Friday and Saturday, April 13 and 14, 7:30-9:30 p.m. | Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center
Two unique shows featuring trans and gender nonbinary performers!
Open to the public -- if not registered for the Festival, suggested donation is $0-25 at the door. No tickets, no reserved seating, doors open at 7:00 p.m.
Featuring a wide variety of musical styles, several choirs, singer/songwriters, poetry, spoken word, and more!
Both TransFusion Cabarets will be ASL interpreted.
(From l to r: Zeam Porter, Kymani Kahlil, Ellis Perez)
- Friday emcees will be Nick Metcalf & Barbara Satin
- Saturday emcees will be Eun Bee Yes & Qamar Saadiq Saoud
Meet Friday night's performers!
Cetanzi - Nicholas “Nick” Metcalf, MSW, is a long-time community activist who has worked, lived, and loved in the Twin Cities community for over 20 years. Nick is an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, South Dakota, where they grew up. Nick attended the University of South Dakota for their Bachelors in Science (Math/Psychology), attended Minneapolis School of Massage and Bodywork for a certificate in Massage Therapy, and received their MSW in Family Therapy at Augsburg College. Nick has worked as an organizational development consultant, lead nonprofits, and worked for the Minnesota Department of Human Services. Nick currently works for Hennepin County Human Services and Public Health Department. Nick is a featured speaker for TedxUMN discussing gender fluidity, which is available on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICWB8pfGBvc
Barbara Satin is a transgender activist who has been deeply involved with LGBTQ issues, locally and nationally, particularly around issues of faith and aging. She currently serves as Assistant Faith Work Director for the National LGBTQ Task Force. Barbara has served on the boards of numerous non-profits serving LGBTQ people in the area of philanthropy, HIV/AIDS services and aging. An active member of the United Church of Christ, she was the first trans person to serve on the denomination's Executive Council and was involved in the Church's 2003 decision to affirm the inclusion of transgender people in the full life and ministry of the UCC. She was heavily involved in the development of Spirit on Lake, a 46 unit affordable rental project in Minneapolis focused on serving LGBT Seniors. In 2016, Barbara was appointed by President Obama to serve on the President's Faith-Based and Neighborhood Advisory Council, the first trans person to serve in that position.
Ellis Perez is a gender non-conforming, queer poet and performer based out of Minneapolis. They have been featured in shows produced by the Err Collective and Slap Happy Studios. Their work is vulnerable and aches like a fresh bruise. They eat too many Pop Tarts, take too many naps, and live in a cozy apartment with their dog and partner.
Venus de Mars is the iconic front person and founding member of the long standing Minneapolis glam-punk/trans-band Venus de Mars & All The Pretty Horses. Venus formed the band in the early 90s and fronted it through turbulent dark days when identifying as trans meant being classified as having a mental perversion, living as an outcast, and moving through a world universally accepting of trans-phobic violence and discrimination. Venus, her wife Lynette Reini-Grandell, and the band are the subjects of the award winning 2006 trans rock-doc Venus of Mars by filmmaker Emily Goldberg. Venus is currently in the process of writing a memoir.
Eli Conley titled his sophomore album Strong and Tender, but he might well have been describing himself. On stage he’s an earnest yet funny storyteller. His songs address big themes like love, aging, and death through the concrete and immediate details of daily life: a stolen truck, a flopping fish, a dime in the pocket. At heart, Eli is a clear-eyed songwriter with high hopes for the human race. His songs urge us to love ourselves even when it feels like the world does not. You can’t help but sing along.
I am Kymani (kee-Ma-ni) Kahlil (she/her), a singer/songwriter, Poet/Dancer, adventurous traveler and sincere friend (Barista). My past lives include performing with Apollo’s Creed, The Poetree Spoken Word Collective, Desdamona, Omar Bliss, Everyday People and Dessa. My theatre credits include working with the History Theatre, Children’s Theatre Co, Chanhassen Dinner Theatre, Ten Thousand Things and Theatre Latte Da. I’ve composed music for several productions with Youth Performance Co, including “Little Rock – 1957”, the recipient of an Ivey Award (2009). Thank you to One Voice Mixed Chorus, its Partners and Sponsors, and to all the Festival and Cabaret participants! It is an honor to share my music, my art and heart with my community.
Elliott Harvey is the vocalist-composer of A Stick And A Stone, who crafts haunting, minimalist, choral-ridden song-spells on electric bass and soaring strings laced with ambient field recordings and poetic imagery. Performing as an openly trans and disabled artist, Harvey's lyrics give voice to the journey of healing from body dysphoria, trauma, and alienation. Although he came out as a trans fag in 2006, he has kept an herbal approach to transition to preserve his original timbre. Vice Magazine has described him as possessing "a decidedly androgynous vocal range, cooing sweetly and calling down the moon while exorcising the demons that run rampant in his metaphors." In addition to touring and recording with A Stick And A Stone, Harvey directed a Balkan a capella group and belonged to a protest choir in Philadelphia. As an awardee of the Leeway Art & Change grant and two Trans Justice Project grants, Harvey's dedicated work with the trans community has included prisoner support, housing advocacy, and environmental intersectionality. Currently based in the Pacific Northwest, Harvey resides in a trailer in occupied Chinook territory forest, where he draws inspiration from the nonhuman life forms of the surrounding land.
Phoenix, Colorado’s Transgender Community Choir was founded in September 2015 by Sam Bullington as a fully collaborative grassroots community of individuals who believe in the transformative potential of the arts for personal empowerment and societal change. Not exactly a traditional chorus, Phoenix is more of a safe space to take risks of self-exploration—whether around gender and identity, creativity and voice, or leadership and community building. Although many of its members are trans-identified, the choir is home for anyone who does not fit neatly into the gender binary, as well as all those touched by trans issues, including partners, parents, friends, and allies. This non-audition intergenerational social justice chorus is based in Broomfield, with singers from all over the Front Range, and performs frequently at community events, often material composed by choir members.
Meet Saturday night's performers!
Qamar Saadiq Saoud (he/him) is an advocate for transgender youth in the Twin Cities — especially those who are homeless, as he once was. Now a certified mediator and a part-time student working to become a licensed therapist, Qamar is committed to helping at-risk youth find safe harbor through the GLBT Host Home Program, Avenues for Homeless Youth, Reclaim and several other organizations.
Eun Bee Yes (full name Eun Bee Yes Smith Stahr Devereaux, pronouns: zie/zir/zirs or they/them/theirs) is a non-binary/genderqueer show producer, artist, blogger, fan fic writer, single parent, and radical activist. In Eun’s muggle life, zie is the executive director of SlutWalk Twin Cities, the international grassroots protest against rape culture. SlutWalk Twin Cities is now 8 years strong and has an annual SlutWalk along with two fundraisers, one of them the Diversity Ball which centers artists of colour, queer artists of colour, and those who live with physical and invisible disabilities.
Eun Bee Yes was recently honoured by the Ladies of the Lake, a fully professed House of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, as Saint Walk of No Shame.
Eun Bee Yes is the show producer of Transcendence, a monthly show at LUSH which features transgender artists of colour, including non-binary and gender non conforming artists in the main cast as well as guest performers.
Eun Bee Yes also is an advocate for mental health awareness. Zie was the first co-facilitator of the very first NAMI MN Queer centered peer support group. This queer support group was also the very first in NAMI national history. Eun is a state trainer for the support groups, training facilitators to be boats of hope in their communities all over the state of Minnesota. Eun also is an In Our Own Voice speaker in which zie talks about living with mental illnesses, breaking down the stereotypes, stigma, shame, and fear around mental illness.
You can follow Eun Bee Yes on zir’s Instagram account or on Twitter. Instagram is: bab5mom and Twitter is: @ridingburritos.
Daniel Osprey Huffsmith (they/them/theirs) is a genderqueer song leader and music activist. Their song circles allow people to reconnect with the simple, yet powerful practice of making sound together. They write songs that are quirky, authentic, and fun to sing, with lyrics about pressing issues such as consent, gender identity, body image, and our relationship with the planet. The catchy tunes stay in your head for days, but it’s all good because they hint at answers that are relevant to now. Daniel Osprey has a band, called Osprey Flies The Nest, to help share their songs more widely. See ospreyfliesthenest.com for more info.
Alex Iantaffi (they/them/theirs or he/him/his), PhD, MS, LMFT is a therapist, Somatic ExperiencingⓇ practitioner, writer and independent scholar. They have been the Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Sexual and Relationship Therapy for over ten years and have researched, presented and published extensively on gender, disability, sexuality, bisexuality, polyamory, BDSM, Deafness, education, sexual health, HIV prevention, and transgender issues. Alex is passionate about healing justice and community based and engaged scholarship. They are a trans masculine, non-binary, bi queer, disabled, Italian immigrant who has been living on Dakota and Anishinaabe territories, also known as Minneapolis, MN, since 2008. Alex has recently co-authored the book "How to Understand Your Gender: a practical guide for exploring who you are" with Meg-John Barker (Jessica Kingsley Publishers). You can find out more about them at www.alexiantaffi.comor follow them on Twitter @xtaffi
Andrea Jenkins is a writer, performance artist, poet, and transgender activist. She is the first African American openly trans woman to be elected to office in the United States. Jenkins has experience working in community development in North Minneapolis, and in delivering social services in South Minneapolis.
Jenkins moved to Minnesota to attend the University of Minnesota in 1979 and was hired by the Hennepin County government, where she worked for a decade. Jenkins worked as a staff member on the Minneapolis City Council for 12 years before beginning work as curator of the Transgender Oral History Project at the University of Minnesota's Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies.
Andrea holds a Masters Degree in Community Development from Southern New Hampshire University, a MFA in Creative Writing from Hamline University and a Bachelors Degrees in Human Services from Metropolitan State University. She is a nationally and internationally recognized writer and artist, a 2011 Bush Fellow to advance the work of transgender inclusion, and the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships.
Henry Radford Bishop (he/him) grew up singing folk music with his mom, who performed professionally for many years. Soon after leaving college to "be a folk singer," Henry met his longtime friend and musical soulmate, Coleman Lindberg, and the duo performed their unique blend of "queer folk-punk" from New York to California, gracing numerous Twin Cities stages together from 1998 - 2003, under the moniker Winter Machine. Soon after that, Henry helped form the band Tough Tough Skin (aka Running on Empty), which later signed with Queer Control Records in San Francisco, CA. These days Henry mostly sings and plays guitar or mandolin in his own living room, occasionally making a guest appearance on stage with Coleman Lindberg. Trans Voices marks his first solo performance in many years.
City Counselor is the music project of Nicky Steves, a community organizer working on LGBTQ equity, environmental sustainability, and immigration reform. Since beginning in late 2016, City Counselor has toured in Europe and throughout the Midwest, and recently received a commission from the Cedar Cultural Center for a new body of work backed by an 8-piece orchestra. Beginning in April 2018, City Counselor will become a four-piece featuring Nicky Steves (Lunch Duchess, BOYF), Amy Hager (Fort Wilson Riot, Pornonono), Jared Hemming (The Florists, Dairyland), and Antoine Martineau (Moors Blackmon, Disasterati).
Award-winning composer and openly transgender singer Mari Esabel Valverde (she/her/hers) has been commissioned by the American Choral Directors Association, Texas Music Educators Association, Seattle Men’s and Women’s Choruses, and others and has appeared with Dallas Chamber Choir, Vox Humana, and Exigence Vocal Ensemble (Detroit). She holds degrees from St. Olaf College, the European American Musical Alliance in Paris, France, and San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Zeam Porter is a gender nihilist who believes poetry and film are two tools desperately needed in the fight for the liberation of all. A Sophomore at Macalester College, Z is a Media and Cultural studies major and works with organizations like The Transgender Law Center and Minnesota Transgender Health Coalition.
Walken Schweigert is a queer/trans actor, musician, composer and director from St. Paul, MN. He is a 2009 graduate of the Dell' Arte International School for Physical Theatre, and a 2006 graduate of the Perpich Center for Arts Education (Theatre Major). He has worked with the Taller Xuchialt and Ronda de Barro in Leon, Nicaragua; toured with and been mentored by the internationally renowned Double Edge Theatre in Ashfield, MA; and has busked on the streets of 11 countries. He has facilitated Theatre of the Oppressed workshops across the Americas, and co-founded an all-transgender theatrical/dance/circus ensemble entitled the Gay Unicorn Triplettes (GUT). A classically trained violinist, he has been part of over a dozen musical ensembles of varying genres, from klezmer to metal. In 2008 he founded the Unseen Ghost Brigade, an ensemble that toured an original piece of street theatre down the Mississippi River on a raft they built themselves. In 2013 the UGB changed its name to Children of the Wild, and named Schweigert Artistic Director. In 2017 Children of the Wild became Open Flame Theatre, and moved to Philadelphia Community Farm, in Osceola WI, where the theatre and Schweigert are in residence indefinitely.
Erik Peregrine (they/them or he/him) conducts and Kymani Kahlil (she/her) accompanies the Transgender Voices Festival Choir in their finale performance. This group of trans and gender nonconforming people have gathered together during the Trans Voices Festival to sing for just under 3 rehearsal hours! For any trans or gender nonconforming people local to the Twin Cities, there is an opportunity to join a newly-forming trans choir that will meet weekly on Thursday evenings from mid-April to mid-June, and then sing with One Voice Mixed Chorus in their June concerts.
Hayden (he/him) is a senior at St. Olaf College and will be getting his degree in K-12 Vocal Music Education. He has sung with the St. Olaf Choir for the past three years, touring to places including the West Coast, Washington, D.C., and South Korea and Japan. Hayden is currently student teaching with the Rosemount High School Choirs as well as interning with Angelica Cantanti Youth Choirs in Bloomington. After graduation, he hopes to stay in the Twin Cities area to teach music and choir to all ages.