» About
Planning & Facilitation Team
Our committed and experienced team of advisors and partners in this visioning process include:

Paul Melblom and Matthew Kruntorad, MS&R Architects
Justin Kii Huenemann and Andy Hestness, NACDI (Native American Community Development Institute)
Allison Herrera, Journalist and Media Artist
Chaka MKali and STEAKMOB, Visual and Graphic Artists and Facilitators
Theresa Sweetland, Executive/Artistic Director, Intermedia Arts
James Farstad, Board Chair, Intermedia Arts
Julie Bates, Associate Director, Intermedia Arts
Jake Davis, Production Manager, Intermedia Arts
 



Paul C.N. Mellblom (Principal, MS&R Architects) is an active member of the community, donating his time to various organizations. Examples of his involvement include serving as president of the Community Shares Minnesota board, as a member of The Link and ReBuild Together Twin Cities, and volunteering to assist Project for Pride in Living in developing the Hawthorne EcoVillage in North Minneapolis. He is currently a member of Leadership Twin Cities, sponsored by the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce, and the Minnesota Museum of Art. Paul received a 2005AIA Minnesota Young Architects Award and was honored in 2007with a Twin Cities Business MonthlyEmerging Leader Award for his dedication and leadership in the area of community service. A registered architect and MS&R principal, Paul joined the firm in 2000and has 19years’ professional experience designing a diverse mix of project types. He holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Texas-Austin and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Tulane University.
 
Matthew Kruntorád (Associate Principal, MS&R Architects). Philosophical by nature, Matt most enjoys the testing of ideas through an academic approach to design. He believes that we should always revisit the essentials in order to remove the blinders. Navigating between practice and academia, he is focused on the methods for researching architecture and the human experience of the spaces we make. Most recently, Matt has instructed design studios on system integration and environmental responsiveness of building enclosures. A registered architect and associate principal of the firm, Matt has 14years of professional experience and has been with MS&R since 2003. He has worked on a wide variety of project types, including cultural facilities, park buildings, office space, higher education facilities, and libraries. His work has won several awards, including an AIA Nebraska Design Award, and has been published inArchitectural Recordand Architectural Review. In addition to his professional practice, he is Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota College of Design and was Assistant Professor at the Oklahoma State University School of Architecture from 2000–2003. Matt holds a Master of Architecture and Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

Justin Kii Huenemann (President & CEO, Native American Community Development Institute), a member of the Navajo Nation, was born and raised on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona. He attended the University of Minnesota, earning a BA in Architecture and a MA in Higher Education Administration (he is a proud Gopher). He is the founding president and CEO of the Native American Community Development Institute (NACDI), a community development organization located in Minneapolis, MN. Mr. Huenemann has worked extensively in the areas of public policy, government affairs, higher education, youth development and community development. Today, his work is heavily focused on the rebuilding and revitalization of the Minneapolis American Indian community. Mr. Huenemann believes strongly in community service. For his community work he has received a number of awards, including the Minneapolis Mayor’s “Healthy City Award” from the Abbott Northwestern Hospital Foundation. He currently serves on the following board of directors: Woodlands National Bank, American Indian Community Development Corporation, Tiwahe Foundation, Indian Health Board and the Neighborhood Development Corporation. Mr. Huenemann is a husband, father of four children, small business owner, men’s traditional dancer and artist.

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. 

Allison Herrera has been a radio producer and reporter for KFAI for the last eight years. She's also been a freelance reporter for the Uptake, where she reports on issues ranging form state and local government, ethnic communities in the Twin Cities and beyond. She is in the process of completing two documentaries, a half an hour radio piece about Coldwater Spring near Fort Snelling, and a video documentary about her grandmother. She loves spending time with her daughter and husband when she's not enduring late-night caffeine fueled editing sessions.

Chaka Mkali (Director of Organizing and Community Building, Hope Community) is a musician, Mc, community organizer, racial justice trainer, graffiti artist, muralist, program coordinator and director of organizing and community building at Hope Community. 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, alley ways, 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.

STEAKMOB is a multidisciplinary collective of individuals who specialize in art, design and music. STEAKMOB's work ranges from commercial to independent freelance, group gallery shows, and podcast / album releases. STEAKMOB believes in local collaboration and the strengthening of the immediate Minneapolis creative culture. STEAKMOB was started by a group of 3 friends who shared a vision for a general platform to showcase their specific creative community.The STEAKMOB studio is located in South Minneapolis, Powderhorn Park. STEAKMOB.COM

Theresa Sweetland (Executive/Artistic Director, Intermedia Arts) is an experienced program director, curator, youth worker and leader in the field of community cultural development.  She has brought together diverse sectors of the community, artists and developers, elders and teens, prisoners and poets, to build collaborations and partnerships that expand and enrich lives and build community. She holds a BA in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Minnesota and a Masters degree in Urban and Regional Planning at The University of Minnesota Hubert H Humphrey School of Public Affairs with a concentration on community and economic development. Theresa is a Co-Founding Artistic Director of B-Girl Be, the world’s first international women in hip hop summit presented annually by Intermedia Arts. In 2004, she was the recipient of a Jerome Travel Grant for Arts Administrators with which she visited eight New Zealand organizations working in the community cultural development field, graffiti arts, hip-hop and prison arts programming.  She has been a guest lecturer on "Art and Democracy" at the University of Minnesota Art History Department, on "Community Partnerships" for the Museum Educators Association and on “Arts and Social Change” for various university classes and community groups.

James Farstad (Board Chair, Intermedia Arts) is the founder and President of Farstad.US, LLC, a U.S. based, international technology consulting firm has more than 24 years of experience in strategic planning and the management of complex technology initiatives.  He is also a Senior Research Fellow with Yankee Group, a global independent technology research and consulting firm providing insight and counsel to the builders, operators and users of connectivity solutions.  Mr. Farstad’s clients include local government, telecommunications providers, and financial service, educational, manufacturing, and healthcare organizations.  Mr. Farstad is a frequent public speaker on a wide range of technology, business and community topics. Mr. Farstad is Chairman of the Board of Intermedia Arts; a past-President of the Minnesota Telecommunications Association (MTA); and a former board member of the Society of Telecommunications Consultants (STC). Mr. Farstad is active in the municipal wireless marketplace and a regular participant in the Digital Cities Conventions sponsored by the Wireless Internet Institute (W2i), an international think tank exploring wireless Internet technologies, best practices, and sustainable implementation models for the deployment of wireless Internet technologies.

Julie Bates (Associate Director, Intermedia Arts) is a Twin Cities writer, spoken word poet and arts administrator. At Intermedia Arts she manages the Creative Leadership & Artist Development programming, including the Creative Community Leadership Institute, VERVE grants for Spoken Word Poets, Beyond the Pure Fellowships for Writers, and the ArtsHub co-working program. In addition, Julie oversees the day-to-day administrative operations of the oranization, as well as directing all marketing and communications. She is the former Program Director for the MN Spoken Word Association, where she gained experience teaching creative writing and performance poetry to young artists. She co-coached Minnesota’s 2006 Youth Slam team, which competed in the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam in NYC; and was a resident artist at North Minneapolis’ Avenues for Homeless Youth as part of the documentary project The Sheltering Home Chronicles, along with spoken word artists e.g. Bailey, Sha Cage, Truthmaze and photographer Wing Young Huie. Ms. Bates has written for The Rake magazine. She studied creative writing at Metropolitan State University and in 2008 was awarded a Joyce Grant by Americans for the Arts’ Professional Development Fund for Emerging Leaders of Color.

Jake Davis (Production Manager, Intermedia Arts) is a Sound Designer / Engineer and Production Manager for Intermedia Arts. Recently, Mr. Davis worked as Associate Sound Designer for Cirque du Soleil on productions such as Kooza!, Wintuk, and Zed.  He also served as Associate Sound Designer for Creature From the Black Lagoon at Universal Studios Hollywood and Pippin at the Mark Taper Forum.  In addition to his recent commercial work, Mr. Davis spent 2 years as Assistant Technical Director at REDCAT (The Roy and Edna Disney / CalArts Theater), a multi-disciplinary art and performance space located in the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.  As an educator, Mr. Davis taught classes and workshops on sound design, sound engineering, and advanced system programming at the California Institute of the Arts, University of Minnesota Duluth, and University of Southern California.  He has also worked as an assistant designer for a number of regional theatre companies including: Mark Taper Forum, Ahmanson Theater, Pasadena Playhouse, and Goodman Theater.  Mr. Davis holds a MFA in Sound Design from the California Institute of the Arts, and a BFA in Theatre from the University of Minnesota Duluth.