Celebrating Outstanding Alumni Awardee Kelley Lindquist

Alum Kelley Lindquist smiles during the Outstanding Achievement Award event
Kelley Lindquist poses next to John Coleman, dean of the College of Liberal Arts.
President Joan T.A. Gabel and Kelley Lindquist engaged in conversation.

A celebration two years in the making - on Friday, October 27, friends, alumni, faculty, and staff gathered to honor Kelley Lindquist 2020 recipient of the University of Minnesota's Outstanding Achievement Award. This award is conferred on graduates or former students of the University who have attained unusual distinction in their chosen fields or professions or in public service, and who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and leadership on a community, state, national, or international level.

Lindquist graduated from CLA with a BA in history and subsequently joined Artspace as its only employee, a career move that would ultimately change his life and the lives of many others for decades to come. Under his leadership, the nonprofit real estate development enterprise blossomed into a $20 million organization with 70 employees. Today, the nonprofit provides affordable housing and workspace to nearly 2,000 artists and oversees projects in operation or development in more than 24 states across the nation. Artspace aims to demonstrate the impacts of the arts on communities and economies, on individual and collective wellbeing, in urban and rural settings alike, enhancing and enriching a variety of inclusive, creative communities.

During the event, John Coleman, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, described Lindquist as a visionary leader. "Kelley provides artists with the stability they need to contribute to the health and prosperity of their communities," Coleman said. "He is a tireless relationship-builder who has engaged with developers, funders, and artists to champion culturally distinct and diverse artists and communities, and he's a tenacious advocate for community revitalization and historic and cultural preservation."

The program also included community reflections from Dipankar Mukherjee, artistic director at Pangea World Theater; Osh Ghanimah, founder and president at Broadway for All; and Peggy Lucas, University of Minnesota Regent Emerita. President Joan T.A. Gabel and Regent Tadd Johnson presented and conferred the award.

For the sake of artistically enriched communities 

Read about Kelley Lindquist and his driving vision

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