News

Milwaukee Tele-Stories Project Announcement

August 21, 2020

TimeSlips is excited to announce the beginning of its’ Milwaukee Tele-Stories project, generously funded by the MKE Responds Fund. As a part of this program, ten local artists will each be paired with ten under-connected elders (one hundred in total) and will facilitate creative conversations and activities with them by phone. We’re lucky to be working with a talented group of interdisciplinary, community-based artists. All artists are trained in TimeSlips and go through additional training with us to learn how to facilitate creative engagement by phone.

Calls will be delivered for 12 weeks and will lead to the creation of a culminating “Legacy Gift”. These gifts will be made by each artist with words, ideas, and inspiration from the elders that they work with. This may take the shape of a poem, a song, a mural, etc. We’re excited to see what these artists come up with! Stay tuned for updates on this project, but in the meantime, we would like to introduce you to the artists making these calls

Meet the artists!

Brenna Kempf is a Milwaukee-based caregiver and careteacher. She blends her background in performance and theater education with meditative and reflective practices, empowering communities to care for themselves and one another. A registered yoga teacher, Brenna received her 200-hour certification in Goa, India, and specializes in teaching restorative and children’s yoga. 

Brooklyn Steffon Dixon is a teacher, visual artist and performance poet hailing from Brooklyn, New York. He has been working with Milwaukee Public Schools for the past 4 years. During this time, he attended the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, where he acquired his BFA, with a minor in Writing in May of 2019. Following college, Dixon settled in Milwaukee to continue his career. This has come full circle since his time at DASH, a prestigious high school (Miami, Florida) based in the visual arts. Although his high school experience focused on the visual arts, Dixon spent the other parts of his day practicing, traveling, competing, and creating in the name of the performing arts. Today, Steffon Dixon is teaching in local elementary schools here in Milwaukee when he is not producing artwork in his in-home studio or exhibiting his verbal art on a stage.

Ck Ledesma is a visual artist from San Juan, Puerto Rico whose practice exists at the intersection of community, identity and culture. Ledesma acquired a BFA in Painting with a minor in Art History from the Peck School of the Arts - University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. As the Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Cosecha Creative Space they generate work that is a conduit for meaningful connections, belonging and authentic relationship building. 

Cris Siqueira is a multimedia artist originally from Brazil who has called Milwaukee home for over 15 years. She has Masters degrees in Film and History from UWM and is a 2014 Mary L. Nohl fellow. Cris is also co-owner of Lion’s Tooth, a book and graphic novel subscription service and upcoming bookstore.

Dasha Kelly Hamilton is a writer, performance artist and creative change agent, applying the creative process to facilitate dialogues around human and social wellness. She is the author of two novels, three poetry collections and four spoken word albums. She has taught at colleges, conferences and classrooms and curated fellowships for emerging leaders. An Arts Envoy for the U.S. Embassy, Dasha has facilitated community building initiatives in Botswana, Toronto, Mauritius and Beirut. Her touring production, Makin’ Cake, uniquely engages communities in a forward dialogue on race, class and equity. Dasha is a former Artist of the Year and current Poet Laureate for the City of Milwaukee. 

DeMar Walker is a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Currently, he serves as the artistic director of Ko-Thi Dance Company which specializes in the dance & musical forms of Africa & its Diaspora.  He is also a lecturer in the dance department at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Some of his hobbies include listening to music, journaling, poetry writing, photography, & traveling.  DeMar's primary medium is dance.

Michael W. Snowden is the Co-Founder of Legacy Home Health Service and Executive Director of Evelyn’s Angel. Both organizations focused on caring for the elderly, more specifically, those with Alzheimer’s and Dementia. His mother was diagnosed with early onset Dementia at the age of 50 and presented him the role of caregiver at the age of 12. Through his personal experience, Michael has created programs and services that assist family caregivers, those with memory impairments and organizations become more dementia friendly.  

Rachel Payden is a mover, music and poetry lover, and an advocate of story-sharing and creative connection. Rachel feels humbled and grateful to be working with this passionate team of TimeSlips Tele-Stories artists and storytellers!

Rob Knapp is an actor, singer, and songwriter based out of Milwaukee. He graduated from UWM with his BFA in Acting in 2016. Since graduation, he’s focused on his music career and is a staple on local radio station 88nine. Rob is excited about this new opportunity, and looks forward to growing closer with the Milwaukee community at large.

Sarah Benforado is a 24 year old Milwaukee based visual artist, interested in all things sculptural. Her artistic medium has been jewelry and metalsmithing but since graduating from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee in 2019, she has become interested in using found objects in art pieces, making soft sculptures, and making wearable art. She is drawn to art as a means of engaging people, which is one of her favorite things about Timeslips. Her second artistic love is music. As a band geek at heart, she thinks the most beautiful sound in the world is the french horn. You might see her around Milwaukee with her plastic ukulele, trying to learn a new song. She loves going on bike rides to explore more of the world around her, and she is most excited to travel when it is safe to do so after the pandemic has subsided. Sarah believes in the power of the people and is absolutely over the moon to become more involved in TimeSlips as a TeleStories Facilitator. 

Stay tuned for more updates on this project and save the date for a webinar with all the artists on Friday, November 6th!