Northern Lights.mn is excited to welcome our first-ever Northern Spark 2017 Program Council!
When we received Knight Foundation support to site Northern Spark 2017 along the Green Line, Northern Lights.mn decided to work in a different way to plan the festival: we wanted to engage neighborhoods and cultural communities directly.
In the spirit of forging these new relationships, we’ve assembled Northern Spark’s first-ever Program Council, made up of 9 artists with cultural connections to neighborhoods on the Green Line where the festival programming will take place: West Bank, Little Africa and Little Mekong. Their role is to work with Northern Spark staff to shape the open call process, jury projects, and encourage greater participation and neighborhood engagement. We are incredibly lucky to work with, support, and partner with such great visionaries.
Program Council 2016-2017
Brittany Lynch As a Twin Cities based poet, TV/radio personality, actress, entrepreneur, creative consultant and community organizer, Brittany works interdependently between media art, curation and social justice. She runs her own social enterprise (Visions Merging) doing creative consulting and strategic development for various artists and organizations that wish to develop in artistic and equitable ways. Follow her at @heymissbrit.
Pa Na Lor is a storyteller working in an array of multimedia and experimental animation to tell her stories – grand or miniscule. Currently, she is creating an experimental animation through digital collaging hand drawn and paint on glass animation, printmaking and painting. Learn more about Pa Na here: https://www.instagram.com/pana_lor/
Aki Shibata received her BFA in Photography from the College of Visual Arts. She produces work that examines of her body and mind in public and gallery spaces. Shibata has shown at Rochester Art Center, Northern Spark 2017, and was a chosen finalist for City of Minneapolis Creative City Challenge 2018. Connect with Aki Shibata @Chibattabread
Sara Endalew was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She studied painting at a young age and was a professional artist in her native country. In 2006, Endalew moved to the US and discovered the challenges of navigating a new environment. Her work now is inspired by her Ethiopian culture and she has shown work at Impact Hub MSP, University of Minnesota, and Northern Spark 2017. Learn more about Sara Endalew here: saraart.bigcartel.com
Hapistinna Graci Horne, better known at Graci, was born and raised in Minnesota. Her bands are the Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota people and Hunkpapa Lakota/Dakota people. Horne holds a degree in Museum Studies from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM. She has expertise in exhibition design, planning, and curation, as well as educational programming.
Sagirah Shadid is a poet by way of Minneapolis. She is a 2015-2016 winner of the Loft Literary Center’s Mentor Series Award in poetry. Sagirah’s work has been published widely, including in Mizna, Alyss, Qu and the Fem Literary Magazine. Sagirah is an editor at the Saint Paul Almanac and is currently at work writing her first book of poetry. Connect with Sagirah through twitter @sagirahs.
Raised in a nomadic upbringing, Ahmed Ismail Yusuf is the author of two books: Gorgorkii Yimi a collection of short stories in Somali, and Somalis in Minnesota with the Minnesota Historical Society. His short stories appeared in Bildhaan: an International Journal of Somali studies, Mizna: an Arab-American literary magazine, Warscapes: an online literary magazine and his academic papers in the Journal of Muslim Mental Health; Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology; International Society for Traumatic-stress Studies, Psychiatry times; scripts for plays on Somalis television and articles and reviews on several Somali websites. He has a B.S. in creative writing and psychology from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut; and an MPA (Master of Public Affairs) from the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs of the University of Minnesota and LGSW (License Graduate Social Worker).
Adan Dirie is a poet who writes in his native Somali language. He is an active member of his community and a full-time student. Connect with Adan on his facebook.
Filsan Ibrahim is an environmentalist, community organizer, and instigator for change. She hopes to use her voice to improve the lives of those in her community, focusing especially on the importance of being engaged in the entire process of democracy. Connect with Filsan on her Facebook.