Melissa received her Masters in Arts & Cultural Leadership from the U of MN in spring 2018. She recently founded an arts and culture in her home town of Caledonia called Mainspring. She also works part time at Lanesboro Arts as a Program Associate. She pursues her passion in community arts work as founder of a Minnesota-based podcast that gathers personal narratives from rural Minnesota communities. She was cofounder of Hazel & Wren, a community for writers and readers that ran from 2011-2017.