Meet Our Artists

Keno Evol is a six year educator having taught at nineteen institutions across the state of Minnesota. Evol Teaches Black Voices at Washburn offered through TruArtSpeaks a course centered on providing MPLS students an opportunity to engage with black literature, theory and the craft of poetry. TruArtSpeaks is a non profit in St Paul, dedicating to cultivating literacy, leadership and social justice through the study and application of spoken word and Hip Hop culture. He currently is an editor at The Loft Literary Center Manuscript Critique Services.

Jen Wang is a first-generation Taiwanese American and Twin Cities-based mess of teeth and spit.  She is currently a teaching artist with Upstream Arts.

Dancer, Choreographer, Black American Griot

 

LaDonna Funderburke is a Kansas City native.  She is a local fashion designer who grew up singing gospel and jazz.  She uses music as a way to channel healing and creativity. Her love for music, poetry and fashion has given her the opportunity to bring theatrical fashion to the stage. "I believe that fashion, music and poetry are connected in a way that creates a soundtrack to who you are."

Zerbine Atosha: I was born in Congo DR but my bloodline starts in Rwanda. My family and I came to the U.S. when I was 9. I've always been an advocate for empowering individuals through education because I believe that education can help bring awareness to a lot of issues we face in society. Therefore, I want to be a literature teacher because I believe that being a teacher is a form of social justice. One of my hobbies is performing spoken word poetry because it allows me to express myself.

Daonna Lewis was last seen in “The Spirit of Hope” written by Danielle Daniel in the 2015 Fringe Festival at the Ritz Theatre, and was teaching artist for Harambee at the Ordway.  In 2014 she was in Park Square Theatre's production, "The Color Purple"; she was also artistic staff and dance captain for this production; and received a scholarship to go to Manhattan and train at the Alvin Ailey summer intensive.

Nothando Zulu is a Master storyteller who has been sharing stories with audiences since 1976.  She shares stories that entertain, educate, motivate and inspire.  She has performed at many venues locally, nationally and internationally.  She draws from an extensive resource of colorful, often funny characters whose antics and follies leave audiences pondering their own life’s lessons.

Beverly Cottman is an interdisciplinary artist creating at the intersection of visual, literary, and performance art. As 'Auntie Beverly' she tells the stories of the African Diaspora to celebrate and share her culture and heritage. This performance is dedicated to her ancestors who guide her still. Ashe.

Peggy Darrett Brewer has been singing and performing for over 20 years.  Peggy began singing in her church choir as a little girl in Evansville, Indiana.  She was in her first band at 16 were she sang R&B.  After moving to from Indiana to Minneapolis she fell in love with theatre and began working with Danielle Daniel’s theatre company.

Genesia Williams was born in Chicago at Cook County Hospital, sometime in the last part of the 1980s. She would have stayed there —redlining and decades-old inequities be damned— if her parents hadn't decided to make the great migration to the mid-sized city of Minneapolis. Genesia is a writer, a graphic designer, student at the school of hard knocks, a godmother,  a daughter, a sister, an auntie, and a lover of art.

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