Who We Are

Vision

As a retreat center we envision nurturing artistic and spiritual development steeped in revolutionary principles and guided by relationship building between people and the land for healing.

Mission

To foster healing, learning, and connection for individuals, community and Earth centering BIPOC and LGBTQ+ artists, activists, and healers.

Modalities of Healing

Our programming aligns with four modalities of healing

Through the Body

culturally affirming retreats, movement and arts-based workshops

Through the Land

ecological stewardship, tending gardens, walking the labyrinth and woods

Through Stillness

resting in hermitages, guided meditations, breathing in fresh air, relaxing in the sauna

Through Water

kayaking, swimming, fishing, reflecting by Sacred Pond, soaking in the hot tub

Rootsprings CoOp Members

Alice Butts

Reservations + Land Administrator (Staff)

Alice Butts (she/her) is a visual and graphic artist from Brooklyn, NY and alumni of the School of Visual Arts. As a graphic designer, she invests in community centered projects to support well-being and connection. She is passionate about sharing Black pride through art and committed to develop user experiences that are inclusive of Black queer voices as a necessary disruption to the design world. As a founding member, Alice is thankful to be a part of the healing and development of Black, Indigenous, and people of color artists, activists, healers, and community centering LGBTQ people here at Rootsprings by greeting and hosting guests. For 20+ years, Alice has designed with several companies primarily in the music industry before focusing more directly on social impact. Her professional credits span industries and sectors to create imagery and designs that serve community and clients alike.

Photo Credit: Sarah Whiting

Signe Harriday

Board Treasurer

Signe Harriday (she/her) is a multidisciplinary artist and activist who uses theatre to explore our identities and relationships. She is a founding member of Million Artist Movement, a cooperative committed to Black liberation and healing. Signe has lived in and served many years on the Board of a limited equity housing coop. She is the Artistic Producing Director at Pillsbury House + Theatre in Minneapolis.

Zoe Hollomon

Zoe Hollomon (she/they) is a multi-racial black, queer, woman. She is the eldest of 3 siblings and comes from a long line of freedom fighters. Zoe was born in Duluth but grew up mainly in NY (Buffalo and NYC). Zoe has over 20 years experience organizing with grassroots organizations and cooperatives on the east coast and midwest and building organizations to influence decision-making in food, farming and health related policy. She is a co–founder and Coordination Team member of the Midwest Farmers of Color Collective, a network of BIPOC farmers and gardeners working for racial equity and food sovereignty in MN and the Midwest. She is very proud to be a founding coop member of Rootsprings and the Fields. Zoe also is the MN State Organizer for the Pesticide Action Network, where she supports grassroots BIPOC organizations to ban the most hazardous pesticides, fight industrial agriculture and build community food systems. Zoe received her B.S. in Urban & Regional Planning from Cornell University in 2001 and an M.S. from Southern New Hampshire University in Community Economic Development in 2007. Zoe is a visual artist and proud member of the Subversive Sirens, a MN based Synchronized Swimming team committed to black liberation, equity in aquatics, queer visibility and radical body acceptance.

Photo Credit: Nance Musinguzi/ Musinguzi Projects (@moosinguzi)

Erin Sharkey

Board President

Erin Sharkey (she/they) is a writer, abolition organizer, cultural worker, and film producer based in Minneapolis. She is the editor of A Darker Wilderness: Black Nature Writing from Soil to Stars (Milkweed Editions ’23). Erin is a founding coop member of the Fields at Rootsprings, a retreat and respite space in central MN, and co-founder, with Junauda Petrus, of an experimental arts collective called Free Black Dirt. She is the producer of film projects, including Sweetness of Wild, an episodic web film project, and Small Business Revolution, which explored challenges and opportunities for Black-owned businesses in the Twin Cities in the summer of 2021. Sharkey has received fellowships and residencies from the Loft Mentor Series, VONA/Voices, Givens Foundation, Penumbra Theatre, Coffee House Press, Bell Museum of Natural History, Black Visions, Headwaters Foundation, and Jerome Foundation. She has an MFA in creative writing from Hamline University and teaches with the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop.

Board of Directors

Queen Drea

Queen Drea (she/her) is an arts administrator, sound designer, composer, and recipient of the 2022 McKnight Foundation Composers Fellowship, 2021 Jerome Hill Artist Finalist, 2021 Zeitgeist Music Sounding Ground Fellow, 2019 Penumbra Theater ASHE Lab Fellow, and 2017 American Composers Forum Minnesota Emerging Composer awardee.

Queen’s varied lives, careers, and experiences from managing a conference center for a Fortune 500 country, to creating, and managing youth programs at a St. Paul charter school, being the mean office lady in the University of Minnesota Dance Program, and being a mother come together at the intersection of humanness. Being on the Board of Rootsprings, working towards rest, rejuvenation, and resilience for Black, Indigenous other people of color and LGBTQA artists is an ultimate act of humanness, and Queen is here for it!

Michael Kleber-Diggs

Michael Kleber-Diggs (he/him) is a Saint Paul-based poet, essayist, literary critic, and arts educator. He is the author of the poetry collection Worldly Things, and his poems and essays appear in numerous journals and anthologies. Michael joined the Rootsprings board motivated by the mission and vision of the organization. He believes that rest, time in nature, cooperative teams, and thoughtful stewardship are pathways to liberation. Although he is a working artist now, he was originally trained as an attorney. Michael likes to bring his logical practical side and his creative sides together to support community building through nonprofit board service and other volunteer work.

Nneka Onwuzurike

Nneka Onwuzurike (she/they) is a writer, policy advisor, donor organizer, and facilitator. She is the Community Wealth Building Lead for the City of Chicago, Mayor’s Office. Working at the intersection of the Office of Equity & Racial Justice and the Business and Neighborhood Development team, Nneka designs programs that build choice, power, wealth, and healing for historically disinvested neighborhoods.  

Nneka is the former Rootsprings Lead Donor Organizer, leading the $2M cultivating campaign. She is also working on a collection of lyric essays and short stories. She has received fellowships and grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board, Loft Literary Center, Intermedia Arts, the Givens Foundation for African-American Literature, and VONA/Voices. Nneka received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Washington University in St. Louis and is on a leave of absence from a joint Master of Public Policy and Master of Business Administration program at Harvard.

Staff

Za’Nia Coleman

Engagement Manager

Za’Nia Coleman (she/her) is an interdisciplinary artist and co-founder of the Tangible Collective. Her primary medium is film focusing on documentary and oral history. She has been holding spaces and creating experiences that center Black Millennial thought and expression in the Twin Cities for over five years. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Film Studies from Augsburg University in April 2018, with a double major in Film Production and Theory and Culture.

The root of her work is sustaining traditional and historical practices around love, pleasure, cultural expression and community building.

[email protected]

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