esther ouray

Minnesota State Arts Board Grants for Artists

As a performing and teaching artist, Esther Ouray has worked locally, regionally, and internationally for over 30 years. In the capacity of actress, cultural activist, director, puppeteer, choreographer, and dancer, she has performed with many performance groups in the Minneapolis area, including feminist theatre At the Foot of the Mountain, Interact, and Voices of Sepharad. She is a company member of Zamya theatre which focuses on the issue of homelessness, and is an associate artist with In the Heart of the Beast Theatre. Ouray was the Artistic director of When We Look, a performance project addressing issues of women and war, and was on the board of The War Plays Project..

She thrives on community based projects, including directing Kids Solidarity Theatre, a project supported by the Postal Union. For over 10 years she has been on the Mayday Tree of Life ceremony staff with Heart of the Beast, known nationally and internationally for its efforts in community building. In recent years, she has created community projects at prairie wetland centers in greater Minnesota.

Esther is the recipient of grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and is on their teaching artist roster. She has received travel grants from the Rimon Jewish Arts Council and the Jerome Foundation. Her work Befriended by the Enemy, developed with Heart of the Beast, was granted a UNIMA award. Specifically for the development of The Hebrew Lesson, grants were received from the Metroplitan Regional Arts Council and the Puffin Foundation.

Esther is also a Hebrew school teacher and has taught in synagogues throughout the Twin Cities.

Awards & Recognitions

  • Rimon Jewish Arts Council travel grant
  • Jerome Foundation travel study grant
  • UNIMA award for excellency
  • MRAC community arts grant
  • Puffin Foundation grant