Aum Mu Ra
Almost entirely self-taught, this musician/designer/dancer joined the company in 1992. “I was recruited,” he jokes. But it was a good thing. It was like another family. Born in Chicago in 1964, Aum Mu Ra began showing his interest in art as early as kindergarden. My dad was a painter, he said. He did portraits. He would also draw for me, pictures of Captain Kangaroo and Underdog, and all these cartoon characters. So drawing just seemed to come really naturally to me. I guess I got it from him. His drawings won him praise and attention from his family, teachers and peers. Aum Mu Ra went on to major in commercial art at Dunbar High School, and later advertising art and graphic design at Columbia college.
Aum Mu Ra also expressed an interest in music. Parliament/Funkadelic was a particular inspiration.
This time though he received far less encouragement. Although he begged repeatedly for a guitar, his mother refused. She was afraid a career in the performing arts, music in particular, would doom her son to a dismal life. In High School, an aunt bought guitars for Aum Mu Ra and his cousin, and while the cousin quickly lost interest, Aum Mu Ra began to teach himself to play. Aum Mu Ra continues to pursue diverse artistic experiences.