Storytelling

Filip Swiergul is a comedian with Osteogenesis Imperfecta (Brittle Bone Disease) from Rochester, Minnesota. Filip found his ability to see humor in even the toughest of circumstances to be an invaluable coping mechanism during his frequent trips to the Mayo Clinic. His comedy focuses on his experiences and observations that are unique and yet relatable. Filip took third place in the 2014 Twin Cities Funniest Person Contest at Acme Comedy Club. He continues to MC at Goonie’s Comedy Club in Rochester regularly and performs in the upper Midwest.

Julia Nekessa Opoti is a multi-media storyteller.

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.

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.

Wolf has been an artist of several disciplines for 9 years. They have a primary focus on poetry.

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.

All day, Maitreyi Ray has been thinking about you. She writes about death, intimacy, and vulnerability through her experiences as a queer woman of color and immigrant. Please talk to her.

Chris Stedman in an author and community organizer who writes narrative nonfiction that explores how we tell our stories, how we talk about complicated and deeply personal things, and how we seek to understand one another. He is the author of Faitheist, "an intimate and deeply affecting portrait… [that] proves [he is] an activist in the truest sense and one to watch" (Booklist, Starred Review). He has written for publications including Salon, The Guardian, CNN, MSNBC, The Advocate, USA Today, The Huffington Post, The Rumpus, and The Washington Post.

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