Brittany Lynch: The Renaissance Woman

Colin Michael Simmons

Colin Michael Simmons

City Pages' People Issue celebrates people making Minnesota a better place.

Life comes at you fast.

When KFAI radio approached Brittany Lynch about helping to create a new morning show last year, the DJ and arts entrepreneur known around town as DJ Miss Brit thought she and co-host Barb Abney would have a healthy amount of time to map out their vision for the program. After all, Abney’s background was in alt-rock, Lynch’s in hip-hop and R&B. Making what Lynch calls an “arranged radio marriage” work would take some fine-tuning.

Then City Pages reported the news, and, well, things sped up. “We got such a great response, that sort of put us on the fast track to figure some things out live on the air,” Lynch says. “Audiences heard us getting to know each other in the real time.”

Six months into the new show, Lynch sounds thrilled with a recent overhaul to the program’s structure. “Our nickname for the new format is ‘Air BnB.’”

Miss Brit is no stranger to taking life as it comes. Coordinating her overlapping careers—radio personality, club DJ, event organizer, arts booster, business owner—has been a continuous process of adjustment and improvisation. But as with the morning show, she’s finally found the right rhythm, a way to promote music, help artists develop their business sense, and spread social consciousness. 

For instance, Miss Brit hosts a monthly event at Icehouse, which she calls “a night of performance art dedicated to healing.

“I wanted to create a space where we could be vulnerable, where we could talk about mental health, a place where people could be completely open, completely vulnerable,” she says.

Her sense that there’s a need for such nurturing is rooted in her past. Lynch was born in St. Paul. After her mother left Lynch’s abusive biological father, they wound up in Naomi Family Center. Then her mom remarried and the family relocated. “It made me well-rounded, going from city to suburb, from diverse communities to where I’m the only one in my class and sometimes my school who looks like me,” Lynch says. “All of it helped me to understand that there are different ways of living, and how drastic life can change.”

That sense of impermanence, and an awareness that artists need to be ready for change, also drives Lynch’s company, Visions Merging, which studies infrastructure to educate creatives, corporations, and government agencies on what an arts scene needs to thrive.

“What does it mean when we lose an organization like Intermedia Arts?” she asks. “What are the funding mechanisms that need to be in place? Who owns the land? Who owns the buildings? All of those behind-the-scenes things that artists don’t talk about, they need to be in place so artists can flourish.”

The trickiest part of Lynch’s balancing act? Surviving both a club DJ’s late nights and a morning-show host’s early mornings. “Oh, man. It is a lifestyle commitment,” she says. “Waking up is not the hard part—it’s going to sleep on time.” 

Click here to read other profiles from this year's City Pages People Issue.