Anisa Sharif is a 22 year old Minneapolis native who engages art through multidisciplinary forms such as poetry, song, and story telling in her Indigenous Somali language. Anisa is a lifelong learner and scholar that utilizes her art to reflect, heal and change the way she engages with society and its multifaceted systems of oppression.
(Click link for full bio) Deja Stowers began dancing at the age of four with the drill team African Perfection. As she continued to dance throughout junior high she took particular interest in West African dance. Early on she was welcomed with open arms into Voice of Culture Drum and Dance (VoC) by founder Kenna Cottman. Even though trained by masters of the West African dance tradition, Deja found that she was not always accepted by the professional dance world because of her bodacious size and direct, unapologetic demeanor. She struggled to find a home outside of VoC.
Jayden Apollo is an actor and artist in the twin cities. Some of his recent shows include play Xavier in 20 percent theatre's production of ballast, Beta in Mixed Blood's production of Charm, amd Sebastian in Rosetown theatre's production of the Little Mermaid.
As a Hip Hop artist from West Saint Paul's "District Del Sol" Mei graduated from the Saint Paul Conservatory's dance track, she began dancing at age 12 with a Mexican folkloric dance group, "Los Alegres Bailadores", and writing music at age 13 to cope with depression and anxiety. Growing up submerged within the combining Afro-Latino cultures of her parents, constantly surrounded music, absorbing how naturally rhythm came to them, admiring the way in which her mother spoke to be heard; for this reason she fell in love with Hip Hop before she even knew its name.
Kyra Crawford-Calvert is a silver-tongued time traveler who depends on her flux capacitor — that which makes time travel possible — and catalogs the lessons of her navigation through script[ure]. Her soul-mission is to water the Seed of Divinity ever present in herself and her fellows, especially those with skin from crimson to midnight, before we all head back to the future.
Seng Xiong is a queer non-binary Hmong American artist that is interested in how spirituality is tied to art. Having recently become more involved in dance and body movement, they are hoping to develop these art forms in telling stories that explore the experiences of queerness, cultural identity and spirituality. They have studied different modes and techniques of dance through the Ananya Theater Dance Troupe and through biological.
Vanessa Taylor is a community organizer and writer based in Minneapolis, MN. They are a co-founder of the Black Liberation Project, a grassroots collective of Black youth. Along with their organizing, they are a freelancer who has written for the Fader, Racked, and Elite Daily, amongst others. Their work focuses on exploring Black Muslim identity and Black womanhood.
Atlese Robinson is a writer, performer, and improv lighting designer. Atlese began writing poetry at the age of 11 and has always loved to read. Raised by her African American, Chicago-bred parents in Saint Paul, MN, Atlese’s creative works are inspired by her familial history. Atlese is a firm believer that the human spirit is shown at its most glorious during communal storytelling.
Christy Marie Kent is a writer, storyteller, and math geek living in the Twin Cities area with her husband, two sons, and a cat who begs to a warmer climate. Born and raised in the south, she now lives in Minnesota, where she tells stories about the south to anyone who will listen. She enjoys writing and storytelling because she gets to be creative and make stuff up—something that they frown on her doing in her day job in insurance statistics and calculating indicated rate levels.