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Faculty and Advising

Our faculty members come from a range of artistic backgrounds and cultural organizations. Their commonality lies in their passion, dedication, and insider knowledge of the industry. They are eager to connect students to valuable, concrete opportunities.

Director of Graduate Studies

Tom Borrup

Tom Borrup

Tom Borrup is the principal and consultant with Creative Community Builders in Minneapolis, and works with cities, foundations, and nonprofits across the US on leveraging cultural and creative assets for community revitalization and change. He served as executive director of Intermedia Arts from 1980 to 2002. His doctoral research and dissertation addressed the role of organizational and social networks in the planning and ongoing management of cultural districts. He holds a PhD in Leadership and Change from Antioch University.



Dawn Bentley

Dawn Bentley serves as Executive Director of Minnesota Fringe, connecting adventurous artists to adventurous audiences by creating open, supportive forums for free and diverse artistic expression. She spent more than 15 years working as a business development and strategic management consultant. Her focus is leading organizations through business model transitions to ensure sustainable operations. She has played violin for over 30 years in various ensembles from rock bands to professional orchestras. Bentley holds an MBA, Masters of Nonprofit Management, and BA from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN, and currently instructs Financial Management for Arts Nonprofits.

Susan Campion

Susan is an entrepreneur focused on improving business and entrepreneurship, and facilitating connections and collaborations between artists, businesses, and communities. She is cofounder and CEO of Giant Steps, which links entrepreneurs and artistic communities around the world, and of Camponovo Consulting, which helps organizations improve their results and increase their impact. She worked for 3M for 12 years, including management positions in Italy, France, and Germany. Susan has been a speaker at the Salone Gamma Donna in Italy, Women’s International Networking Conference in the Czech Republic, University of Minnesota’s Women’s Leadership Conference, The National Society of Hispanic MBAs, and more.

DeAnna Cummings

DeAnna is cofounder and CEO of Juxtaposition Arts (JXTA), dedicated to the community of North Minneapolis. JXTA combines art and design education with youth empowerment through learning, teaching, and employment in the arts. In addition to her work at JXTA, DeAnna worked as a program officer for the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council. Currently, she is the Board Vice Chair of the Bush Foundation where she has also served on the Minnesota Bush Prize Selection Panel. She co-chairs the HS Expanded Learning Action Team for the Northside Achievement Zone. In 2013, Minnesota Public Radio named her an Art Hero. DeAnna is a 2007 Bush Leadership Fellow.

Roger Cummings

Roger activates relationships between space and place through art, design, independent livelihood, and collective social enterprise. He aims to create works of art in public and private spaces that have personal and impersonal uses, in the hope of enlivening meaningful human interactions. Urban architecture, design, and planning inform his work, which has taken the form of large-scale sculptures, pocket parks, and functional enhancements to public spaces. The functionality of Roger’s work aims to incite in urban citizens a lens through which they are able to see themselves included, represented, and civically engaged in establishing the visual identities of their neighborhood.

Lisa Dejoras

Lisa is an accomplished professional in the nonprofit, public administration, and private sectors. In her legal career, she was selected for the Minnesota Super Lawyer list in multiple years and practiced as an AV-rated law firm partner. Currently she works for the Minnesota Department of Transportation, where she advances agency resource management practices. She is currently a board member at Youth Performance Company, a two-time Ivey-recognized youth theater. Lisa’s academic pursuits include work for the Journal of Public Affairs Education and teaching continuing law education courses. Her interests include analysis and synthesis in complex cases and equity and social justice topics.

Gwendolyn Freed

Gwendolyn Freed is Chief Development Officer at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Previously she was a vice president at Cornish College of the Arts and Gustavus Adolphus College. She has taught classes at the University of Washington and the University of Minnesota, and written articles for the Wall Street Journal, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. She holds a PhD and MPA from the University of Minnesota, and degrees from The Juilliard School and Oberlin Conservatory.

Kiyoko Motoyama Sims

Kiyoko Motoyama Sims is currently the Co-Executive Director at the Tembo Project. She has over 25 years of experience as a theatre instructor, director, and arts administrator at various institutions including San Diego State University, Penumbra Theatre, Cultural Odyssey, Walker Art Center, and Children’s Theatre Company. Kiyoko has directed numerous plays, taught and managed sundry arts education programs for pre-K through college students and educators. Her curriculum expertise includes Critical Literacy through Theatre Arts, Theatre for Social Change, Theatre for Early Childhood Education, and Culturally Relevant Pedagogy. She holds an MFA from San Diego State University and an MA from the University of Minnesota.

Meena Natarajan

Meena Natarajan is a playwright and director and the Artistic and Executive Director of Pangea World Theater, a progressive, international ensemble space that creates at the intersection of art, equity, and social justice. Meena has co-curated and designed many of Pangea World Theater’s professional and community-based programs. She serves on the boards of the Consortium of Asian American Theatres and Artists and the newly formed Longfellow Rising. She has written at least ten full-length works for Pangea, ranging from adaptations of poetry and mythology to original works dealing with war, spirituality, personal and collective memory. Meena was awarded the 2013 Visionary Award for mid-career leaders from the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits.

David O'Fallon

PhD, Theatre and Community, The Union Graduate Institute; honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, St. John's University

David brings decades of experience developing innovating cultural and educational programs while advocating for change and for public and private resources. He served as director of arts education for the National Endowment for the Arts, then as staff director of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. David was head of the Perpich Center, then president of the MacPhail Center for Music. He joined the Minnesota Humanities Center in 2010 as president and CEO, where he developed and directed programs working with educators, veterans, schools, and communities statewide to create more engaging and meaningful learning experiences for all students. He retired in 2019.

Anne Jin Soo Preston

MPS in Arts and Cultural Leadership, University of Minnesota

Anne has been a consultant to nonprofits, government agencies, and foundations. Her work focuses on board development, research, evaluation, and strategy. Anne's research and evaluation projects connect organizations to their constituencies and align strategy, programmatic goals, advocacy, and program outcomes. Her work has evaluated learning, relationship building, collaboration, and collective impact while focusing on diversity, equity, access, and inclusion. Anne is on the leadership team and works on strategy and the curriculum for Board Repair, an independent network organized by and for Native, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color to create a more effective nonprofit sector by increasing participation of people of color on boards and committees in the Twin Cities.

Laura Zabel

Laura Zabel is executive director of Springboard for the Arts, an economic and community development agency that provides programs that help artists make a living and a life, and connects communities to the creative power of artists. Their projects include: Community Supported Art (CSA); the Artists Access to Healthcare program; and Irrigate artist-led creative placemaking. A 2014 Bush Foundation Fellow, Laura has spoken at the Aspen Ideas Festival, the Urban Land Institute, and Americans for the Arts. She serves on the board of directors of the Center for Performance and Civic Practice and the Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers.


Margo Gray

Margo Gray

Margo has over a decade of experience in the nonprofit and arts communities and believes in building relationships between disciplines and demographics to create more equitable opportunities for learning and advancement. She has served as Director of Member Services at Donors Forum, where she led professional development programming and networking for grant makers. She is the founder of Playable Artworks, a sponsored project of Springboard for the Arts, chaired the Gender Equity Committee at the Chicago Storefront Summit, and has developed equity and sensitivity procedures. Margo holds a BA from Grinnell College and an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University, and she was a Fulbright Fellow at the Moscow Art Theatre School.