About Kulture Klub Collaborative

Our Story

KKC was founded by artist Dorit Cypis in 1992 and is now under the direction of Crystal Brinkman. Since its inception, KKC has partnered with YouthLink to access the homeless youth community. KKC is a valued member of the homeless youth serving community, with numerous partners in the metro area, and thousands of dollars of in-kind donations.

No other arts organization in Minnesota works with this population in this long term way. Without KKC, these youth would not have access to consistent arts programming. Entering its third decade of programming, KKC has served over 6,500 homeless youth. KKC has attended over 1000+arts events at over 100 local arts and cultural venues in the Twin Cities.

KKC is an independent 501(c)3 arts organization that brings together artists and homeless youth in the Twin Cities. Through multi-disciplinary workshops, open mics, artist residencies, and art outings (ArtView), KKC brings dignity and respect to these special young people as they enter adulthood.

 

 

View our annual reports:

Staff

Crystal Brinkman

Crystal Brinkman

Executive Director

 
Alissa Paris

Alissa Paris

Youth Development Specialist

 

Crystal is the Executive Director of Kulture Klub Collaborative.  As an experienced youth worker, she is committed to creating change and opportunity for young people.  She helped found the social enterprise and non-profit bicycle shop Full Cycle and managed that program for seven years.  As a long time performing artist and musician, Crystal has been in several local bands and continues to perform with various ensembles.  She believes that art can heal and transform lives and our communities and is passionate about helping to make that happen.

Alissa Paris is a performance artist, choreographer, and youth advocate from the West Bank neighborhood in downtown Minneapolis. With a BA in dance theater and social justice, she cares deeply about the intersections of social change and art. She has worked for over ten years as a hip-hop dance instructor working with youth and adults, and also performing around the twin cities. She has showcased her skills as a choreographer at Intermedia Arts, Patrick’s Cabaret, the MN Pride Festival, and the MN Fringe Festival to name a few. Paris has been involved with the Black Box Theater Program at Washburn High School since 2009, mentoring young adults as they explore identity and social change through performance art. She is the director of MidWest Mixed, hosts of the biennial MidWest Mixed Conference. She is both excited and honored to be a part of the Kulture Klub team, where she can serve the community she grew up in.

Joy Spika

Joy Spika

Program Development Specialist

Joy Spika is a dedicated youth worker, teaching artist, muralist and musician. She is a practicing artist who has been enganging with both youth and emerging artists in the Twin Cities since receiving her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Joy is passionate about working with young people who want to explore the possibilities of what the arts has to offer them, and hopes to help elevate the experience of Kulture Klub.

Board of Directors

Zachary Bagaason

Board President

Professional Musician and Educator

Zack is a musician, producer, and educator in the Twin Cities. Through youth work in the Beacons program, Zach developed a small studio and workshop called “Beats & Rhymes” that continues to teach hands-on experience in songwriting and production in various Beacons afterschool sites. This lead to contracting with more organizations, such as KKC, Intermedia Arts, HOPE Community, & Pillsbury United Communities, doing similar work with youth, young adults, and senior citizens. Since 2009, he’s been an adjunct instructor at McNally Smith College of Music teaching Hip-Hop production. Zach continues to create in his spare time, and by joining the KKC board, seeks to help provide more access to quality learning opportunities for young artists.

Romisha Gray

Treasurer

Events and Philanthropy Coordinator

Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota

Romisha currently serves as board treasurer.  She has been working with various non-profit organizations for over 10 years, currently working as the Events and Philanthropy Coordinator for Goodwill-Easter Seals and the Scheduling Manager for The Barbara Schneider Foundation an organization that provides crisis intervention training.  Romisha currently specializes in database management and assists with budgeting for her organizations.  Romisha was born in Louisiana, raised in Minneapolis and currently lives in Little Canada, MN.  During her spare time, Romisha likes to create wilderness adventures, finding peace and beauty in the world around her.

Marney Thomas

Member

Director of Membership and Advocacy

Minnesota Social Service Association

Marney joined the board in 2019 after being a long time supporter of all things KKC! Marney considers herself a youth worker at heart, despite moving on from the field to pursue her passion for public policy and social justice. Marney is a recent graduate from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and the former Director of Partnerships and Community Engagement for YouthLink. In addition to trying to keep up with her two small children and being in awe of experiencing our world through their eyes, Marney enjoys a good game of Bocce ball!

Angelina Momanyi

Board Vice President

Educator

Anoka-Hennepin School District

Crystal Vital-Schwartz

Secretary

Youth Services Manager

Model Cities of St. Paul

Angelina is a teacher and community organizer. She joined the KKC board in 2016 and currently serves as the chair of the Board Development Committee. She graduated from Macalester college with a degree in American Studies. Angelina is currently pursuing her Master’s in Teaching at Hamline University. She believes in youth, charcuterie, and the power of social justice through art. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crystal currently serves as secretary of the board and joined in the fall of 2018. Crystal has been working with youth for over 15 years, in a variety of settings, including violence prevention education, a residential scholarship program, truancy day treatment, domestic violence shelter, Columbia Heights High School, and now at Model Cities. Crystal strongly believes in the power of youth, and that it is our job as adults to be present and to nurture ALL young people. Crystal
loves reading young adult fiction and exploring what the world has to offer with those she loves (especially her husband and 2 kiddos). She also has a pet turtle named Tim.

Sam Winter

Treasurer

Director of Finance
Thrivent Financial

Sam is the Director of Finance at Thrivent Financial, a Fortune 500 financial services company located in the Twin Cities.  Sam currently serves as Board Treasurer.  Away from work, he’s a runner, art enthusiast and traveler.