February 8th, 2020
MANKATO, MN. The College of Arts and Humanities welcomes rapper, writer, and public speaker Dessa to the Minnesota Storyteller artist-in-residence and performance series at Minnesota State Mankato. Dessa will be in residence at Minnesota State Mankato Monday, February 24 through Wednesday, February 26. She will perform a public concert on Monday, February 24 at 7:30 pm in the Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.
The Minnesota Storyteller series originated in Spring 2019 and is supported by the Nadine B. Andreas Endowment fund. The series features Minnesota artists who are invited to campus for a three-day residency which includes time in our various college classrooms and an intimate evening concert. 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.
2019 has been a big year for Dessa. To follow-up on the release of her critically acclaimed, Billboard-charting studio album, Chime, she contributed her first piece to National Geographic Traveler, published new fiction in the Mississippi Review, and released the paperback version of her book, My Own Devices: True Stories from the Road on Music, Science, and Senseless Love, which made NPR’s Best Books List in 2018 (Dutton, Penguin Random House). On November 7th she made her European orchestral debut with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales at Hoddinott Hall in Cardiff, where a second show was added after the first sold out in under a week. Dessa also toured the road this past year with a string quartet.
Dessa’s extraordinary career spans many genres. As a writer, she has contributed to The New York Times, the Star Tribune, the hit podcast Welcome to Night Vale, and literary journals around the country. She’s hosted radio and TV events, delivered keynote speeches around the country, and contributed to The Hamilton Mixtape. Dessa has toured North America, Europe, Australia, China, and South Africa, both as a solo artist and as a proud member of the Doomtree hip-hop collective.
In August of 2019, TED.com featured a talk on heartbreak and neuroscience that Dessa delivered in Hong Kong. In the weeks since, her speech, titled Can We Choose to Fall Out of Love, has accrued more than a million views. Other recent career accomplishments include 2018’s acclaimed album Chime, a Super Bowl 2018 performance, and in spring of 2019 she performed her sixth straight sold-out show with the Minnesota Orchestra at Orchestra Hall. The Utne Reader called her simply a “one-woman powerhouse.”
General admission for the concert is $15. Minnesota State Mankato students will be admitted free with a valid MavCARD. For more information visit link.mnsu.edu/musicticketsor call the Performance Series office, (507) 389-5549.