Five Class of 2020 Members Receive Graduate Certificates of Distinction

Jordan akers working in sustainable farmingFive MPA seniors received and presented on their Graduate Certificates of Distinctions last week. For the first time in MPA history, three seniors were STEM recipients: Misk Khalif, Jordan Akers, and Annie Portoghese. Two seniors were Fine Art recipients: Charles Grimes and Solveig Svenniveg-Brosi.

Graduate Certificates of Distinction are designed with the belief that Upper School students can be architects of their education. The program recognizes students who have a passion within a discipline that drives them. These students are exploring their passions while staying committed to a balanced education. All MPA Upper School students are eligible to work toward a single Certificate of Distinction in one of three areas: Fine Arts, Global, or STEM.

Misk spoke on her role as founder and executive director of the STEM Center For Girl Innovators, where she manages operations such as tutoring, science experiments, coding, and mentorship programs. She is a passionate advocate for gender and racial equity in the STEM field, which is why she founded the Center for Girl Innovators early in her STEM career. With hopes to pursue a degree in medical research, she centered her final project on Gut-Brain Axis, which is the biochemical reaction between the nervous and gastrointestinal systems. Read More


Vote For William Kim Through April 5!

mpa senior William kimKeep on casting your vote for MPA senior William Kim to be a finalist for the MPR Minnesota Varsity showcase concert! MPR listeners are voting to select one of this year’s 10 Featured Artists to advance to the Showcase concert in May.

Listen online and click here to vote for William until 11:59 PM on Sunday, April 5!


Congratulations To All-State And State Honor Choir

all state choir groupCongratulations to All-State Choir members Ryan Ghose, Jordan Akers, Solie Svennevig-Brosi, and Caleb Rhodes! Ryan sang in the SATB Mixed Choir under the direction of Jo Ann Miller while Solie sang in the Soprano Alto Choir with Therees Hibbard. Jordan and Caleb were in the Tenor Bass Choir with Michael Culloton conducting. Today marked the culmination of an All-State process that started with auditions last spring, a summer camp, and a final performance at Orchestra Hall. Ryan, Jordan, Solie, and Caleb are members of the MPA Concert Choir and Madrigal Singers.

honor choir singersCongratulations to freshman Jack Peterson and sophomore Elissa Frankel on their performances with the 9-10 State Honor Choir! Jack sang in the SATB Choir under the direction Aimee Beckmann-Collier while Elissa sang in the SSA Choir with Brandon Dean conducting. After a day full of rehearsals, they performed at Central Lutheran Church in downtown Minneapolis. Jack sings in the MPA Varsity Choir while Elissa is a member of Concert Choir and Madrigal Singers.

Keep singing your song, Panthers!


See You At Pajamarama On Thursday!

pajamarama 2019Pajamarama is Thursday, January 30! From 5:45-6:45 PM, Lower School students will enjoy a short concert of their favorite Disney music, meet our musicians, and enjoy story telling in a new and imaginative way. Following the Disney performance, the children are led in interactive activities designed to spark excitement and curiosity about music. To finalize our program we will have a reading of a popular children’s book performed by a narrator while being accompanied by the MPA Upper School Orchestra. Students will receive a snack while they cozy up to hear this famous story come to life! Wear your pajamas or your comfy clothes!


MPA Students Receive Minnesota Scholastic Art Awards

Rising FlameThe 2020 Minnesota Scholastic Art Awards have been announced, and we have a number of Upper School artists to congratulate this year! Collectively, the students received several ceramics, drawing, painting, and mixed media awards. View the pieces here.

  • Amelia Dickson, “Symmetry,” Drawing, Honorable Mention
  • Amelia Dickson, “Kitchen Mixer,” Drawing, Honorable Mention
  • Anna Gaudio, “Young Self,” Drawing, Silver Key
  • Charles Grimes, “Organic Forms,” Ceramics Portfolio, Honorable Mention
  • Charles Grimes, “Cups and Saucers,” Ceramics, Gold Key
  • Charles Grimes, “Sliced Garlic,” Ceramics, Honorable Mention
  • Charles Grimes, “Harvest Gathering,” Ceramics, Silver Key
  • Charles Grimes, “Self-Portrait,” Drawing, Silver Key
  • Ani Helgeson, “Toddler Self,” Drawing, Honorable Mention
  • Ella Jones, “Boycott,” Mixed Media, Honorable Mention
  • Ella Jones, “Pollution,” Drawing, Gold Key
  • Graham Li, “Air of Literature,” Mixed Media, Honorable Mention
  • Graham Li, “Joyful,” Drawing, Gold Key
  • Graham Li, “Rising Flame,” Painting, Silver Key
  • Cloris Lin, “Mixed Media Still Life, Mixed Media, Honorable Mention
  • Sehar Mapara, “I am a Truck Driver,” Painting, Honorable Mention
  • Emmet Tanzer-Tragatsch, “Minute to Win It!” Ceramics, Honorable Mention
  • TC Yang, “Mixed Media Still Life, Mixed Media, Honorable Mention
  • TC Yang, “Honey Comb,” Ceramics, Gold Key Read More


Meet Juliana Wu ’19

Juliana wu visiting campus What do you love about MPA?
I love the inclusive environment MPA offers to each and every student that goes there.

How were you encouraged to dream big and do right at MPA?
I started to play cello right after submitting my college application during my senior year. Now, it has become one of my favorite ways to get away from the heavy workload at Carnegie Mellon and a great hobby of my life in general. Thinking back, it is still a bold and somewhat “reckless” decision that I made to begin a new instrument at the end of high school, but without the encouragement of MPA, I wouldn’t have made that decision and I would have missed out on a lot of the fun I have playing cello. Read More


The Journey To Where I Need To Be

Sehar Mapara '20The following essay is adapted from MPA Class of 2020 member Sehar Mapara’s Senior Speech.

Who I am today is a result of my diverse background and my family. I was born in Karachi, Pakistan with a loving father, mother and brother. At just a month old, I was already cruising on a plane flying from country to country because of my dad’s job.  Leaving my loving grandparents, Nani and Papa, my cousins, my friends, and my home at such a young age seemed easy at the moment but the further I went from my roots, the more confused I became about my identity.

Time went on, and we moved to Saudi Arabia, then to Dubai. I was a nerdy-looking little girl with brown skin in a classroom filled with international kids. I made some white friends and thought of myself as a whole new person.  It amazes me how even in the third grade, I was so influenced by the concept of looking different. Regardless, I started to love Dubai, my home, my friends, and my school, but before I knew it, it was time to move. Read More


Meet Annie Stewart ’11

Annie stewart '11Meet 2019-20 Alumni Association Board member Annie Stewart ’11!

After attending MPA from grades 6-12, Annie Stewart ’11 went to St. Olaf College for four years and graduated in 2015 with a B.A. in Theater. She worked at a number of theater companies in St. Paul and Minneapolis before finding her way back to MPA as a substitute teacher and PreK teaching assistant. She worked in MPA’s Lower School for a year before deciding to go back to school to pursue her K-6 teaching license and Masters in Elementary Education! Annie says that it was working at MPA that helped solidify her passion for teaching, and she is so thankful for all of the experiences that led her to where she is today.

“MPA was such an important place and community for many years of my academic career,” said Annie. “Now, as I am completing a license and Masters, I use the tools and skills I learned at MPA on a daily basis. Most importantly, I am excited to teach and that love of teaching comes from the teachers and community I had at MPA. I’m especially looking forward to teaching the next generation of students how to think, not just what to think.” Read More


Purchase Tickets For Perspective: 20/20

Perspective 2020 original posterMPA Theatre, in Association with Penumbra Theatre, presents Perspective: 20/20! Purchase your tickets here for the MPA Winter Show on January 23 and 24 at 7 PM in the Black Box theatre. The performance is recommended for ages 13 and up. Please note that there is no performance on Saturday, January 25.

The show features five original one-acts written, directed, designed, and performed by Upper School MPA students. These pieces encompass privilege, “isms,” lived experiences, frustrations, hopes, communal and global issues, and most importantly students’ voices.

Additionally, one of the one-acts titled “And Then There Was One” will compete in the Minnesota State High School League’s One-Act Competition, January 2020.


Join Us For Pajamarama!

lower school students dancing at the pajamarama concertWear your pajamas or comfy clothes and join us for Pajamarama 2020 on Thursday, January 30! This year at MPA, Lower School students will enjoy a short concert of their favorite Disney music, meet our musicians, and enjoy story telling in a new and imaginative way. Following the Disney performance, the children are led in interactive activities designed to spark excitement and curiosity about music. To finalize our program we will have a reading of a popular children’s book performed by a narrator while being accompanied by the MPA Upper School Orchestra. Students will receive a snack while they cozy up to hear this famous story come to life!