PASP welcomes its new President and Executive Director, Mohannad Ghawanmeh!

Mohannad Ghawanmeh is an experienced arts leader with a strong commitment to art that lifts up communities and share stories and histories. He is published scholar, with a dozen recognitions and distinctions, who has developed public art in multiple cities. He is returning to the Twin Cities and Minnesota, where he attended college and worked in previous positions for many years.

Born to Palestinian parents, Mohannad moved to Minnesota alone, a week after his 17th birthday, to attend Minnesota State University-Mankato, from which he received his Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Administration/Finance and a Master’s of Science degree in Multidisciplinary Studies. He spent several years in Japan before moving to the Twin Cities to become an instructor of Communications at Dunwoody College of Technology in 2001.

His second day at work was September 11, 2001, a day that marked his life, and motivated him to join a group effort to establish the Twin Cities Arab Film Festival, still organized by the Twin Cities-based Mizna, an arts organization dedicated to the work of Arab, Southwest Asian, and North African artists. Mohannad went on to direct and curate the festival, along with others in the Twin Cities and elsewhere. He did similar work in leading Melnitz Movies, a film event program at the University of California-Los Angeles, where he went on to earn a Ph.D. in Cinema and Media Studies in 2020. Mohannad became Executive Director of Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture, a Philadelphia-based Arab arts organization, where he oversaw substantial growth in budget, staff, and programs. As the third Executive Director of Public Art Saint Paul, Mohannad is committed to community participation in creating and overseeing artworks and programs that stand for their people and places, to rise and raise our city together.

Mohannad commented:
“I am privileged to lead such a storied organization as Public Art Saint Paul, whose collaborative
community centered artworks have adorned its great city and surroundings, transforming streets, parks,
and neighborhoods. I am humbled by the trust instilled in me to render PASP’s workings and projects
into means for continual and incremental service to the peoples and people of Saint Paul, by way of
empowerment, accountability, ingenuity, commitment, and respect. I am excited to uplift the city I once
called home, to connect and reconnect, to walk its streets, to boat its great river, to trot its splendid
greenspaces as I concertedly envision art of St Paul for all.”