Mr. Carl A. Swanson
Carl Atiya Swanson is a creative with an MBA, a strategic facilitator, an omnivorous arts-maker, and a practical optimist. His mission is to facilitate and support projects that bring people together, create beauty and connections, and make the world better.
Swanson currently works as Associate Director at Springboard for the Arts, a national leader in artists resources and artist-led community development. He manages projects across Springboard's program areas, leads development and partnerships, and launched Creative Exchange, a national hub for stories and toolkits for artists and organizations to solve local challenges and create new opportunities. Since the launch in 2014, over 8,000 toolkits have been downloaded from Creative Exchange, facilitating artist-led projects, business skills development, and creative placemaking projects. He has presented on arts leadership, creative placemaking, and community engagement for Americans for the Arts, the Delta Regional Authority, IdeaLab, the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits and others.
Swanson previously worked at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and founded Crown & Sparrow, a boutique communications consulting firm specializing in work with artists. He is a theatermaker and has served on the boards of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network - Twin Cities, and Dissonance, advocating for mental health and wellness in creativity. His writing on arts and culture has been featured in In Studio Magazine, Spin, City Pages, The Onion's A.V. Club, mnartists.org, and other outlets. Swanson holds a BA in Studio Art from the University of Southern California and an MBA from the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business.