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Eyenga Bokamba, Intermedia Arts Executive Director

As Intermedia’s Executive Director, Eyenga Bokamba will provide leadership to advance the organization’s mission to be a catalyst that builds understanding among people through art and will serve as chief development and fundraising officer. She also will manage finances, oversee the stability and growth of programs and community partnerships, and drive the organization’s focus on equity and inclusion.

“Eyenga represents a rare combination of artistic excellence and administrative leadership,” said Intermedia board chair Andrea Jenkins. “With extensive experience educating young people, incredible artistic talent, and demonstrated community leadership, she is poised to elevate Intermedia to new heights.”

Mayor Chris Coleman appointed Bokamba in 2013 to serve as Executive Director of Sprockets, whose mission is to improve the quality, availability and effectiveness of out-of-school-time learning for youth in St. Paul through committed, collaborative and innovative efforts of community organizations, government, schools and other partners. Through 42 partner organizations, Sprockets served more than 20,000 youth last year.

Bokamba is a 2006 recipient of a Bush Leadership Fellowship and is a practicing visual artist who is most drawn to abstraction as a means of expressing her perceptions of complex realities. Her large-scale paintings using calligrapher's ink, acrylic and mixed media create compositions of layered translucence. In her latest work, the abstract figure emerges, giving rise to a new visual language of gesture and movement. Bokamba was inducted into the National Association of Women Artists in 2011 in recognition of the high caliber of her work. She earned her undergraduate degree and teaching certification from the University of Minnesota and a graduate degree from Harvard University.

“I have long respected the inclusive, ambitious and vital work of Intermedia Arts,” said Bokamba. “This position offers a rare opportunity to work in an integrated capacity as a leader and an artist, melding my two great passions: art and democratic participation.”

 

A Brief Q&A with Eyenga Bokamba

What attracted you to Intermedia Arts?

It is inclusive, ambitious, and energizing. I believe I can meld my two great passions here: my own artistic production as well as the production of other artists, and my enduring passion for creating spaces for democratic participation.

Why is art important?

Art has changed my life in too many ways to count. Art gives me a lens from which to view the world and a framework from which to function. Art for me is both product and process, solitary yet deeply collective, ever changing and rapid-paced yet sometimes glacial in its revelatory power. Art has given me insight into humanity. My hope is that the arts continue to provide us with experiences that are astonishing and transformative.

What drives your work?

The core values that are most important to me in my workplace are a deep respect for human capacity, an expectation of excellence as driven by an internal sense of justice and fairness, and a sense of fluidity in relationship to the future. I see Intermedia Arts as possessing these values and I appreciate the fact that Intermedia Arts mirrors my civic commitment to expansive possibilities.

What do you look forward to in terms of leading this organization?

I look forward to serving in a leadership role as a practicing artist and by engaging the community in my leadership and decision-making processes. I look forward to to walking lightly into the conversation, with my pen in hand and heart open. I’m honored to join the ongoing discussion about this transformational work.”