Ideas, News // November 8, 2016

Members of the Singapore-based ArtsWok Collaborative riding our People Powered Carousel. Photo by ArtsWok Collaborative.

Hosting and exchanging ideas with visitors is essential to our making the impact that we envision.

This year we have had the pleasure of hosting guests from places near and far, including members of the Singapore-based ArtsWok Collaborative, Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Exchange, a group of artists from Tunisia, and representatives from the Cincinnati-based philanthropic lab People’s Liberty.

All of us on the trip work with young people as one of the communities we develop programs with, and so it’s eye-opening to see the different approaches different organizations take when it comes to youth development. JXTA has a wonderful space located within community, and we very impressed with how entrepreneurial the organization is. From land acquisition and development of buildings as a community investment, to providing tangible career opportunities for the youth served… It has provided us food for thought on how arts-based community development can be designed. –Su-Lin Ngaim of ArtsWok Collaborative

DeAnna and Roger [JXTA’s CEO and Chief Cultural Producer] know what it means to invest in a place (North Minneapolis) by investing in that place’s people. People’s Liberty shares the same values. We too have a physical place/hub situated intentionally within one of Cincinnati’s distinct urban neighborhoods. Like DeAnna and Roger, we believe that the shape (and future) of a city is determined by who gets involved. While our work isn’t focused exclusively on youth, there is a lot of crossover. By providing funding, connections, design/storytelling support and mentoring to our grantees, we believe we can play a role in powering the next cadre of leadership in Cincinnati. Moreover, DeAnna and Roger are two individuals that exude the qualities of our Haile Fellows. We wish they lived in Cincinnati! –Megan Trischler, People’s Liberty

What an honor it is for us to attract the world to our community!

Ideas, News // November 8, 2016

Plans showing Bubble Rooftops’ component parts


Juxtaposition Arts is a proud winner of the KaBOOM Play Everywhere Challenge.

Get ready for Bubble Rooftops, a project of our Tactical Urbanism team meant to promote everyday play by developing a large-scale, solar-powered bubble maker.

Past visitors of Juxtaposition Arts might be familiar with the bubbles that have cascaded from our rooftop at 2007 Emerson Ave N. since 2006. Now we go big!

Bubble Rooftops supports our social enterprise efforts by developing a prototype which will eventually be replicated and available for purchase. That way you’ll be able to join in the play.

Expect the launch of the first bubble maker in the summer of 2017.


Ideas // November 4, 2016

JXTA youth bring their creative visions to a complex design problem and look to make a section of the riverfront accessible to this Northside community!

Environmental Design apprentices conducting research via kayak

Our Environmental Design lab has teamed-up with Minneapolis Parks Foundation, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and City of Minneapolis to conduct community engagement work for the Great Northern Green Way Trail Link.  Door-knocking, community bike and kayak tours and data collection using artist designed zines have so far resulted in a proposal which connects  26th Ave. N  to Ole Olson Park and a newly enlivened former industrial site along the Mississippi River.


Photo by Bully Creative

Recently the Enviro team presented their new plans along with Planning Director for the City of Detroit, Maurice Cox, who specializes in democratic design and citizen planning. Attendees got to hear about a summer full of creative problem solving with community and plans to bring more green infrastructure and employment to the Northside.

Check out the Minneapolis Parks Foundation website for more information.

There’s more to come in  spring and summer of 2017. Stay tuned!

News // October 3, 2016

Mellon Mays Fellows Andrea Kvietok and Ayaan Natala

Six Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellows from Macalester College participated in JXTA’s Free Wall: Intro to Aerosol Painting 3-week workshop this summer!

Professor Duchess Harris (a Mellon Mays Fellow in 1991) says that “the purpose of the program is to mentor undergraduates to become graduate students, and eventually faculty.  We are interested in enhancing the numbers of faculty who come from under-represented backgrounds.

She applied for the current fellows to participate in JXTA’s Free Wall class because she felt the course would help to foster discipline, study, practice and cohesiveness as the new cohort began their two-year fellowship program.

Without a doubt, the community at JXTA taught me about the importance of establishing bonds with your community and being present, despite your current job(s). Being in the ivory tower of academia, scholars sometimes forget that the real world exists and tend to isolate themselves under the ‘protective’ blanket of books, theories, and writing. Nevertheless, academics have the implicit task of being public intellectuals and striving to be an active member of the community.

–Andrea Kvietok, a junior at Macalester College from Lima, Peru

I was thrilled when Duchess called to sign the fellows up for FreeWall.  It was an out-of-the-box way for her to help the students bond to each other, and to establish a connection to the North Minneapolis community, a neighborhood that most of them wouldn’t otherwise have a reason get to know.  This is the latest partnership spanning more than a decade of collaboration between Juxtaposition Arts and faculty and students at Macalester College.  Our work is better for it and I think there’s is too.

–DeAnna Cummings, CEO, Juxtaposition Arts

The fellows were Malik Earle (New Hampshire), Ayaan Natala (Saint Paul, MN), Andrea Kvietok (Lima, Peru), Tracy Pham (Bloomington, MN) Jordana Palmer (Kingston, Jamaica) and Ryan Harris (Philadelphia, PA).

  • DATE: Monday, September 26th
  • TIME: 11:00am-5pm
  • LOCATION: Juxtaposition Arts
    2007 Emerson Ave. N.
    Minneapolis, MN 55411

You are invited to come speak your truth!


Photo courtesy of The Cause Collective

On Monday, September 26th, 11-5pm, at our pocket park next to 2007 Emerson Avenue N., JXTA will host “The Truth Booth,” a project by artists Ryan Alexiev, Jim Ricks, Will Sylvester and Hank Willis Thomas, members of The Cause Collective.

The Collective invites people to sit inside The Truth Booth (a giant, inflatable sculpture in the shape of a cartoon speech bubble with the word “Truth” printed on the side) and complete the sentence, “The truth is…” while being videotaped. Along their 24-city tour The Collective aims to empower hundreds of Americans to speak freely without fear of judgment or persecution.


The booth will be at JXTA for one day only. Come be heard!

The Minnesota Truth Booth stop is sponsored by the Walker Art Center in partnership with Juxtaposition Arts. The event is free and open to the public.

  • DATE: Saturday, September 17th
  • TIME: 10am-11:30am
  • LOCATION: Juxtaposition Arts
    2007 Emerson Avenue N.
    Minneapolis, MN 55411

Author photo by Valerie Caesar

JXTA is hosting a workshop on art, history and archives featuring Black feminist poet, playwright, essayist, novelist and children’s author, Zetta Elliot!

Here’s more about Zetta:

Born in Canada, Zetta Elliott moved to the US in 1994 to pursue her PhD in American Studies at NYU. Her poetry has been published in several anthologies, and her plays have been staged in New York, Chicago, and Cleveland. Her essays have appeared inThe Huffington Post, School Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly. She is the author of over twenty books for young readers, including the award-winning picture book Bird. Her urban fantasy novel, Ship of Souls, was named a Booklist Top Ten Sci-fi/Fantasy Title for Youth. Three books published under her own imprint, Rosetta Press, have been named Best Children’s Books of the Year by the Bank Street Center for Children’s Literature. Rosetta Press generates culturally relevant stories that center children who have been marginalized, misrepresented, and/or rendered invisible in traditional children’s literature. Elliott is an advocate for greater diversity and equity in publishing. She currently lives in Brooklyn.

The event is a partnership of the Givens Collection of African American Literature and Umbra: Search African American History.
  • DATE: Saturday, September 10th
  • TIME: 11:00am-5pm
  • LOCATION: 2007 Emerson Avenue N.
    Minneapolis, MN 55411

Join us at JXTA for Open Streets West Broadway, where we’ll be displaying our creative vision for the health & wellness of North Minneapolis!


Here are some things to look for:


Our Tactical team will be doing a guerrilla painting installation between the crosswalk bars on Broadway as part of their “Slow the Flow” traffic-calming project. They will also be at the Emerson & Broadway bus stop with benches, music, games and pop-up street performances by local artists.


Environmental Design will have the new pedal-powered bike carousel open in our Emerson Avenue pocket park and will also be displaying their models of a redeveloped Upper Harbor Terminal  and designs to connect bike traffic from Theodore Wirth Parkway along 26th Ave to the Mississippi River. Attendees will be invited to take park in  sign-up for an engagement bike ride in conjunction with a project for Minneapolis Parks Foundation.


The Textiles & Screening Printing lab will have a tent and table with selected merchandise out in the parking spot in front of the shop, along with a screen printing demo. Come and get your free Open Streets West Broadway limited edition shirts from 12:30-1 and 2:30-3. General shops hours will be 11am to 5pm.

black house 1

Public Art apprentices invite you the to relaxing and healing atmosphere of the Black House installation where you will be able to get your own “healing kit” and ancestor adorned votive candles.

And there will be much more!

Visit the Open Streets West Broadway Facebook page for more information.
News // September 9, 2016

Through relentless effort, former apprentice Akhil Miller has landed a full-time job as the sole graphic designer for the international HVAC and lighting design firm 75F!

“This is what I wanted.”akhil

While completing his time as a STEP-UP student located at Asian Media Access (a JXTA community partner), Akhil was eager to hone his graphic design skills and says that JXTA was “the obvious next step” toward a career that he began cultivating in 3rd grade. At JXTA, and while Junior Director of the Graphic Design Lab, Akhil was chosen for a summer internship with the creative design firm KNOCK where, as the youngest intern, he worked on client projects such as marketing materials for the latest Star Wars and Avengers films. JXTA’s network put out a call for exceptional apprentices seeking employment and Akhil answered! The 18-year old Akhil was selected to design 75F’s entire marketing campaign!

Congrats to Akhil on his new venture!

News // August 22, 2016

This year’s FLOW: Northside Arts Crawl was a hit! We put out a call to come honor the ancestors and many of you answered. We are so grateful!

The annual art crawl originally started out as a small but burgeoning showcase of Northside creatives, initiated by the Northside Achievement Zone. Now, tipping the scale at over 300 featured visual and performing artists at 25 different locations, FLOW continues to grow in community attendance and participation since its 2006 debut. We are thrilled to share 10 highlights from the main event at JXTA!

1. In The Groove With The “Who We Are” Mural

Dancing by Angelique Kingsbury FlOW 2016

Photo by Angelique Kingsbury

This new mural was unveiled especially for FLOW. Inspired by the work artist Emory Douglas, the image of mother and child radiating images of ancestors, was produced by our Public Art apprentices to honor black motherhood as a revolutionary act and cause for celebration!


2. Pedal-powered Bike Carousel


What a fun way to combine art, wellness and community in North Minneapolis. Children and adults joyously rode the lion, horse and antelope adorned carousel designed by artists Christopher Lutter-Gardella and Brandon Brown in partnership with our sponsors Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota and Trust for Public Land.

3. The Black House Installation

black house 1

The Black House was a packed house! Attendees lounged in the transformed Emerson gallery amid art pieces designed for healing, reflection and reverence for black excellence in everyday life. The installation is part of an on-going series that will continue through Black August at JXTA. You can follow the progress and hear about more events at The Black House Facebook page.

4. The Spirit of Youth


All FLOW attendees come to demonstrate pride in community, but especially young folks!

5. Wild Seed Puppet Workshops & Parade

Wild Seed

The unofficial color of the event was purple and the ancestral spirit of Prince was the guest of honor. A special shout goes out to the community artists that helped produce Wild Seed. At FLOW an inter-generational bunch of costumed and puppet wielding paraders made their way down Broadway Avenue attracting the cheers of passers-by before landing at the new Freedom Square Demonstration Plaza.

6. The New Line of Prince T-shirts and Accessories


The recent passing of our most beloved Prince was also paid tribute in a new line of limited edition t-shirts, buttons and earrings. Luckily, attendees had the opportunity to preorder print-on-demand shirts once our supply in the Textile Studio began to run out.

7. Ancestors Watched Over the Breezeway


The staging area for the community parade was watched over in style! The Environmental Design team stretched these beautiful banners across the breezeway joining two of our buildings. The banners feature images of some of our most prized ancestors. At FLOW they were set against a divine backdrop of blue and sunny sky.

8. Collaborative Drawing with the VALT Studio

VALT Drawing

The Visual Art Literacy Training (VALT) program invited FLOW attendees to created a drawing modeled on a surrealist collaborative art experiment called “exquisite corpse.” Over the course of the day the community of artists traced text projected onto the canvas, at times they drew freely.  The result? A vibrant and playful art piece that demonstrated the brilliant collective mind at this year’s FLOW!

 9. Reunions

Reunions 2

FLOW brings the JXTA alumni and other community back together in the spirit of positivity and communion.

10. Our Team


All-team photo by Bill Cottman, 2016.

Way to go team JXTA! FLOW is the only time of the year that we have all apprentices, students, instructors and staff on campus at once. At FLOW we turn out to represent with enthusiasm the creative genius of the Northside as demonstrated in the work of our apprentices. We always look forward to this unique opportunity to show off life at JXTA.

Don’t miss us next year!


News // July 25, 2016

We’re celebrating seven apprentices who have accomplished High School graduation this year! #JXTAGraduates

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 2.21.49 PM

Full name: Tiara Cortez

JXTA Lab/Studio: Textile Lab 

How did you first hear about JXTA?

I heard about JXTA from Jahliah, an older  JXTA apprentice. We went to South West together and that’s where I met her. I graduated from St. Louis Park High School.

How long have you been apart of JXTA?

I’ve been involved in JXTA since summer 2015.  I’ve been working here since January 4th.  I remember this because it was the day before my birthday.

What’s the best thing about your studio?

I am in Textile Lab. The best thing about Textile is that I feel like I earn my money. I can see the work that I am doing and it is fulfilling to see an immediate result from my work.

Which JXTA experience are you most proud of?

One day, JXTA went to the Women’s Club for an art show. JXTA was selling apprentice art and I was able to go and take pictures. It was a cool experience for me. I think some of them are on Instagram and Facebook.

What was your biggest challenge here?

My biggest challenge is that when I began VALT, I used to live far away. It was a hard for me to go back and forth between home and JXTA. I stopped coming but JXTA gave me a second chance to complete the program. I later moved closer to JXTA.

What advice would you give to a young person interested in JXTA?

I would say GO FOR IT and don’t be scared to let your artistic side out.

You’re a high school graduate! Where do you want to go or do next?

I will be taking a gap year and then attending Dunwoody Trade School or MCTC, Minneapolis Community and Technical College, to become an ultrasound technician through the Radiology Program.

What has been your experience with North Mpls?

My experience has been good and bad. The bad is that there is a lot of violence around where I live. Recently, a woman was killed about six or seven blocks away from my house. There is always a lot of shootings that happen and that is scary because I have to cautious of that. Coming to JXTA feels safe and that has been the good.

What greater social awareness have you gained while being at JXTA?

I learned about gentrification here. Before I came to JXTA, I didn’t know what it was. I learned about it through a conversation that I had in Textiles with the other apprentices. Someone brought it up and I asked more questions about it.

Which artist has influenced your work the most, or is just a personal favorite?

I don’t know that many artists. I would say Lindsay, one of my lab leads in Textile.

In one sentence, describe your experience.

I wasn’t really expecting to feel at home like I do now. It is really just a big family. I love it here.

Read about another graduate!