After a comprehensive, national search the Loft welcomed Arleta M. Little, MPA '10 as its new executive director. She will begin her tenure in March 2022.
For the past eight years, Arleta directed the McKnight Artist Fellowships, and prior to that, she served as the executive director of the Givens Foundation for African American Literature. You can find a more detailed history—including her publications—by visiting her bio page and by reading the official press release.
Prior to her time at McKnight, Little served as the executive director of the Givens Foundation for African American Literature and worked for more than 15 years as an organizational development consultant providing strategic planning, program evaluation and grant writing services to Minnesota organizations.
Little is a poet and writer. Her essay, Life and Death in the North Star State, recently published in Water-Stone Review Vol. 24 has been nominated for a 2022 Pushcart Prize. Her work is included in We Are Meant to Rise: Voices for Justice from Minneapolis to the World; This Was 2020: Minnesotans Write About Pandemics and Social Justice in a Historic Year; and Blues Vision: African American Writing From Minnesota. She also collaborated on writing and publishing Josie R. Johnson’s memoir Hope in the Struggle.
Little serves as a board member for Headwaters Foundation for Justice, Grantmakers in the Arts, TruArtSpeaks, and Common Ground Meditation Center. Little will work collaboratively with the Loft’s board of directors, providing vision, strategic planning and management oversight to effectively carry out the organization’s mission. She will represent the Loft in building community with diverse constituencies including its members, writers and literary artists, educators, foundations, and the rich variety of cultural communities in Minnesota and nationally. “
the Loft is a haven for readers and writers; one of the largest centers of its kind in the country. Our mission is to advance the artistic development of writers, foster a thriving literary community, and inspire a passion for literature.