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Ryan is a mixed race, Chinese American, award winning writer, director, photographer, producer and educator based in Minneapolis.  A self taught artist, Ryan began his career working with individuals experiencing homelessness, children and families, and foster care youth, as well as in program development and affordable housing development.  He began documenting protests after the recession in 2008.  Ryan’s photos and films helped elevate narratives not seen in the mainstream media, and catalyzed his passion for documentary and narrative storytelling.  His background in social work and community organizing, and his relationships across communities make collaboration essential to his work, whether in creative projects such as filmmaking, or making space for connection, such as producing community events or program development.  Working in community, creating connections, and sharing stories with each other is what drives Ryan's work.  


He has exhibited work at The Minnesota Museum of American Art, SOO Visual Arts Center, Gamut Gallery, Indigenous Roots Cultural Art Center, Third Place Gallery, and the Minneapolis Institute of Art.  Ryan's films have been screened across the country and the world.  He’s the recipient of the 2018 Artist Neighborhood Partnership with CURA at the University of Minnesota, the 2019 MN State Arts Board Cultural Community Partnership Grant, the 2021 and 2022 MSAB Artist Initiative Grant, he was a 2020 Creative Community Fellow with National Art Strategies, and his film serenity won the Audience Award at the 2023 Twin Cities Film Fest.  He's also part of the team at Public Functionary, an arts organization supporting grassroots cultural organizing and production across disciplines through the development of highly visible and resourced spaces that lead to creative collaborations and economic opportunities for early career and emerging artists.  Ryan is the Director of Community Programming and General Manager of PF Cafe, a coffee shop and restaurant in Public Functionary's exhibition and performance space in the Northrup King Building in NE Minneapolis. PF Cafe’s mission is to serve delicious food, provide employment opportunities to artists and support vendor collaborators from the community.

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