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Building Arts and Labor Symposium / September 20, 2021                               

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Sponsored by the South Dakota Humanities Council and the Department of Architecture, DoArch, at South Dakota State University.

Organized by Jessica Garcia Fritz, Federico Garcia Lammers, and Jocelyn Rothmeier. 

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The presenters and panelists assembled for the Building Arts and Labor Symposium center their practices—labor organizing, teaching, community development, and advocacy—around urgent issues that shape the role of architecture and construction in South Dakota.   


Patricia Acevedo Fuentes, Architect and 2021 Bush Fellow

Patri is passionate about equitable community design. She understands that architecture is powerful and permanent. As an architect, she seeks to make the design and construction of places and spaces more equitable and inclusive. She brings over 20 years of design expertise, cultural sensitivity, and a wild and wonderful wit to her role as the head of JLG Architects’ Rapid City office. Born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Patri resided in New York, Florida and Texas before making the Black Hills her home. The founder and principal architect at AcV2 Architecture, Patri made a name for herself before merging with JLG Architects in 2016. She finds joy in adaptively reusing existing buildings and creating infill solutions that catalyze smart growth and renewal throughout the Black Hills and the Mountain West with a special love for rural and remote communities. An engaged and passionate civic leader, Patri was named a 2021 Bush Foundation Fellow, currently serves as the Vice Moderator and At-Large Member in the AIA National Strategic Council and is a Dakota Resources Advisory Committee member. She is a leader in the Strategic Council’s Rural+Suburban Agenda, a member in the Council’s Communications Committee, and a collaborator in the 2020 AIA COVID-19 Health Impact Task Force #2, among other engagements. In 2015, Patri became a Creative Communities Leadership Institute Fellow, was selected as a Rapid City Collective Impact Emerging Leader, and received the 2015 South Dakota SBA Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year Award.

Kooper Caraway, President of the South Dakota State Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO

Kooper Caraway comes from a working class family in Texas. His Mother was a retail worker and his Father worked in the Trucking Industry. Many of his Cousins and his Grandfather were Union Steelworkers in Lonestar, TX. He began organizing in High School. When Immigration Agents, under the direction of the Bush Administration, set up camp and began raiding peoples homes in the small town of Mt. Pleasant, TX Kooper Caraway, then a High School Junior, organized a series of actions and demonstrations until the Federal Agents packed up and left town. He then went to work in Dallas for the Labor Movement. As an organizer with Jobs with Justice he was succesful at bridging the Community-Labor Gap. He has since served as a Union Rep for the American Federation of Teachers and an Organizer for the United Food and Commerical Workers Union. In 2017 he relocated to South Dakota to serve as Lead Organizer for AFSCME Council 65 and on Jan 3rd 2018 he was elected President of the Sioux Falls AFL-CIO. At 27, he became the the Youngest CLC President in the Nation. From 2017-2020 he lead the Sioux Falls AFL-CIO through rebuilding and was able to increase participation, affiliation, and member engagement. In September 2020 he was elected President of the South Dakota Federation of Labor. At 29 years old he became the youngest State Labor Federation President in the Nation.


Lynn Cuny, Deputy Director, Thunder Valley CDC

Lynn M. Cuny obtained her Master of Arts degree in Lakota Leadership and Management from Oglala Lakota College. Her undergraduate degrees include Lakota Studies, Fine Art, and Early Childhood Development.  She is also a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor. Lynn has lived both on and off the reservation, a graduate from Central High School in Rapid City, SD. Lynn has over 20 years of experience working for Native programs. Her expertise includes education, health and culture. She worked for Indian Health Service for more than 10 years. She has been a recipient of the Healthy Native Communities Fellowship, Director of the Year, Community Outreach, Wellness Warrior, and IHS Directors Award. 

Lynette KillsBack, Director, Workforce Development, Thunder Valley CDC

Lynette Killsback, in her 2nd year as the Workforce Development director is passionate about building young adults with a skill and the confidence they need to enter the workforce by constructing resumes, obtaining certifications in OSHA 10, CPR/1st AId, construction training, and fostering relationships between the community and the individual. Lynette was raised in the Porcupine District, and attended K-12 in Pine Ridge. Lynette received her AAS and BS in Criminal Justice from Fayetteville State University in Fayetteville, NC. Lynette is also a US Army Combat Veteran where she served 13 years in the US Army with tours in Iraq, Cuba, and Kosovo. Lynette’s professional goals for WFD are to expand the program to include auto mechanic training in the near future. Additionally, her goal is to empower young adults who are at a disadvantage due to economic and social status, thus creating a liberated individual through healing and culture. When Lynette is not at work, she enjoys sewing, crafting, riding her Harley Davidson, and cooking. Delicate as a hand grenade, Lynette is relentlessly helpful and possesses courage, candor, and commitment to Thunder Valley’s mission and vision.

Peggy Deamer, Architect and Emeritus Professor of Architecture at Yale University

Peggy Deamer is Professor Emerita of Yale University’s School of Architecture and principal in the firm of Deamer, Studio. She is a founding member of the Architecture Lobby, a group advocating for the value of architectural design and labor. She is the editor of Architecture and Capitalism: 1845 to the Present and The Architect as Worker: Immaterial Labor, the Creative Class, and the Politics of Design and the author of Architecture and Labor. Articles by her have appeared in Log, Avery Review, eFlux, and Harvard Design Magazine amongst other journals. Her theory work explores the relationship between subjectivity, design, and labor in the current economy. Her design work has appeared in HOME, Home and Garden, Progressive Architecture, and the New York Times amongst other journals. Her current work deals with architectural subjectivity, labor, and the current economy. She received the Architectural Record 2018 Women in Architecture Activist Award and the 2021 John Q. Hejduk Award.

Brett Grinkmeyer, Instructor of Architectural Engineering at Southeast Tech

Brett Grinkmeyer is the program instructor for Southeast Tech's Architectural Engineering Technology program. He holds a bachelor's degree in Architecture from University of Houston and a master's from Southern California Institute of Architecture (Sci-Arc). Since 2000, he has been working in the field of Architecture on a wide range of projects including residential, civic buildings and commercial interiors. He is a registered architect in Texas and South Dakota and received his LEED AP and BD&C accreditation from USGBC. Brett started his own practice in Austin, Texas, in 2012. Since 2008, he has taught drafting and architecture courses at Austin Community College (ACC).

DoArch Graduate Student Panel

Joseph Kenny, Graduate Student at DoArch, South Dakota State University

Nathaniel Krueger, Graduate Student at DoArch, South Dakota State University

Rebecca Woytassek, Graduate Student at DoArch, South Dakota State University 

Symposium Organizers

Jessica Garcia Fritz, Assistant Professor of Architecture at DoArch, South Dakota State University and co-worker at LAB-OR

Federico Garcia Lammers, Associate Professor of Architecture at DoArch, South Dakota State University and co-worker at LAB-OR

Jocelyn Rothmeier, Graduate Student at DoArch, South Dakota State University

Autumn Schlomer, Graduate Student at DoArch, South Dakota State University

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