Five fellows accepted into pilot program of the Iowa Creative Incubator

Mainframe Studios has announced the five fellows accepted into Iowa Creative Incubator, a new program designed to create new pathways between artists and businesses to build more collaborative, vibrant and connected communities.

The new initiative includes a personalized 4-month fellowship program that helps artists navigate the process of broadening their career possibilities by partnering with organizations and industries on projects that prioritize social engagement. 

The organization designed the incubator with consultant and composer Beau Kenyon to build confidence in artists to pursue larger projects, encourage businesses to engage with creative professionals to achieve company objectives, and unify the community by fostering partnerships that build a more equitable future.

With support from Iowa Arts Council, the pilot program will offer participating fellows space to work, up to 30 hours of customized professional development with Kenyon, access to a team of advisors, and assistance in developing partnerships with businesses and other organizations.

“Art is a powerful connector and it is in everyone’s best interest to make space for artists to thrive,” said Mainframe’s executive director Siobhan Spain in an announcement.

The 2020 Iowa Creative Incubator Fellows are:

Amenda Tate (

An established local artist recognized for employing technology to produce community-driven kinetic paintings using her “Manibus” machine. Amenda is exploring ways to amplify her performances that prioritize accessibility, participation and the act of witnessing to bridge societal divides, break down barriers and build empathy.

Cameron Gray (@cam_gogh)

A recent graduate of Iowa State University where he earned a Masters of Fine Art. Cameron combines his distinctive art practice with inclusive interactions, services and dialogues to impact meaningful community connections. He is seeking to advance his career that uses art to lift up marginalized members of society. 

Chrissy Jensen (

Owner of Domestica, an independent artist-design shop that has supported the launch of numerous small creative businesses. Chrissy is developing a community print shop that uses the re-emerging Risograph machine method to connect civic initiatives and workforce development.

DeAn Michael Kelly (

Describes himself as a “creative activist seeking truth, justice, peace and harmony.” DeAn is looking to further his work with Beyond Walls, his self-improvement organization that uses Hip Hop, nature and body alignment to make positive changes in the community.

Jill Wells (

Jill’s paintings depict dynamic and colorful narratives informed by her work as an alcohol and drug counselor. Jill’s project goals include working with Orchard Place and Polk County Juvenile Detention Center, aligning her creative process and counseling experience to address issues such as incarceration rates, mental health and substance abuse. 

The descriptions of the fellows listed above have been provided by Mainframe Studios.