show up. do good work. make life interesting.
My name is Carl Atiya Swanson.
I'm a creator; a performer, writer and artist. I've been doing it since I was old enough to walk, and growing up in places like Cairo, Egypt and Rome, Italy (missionary kid) meant I grew up around art, architecture, culture and history. When my family moved to Saint Paul, Minnesota I kept on going and wound up with a B.A. in Studio Art from the University of Southern California. Now I just keep on making. I moved back to Minneapolis, Minnesota and brave the winters here so I can make work with collaborators like Umbrella Collective and others in this buzzing arts community.
I also work in organizations, as an administrator, connector and planner. I am the Associate Director at Springboard for the Arts, an economic and community development organization by and for artists, based in Saint Paul and Fergus Falls, Minnesota. I have an MBA from the University of St. Thomas, have served on the board of directors of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network - Twin Cities and am currently on the board of Dissonance, an advocacy organization for mental and physical wellness in creativity,
This is where I get joy - from projects that bring people together, create beauty and connections, and try to make the world better, more interesting. Joy also comes from biking like I'm still a kid, cooking with fresh vegetables, cheering on soccer teams far and wide and of course, my wife and sons.
In all things, I'm game for new collaborations and ideas. Here you'll find a collection of performance, written, visual and consulting works, as a general portfolio and snapshot of a life at work. Be in touch, let's do something interesting.