Intermedia Arts, a south Minneapolis youth-and-community-arts organization, has named St. Paul artist-educator Eyenga Bokamba as its new Executive Director starting February 1.
She follows Theresa Sweetland who departed in 2015 to be director of development and external relations at the Minnesota Museum of American Art in St. Paul. Intermedia's interim director, Julie Bates MacGillis, will stay on as Associate Director.
Besides leading Intermedia, Bokamba is expected to do double duty as the organization's chief development and fund raising officer, and to manage finances, grow programs and develop community partnerships.
Bokamba, 47, said the new job would meld her "two great passions: art and democratic participation."
For the past two years Bokamba has been executive director of Sprockets, an out-of-school-time educational network in St. Paul. Sprockets coordinates 42 partners -- including schools, government and community organizations-- that are attempting to improve and expand non-school learning opportunities for St. Paul kids. She led Sprockets' participation in two national pilot programs focused on sustaining educational progress over the summer and in after-school hours.
Prior to Sprockets, she managed youth programs at Pillsbury House, an arts-integrated social service agency where she focused on programming for kids in grades K-8.
A 2006 recipient of a Bush Leadership Fellowship, Bokamba is also a visual artist known for her abstract, calligraphic paintings. She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and taught language arts in the Hopkins School District for 13 years.
Located in a graffiti-splashed storefront at 2822 Lyndale Av. in south Minneapolis, Intermedia is a multi-cultural community center that serves as an incubator of young and developing talent. Committed to "arts-based civic engagement," it provides exhibition and performance space for diverse populations including Somali, Hmong, Hispanic, African-American and other neighborhood communities. It has a $1.5 million annual budget,11 full time staff members and a dozen part time employees.