About The Festival

STAGES OF EQUITY 2022 is a 3-day visual & performing arts festival that raises up the powerful work of BIPOC artists on the North Hennepin Community College campus.  

The festival is a leading action of a wider North Hennepin Community College initiative that seeks to address racial equity, racial awareness, and inclusivity by expanding and diversifying the artistic voices and visions fostered at North Hennepin Community College.  

As its name announces, the Stages of Equity Festival at NHCC seeks to create a long overdue paradigm shift in the visual and performing arts that redresses systemic racial inequities that continue to proliferate in all fields of the arts. In the arts, these inequities are two-fold: they describe both the under-representation of artists of color’s voices and a lack of access to the arts for BIPOC audiences. North Hennepin’s festival creates an intervention that acknowledges a history of racialized inequity and strives to rectify under-representation by creating a platform that centers the powerful artmaking of people of color, and thus, the stories of their lived experiences. Stages of Equity believes foregrounding artists of color provides a mechanism not only for redress but also for social uplift that NHCC hopes nurtures a sense of belonging and inclusion for artists of color, our diverse students, and our diverse community of Brooklyn Park.  

This is the festival’s second iteration at NHCC following last year’s inauguration – which was “staged” completely online through streaming. As the world navigates a new phase of COVID-19, this year’s festival will feature a full schedule of LIVE events and performances on the NHCC campus along with simultaneous streaming for select events. To create greater access for the NHCC community of students, staff, and faculty & the general public festival events are scheduled for both daytime and evening hours at the Fine Arts Center (FAC).   

This year’s curated offerings will raise-up a wide spectrum of the arts by invited Twin Cities-based and nationally renowned BIPOC artists including: author readings, visual exhibitions, workshops, artists panels, and music & theater performances. A complete schedule can be found at: HTTP://WWW.NHCCFINEARTS.ORG 

Stages of Equity 2022 will include performances by: Maria Isa (musician), Vie Boheme (solo performance), Lady Xoc (experimental storytelling/music), the NHCC Theater Department, Yellow Tree Theatre, and a concert by landmark jazz pianist Matthew Shipp. 

This year’s festival will also feature a reading with New York Times best-selling author, Kiese Laymon in conversation with poet/essayist Michael Kleber-Diggs in collaboration with Minnesota State’s “Write Like Us” program. 

The festival will also include a visual exhibition and panel with visual artists Reggie LeFlore and Marlene Myles. And, abstract graffiti artist St. Paul Slim will facilitate a hands-on “unplugged and uncut hip pocket paint class” entitled “Acrylics & Cans” in the courtyard of the NHCC campus. 

The Stages of Equity Production Team

Kathy Hendrickson: Dean of Fine and Applied Arts, Global and Cultural Studies

Dr. Irma Mayorga: Curator, Producer

Søren Olsen: Technical Director, Web Design, Producer

Beatrice A, Tashawna Williams: Publicity

Leslie McDougall: Graphic Design Faculty, NHCC Fine Arts Design

Michael Mantini: Sound Engineer

Keena Dietz, Michael Storm Levia, Xiomara Welsh, Shatha Elkhair, Zachery Hansen: Technical Support

Eddie Tang: I.T. Support

David Mantini, Dr. Jesse Mason, Julio Vargas-Essex , and Josua Woof: Festival Support

Event Sponsored By:

Office of Diversity and Equity, Access and Opportunity,  NHCC Student Life and the New Voices Theater Endowment