Inspiring Dreams Breakfast 2019

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Lundstrum Alum Herb Johnson III was the Guest Speaker at the 2019 Inspiring Dreams Breakfast.

Lundstrum Alum Herb Johnson III was the Guest Speaker at the 2019 Inspiring Dreams Breakfast.

The morning of October 8, 2019 marked one of the most vibrant events of the year here at Lundstrum; our Inspiring Dreams Breakfast. A gathering of community leaders throughout the cities, the Breakfast celebrates past and current students, while giving the community further insight on Lundstrum’s history, achievements and overall mission.

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The program opened with an introduction to Lundstrum by Emcee Mikisha Nation, followed by comments from Artistic Director Amy Casserly Ellis, who shed light on the history of Dorothy Lundstrum and the Casserly family. From the beginnings of the studio at Ascension School to the Lundstrum we know and love today, our classrooms have nurtured students from all walks of life and backgrounds, who have gone on to perform on Broadway, at the Guthrie, the Children’s Theatre and attend colleges/universities across the country. We are continually amazed (but not surprised) by the remarkable achievements our students have made both in the performing arts and in life.

Guest Speaker Charlotte Frank closed out our program, remarking how every financial contribution, no matter the level, is a vital gift that ensures that we can continue to thrive here in North Minneapolis and provide all students that walk through our doors a welcoming place to learn, grow and discover their own unique talents.

The highlight of the morning was former student Herb Johnson III. Once a student at North High School, Herb spoke about his beginnings at Lundstrum at the age of 13; auditioning inside the space that would become our Black Box Theater, discovering musical theater and building confidence in his triple threat vocation of dancing, acting and singing. Herb would prove himself an exemplary student, honing his skills as a performing artist throughout his time at Lundstrum. And while the prospect of singing onstage may have seemed a great feat when he started, Herb would go on to be cast as Richie Walters in the Ordway Theater’s production of A Chorus Line in 2016.

Herb credited Lundstrum faculty and the Casserly sisters for providing not only broad and professional-level training in the performing arts, but for their long-lasting mentorship that has instilled a strong commitment to the arts community. Today, Herb is a widely acclaimed professional movement artist, and a mentor to other young artists locally, nationally and internationally.

Herb is also a Hip-Hop dance instructor at the University of Minnesota. Along with teaching, he choreographs and performs solo and in groups 612 Crew, DeadPool, and Kudeta. His other professional work includes iLuminate from America’s Got Talent and ROOTED: Hip Hop Choreographers’ Evening. He also travels the nation as his alias “Jus Herb” to compete in battles in places like Los Angeles, Chicago, and Las Vegas. Thank you Herb for sharing your story and inspiring so many with your work!

We would like to extend our thanks to all attendees, performers, volunteers, staff, donors, speakers and friends at this year’s Breakfast! You are the reason and the drive that keeps us going. You continue to broaden our reach in sharing the joy of musical theater and inspiring dreams for generations to come!

Couldn’t attend but want to support?

See below to view our performance gallery!

A variety of Lundstrum students performed the piece “Youth Under Construction” at the 2019 Inspiring Dreams Breakfast.