Brian Burke – President
Brian currently serves as the President of the NEMAA Board of Directors, and has volunteered with the board since 2017. A former Northeast resident and long-time fan of Art-A-Whirl, he believes that fostering interpersonal connections is central to NEMAA’s mission of powering an equitable and prosperous creative community that celebrates Northeast Minneapolis. In his day job, Brian works downtown as a corporate partner at Dorsey & Whitney LLP handling mergers and acquisitions. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife Jenn and their three children, and in their free time they enjoy exploring all Minneapolis has to offer (in particular pizza and ice cream shops).
Krista Marino – Vice President
Krista is a ceramic artist, a high school arts teacher at Edison High School in Northeast Minneapolis, and one of the organizers of the Empty Bowls NE community event. She is very passionate about helping to create connections between her students, local artists and the community. Krista’s goal while serving on the NEMAA board is to support growing opportunities for emerging artists.
Kenosha Davenport – Treasurer
Alabama native, Kenosha Davenport believes in a strong work ethic and is dedicated to serving others. Kenosha is the Executive Director of the Sexual Violence Center (SVC) serving Carver, Hennepin, and Scott Counties. She currently directs a staff of 17. She is responsible for the overall agency direction, fundraising, fiscal oversight, programmatic oversight and managing external relationships and collaboration. Kenosha moved to Minnesota almost 2 years ago with her daughter, Brileigh Jean. Her son, Kylar, is in his fourth year of college at the University of Alabama- ROLL TIDE and his twin, Kaylar, who attends Bluefield State. In her spare time, Kenosha makes sure she is experiencing all Minnesota has to offer and exploring the more than 10,000 lakes of Minnesota.
Robert Kasak – Secretary
Robert Kasak is the owner and co-founder of 612Brew, a craft brewery in Northeast Minneapolis. During his time at 612Brew, he has led a team of more than 20 employees by overseeing daily sales and operations. Before this role, Robert worked for several Fortune 500 companies in downtown Minneapolis where he acted as a Strategic Sourcing and Procurement Manager. Robert holds a bachelor’s degree in management and leadership from Concordia University where he graduated suma cum laude. A NEMAA board member since 2018, Robert works to engage with other local NE Mpls businesses and acts as the pulse of the business community for the board.
Don is a painter and printmaker who toils evenings and weekends in his basement studio in Richfield. By day, he works as a communications director for GREATER MSP. He spent the previous decade as co-founder of the Twin Cities’ first co-working space. A former Northeast resident, Don remains in love with the neighborhood and its art community and wants to make sure NE artists prosper for years to come.
Meg Erke is a 2D mixed media artist working with gouache and watercolor collage. Her work is inspired by the natural world and the accessibility of outdoor spaces in the Minneapolis metro. Meg is a life long educator, first working in middle schools and high schools as an art teacher and now as an arts integration advocate and a teaching artist. Meg’s goal while serving on NEMAA’s board is to help artists understand and use the resources available to them through their membership and help build community for artist without studio space in Northeast.
Sarah Gillund is a Northeast resident and graphic designer. She currently works at the Minneapolis Foundation as their Design and Digital Media Manager. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2018, Sarah spent almost a decade working in nonprofits, most recently as Youth Frontiers’ Communications and Marketing Manager. She is a graduate of both Augsburg University and the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. In her free time, she enjoys traveling with her husband, connecting with friends and family, and playing with her corgi, Mose.
Amira Freidson has worked with artists for the last 7 years, managing and advising on the business end of the art world. She is local to Minnesota, and was born and raised here. She’s lived across the country, including San Diego, where she attended and graduated law school. Amira runs A.M.F. Artist Business Management Services, and A.M.F. Gallery at the Northrup King Building.
Anna Palmquist is a practicing Northeast artist and the owner of Anna: Stargirl Art. She is a mixed media artist, photographer, designer, and writer with an MFA in Creative Writing from Hamline University. She is also the Marketing Manager for a small resort business. Anna serves on the NEMAA Board because she believes in the power of a unified group of artist members and artist supporters working together toward common aspirations. We are stronger together then we are as individuals. Off the clock, she can be found practicing yoga, cycling, swing trading, researching real-estate opportunities, restoring old houses, or hanging with her friends, husband, and three wacky cats at their home in Northeast and her family farm in Wisconsin.
Suyao Tian is an artist, designer, and owner of Viewpoint gallery and outerwear company Modern Cover™. She studied and taught Music Education in China before moving to the US in 2011 to study art & design. She holds a BA in Fine Art from the University Central Arkansas and an MFA in Design and Branding Identity from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Her paintings have been featured in numerous group and solo exhibitions, along with curating multiple group shows across the country. While curating, painting, running the gallery and Modern Cover™, and raising her son, she continues to be a strong and active member across organizations within the art and creative communities of the Twin Cities. She currently also serves on the Executive Board of Art Buddies, and is passionately engaged with multiple galleries and organizations across the state.
Patti is the development director at the Cedar Cultural Center. She has recently been development coordinator with Rainbow Health, and was previously the development director for the MN Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations for 6 years. She has volunteered with nonprofit community radio station KFAI since 1986 as a DJ and in many other roles, including a stint on its board of directors for 4 years, 2 of them as elected board president. She haunts the KFAI airwaves occasionally with music from her collection which is usually only ok for post-midnight listening. She has also served on the board of the Vine Arts Center and Articulture. She is thrilled to now be able to serve on NEMAA’s board and is eager to roll up her sleeves and get to work to help this remarkable organization thrive and meet its mission and goals.