2022 ACF Equity Summit: Lifting Up Our Youth
Part 1: Introduction and Purple Playground Performance

Saturday, September 17, 2022
Walker West Music Academy

Produced by Claim Our Space


Each year, ACF hosts an Artist Equity Summit that centers music creators and examines themes related to equity that impact the field and beyond. Our theme in 2022 is “Lifting Up our Youth.”

This event is the culmination of artist PaviElle French’s residency with six St. Paul-based arts organizations working together as a group for the first time. Liberation! Lifting Up our Youth is PaviElle French’s vision, and comes out of our collective need and responsibility to empower our young people and give them a platform.


Featured in this video:


Vanessa Rose — Executive Director, ACF
Vanessa Rose joined the American Composers Forum (ACF) in January 2019. For more than a decade, Vanessa has been working with artists and organizations dedicated to living creators, including the International Contemporary Ensemble, the Lark Play Development Center, The Knights collective, the American Composers Orchestra, and Arco Collaborative. She has led organizations through significant transitions: establishing new leadership positions, guiding strategic transformation, and centering racial equity. She is Board Chair of the Performing Arts Alliance, a coalition of national performing arts organizations focusing on public policy and advocacy to ensure equitable participation in the arts.


Braxton Haulcy — Executive Director, Walker|West Music Academy
Before arriving at Walker West, the music school started in 1988 by the Rev. Carl Walker and Grant West, Braxton Haulcy spent 35 years in the business world. But while the onetime music major held positions ranging from accounting to information marketing, he had never before been executive director of a nonprofit music school. And he’d never run a capital campaign. No matter. Haulcy, hired to lead Walker West in 2019, immediately embarked on a strategic plan and dove into transforming the school into more than a place where parents dropped off their kids for lessons. He’s helping it better connect with its Summit-University neighbors — and, in the process, making it a source of learning, music and pride for thousands. “My hope is to give our community joy,” he said.


PaviElle French –Resident Artist, Liberation! Lifting up our Youth
PaviElle is an amazing interdisciplinary artist, Upper Midwest Emmy Award and Sage Award winner. She is known for her powerhouse vocals and performing with an equally powerful 6 piece band. PaviElle was voted as Minneapolis City Pages “Best R&B Vocalist of 2015”, her band was named one of First Avenue’s Best New Bands of 2015 and, was a featured artist on TPT’s “Lowertown Line”, 2015. PaviElle hails from Rondo, a historically Black neighborhood in St. Paul, Minnesota. She honed her craft as a teenager at Penumbra Theatre and with collective, EduPoetic Enyerbrainment. Growing up in a family steeped in music, she says that she wants to make music that honors and represents the Black aesthetic. As a songwriter, PaviElle always has a way she wants her songs to “swing,” and it’s this free-style emotion, in the scatting and vocalizing, that brings a millennial’s heart-born, contemporary vision to a classic soul music sound.


Purple Playground
Purple Playground envisions a world where Prince’s legacy of positivity and giving continues in perpetuity. We formed our 501(c)3 nonprofit fan-based group to honor Prince’s legacy and inspire as he did – with funds from our events used to create our FREE Academy of Prince music program for teens.

  • Purple Playground Directors: Heidi Vader & Willie Adams
  • Purple Playground Performers
    Siena Becchetti, Kimora Collins, Annika Lewis, Sophia Melancon, Rowan Nordin, Priscilla Opdahl, Sierra Rich, Natalie Tran, Tiahna Wolf Shields

Part 1: Introduction and Purple Playground Performance (2022 ACF Equity Summit)

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