Meet the Project Team

Voice of Crossword

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Sahro Abdullahi

Certified Family Peer Specialist

My name is Sahro Abdullahi, I have five children, three boys, and two girls. I am a parent advocate and community leader. I have been a member of the Parent Catalyst leadership group for the Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health (MACMH) since 2009 and I worked with a support group which I organized in apartment complexes in Burnsville and Eagan, MN to educate parents on mental health and early intervention and how to support and find resources for mental health. I work as Somali Cultural Liaison district 191 since 2014, and as District-wide Cultural Liaison I assist in bridging communication gaps between the school, students, and families. I help families understand and navigate through the school system and support students in their new environment and help staff understand cultural differences. I work as a freelancer interpreter from Somali to English and vise versa and I also translation to Somali. I am currently working on my master's degree in English Language Learners at Saint Mary's University. I love going to YMCA before the pandemic, cooking hanging out with family and friends. 

Voice of Crossword

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Anab Abtow

Certified Family Peer Specialist

More info coming soon

Voice of Crossword

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Maryan Ali

Artist and Community Support, Certified Family Peer Specialist

Maryan Ali (she/her) has worked with children and families for over a decade.  She’s a community activist and worked in the 191 district doing various jobs  from translation and interpreter and Educational Assistance EA.  Now Maryan is a cultural liaison. She has a great passion for working with children especially at younger ages.  She also loves working with families and helping them find resources. On her free time Maryan likes to spend time with her family and read, walk and run outside. She enjoys the beautiful Minnesota weather whatever the season may be!  Her favorite hobby is to draw, experiment with henna, and have fun with her kiddos.

Voice of Crossword

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Maria Asp

Theatre Director and Teaching Artist

Maria Asp (she/her) was with The Children’s Theatre Company’s Neighborhood Bridges program since its beginning and served as the Program Director. As an actor she has appeared in 23 productions with FRANK THEATRE including The Cradle Will Rock, and The Love Song of J. Robert Oppenheimer. She is also a teaching artist with Frank Theatre and On Stage. Maria is a musician and performer with the Speaking Out Collective. She is also an Arts Organizer and is part of the Million Artist Movement. She is part of the Admin team of MN Theater Accountability Coalition. 

Voice of Sunshine

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Deb Cavitt

Project Director

Deb Cavitt (she/her) has worked for Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health since 2007. She is a family coach, advocate,  educator, grant writer and project director.  Before coming to MACMH she was a prevention specialist and project director for a substance abuse agency in Iowa from 2001-2006.  Additionally Cavitt taught elementary school children in northern Minnesota for over twenty years.  As a mother and grandmother, her heart is always with her family.  She enjoys working with other parents and youth to focus on strengths, celebrate diversity, and promote positive mental health for all children, youth and families. 

Voice of Jumpkick

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Dan Dukich

Sound Designer

Dan Dukich (he/him) is a composer, sound designer and musician whose work has been heard on stages all across North America and Europe. He has been recognized by The Kennedy Center with a Distinguished Achievement in Sound Design Award, supported by Nautilus Music-Theatre's Composer-Librettist Studio and is a recipient of MRAC's Next Step Fund. Dan is also a songwriter who records and performs with the moniker Daniel Bonespur.

Voice of Crossword

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Marya Hart

Composer and Music Director

Marya Hart (she/her) has been the composer/lyricist/music director of Fidgety Fairy Tales since it began in 2008.  She has been a teaching artist at the Children’s Theatre for over 20 years.  She has worked as a composer, lyricist, music director, pianist and arranger for Frank Theatre, History Theatre, Bedlam Theatre, Steppingstone Theatre, Mixed Precipitation’s Picnic Operetta, and puppeteer Margo McCreary.  She performs with Ross Sutter’s Swedish Trio.  Honors include a Springboard Homecoming Residency and two MN Music Awards.

Voice of Crossword

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Matt Organisak Jenson

Director of Arts and Youth Engagement

Matt Organisak Jenson (he/him or they/them) has been collaboratively creating arts-based projects with youth for the Minnesota Association for Children's Mental Health since 2006.  He is the writer/director of Fidgety Fairy Tales - The Mental Health Musical and one of the coordinators of Youth MOVE MN.  He was a teaching artist at the Children's Theatre Company (2000-2019) and on the faculty in the U of MN Dance Program (2000-2014).  His independent creative work has been supported by grants from the McKnight Foundation, Minnesota State Arts Board, and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council.