Karen Folman is an up and coming singer-songwriter, from Saint Paul, Minnesota, who’s been performing her original music at open mic nights and showcases throughout the Twin Cities since 2003. Her style encompasses contemporary folk, pop, and soul, but not limited to. Karen’s soulful voice and her poetic lyrics are authentic, emotional, and real. Her music appeals to a variety of generations, as she spreads a universal message and vision of hope.
As an improvisational artist, Queen Drea uses the energy of each night to give her set life, creating a special bond with each new audience.
Keno Evol is a six year educator having taught at nineteen institutions across the state of Minnesota. Evol Teaches Black Voices at Washburn offered through TruArtSpeaks a course centered on providing MPLS students an opportunity to engage with black literature, theory and the craft of poetry. TruArtSpeaks is a non profit in St Paul, dedicating to cultivating literacy, leadership and social justice through the study and application of spoken word and Hip Hop culture. He currently is an editor at The Loft Literary Center Manuscript Critique Services.
Jen Wang is a first-generation Taiwanese American and Twin Cities-based mess of teeth and spit. She is currently a teaching artist with Upstream Arts.
LaDonna Funderburke is a Kansas City native. She is a local fashion designer who grew up singing gospel and jazz. She uses music as a way to channel healing and creativity. Her love for music, poetry and fashion has given her the opportunity to bring theatrical fashion to the stage. "I believe that fashion, music and poetry are connected in a way that creates a soundtrack to who you are."
Zerbine Atosha: I was born in Congo DR but my bloodline starts in Rwanda. My family and I came to the U.S. when I was 9. I've always been an advocate for empowering individuals through education because I believe that education can help bring awareness to a lot of issues we face in society. Therefore, I want to be a literature teacher because I believe that being a teacher is a form of social justice. One of my hobbies is performing spoken word poetry because it allows me to express myself.
Daonna Lewis was last seen in “The Spirit of Hope” written by Danielle Daniel in the 2015 Fringe Festival at the Ritz Theatre, and was teaching artist for Harambee at the Ordway. In 2014 she was in Park Square Theatre's production, "The Color Purple"; she was also artistic staff and dance captain for this production; and received a scholarship to go to Manhattan and train at the Alvin Ailey summer intensive.
Nothando Zulu is a Master storyteller who has been sharing stories with audiences since 1976. She shares stories that entertain, educate, motivate and inspire. She has performed at many venues locally, nationally and internationally. She draws from an extensive resource of colorful, often funny characters whose antics and follies leave audiences pondering their own life’s lessons.
Beverly Cottman, a multidisciplinary artist creating at the intersection of literary, visual, and performance art. She writes poetry, creates collage art works from found objects, tells African and African American folktales as Auntie Beverly, and in all things celebrates the rich heritage and culture of the African Diaspora.