Tana Hargest defines her cultural production practice through three intersecting ways of working — creating art installations; audience and civic engagement through collective art actions; and work focused on effecting systemic change within the arts ecosystem through collaboration and consultation with arts organizations and grant makers. 

Hargest’s art making incorporates interdisciplinary uses of interactive media, performance, film/video, and installation work. Hargest has exhibited at venues including: Mass MoCA; Walker Art Center; MIT’s List Visual Art Center; and the Studio Museum in Harlem. Hargest received a 2004 Franklin Furnace Future of the Present Grant; a 2003 Rockefeller Foundation Media Arts Fellowship; a 2002 Jerome Foundation Media Arts Grant; a 2002 New York State Council of the Arts Individual Artist Grant; and a 2002 Creative Capital Grant. She’s also been in residence at MacDowell Colony, Gaea Sea Change Residency; and Smack Mellon Studio Program. Hargest received a BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and a MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design.

From high-profile museums to community-based artists, Hargest advises stakeholders on change management, engages cross-disciplinary teams in emergent strategy and ideation, and implements projects to help grow mission-based programs, increase impact, and improve results. Hargest has previously served as the Executive Director of the Givens Foundation for African American Literature; Director of the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts; Associate Director of The Soap Factory; Director of Education at Art 21, Inc.; Manager of New Media Learning at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston; and Assistant Curator of Education at the Bronx Museum of the Arts.

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Professional Experience

Co-Founder and Managing Director, Underground Media Collective, 2017 to Present

Founder, Black Market MN, 2016 to Present

Founder, Hargest Art Consulting - 2009 to Present  

Executive Director, Givens Foundation for African American Literature; Mpls, MN - 2014 to 2016

Assistant Director, The Soap Factory; Mpls, MN - 2012 to 2014

Director of Education, American Craft Council; Mpls, MN - 2011 to 2012    

Director, The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts; NY, NY - 2008 to 2009    

Director of Education and Public Programs, Art21, Inc.; NY, NY - 2007 to 2008    

Head of New Media Learning, The Museum of Fine Arts; Boston, MA - 2004 to 2007

Assistant Curator of Education and New Media, Bronx Museum of the Arts; Bronx, NY - 2000 to 2003


2017 Energy, Made Here, Hennepin Theatre Trust, Minneapolis, MN

2004 The Interventionists, MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA

2003 Only Skin Deep, International Center of Photography, New York, NY

          After Whiteness, I Space, Chicago, IL

          Skin Deep, Numark Gallery, Washington, DC

          American Dream, Ronald Feldman, New York, NY

2002 Race in Digital Space, Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Atlanta, GA

2001 Mimic, GAle Gates, Brooklyn, NY

         Freestyle, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY; Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa   Monica, CA

         Race in Digital Space, MIT List Visual Art Center, Cambridge, MA

2000 Artist In the Marketplace 20th Annual Exhibition, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, NY

1999 MFA Exhibition, Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Providence, RI

1998 Consumption, Sol Koffler Gallery, Providence, RI

         Sugar/White, Market House Gallery, Providence, RI

1997 Women in the Director’s Chair, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN

         BFA Exhibition, MCAD, Minneapolis, MN

1996 La Escuela Nacional de Artes Plasticas, Mexico City, Mexico


2017   Knight Arts Challenge Grant, Knight Foundation

2017   Finalist, Forecast Public Art Mid-Career Project Grant, Forecast Public Art

2017   Nexus Community Partners, North Star Black Cooperative Fellowship

2016   Springboard for the Arts, Creative Economy Fellowship

2004    Franklin Furnace Future of the Present

2004    Longwood Cyber Residency

2003    The MacDowell Colony

2003    Rockefeller Foundation Media Arts Fellowship

2002    Jerome Foundation, Media Arts Grant

2002    New York State Council of the Arts, Individual Artist Grant

2002    Creative Capital Grant, Emerging Fields 

2002    Gaea Foundation Sea Change Residency

2002    Artist Residency Connection, Conjunction Arts

2002    Studio Program, Smack Mellon

2000    Artist in Residence, Harvestworks

1999     Artist In The Marketplace Program, The Bronx Museum of the Arts

1997     President’s Full Tuition Scholarship, Rhode Island School of Design 

1996     V. Binger Full Tuition Merit Scholarship, Minneapolis College of Art and Design


2017  Presenter, Making it Public, Forecast Public Art

2017   Moderator, Diversifying Funding panel, Metropolitan Regional Arts Council

2017   Panelist, Next Step grant, Metropolitan Regional Arts Council

2011    Presenter, 25th Annual AAW Symposium

2009    Panelist, City of New York Department of Cultural Affairs

2009    Panelist, WARP, Portfolio Review, Sint-Niklaas, Belgium

2008    Panelist, Tribeca Film Institute, ADG 

2008    Panelist, Renew Media, Media Arts Fellowships

2008    Panelist, Museums & the Web Conference

2007    Visiting Artist, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

2007    Panelist, NYFA, Artists’ Fellowships, Computer Arts

2006    Panelist, National Endowment for the Humanities, Challenge Grants

2004    Visiting Artist, The Photography Institute, Summer Program, Columbia University

2003    Visiting Artist, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

2003    Visiting Artist, The Kitchen, NY, NY

2003    Juror, Longwood Cyber Residency, Bronx NY

2002    Sony Wonder Lab, Race in Digital Space Panel, Thundergulch

2001     Studio Museum in Harlem, Freestyle Artists Dialogue, moderated by Christine Y. Kim

2000    The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, NY, Lecture


Tema Celeste, 98 Vol. 2003

One World Magazine, December 2002

Tema Celeste, 89 Vol., 2002

Social Text, 72 Vol. 21 No. 5

NY ARTS, June 2001

The Village Voice, May 22, 2001

New York Magazine, May 21, 2001

New York Times, May 11, 2001

Freestyle Catalogue 2001

Race in Digital Space Catalogue, 2001

Vibe, May 2001

Art Actuel, September-October, 2000

New York Times, August 18, 2000

AIM 20th Annual Exhibition Catalogue 2000


Master of Fine Art, Photography, Rhode Island School of Design, 1999

Bachelor of Fine Art, Media Arts, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, 1997