Heather Nielsen

Senior Facilitator

Contact Heather:

Heather Nielsen is delighted to join the Project Success community after relocating back to Minnesota mid-pandemic! She has worked with organizations like the Guthrie Theater and Adventures in Cardboard and SPA while making Minneapolis her home after living in Brooklyn, New York for ten years. While in NYC, she engaged in education that prioritized social justice and created community based art and theater. She taught Fourth Grade at Friends Seminary in Manhattan, as well as directing class plays, co-directing Middle School theater, and creating original work with the Creative Arts Team Youth Theater. Other highlights were co-creating the Newtown Creek Puppet Parade and Pageant in Brooklyn, exploring the polluted waterway’s past, present, and future with its young residents, earning her Masters in Applied Theatre through CUNY-SPS, and taking Educational Theatre classes at City College. Prior to moving to New York, Heather lived in Vermont and Minnesota and focused on experiential education, conservation, and youth leadership with both the Vermont and Minnesota Conservation Corps. Heather graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN with a BA in Environmental Studies and a focus on theater and social change. She loves exploring Minneapolis and St. Paul by bike, by canoe, or on foot; often in search of great food, frequently with her partner Dan, always exclaiming about the beautiful sunsets!

Favorite musicians:

Prince, David Bowie, Tribe Called Red, The National, Beyonce

If you had to pick a theme song that would play every time you entered the room, what would it be?

Lovely Day by Bill Withers

Favorite books:

Reading the Forested Landscape by Tom Wessels, Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich, B is for Brooklyn by Selina Alko

Favorite movies:

Princess Bride, Royal Tenenbaums,

Favorite food:

All noodles! pasta, rice noodles, soba, yum

 Favorite quote:

“We all do better when we all do better.” Paul Wellstone

Favorite subject in school:

Choir, biology, theater, art, language arts

Favorite theater experience:

Seeing HOTB’s MayDay parade and festival for the first time and realizing the power of HUGE puppets, community celebration, and ritual.

Your ultimate vacation destination:


If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

Being able to ‘see’ the history of an old object or building by touching or holding it

The most influential person in your life/favorite teacher or mentor:

My mom!  Gave me a deep curiosity about nature and taught me to lead with kindness and love.

What you wanted to be when you grew up:

An actor or a veterinarian