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Barak adé Soleil


Barak adé Soleil (they + he) is an award-winning artist and independent curator who has contributed to the contemporary art scene since 1991. Barak’s progressive practice speaks to the expanse of blackness as it intersects with disability and queer culture. Extensive traveling throughout their career offered opportunities to cultivate meaningful exchanges with diverse communities, as well as witness, support and participate in powerful artmaking across North and South America, Europe, and West Africa. Barak has served as Artistic Director of Tangled Art + Disability in Toronto, Director of Programs for Threewalls in Chicago, and most recently was Co-Director of Live Art Development Agency in London, UK. Acknowledgements for creative projects include: 2020 & 2017 Art Matters Foundation Award; 2019 Ragdale Foundation Residency Fellowship; 2017 Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Residency Fellowship; 2016 3Arts Award; and Katherine Dunham Choreography/NYC AUDELCO Award for excellence in Black Theatre. Barak founded D UNDERBELLY, a network of interdisciplinary artists of color, in Minneapolis in 1996, and is returning to the Twin Cities close to 3 decades later to serve as Director of Emerging Curators Institute.

Barak, a dark brown skinned black person with a mustache, salt & pepper beard and shaved head is wearing clear glasses and a pink collared button down shirt. Against a background of wooden shelves filled with books, Barak looks directly into the camera with a gentle expression.

Nancy Musinguzi

Administrative Support

Nance Musinguzi (he/they) is a photographer, visual artist, and cultural organizer focused on digital storytelling and cultural strategy, aiming to elevate the narratives and impact of BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and youth-led grassroots movements across online platforms and local communities. Since 2014, they have installed 15+ solo and group exhibitions and guest-curated gallery shows in collaboration with early-career and emerging artists, social justice organizations, public universities, high schools, and youth-led collectives.

A Black & white studio portrait of Black Trans immigrant artist Nance Musinguzi sitting on a stool, wearing a beanie, and black graphic t-shirt

Symone Wilson

General Support

Symone Wilson (all pronouns)
Having worked with a spectrum of arts organizations within Minnesota, Symone is grateful for the opportunity to support ECI. At the intersection of arts and business, Symone is a record label co-owner and avid pop musician, utilizing her expertise in event organizing and marketing to assist organizations with new ideas and structure. 

With her experience in performance and event production, she seeks to assist in creating collaboration between art forms, mentorship opportunities for burgeoning artists, and systems for support across Minnesota’s creative communities and organizations.

Symone, a Black woman with a big smile has one hand waving in front of her. Her hair is dark brown in a locked protective style. She is wearing a striped white and black shirt with a black ascot bandana.

Job Opportunities

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Jehra Patrick is an accomplished arts leader with a record of creating valuable systems of support for artists and innovative public programming. Her experience includes founding arts organizations, guiding strategic transitions, fundraising, managing teams, creating educational programs for all ages, and building advocacy for the arts through boards and committees, writing, and frequent public speaking. She is the founding Director of the Emerging Curators Institute and she continues to support the organization through advisory work and advocacy.

Jehra currently works as Executive Director at Highpoint Center for Printmaking, where she focuses on the vision and mission, creating stronger relationships and engaging opportunities for artists and leaners. Prior to joining Highpoint, she was Gallery Director and Curator at Macalester College, where she developed an exhibition program that emphasized multicultural voices and a wide variety of engagement programs. Previously, she provided strategic direction for Mn Artists, a long-standing, state-wide program of the Walker Art Center. She also founded and directed Waiting Room, an exhibition and public programming space in Minneapolis. She actively exhibited as a studio artist for 15 years and brings this empathetic perspective into her work with artists. She is the mother of two young daughters enjoys spending time with family, cooking, traveling, and seeing art.

Jehra Patrick

Dr. Amit S. Rai is Reader in Creative Industries and Arts Organising at Queen Mary, University of London, where he has also taught critical marketing studies and business ethics. He is author of Rule of Sympathy: Race, Sentiment, Power 1760-1860 (Palgrave, 2002) and Untimely Bollywood: Globalization and India’s New Media Assemblage (Duke UP, 2009). He has taught at the New School for Social Research, Florida State University, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, the Dutch Art Institute, and Lorton Maximum Security Prison. His current research touches on critical management and organizational studies of the creative and cultural industries in the UK and India, with a specific focus on the politics and infrastructures of care and accessibility, decolonizing organizational attention, emergent conversations between postcolonial theory, decoloniality, and the Black radical tradition, the gendering of affective labor in social reproduction in India, media practices of commoning, and hacking and piracy practices in the UK and South Asia. His monograph on work-around practices in Indian urban digital ecosystems, Jugaad Time: Ecologies of Everyday Hacking in India, was published in 2019 by Duke University Press.

Amit Rai is a man with square glasses wearing a black puffy jacket, tan scarf, and black beanie. Amit's arms are crossed and he is looking towards the camera.
Amit Rai

Rosy Simas is a transdisciplinary and dance artist. She lives and works in Mni Sota Makoce (Minneapolis, MN).

Simas is an enrolled member of the Seneca Nation, Heron clan. Her knowledge of her Haudenosaunee family and lineage is the underpinning of her relationship to culture and history—stored in her body—which is expressed through her work—of moving people, moving images, and moving objects that she makes for stage and installation. 

Simas’ work weaves personal and collective identity themes with family, sovereignty, equality, and healing. Simas creates dance work with a team of Native and BIPOC artists, driven by movement-vocabularies developed through deep listening.

Simas’ dance works include she who lives on the road to war, Weave, Skin(s), and We Wait in the Darkness, which have toured throughout Turtle Island. Simas’ installations have been exhibited at the Onöhsagwë:de’ Cultural Center, All My Relations Arts, SOO Visual Arts, and the Weisman Art Museum.

Simas has been honored as a Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Choreography Fellow (2013), Guggenheim Creative Arts Fellow (2015), McKnight Foundation Choreography Fellow (2016, 2022), Dance/USA Fellow (2018), a Joyce Awardee from the Joyce Foundation (2018), United States Artists Fellow (2022), and as a Doris Duke Artist Awardee (2023).

Her other accolades include a Native Arts and Cultures Foundation SHIFT award and multiple awards from New England Foundation for the Arts National Dance Project, the MAP Fund, and National Performance Network.

Simas is the artistic director of Rosy Simas Danse (RSD) and RSD Studios’ creative spaces for Native, Black, Indigenous, and artists of color. She is a 2023-2024 Visiting Distinguished Scholar at the University at Buffalo.

Rosy is seated and wearing a loose black button-down top. She has medium brown skin, dark black eyes, and dark brown hair. She is wearing a black shirt and multi-colored beaded hoop earrings.
Rosy Simas by Tim Rummelhoff Courtesy-McKnight Fellowships for Choreographers 2016

Raven Davis is an Anishinaabe, 2-Spirit, multidisciplinary artist, curator, educator, mediator, and human rights speaker whose mother is from Treaty Four, Manitoba. Davis was born and raised in Michi Saagig Territory, Toronto, Ontario. Davis weaves their passions for land-based and archival research, with calls to action, movement and sound healing, and works embodied by lived and intergenerational experience. A parent of three sons, Davis works within the mediums of performance, movement, visual arts, and sound/media. Davis fuses narratives of colonization, race, gender, disability, abolition, pleasure, and 2-Spirit/Indigiqueer identity in their work. Davis’ performance practice bravely embodies their relationship to colonial systems, police and medical violence, systemic oppression, and complex histories. As an extension of their responsibilities as a Land and spiritual practitioner, and as a way to reconcile the hardships of the aforementioned, Davis creates spaces using sound, plant medicine, prayer, and body work to support individuals on their healing journeys.

Raven is seated in a black car on the driver’s side, wearing all black clothes, a black skull cap and strapped in by a seatbelt. On a slightly overcast day, Raven looks directly into the camera with a gentle half smile.
Raven Davis

Past Advisory members include:
Angela Two Stars – All My Relation Arts (AMRA)
Mary Bordeaux – Racing Magpie
Gabby Coll – Juxtaposition Arts
Roderic Southall (returning) – Obsidian Arts Center
Ginger Shulick Porcella – Franconia Sculpture Park

Tricia Heuring – Public Functionary
Denetrick Powers – Counterspace Gallery
Roderic Southall – Obsidian Arts Center
Dyani White Hawk Polk – Contemporary Native Artist and Curator
Christina Wiles – Flaten Art Museum at St. Olaf College
Keisha Williams – Minneapolis Institute of Art