Staff and Board of Directors


Bart Buch, Interim Executive Director

Bart Buch grew up in a large extended farm family in Fairfield, Iowa, a small rural college town and sort of New Age capital of the Midwest. He attended Valparaiso University and the University of Iowa earning degrees in English and Elementary Education. Bart was an elementary classroom teacher in Vermont and Minneapolis for a few years before he came out as a puppeteer and poet. He has served as Education Director at In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre (HOBT) from 2008-2019, as a Director on the Artistic Leadership Team from 2016-2019, and has been an Associate Artist for 24 years at HOBT. Bart is a teaching artist on the COMPAS roster, has founded several arts education programs and has taught over 300 arts residencies in schools and communities. He has received ongoing support as an artist and arts administrator from the Minnesota State Art Board, The Jim Henson Foundation, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, The Puffin Foundation, PFund, MRAC, The Jerome Foundation and was a 2017-18 Playwrights’ Center McKnight Theatre Artist Fellow. Bart has lived and worked in Midtown Phillips neighborhood for 24 years. For 10 years, his work at HOBT and independently has been focused on creating positive change with youth and neighbors in Phillips Community using art to build healthy communities.

Board of Directors


Angie Barrera, AFA in Visual Art, Alumna of Youth Program

Maggie Lindberg, Retired ESL Teacher

Tara Beard, City Planner, Neighbor of Semilla Center

Lizete Vega, Parent of Youth in Program

Mike Hansel, Retired Vice President, Barr Engineering

Belem Gomez, Former Youth Staff

Becky Gazca, Former Director of Midtown Global Market

Sandy Spieler, Former Artistic Director of In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre

Katie Hansel, Public Defender, Hennepin County

Silas Leasman, Master Gardener, Community Activist