A. Rafael Johnson, MFA
A. Rafael "Andy" Johnson works in arts-based evaluation and applied neuroaesthetics, using his background in the arts to transform what we find valuable, beautiful, and memorable into data useful for decision making. Andy brings 30+ years of experience in the arts, administration, and activism to TerraLuna. Andy began his career as a musician, then as stage manager and director. He advised graduate students and faculty in the Department of Sociology for seven years. Later, Andy became an aid worker in postwar Liberia under a USAID contract. In Liberia, Andy served as the nationwide coordinator of a Books for Africa initiative that reduced the national student-to-textbook ratio from an average of 26:1 to 4:1, connected former child soldiers with literacy and job training programs, and created the First-Year Writing Program at Cuttington University.
Over the course of his career, Andy has developed skills in observation, textual analysis, interviewing, recruiting, positive behavior supports, and arts-based interventions, as well as writing and editing. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Drama from The University of Texas, and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from The University of Alabama.
A. Rafael Johnson's was named a Kimbilio Fellow in African American Fiction in 2014. His first novel, The Through (Jaded Ibis Press, 2017), was a finalist for the 2018 Minnesota Book Award. Andy is finishing a collection of short stories called Okahika. He regularly appears at local literary events, and teaches creative writing at The Minneapolis College of Art and Design and The Loft Literary Center.