Forecast Names Five Consulting Associates

Five consulting associates will join Forecast in 2019 to work intensively on a variety of public art initiatives. All five associates were participants in GroundWork, a program designed by Forecast to support the work of consultants of color in the fields of public art, community-engaged design and place-based development.

Through six-month-long paid positions, Forecast’s consulting associates will participate extensively in a variety of efforts, including commissioning and curating projects, facilitating master planning activities, developing and leading training programs, and creating content for Forecast’s soon-to-launch online learning platform.

The five consulting associates are:

  • Tricia Heuring
  • Hawona Sullivan Janzen
  • Aki Shibata
  • Candida Gonzalez
  • Witt Siasoco

“People of color are underrepresented in key consulting roles, leadership positions and decision-making roles in the public art and placemaking fields,” said Theresa Sweetland, executive director of Forecast. “This is not acceptable or equitable. As a leader in the field, we are committed to changing this picture. Our GroundWork initiative is an intentional step forward in supporting consultants of color within the field of public art.”

Forecast launched GroundWork in fall 2018 with the express intention of building new and deepening existing relationships with arts professionals of color in the field of public art and public art consulting. The new initiative brought 34 new, emerging, and experienced arts professionals together with Forecast staff and more than 25 guest presenters to share skills, tools, and expertise, and to support next steps in these practitioners’ practices in the public art field. GroundWork was supported by an Arts Access grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board.


Tricia Heuring is a Thai American curator, arts organizer, and educator. She is the co-founder of Public Functionary, a Northeast Minneapolis exhibition space, where she is building a curatorial practice and community platform focused on experimentation, equity and inclusion. She is an adjunct at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and the University of Minnesota. She currently serves as the Board Chair of the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council. As a consulting associate, she will work with Forecast on a variety of public art commissioning projects, including ones for the City of St. Louis Park, Pentagon Village in Edina, and Anoka County Centennial Library.

Hawona Sullivan Janzen is a multi-disciplinary artist who seeks ways to bring people together through the arts, in positions as diverse as gallery curator at University of Minnesota, coordinator of the Literary Witnesses poetry reading series, and improvisational jazz singer with the Sonoglyph Collective. She is currently at work on two public art projects: the Dale Street Bridge Project over I-94 and the Rondo Family Reunion, a public art lawn sign installation. As a consulting associate, she will work with Forecast on a strategic assessment of public programming for Hennepin Theatre Trust.

Aki Shibata is a behavioral artist from Tokyo, Japan, now creating art in St. Paul. She develops intersections for people in public spaces to discover their authentic self and nurture compassion for all. Her work focuses on finding a sense of belonging. As a consulting associate, she will work with Forecast on the launch of its new online learning platform, Forecast.ED.

Candida Gonzalez, a Puerto Rican native of South Minneapolis, is passionate about education, community engagement through the arts and equitable arts access. She approaches her work by centering at the intersection of art, activism, healing and personal/community empowerment. She is deeply invested in the concept of using art and community design as tools to wage love and healing. As a consulting associate, she will work with Forecast on Making It Public workshops around the country.

Witt Siasoco has been actively engaged at the intersection of the arts and civic process for more than 20 years. He was selected by the City of Minneapolis as a Creative Citymaking artist and received a grant for a year-long residency with the City of Richfield. His collaboration with poet Molly Van Avery and Poetry for People “This Home is Not for Sale” was an Americans for the Arts’ Public Art Award recipient. As a consulting associate, he will work with Forecast on a beautification and public art plan for the City of Brooklyn Center.


This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.