Saint Paul, Minnesota (September 2, 2021) — The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts today announced the hiring of Maia Maiden as its new director of arts learning and community engagement. The announcement comes as the venue prepares to reopen its doors this month after being closed for 18 months due to the pandemic.
In this role, Maiden will manage Ordway community engagement programs, including its annual Sally Awards program that recognizes the contributions of Minnesota artists, educators, philanthropists, and leaders. She will also help advance the Ordway’s education programming, including specialized K–12 arts education visits, performances, and artist residencies. Since 1990, over 1,185,000 Twin Cities students and educators have attended an Ordway school performance.
“At its core, this role is all about connecting people through art and experiences,” said Maiden. “Like so many in our community, the Ordway has made an indelible impact on my artistic journey, and I feel grateful to be able to support its mission by strengthening community connecting, energizing our student outreach and engagement work, and supporting artists with great resources and opportunities.”
For more than a decade, Maiden has curated and directed her namesake Maia Maiden Productions, providing equitable and engaging experiences for hip hop, Black, Indigenous and people of color, women and youth. A south Minneapolis native, she holds dual appointments at Rasmussen University’s School of Health Sciences as an assistant professor and a medical laboratory technician program coordinator.
In 2018, Maiden received a Sally Award from the Ordway for her contributions and commitment to Minnesota’s hip hop industry. Maiden has also been a regular emcee of the annual Flint Hills Family Festival, presented by the Ordway and Flint Hills Resources.
“Maia has been commanding change maker in the Twin Cities for decades from choreography to curation,” said Chris Sagstetter, the Ordway’s interim president and CFO. “Over the years she has continued to challenge the status quo. I can’t think of a better person to help move the Ordway’s educational programming forward, particularly as we prepare to welcome audiences back.”