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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.
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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.

Nicole Thomas
Design and Communications Manager

Nicole Thomas (she/they) is an artist, educator, and independent curator. Since receiving a BFA in Photography from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, she has managed art industry platforms for over five years. Nicole builds community through dynamic, digital spaces including live streams, interviews, and open conversations. Previous design projects include exhibition catalogues at City Wide Artists and critical review publications for The Soap Factory. She helped establish Waiting Room’s social media platforms and currently manages MPLSART.
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Nicole Thomas facing forward with a smile. Her hair is black and straight. She is wearing a black tank top.

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Advisory Committee

ECI programming is guided by an Advisory Committee. Past and current Committee 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