The East Side Arts Council is committed to bringing Artists to schools to increase passion for the Arts for future generations.


East Side Arts Council is honored to work with the following literary, visual, and performing teaching artists, who provide quality arts programming for our after school programs. Throughout the year, we place teaching artists in contract teaching positions in after school programs at schools and recreation centers, as well as in our summer programming. The artists in this roster have been chosen through an interview process based on both their artistic skills, their ability to teach students and their experience and passion for working with inner city youth on the East Side.

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.

Artists currently involved in our programs:

Juan Parker: Visual Arts

Juan Parker: Art has always been a part of him since he was a child born and raised in North Minneapolis. He attended North High School from 1973 to 1976-worked hard and took extra credit classes to graduate a year earlier. Being held back in elementary school was his motivation excell later on. He graduated from Hennepin Technical School with a degree in Commercial Art. He has freelanced for several small businesses, painted murals, taught classes to young children, adults, and senior citizens. His art has been a feature in the Art In The Hollow in the Nature Park in East Saint Paul, Homewood Studios in North Minneapolis, small coffee shops in South Minneapolis, and the Saint Paul Art Crawl in Lowertown for many years.

Juan currently teaches visual arts classes with our Creative Connections for Seniors 55+ program. Future shows coming up are Frame Ups in Highland in Saint Paul in January 2018 and The Show Gallery in downtown Saint Paul in March 2018.

Dave Branch: Comic Book Making

A published comic book author, Dave started with ESAC as an Artmobile intern. He is now on his second year teaching after school arts classes with ESAC! Currently, he teaches comic book making at Highland Park Middle School.

Charlotte Rose-Tauer: Visual Arts Follow on IG @dearmamarose

Charlotte "Mama" Rose is an artist, psychic and mother of two based in St. Paul, MN. Equally passionate about breaking down old systems and building things anew, she contributes psychic information to fields of science and technology in addition to being an artist and activist. Charlotte is outspoken in conversations on women's rights, gender and race equality, human sexuality and more. Her artwork often speaks to trauma survivors, fellow parents, gender-non conforming people and those who's inner-child is seeking representation. She does psychic and healing work professionally, allowing her creative energy to be both be guided and to guide others in healing. Charlotte is passionate about her music, visual art, poetry, writing (including a regular column in the Edge Magazine) and teaching children how to love themselves at every stage of their creation process. Any of Charlotte's students will tell you her answer to most questions is simply, "Practice". At the core of her teaching philosophy is this, practice makes us good at things so be kind to yourself while you practice and practice what you like.

She has worked for us as a substitute and currently teaching visual arts (drawing and painting) to students at Farnsworth Aerospace Pre K-8. She has also taught through St. Paul Public Libraries.

Daniel Rosas: Break/Hip Hop Dance Follow on IG @fine_art_devil

Daniel is an exciting new addition to our roster this year. He is a professional dancer, performer, and visual artist who has participated in the Twin Cities dance scene through many projects and events such as  Drop the Mic and Passport to Dance. He has been a part of groups such as D.E.A.D.P.O.O.L, TC Omega Zulu, and 1st Avenue Breakers which performs during MN Timberwolves and Lynx halftime shows. He has received multiple awards including the COMPAS Teaching Artist Award 2017 and the Midwest Starz Rising Star Champion silver/gold 2016.  Connecting with his students is the core philosophy of his mentorship and teaching work.

He will be teaching Hip Hop dance to students at Washington Technology Magnet this year.

Conor Burke: Visual Arts, Music Follow on IG @conor_burke

Conor is a painter, illustrator, printmaker and musician based out of south Minneapolis. After graduating from the University of Missouri with a BA in Art, Conor moved to the Twin Cities in 2016. Since his arrival, he has shown paintings, designed t-shirt and album art for bands, self produced zines for zine conferences, painted murals and traveled with his band nationally. Conor believes art is a creative right and is essential to growth in the youth and the community.

Conor is a brand new addition to our artist roster and currently teaches visual arts at Washington Technology Magnet.

Julia Vang: Hmong Dance

A popular artist of ours who has been teaching Hmong dance and culture at Farnsworth Aerospace Pre K-8 with us for years.

Jannie Vang: Hmong Dance

Currently teaches Hmong dance and culture at Washington Technology Magnet.

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 EyeDarling, 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).

She currently teaches poetry and creative writing through our Creative Connections for Seniors 55+.

Gita Ghei: Metal Arts

Sculptor artist and educator Gita Ghei has a degree in classics from Reed College in Oregon. She learned her trade in a bronze art foundry in Berkeley. She works primarily in metal and incorporates found natural materials, drawing and photography into her artwork. She also works as an artisan, doing patina work and sculpture maintenance. Her work as a teaching artist bridges different subjects through art, with a particular focus on natural sciences. She has shared a studio at the Anderson Center in Red Wing since 1995.

She teaches metal arts through Artmobile and has also been working on various public art projects for the new police training center. For more information visit our urban design page!

Lue Thao: Break and Hip Hop Dance

Lue Thao, also known as Finisher, is a professional dancer that travels, teach, and competes around the US. He is the director and founder of Cypher Side inside the Indigenous Roots Cultural Arts Center. Cypher Side is an organization that provides dance classes specializing in Hip Hop and Break Dance as well as performances. He has showcased on live TV for Fox 9 News and TPT. Lue also performs for the Minnesota NBA Timberwolves and Lynx halftime/quarter shows with a crew called First Avenue Breakers. Some special performances he has done is for Justin Timberlake’s half-time Super Bowl 52 show, Vanilla Ice for the I Love The 90s Tour, and with Tori Kelly for the Prince Tribute Concert!

Currently, Lue also teaches Hip Hop and Breakdance at John A. Johnson Elementary.

Cheng Xiong: Hip Hop Dance

“A young professional dancer that grew up in the East side of St. Paul, Minnesota who started off as a street dancer. Xiong received his Bachelor’s Art in Dance at The University of Minnesota Twin Cities in 2014. He is now currently working with a few professional dance companies such as Black Label Movement, STRONGMovement and In New Company. Xiong is not just a sought-after Hip-Hop/Breakdance instructor, he is also leading and helping connect communities with a passionate organization called Hmong Breakers Leadership Council.” (

A returning artist of ours, he is currently teaching Hip Hop dance at Ramsey Middle School.

Leanna Browne: African Dance

She teaches a very popular Umfundalai dance (a pan-African contemporary dance technique) class combined with African dance history at Maxfield Elementary and John A. Johnson Elementary. Through this class, she covers dance techniques from multiple countries and cultures within the African continent.

Some of the artists previously involved in our programs:

Matthew Berdahl: Break Dance

Diego Vazquez Jr.: Spoken Word

Miriam Stoner: Visual Arts

Follow on IG @mimstoner

Tamina Muhammed: Visual Arts Follow on IG @taminafunfaces

SEE MORE PERSPECTIVE (Adam Rangel): Spoken Word

Sophea Ek: Photography                                     

Stephen Workman: Printmaking

Vin Lu: Breakdance and Hip Hop

Mica Lee Anders: Visual Art, Theater, Dance

Starri Hedges: Multimedia: Visual Art, Sculpture, Theater, Art for Healing


Obed Alvarez: Aztec drumming

Emily Isenberg: Visual arts, drawing, painting

Daniel Zimmerschied: Dance

Herbert Johnson: Hip-Hop Dance

Karla Nweje: African Dance

Jacqui Rosenbush: Multimedia Sculptor and Painter

Edna Stevens Jr.: Hip-Hop, Latin Dance, and African Dance, Visual Arts


William Harris: Spoken Word

Neal Beckman: Theater Arts

Sara Kelly: Hip Hop Dance and Visual Arts

Chia “Chilli” Lor: Spoken Word, Performance


Shakun Maheswhari: Visual Arts, Folk Arts, Photography
Shakuntala Design Inc.

Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay: Poetry, Playwright

Get to know her at


Christopher Yaeger: Dance, Theater

Marie Olofsdotter: Interdisciplinary, Painting, Poetry, Sculpture


Kalpulli YaocenoxtliMary Anne and Sergio Quiroz: Mexica Dance and Culture


Linda Bruning: Theater

Rita Mustaphi: Dance

Malia Burkhart: Playwriting, Puppetry, Storytelling, Theater

Francis Kofi: Music, Dance

Joan Griffith and Ruth MacKenzie: Music

Teatro del Pueblo: Theater & Storytelling

Katha Dance Theater, Mukta Sathe: Kathak Dance

Afoutayi, Djenane Saint Juste: Haitian Dance

Dolina Polish Folk Dancers, Alina Jambor: Polish Folk Dance