Musician, Artist and Author Dessa Comes to Campus for Minnesota Storytellers Series

by EMMA GABBERT, CSU Public Relations Assistant

Minnesota local Musician Dessa will be featured as the first solo female guest in the Minnesota Storyteller Series on Monday, Feb. 24.

Known for her cover of the song “Congratulations” from the hit Broadway musical Hamilton, Dessa brings her expertise in artistic expression as a musician, a published author of fiction and poetry and a newly established public speaker.

During her three-day stay at Minnesota State Mankato, Dessa will speak to a wide variety of classes through the College of Arts and Humanities and participate in a live one-hour selection of her favorite music on the campus radio station KMSU 89.7.

The Director of the Performance Series at Minnesota State University, Mankato, Dale Haefner, explains the importance of artists going into the classroom to share their career experience.

‘Students get the opportunity to hear the artist’s stories and experiences and are able to ask questions and get feedback on various projects they are working on.’ 

DALE HAEFNER, Director of Performance Series at Minnesota State University, Mankato

As the grand finale of her visit, Dessa will partake in a session through the Minnesota Storyteller Series on Monday night at 7:30 p.m. at Elias J. Halling Recital Hall (PA 250).

In addition to advice and answers received within the classroom, Haefner shares how students, (particularly future artists), learn and connect with established artists through universal, yet personal, presentations.

‘Many in the audience remarked that they loved the storytelling format, learning about the artist’s creative process as well as some humorous personal stories of life as a musician.’

Dale Haefner, Director of Performance Series at Minnesota State University, Mankato

With the chance to highlight all of her artistic talents, Dessa’s visit will allow her to share her work as an author, her experience as a musician and her newfound love of public speaking.

Dessa’s Career as an Artist

Beginning her career with the indie hip hop band Doomtree in 2005, Dessa began her solo career while maintaining an ongoing collaboration with her band.

She then diversified her talents from singing and songwriting to becoming an author, writing and publishing her first book, Spiral Bound (2008), a book of fiction and poetry.

Expanding her skill set in the Twin Cities, Dessa had the opportunity to join forces with the Minnesota Orchestra in 2018 and has performed an annual showcase with them every year since then.

Throughout her career, one of Dessa’s biggest accomplishments was an appearance on the 2019 Billboard Top 200 lists of solo artists.

After a successful career as a musician and author, Dessa explored the world of performing arts and began a career in public speaking.

Dessa participated in a TED Talk conference in Wanchai, Hong Kong. After years of writing songs and stories of heartbreak, the artist decided to evaluate her past and look to the future, with the question “Can We Choose to Fall Out of Love?

The Minnesota Stroytller Series is sponsored by the Nadine B. Andreas Endowment Fund through the College of Arts and Humanities. The Minnesota Storytellers Series aims to provide students the opportunity to connect with local artists and learn from their experiences.

Since the creation of the program in the Spring of 2019, four artists have been apart of the Minnesota Storyteller series. Martin Zellar, Dave Simonett, Jeremy Messersmith and Bad Bad Hats. Dessa will be the fifth guest to be a part of the Minnesota Storyteller Series.

Students, faculty and staff, as well as the surrounding community, are invited to attend. Tickets are available here. Tickets are free for students, $15 for the general public.

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