» About
Board of Directors
ON OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS:

Andrea Jenkins, Board Chair
Andrea Jenkins is an Award winning poet and writer. Most recently she was awarded a Bush Fellowship and a Fellowship in the Creative Community Leadership Institute at Intermedia Arts and sponsored by the Bush Foundation and named a fellow in the Many Voices Fellowship at the Playwrights Center. Last year she won the VERVE Grant for Spoken Artists at Intermedia Arts and the Naked Stages Grant for Emerging Performance Artist at Pillsbury House Theatre. She is a Givens Foundation Fellow working with Amiri Baraka and J. Otis Powell! She has won the Loft Mentor Series in 2002 and the Napa Valley Writers Conference scholarship in 2003. Andrea earned her Masters of Science, Community Economic Development – Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester, New Hampshire, a Certificate, University of St. Thomas, Community Leadership Institute, and Bachelors of Science, Human Services / Interpersonal Communications – Metropolitan State University and has a MFA in Creative Writing at Hamline University. Andrea works as a Senior Policy Aide to City Councilmember Elizabeth Glidden and lives in Minneapolis.

Mark Waller, Vice Chair
Mark Waller is the Assistant Controller at the Greater Twin Cities United Way. He also serves as Treasurer for the Kingfield Neighborhood Association. He is constantly interested in meeting individuals in the great nonprofit sector in Minnesota and all over the country and is striving to build relationships that can help all of us achieve our missions.

Julia Nekessa Opoti, Board Secretary
Julia Nekessa Opoti is the producer and host of Reflections of New Minnesotans on AM950 where she interviews immigrants from all over the world who have made Minnesota their home, temporary or permanent. As a writer, Nekessa has reported extensively on Somali, Liberian and other immigrant issues in the Twin Cities for the Twin Cities Daily Planet. She served as editor of Mshale, an immigrant African newspaper. Nekessa is the co-founder and publisher of the Kenya Imagine, an opinion and analysis portal that is on hiatus.

Jeff Gatesmith, Treasurer
Principal, Pathforth Business Advisors, LLC






Omar Akbar
Omar R. Akbar is a Vice President at Greene Holcomb & Fisher LLC. Prior to joining GHF, Omar was a corporate attorney at Kirkland & Ellis in Chicago, where he focused on M&A transactions for private equity clients, private fund formations and securities regulation. He has substantial experience in structuring, negotiating and advising clients on buy- and sell-side M&A transactions ranging in size from $5 million to $1 billion. Omar also served as a law clerk to a federal appellate court judge. Akbar received his BA, with honors, from Luther College, his JD with high distinction from the University of Iowa, and his LLM in International Economic Law from New York University.

Dan Cornejo
Dan Cornejio, Cornejo Consulting, Community Planning + Design, is an award-winning leader in city planning and contextual urban design. With over 35 years of experience throughout the U.S. and Canada, Dan brings a wealth of wisdom and expertise to comprehensive planning and design projects, especially in cities with historic districts and corridors with active waterfronts.  In 2004, Dan started his own firm, CORNEJO CONSULTING – Community Planning + Design, a Saint Paul-based firm that focuses on transit-oriented development planning and design, transportation-related infrastructure, and creek restoration.  He also specializes in innovative and inclusive public engagement in diverse cultural and community situations.  Dan has served as Director of Planning and Design for St. Paul, Development Director for Robbinsdale, Haymarket Warehouse District Manager in Lincoln, NE, Planning Director for Staten Island, New York, and Senior Planner in Vancouver, Canada.  Current and recent Twin Cities projects include I-35W-Lake Street Transit/Access Project and Hamline Bridge Replacement, both of which involve public artist involvement.  He has also led consultant teams that prepared the Fort Snelling LRT and Upper Post Master Plan, the Roseville Parks and Recreation Master Plan, and the University of Minnesota Neighborhood Impact Report to the Minnesota Legislature.  Dan holds an M.A. in Community and Regional Planning from the University of British Columbia, Canada and a B.A. in Sociology from Jamestown College in North Dakota.

David Greenberg
David Greenberg is an experienced teacher, educational leader, and arts education advocate committed to quality learning opportunities for youth. Strong skills in finance, grant writing and management, curriculum design and implementation, teacher evaluation, strategic planning, arts integration, partnership development, charter school and non-profit management, governance, and cross-cultural communication.

Andy Hestness
Andy Hestness is a Community Development Specialist with the Native American Community Development Institute (NACDI) focusing on Land and Housing issues.  He grew up in South Minneapolis and earned a BA in Architecture from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.  Andy has an MA in Real Estate from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a concentration in Urban Planning. Andy previously worked at the Holsten Real Estate Development Corporation in Chicago as the Director of Construction Management where he oversaw the design, construction, and compliance of affordable and mixed-income housing developments. Prior to working in Chicago, Andy worked at Seward Redesign conducing research and outreach in the development of the Franklin Light Rail Transit Station Implementation Plan.

Brandy Hyatt
CSU STEM VISTA, California State University East Bay






Blake Iverson
Blake Iverson is a business, intellectual property and entertainment attorney. He helps businesses at every stage from incorporation to cashing out. He also teaches contracts and arts law and ethics and lectures on entertainment law.



Janis Lane-Ewart
Janis Lane-Ewart is the co-curator for the January 20, 2015 opening of the exhibition “Free At First - The Evolution of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians.” “Free At First” is a reference to the sense of freedom the founders and early members approached musical compositions, organizational concepts and institution building - especially with the AACM School of Music. The scope of the exhibition is intended to provide the social framework, political climate, cultural milieu, philosophical underpinnings within which this musician’s collective has thrived and survived – the only musicians’ collective still standing!

Jeremy McClain
Senior Director - Reverse Flows and Supply Chain Inventory Management, Best Buy





Chaka MKali
Chaka Mkali, also known as I Self Devine is a musician, Mc, community organizer, racial justice trainer, graffiti artist, muralist, program coordinator and director of organizing and community building at Hope Community Center in Minneapolis. As an Mc, I Self is known as an integral part of the Atlanta and Twin Cities underground Hip Hop community as ½ of the duo Micranots, ½ of Semi Official, ¼ of the Dynospectrum, and as a soloist. Over the last decade I Self has released over 10 albums of political conscious socially aware music capable of moving the crowd as well as uplift the spirit and sustain the movement. As a graffiti artist and muralist, Chaka Mkali is recognized as one of the crucial figures in the revitalization of graffiti art in the Twin Cities using the skills developed in the streets, alleyways, walls, and store fronts of Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Atlanta. As The Director of Organizing and Community Building Chaka has developed impressive work with very diverse largely low income teens and young adults that is impacting individual lives and collectively helping to bring change to a challenged community.

David Safar
David Safaris music director and overnight on-air host for 89.3 The Current. He also hosts "The New Hot," a weekly music spot; and produces the Sunday night program, "The Local Show." While with The Current, David has launched features such as the Local Music Exchange, the Song of the Day podcast and the CD compilation, "Local Current Volume 1." Prior to joining The Current, David was music director and program director for Radio K (the University of Minnesota's college radio station). David is a music omnivore, with a soft spot for post punk and hardcore music.

Saymoukda Vongsay
Saymoukda Duanghouxay Vongsayis a Lao American poet and playwright whose passion is arts advocacy. Her work has been published by Altra Magazine, The Journal of Southeast Asian American Education and Advancement, St. Paul Almanac, Lao American Magazine, and Bakka Literary Journal, to name a few. Vongsay pens the series Pushing the Pen, published weekly in the Asian American Press, interviewing literary artists from across the nation. She has taught and performed spoken word poetry from the Midwest to the East and West coasts, as well as in Italy and Japan. Saymoukda is a co-founding member of the Unit Collective of Emerging Playwrights of Color and an active participant with Pillsbury House Theater’s Chicago Avenue Project. She is a 2011 Jerome Foundation/Mu Performing Arts' New Eyes Theater Fellow, winner of the 2010 Alfred C. Carey Prize in Spoken Word Poetry (NY), and an advisory board member of the 2010 MPLS Asian Film Festival.  She is currently writing the full-length play, Kung Fu Zombies vs Cannibals, a commission by Mu Performing Arts. Saymoukda is pursuing an interdisciplinary Masters degree in Public Policy, Social Work, and Creative Writing at the U of MN.


Contact Us!
We love to hear from our community: Board@IntermediaArts.org





Board Members: Please Sign In