“My Thai-ness or sense of Thai identity is not up for anyone else to quantify based on how white I seem.”
Tricia Heuring talks about being "racially ambiguous" and "automatically American." She shares her culture shock from arriving in the US at 18 having learned about her own American culture largely through television and American cultural items she had access to growing up in Egypt, Thailand, and Saudi Arabia. And Tricia shares how her lived experiences have given her a unique perspective as a curator and community organizer.
Tricia Heuring is a curator, arts organizer, and educator living in Minneapolis. A mixed-race, multi-cultural American, she was born in Thailand and spent formidable years in Hawaii, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. While setting down roots in the Twin Cities over the past 15 + years, she’s instigated various platforms for cultural production and creative communities. Since finding her forte in visual art, she has become an advocate for curatorial practices that re-frame the role of the gatekeeper to instead, facilitate equity and inclusivity in the art world.
She practices this philosophy at Public Functionary, a Northeast Minneapolis based alternative art space she co-founded in 2012. Public Functionary has been called “a fantastic gift to a great art city” by New York Magazine’s senior art critic, Jerry Saltz and “a beacon of hope for the local indie art scene” by the Star Tribune. Heuring holds a B.A from Macalester College and an M.A. from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota. She currently teaches arts leaders as an adjunct in the arts management graduate program at St. Mary’s. Heuring serves on board of the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council and was recognized with a “40 under 40” award from the Twin Cities Business Journal.
This episode features Ashley Fairbanks talking about growing up poor, being Anishinaabe and whether or not there’s a right way to be native. Ashley talks about the relationship between art and activism and she shares where her confidence comes from.
Ashley Fairbanks is an Anishinaabe artist, organizer, and digital strategist. As an interdisciplinary designer, Ashley works with a cohort of artists that do racial justice popular education and organizing, seeking ways to creatively innovate social-change work. She's a founding member and artistic director of the ROVE project, a united effort of Rhymesayers Entertainment, community organizers, and artists utilizing hip hop to impact our electoral process.