Featured Artists

Friday, June 14

Opening Keynote Session
Annual Convention opens with Little Earth Singers, a Native American celebratory drum circle led by Tony Frank of the Ojibwe Program at the Bdote Learning Center.

Singer, rapper, and writer Dessa has made a career of bucking genres and defying expectations. Her track “Congratulations” from the multiplatinum album The Hamilton Mixtape has notched more than ten million streams. Join us in welcoming this artistic powerhouse and her frequent collaborator, Aby Wolf, to the mainstage as our opening keynote artist—and stick around for a book signing with Dessa!

In CenterStage
In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre uses water, flour, newspaper, paint, and unlimited imagination to tell stories that explore the struggles and celebrations of human existence through vital, poetic theatre for all ages and backgrounds.

Saturday, June 15

Morning Keynote Session
Ananya Dance Theatre, a contemporary Indian dance company comprised primarily of women artists of color, intersects Indian dance with a philosophy of social justice. Through original dance theater about the extraordinary work and dreams of women around the world, Anaya inspires audiences and links women’s stories with movement to invoke broader questions about social justice.

In CenterStage
Celebrate contemporary fashion from Minnesota’s Hmong and Anishinaabe communities and cultures! The Twin Cities became the epicenter for Hmong fashion designers from across the country in the 2000s. This special exhibit is curated by SA | KO, the collective of designers and organizers Sai Chang, Ashaley Yang, Kathy Mouacheupao, and Oskar Ly.

Delina White, based in Walker, Minnesota, is a native apparel designer, beadwork artist, and member of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. She will showcase her contemporary clothing inspired by the traditional designs of the Great Lakes Woodland Nations.

Sunday, June 16

Closing Keynote Session
Gaelynn Lea won NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Contest in 2016, and she’s been on the road ever since playing her unique mix of haunting original songs and traditional fiddle tunes. In addition to performing, Gaelynn is also a disability rights and accessibility advocate. She has a congenital disability called Osteogenesis Imperfecta, or Brittle Bones Disease, and uses her music as a platform to advocate for people with disabilities and to promote positive social change.

In CenterStage
Ifrah Mansour is a Muslim Somali refugee multimedia artist and educator. Her artwork explores trauma through the eyes of children to uncover the resiliencies of Black, Muslim, and refugee populations. She interweaves poetry, puppetry, films, and installations in her project Halima Heals to engage Minnesotans about their healing practices in this divisive time.