Dana Sikkila
Arts Administration Lecture

“An Alternative way to be an Artistic Leader” is an educational and entertaining lecture held by Mankato Minnesota Artist, Educator, and Administrator Dana Sikkila. Over the course of six years Sikkila has created, developed, and sustained a hands-on creative community throughout areas of southern Minnesota, connecting youth, universities, and community members into the arts to work together. With her hands-on approach to arts administration, Sikkila has created creative networks that branch over many fields, making the arts accessible to all. This balance of working with artists, organizations, businesses, and government has caught the eyes of many, but Sikkila still keeps to her grassroots style of administration, giving priority to the artists. This lecture tells about projects and programming she has developed and organized, examples include biking across Minnesota to connect artists, leading puppet making marches, and building mentor programs in which youth connect directly to artists. Through her own art space, the 410 Project, which is volunteer-managed, she proves that an artist-run space can sustain itself alongside million dollar organizations and one person can truly make one big wave.
This talk gives you a great insight to Sikkila's viewpoints of how art, artists, and communities can create together and how sometimes we all have to get dirty for the greater good of our communities.
About Dana
Litchfield, MN native Dana Sikkila received her Master of Arts as well as her Non Profit Leadership Certificate from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Still based in Mankato she concentrates on making her art work as well as being Executive Director of the 410 Project Art Gallery, a volunteer managed art space bring arts and arts programing to the Mankato community as well holding an arts adjunct professor position at MNSU, Mankato. Since 2014 Sikkila has served as a board member for the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council as well as a Grant Review Panelist and Artistic Evaluator for the Minnesota State Arts Board.
In 2015 Sikkila was voted by Minnesota Monthly Magazine as one of Minnesota's Up and Coming Artist under the age of 30. Her art work combines printmaking, sculpture, and performance with an impressively anarchic sense of scale and playfulness. Over the past three years of being Director of the 410 Project she's introduced numerous art programs and special events for both children and adults to help strike creativity, positive self esteem, and art awareness in all of Southern Minnesota. Besides these duties Sikkila has received numerous awards including Mankato Free Press 2016 “Outstanding Woman in Business”, 2015-2016 Art Educators of Minnesota "Distinguished Service Outside the Field" Recognition, 2015 Mankato's YWCA Young Woman of Distinction, 2015 Woman of Courage and Vision from MNSU Mankato, featured artist on Post Cards, Pioneer's PBS Art TV Program, and KEYC's Jefferson Good Person Award.