Meet the some of the folks who work behind-the-scenes at Ricardo Levins Morales Art Studio.
Elaine “Marigold” Avery (she/her) is our Minister of Finance. Her special talents include singing, DJing (as in mixing records) baking, gardening, carpentry and cabinetmaking. Marigold is dedicated to social justice and building a more democratic society. Working at RLM Arts, she draws on her collective experiences from The Wireless Virus free radio collective (Milwaukee, WI), the Free Radio Twin Cities Collective, Arise! Bookstore and the Seward Cafe. She has an Associate of Applied Science in Cabinetmaking and certificates in Small Business Accounting from Minneapolis Community and Technical College. She’s also a mom.
Sheila Nezhad (she/her) is our Minister of the Interior, providing the shop with administrative support. When not at the shop, Sheila works as a consultant, helping social justice organizations with program evaluation, research, and project management. Sheila is a fan of detailed list-making, small dogs, and high-femme flora. Outside of paid work, Sheila organizes for a police-free future with Reclaim the Block and MPD150.
Jeff Nygaard (he/him) is The Button Man at RLM Art Studio, making all of the pin-back buttons that you see on the website, as well as all sorts of custom buttons for use in organizing drives, campaigns, rallies, and almost any special event or occasion you can imagine. He also makes stickers, magnets, and a variety of other promotional/organizing products. But, beyond buttons…
Jeff is a working-class intellectual of Norwegian, German, and Irish heritage who grew up in a small town in southern Minnesota. Jeff has been an activist, writer, editor, and teacher based in Minneapolis for the past 40 years, and has worked at a variety of jobs, including work as a snow shoveler, courier, grocery store worker, and cab driver. Since September of 1998 he has published his own free newsletter on media, politics, and culture called “Nygaard Notes: Independent Periodic News and Analysis.” His work has appeared in the Star Tribune, Z Magazine, Counterpunch, Access Press, and various other publications.
E-mail subscriptions to Nygaard Notes are free, and paper subscriptions are available for the cost of printing and mailing. Find subscription information on the web at nygaardnotes.org, or email Jeff at nygaard (at) nygaardnotes.org.
Jaime Hokanson (she/her) started working at RLM Arts in 2012 as the Minister of Commerce (lady who ships your orders). Since then she’s assisted the shop off-and-on in various capacities. Currently her duties include layout and design work, serving as Undersecretary for the other Ministries during times of high demand, and reminding The Artist to try and take the occasional day off.
Jaime has lived her whole life in the stolen Dakota territories of so-called Minnesota. The daughter of a wildlife artist, she’s always had a deep appreciation for supporting local and independent art. She’s known to sometimes bicycle long distances (see left), volunteer for trail maintenance and habitat restoration, and puzzle over what species of bird just flew by. Jaime is also proud to continue a longstanding tradition of queer and trans representation at RLM Arts (and formerly Northland Poster Collective) by spreading The Gay AgendaTM whenever possible. Email Jaime here.
Rowan Fakhoury (they/them) is the Minister of Commerce :), packing and shipping all the beautiful gifts you get for yourself and others :P. They are a mixed, queer, trans & disabled little dandelion puff. Floating & breathing in this world as a community herbalist/brujx, facilitator, farmer, bodyworker (biodynamic craniosacral, reiki & sobada practitioner) , full-spectrum support companion— focus on abortion & loss, organizer, space holder, collaborator, humxn. Their practice is rooted in deep listening, ritual and co-creating a fluid container for nourishment, rest, liberation, joy and unknowns. Navigating the seen + unseen— finding collaboration in the tangible and intangible realms. When not at work, they can often be found giggling and snacking among the plant and other nature & humxn friends.