Fres Thao

Fres Thao is an advocate for the arts, believing art is direct energy from the soul. As a hip-hop pioneer of the Hmong American community, he is an active lyricist, performer, producer, and mentor. He was a recipient of the 2011 Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative grant, using funds to create his "Mind Full Of" vinyl project—the first full length Hmong hip-hop vinyl record album. He is also the Executive Director for the Center for Hmong Arts and Talent, the first and only multidisciplinary Hmong arts organization in the world. He currently sits on the board of Springboard for the Arts, and the Frogtown Neighborhood Association (District 7), and also works as a freelance creative writing instructor, arts consultant, and mentor for organizations such as Soullections, Essential Sessions Studios, and The Loft Literary Center.