How did you become an artist?
In 1995, I co-created a Hip Hop dance team called Infinity at Apple Valley High School. This was significant and changed the landscape of “acceptable” dance in district 196 forever. Infinity still exists today along with several other Hip Hop/Step teams in the district including Eastview Step Team (2014 Sage Dance Nominee for Outstanding Dance Ensemble-Directed by Julian Hines) at Eastview High School in Apple Valley.
How has art changed you?
My life shifted as I went from South Minneapolis to Apple Valley. The racial tensions were high at that school. Although I was a Hip Hop dancer before I arrived, that is when I became an artistic activist committed to creating opportunities to uplift and highlight communities that have been overlooked and under-recognized.
What inspires you?
Creating opportunities for cultural representation in the arts as it relates to Hip Hop, people of color, women and youth.
How has Intermedia Arts been a part of your story?
From dancer to choreographer to curator, Intermedia Arts has been there for each step of my artist journey. Intermedia Arts has been there to support all my artistic ventures and see them reach their full potential. They give artists a platform to “speak” their mind, resonate in their truths, engage with different communities and support the process from beginning to end.
“Our cultures, connections and creativities need to be celebrated. We need that, we deserve it.”
- Maia Maiden
Why is art a tool for speaking out, for creating change in the world? How have you used art to do that?
It’s about the audience identifying with performers on stage and the performers identifying with the audience. It’s about the support shared between performers as each one is highlighted and uplifted. Our cultures, connections and creativities need to be celebrated. We need that, we deserve it.
Scientist by day, dancer by night, Maia Maiden has been a pillar in the dance community for over 15 years. Born and raised in South Minneapolis, she has studied all genres of dance primarily focusing on West African, Hip Hop, and Step. Her work has been featured in Momentum: New Dance Works 2008, the Hip Hop Theater Festival and Fringe Festival 2008 in Washington D.C., Snapshots: Reflections of Women 2010 and the Catalyst Series 2012. Her passion for cultural representation in the arts has led to the creation of innumerable powerful performances including ROOTED: Hip Hop Choreographers’ Evening (2014 Sage Dance Awardee for Outstanding Dance Performance)- the first and only choreographers’ evening dedicated to Hip Hop dance and its’ roots in the Twin Cities, showcasing high school to professional choreographers and the multidisciplinary Sistah Solo | Being Brothas, which features solo performances by women and men of color.