Artists in Action – Your COMPAS News Round-up

The days are getting longer and anticipation for summer is ever-growing. It's a tell-tale sign the school year is coming to a close, but COMPAS artists aren’t slowing down! See who's been keeping the creative momentum going in May.

A comedian, comic book enthusiast, and spoken word poet walk into a classroom…  

Levi Weinhagen and students

Levi Weinhagen and students

Sounds like the prelude to a bad joke, but in reality they are the main ingredients for the Writing Apprenticeship Program at North View Middle School. Three-hundred 7th and 8th graders participated in the program and worked with three of our literary teaching artists. Levi Weinhagen (comedy), Fiona Avocado (comics), and Tou Saiko Lee (spoken word poetry) collaborated together to bring an enriching writing experience that spanned a variety of genres. Weinhagen, Avocado and Lee will each select three students’ work to be published in the annual COMPAS collection of student writing. Additionally, all interested students had the opportunity to share their writing at North View’s One World, Many Stories event on May 25.

Frank Sentwali

Frank Sentwali

Poetry slams into real issues

On May 23rd, The Youth Slam at the Rochester Civic Theatre gave young writers the chance to express their spoken word talents. Six teams were signed up to compete: two from Rochester STEM Academy, and one each from the Alternative Learning Center, The Apex Program, Byron, and The Rochester Boys & Girls Club. Artist Frank Sentwali and English teacher Jonathon Edwards joined forces to help students tackle issues with cultural appropriation, police brutality, body-shaming, and self-respect.

“When Frank and I started working together the first year, we kind of discovered that, inadvertently, we were teaching these kids to recognize their own culture,” said Edwards.  

Heidi and Saymoukda

Heidi and Saymoukda

*Pomp and Circumstance plays softly in the distance*

May was a special month for COMPAS artists Heidi Jeub and Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay as they took home their Master’s degrees. Congratulations! The world is ready for your talented brains.


The countdown has begun...

Arts & Crafts is officially a month away and our excitement cannot be contained! We have an amazing lineup of breweries and distilleries, alongside Dunn Brothers Cold Brew Coffee, RSVTea, and food trucks. June 24th can't come soon enough! Do you have your tickets yet? 

Snag them here before they're all gone!

Pre-Party with us!

Make sure to kick-off Arts & Crafts with us on Monday, June 5th at Maple Island Brewing! One dollar of every pint sold will go towards unleashing creativity in Minnesota. We will have tickets to Arts & Crafts, information on COMPAS, and of course, you'll get to hang with our fabulous staff and volunteers. Come grab a beer and say hi!