WAAL ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2022

Open Minds, Open Doors

April 20 - April 22, 2022 | Sheraton Milwaukee Brookfield 


Keynote Speaker

Dasha Kelly Hamilton
Creative Change Agent
Wisconsin and Milwaukee Poet Laureate

Dasha Kelly Hamilton is a writer, performance artist, curator and facilitator. Ultimately, she's a creative change agent, leveraging the creative process toward human and social wellness.

Her nonprofit, Still Waters Collective, initiated literary arts programming for 20 years, creating platforms for thousands of voices to be honored and heard. The organization continues to partner on impact projects, including a creative leadership fellowship.

Dasha has written for national, regional and local magazines; produced three collections of poetry; recorded four spoken word CDs; published two novels and one collection of personal vignettes; has work included in several anthologies; and performed in the last season of HBO's Def Poetry Jam. Her stage production, Makin' Cake, will tour nationally beginning in 2022.

Dasha served as an Arts Envoy for the U.S. Embassy to teach, perform and facilitate community building initiatives in Botswana and the island of Mauritius. She was also an artist in residence in Beirut and Toronto. Dasha has been an adjunct professor at Mount Mary University, Alverno College, Bryant & Stratton, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a recruiter and mentor with University of Wisconsin’s First Wave Scholars Program.

She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University, an MA in Marketing Communications from Roosevelt University and a BS in Public Relations from Illinois State University. Dasha is former Artist of the Year for the City of Milwaukee and the city’s 11 th Poet Laureate. She has been named a 2020 national Rubinger Fellow and 2021-22 Poet Laureate for the State of Wisconsin.

To learn more, visit dashakelly.com.