculty position at the University of Chicago.
Caroline Kent spent four years as an instructor at JXTA before leaving to focus on her career as an independent artist and teacher. Caroline is a 2016 McKnight Visual Arts Fellow and will move her career and family to Chicago once her fellowship is completed.
Betsy Altheimer has served as head of Development & Strategic Communication since 2012 and this summer has transitioned to a consultancy role. Betsy will support the JXTA team’s search for a new full-time Director of Development to begin in the fall. Betsy says that in her 4 years at JXTA she has witnessed the organization move “from JXTA the after school program to JXTA the social enterprise.” When asked about what she liked most about serving here, Betsy says JXTA is composed of “some of the most beautiful, incredible and resourceful people,” to which we reply: it takes one to know one!
Finally, a shout goes out to our Chief Executive Officer, DeAnna Cummings, who has just returned from a month long fellowship at the University of Maryland in Washington D.C. as a distinguished DeVos Fellow. The DeVos Institute Fellowship allows DeAnna to spend a month each summer for three years (2016 – 2018) focusing on big picture strategic planning with an international cohort of colleagues and experts in the field. DeAnna views her fellowship period as a “special opportunity to gain new tools and connections, so that Juxtaposition can continue to be the best at what we do for decades to come.”