2017 ANPI Projects


H-Cubed: Harrison, Healing, and Harmony

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ArtCrop

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The Gatherings: Our neighborhood, our stories

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New Native Identities: Native Youth of Minneapolis

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Spearwave

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Suitcase Project: Puppet Street Theater Voter Drive

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H-Cubed: Harrison, Healing, and Harmony

Joe Davis, Kendrick Dwight, Brandon Swygart, Christine Belfry, Imani Waters, Traiveon Dunlap, Dahlia Jones, Jayanthi Kyle, Felix Hampton, Mar’Konash De Coahoma, Julia Sewell, Thandisizwe Jackson, Essence Adams, J. Otis Powell, Pacha Galaviz, Khem Clan (Farrington Llewellyn and ShaVunda Brown), and The Poetic Diaspora (Katherine Parent, Heather Nissen, David Scherer)

In partnership with Redeemer Center for Life, Harrison Neighborhood Association, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change, Intertwine Northeast, Gerard Klass

About the project:

H-Cubed is an artist-led, community-driven, family-centered, grassroots organized series created with the purpose of cultivating healing and harmony in the North Minneapolis Harrison neighborhood through intentional creative space-making. H-Cubed grew as a community resource in response to the police killing of Jamar Clark and 4th Precinct occupation just north of Harrison.

Each month, we host a catered meal with featured artists, open mic, and community conversations at Harrison and North Minneapolis locations. Each event has a thematic topic, chosen by the collaborative team, around with performance and conversation will be centered to create an inclusive environment where intergenerational, authentic dialogue can occur. Together, we are developing a courageous and compassionate community our hearts long for.

About the artist team:

Our team brings together a broad range of genres and talents, with a strong through-line of arts engagement and teaching-artist/mentor experience. 

*It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we acknowledge the passing of Kirk Washington. He was the very first featured performing artist at H-Cubed's premier event and his presence left a lasting impact. He was a prominent leader committed to the arts and his community as a 5th generation Northsider, countering inequities and injustices through cultivating healing and harmony in the Harrison neighborhood-- which is exactly what H-cubed is all about. We work to honor his legacy at The Living Room, catalyzing transformative dialogue and collective action. 

H-Cubed

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ArtCrop

Oskar Ly

In partnership with Hmong American Farmers Association (HAFA)

About the project: 

ArtCrop is a project created by Oskar Ly, in collaboration with Hmong American Farmers Association (HAFA), aimed to address some of the root causes that Hmong farmers are facing while testing a community supported art share model with Hmong artists as workers to support their respective alternative economy. ArtCrop will host a series of three community dinners and one culminating art installation on the cooperative farm located in Hastings, MN this summer. Over the dinners, farmers will share experiences on current conditions and future aspirations of their livelihoods. The themes that emerge will be documented into a mural-style tapestry and the process will serve as inspiration to create original contemporary Hmong art to be piloted in 50 HAFA CSA (community supported agriculture) 2017 holiday shares.

HAFA Farm is located in Hastings, MN in Dakota County, and has 17 farmers members (and their families) working on the land. Farmland is not available in Ramsey County, where most of the farmers live among the second largest concentration of Hmong people in the country. In conversations with HAFA over the years, Hmong farmers have indicated that they feel a sense of disempowerment; society treats them as disposable, illiterate and unskilled. With Ly having a great deal of experience working with artists, and HAFA with farmers, they have found many similarities between the two groups, particularly that they are resilient as creative problem solvers and cultural bearers.

About the artist: 

Oskar Ly is a Hmong French American multi-disciplinary artist, organizer and cultural producer. Her approach is informed through immersing herself in processes and with communities to seek out authentic narratives. Ly focuses on creating community space through facilitated conversations, shared meals, curating and designing experiences that emphasize culture as a cornerstone, in geographic and identity-based communities.

Learn more and connect: 
www.artcrop.co | ArtCrop on Facebook
www.oskarlyart.com | Oskar Ly on Facebook
www.hmongfarmers.com | HAFA on Facebook

ArtCrop

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The Gatherings: Our neighborhood, our stories

Kathy Mouacheupao, Tish Jones, Soozin Hirschmugl, Schoua Na Yang, Thao Vang

In partnership with Urban Farm and Garden Alliance (Melvin Giles and Megan Phinney) and Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood (MK Nguyen)

About the project:

It’s almost impossible to imagine a community with any power at all if we can’t first come together and create a narrative we want to share. “The Gatherings: Our neighborhood, our stories” is a series of events with art activities, performances and food to be held in community gardens throughout the Rondo neighborhood. Rondo is one geography, many communities, many narratives, but the same result – a fragmented community made up of mostly people of color, mostly low income and mostly carrying some type of historic trauma. This doesn’t necessarily make the community weak, but the division does. In what feels like a fragmented community, we want to build a strong community of people with different cultural identities and backgrounds and across generations that live in this neighborhood, with a shared a narrative of assets, problems and solutions.

About the artists:

Kathy Mouacheupao, former Executive Director for the Center for Hmong Arts and Talent (CHAT) and Program Officer for Creative Placemaking with TC LISC, is passionate about collaborating with other artists to make art with a community impact. Tish Jones is a poet, organizer, educator and Executive Director of TruArtSpeaks. Soozin Hirschmugl is a puppeteer and visual artist. She created “sParkit” – a pop up park trailer with amenities to active public spaces. Schoua Na Yang aka Sonic rain is an independent music artist who strives that focuses on identity challenges, love, and everyday life experiences. Thao Vang is a visual artist specializing in character design, aerosol art and 3D animation.

The Gathering artist team

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New Native Identities: Native Youth of Minneapolis

Mark Anthony Rolo

In partnership with Raving Native Productions, Migizi Communications, Ginew Golden Eagles Program/Minneapolis American Indian Center

About the project: 

“New Native Identities: Native Youth of Minneapolis” is a playwriting/performance that focuses on today’s lives of Native American youth living in Minneapolis. The genesis of this project began when I realized that with the increasing embracing of social media—an encroaching social globalization and rise of tribal pride and social justice/diversity in urban centers such as Minneapolis—that Native youth are experiencing very unique changes in spiritual and cultural identities. A play will be written based on “talking circle” workshops with Native youth, hearing their voices and stories of their spiritual and cultural identities. Our workshop and play will be held in the Phillips Neighborhood of Minneapolis, site of the largest urban Native community in the Twin Cities. Of course, Native youth live across the city and will be invited. But for Twin Cities’ Native community, the neighborhood in Phillips is a central meeting point of culture and social get-togethers.

About the artist: 

During the summer of 1998, Marcie Rendon (White Earth Anishinabe), Artistic Director of Raving Native Productions, invited me to submit a short play to the Minnesota Fringe Theater Festival. I wrote an urban Native comedy and with Marcie’s assistance we recruited native actors or this show. Over the next few years I wrote and staged three more plays for the Twin Cities Native community and beyond. Theater has always been something never staged for our Native community. Many of our Native audience had not even attended a play in their lives. The connection between theater and Native community has been one of being able to connect to an experience that is reflective of their lives. It is non-confrontational, yet honest.

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Spearwave

Soomaal House of Art (Mohamud Mumin and Kaamil Haider, Artists, and Khadijah Muse, Manager)

In partnership with Darul Uloom Islamic Center, Dar Al-Hijrah Mosque, and Masjid Imamu Shaafici Islamic Center

About the project:

Spearwave is a monthly intimate exhibition and gathering space for conversations about art that explores Somali Muslim American identity within the supportive environment of the Mosque and other relevant community settings. As a gesture, Spearwave fosters interconnectedness, allowing participating artists fresh opportunities to experiment and blossom. Many community members have never been in a museum or do not see contemporary art as being able to express and help them navigate their experience in the world, but we believe through approaching Somali people with art shown and discussed inside their community spaces of Mosque, Somali businesses and shared public neighborhood spaces, Somali diaspora experiences can be expressed and communicated and an understanding of the power of contemporary art as a cultural expression can grow, helping to bring in a new generation of Somali American artists.

This project targets specifically the Somali-American community of the West Bank in Minneapolis. Spearwave will benefit both the Somali immigrant and the Somali-American communities as they navigate the diaspora of culture of two homelands and create artwork about and discuss the artwork of members of their community who also navigate the world as African, African-American and Muslim.

About the artists: 

Mohamud Mumin has devoted much of his time to documenting the social life of Somalis in North America, and has photographed in both Dar Al-Hijrah/Islamic Civic Society of America and Masjid Imamu Shaafici Islamic Center for over four years. Kaamil Haider has volunteered for Dar Al-Hijrah Mosque/Islamic Civic Society of America for over nine years, where he is a volunteer, youth leader, mentor, graphic designer and educator.

Spearwave

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Suitcase Project: Puppet Street Theater Voter Drive

Chamindika Wanduragala, Andrew Young, Rebekah Crisanta, Michele Spaise, Lela Pierce and Magdalena Kaluza

About the project:

The Monkeybear Collective is creating six short puppet shows to be performed in public spaces across all the wards of Minneapolis and St. Paul in fall of 2017, as a voter drive heading into the municipal elections. Each show fits inside a suitcase, making our shows extremely mobile. The ease of carrying a suitcase will give them the flexibility to perform wherever, whenever. As people gather around the performances, they’ll be handing out magnets people can put on their fridge with a web address for finding out their ward/precinct and also fliers with info/map about wards/elections, as well as voter registration forms that people can fill out on the spot. The Monkeybear Collective realizes that voting in local elections is only one of many strategies to bring about change, but it’s a simple act that can have far reaching consequences on local policies that affect communities of color and Indigenous communities.

About the artists:

The Monkeybear Collective is a loose group of POC/Indigenous artists from different disciplines who are exploring puppetry’s powerful visual storytelling form.

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