Arts Midwest is thrilled to welcome Christina Woods and Joe Williams to our Board of Directors.
“I am so excited that Christina and Joe will be joining us as Board members,” said Brian Tiemann, Board Chair. “They bring valuable perspectives and experiences that will aid the Board as we help Arts Midwest achieve its mission.”
“Christina and Joe are great additions to our Board,” said President & CEO Torrie Allen. “I am looking forward to working with them and hearing their ideas as we continue to support, inform, and celebrate Midwestern creativity.”
Executive Director with 35 years of leadership experience, Christina brings an extensive range of non-profit experience as a board member, executive director, and business leader. Utilizing an Anishinaabe and community leadership lens, Christina appreciates the breadth of human experiences. She enthusiastically leads the vision of the Duluth Art Institute as its first Anishinaabe leader. Her focus on advocacy and service is rooted in inclusivity and decolonization. Christina thoughtfully serves our community with a vision to the future. Currently reappointed, Christina serves on the State of MN Capitol Arts Exhibitions Committee, is President of the Duluth Public Arts Commission, served on the State of MN CAAPB Task force on Monuments and Statues, and sits on the Minnesota State Arts Board. Christina is also on the U.S. Senate Curatorial Advisory Board representing the Midwest. She was awarded an AARP 50 over 50 most influential people in MN award as a bias buster. She lives in Mesaabikong (Duluth, MN) with her acknowledged home in Onaminii-zaga-iganig (the Bois Forte Nation in Northern MN).
“My passion for art leads an ever-evolving exploration of lived experiences,” said Christina. “The nuanced interplays of concept and profound narratives embedded in art drives my love for art as a constant source of inspiration and personal growth.”
Joe Williams (Waȟpéthuŋwaŋ Dakota from the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate/Lake Traverse Reservation in South Dakota) is currently the Director of the Native American Programs at the Plains Art Museum in Fargo, North Dakota. Joe has a Master of Fine Arts degree in Visual Effects from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, and a Bachelor of Arts in American Indian Studies from the University of South Dakota.
Joe is an artist, having conducted 18 murals over 20 years and a storyboard artist working in the digital medium. He has worked with Native American youth for the majority of his working life to date, in the social context as well as in the art field. From 1993 to 2007 he was part of the Oscar Howe Summer Art Institute (OHSAI), first as student and then staff, which taught art to Native American high school students. He currently directs the Northern Plains Summer Art Institute, a summer program inspired by his work with USD that is staffed by former OHSAI staff. He is also the host of the podcast “5 Plain Questions,” a podcast that interviews Native American Indigenous creatives and change makers. The podcast is concluding its fourth season.
Previous to his current position, Joe also served in the Army National Guard for 20 years, deploying three times overseas in service to his country. His last 10 years in the military service, he was a Civil Affairs soldier, which dedicated much of his time to problem solving social issues to assist in the well-being of civilians.
“I’m truly honored to have been selected as a board member,” said Joe. “I look forward to contributing to this fantastic organization.”