Lana Aylesworth (Ward 11) is an arts enthusiast who visited Minneapolis 15 years ago 'to see a few plays for a few days' and never left. She has spent ten years working in external relations for non-profit theater focusing on ticket accessibility and creating welcoming spaces. She holds BAs from Western Michigan University in Theater Performance and Playwriting and has contributed locally as an actor, playwright, and reader of new work. With the aim to increase arts awareness and involvement on a neighborhood level, she believes transformation through the arts is best achieved by creating accessibility for all. Happiness is taking a nature walk around south Minneapolis or exploring a museum with her partner and two kids. She also likes talking to strangers so come say hello if you see her at a show.
Mandi Bedbury (Ward 3) has been performing as a Dancer and Actor in New York City and Minneapolis for two decades. She started her career teaching dance at North High School in Minneapolis before moving to New York to Dance and Act for the next 14 years. While in New York City she was a backup dancer for Nancy Sinatra in Little Stevie’s Underground Music Festival, could be seen in 1966 (A night at the Whiskey-GoGo), Treasure Island (Manhattan Children’s Theater), and danced with the Notes in Motion Dance Company. In 2006 she transitioned into acting- credits include; Law and Order SVU, Across the Universe, Blood Son, Love Taxi as well as numerous web sketches and commercial work. Mandi has been an improv artist for the past decade performing sketch and improv in Minneapolis and New York City. She’s had the great pleasure of performing with such artists as Holly Mandel, Radhika Vaz, and Kristin Wig. She is currently performing with the troupe Crumplestiltskin. When Mandi isn’t performing improv, she is a Project Manager (PMP) for Zurich Insurance and facilitates Improv as a professional development tool to corporations across the country.
Crystal Brinkman (Ward 9) is a multidisciplinary artist living in the Midtown Phillips neighborhood of Minneapolis. Originally from San Diego, she moved to Duluth in high school and has been rooted in MN ever since. Crystal is the executive director of Kulture Klub Collaborative, a nonprofit arts organization engaging art and artistic practice to provide enriching multidisciplinary opportunities for youth experiencing homelessness and artists to grow individually and to transform community. As an experienced youth worker, she is committed to creating change and opportunity for young people. As a long-time performing artist and musician, Crystal knows that art heals and can bring people together in meaningful ways.
David Smith (Ward 1) was raised with an artist and teacher for a father, so his creativity and love of art was nurtured from a young age. He enjoys learning about, and trying his hand at, all kinds of things, exploring 3D printing, digital art, print making, glass blowing and neon bending. He is employed as a Mechanical Design Engineer with Sleep Number. A lifelong Minneapolis resident, David is a homeowner in Northeast Minneapolis near the Arts District. In his free time, he enjoys working on his house, brewing beer, tending a large vegetable garden, and landscaping his yard with native plants and wildflowers.
Jeffrey Swinton (Ward 7) is a Sales/Marketing Executive with over 30 years’ experience with global companies including (Schwan’s, PepsiCo, Wendy’s International, etc.). Jeff was born in NY and he received his BS at the University of Houston and MBA at the University of Texas- Austin. He and his family moved to Minneapolis in 2015. Throughout his professional career, Jeff has built strong strategic alliances and developed lasting business partnerships. Jeff has a passion for the arts and is an avid collector of visual arts from the African Diaspora. He is currently on the Walker Art Center’s Education Council that works closely with the Twin Cities community to share a passion for arts access and education. Jeff is also Vice Chairman of the Monitors Foundation, a grant making philanthropic organization that focuses on Black youth in the Twin Cities. Lastly, Jeff is a proud member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, a Black Greek Letter Organization founded at Howard University in 1911 devoted to community service.
Lucy Thompson (Ward 10)spent 31 years as a Principal Planner with the City of Saint Paul, where she worked on several public art initiatives: updating the City’s Public Art Ordinance, working with key City departments to implement the ordinance, selecting public artists for City infrastructure and City financed development projects, and selecting and managing planning consultant teams with a public artist as a team member. She believes in the power of public art to express and celebrate community identity, revitalize neighborhoods, engage residents in meaningful discourse, reveal pain and bring joy. Lucy is interested in creating opportunities for artists of color throughout the city, especially in communities that are neglected or under-represented.