Following a passion for writing and more meaningful community-engaged work, Chelsea Alger joined the Southwest MN Housing Partnership, a non-profit CDA focused on affordable housing efforts in a rural 30-county region, as the Resource Development Officer in 2015. Alger brought 13 years of public sector work as a planner and community development director for several third-tier Twin Cities metro communities. When the ArtPlace CDI grant was announced, she quickly fell into a leadership role with the effort for SWMHP and has thoroughly enjoyed exploring the ways arts and community development can intersect to create more meaningful, sustainable outcomes in the communities they serve. Alger has been a rural MN girl her whole life (but for heading to college in the “Big City” of Minneapolis) and is grateful for the opportunity to focus energy on those who also make rural MN their home. She studied Biology and Accounting at Augsburg College; holds a M.A. in Urban Planning from Minnesota State University- Mankato; and recently completed the coursework to become certified as Housing Finance Professional through the National Development Council. In her free time she enjoys distance running and supporting her children in their various activities.