Our Staff

Scott Mikesh, President & Executive Director

Scott came to Art Buddies in 2007 from the world of marketing & communications with a background in communications design, social psychology, wellness and diversity education.

Shortly after becoming an Art Buddies mentor, Scott joined our Advisory Board, and a few years later helped expand Art Buddies to Bancroft Elementary.

From volunteer to president

In 2013, Scott was elected President and Executive Director, succeeding Art Buddies founder Sue Crolick.

Fueled by his passion for children, the arts, and social services, Scott is continually inspired by the support and volunteerism of our creative community. He believes in the real difference Art Buddies makes in the lives of kids through the power of creativity.

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Sydnee Bickett, Program Coordinator

Sydnee Bickett joined the Art Buddies team as a part-time contractor in July 2017.

Along with her passion for creativity and community service, Sydnee brings her professional experience as a lifestyle photographer and business owner, plus years of nonprofit program coordination with organizations like Minneapolis Photography Studio and CreativeMornings/MSP.

From mentor to coordinator

Since first volunteering as an Art Buddies mentor in 2014, Sydnee has developed an intimate understanding of the program and the impact it has on both volunteers and the children we serve.

I loved watching the creative process through my buddy’s eyes; guiding her, and of course being the adult who got to use the hot glue gun!” she says.

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Chelsea Rowles, Program Coordinator

Chelsea Rowles first contracted with Art Buddies as a researcher in the spring of 2017, and expanded her work to include program coordination for our fall 2017 season.

Chelsea has worked with youth since 2001, teaching art and developing curriculum. Since then, she has worked in various arts organizations, summer camps and museums, and earned an M.A. in Educational Psychology with studies in early childhood education and program evaluation.

A passion for youth and creativity

Chelsea grew up in the Powderhorn Park neighborhood of Minneapolis, where she was heavily influenced by local arts organizations like Heart of the Beast, Barebones, and Chicks on Sticks.

“Working directly with children turned out to be a strong interest and passion of mine,” she says. “I am particularly interested in how people learn creativity, what creativity means to them, and how we can assess outcomes to support creative learning in schools and other educational environments.”

 

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Kaesha Baloch, Program Assistant

Kaesha joined the Art Buddies team as a part-time contractor in February 2017.

In addition to her background in architectural design and holistic health, she brings extensive experience in child development.

An advocate for creative growth

Kaesha has a deep understanding of the importance of creativity in personal and professional development. She won multiple Scholastic Art Awards for jewelry design and is a firm believer that creativity should be cultivated at an early age, and throughout life.

“My life’s mission is to help foster a space that values authentic self-expression,” Kaesha says. “There is a depth to each of us that needs support for it to surface---to break through barriers---and that’s what Art Buddies is all about.”