Karen Starr

Karen Starr first worked with In Progress when she represented the Otto Bremer Foundation as a program officer.  Today she serves on the board of directors and provides us with meaningful guidance regarding how we work within the foundation networks of Minnesota.  Her insights are essential to our growth and good standing within the community.


1. Considering all your experience with In Progress, what is one achievement that you personally are most proud of? Why is this achievement important to you? What does it represent?: The relationships that In-progress makes with tribal communities I am most proud of as I see it radiates. The commitment to go throughout the state. I have traveled that route, and I see the energy connection that goes all ways...it radiates in a web of energy. Its good for all of us. It changes the lives of all who make that connections. The youth sharing their soul and enriching us and the world with their stories that are told with their art. It represents power - soul power. Art speaks on the heart level, that we need more than anytime in history.

2. What did it take for us at In Progress to achieve this accomplishment? What strengths do we have that helped us succeed?: I think a lot of this achievement has come because of our leader and the humility and vision she has in her ability to respond. Without her it would not happen. The young people themselves are inspirational to each other, that modeling is contagious ...it's not just the moment, but travels through generations. It inspires throughout time and generations. The vision of ip is our strength and with Kris's devotion to the task, not controlled leadership that keeps the spiral spinning...the community is enlivened by her presence with the youth statewide.

3. What do you think makes In Progress unique? What 2-3 things are at our very core that make us stand out from other arts programs or youth development programs?: Everything about InProgress is unique. Kris and the structure that is created. She creates a platform where there is trust, engagement and geographic mix in many locations and that it also animates where it goes. Things that are unique is that the emphasis is on the artist, it has a mix of cultures, it travels through out the region. The circle of artists and the vision. Through the animating their art as a gift, no one else is giving this to the communities and encouraging that empowerment and ownership.

4. As you think about In Progress, what do you value most? What keeps you engaged here?: I value all of Inprogress, the populations worked with are so amazing. communities built of generations of artists that create spaces or empowerment zones that they own and their energy becomes engrained. They enliven the spirit. Keep engages because of the vision and the unique qualities of the program.