Welcome to our new Knight Grant team

Two talented community developers are now helping steer the Creative Enterprise Zone’s future as project managers for the Knight Foundation grant received by the Zone in 2016. Erin Heelan and Dudley Voigt are now sharing the job that was ably handled by Jeanne Kirby earlier this year.

It’s an ongoing project because the grant’s purpose is both to retain innovators in the Zone and to attract newcomers. Managing the grant requires broad knowledge of urban planning, the arts, business, real estate, and youth engagement—and Erin and Dudley’s complementary skills are a perfect fit. Both can be reached by email at coordinator@creativeenterprisezone.org.

Both Erin and Dudley have applied those skills to great effect in North Minneapolis. As director of the West Broadway Business and Area Coalition, Erin led community-chosen initiatives ranging from a district-wide improvement program to a farmers market and pop-up galleries, restaurants, and retail. Most recently she served as program officer for the Metropolitan Council’s Livable Communities Grant Program, focusing on transit-oriented real estate development. She also teaches in the University of Minnesota’s urban studies department.

Dudley brought her extensive theatre and education background to North Minneapolis, leading projects such as the FLOW Northside Art Crawl, North High Touring Ensemble, and North Community Theater. She has transformed vacant spaces into venues such as theatres, boutiques, and ballrooms, and continues to collaborate with schools on programs that bring literacy to life through theatre and performance. 

Julie James