January 10, 2017

Tisidra Jones Named Operations & Policy Director for Intermedia Arts' Creative Leadership Department
(Minneapolis, MN – Jan 10, 2017) – Intermedia Arts today announced the selection of Tisidra Jones as the organization’s new Operations and Policy Director for their Creative Leadership Department. She comes to Intermedia from the City of Saint Paul’s Human Rights & Equal Economic Opportunity Department, where she served as Manager of Business Inclusion & Business Compliance for the past three years.
As Intermedia’s Operations & Policy Director, Jones will work to establish and implement infrastructure for and lead the operations of the Creative Leadership Programs – Creative CityMaking and the Creative Community Leadership Institue – which provide leadership training and support for changemakers working at the intersection of community change and the arts.

“Tisidra brings a wellspring of experience to this leadership position, and I am thrilled to welcome her to Intermedia Arts," said Executive Director Eyenga Bokamba. "Given her extensive experience implementing major equity initiatives, her legal expertise, and her commitment to and passion for the arts, I believe she is positioned to elevate the work of  the Creative Leadership team to new heights."  
Tisidra Jones’ passion is pursuing social justice from the intersection of creativity (both art and entrepreneurship), law, and education. As an entrepreneur, lawyer, and former performing arts educator, these sectors are important to her and allow her to relate to the populations she serves.
About Intermedia Arts
Intermedia Arts invests in changemaking artists, cross-sector partnerships, and unique arts- based approaches to build more capable, healthy and equitable communities. Grounded in the belief that community-engaged artist-activists are the most powerful asset and resource for building a better world, Intermedia provides the opportunities, tools and support they need to make lasting change. The organization’s work is done in three core areas of programming: creative leadership, youth development, and arts-based civic engagement. Intermedia Arts is located on Lyndale Avenue in Minneapolis at the intersection of four vibrant urban neighborhoods.

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A Brief Q&A with Tisidra Jones
1. What attracted you to Intermedia Arts?

When I first moved to Minnesota in 2009, the first thing I sought out was an arts organization where I could be engaged. I kept googling different combinations of things I loved, like "art and advocacy" "art and youth" "art and community". Intermedia Arts kept appearing at the top of the search results. Intermedia Arts was the first local organization I engaged with as a volunteer and I have been working with Intermedia Arts in various capacities ever since. The people and the work reminded me of home.
2. Why is art important?
I believe that art is a powerful tool. Coming from a music and theater background, I believe it can create a space where people have a shared experience. Whether decades ago or today, art can bring people from all backgrounds together in ways, from my experience, not many other things can. The beauty of bringing people together like that in such spaces is that it has the potential to create the beginnings of recognizing that perhaps we are not so vastly different. In a space where people can recognize commonality and acknowledge our similarities, perhaps that space is a space where critical dialogues can also begin.
3. What drives your work?
A desire to help people. When I was a child, I was obsessed with understanding the concept of "us and them" in all communities and struggled with reconciling the fact that there are some fundamental similarities for all human beings - we all love; we all want to be loved; no parents want their child to be harmed; and so on. In studying sociology, I learned that in creating a sense of "otherness" or the "them" in people, it is easier to harm them. Easier to dismiss them. So, I concluded that I wanted to be an artist, educator, and lawyer. If I were an artist I could create spaces that brought people together and perhaps people could find common ground. Then, if I were an educator, once people were sharing space, I could help to teach them things that might help bring more people together or positively impact a negative perspective. Lastly, for the spaces where the concept of "them" created discrimination, as a lawyer I could fight against that. The intersection between these three sectors is where I work.
4. What do you look forward to in terms of joining this organization?
I absolutely love Intermedia Arts. Truly, I am looking forward to being a part of the Intermedia Arts team. I believe in the mission. I respect its community focus. I have also worked with a number of the fantastic people in the organization over the years and I am excited to work more closely with them. The work that Intermedia Arts is doing in terms of cross sector work and through Creative CityMaking is wonderful and I feel very privileged to have an opportunity to join the team at this time and assist in the growth of this work.