Vickijoan Keck is a flamboyant storyteller, actress and poet who especially enjoys telling folktales and whimsical rhymes by the likes of Edward Lear, A.A. Milne and Ogden Nash. She enjoys telling personal stories as well as putting a new twist on an old tale. She got involved in storytelling in the mid 1990’s and has been involved since then, telling her stories at places like the MIA and Flint Hills children’s festival, libraries, coffee shops, Patricks Cabaret and other venues. By day she runs Ivy Arts Copy & Print in the Seward Neighborhood.
Ollie Schminkey is a white, non-binary transgender poet/musician/artist. They facilitate, direct, and host many organizations, including a queer open mic called OUTspoken! and a weekly writing workshop called Well-Placed Commas. They have also represented the Twin Cities in numerous national poetry competitions, and they have authored one chapbook, The Taste of Iron. You can find them touring nationally or in the We Will Be Shelter, Drunk in a Midninght Choir, and 20% Theater Co's The Naked I.
As a Twin Cities based poet, TV/radio personality, actress, entrepreneur, creative consultant and community organizer, Brittany “Miss Brit” Lynch is truly limitless. Working interdependently between media, art, curation and social justice, she has emerged as a tastemaker for the local entertainment scene.
Cetanzi - Nicholas “Nick” Metcalf, MSW, is a long-time community activist who has worked, lived, and loved in the Twin Cities community for over 20 years. Nick is an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, South Dakota, where they grew up. Nick attended the University of South Dakota for their Bachelors in Science (Math/Psychology), attended Minneapolis School of Massage and Bodywork for a certificate in Massage Therapy, and received their MSW in Family Therapy at Augsburg College.
Corey Medina was born and raised on the Navajo Reservation in Shiprock, New Mexico but found his way to snow-swept Bemidji in 2012. That’s where he met his “brothers” percussionist Nayo Perez and bassist Ian Hill. The trio perform Medina’s original music that’s a mix of Blues/Rock/Indie/Soul/Folk, with expressive lyrics resonating throughout his intuitive, soulful guitar.
Tenzin, a native Tibetan, is a composer, singer, multi-instrumentalist and composer. From 1993-2004 he was a member of the esteemed Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA) in Dharamsala, India. TIPA was founded by His Holiness the Dalai Lama to preserve and promote the traditional performing arts of Tibet. Through the vigorous training and practice at TIPA Tenzin achieved mastery in Tibetan Opera, folk dances, songs and a number of musical instruments.
"Lady Midnight has developed her chops by plaing in wide-ranging groups like the electro-pop trio VANDAAM and the horn-fuled Afro-Cuban band Malamanya. There's never been a better time to take a closer look at this entrancing singer, however, as she emerges as a solo artist. [...] It's hard not to picture Sade lounging on a yacht in the Caribbean, or Lady Midnight herself coolly driving around with the top down." - Andrea Swenson, The Current
Siama Matuzungidi (2014-'15 McKnight Fellow) is a singer, composer and master guitarist from DR Congo (later Kenya, Dubai, Uganda, Japan and now Minneapolis). He was in-demand studio musician during the golden era of soukous music (1970s-'80s) and his distinctive arpeggiated guitar style is featured on over 100 hit songs, several of which he composed. He's considered a major contributor to the popularization of soukous (a style of music known as, "the sound of happiness").