Our fantastic group of Artist Mentors are creators who are working professionally in their art form.
The youths we commission to create a project for our Youth Voices of Experience Magazine are paired with an Artist Mentor. Over the course of six weeks, Artist Mentors meet with their mentees over Zoom to help them develop their project, deepen their artistic skills, establish goals and timelines, and craft their artist statement.
snem DeSellier (they/them)
Expertise: Writing, dance, theatre
snem DeSellier is a multi-modal maker: deviser, designer, dramaturg, writer-poet, dancer, and facilitator. their work integrates time, motion and parallax through a queer and access-focused collaborative lens, working to tend relationship, intimate to systemic. they have light designed with 20% Theatre and The Playwrights’ Center, presented original works with Lighting Rod, Controlled Burn, and 9x22 Dance/Lab, and have collaborated on and supported many a new work- from first drafts of plays, to film installations, to community poetry/movement workshops, to educational theatre.
Dan Dukich (he/him)
Expertise: Music composition and performance, sound engineering
Dan Dukich is a composer, sound designer and musician whose work has been heard on stages all across North America and Europe. He has been recognized by The Kennedy Center with a Distinguished Achievement in Sound Design Award, supported by Nautilus Music-Theatre's Composer-Librettist Studio and is a recipient of MRAC's Next Step Fund. Dan is also a songwriter who records and performs with the moniker Daniel Bonespur.
Alia Jeraj (she/her)
Expertise: Music composition and performance, writing
Alia Jeraj is an artist and educator in the Twin Cities. She sings with groups including Nanilo, a trio rooted in traditional harmonies from Eastern Europe and Western India, Mixed Precipitation's summer operetta, and Artemis, a treble vocal ensemble based in exploration and improvisation. Her bylines include Pollen, American Craft, and the Twin Cities Daily Planet. When she is not helping high school students understand math concepts or singing, you can find Alia watering her garden or sipping iced coffee.
Kokou Kah (he/him)
Expertise: Music producing and performance
Kokou Kah, is a Liberia born, Minnesota raised musician. Kokou began rapping at the age of six, and continued to use hip hop along with r&b, and afro beat to find himself in the noise of the world, thus creating his own tune to life. Kokou's life motto is to stay "casually lit", shining without effort nor reproach. Making music that allows people to feel alive whether dealing with happiness, depression, love, goals, and every aspect of life without downplaying any moment.
Vanessa Powers (she/her)
Expertise: Theatre, filmmaking
Vanessa M. H. Powers is a director, filmmaker, and coffee enthusiast. She can often be found trying to be in too many places at once. She is very passionate about representation in storytelling, and the idea that art is for everyone. Currently, she is in post-production on a couple of short films with her production company the Oxford Comma Film Cooperative. She is also the resident artistic director at St. Matthew Community Theatre in Columbia Heights, MN.
Madison Rubenstein (she/her)
Expertise: Visual Art
Rubenstein is a visual artist working in traditional media such as gouache, oil paint, ink and charcoal. She has exhibited her work in several galleries and public spaces throughout the Twin Cities, including Co-Exhibitions, Northrup King Building, and Public Functionary. In 2013 Rubenstein earned her BFA in Drawing and Painting from Minneapolis College of Art and Design. She works in studio 207B in the California Building of Northeast Minneapolis. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak she participated in monthly and annual open studio events, such as Second Saturday Open Studios and Art-A-Whirl. Rubenstein currently serves on the Board of Directors for Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association (NEMAA), and on the board for Elsewhere Studios Artist Residency in Paonia, CO.
Anthony Sisler-Neuman (he/him)
Expertise: Writing, theatre
Anthony Sisler-Neuman works as a theater maker and educator in the twin cities. He and his wife are the co-founders and directors of Graceful Monsters Educational Theatre Collective. He is also facilitates conversations around mindful language and gender inclusion with fellow educators, medical practitioners and artists.
Addie Smith (they/them)
Expertise: Dance, choreography
Addie is a dance artist and performer based in Minneapolis. Originally from California, they moved out here in 2017 and currently perform with Crash Dance Productions and Alternative Motion Project. Addie's style and work is rooted in post-modern and contemporary dance styles and is often theatrical, absurd, and steeped in child-like curiosity.
Moira Villiard (she/her)
Expertise: Visual art, community-engaged art
Moira Villiard is a dynamic multidisciplinary visual artist working in a variety of artistic genres, including portraiture, illustration, graphic and digital design and as a muralist. She is also a community organizer, curator and passionate arts educator concentrating her efforts around issues of equity and justice including: arts access (giving voice to underrepresented communities within the arts), creative placemaking, environmental sustainability, youth empowerment, and acknowledgement of Indigenous land, culture, and history. Villiard is a Fond du Lac Ojibwe direct descendent and grew up on the Fond du Lac Reservation in Cloquet, MN.She received her Bacheor's Degree in Communicating Arts (Global Studies Minor) from the University of Wisconsin-Superior in 2016.