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About the Conference

The Healing Youth Through Art Conference offers individuals and professionals hands-on resources and activities to effectively work with youth who are or have experienced trauma. The conference offers four workshops that dive into different forms of art as a tool for communication and healing. Attendees will benefit from the following art platforms:

  • music/songwriting

  • vision board/collage

  • theater/creative writing

  • yoga/meditation

Intended Audience

Youth workers, teacher, health practitioners, and any other professionals working directly with traumatized and/or troubled youth will best benefit from the workshops.

Although this conference is primarily intended for adult professionals working with youth, youth or youth leaders are welcome to attend.

Wearing comfortable clothing is recommended as participants will be doing light physical activities for parts of the conference.

Conference Details

WHEN: April 26, 2019 | 9:00AM-4:30PM

WHERE: Neighborhood House | 179 Robie St E, St Paul, MN 55107

COST: $35, includes light breakfast and lunch

PARKING: Ramp and street parking

Any dietary restrictions should be noted in your registration.

Any persons with accessibility concerns should directly contact Pakou Khang at

Register Now




PLATFORM: Vision Board, Collage, Visual Arts

As a visual artist, Joy works in multimedia and large scale murals. She likes to work with people to create their own visual language using imagery to tell a story. This kind of story telling can be done in many ways using color, shapes, people, animals, and more.

In this workshop participants will learn the art of collage as individuals working on their own style, learning how to combine mixed media, make patterns and textures and images work together to tell their stories and create intentions for themselves.


Joy Spika, Visual Artist, Teaching Artist

Joy has a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has shown in several galleries between Minneapolis and Chicago. She has been a teaching artist for several nonprofit organizations over the last decade including: Hope Community, Intermedia Arts, Articulture and Learning Dreams through the University of Minnesota. 

Joy has helped create many murals around the city of Minneapolis working with groups of youth and adults. She was the Exterior Walls Curator at Intermedia Arts helping to engage several local muralists to explore their practice on a large scale.


PLATFORM: Music, Songwriting

Music is a powerful tool for self-expression and  connection. In this workshop artist Adriana Rimpel aka Lady Midnight will teach  participants basic songwriting techniques and lead them through a group songwriting session based on the classic 12 bar blues formula.


Lady Midnight, Vocalist;performance artist

Lady Midnight is a vocalist and performance artist who draws upon her multidisciplinary background in visual art, dance and Afro-indigenous roots to create work that timelessly reflects our collective lives. Lady Midnight is one half of the group Parables of Neptune, a duo with Afrokeys (former keyboardist of Atmosphere) and was named Best Twin Cities Vocalist of 2017 by The City Pages. As Lady Midnight, she has recorded with international touring artists Bon Iver, P.O.S., Brother Ali, as well as performed with internationally acclaimed icons Common, Moby, Andra Day, and Aloe Blacc, among others. Lady Midnight  has dedicated her life to using the arts as a power for change and confronting trauma.


PLATFORM: Theater, Creative Writing

This workshop will focus on thinking about your own unique identity and self-reflection using various theater exercises and creative writing, a practice which might then be transferable to future work with at-risk youth.  The belief is that through artistic exploration, we can tap into a better understanding of oneself and how we move through society.  There will be some light movement, so please dress in clothes that you can move comfortably in.  


Katie Bradley, Community & Education Manager at Theater Mu; Actor, Singer

Katie Bradley is a Twin Cities-based actor and singer and has been working in the professional theater community for the past fourteen years.  As a teaching artist, she has worked with several organizations, including Youth Performance Company, Camp Choson, and Mounds Park Academy.  

She is also the Community and Education Manager at Theater Mu, one of the leading Asian American theater companies in the country.  Through Mu, which is based in Saint Paul, she has created and taught numerous theater workshops and programs for various local Asian American communities.


Gregory Yang, Actor

Gregory Yang is a Hmong American Actor based in Twin Cities. Credits include Theater Mu-- The Last Firefly, Korean Drama Addicts Guide..., Park Square Theatre-- A Midsummer Night's Dream. The BAND Group-- Maple and Vine, and many more. In addition to performance, he has worked as a teaching artist with organizations such as Theater Mu and Project Footsteps. 


PLATFORM: Yoga, Meditation

This workshop is a 60 minute yoga and meditation class to release anger, balance hormones and allow deep rest and stillness and leave you feeling empowered. This experience will be a typical class that would be presented with youth, but can be modified to work with a variety of ages. 

All ages and abilities are welcome. Wear clothes that are comfortable to move in (no special yoga/workout clothes needed).


Dawn Buttera, Nutritional Therapy Practitioner; Certified Yoga Practitioner

Dawn is a Nutritional Therapy and Yoga Practioner, specializing in Kundalini, Yoga for Youths, and Yoga Education. She has also worked in Neurobiology Research at the Mayo Clinic, was a high school Science and Medical Careers teacher, as well as an instructor for young adult English language learners in the medical field.

In her work with youth, she has learned they are under tremendous stress. Mental health is a serious issue for these adolescents today. Conditions like ADHD, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and substance abuse are being recognized more every year. As she learns, unravel traumas and heal herself, Dawn’s passion has also been to help others help themselves, especially youth. Yoga and mediation still the mind, so individuals can learn to listen and know the voice within and who the really are. 




9:00-9:30AM Registration and light breakfast

9:30-11:00AM Workshop 1: Vision Boards with Joy Spika

11:00AM-11:10AM Break

11:10-12:40PM Workshop 2: Songwriting with Lady Midnight

12:45-1:30PM Lunch

1:30-3:20PM Workshop 3: Creative Writing with Katie Bradley & Gregory Yang

3:20-3:30PM Break

3:30-4:30PM Workshop 4: Yoga/Meditation with Dawn Buttera