Pollen is a media arts nonprofit that harnesses the power of narrative change to build towards a society that is free, just, and loving.

fist-bumpWhen you spread Pollen, things grow. And the same is true for stories.

At Pollen, stories are our secret power. Stories nurture our human potential for deep empathy. Stories pave new paths and new opportunities for communities to connect across lines of difference. Stories inspire us to fight for each other when our flawed and beautiful humanity is threatened.

That’s why Pollen shares stories of individuals who want to change our collective story for the better. Stories that dig into the nitty gritty, the heart-wrenching, the inspiring and funny elements of life in our region, and shed light on the wider world around us. Only by turning to detail and nuance, getting at truths both comfortable and uncomfortable, can we begin to relate the unrelated.

Pollen stories — crafted with both vibrant, colorful art and visceral, intimate writing — drive towards a choice: to take action on what you learned. We work with a talented, diverse network of artists and writers who take words and images beyond literal representations of our world, and into the realm of the emotional — that’s our way of tipping stories into action.

Through narrative experiences, Pollen grows a network of Pollenites who have an unwavering belief in equity, empathy, and our shared humanity. Our success will be found in the sum of all the connections and actions Pollenites make when they are inspired by the platform, the space, and the hive that Pollen creates.

When we move beyond the transactional and access empathy to connect across difference, we can take more meaningful action in our shared journey toward a better world.



email: hello@pollenmidwest.org

address: P. O. Box 18027, Minneapolis, MN 55418-4714

Meet Our Staff
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    Emily Mauter
    Director of Development

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    Meg Lionel Murphy
    Senior Art Director

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    Michaela Schmidt
    Project Manager

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    Melanie Walby
    Creative Director

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Meet Our Board
Lolyann Connor

Lolyann began her career in nonprofit management 14 years ago, working in areas of administration, grants and fundraising, evaluation and impact reporting. She recently accepted a new position as Executive Manager at Hennepin Healthcare. There she will provide leadership to help shape and implement strategies to advance the mission of partnering with the community, patients, and families to ensure access to outstanding care, while improving health and wellness through teaching, patient and community education, and research. Lolyann received her Master's of Public Policy at the Humphrey Institute of the University of MN.

Lisa Middag

Lisa Middag is an urban planner who collaborates with communities to support sustainable, vibrant, and walkable public spaces through creative placemaking and community development. As Director of Nicollet Activation for the Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District, she is responsible for placemaking along the city’s historic downtown pedestrian/transit street.