Two goals of the Walker’s Education department spring directly from the Center’s mission to be a catalyst for the creative expression of artists and the active engagement of audiences: to continue to support and champion diversity and help people become comfortable with new ideas. As project director for mnartists.orgI have developed program goalsthat include building greater awareness of the Walkers commitment to local artists and diversifying mnartists.org membership geographically, artistically, and culturally.
On Saturday, June 23 at the Neighborhood House in St. Paul, mnartists.org held a professional practice and registration event in partnership with the Metropolitan Arts Council, Springboard for the Arts, and the Minnesota State Arts Board. I have been doing these events frequently around the state in partnership with the Regional Arts Councils to assist any artist who needs it to get their work on mnartists.org. In the past two years, more than 500 artists have gotten their work on the site as a result.
On Saturday over 30 artists showed up, including Khun Lwin and Mahamoud Ali, both new emigrants. Khun is from Burma and Mahamoud from Africa. Mahamoud said he haslived in Minnesota for a year and because he was with a group of artists he finally felt at home here. The individual stories of these artists is a big part of the story of mnartists.org and the Walker’s community engagement. Meeting artists and working with them to get their art on the site is extremely rewarding for me, and while personal satisfaction is not necessarily an institutional goal, it is a perk.