Yemaya and Face Forward Events

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Inverted Arts was honored to host a couple recent community-building arts events.

After many weeks of brainstorming and planning, YEMAYA brand hosted their first social experience The YEMAYA Goddess Gala (Pres. By MANSA-MAR’KONASH) at The Inverted Arts in North East Minneapolis on Friday, October 27th. YEMAYA’s  mission is to promote self-love and Sista-hood among young women of colour, by creating space for young women of colour to have fun and freely express their truest beauty and insight.

The evening was filled with bonding in Sista-hood, music, food, games and great conversation during our Goddess circle hosted by Shanell McCoy covering many topics on self-love, support, and friendship! The Gala also featured work from local artists such as Brittany Moore (, Becoming Photography, and a live performance by Twin Cities singer/songwriter Shanell McCoy. The night ended with a recorded interview on self-love with the two of four of the evening’s featured artist of the night, Shanell McCoy ( and Model/Actress Tiariah Williams, who each got an opportunity to sit down with host and visionary-director (of YEMAYA) Milaya Spann, and discuss what self-love meant to them, and how one maintains that love for themselves.

From photographers to dancers, singers to models, poets, actress, teachers, to full time moms, these young women of colour came together breaking the cliques and embracing their fellow sisters that shared the room with them that evening hugs were given and professional photos taken by Bethel G. throughout the experience! Overall, the first ever Goddess Gala was a great success for YEMAYA, and there have been countless requests about the next gathering. It is truly heartwarming to see that YEMAYA has touched so many young women in such a short period of time. I’d say mission accomplished!

By Milaya Spann


FaceForward MN is a local nonprofit whose mission is to bring local artists of various disciplines together to inspire positive social change through awareness and collaboration. Face Forward founder/director Amanda Leaveck said, “This photo was taken at the ‘abundance’ event, where myself and the other organizers hosted a dialogue, open mic, and dinner for 30 artists at Inverted Arts on Wednesday. We talked about what makes us feel nourished while we ate homemade coconut red lentil soup. We discussed things like joy, bliss, and the importance of self care within our artistry. The space was buzzing with so much good energy that the event ran over an hour late! The connections that were made between artists of all different background, disciplines, and communities was significant.”