2016 ANPI Projects

Electric Machete Studios and Gallery

Electric Machete Studios collective members: Xilam Balam, Rebekah Crisanta, Reynaldo Lara, and Jessica Lopez Lyman

In partnership with Latina Theory - a podcast recorded at EMS and hosted by Maria Isa Perez (musician) and Arianna Genis (community organizer); Ce Tempoxcalli - a non-profit dedicated to revitalizing indigenous cultural, knowledge and practices; Cuauhtemoc Mexica dancers, Academia Cesar Chavez, and numerous Chican@/Latin@/Indigenous artists from the Twin Cities such as Gustavo Lira, Miguel Vargas, Marisa Martinez, Dougie Padilla, Armando Gutierrez, and Rico Simon Mendez, among others 

About the project:

Electric Machete Studios (EMS) features contemporary and experimental work rooted in traditional Latin@ and Indigenous art methods. We believe that educating others on traditional art forms is critical for the survival of Chican@/Latin@/Indigenous histories and cultures. During 2016, we will create eight original art exhibits, offer a series of intergenerational workshops, and provide arts programming that centers Chican@/Latin@/Indigenous communities and serves as the foundation for highlighting social justice issues within our communities. All of the exhibits feature artists of Color and Indigenous artists. We privilege local artists, but have a few partnerships nationally and internationally. 

About the artists:

Electric Machete Studios (EMS) is a collective of Chican@/Latin@/Indigenous artists. We have been committed artists working in Minneapolis and St. Paul for years. In September 2015, we opened a flexible white box gallery space on the West Side in St. Paul. Our work seeks to intervene in cultural displacement and racial inequities by offering alternative spaces, counter narratives, and community building opportunities for Chican@/Latin@/Indigenous people in the Twin Cities.


ANPI 2016 Electric Machete Studios


The Inhabitation Project

Tia-Simone Gardner

In partnership with Juxtaposition Arts

About the project:

Having first a consistent and affordable home, and second a studio or work space, can make or break the career of cultural practitioners. And the risks and economic burdens of that are incurred over the struggle for space, such as attempting to get a mortgage, may be even more risky and burdensome for artists of color. The question is then what kinds of interventions might we make into these spatial dilemmas that can ultimately impact the lives a careers of artists of color and also impact the way we think about property ownership in the Twin Cities? Our response is to pilot a new approach to the live-work space by bringing together two pre-existing architectural paradigms: the live-work space and the tiny house.

About the artist: 

My creative practice has always engaged in ritual, iconoclasm, and storytelling. As an artist, I am interested in the relationship between tiny house architecture and the shot-gun house, a building constructed typically in a line of three rooms.  The tiny house movement is based on an ethos of small footprint, low environmental impact architecture. While many low-income, poor, and homeless people have and continue to live in what could be called “micro-dwellings,” until recently the Tiny House Movement has neglected the needs and contributions of aforementioned communities, turning what began as a cost-saving architectural model into an expensive boutique real estate investment. How might we see the tiny house movement of today differently if we considered forms of architecture such as the shotgun house or whole micro-neighborhoods, such as favelas, that have been created and settled by people short on financial resources who possess infinite spatial imaginations?

www.tiasimonegardner.infoANPI 2016 Tiny House Tia-Simone Gardner


We May Be Cold

Brit Fryer

In partnership with Neighborhoods Organizing for Change

About the project:

"We May Be Cold" is a story-collection project, archive, and documentary that starts with the uprising after the shooting of Jamar Clark and works backwards to examine punitive policing in the state, widening racial disparities, and individuals’ own experience with the criminal justice system. In partnership with other black-led and community organizations, We May Be Cold gives power and voice to North Minneapolis residents who have been impacted by the criminal justice system and unapologetically unveils “Minnesota Nice”. The project is designed to increase the engagement and build power within criminal justice reform by North Minneapolis residents.

About the artist:

Brit Fryer is a Black, trans Midwest-based digital storyteller. He is a 2015 graduate of Carleton College’s Cinema and Media Studies Department, a 2016 Sundance Institute Ignite Fellow, and a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Research Fellow. His film 2015 film transçience has attracted the attention from the Independent Filmmakers Project MN, the Sundance Institute, and Buzzfeed LGBT. His practice is concerned with representational ethics of trans and black communities, genre conventions, and nonfiction filmmaking as a tool of organizing. He is from Chicago and was inspired to work with NOC as a Multimedia Communications Specialist after experiencing the large and often unspoken racial disparities in Minneapolis. In conjunction with NOC, his work has been about giving voice to underrepresented communities and documenting movements as they occur.

We May Be Cold by Brit Fryer still image