DJ-U provides DJ instruction, equipment, & an accessible, inclusive creative space for emerging talent—to create a network of experienced self-identified femme/non-binary/women, black/indigenous/people of color (BIPOC). We build relationships & provide ongoing support through mentorship, promotion, & booking. Graduates of DJ-U have access to a free equipment library and recording & streaming studio.
DJs create soundscapes for audiences to curate moments that can’t be replicated. To DJ is to be an interactive storyteller providing an avenue for communal healing.
DJ-U is a program that sprouted out of Madame of the Arts, a queer arts center, in 2015. With support from Patrick’s Cabaret and MRAC, we started classes officially in the historic Robert’s Shoes building in 2017. Lost due to fire, we moved to Pinwheel Arts and Movement Center in 2019. We moved to the Ivy Arts Building in February 2020, which also suffered a fire last summer.
Shutdowns of venues and mass gatherings as part of a global pandemic and the ongoing uprising around George Floyd’s murder have affected our community, and there are much fewer accessible art spaces centered on LGBTQ BIPOC.
DJing provides people marginalized due to race, disability, and/or gender expression a tangible avenue for healing and education that can spread to others.
We offer socially-distanced DJ livestreams from our space, use our studio as an online radio station, and an accessible and central community hub, art gallery, classroom, event space, and launchpad for marginalized Twin Cities artists.