"Lady Midnight has developed her chops by plaing in wide-ranging groups like the electro-pop trio VANDAAM and the horn-fuled Afro-Cuban band Malamanya. There's never been a better time to take a closer look at this entrancing singer, however, as she emerges as a solo artist. [...] It's hard not to picture Sade lounging on a yacht in the Caribbean, or Lady Midnight herself coolly driving around with the top down." - Andrea Swenson, The Current
Siama Matuzungidi (2014-'15 McKnight Fellow) is a singer, composer and master guitarist from DR Congo (later Kenya, Dubai, Uganda, Japan and now Minneapolis). He was in-demand studio musician during the golden era of soukous music (1970s-'80s) and his distinctive arpeggiated guitar style is featured on over 100 hit songs, several of which he composed. He's considered a major contributor to the popularization of soukous (a style of music known as, "the sound of happiness").
Patrick Scully began dancing in 1972 in college. In 1976 he co-founded Contactworks, a Minneapolis collective focused on contact improvisation. In 1980 he left Contactworks in search of a way to bring his voice as a gay man into the work he was creating. This led him dance with Remy Charlip in NYC, beginning with Remy’s Ten Men show in BAM’s Next Wave Festival in 1984. In his heart, and daily life, Patrick is still dancing with Remy.
Ward is a storyteller, journalist, arts organizer, and full-time bike commuter based in the Whittier neighborhood of Minneapolis. He started competing in story slams in 2010 and is the 2011, 2012, and 2013 SlamMN! Story Slam champion. He is also the 2014 Twin Cities Moth GrandSlam champion. His slam stories blend the style of slam poetry with strong narrative arcs and cover topics such as sailing, bird hunting, and cranky playground equipment.
Saymoukda Vongsay is a Lao American poet, playwright, and cultural producer. Her writings can be found in the Journal of Southeast Asian American Education and Advancement and The Asian American Literary Review. Her plays have been presented by Mu Performing Arts, Lazy Hmong Woman Productions, Theater Unbound, and the Consortium of Asian American Theater Artists. The critically acclaimed KUNG FU ZOMBIES VS CANNIBALS was named "Best Production of 2013" (L’Etoile Magazine).
Taylor Seaberg is a fan of blending genres, her lifelong passion has always been jazz and classical Spanish flamenco guitar. Her latest joy is combining the old with neo-soul, RNB, and groove funk. She is a constantly growing artist, reflecting on her flaws and encourages thinking outside of her comfort zone.
Living in staunchly Republican Stillwater, MN with a New York accent and a jaded sense of humor, Howard makes his living as a headhunter for attorneys and his unique blend of performance art, improv and edgy personal narrative storytelling has made him a fixture in the national performance art scene.
Originally from Mexico City, Arturo Miles began dancing in Minneapolis in the late 90’s. He specializes in Hip-Hop, House, Modern and Waacking dance. He is an original member of Collective Hip-Hop Dance Company, and teaches Hip-Hop and House Dance for the Zenon Dance Company and School. Currently a curator at Patrick’s Cabaret and producing work that falls under experimental theater, themed variety shows, and short film. His work has been shown at The Southern Theater, Bryant Lake Bowl, Intermedia Arts, Gamut Gallery and The Varsity Theater.
Magnolia Yang Sao Yia (YSY) attained her BFA in Dance and Minor in Asian American studies from the University of Minnesota, and is a third year company member of Ananya Dance Theatre. The marginalized experience as a woman of color shaping her social and political perspective, the continuum of patriarchy within her cultural context facilitating the violence and injustice taking place through her past and present history are important subjects in which she chooses to address.
Darrius Strong is a Twin Cities based choreographer, dancer, teacher whose creative work has been chosen for the Walker Art Center Choreographers Evening, Rhythmically Speaking, The American College Dance Festival, The University of MN Dance Theater and was featured in the New Griots Festival at the Phoenix theater, Minneapolis. Darrius graduated from the U of MN, Twin cites with a BFA in Dance in 2015 and has created works for Southwest High School, SPCPA high school, St. Olaf College and shared a evening of work titled, Ipseity.