May Artist Spotlight: Spoken Word Phenom Desdamona

May Artist Spotlight: Spoken Word Phenom Desdamona

“When I go into learning spaces, I try to really see people, see their gifts and strengths. If I notice a participant whose behavior is typically seen as negative, I try to turn that around and witness what that student has to offer that hasn’t yet been tapped into. I was one of those young people who couldn’t stop talking, couldn’t sit still and sometimes couldn’t follow directions. It’s no surprise that my dance teacher saw my behavior and thought I would be a good teacher. She watched how I related to others, and took what had gotten me in trouble at school and gave me a productive outlet to express. It changed my life.”

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April Artist Spotlight: Music Creator Stefon "Bionik" Taylor

April Artist Spotlight: Music Creator Stefon "Bionik" Taylor

“Minnesota has done so much to shape my own artistic voice and vision, I want to give back and contribute to the rich fabric of the arts that exists here. There are also many under-served communities here that I believe will benefit from exposure to “non-conventional” paths and careers in the arts. Art is the foundation of a healthy society.”

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March Artist Spotlight: Poetry Slam Master Danny Solis

March Artist Spotlight: Poetry Slam Master Danny Solis

“The most important thing that writing and performing poetry and spoken word can teach is compassion. When we learn to be empathetic towards each other and towards the world in general we begin to create the world we all dream about, a world of peace and opportunity where we work together to build a really civilized culture where we can all live up to our potential.”

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July Artist Spotlight: Guerilla Haiku Founder Caley Vickerman

July Artist Spotlight: Guerilla Haiku Founder Caley Vickerman

“I wanted to experiment with tools that would embolden my students to interact with new people in public spaces.  Over time this evolved into the Guerilla Haiku Movement.  People share their stories in 17-syllables, but they also connect more deeply with themselves, the people around them and the places that they live.  It is my belief that these small moments of sharing and connection is how empathy is built, how to renew a sense of commitment to our public spaces, and how, eventually, bottom-up community development occurs.”

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