2022 ACF Equity Summit: Lifting Up Our Youth
Part 2: TruArtSpeaks Performance and Discussion

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:


Founded in 2006, TruArtSpeaks is an arts & culture organization based in Saint Paul, Minnesota. We provide development opportunities for artists and arts leaders through direct mentorship, workshops, residencies, public events, conferences, statewide initiatives, and more. Our primary audience consists of people with multiple marginalized identities and artists— with a special focus on youth and young adults. We believe that art & culture – especially Hip Hop – inspire connection, growth, and social transformation.


TruArtSpeaks Founding Executive Director: Tish Jones


TruArtSpeaks Performers
Athena Estimé
Vibrant Hues a.k.a Athena, is a Haitian American youth advocate, community organizer, teaching artist, and Multi-Disciplinary artist. Vibrant Hues seeks out to create artwork that sparks healing and a greater understanding of spirituality and her ancestors. Her practice is based in the city Minneapolis where she was born and raised.


Taiwana Shambley
Taiwana Shambley (she/her) is a freelance fiction writer, editor, abolitionist, and teaching artist from Saint Paul, living in South Minneapolis. She works to imagine and practice liberation for BIPOC youth in Minnesota. Currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Fiction from Warren Wilson College, Taiwana is a 2021 graduate of Augsburg University in English and African American Studies. She was awarded a 2022 grant from the University of Minnesota’s Center of Urban & Regional Affairs to lead the editing of a collection of stories by incarcerated and formerly incarcerated youth in Minneapolis. Her fiction has won a 2020 Next Step Fund grant by the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, and she has prose poems published by the Academy of American Poets and Belt Publishing. She is currently working on a first novel. You can find Taiwana’s writing and learn more about how to support her work at taiwanashambley.com.


Isha Camara
Isha Camara is a writing, performance poet and visual poet from South Minneapolis and a proud Aries. She has earned her degree in Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and stands First Wave Alumna. She’s been writing and performing poetry since the age of thirteen and moves with the intention to always sharpen her blade. Her work has been featured of us forthcoming in the Southeast Review, Muzzle Magazine, The Boston Review, Wisconsin Life and the Overture Galleries. Isha has preformed for the Madison Public Library, Walker Art Center and MMoCA. Isha’s purpose is to give a narrative that create conversations supple with empathy, driven by tenderness.

Part 2: TruArtSpeaks Performance and Discussion (2022 ACF Equity Summit)

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