A Minneapolis resident by way of Texas and New York, Taylor Dobson believes that our stories are the most powerful tools we own. As a freelance artist, designer, and photographer, Taylor is happy to lend her creative skills and experience to Story Arts of Minnesota.
Khary Jackson is a poet, playwright, dancer and musician. He is a Cave Canem Fellow, and thus has further reason to adore black people. He has written 12 plays, one of which (Water) was produced in 2009 at Ink and Pulp Theatre in Chicago. He has been a recipient of several grants, including the 2012 Cultural Community Partnership Grant, 2010 Artist Initiative Grant for Poetry from the Minnesota State Arts Board, and the 2009 VERVE Spoken Word Grant from Intermedia Arts. His first poetry book, Any Psalm You Want, was published with Write Bloody Publishing in the spring of 2013.
A professional storyteller for over 30 years, Carol is a performer, workshop leader, author, and conference keynoter. She is a former teacher and corporate trainer who presents programs for all ages–from preschool to senior audiences–and does school artist residencies, teacher workshops and assembly programs. Carol’s program themes range from multicultural, literacy, ecology, history, holiday, science, Irish, Egyptian, to peacemaking. Her costumed characters include Ms. Val N. Tine, Shamrock O’Toole, Wanda the Witch, Ever Green and the Snow Queen.
Loren Niemi is an innovative storyteller, published poet, the author of "The New Book of Plots" and co-author with Elizabeth Ellis of the critically acclaimed, "Inviting the Wolf In: Thinking About Difficult Stories." He teaches Storytelling in the Theater Program at Metro State University and provides workshops, coaching, message framing and consulting services for individuals, businesses, nonprofits and government agencies around the country.
With fifteen years of experience as a childrens' storyteller, Pam has worked to bring stories into the classroom to enhance literacy. As licensed elementary teacher, she has developed and implemented a storytelling based curriculum to build the literacy skills of making inferences and determining main idea. This past summer, she co-taught a children’s storytelling workshop, “Creating Happily Ever After…” at the South St. Paul Library. She has also taught numerous after-school programs which used story and storytelling to enhance reading skills.
Sue discovered the joy of storytelling to audiences of all ages when she was a librarian working at the University of Illinois. As a member of the Champaign-Urbana Storytelling Guild, she performed at many local venues and organized and emceed story concerts. After retiring and moving to Minneapolis in late 2015, Sue expanded her repertoire to include personal and family stories as well as traditional tales from around the world. She is thrilled to be a showcased teller at the Northlands Storytelling Network’s Confabulation in April 2017. Sue hopes her past experience serving on boards of non-profit organizations will benefit the story arts in her new home state.
Married 25 years with two kids, Leif recently became an empty nester and he stepped down from his corporate job of 29 years. Leif now has plenty of time to "work the story", and is grateful for the opportunity to give some of that time to SAM. Leif has recently appeared in Wonderlust Productions' Adoption Play Project, and regularly appears on slam stages and various storytelling events around the Twin Cities.
David was born in London, has taught on three continents, and traveled to twenty one countries including France, Greece, Kenya, Trinidad, and the Bahamas. He has a teacher's certificate from the University of London, where his interest in folktales and world mythology began. He came to the US on a cruise ship, earning free passage by teaching the captain's wife and passengers yoga. He earned an MA in Anthropology from the University of Minnesota. He was an anthropologist and storyteller for two decades at the State Capitol helping Asian Pacific Immigrants and refugees have a voice. He has produced two booklets of stories collected locally from Laotian and Karen refugees and is currently collecting stories from local Khmer and Cambodian people. His passions now are helping Southeast Asian Americans preserve their folktales and develop as storytellers and helping kids stay out of trouble.