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Dance, Drama, Literature, Music, Visual and Traditional Arts
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Arts in Education

Artist in Residence Artists Roster: Folk

Keith Bear

Photo of Keith BearKeith is a member of the Three Affiliated Tribes (Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara). In a residency, he teaches children about Native American traditions through songs, stories, and hands-on experiences with beadwork or quillwork. Older students have the option of learning Native American flute carving and basic playing techniques. In both cases, students learn about color and symbolism.

Keith Bear
New Town, North Dakota
Cell Phone: (701) 421-0304

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Laura Heit-Youngbird

Photo of LauraLaura, who has a distinctive American Indian perspective in her work, helps students look for connections, repeated images, colors, textures, and forms to create a body of work composed of a series of images. She also explains basic ideas like the Four Directions, Four Colors, and Four Ages of Mankind.

Laura Heit-Youngbird
Breckenridge, Minnesota
(218) 643-9248
(701) 642-4167
E-mail Laura at; and/or

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The Cultural Kaleidoscope

Photo of Sergei ShaphovalSergei Shaphoval, dressed in a traditional Russian folk costume, begins by pinpointing Russia on a world map and noting its relationship with the United States and the former Soviet Union. A full-color slide presentation offers a kaleidoscopic look at Moscow. A short video highlights a traditional folk dance. Participants experience the Cryillic alphabet. A live demonstration of Russian folk instruments - the Garmoshka, Balalaika, flutes, and Bayan/button accordion - gets students participating in folk dancing and playing authentic musical instruments.

Additional Cultural Kaleidoscope residencies include:

  • Australian Kaleidoscope
  • Ukranian Kaleidoscope
  • Irish Kaleidoscope

The Cultural Kaleidoscope
Kansas City, Missouri
Phone: (816) 363-6547

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Kevin Locke

Photo of Kevin LockeIn his school assembly program, called The Hoop of Life, Kevin Locke brings together three aspects of traditional Lakota arts: music, dancing and storytelling. Kevin uses the legend of the Eagle to teach about the nobility of the human spirit, Native sign language to show how to bridge communication barriers, and his world-renowned Hoop Dance to convey the interconnectedness of all the world’s peoples. The assembly is at once a depiction of Lakota heritage and universal values. It’s all packaged in a fun, dramatic, athletic, visually-stimulating presentation that also features audience interaction, when Kevin invites students to join him in "Hoop Dancing 101." Kevin has presented this program to over one million children worldwide. It’s targeted for K-8, and is appropriate for high school with some modifications.

Contact Kevin:
Wakpala, SD
(717) 319-8944

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Sowah Mensah

Sowah MensahSowah Mensah, an accomplished performer, composer, and director has taught music in both Ghana and Nigeria and is currently a music professor at both Macalester College and the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN.  With over 20 years of residency experience, Sowah has worked with pre-schools, elementary, high school, and college level students exploring the sounds, music, and culture of Africa.  Teachers and students participate in hands-on instruction using drums, gyil (traditional xylophones), assorted Orff instruments and dance.  Culminating performances include traditional Ghanaian singing games, songs with optional harmony, percussion accompaniment, gyil ensembles, and traditional Ghanaian dance.

Contact information:
(651) 276-5113

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Debi Rogers

Photo of Debi Rogers playing the harpDebi’s enthusiasm, creativity, and humor shine when she shares the love of her Scottish-Irish heritage. An apprenticed Gaelic harpist, Debi uses Celtic music, stories, and creative dramatics to teach her heritage. Activities include Irish sing-along, creative dramatics through Celtic folk tales, learning "The Book of Kells," and Celtic Knot works.

Debi Rogers
Mandan, North Dakota
Work: (701) 663-0922
Home: (701) 663-2514
Email Debi

Professional Development: Defining Arts Integration, Reading Portraits as Biographies, Reading Art Across the Curriculum: Observe-Infer-Inquire, Documenting the Power of Learning Through the Arts - Presented by Melanie Layne, course leader and program consultant for the Kennedy Center’s Changing Education Through the Arts (CETA) program, Washington, DC.  July, 2013.

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Margreat Sam

Photo of Debi RogersMargreat Sam carries and shares the essence of India through her residency work. She maintains her heritage by teaching elaborate henna painting and Bharatanatyam, a traditional storytelling dance of India where every hand gesture, facial expression, and dance step conveys parts of a traditional narrative.  Margreat wishes to immerge her students into a world of Art, Culture and tradition. Growing up in the midst of the traditions of celebrations and dance, she is graciously and enthusiastically willing to share her culture with others. Margreat’s greatest wish is to pass on to others the vast knowledge she has and inspire them to keep artful traditions alive. 

Margreat Sam
Moorhead, MN
Phone: (218) 790-0041

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Monte Yellow Bird Sr. (Black Pinto Horse) & Emily Yellow Bird
Artist in Residence team name: Black Pinto Horse Fine Arts

Photo of Monte and Emily Yellow BirdWalk down a trail of color, stories and heritage with husband and wife duo, Emily and Monte Yellow Bird.  They will guide your students down this vibrant trail to new discoveries, creativity and self exploration using the springboard of art and culture, weaving together golden threads of history, math and science and trimming it with character building and healthy choices.  As you trot down this trail together, they will invite you to share your accomplishment and set new goals as you compose visual art projects such as Mud Ponies, Warrior Shields, Ledger Art and Winter Counts.  If you’re going to shine, shine brightly, Mr. Yellow Bird’s coined phrase is just what you will be doing as you exchange gifts while respecting and supporting one another.

Providing educational programs since 2004 with their fine arts and educational company, Black Pinto Horse Fine Arts, this team compliments one another as they share their appreciation of education and art, providing on average, 20 weeks of programs and servicing thousands of students a year.  Together, they carry more than 30 years of experience working with children; At- risk students, Native American Reservation &Residential Schools, Public Schools, K-12, Universities, Alternative schools, Job Corps, TRIO and 21st Century programs, Canadian Educational Reserves, Boy’s Town Nebraska, and Home-Based Behavioral Support. Monte is a member of the Arikara and Hidatsa Nation from Fort Berthold Reservation, Whiteshield ND and they live in Great Falls MT where he completed a two year Artist in Residence contract with the Paris Gibson Square Museum and Great Falls Public Schools 2007 and 2008.  Black Pinto Horse, as he is best known in the art world, is an internationally recognized and a nationally renowned First Nation artist with a Bachelors of Fine Art Degree (Minot State University), historian and storyteller.  A few recent coups include, commission for Vancouver Community College- British Columbia, designed horse sculpture for the Trail of Painted Ponies- AZ, Artist in Residence with the Eiteljorg Museum- IN, recipient of the Artist in Business Leadership Fellowship of the First Peoples Fund- SD and commissioned mural for North Dakota State University.  Emily is a practicing artist with a Bachelors of Science in education K-6 (Messiah College) and years of classroom experience; 3rd and 5th grade, Librarian (K-5) and Art Teacher (K-6).  A few recent coups include, paintings sold during the Paris Gibson Square, Holter and Yellowstone Museum’s Auctions.

Our mission: To provide high quality art education to a wide range of audiences while creating an environment conducive to learning, where individuals feel safe to take and share a historical, personal and visual journey through self expression. Our Goals: 1) Increase the participants' knowledge and understanding of their cultural identity. 2) Focus on creating an awareness and aesthetical appreciation of the arts. 3) Provide an interactive, hands-on, stimulating environment which inspires the individual to explore. 4) Enhance students' imagination and develop self awareness.

Black Pinto Horse/Monte Yellow Bird Sr. & Emily Yellow Bird
Wilsall, MT 59086
Telephone: 1-406-578-2187

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