Erik Takeshita

Erik Takeshita to join Bush Foundation as Portfolio Director

July 21, 2015

Erik Takeshita, director of creative placemaking for the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), will join the Bush Foundation as its portfolio director of community creativity. Takeshita will oversee development and execution of the Foundation’s programming around arts-based community development efforts.

In early 2015 the Foundation selected 16 regional organizations that work in the arts for its Community Creativity Cohort. The cohort was designed to both recognize and learn from exemplary organizations that meaningfully engage people in the arts and integrate the arts into public life. Members of the cohort will share their experiences in community engagement, leadership development and racial and economic equity, helping the Foundation to better understand both the challenges and opportunities across the field.

“People and communities are creatively leveraging the arts more deeply to serve their problem-solving. Erik brings an impressive mix of strengths to the table as we take the next steps toward the arts as a focus area,” said Vice President of Learning and Strategy Allison Barmann.

“I look forward to my new role at the Bush Foundation. Drawing insights from the Community Creativity Cohort will help us shape a thoughtful approach to arts-focused programs and initiatives that will positively impact the region,” said Takeshita, who’ll start at the Foundation on August 17th.  

Takeshita has over 20 years of experience working at the intersection of community development and the arts. Since 2008 he has led a breadth of work at LISC, including designing its “Central Corridor as Cultural Corridor” creative placemaking project. He was previously a senior policy aide to the mayor of Minneapolis, where he advised the framework for a 10-year Plan for Arts and Culture, and led an art center in Honolulu, Hawaii, helping to revitalize the city’s downtown. He serves on numerous boards and commissions, and is nationally recognized for managing high-impact initiatives that express a community’s unique culture through the arts. Takeshita holds a master’s degree from the Harvard Kennedy School—an opportunity he pursued through a 2005 Bush Leadership Fellowship.