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Inspiring Stories from East Dallas

The heart of our mission at VoyageDallas is to find the amazing souls that breathe life into our city. In the recent weeks we’ve had the privilege to connect with some of the Dallas-Fort Worth area’s finest artists, creatives, entrepreneurs and rabble rousers and we can’t begin to express how impressed we are with our city’s incredibly deep talent pool. Check out the rising stars of East Dallas below.

Susan Stephens

I came to Exodus Ministries four 1/2 years ago as the Operations Manager. We had a very small staff, so I did everything from small repairs to organizing large events. One year later, the E.D. retired, and I stepped in to do his job and mine. Today, I am still the Executive Director. We still haven’t hired another Ops manager, so I wear both hats! Today, we have a flourishing ministry serving women and children in a deep, personal, meaningful way. Read more>>

Debra Redfern

I was always one of those kids who loved Halloween, would start thinking about what I would next year on November 1st. I have also always been a very creative person and was lucky to grow up surrounded by creative people who sewed, quilted, crocheted, etc and was sent to after-school art programs. I even ended up getting a degree in art with a minor in art history despite my now paying the bills by working in I.T. I started going to Star Trek conventions with my parents when I was a teenager, but I don’t recall ever dressing for them even though I saw others there who did. Read more>>

Nicholas Leitzinger

My great-grandmother was my earliest memory of appreciating photography. Even in her late 90s, she was known for her love of Polaroid photos. For years, she documented her daily life in Polaroids despite being blind in one eye. Her local pharmacy had to make sure they always had enough film since she was constantly depleting their stock. She would capture entire sequences of sunsets, people, bugs, flowers, and anything that caught her eye (her one good eye) or told a story. Read more>>

Defahr Studio

While glancing around the space, I realized how large of a space it is and imagined what it could look like after a major facelift. I started having conversations with my dad about bringing that space back to life and he told me I could run with my ideas. Read more>>

Monica Shaw

The Rainwater Secret is historical fiction based on the true story of my great aunt, who is 1950, went with the Medical Missionaries of Mary to Nigeria to teach the leper children. It is a beautiful story of hope, love and selfless giving. Read more>>

Robert Bell, Jah Born, Keisha Hunter

The company was initially launched in Houston over 20 years ago and recently revitalized as a powerhouse event production company blazing the very diverse Deep Ellum nightlife for a one year run of highly successful events as of October 2018. Read more>>

Lamar Adot Thomas

I’ve been making music consistently since my childhood and began creating hip-hop music while attending St. Augustine High School in New Orleans, the school, is known nationwide for its music and band. My time there was interrupted by Hurricane Katrina, and after a difficult journey, Texas became my new home. Read more>>

Ambrielle Wilkins-Collins

Since I was a young girl, I’ve always had a passion for all things beauty. I grew up with women who appreciated the beauty shop. Read more>>

Jacque Manaugh

I’ve been fascinated with art and the creative process my entire life. I have a propensity to seek out new experiences and welcome new projects, especially those in more creative and artistic realms.  Read more>>

Carter Alexander

The teaching of ballet became more important to me than dancing and I accepted a position to teach at the Ballet Workshop New England/Massachusetts Youth Ballet. We produced many excellent ballet performances, and I began an experiment with choreography. Read more>>

Dani Gavit

Six years ago I was just getting started as a Burlesque performer and was working on breaking into the scene and booking gigs. I had a regular spot performing in a show at the old Absinthe Lounge on Lamar. It was a good show but small. Read more>>

Segun Oguntona

I’ve always liked to create things especially when it makes me happy. I grew up around Instruments which I felt was definitely the right direction. So because of that, I ended up attracting things that revolve around art. Read more>>

Deborah Rodriguez

I have been a creative person all of my life. As I have gotten older, I have felt an increasing sense of urgency that I wanted to use my creativity to make a living. Read more>>

Theresa Mangum

I started painting in high school. Forced to paint in my art elective class, my teacher was surprised of my watercolor skills and encouraged me to put them in juried shows. I ended up winning blue ribbons for my watercolor colors, yet never thought anything of it. Read more>>

Taylor and Hillary

We are two best friends from Wichita Falls who ended up in Dallas post college and loved going to all sorts of creative workshops. Its was a good time for us to connect as friends and allowed us to let our creativity flow. We found ourselves more interested in floral design, and gained more experience along the way diving into books and experimenting around our kitchen tables. Read more>>

Dave Culwell

I started out as a musician of various instruments on the Los Angeles music scene back when I was in high school and thereafter. I settled on the acoustic (upright) bass and started touring with different jazz groups and avant garde ensembles. I got accepted to California Institute of the Arts and studied music formally with some pretty amazing people like, Charlie Haden, Bobby Bradford and Peter Rofé among many others. Read more>>

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