The NEMAA blog is a platform for us to share our members work and their stories, and a hub for information about the NEMAA community.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Introducing NEMAA’s new Executive Director!

Dameun Strange

Dameun Strange is an award-winning composer, and a Ron McKinley Philanthropy Fellow who was most recently a member of the Bush Foundation’s Community Innovation Team. Well known as an artist, activist and organizer, Dameun was born and raised in Washington, DC but moved to the Twin Cities to attend Macalester College where he majored in Music and English. Dameun has worked locally for such organizations as Macalester College, ACORN, MN UNITED for All Families, Grassroots Solutions, and Neighborhood Organizing and has served on the board of Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, Compas, Headwater Foundation for Justice, Alternative Motion Project to name a few.

Dameun is driven by two desires. As an artist, he is driven to create, to innovate, to build something meaningful and that gives people pause. He has a desire to reach deep within himself and pull out something raw and honest. As an organizer, Dameun is driven to bring people together, to find commonalities between communities, to build bridges—to find the soul of the community and illuminate it, building on assets for a strong future.

Dameun sees a world where the artist, the creative thinker is no longer viewed as an add-on; where perhaps the term “creative community” is no longer a necessary term of distinction. He sees a world where our creative institutions and people are valued as equal partners in designing strong, equitable communities and arts is seen a vital and necessary part of the development of our youth just as much as math, science and reading. He wants to play an influential role in moving our society closer to this reality. The Arts has a magical quality in that it is able to open up avenues of discussion, tearing down the walls of misunderstanding. It has to power to tell stories that sometimes go unheard. It has the power to heal, the power to move our communities towards wellness. The arts are a powerful tool in illuminating the threads of intersectionality and recognizing the struggles and triumphs of People of Color, enhancing and American culture that is fully inclusive of all of our stories.

Dameun currently lives in the Frogtown Neighborhood of Saint Paul with his wife Corina, their dog Persimmon, and cat Paru. 

Join us for the NEMAA Meet & Greet on Wednesday, November 9th at Public Functionary to welcome Dameun, renew NEMAA membership, and see the Wintertide space!