Diver Van Avery

Headshot of Spark & Stitch Institute writer and artist Molly Van Avery

Diver Van Avery is an educator, arts administrator, and artist based out of Minneapolis. She received her BA from Goddard College in Social Ecology in 2000 and an MFA in Poetry from Hamline University in 2013. In all of her work, Van Avery believes that art is an essential catalyst for connection and can lay the foundation for political change. Van Avery has taught media, art, and writing for social change courses with Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs (HECUA) for over ten years. She has also administered the Naked Stages Jerome fellowship for emerging performance artists and been the Artist and Community Coordinator at Pillsbury House + Theatre. Van Avery founded and is the Director of Poetry for People whose mission is to embed poetry into the daily lives and geographies of neighborhoods.

Diver’s original performance and directing work has been presented at the Walker Arts Center, Pantages Theatre, Bedlam Theatre, Pangea World Theatre, Intermedia Arts, and Pillsbury House + Theatre. She has been a Community Cultural Leadership Institute Fellow at Intermedia Arts, and received the Arts on Chicago Public Art Grant from Pillsbury House Theatre, the Jerome Travel and Study Grant, the Blacklock Nature Sanctuary Residency, the MInnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant, the Jerome Foundation’s Fellowship at Minnesota Center for Book Arts, the Writer-to-Writer Mentorship Program at SASE, and the Naked Stages Emerging Performance Artist Fellowship Intermedia Arts.

In all of her work, Diver seeks to create and deepen connections between strangers with the knowledge that connected communities can self-determine their own powerful futures. Diver is also a queer single mother by choice and is raising her daughter with the support of a vibrant and creative community.