Spoken Word Artist

Desdamona is a writer and an engaging performer who works in the realm of Spoken Word and Hip-Hop. She stumbled upon the art of spoken word as an outlet for her lyrical expression. As a student, the opportunity to experiment and create helped to develop her identity and self-esteem. When she struggled in some areas of school, art led her through and gave her something that made her feel powerful. “It taught me to adapt and change and this ability is one that has benefited me greatly in life.” She loves to share her work and also learn about students and what they are interested in so that together they can create something that makes them feel powerful. In the classroom, Desdamona’s process is one of learning where students are at and beginning there, providing inspiration, guidance and scaffolding in the art form of Spoken Word and Hip-Hop. Des has worked in over 300 schools throughout the Midwest and France, and has led workshops and residencies in Shakopee Women’s Prison, Stillwater Prison, Oak Park Prison, Red Wing Juvenile Facility, the Juvenile Detention Center- Minneapolis, and Stafford Creek Corrections Center in Aberdeen, WA.Desdamona is an international award winning artist who has received five MN Music Awards for her music and poetry. She has been awarded three Minnesota State Arts Board “Artist Initiative” Grants and the “Verve” grant from Intermedia Arts and the Jerome Foundation, a recently won a Knight Arts Challenge Grant to Produce a Spoken Word Festival in Lowertown in 2017. She is a co-founder of B-Girl Be, a celebration of women in Hip-Hop that brought women from across the globe to the Twin Cities. She continues to create spaces for women to express and create. Des has toured the US and abroad, releasing multiple projects on French record label Hope Street/Nato records and has shared the stage with Saul Williams, Ursula Rucker, Guru, Wyclef Jean and KRS One. She collaborates regularly with Hip-Hop artist and beat boxer Carnage, and is a part of the European-based band Ursus Minor. In April 2016, Des released a solo project entitled No Man’s Land, featuring an all-woman cast. The CD also includes a small collection of nursery rhymes with illustrations. As part of the life of this project, she leads workshops around the idea of creating nursery rhymes that speak to modern times.