Dakota Makinen is a Junior Theatre Major at Denver School of the Arts of six years, beginning her training at the school in 6th grade. She has been involved in the performing arts from the moment she was first exposed to music as an infant by her father Ben, as he would lay her under the marimba while he practiced, creating evocative rhythms and melodies. From there on, she has actively been performing in dance recitals, acting in productions, drumming in concerts, and sitting in with her father as a jazz vocalist whenever she can. Her most memorable performance experience was drumming at the Ogden Theater for Michael Franti’s, “Sing It To Me Santa," concert. In addition to her involvement within the arts community, Dakota is also a Student Board of Education Representative, Student Council Treasurer, Student Chair of her school’s Collaborative School Committee, and caddie at the Denver Country Club.
Dakota has been recently working on establishing a district wide, student led, outreach program partnering with Think 360 Arts and Creative Youth Leadership geared towards increasing access to an arts education within Denver Public Schools. Simultaneously, she is collaborating with her peers and community partners to pass a district wide policy proposal that if implemented, would include arts education as an indicator on the School Performance Framework. Community outreach and activism is something that Dakota feels incredibly passionate about, especially as she wishes to continue to explore how arts and activism inform one another.