Erik Takeshita is a leader in arts-based community development and creative placemaking. He has over 20 years of experience in community development and the arts.
Mr. Takeshita currently works with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), the largest community development support organization in the United States. LISC provides grants, loans, equity and technical assistance to community-based organizations across the United States. In 2013, LISC invested $776 million (US) resulting in a total development of $2.3 billion (US). Within LISC, he specializes in supporting arts-based approaches to community development.
Mr. Takeshita previously directed an art center in Honolulu, Hawaii, where he led a nationally recognized effort to leverage arts and culture to revitalize downtown/Chinatown while maintaining its unique cultural characteristics. He also served as a Senior Policy Aide to the Mayor of Minneapolis, where he led the Mayor’s initiatives on arts and economic development.
Mr. Takeshita co-founded the Creative Community Leadership Institute at Intermedia Arts, a leadership development program focused on promoting arts-based approaches to community development, and has taught arts-based community development at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and the University of Hawaii.
He holds a Master’s degree from the Kennedy School at Harvard University and has served on numerous boards and Commissions including Springboard for the Arts, a Minnesota-based community and economic development organization that helps artists make a living and a life, and is a gubernatorial appointee to the State of Minnesota’s Urban Initiatives Board.
Recent publications include a Huffington Post article titled "How Culture is Transforming Our City" and “Arts and culture: A superpower to help people and places prosper,” published by the Institute for Comprehensive Community Development.
Mr. Takeshita is a ceramic artist and lives in Minneapolis with his wife and two children.