#HumansofImpactHub Teeko Yang
by Ross Gormley
“I thought I wanted to get into fashion and then I realized I hate post-processing these women and telling them how they’re supposed to look. I didn’t find any truth in that work. So I started working for nonprofits that catalyze art for social change.”
Teeko Yang, now in her final year of graduate school studying arts and cultural leadership, is spearheading an arts program at Impact Hub MSP. “Creative placemaking, that’s the new, sexy word for right now,” she says, describing a process of leveraging arts and culture for inclusive economic development. Her passions in advocating for arts and community were realized in late July when 20,000 people attended a night market in the Little Mekong area, supporting emerging artists in a low-income neighborhood. Teeko proved instrumental in its planning and implementation.
She’s taking that same model and mentality and applying it in a small-scale level to Impact Hub MSP. With a focus on artists of color and women, she hopes to intersect artists, creative thinkers, and activism into the Impact Hub MSP space. In her words, “We’re looking at ways of how we can be a resource to artists and creative thinkers, allowing them to have the space for at least six months and partner and collaborate with fellow hubbers.”
Teeko, with her electric positivity and infectious, warming laugh, has the power to disarm and welcome. But when I mention the renewed focus on STEM in American education, she instantly corrects me: “STEAM,” she says, including the “A” for “Arts.” In the future, she hopes to work on the macro-scale; in her free time, she asks herself: “how do cities shape communities?” She closes her eyes and the world is an inclusive community full of greenspaces, bike paths, greenbelts, and public art—her own vision of STEAM.