February 25, 2019

Local musicians J.D. Steele and the MacPhail Community Youth Choir, Annie Mack, and the WE WIN Dummers join Moore for Minnesota African American Heritage Museum fundraiser

MINNEAPOLIS — Hennepin Theatre Trust announced today a one-night only fundraising event in support of the Minnesota African American Heritage Museum. TRAILBLAZING WOMEN: IN THE SPIRIT OF HARRIET TUBMAN will bring powerful stories of U.S. history to audiences at 900 Hennepin in Minneapolis on Monday, March 11 at 6:30 p.m. following a 5 p.m. reception. All proceeds will benefit the museum.

Monday March 11 6:30 p.m. 900 Hennepin Suggested $15 donation

The event features performance artist Hester Moore, who transforms into abolitionist and political activist Harriet Tubman to share powerful stories of slavery, struggle, freedom and hope. Moore’s own journey to portray Tubman began when she was a docent at Slave Haven Museum in Memphis, where she was inspired by a portrait of Tubman.

“I stared at her picture. I studied her eyes and the life lines in her face. I cried for her suffering and yet was proud of her bravery,” says Moore. “I knew at that moment that I was ordained to tell her story.”

Moore has studied the life and story of Tubman, and she travels the country to share her message. Judson Memorial Baptist Church is bringing Moore to Minneapolis for this performance, as part of the Trust’s efforts to create a space for diverse voices in the Minneapolis theater district.

TRAILBLAZING WOMEN: IN THE SPIRIT OF HARRIET TUBMAN takes a powerful look at a dark part of the past, but one that Moore promises will inspire.

“I sing the songs, and I tell the stories. I take people back to a dark time in our history and tell the compelling story of a woman who led people out of bondage,” says Moore. “I tell this story to inspire others to act. No matter who they are and where they are in life, they can make a difference.”

A lineup of esteemed local musicians is also scheduled to perform. J.D Steele and the MacPhail Community Youth Choir will kick off the evening with an uplifting and energetic musical performance. Steele, a musical powerhouse, has garnered every major music award and accolade Minnesota has to offer. He has produced, performed and recorded seven Steeles albums and has collaborated with Prince, Donald Fagen, George Clinton, Mavis Staples and many other artists.

The event also includes performances by local musician Annie Mack – a vibrant and charismatic vocalist who has built a reputation for writing meaningful, relatable and inspirational songs – and drummers from the WE WIN Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating academic and social success for children.

Hester Moore is a performance artist, author and Moore wrote, directed and performs In the Spirit of Harriet Tubman. She has presented the program at churches, corporations and events across the United States, including the Harriett Tubman Underground Railroad Conference, the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, and at the 2008 Inauguration of President Barack Obama. Moore is also the author of a memoir, 16N68 … My Story, wrote and directed the play Pieces of Me, and recorded the album In the Spirit of Harriet Tubman: Songs of the Underground Railroad.

HENNEPIN THEATRE TRUST is a nonprofit organization that creates positive change through the arts. We serve the community through our three historic theatres – the Orpheum, State and Pantages – and our unique arts, culture and education programs. All performances of the Broadway on Hennepin series are supported by Bank of America. All performances of the Living Legend series are supported by BMO Harris Bank. Spotlight Showcase is sponsored by Fredrikson & Byron, Slumberland Furniture and Sun Country Airlines. Learn more at

MINNESOTA AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE MUSEUM AND GALLERY is a Minnesota non-profit organization that was founded in 2018. The Museum’s purpose is to preserve, record and highlight the achievements, contributions and experiences of African Americans in Minnesota. This mission is carried out through exhibits, workshops and events that educate and inform the public about the history, culture, and art of African Americans in Minnesota. Learn more at