KELLEY LINDQUIST & TIO AIKENS of ARTSPACE
December 8th, 2022
Across the United States, artist communities have revitalized and brought joy to towns, neighborhoods and cities. Since the 1980s, Minneapolis-based Artspace, America’s leading nonprofit real estate developer for the arts, has played an important role in promoting these transformations.
Artspace develops real estate in communities that want and need creative spaces – spaces that can also lead to fundamental social changes. With 56 projects in 35 cities, 22 states and 1 tribal nation, Artspace has given “brick and mortar” support to creative people of many disciplines. And by preserving and repurposing old buildings for sustainable, affordable live/work space for artists and arts organizations, Artspace supports culturally distinct communities and nurtures creative districts. Artspace also combines the tools of real estate with an understanding of the creative sector to provide technical assistance, feasibility and market research, and coaching services to assist arts and cultural organizations with unique space initiatives through their program initiatives and consulting services.
At the heart of this national organization’s “movement” are Kelley Lindquist, President and Tio Aiken, Vice President of Communications.
Since joining Artspace in 1987, Kelley Lindquist has grown this small non-profit organization to one of national significance. For over four decades he has advanced Artspace’s leadership to be deeply inclusive. With help from a team that currently includes 85 employees, he has expanded the organization’s reach to Native American and Native Hawaiian communities, Puerto Rican and Dominican communities in New York City, African American communities in Baltimore, Memphis and New Orleans, a Mexican American community in Texas and rural communities across Minnesota, Colorado, and other states. Of special note, he helped establish The Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts in Minneapolis which showcases at least 50% BIPOC artists each season. Kelley’s innovative contributions have seen him honored with multiple awards and distinctions.
In concert with Mr. Lindquist is Tionenji (Tio) Aiken. She joined Artspace Projects in 2016 and has recently become the Vice President of communications. Using unique multi-format storytelling, she highlights Artspace’s diverse residential communities and partnerships nationally. Her background includes work with the Rafala Green Fellowship program, where she worked at the intersection of arts, real estate, and community development and trained the next generation of POCI leaders; this important effort was funded by the Ford Foundation. Tio is also a practicing poet, and a graduate of the University of Minnesota.
We look forward to sharing their story with you at this upcoming Friends lecture on December 8th at the Pillsbury auditorium at Mia at 11:00 a.m. Come early for coffee, treats, and conversation. See you there!