bushCON scene
Photos by RJL Photography


Building and strengthening connections

bushCONNECT 2016 brought together more than 1,000 people and, for the first time, added a second day of programming to help participants build skills. The Bush Foundation partnered with more than 40 organizations to create a set of events designed to inspire, equip and connect leaders from across the region. 

Baratunde Thurston
Comedian, Author and “The Daily Show” Producer Baratunde Thurston kicked off bushCONNECT with a vibrant keynote.
Spoken word artist Desdamona
Spoken word artist Desdamona leads a Wilder Foundation workshop, “Improvisation, Solidarity & Risk: Leadership Lessons from Jazz & Hip-Hop.”
Rose McGee of Sweet Potato Comfort Pie
For the first time this year, attendees could opt in to a second day of off-site skill-building workshops, such as the one led by Rose McGee of Sweet Potato Comfort Pie: “A Catalyst for Caring and Building Community.”
bushCON attendees
Attendees shared their passions with artists selected by Pollen, and walked away with their own personal Careercatures.
Malik Bush
Malik Bush shared his own story during an Ignite Talk, “¿Who Do You See?: Update Your Visual Lexicon.”
Trivia game hosted by FlipPhone
Attendees rounded out their bushCONNECT experience with a rousing trivia gameshow, hosted by FlipPhone.
Conversations with community leaders
Attendees had the unique opportunity to have intimate conversations with community leaders such as Lori Saroya (BF’14), National Chapter Development Director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
Workshop led by Harry Waters, Jr.
The Guthrie Theater presented a workshop led by Harry Waters, Jr., “Preparing for Action: A Practical Use of Theater for Social Change.”
“Hack the System with Community Solutions for Change” session
Twin Cities writer and creative organizer Junauda Petrus (right) co-leads a “Hack the System with Community Solutions for Change” session with Emily Zimmer (left), Artistic Director of the Chicago Avenue Project at Pillsbury House Theatre.
Nausheena Hussain
Bush Fellow Nausheena Hussain (BF’16) gave an Ignite Talk, “RISE - Reviving the Islamic Sisterhood for Empowerment.”
A ReadyGo letterpress project
A ReadyGo letterpress project invited attendees to fill in the blanks and jot notes of gratitude to one another.
“How to Improve Audience Engagement with Brand Messaging”
A second day of workshops allowed attendees to delve more deeply into topics with experts, such as Jabber Logic’s popular session on “How to Improve Audience Engagement with Brand Messaging.”

What's happening next?


Expand your network and strengthen your connections at events we sponsor across the region.

Opportunities for People

Explore opportunities to build your leadership skills and grow your network so you can think bigger and differently about what's possible in our region.