East Side Arts Council's artist roster for School Partnership Programs includes the following literary, visual, and performing artists. Throughout the school year, ESAC places teaching artists in contract teaching positions during school, creating arts programming that connects directly to the curriculum being taught in the classrooms. Note: This list is always in progress!
Christopher Yaeger Dance, Theater
Christopher has played a variety of roles in dance and theater since his early school days. He works in schools and performs on stages across the globe including the Twin Cities, Budapest, Prague, Las Vegas, and Seoul. As a seasoned traveler, he enjoys exploring folk dances from around the world as well as sampling dance styles originating in our back yard.
Marie Olofsdotter Interdisciplinary, Painting, Poetry, Sculpture
Marie is the author/illustrator of three children’s books: Taking Charge of My Mind and Body, Frej the Fearless, and Sofia and the Heartmender, all published by Free Spirit Publishing. She has received awards from Jerome Foundation, Minnesota State Arts Board, Minnesota Book Award, Midwest Book Achievement Award and MidAmerica Publishers Award. In the past two years, her work has been featured in exhibits in the Open Book and Catherine G. Murphy galleries, as well as the Weisman Art Museum and Cornucopia Arts Center. She has worked in residency at over 30 schools in the Twin Cities and received her artistic training at the Grundskolan för Konstnärlig, Stockholm and the University of Ulmeå and Uppsala, both in Sweden.
Kalpulli Yaocenoxtli, Mary Anne and Sergio Quiroz Aztec Dance and Culture
Kalpulli Yaocenoxtli means warriors of the first cactus flower. Our group is composed of families that are committed to sharing the philosophy, dance, drum and songs of the Mexica (Aztec) traditions. The alliance of our families (kalpulli) are in a constant state of learning together throughout the year. We participate, share and exchange these traditions in community and social events. As descendants of the indigenous people of this continent, we encourage the understanding of other nations and cultures with the objective that our listeners learn and embrace their own indigenous roots.
Linda Bruning Theater
As a residency artist, Linda exposes students to the creative art of theater, helping them find their own voice and creative spirit. Her residencies explore how theater skills will be useful throughout a lifetime as performer, audience member, or citizen. In addition to her 15 years of experience as a residency artist, she directs professionally throughout the upper Midwest.
Rita Mustaphi Dance
Rita was born and raised in Kolkata, India, where she studied Kathak dance at Rabindra Bharati University of Performing Arts. Her initial training started with Bela Arnab and Pandit Vijai Shankar, but she later studied under the guidance of renowned Padmavibhushan Pandit Birju Maharaj. Selected awards include McKnight Fellowships for choreography, award for study by the National Endowment for the Arts and Arts International, Travel and Study Award from the Jerome Foundation, and Dance Fellowship from the Minnesota State Arts Board.
Malia Burkhart Playwriting, Puppetry, Storytelling, Theater
Malia's residencies revolve around collaboration with teachers, with the belief that integrating current study topics transforms students' understanding of the subject, channeled through their own creative choices. As a May Day Parade Artist, she organizes, designs and leads public workshops for a people and puppet-powered parade. She has also been a parade artist for the Dream Community Festival in Taiwan (2005), and leading puppetry workshops onboard the Peace Boat, a Japan based peace tourism organization that travels around the world (2004). She also has worked with In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, COMPAS, and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, teaching teach myriad forms of puppetry and mask-making.
Francis Kofi Music, Dance
A renowned drummer and dancer, Francis descended from a long line of West African drum and dance heritage. He has performed and taught in North America, Europe, Asia and throughout Africa. Initially trained by his grandfather, master drummer and composer of Gbenordu Haborbor Troupe, Francis began his career as a performer at the age of six. He has been touring professionally since age fifteen as a master drummer, dancer and choreographer.
Margaret Hasse Creative Writing, Poetry
Originally from South Dakota, Margaret was educated at Stanford University and the University of Minnesota. She has a new collection of poems, Milk and Tides, recently released from Nodin Press. Her two previous books of poems are Stars Above, Stars Below from New Rivers Press, winner of the Minnesota Voices competition, and In a Sheep’s Eye, Darling, Milkweed Editions, winner of the Lakes and Prairies competition and a finalist for a Minnesota Book Award. Margaret has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Minnesota State Arts Board, and the Jerome Foundation, as well as two fellowships from the McKnight Foundation through the Loft Literary Center. Recent anthologies that include her work are To Sing Along the Way: Minnesota Women Poets from Pre-territorial Days to the Present (New Rivers Press,2006) and Where One Voice Ends Another Begins: 150 Years of Minnesota Poetry (Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2007).
Joan Griffith and Ruth MacKenzie Music
Joan and Ruth have been bringing jazz workshops to students across Minnesota and South Dakota for the past 14 years. The duo has led children and educators through composing and improvisational workshops and residencies, all with the historic perspective of how jazz music came to be. Joan is the head of the Jazz Studies Department at the University of St. Thomas. As a composer she has won numerous awards from the American Composers Forum and the Plymouth Music Series. Ruth has toured extensively in Europe and the U.S. In 1997 she created Kalevala: Dream of the Salmon Maiden, a music and theatre piece that was mounted at the Guthrie Theatre Lab for a sold-out three-week run. She has received numerous awards including a 1995 Fellowship from the Minnesota State Arts Board and 1998 McKnight Fellowship for Music Performance.
Teatro del Pueblo Theater
Based in West St. Paul’s Latino community, Teatro del Pueblo promotes Latino culture through the creation and presentation of performing arts. Teatro develops and supports Latino artists, provides educational opportunities for all to experience Latino culture and promotes cross-cultural dialogue.
The mission of the East Side Arts Council is to collaborate with our community and artists to celebrate and experience the arts.
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