Dameun Maurice Strange is a sound artist, multi-instrumentalist, and composer whose conceptual chamber works, choral pieces and operas are focused on stories of the African diaspora. Strange is compelled to express through sound, music and poetry the beauty and resilience of the Black experience, digging into a pantheon of ancestors to tell stories of a triumph, while connecting the past, present, and future.
Strange is an award winning composer, Aspen Ideas Festival Scholar and has been a featured composer with Alternative Motion Project for six years. The Cedar Cultural Center, International renown artist Seitu Jones via the McKnight Foundation, and Ananya Dance Theatre are amongst his most recent commissioners. Aside from his creative pursuits, Strange is an arts advocate and a creative consultant to leaders and organizations in the for profit, nonprofit and public sectors.
Sagirah Shahid is a Black Muslim poet based in Minneapolis. She is a 2015-2016 winner of a Loft Literary Center’s Mentor Series Award in poetry, a 2016-2017 winner of a Minnesota Center for Book Arts Mentorship Award, and a 2017 recipient of a Minnesota State Arts Board grant. Sagirah was one of four poets selected by the city of Minneapolis to have poems sculpted into giant metal lanterns along downtown Minneapolis’ iconic Nicollet Mall.
Sagirah’s writing is widely published, including: Mizna, Paper Darts, For Harriet, Blue Minaret, Muslim Women Speak, Cosmonauts Avenue, AtlanticRock, Bluestem, Switchback and elsewhere. She is a contributing author to the acclaimed collection: How Dare We! Write: A Multicultural Creative Writing Discourse. When she isn’t writing, Sagirah co-facilitates the Mizna affiliate meet-up series Critical Creative and teaches creative writing and poetry at an after-school arts program.