Erik Takeshita is passionate about supporting the development of stronger BIPOC (black, indigenous and people of color) and rural communities. He has 30 years of experience supporting community development with an emphasis on the role of art and culture in building stronger communities. Erik has worked from the neighborhood to the national level from a variety of different platforms. He is currently a Senior Fellow at ArtPlace America. Previously, he was Portfolio Director for Community Creativity at the Bush Foundation and worked at the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, one of the nation’s largest community development financial institutions (CDFIs), as a National Program Director and Deputy Director of the Twin Cities office. Erik also ran an arts center in Honolulu, HI and served a Senior Policy Aide to the Mayor of the City Minneapolis. Erik is currently a Trustee and Investment Committee member of the F.R. Bigelow Foundation. He is also on the Board of Directors for OF/BY/FOR ALL and the Northside Mezzanine Loan Fund. Erik holds a master’s degree from the Harvard Kennedy School, was trained as a ceramic artist and currently lives in Minneapolis with his wife and two daughters.