ARTS FACULTY

Brandon Chambers, Visual Art Teacher Brandon Chambers is a visual artist committed to a multidisciplinary practice. He uses art as a vessel to document and preserve his grappling with the human condition and its effects on lived experience. He does this abstractly by engaging in the creative act in varying contexts and observing himself, the process and results to draw conclusions and insights about existing. Brandon’s most recent interest is in the idea of virtual reality, not just as an emerging technology, but as a philosophical concept tracing back to Plato’s Cave and the question of how information and our perceptions shape our reality and how we live with uncertainty about the nature of reality. Brandon received his BA in Studio Art from the University of Maryland and an MFA from the University of Minnesota.
Paul Coate, Musical Theatre Department Chair/Musical Teacher Paul was in a National PBS Broadcast, “All Is Calm.” He has also been in numerous regional theatre’s as well as concerts/operas. He has his BA and MA in Theatre from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Paul was a former radio DJ for 10 years and is into acoustic guitar, various dialects, gardening, running, hiking, model railroading, and teaching theatre.
Mike Curran, Visual Arts  Mike Curran is a curator and arts writer from Portland, Maine, living in Minneapolis. His essays and reviews have been featured in Art Papers, Mn Artists, Public Parking, MPLSART.COM, TEMP/reviews, and St. Olaf College’s Flaten Art Museum. He has curated programming at artist-run galleries including Waiting Room and Normal Residential Purposes, a pop-up installation space he organized out of his backyard. With his frequent collaborator Tom Bierlein, he was awarded a 2022 Early-Career Artist Project Grant from Forecast Public Art, through which they organized Area of Concern—a public program at Crosby Farm Regional Park in St. Paul, Minnesota, centered on ecological grief. Mike holds a B.A. in geography and urban studies from Macalester College. He has worked and volunteered at a number of art museums and theaters around the Twin Cities over the past decade, and currently works full-time as the communications coordinator of the Minnesota Orchestra.
Zamara M. Cuyún Grimm, Visual Arts – Muralism Zamara received a BA Anthropology U of MN, and has completed 2 years of Graduate Studies in Anthropology at U of Penn. A self-trained muralist, Zamara uses elements of Guatemalan and Maya history, ideology and iconography while focusing on the strength of women in community building. Recent public art projects include St. Paul City Council Chambers, La Mexicana Supermarket (funded through an Early Career Artist Project grant from Forecast Public Arts). Zamara also serves on the leadership committee for Serpentina Arts, a Latinx Visual Artists Organization.
Bruce DeMorrow, Dance Teacher Bruce DeMorrow trained at Woodbury Dance Center in Woodbury, MN. His energetic approach to tap classes along with his new, cutting-edge choreography at a fast and upbeat pace leaves his students feeling full of life. He was a competition dancer for many years at Woodbury Dance Center and has won numerous awards. He has had a variety of involvement with outside tap dance companies and is an experienced performer and choreographer. He recently performed with Kaleena Miller’s I Love Her!, Shift and Here Now performances and with Rhythmic Circus in their Feet Don’t Fail Me Now critically acclaimed show. Mr. Bruce is also very active with the Twin Cities Tap Festival.
Alma Engebretson, Instrumental Music Teacher Alma has her BA in Music from the University of Denver, Suzuki certified through book 4, and graduated from Washburn High School. She has recorded two albums with “SPACE” Jazz Group, is the frontperson of Mr. Zipp, is an annual participant in the Ennio Morricone tribute show and Curtiss A’s John Lennon tribute show, a member of the Ron Miles tribute show, a performer in Open Eye Puppet Theatre’s “Once Upon a Winter’s Night”, a performer in Fox and Beggar Theatre’s “Vanaheimr”, and a performer is Dameun Stronge’s “Mother King.”
Anna Hashizume, Vocal Music Teacher Anna is a Japanese-American singer/actor and voice teacher based in the Twin Cities. After receiving both her Bachelors and Masters degrees in vocal performance, she is equally comfortable on opera and musical theatre stages as wells as onscreen. She has performed with companies such as Theater Latte Da, Artistry Theater, Minnesota Opera, and Fargo-Moorhead Opera. On screen, she has worked for Best Buy, Target, Founder’s Brewing Co., and the Minnesota Lottery. Anna is also a two-time honoree of the Schubert Cub Scholarship Competition. Alongside performing, Anna is a passionate teacher. She is a teaching artist with both Theater Mu and Minnesota Opera. She runs her own private voice studio and co-coordinates the Prelude Program at the MacPhail Center for Music.
Alex Barreto Hathaway, Musical Theatre and Theatre Teacher Alex Barreto Hathaway is a process-based artist and educator that leans into playfulness, theatrical clown, mask and physical theatre, clown again, and stories that celebrate the Latinx experience He earned his BA in Theatre Arts at the University of Minnesota with a thesis project exhibiting Mask, Puppetry, and Street Theatre practices studied in Pernambuco, Brazil. Since 2010, he has worked with theatre groups such as Open Eye, Exposed Brick, Red Bird, Theatre Forever, SteppingStone, as well as on tours throughout communities in the Midwest through the site-specific work of Sod House, TigerLion Arts, and The Department of Public Transformation. Additionally, he has devised, designed, and/or directed original pieces ranging from puppet operas (This Side of the Blue and Basement Creatures), to mask performances (The Legend of Diego and Escúchame), to ensemble-created multi-disciplinary installations (Awkward Love, Animus, and Fat Cat Falls). From 2016-2020, he designed and led arts-based learning for international English-learners at Roosevelt Highschool and then Highland Park High School. Barreto Hathaway was selected for an Artist in Residency program where he and participants from towns across the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate region dreamed-up and presented a month-long festival exhibiting art, music, photography, and puppetry created from local interviews recorded in 2020. In the same year, he and his partner became first-time parents to a hilarious kid named Ray.
Joseph James, Dance Teacher Joseph got his start in dancing through musical theater in high school as a Sophomore. He moved to social styles such as Latin and Swing, and from there found Breaking and got connected with the Funkstyles scene. Over the years, he has represented 4got10 Elementz, where he got his start, as well as YML (Yesterday’s Missing Life), and ALL DAY. Joseph has performed in places such as the Guthrie, Ordway, State Fair, doing shows like ROOTED and Being Brothas, Sistah Solo, and in productions at Main Street Theatre. Likewise, he choreographed “High School Musical” for Morris Park Players, and has taught at Moore than Dance and House of Dance Twin Cities studios and often serves as an adjudicator at dance competitions.
Michael Kleber-Diggs, Creative Writing Department Chair Michael Kleber-Diggs is a poet, essayist, and literary critic. His debut poetry collection, Worldly Things, won the Max Ritvo Poetry Prize and will be published by Milkweed Editions in June of this year. Among other places, Michael’s writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Great River Review, Water~Stone Review, Poem-a-Day, Poetry Daily, Poetry Northwest, Potomac Review, Hunger Mountain, Memorious, and a few anthologies. Michael is a past Fellow with the Givens Foundation for African American Literature, a past-winner of the Loft Mentor Series in Poetry, and the former Poet Laureate of Anoka County libraries. His work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net and has been supported by the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Jerome Foundation. Michael is married to Karen Kleber-Diggs, a tropical horticulturist and orchid specialist. Karen and Michael have a daughter who is pursuing a BFA in Dance Performance at SUNY Purchase.
Amos Lucidi, Dance and Musical Theatre Accompanist Amos Lucidi is a highly accomplished musician based in Saint Paul, Minnesota, known for his belief in music’s transformative power. He earned a Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance at the University of Minnesota under Professor Alexander Braginsky’s guidance. Amos is an active performer and teacher, influencing the local music scene significantly. He believes that music serves as a creative force, inspiring individuals to envision a better world and encouraging positive change in their lives. His performances have taken him to various countries and important festivals. His repertoire encompasses a wide range, from Baroque to contemporary music, with a special emphasis on pieces by Mexican composers like Manuel M. Ponce, José Rolón, and José Pablo Moncayo. Amos is dedicated to promoting Mexican musical heritage. Beyond performing, he is part of the faculty at the Saint Paul Conservatory of Music and the Anthem Academy of Music, passing on his musical knowledge and passion to aspiring musicians.
Laura Osterhaus, Dance Department Co-Chair Laura Osterhaus Rosenstone is a dance educator at SPCPA. She teaches Contemporary/Modern Dance and Jazz Dance from an improvisational lens. She received her BA in Dance from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and her MFA in Choreography and Performance from Smith College in Massachusetts. Laura was a company member of Zenon Dance Company from 2016-2019 and is the artistic director of Slo Dance Company. She has taught dance at various schools throughout the Twin Cities, including, SPCPA, Spring Lake Park High School, the Performing Institute of Minnesota, and Zenon Dance School. Her work has been featured in the Candy Box Dance Festival, and she is a recipient of a 2023 Paid Partnership with the Southern Theater. Laura currently dances for two East Coast-based dance organizations: Kia the Key & Company (Hip-Hop, club & street styles) and Vanessa Anspaugh (postmodern/improvisational).
Aaron Preusse, Theatre Teacher Aaron received honors of Advanced Gold with Recommendation from the British Academy of Dramatic Combat and is also an Advanced Actor Combatant with the Society of American Fight Directors. In addition to performing locally and regionally, Aaron has created fights for The Mammals Theater Company, UW Marathon County, Eat Street Players, Lyric Arts Company of Anoka, Concordia University of St Paul and Visitation School/VISTA Productions. He has worked on the film Profile of Killer where he was both Stunt Coordinator and Stunt Double. Aaron was also a precision stunt driver for the movie Thin Ice. Aaron is a graduate of the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
Amanda Sachs, Dance Teacher Amanda grew up in new Jersey studying R.A.D. before moving to San Francisco for the Alonzo King LINES Ballet Training Program. In 2014, Sachs joined The Francesca Harper Project in NYC and toured internationally with Metamorphosis Dance. In 2017, she joined TU Dance in MN, where she performed Alvin Ailey’s solo Witness and Night CreatureWalking with Pearl: Africa Diaries by Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, and numerous other works. She is an original member of Come Through, produced by liquid Music in collaboration with Grammy-winning musician Bon Iver and TU Dance. She is featured in Bon Iver’s Naeem and We lyric videos, and has performed at the Bonnaroo and Eaux Claires music festivals. In 202, Sachs present her first self-choreographed solo Still for The Cowles 6 FEET/6 SOLOS. Sachs joined NW Dance Project in Portland in 2021 were she performed works by Ihsan Rustem, Yin Yue, Joseph Hernandez, Sarah Slipper and Luca Veggetti and toured internationally. She has perfromed locally with Honeyworks and hatch Dance for their Live @ The Shed series in 2021 and 2022. Sachs premiered in Ashwini Ramaswamy’s Invisible Cities as well as Cold Air Rises by Ben Frost as part of The Great Northern Festival in Minnesota. In 2023, she made her opera debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago this Spring in Carmen and joined PARA.MAR, performing original works by Helen Simoneau and Stephanie Martinez. Most recently, Sachs presented her first work Searching for Giants, co-choreographed with Elena Hollenhorst for MN Orchestra.
Djenane Saint Juste, Dance Teacher A native of Haiti, Djenane is the Artistic Director of Afoutayi Haitian Dance, Music and Arts Company. She is a professional choreographer, dancer, actress and vocalist specializing in Haitian traditional dance and folklore. Djenane has also been trained in Ballet, Hip Hop, Modern, Jazz and Ballroom at the Institut de Danse JAKA, Institut de Dance Vivianne Gauthier, and Artcho Dance Company in Haiti. She is the creator and instigator of the Annual Haitian Cultural Festival, and has brought exciting new themes and activities to engage participants in Haitian culture since the first Haitian Festival in 2009. Djenane has dedicated herself to the research, development and promotion of traditional Haitian dance, song and storytelling. She is an artist in residence at Hamline University, Coppin University and St. Olaf University. Djenane’s work towards the preservation of Haitian culture has been documented in works such as “Making Caribbean Dance” by Susanna Sloat, as well as “Lavil: Life, Love, and Death in Port-au-Prince (Voice of Witness)” by Peter Orner, Evan Lyon, and Edwidge Danticat. She published her first children book “The Mermaid and The Whale” in Fall 2020.
Mike Salow, Instrumental Music Teacher Mike Salow is a multifaceted guitarist with over 20 years of playing experience. He graduated with honors from McNally Smith College of Music receiving a B.M. in guitar performance with a music business minor. After graduating in 2012, Mike was asked back to McNally Smith to join the guitar department as a teacher where he taught for the next 4 ½ years. Outside of teaching Mike has worked with various fusion, funk, jazz, hip-hop, blues, metal, pop, country, and rock bands. Currently Mike gigs throughout the Twin Cities with several groups, most notably with Minneapolis based rock band, Chester Bay. After joining Chester Bay in September of 2009, Chester Bay toured throughout the upper Midwest, was featured in Rolling Stone magazine, and also opened for national acts such as Candlebox, Los Lobos, Fitz and the Tantrums, and The Avett Brothers. Aside from Chester Bay, Mike acts as composer, guitarist, and producer of Twin Cities Progressive Metal band, Ideology. The band released their debut album in Fall of 2016 and is a project founded by Mike and Five Finger Death Punch drummer, Charlie Engen. Besides having taught at McNally Smith College of Music, Mike is also founder/teacher of Lessons With Mike LLC and Ideal Music Lessons. Two companies that are one in the same and specialize in providing in-home music lessons throughout the Twin Cities. You can also find Mike teaching online for InfiniteGuitar.com where his main lesson focus is on advanced jazz/fusion playing.
Ariane Sandford, Creative Writing Teacher Ariane Sandford received her BA in Theatre Arts from St Olaf College 2002, an MA in English from Iowa State University in 2007, an MFA in Creative Writing from Hamline University in 2017, and is currently pursuing her MAT for English grades 6-12 at Hamline University. She has been a Dramaturg at the Guthrie Theater, worked at Milkweed Editions, published in Painted Bride Quarterly and Booth Magazine, among others, and has been selected to be mentee in the Loft Literary Center’s mentorship program.
Sam Stokley, Creative Writing Teacher Sam Stokley is a disabled artist and educator from Peoria, IL living in Minneapolis. Since receiving his MFA from Hamline University, Sam has taught and mentored with the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop and at The Loft Literary Center, as well as served on numerous MRAC grant panels. Sam’s writing across genres is housed, among elsewhere, in Water~House Review, Barrelhouse, Arkansas International, Puerto del Sol, Fairy Tale Review, and Poetry City. His chapbook manuscript, Dystrophies, is a two time finalist (BOAAT Press, Driftwood Press) and was recently longlisted by Frontier Poetry. A Tin House Winter Workshop alum, Sam’s essay “How to Discuss Race as a White Person” was anthologized in Brevity Magazine’s Best of Brevity, released in 2020 (Rose Metal Press). Sam was born with and lives with Epidermolysis Bullosa.
Darrius Strong, Dance Teacher Darrius Strong is a Twin Cities based choreographer, dancer, and educator whose creative work has been chosen for Rhythmically Speaking and the Walker Art Center’s Choreographer’s Evening. He was featured in The New Griots Festival in 2015, as well as an American Standard billboard advertisement in NYC Time Square in 2016. He was also a 2017 Momentum New Works recipient. Strong has created works for Threads Dance Project, Flying Foot Forum, Alternative Motion Projects, and James Sewell Ballet. Recently, he was selected as a recipient of the Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship. Strong developed his own dance company STRONGmovement in 2015. He is also a faculty member at Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Arts, TU Dance Center and Eleve Performing Arts Center, where he teaches how to connect their identity to movement. Strong is also a company member of Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater. Learn more at strong-movement.com.
Momoko Tanno, Vocal Music Sub Momoko is a versatile singer/actor/educator, who has been actively performing in the Twin Cities, nationally, and abroad. She has Performed at the Guthrie, Theatre de la Jeune Lune, American Repertory Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, Park Square Theater, Theater Mu, Mixed Precipitations and more. Her repertoire ranges from Baroque, Opera, Oratorio, Art Songs, Musical Theater, Folk Songs, Pop, Jazz, Rock and Spoken Word. She is a recipient of the Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant FY2013, FY2019, Community Cultural Partnership Grant FY2015, CAAL (Coalition for Asian American Leaders) MOVEE (Making Our Voices Effective for Equity) cohort of 2021. She has also taught voice privately since 2000, at SPCPA in 2006-2007, MacPhail Center for Music for 13 years, University of Wisconsin River Falls, and K & S Conservatory for Music since 2022. Momoko got her BA at Nihon University in Tokyo, Japan. She also got her MM at the University of Minnesota as well as studies Melodies Francaise with Camille Maurane, in Paris, and Bel Canto with Elizabeth Mannion in Saint Paul.
Brooks Turner, Visual Art Department Chair Brooks Turner is an artist, writer, and educator. His recent work engages the history of fascism in Minnesota and has been supported through a 2020 Artist Residency in the Weisman’s Collaboration Incubator, a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant, a Minnesota Humanities Center Innovation Lab Grant, and a Rimon: Minnesota Jewish Arts Council Project Support Grant. His work has been exhibited nationally, with upcoming exhibitions at the Weisman Art Museum and St. Cloud State University. Since 2014, he has taught sculpture, drawing, and painting at the University of California, Los Angeles, St. Cloud State University, and Ridgewater College. In 2017, he wrote A Guide to Charles Ray Sleeping Mime, published with Paperleaf Press, and continues to write essays for Hair and Nails Gallery and Temp/reviews.