Pollen couldn’t be more excited to welcome two new members to our Board of Directors:
Koa Mirai & Alexandra Siclait—both longtime Pollenites and community leaders. 

As Pollen board members, Koa and Alexandra will help us be catalysts for the change so many communities are working toward. They both know that thinking imaginatively demands that we seek and commit to truths beyond what is, and look to what could be. That imagination is a critical ingredient to our creativity, and our belief in a better future. Imagination drives our efforts to decenter dominant systems of power. 



Get To Know
Koa & Alexandra

Koa Mirai

“What I love about Pollen is the way art, stories, and emotions are engaged both to generate empathy and disrupt the status quo. A commitment to racial & social justice requires us to navigate that tender balance between an appreciation of radical alterity as well as human connection. Pollen gets the healing and transformative potential of art. It is an honor and delight to join the board.”




Alexandra Siclait

“The stories we tell ourselves and others impact our humanity. I value how Pollen Midwest harnesses the power of our stories for narrative change, building toward a more humane society that is free, just, and loving. On a very personal level, I am thrilled to collaboratively govern an organization for which I know the team first-hand. I strongly believe I cannot be an effective board member from a distance. So personally knowing the team I am advocating for will make all the difference, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.”


As a Senior Lender and Financial Specialist at Propel Nonprofits, Koa collaborates with nonprofits to solve financial challenges by strategically extending capital, engaging leadership, and conducting trainings on financial management and sustainability. Koa is also a cultural anthropologist who has taught and conducted award-winning research at the University of Minnesota for over a decade, focusing on nonprofit and grassroots mobilizations around issues of gender, kinship, political identity, and belonging. As a researcher, educator, and nonprofit consultant, they have worked closely with folks directing social change, both here in the Twin Cities and back home in India. Koa also has a background in literature, performance, movement-based meditation, and the visual arts. They inhabit the intersection of politics, activism, art, and healing and believe in the powerful, generative energy located within individuals and communities (un)seen as different. For Koa, marginal voices are a key locus of creative disruptions, transformative solutions, narrative shifts, and empowerment and as such are central to truly radical social justice and anti-oppression work.

Other life highlights: performing with Aniccha Arts in a Bloomington parking lot, serving on Family Tree Clinic’s board, driving solo through the Black Hills, and revisiting New Taiwanese cinema.


Find Koa on Twitter @apeculture and Instagram @acacia_koala.

With over a decade of experience, Alexandra has worked in the arts, corporate, nonprofit and public sectors, and has found her true passion in arts philanthropy, leadership development, and social justice. A cultural diplomacy enthusiast, she has worked at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, South Arts, the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, Creative Capital, and most recently the Bush Foundation.


In her work, she does what she loves most: transforming power through leadership development and systems change. Alexandra is deeply honored to develop emerging and experienced leaders across sectors through coaching and mentorship. She is currently on the board of directors for the Minnesota Humanities Center. She is a 2017 Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP) Leadership Fellow and a 2020-2021 Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute Fellow.


Find Alexandra on Twitter and Instagram @maraboubel.