What will it take to reinvigorate downtown Minneapolis as a thriving, forward-leaning urban center? What role should downtown play in relation to our citywide and regional economy?
This free talk will bring together local leaders with deep knowledge of our community’s history, diverse perspectives on the importance of art and economic equity as a driver of regional prosperity, and visionary ideas about what downtown could look like in the future.
Please note RSVP does not guarantee entry, and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Arrive 10 minutes early to be seated.
Gabrielle Grier is an artist, visionary, and facilitator of growth, perspective shifts, and intentional responses to social and political change.
Oscar Perry Abello is a journalist covering policies, programs, and business models to address systemic injustice in the economy.
Tom Fisher is an author, a professor, and the director of the Minnesota Design Center, who specializes in urban design, systems design, and ethics.
Moderator Adair Mosley is CEO of the African American Leadership Forum, which builds cross-sector networks of leaders and institutions to improve the lives of African Americans in Minnesota.
About Abundant Cities
Abundant Cities is a series of three talks copresented by the Walker Art Center and the Minneapolis Foundation. Moderated by Adair Mosley, CEO of the African American Leadership Forum, this series was established to generate meaningful discussions on how we can pour resources, energy, and community voices into our civic life. Continue the conversation during a post-talk reception in the Walker lobby.
Oscar Perry Abello is a journalist covering policies, programs, and business models to address systemic injustice in the economy. He is currently senior economic justice correspondent for Next City, an independent, not-for-profit, online publication covering urban affairs nationwide. His writing has also appeared in Yes! Magazine, City & State New York, Impact Alpha, Shelterforce, and other outlets. Abello is a child of immigrants descended from the former colonial subjects of the Spanish and US imperial regimes in the Philippines. He was born in New York City, and raised in the inner-ring suburbs of Philadelphia. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Villanova University, where he majored in economics and minored in peace and justice studies. He spent several years embedded in the international development industry before transitioning into journalism full-time in 2015. Abello lives in New York City with his domestic partner and the two most photogenic kitties in the world.
Thomas Fisher is a professor in the School of Architecture, director of the Minnesota Design Center, and former dean of the College of Design at the University of Minnesota. A graduate of Cornell University in architecture and Case Western Reserve University in intellectual history, he was the editorial director of Progressive Architecture magazine. Fischer was recognized in 2005 as one of nation’s most published architecture writers, having written 12 books, more than 60 book chapters, and over 450 journal articles. His most recent book is Space, Structures and Design in a Post-Pandemic World (Routledge, 2022).
Gabrielle Grier is an artist, visionary, and a facilitator and participant of growth, perspective shifts, and intentional responses to social and political change. With a strong focus on the exploration, documentation, and claiming of cultural and historic identities, her work is filled with imagery, narrative, and the importance of fusing intergenerational voices. She is contemporary in the sense that she is ever evolving, while being conscious of what ancestry has taught us. Grier has spent 17 years partnering with schools, art spaces, and organizations to implement systems change, which includes strategic vision, programmatic development, and organizational culture that keeps the voices of people at the center of the work by using the creative process as a through line for imagination and innovative design. Recently, her work has been in North Minneapolis, where she leads Juxtaposition Arts, an art and design creative hub, retail shop, and gallery. She holds a master’s in education in youth dvelopment and leadership and a bachelor of arts in fine arts and youth studies, both from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.
Adair Mosley is CEO of the African American Leadership Forum, which builds cross-sector networks of leaders and institutions to improve the lives of American Americans in Minnesota. Previously, he was president and CEO of Pillsbury United Communities, where his work included leading a $1 million community health partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota and a $1 million investment from Kresge Foundation. In 2020, he launched Justice Built Communities, an equitable economic development corporation created to prevent gentrification and displacement, along with prioritizing wealth creation in black and brown communities. As Pillsbury’s chief innovation officer, he led a $7 million dollar capital campaign to build North Market, a first-of-its-kind grocery store that is transforming food access and economic vitality in North Minneapolis. Mosley is a member of the Itasca Project and serves on the boards of MinnPost, Center for Economic Inclusion, and Women’s Foundation of Minnesota. In 2019, he represented the Twin Cities region at Harvard Business School’s Young American Leaders Program. He received the Local Legend Award from General Mills Foundation for embodying Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision and legacy. He earned a certificate in human-centered design at Stanford, and is currently a candidate for an executive global master’s in cities from the London School of Economics, having previously attended the University of Minnesota and the University of Michigan’s Executive Leadership Institute.