An image of Jessica McMann and Elijah Wells
Jessica McMann and Elijah Wells | Photo of McMann courtesy of Chelsea Yang-Smith

Jessica McMann & Elijah Wells

Artists Jessica McMann and Elijah Wells of Wild Mint Arts hope to inspire and empower others.

Cherie McMaster & Sable Sweetgrass

Like many artists, Jessica McMann and Elijah Wells of Wild Mint Arts had to shut down their studio for two years following the arrival of COVID-19. Now, they’re finally back up and running, bringing Indigenous arts experiences from across the globe to Calgary.

By sharing their love of dance, music, visual art, and more, they hope to inspire and empower Indigenous peoples of all ages, abilities, and genders, and offer opportunities for reconciliation.

“It felt really good to finally be back in a studio space and being able to dance and to share our culture and the dances,” says Wells. “It’s been awhile, it’s kind of seemed like forever since we were able to do that.”

“We had lots of big plans before the pandemic hit, but we’re eager to start working on those again and continuing to bring in Indigenous dance styles from across the world and having people teach those styles to us here in this city and outside of the city,” says McMann. “We’re also looking to expand into visual arts programming as well and language reclamation, which is part of being an Indigenous artist.”

Tune in to hear more as McMann and Wells talk to Sable Sweetgrass about their plans for Wild Mint Arts at the Evergreen Theatre and Community Spaces and how arts bring us joy and healing.


About The Storytelling Podcast: Indigenous Stories

Sharing diverse stories of creativity in our city, The Storytelling Podcast shines a spotlight on artists and projects that connect Calgarians to the arts.

Part of The Storytelling Project, this series raises awareness about Calgarians who, by living creative lives, are making Calgary a better city, effecting positive change and enriching others’ lives.

Have a story to share? Email us at submissions@calgaryartsdevelopment.com.

Part of The Storytelling Project, this series raises awareness about local Indigenous artists who, by living creative lives, are making Calgary a better city, effecting positive change and enriching others’ lives.

Have a story to share? Email us at submissions@calgaryartsdevelopment.com.

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