Winnipeg's Sarah Michaelson, a.k.a. Mama Cutsworth has been a DJ, dance party curator and music educator since 2004, building a reputation for her deep knowledge and love of music that lives outside of the mainstream club scene.
She uses her work in the music industry to promote safe and positive environments for people, supporting youth in the inner city through art, and creating meaningful connections with her audiences.
House of Gold Diamonds
Winnipeg's Favourite DJ Duo
House of Gold Diamonds is Winnipeg’s beloved party production and DJ duo, Mama Cutsworth and DJ J. Jackson. Often surrounded by an army of drag queens, this dynamic pair is known for their infectious love of music and thoughtfully curated events. Their dance floor is filled with positive energy and fabulous people. By the end of the night, these two are likely at the front of the stage or perched on a speaker, proudly lip syncing their hearts out. Choreography included.
In 2012, the pair of DJs discovered one another and threw their inaugural House of Gold Diamonds party at the now-defunct (but still loved) Lo Pub. It was “I Wanna Dance With Somebody!,” an all-diva dance party and tribute to Whitney Houston that has since become an annual Winnipeg tradition. Cutsworth and Jackson strive to bring exciting and memorable events to the city, like “Holiday: Celebrating 30 Years of Madonna,” a night where they played hours of strictly the Material Girl’s music to hundreds of her fans. Each one of their parties is filled with joy and unexpected moments, be it a surprise drag tribute to Madonna, a set from a rapping burlesque performer, or confetti canons shooting over the audience.
Surreal, poetic Improv Theatre
Mama Cutsworth works with two Colombian circus performers/improviser in an international theatre project entitled Speechless. Their show has been staged in over a dozen countries, including Brazil, Mexico, Norway, and the United Arab Emirates. The magic of this long-form improvised show comes from one key element: no words are used. Instead, the body and music are the focus, allowing anyone in the world to understand the beautiful and intertwining stories that unfold. Elements inspired by Buster Keaton’s physicality or the magical realism of Gabriel García Márquez are wrapped inside rich musical soundscapes. Based on physical theatre, clown techniques, and film scores, Speechless lives at the intersection of familiar and surreal. They are currently planning their next performances for Bogotá, Colombia in October 2017.
She has received Professional Development grants from both the Winnipeg Arts Council and the Manitoba Arts council for her work with Speechless and in improv theatre.
Mama Cutsworth's DJ Academy
For all women and Non-Binary Folks
In 2012, she founded Mama Cutsworth’s DJ Academy for All Women and Non-Binary Folks, a welcoming space that teaches students the basic skills and confidence it takes to become a professional DJ. After completing six seasons, the academy has seen over 100 students graduate, with each season wrapping up with a graduation dance party. In April 2015, the Academy alumni began "Casual Friday," a bi-weekly party with a rotating list of DJs playing together and developing their professional skills.
In 2017, she was nominated for the Winnipeg Arts Council's prestigious Making A Mark Award for her groundbreaking work with the DJ Academy.
Family Dance Parties
Beginning in 2015, all generations of Winnipeg dancers have been able to enjoy Mama Cutsworth's Family Dance Party, usually happening a few times a year at the beloved Good Will Social Club. These all-age events usually feature bubble machines, costumes, stroller valet parking, as well as "momosas" for parents and non-alcoholic "kidmosas" for the littles. Mama Cutsworth has welcomed many fine and talented guest DJs to the play with her at the dance party over the years, including DJ Hunnicutt, DJ Co-op, DJ K-Chedda, and DJ Tanner! The music they all play ranges in style, but the key is making everyone dance. Don't expect to hear typical "kids' music" or the theme song from Frozen. Whether it's Madonna, Jackson 5, Blondie, David Bowie or Daft Punk, it's all played at reasonable volume levels that won't damage kids' precious ear drums!
The Family Dance Party has grown in such popularity that Cutsworth has taken the event to the Manitoba Children's Museum, ManyFest presented by the Winnipeg Downtown Biz, and will be hosting it this fall in both Clearwater, Manitoba and Riding Mountain National Park.