Collaborating Artists

Core Collaborating Artists:

Mark Gabriel Little (MGL)
MGL
MGL specializes in creating sound and music for the performing arts, film and gallery exhibitions. Seeking to meld the soft cries of the natural world, noise from everyday life and rhythms from around the world, works are created in close collaboration with other artists. Recent examples include "1705," created for a Beijing-based choreographer, relying exclusively on sounds produced by a bicycle; and "Warriors," created for Maura Garcia Dance, which combines live-recorded rhythms of crickets and bamboo flutes. As a solo artist, MGL is a soul-pop-experimental phenomenon. This contemporary one-man-band performs with the voice, analog synths and cannibalized beat machines.  http://4mgl.bandcamp.com/

 Olivia C. Davies is an independent dance artist, choreographer, and community arts facilitator whose work investigates the body’s dynamic ability to transmit narrative. Davies trained at York University, and in 2006, she co-founded Toronto’s MataDanze Collective where she co-created numerous revolutionary dance-theatre works and movement workshops. She is a recipient of the YWCA Women of Distinction award (2011) for her work with MataDanze. Commissioned to choreograph and perform for open-air stages, galas, gallery openings, and music videos, Davies collaborates with artists to bring stories to life. Her choreography has adapted words by E.E. Cummings, Khalil Gibran, Julie JC Peters, Rainer Maria Rilke, and Carmen Aguirre and has been presented throughout Ontario, Quebec, and BC. Davies has interpreted work by Art For Impact, Body Narratives Collective, Dancers of Damelahamid, Maura Garcia Dance, Starrwind Dance Projects, and Circadia Indigena Aboriginal Arts Collective. Davies facilitates dance and storytelling workshops, creating safe spaces where women are empowered through movement. She honours her mixed Metis, Anishnawbe, Welsh heritage in her practice.  www.oliviacdavies.ca

Amado Espinoza
His interest for music awoke at the age of eight, participating in the military band of his primary school, playing instruments of the Andean region, like the Sikus (Sanqa y Malta).  At the age of 16 he began formal studies in music at the Andrés Bello Institute, where he studied classical guitar. He continued his musical education at the Conservatory Milan in Cochabamba, Bolivia, while investigating ethnic instruments from various cultures, like the African djembé, the Bolivian charango, and the Australian didgeridoo.  Later he perfected his skills in musical appreciation and musical history with the Professor Alberto Iporre Salinas, ex chairman of the Conservatory of Hungary, and in charango at the Amerindia Academy.  In 2000 he dedicated himself to the investigation, recuperation, interpretation, and construction of native instruments from different parts of the world, resulting in the establishment of the Museum of Musical Instruments for the Foundation Luis Ernesto of the Andes, in Marquina, Quillacollo, Bolivia, housing over 500 pieces from six continents.  He founded Tribu Kona in 2002, producing four albums and performing on various stages in Latin America.  He was in-house composer for the Circus Theatre El Tapeque between 2011-2012 (El Duende, Viajeros, Amor – Es) and composed the music to the award-winning play Mocambo among various commercial and independent productions.  Since his arrival to Kansas City, MO in 2014, Amado has been seen on TEDxKC, TEDxYouth, Folk Fest, and has been featured with many local bands. He is a recipient of an ArtsKC inspiration grant and Charlotte St. Resident. He is also musical director of the Latin American band, Ayllu.  www.amadoespinoza.com

Project-based Collaborations:  Past & Present 

Nyla Carpentier
Nyla Carpentier (Tahltan/Kaska) is a multifaceted performing artist currently residing in Vancouver, BC. She first started to dance at the Odawa Powwow in her hometown of Ottawa, Ontario. She started off as a traditional dancer though quickly found that the high energy of the fancy shawl suited her best. As a child she learned by watching other dancers in the powwow circle, following their footsteps and then practicing her moves. Now with over 25 years of experience she also teaches the various powwow styles, sharing the dance steps and the history. In 2011, in partnership with Raven Spirit Dance Company, Nyla started the popular Powwow Bootcamp class which runs during the winter for 6 weeks at the Dance Centre in Vancouver. When she’s not dancing you can find her acting and writing. In 2010 Nyla formed her baby company Screaming Turtle Performance as a vehicle to share contemporary-traditional stories and dances. Drawing on her experience as someone of mixed heritage – her goal is to blend the past, present and create new works for the future. In the fall of 2013, she debuted her first one act play, 21st Century Tricksters at the Vancouver Fringe Festival. In 2014 she created a powwow based dance piece, Equating Echoes with musician David Newberry for Brief Encounters 21. She was also hoping about as Raven in Axis Theatre’s Raven meets the Monkey King which toured in 2013 and 2014.  Recently, Nyla has begun to share her poetry at Slam competitions in Vancouver and facilitating poetry/dance/theatre workshops in schools.

Black House Collective
Kansas City's experimental music laboratory and Artists Recording Collective. Black House Collective produces and promotes new music in Kansas City. Residencies will be awarded to creative musicians looking to experiment with other artists in an environment that encourages risk-taking. 

Anurag Dasgupta
Anurag Dasgupta"I use video as a way of interacting with my surroundings. Currently I am working on 'City in Pieces', a project recently screened at an underground festival. Reviewers wrote:"

City in Pieces is an immersive project in any city that Anurag travels to or lives in. The filmmaker tries to find potent situations and enters that situation with his camera, letting the reality in front; motivating the image. It's an ongoing and hopefully a never ending project."


Soumitra DasguptaSoumitra is the creative consultant for "Galli Galli Sim Sim", India's Sesame Street. Born is Balurght in 1958, Soumitra graduated from the Government College of Arts and Crafts in Calcutta with a focus in Applied Art and Photography. After working for advertising agencies for 13 years as both an illustrator and creative director, Soumitra decided to change paths in 1993. Exposure to other creative processes and mediums of expressions lead him to begin work as a creative consultant. In addition to his many professional commitments, Soumitra is a talented painter. Dedicated to spreading compassion and understanding, Soumitra has donated some of his finest work for use during The Little People. Soumitra can be reached at: 263, deshbandhu apartments, Kalkaji, New Delhi - 110019: INDIA, mobile + 91 9810115564 

Lisa Marie Evans
Lisa Marie EvansLisa's work is shown internationally and varies in form from feature length documentary to short animation to public art installation. Evans has been a selected artist for Creative Capital’s Professional Development Workshop for Artists, the Arts Council of Metropolitan Kansas City’s Inspiration Grant, Avenue of the Arts in Kansas City and Boynton Beach and Charlotte Street Foundation’s Urban Culture Project Studio Residency Program.

Kristin Fiesler
Kristin FieslerKristin Fieseler earned a BA in Dance from Goucher College (MD) and a MFA from George Mason University (VA). She has taught at universities, schools, festivals, studios, and camps throughout the United States, and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). From 2002-2010 Kristin was an Associate Professor of Dance at DeSales University (PA). In 2010 she made Charleston, SC her new home, quickly joining the city’s thriving arts community through classes and performance. As the founding artistic director of Annex Dance Company, she is committed to promoting the arts in Charleston, as well as around the globe. Focusing on collaboration with artists and outreach to young aspiring dancers, the company has performed throughout the east coast including the Philly Fringe Festival and the Piccolo Spoleto Festival. She is the director of Endless Mountains Dance Camp (PA), where the company spends the summer in-residence working with young dancers from around the world.

Marlo Frazier
Marlo Frazier
Marlo Cotton Frazier (Meherrin), dance instructor, began studying at age six in New Haven, Connecticut. She has studied ballet, modern, jazz, tap, and African Dance at the Bowen Peters School of Dance and Dee Dee’s School of Dance. She was a member of the Benedict College Dance Company from 1987-1990 and served as assistant dance instructor to Maggie Santee at Coastal Carolina University. She was with the Pneuma Dance Company and danced in Daughter’s of the Sea, For Colored Girls, and Shades of Life, among others. She has choreographed many community productions and coached pageant participants. She is a wife, a mother of three and is a Career and Technology Education Specialist working as an independent consultant.

Alyssa HintonUsing vibrant colors that awaken the soul, mixed media painter and collage artist, Alyssa Hinton (Tuscarora and Osage), illustrates a theme of cultural transformation through her unique southeastern Native American imagery. Her work is a provocative portrayal of the folklore and history surrounding her roots, utilizing tradition and vision with a contemporary edge.

Internationally trained, and of mixed heritage, Alyssa creates art with a universal appeal, investigating on many levels and challenging conventional parameters of “expected” Indian imagery. More specifically, her themes reflect an attempt to untangle a complicated web of events pertaining to the displacement of her Tuscarora (Eastern North Carolina) and Osage (Missouri / Kansas) ancestors. These narrative earth conscious works speak to the preservation of indigenous traditions, bringing to light aspects of a distinct but under represented southeastern Native experience, one whose basic world view is rooted in ancient Mississippian mound culture. On a personal level, by uncovering what has been denied or seemingly lost, the work also chronicles an inner “restoration”.

Alyssa’s composites have been exhibited throughout the country and abroad. She is the recipient of numerous awards ranging from the highly coveted Mid-Atlantic/NEA Regional Painting Fellowship to an Art for Indigenous Survival grant through the U.N. Life Bridge Foundation.

Anjali Tata Hudson
Anjali Tata is an artist engaged in the exploration of Bharata
Natyam and Contemporary Indian dance. She is a co-founder of Post Natyam Dance Collective (www.postnatyam.net), a transnational network of independent choreographers/scholars, who are actively working on finding new ways of engaging with South Asian aesthetics and of sustainable transnational collaboration in theory and practice. Tata holds an M.F.A. in Dance from UCLA’s Dept. of World Arts & Cultures and is also an arts educator in the fields of Dance and Yoga and Mind/Body fundamentals. Her training includes over twenty two years of Bharata Natyam experience under the tutelage of her mentor Viji Prakash and over ten years training in Yoga and Modern dance. She performed her Arangetram /solo dance debut in 1990 and after touring as principal dancer with Prakash’s Shakti Dance Company across the U.S., Canada, and India from 1992-96, she began choreographing in both traditional and contemporary genres. Her works have been presented at many venues throughout California including Artwallah, a forum for emerging South Asian artists in 2001, 2003, and 2004, the World Festival of Sacred Music, Highways Performance Space, Long Beach Women’s Festival, Japan America Theatre, Cal State Dominguez Hills, the Monterey Poetry/Dance Series, and the Hollywood Bowl. Anjali has also worked with several prominent artists as a performer and collaborator including Lynn Dally, Parijat Desai, Paula Present, Nitin Sawhney, Patrick Suzeau, and David Rousseve. In February 2004, she was selected to join Cirque du Soleil’s artistic pool. Tata relocated from California to Kansas City in 2004 and teaches dance and yoga in the Kansas City area both independently and at the college level. In 2009, Tata toured nationally as a principal dancer with David Rousseve’s REALITY dance company, and in 2011 she performed with Post Natyam Collective on their latest touring project Sunoh! Tell Me Sister presented at the National Asian American Theater Festival in Los Angeles. In February 2013, Tata was selected as one of several artists by the Jewish Community Center in Kansas City to develop a new work around the theme of “rebellion”.

Marie Junaluska
Marie Junaluska
Marie Junaluska (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians) speaks Cherokee fluently and writes the Sequoyah syllabary. In her presentations, she introduces the Cherokee language, incorporates activities based on Cherokee history and culture, and teaches songs in Cherokee. She enjoys working with groups of all ages. Growing up in the Wolftown community of the Qualla Boundary, Marie Junaluska spoke only Cherokee until she attended the Soco Day School at age seven. She spent her high school years at boarding school in the Riverside Indian School in Anadarko, Oklahoma, where she met people from many Indian nations. Since the 1980s, she has taught the Cherokee language to students in Cherokee schools. From 1981 until 1996, she served as the Indian Clerk and Interpreter for the Tribal Council, training with Maggie Wachacha, the previous interpreter of the Eastern Band of Cherokees. Since 1997, she has served as an elected member of the Tribal Council of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, representing the Painttown Community. Marie Junaluska has presented educational programs throughout North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia. She is an outstanding translator and educator and has worked with Special Collections at Western Carolina University, translating articles in the Cherokee Phoenix (published 1828-1834) from the Cherokee syllabary into English. One of Marie Junaluska's translations into the Cherokee language and syllabary was featured in Living Stories of the Cherokee. She has served as a consultant on many projects, including the new permanent exhibit at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, the museum's website, and film projects by Disney Imagineering. She is helping the Smithsonian Institution develop a Cherokee Indian exhibit for the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D. C. Marie has also worked with the dance company Maura Garcia by providing the translations and Cherokee language voice-overs for a performance entitled "The Little People." 

Kansas City Indian Center
Our Mission: "The mission of the Kansas City Indian Center is to encourage social, educational, and economic advancement of the American Indian community by promoting traditional and cultural values." The Kansas City Indian Center (Heart of America Indian Center), a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation, has been serving the Kansas City’s American Indian population since 1971.

Today we remain dedicated to the following goals:
provide health, welfare and cultural services to American Indian individuals and families of our community;  promote fellowship among the American Indian people of all tribes living in the Kansas City Area;  stimulate the natural integration of the American Indian into the community;  encourage artistic and vocational pursuits by American Indian people;  and preserve and foster traditional American Indian cultural values.


Rikki Kluber
Rikki Kluber
Rikki Kluber is an Installation Artist from the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation. She recently graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute with a concentration in painting. Rikki collaborated with dancer/choreo -grapher Maura Garcia to create the installation piece WIND. An integral part of the conception and production of the work, she performed with Garcia at the Great Midwest Balloon Fest of 2010.

Cathy Maschek
Cathy MaschekCathy Maschek began her dance training at Ballet Western Reserve in Youngstown, Ohio under the direction of Anita Lin. She continued her dance education and graduated with a BA in Dance from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania where she had the opportunity to perform the works of Lar Lubovitch, Helanius Wilkins, Teena Custer and Jose Limon. Cathy has performed throughout Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, New York, and South Carolina. Cathy moved to Charleston in spring 2011, and is now dancing her first season with Annex Dance Company.

Victoria McKinney
Victoria McKinney
"I specialize in pottery and paintings which incorporate the graphic designs of the Mound Builders of the Woodlands and Mississippian Period. I feel these ancient people are part of my cultural heritage and I am dedicated to do what I can to honor them and to expand people’s knowledge of their designs. The designs on my pottery and in my paintings fall into two categories. Some are archeologically intact which enables me to reproduce them exactly. Others may only be partially documented which allows me to finish them out by adding features I feel remain true to the original design. I have also been combining some of the designs to represent ancient Cherokee legends such as Raven Mocker and Dressed in Stone. I incorporate a color scheme for each design that follows my artistic flare and which is seldom, if ever, repeated for any single design, painting or piece of pottery. In other words, none of my pottery is "production” work and all of my paintings are originals. To further individualize each piece of pottery I sign my name on the bottom and also provide a brief description of the design and list the mound site where it was discovered. I also include this information on the back of the paintings. In this way I not only provide some information the purchaser can use to explain the design to interested parties but I also use it to educate the public about the Mound Builders’ culture. I have found this feature to be very attractive to buyers of my artwork. My pottery is hand-thrown red, white and brown low-fire earthenware. The low-fire clay body allows my designs to maintain their bright colors. I do not start out with a specific shape in mind when I throw a pot, only an approximate size. I let the clay determine the final shape which results in an unending variety of pieces to which I then match a design and color scheme. I first started showing my pottery at local arts and crafts shows in northwest Arkansas but quickly outgrew them. I began to inquire of American Indian artists about better quality shows I could attend and have been attending those shows since 1997. In what is now my twelfth year of entering my pottery in juried arts competitions I have won several awards which I have listed on my artist’s biography. My gouache paintings also incorporate the designs and motifs of the Mound Builders and this is the eighth year I have entered them into juried arts competition. I have also just started using Mound Builder motifs in paintings depicting hummingbirds and butterflies in flight. I have already won several awards for my paintings which are also listed in my artist’s biography. I have also been the Featured Artist at the Five Civilized Tribes Museum in August of 1999, at the 2001 Creek Council House Indian Arts Festival in Okmulgee, OK, the 2002 Tulsa Indian Arts Festival in Tulsa, OK and the Gallery of the Plains Twenty-third Annual Indian Art Exhibition, Nichols Hills, OK, in 2004 and in 2008 my artwork was featured on the Five Civilized Tribes Museum Art Under the Oaks T-Shirt. In addition my artwork was included in the 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 Cherokee Heritage Calendar. I have also just been awarded the title of “Master Artist” of the Five Civilized Tribes Museum in Muskogee, Oklahoma, which is the highest honor the Museum can award an artist.” Victoria has very generously allowed for her painting of the little people to be used as the program cover for The Little People. She can be reached at Victoria McKinney, Panther-Snake Studio, 105 Southwood St., West Fork, AR 72774, 479-839-8571. Her email is vmck@cox.net and her website www.victoriamckinney.com. She is an enrolled member of the Echota Cherokee Tribe of Alabama, a state recognized tribe that meets all provisions of the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990, PL 101-644 

MOCSA
(Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault)
In 1969, a metropolitan-wide coalition of criminal justice, health, mental health, and other professionals came together with committed advocates to address the needs of those who had been sexually assaulted. In 1972, they created an organization dedicated to educating the broad bi-state Kansas City area, launched an emergency hotline, and took action 24/7. That group evolved and incorporated in 1975 to become the Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault (MOCSA), serving as the Kansas City rape crisis center. In 1983, MOCSA expanded services to include child sexual abuse victims and their families. Over the years MOCSA has continually expanded to better meet the needs of victims and our community. MOCSA now offers therapy, support and advocacy for victims of rape and sexual assault, for sexually abused children and families, for adult survivors of child sexual abuse, and for others touched by sexual violence. Through the years MOCSA has enhanced and increased outreach, prevention and education programs focused on children, youth, professionals and community groups. In the spring of 2010, MOCSA collaborated with dancer/choreographer Maura Garcia as part of the ACT III project. Garcia taught a group of survivors ACT III, which they were then able to perform at the Kansas City "Take Back the Night" Rally. 

Charlie Mylie
Charlie Mylie lives and works in Kansas City, Missouri. He came to Kansas City to attend the Kansas City Art Institute where he graduated from Interdisciplinary Arts in 2009. Since then it's been travel, gardens, games and growing. Now, he is deepening his drawing practices by prolifically illustrating and performing as Pop-Up Charlie, the golden wizard who will draw anything for you on the spot. In addition, he works collaboratively with Lindsey Griffith to create participatory performances that, like his drawings, bring art and fun closer together. Feeling like Kansas City is home, he is putting down his roots in an orchard, focusing on learning in RadSchool (an experimental learning group in its 7th semester), and reflecting on the flow of life in Daily Drawings. For the collaborative, participatory work, please visit www.craylife.com

Robert Parker
Thunder's House productions are collaborations between independent videographer Robert Parker (Comanche/Kiowa/Athabascan/Tlingit/Dakota),  dancer/choreographer Maura Garcia (Cherokee/ Mattamuskeet) and  and other Indigenous artists. Through their work they seek to create innovative art, showcase the talents of other Indigenous artists and to respond to the events of the world with positivity.

Spencer Scholes
 

Spencer Scholes is a songwriter, singer, and multi instrumentalist bringing humble sincerity to all he does. Touring regionally and nationally out of N.C. You can expect to witness unique compositions, vigorous stage performances, and limber guitar work at his performances. He is open to and thrives on collaborations with other artists. Touring behind his new solo acoustic release Dragonfly Season. He may be in your town soon. With or without a band.


Chico Sierra
Growing up in El Paso, Chico Sierra began crossing borders early. As a Mexican-American, he knows that sometimes borders can be fixed and severe, like crossing back and forth between Mexico and the United States. But oftentimes, borders are blurry or even non-existent. Sierra has moved from the United States, to Mexico, Canada, Germany, the Philippines and back. He is conscience of the flux of cultural diversity. That, in combination with the theme of blurred borders is expressed in the different mediums of Sierra’s art. 

Ahyoka Youngdeer
At the age of 26, Ahyoka Youngdeer is the youngest certified Cherokee Nation Literacy Educator and Language/Lifeways Consultant. She specializes in the Total Physical Response method of language immersion education.  Ahyoka is certified as a master teacher and has assisted with various Cherokee Humanities and Language courses through Northeastern State University, the Cherokee Heritage Center, as well as the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. Previously she assisted in the Cultural and Community Outreach Program through the Community Services Department at Cherokee Nation in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Ahyoka is a first language Cherokee speaker, and a such has visited a number of at-large communities throughout the United States as a cultural and goodwill Ambassador for the Cherokee Nation. She is active in the governance of the Kituwah Cherokee Ceremonial Grounds which she is a member, and is working to create a Cherokee Language Immersion School for the area. Ahyoka currently provides in-person and/or web-based group classes, private tutoring, and translation services. She is also available for public speaking events and workshops.

We Are The Landscape collaborative team
After a process of over a year, investigating, composing, visiting homelands, building instruments, and rehearsing, we are debuting a unique presentation of dance, storytelling, and music composed by Amado Espinoza (Bolivia). What began as a way to share ancestral wisdom and memory from our individual cultures of Meshica, Cherokee, Inca and Filipino, this production is now a landscape of local artists from diverse backgrounds, with one vision and one spirit.