Audacious Artist Cohort

The Bentwood Chair recalls Lorraine’s childhood home and A Raisin in the Sun.

In partnership with the Irreducible Grace Foundation, Pillsbury House + Theatre invited these young artists to explore the life and work of Lorraine Hansberry. With the support of Aimee K. Bryant they are helping us to uplift and celebrate the legacy of Lorraine Hansberry with their artistry.



Milky Osman

Artist Statement:

The inspiration behind this series of photos was hometown, & how lonely & isolating it can be outgrowing a place you’ve known as home. The connection to Lorraine is based on research of her younger years, and also later in her life, where she describes being “terribly lonely, almost to the point of madness.” These pictures were taken with that sentiment in mind.

Milky Osman is a young artist who lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota. A recent graduate of Saint Paul Conservatory for the Performing Arts, Milky will be continuing their education at the University of Minnesota.


Frida Ross


Photo by Roosevelt Mansfield

Frida Ross is so grateful to have participated in this great project about Lorraine Hansberry. Frida will be a junior this fall at SPCPA (Saint Paul Conservatory for the Performing Arts), where she’s studying musical theatre. Her next production will be at the History Theatre, The Buddy Holly Story.



Marley Burrowes


Photo by Roosevelt Mansfield

Marley Burrows created her first published art piece in memoriam of Lorraine Hansberry. In addition to visual art, Marley flourishes in singing and performance, attending SPCPA, an arts school to further her artistic and creative ability. Marley has starred in shows such as Songs for a New World, Little Shop of Horrors, Newsies, and Legally Blonde and hopes to continue in the performing arts!



Latrese Johnson


Photo by Roosevelt Mansfield

Latrese Johnson (she/they) is an 18-year-old artist, healer, and activist from Saint Paul, Minnesota. They enjoy learning about revolutionaries, being in community with others, and practicing radical self-care. She will be attending Howard University this fall, majoring in Afro-American Studies.



Ra’Jona Strickland


Artist Statement:

I choice to use more than one skin tone to represent how many other black girls with different shades of brown she has inspired as a whole I chose a the colors pink orange and white for her being part of the lgbtq+ community and the music notes for her amazing work in the theater community.


Ra’Jona Strickland will be a junior this fall at South High School. She is most thankful to have been able to create a piece in honor of Lorraine Hansberry from the time she first saw A Raisin in the Sun, she was inspired by her work. She is active in music theater and hopes to play in A Raisin in the Sun someday.



Photo by Tom Wallace

Aimee K. Bryant
Since she earned her BFA from Howard University, Aimee K. Bryant has built a lengthy resume as a theatre artist in the Twin Cities, including being a Pillsbury House + Theatre teaching artist. She is an actor, vocalist, director and teaching artist who’s artistic practice is rooted in soul music. joy, and a rigorous curiosity about the way things are. Her mission is to use performance as a tool for self reflection, healing, transformation, and black liberation. She also identifies as a mother, a roller skater, a Buddhist, a Detroiter, a cyclist, and a foodie. Aimee was named City Pages 2015 Actress of the Year, and is a McKnight Theatre Artist Fellow for 2015-2016. Her debut cd Becoming is available online.



Irreducible Grace Foundation (IGF) is a non-profit focused on creating safe spaces with youth of color. IGF provides mentoring, life skills, employment, self-care practices, and safe space for teens and young adults. Through the use of visual and performing arts young people learn new skills for dealing with stress, trauma and fostering their voice. Many go on to become IGF workshop leaders trained in mind body medicine to serve communities of color in their collective healing from trauma. Workshops and performances include audience participation, poetry, puppetry, and performance. We are grateful for this process of working with Aimee Bryant, Pillsbury House and the community of young people chosen to honor the legacy of our ancestor angel, Lorraine Hansberry.


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