2018 ANPI Projects

Clapback Cabaret

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Cultural Connection and Awareness

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Gathering under the Odaa Tree: Honoring Traditional Forms of Oromo Art & Governance

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Makers of History

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New Futures

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Renters Rights are Human Rights

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Rondo Family Reunion

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The Clapback Cabaret

Funny Asian Women Kollaborative (Naomi Ko, May Lee-Yang, Saymoukda Vongsay)
With Pathways Learning Center, Tim Hellendrung (HUGE Improv Theater), Heather Meyer (Brave New Workshop Comedy Theater) and Black Dog Coffee Shop and Annex

About the project:

The Clapback Cabaret is a series of monthly comedy cabarets and skill-building workshops on St. Paul’s East Side, designed to empower Asian Pacific Islander American (APIA)/Diasporic women and trans women-identified voices to combat microaggressions. The series is hosted by FAWK, who use comedy to talk about controversial issues and who identify a bind that Asian women live in: being quiet comes with the stereotype of being submissive, while being strong comes with the label “dragon lady”. Clapback Cabaret events will happen around the East Side, where there is a large community of APIA women.

About the artists:

The Clapback Cabaret Project is led by overly confident (and funny) FAWK co-founding members Naomi Ko, May Lee-Yang, and Saymoukda Vongsay. They are award-winning poets, performance artists, playwrights, screenwriters, storytellers, teaching artists, consultants, cultural producers, and community organizers. FAWK exists to combat the invisibility of Asian and Asian-Pacific American women by using comedy, and their work has been recognized by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, Warner Bros., the Bush Leadership Foundation, and the McKnight Foundation. All three artists have worked with APIAs in the East Side, and are committed to building and growing with the community.

Funny Asian Women Kollaborative

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Cultural Connection and Awareness

Sara Endalew, Ephrem Mamecha and Million G Tato
With African Economic Development Solutions

About the project: 

This project focuses on creating high quality sculptures and paintings that reflect the input and diversity of residents, artists, community members, and business owners in and around Little Africa in St. Paul’s Hamline-Midway neighborhood. By using multi-disciplinary techniques, fabrics, patterns and colors, artists will lead an interactive community-based process leading up to and during the fifth annual Little Africa Festival in August 2018. The artists’ goal is to find different ways to look at the world and reflect on African cultures’ rural and urban life through artistic expression. The project will be held in Hamline Park, which is located along the intersection of Snelling Ave. and Thomas Ave.

About the artists: 

Sara Endalew is a multidisciplinary artist, photographer, and graphic designer. She received her degree in fine arts from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia. Sara’s art defines time, place, and culture. She has worked with a wide variety of materials and mediums, including printing, painting, woodwork, graphics and more. Million G Tato worked on the first phase of this project and is a self-taught artist from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Drawing and painting since he was very young, he has been involved in many exhibitions in Ethiopia. For the past decade, he has worked as a studio artist focused on contemporary modern art, pyrography (wood burn), glass engraving and sculpture. Ephrem Mamecha joined the project in May 2018. Born in Ethiopia, he graduated from Addis Ababa University School of Fine Art and Design and has worked for different digital advertising agencies as a Graphic Designer. Ephrem has also had several group and solo art exhibition including at the Habesha Art Gallery and National Museum Addis Ababa Ethiopia. Ephrem moved to the US in 2008.  

Endalew Tato and Mamechu work samples

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Gathering under the Odaa Tree: Honoring Traditional Forms of Oromo Art & Governance

Fayise Abrahim, Addisu Furgaasaa, Adinan Mohammed and Brett Grant
With Oromo Cultural Institute of Minnesota and Voices for Racial Justice

About the project:

Throughout the year, a collaboration of artists, youth, organizers, educators, elders, Oromo traditionalists, and musicians will be reclaiming the power of art forms that are intertwined with traditional Oromo forms of governance. Our sacred stories tell the linkages between poetry, coffee ceremony, basket weaving and the work of creating worlds where many worlds fit. Based in Little Oromia in Minneapolis’s Cedar Riverside community, the artists will host gatherings that center intergenerational dialogue with elders, to inform the works of young poets, local musicians as well as a policy toolkit. By learning from our elders, the artists see the power of making art that responds to the need for culture & healing as integral to the work of building democratic power.

About the artists:

Fayise Abrahim is a time traveling memoirist, poet, and science fiction writer. Raised in rural Minnesota, by a family of East African refugees, factory workers, and farmers her writing explores rural life and Black-futurisms. Her writing appears on the Minneapolis sidewalks of East Franklin, and 26th Street, the trails of St. Anthony Three Rivers Park District, as well as in the Break Beats Poet Anthology Volume II: Black Girl Magic. Addisu Furgassa and Adinan Mohammed are both first generation local Oromo artists who are storytellers, lyricists, singers, songwriters and musicians. They are both recognized as masters in traditional Oromo oral art forms. Brett Grant is local hip hop artist and director of policy and research at Voices for Racial Justice

Fayise Abrahim ANPI

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Makers of History

Ryan Stopera and Adja Gildersleve
With Central Area Neighborhood Development Organization

About the project: 

Working in collaboration with CANDO, the Central Area Neighborhood Development Organization, Makers of History utilizes grassroots community engagement and documentary storytelling to produce a community driven film about health, housing and history of South Minneapolis. Both the process of making the film and screenings of the film will act as a tool for community driven development in the Central Neighborhood, sparking dialogue with community members, policymakers, developers and non-profit organizations to improve community health and housing initiatives.

About the artists: 

Ryan Stopera is a photographer, filmmaker, videographer, social worker, community organizer, and educator. He has worked in direct social services and grassroots community organizing for over 10 years. Adja Gildersleve is a videographer and educator, and consultant with more than 10 years of experience. Adja has several years of experience working with various communities in the field of media, education, and local government. Ryan Stopera and Adja Gildersleve are documentarians driven by creating social change with their communities by lifting up stories challenging false dominant narratives.

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New Futures

David Butler and Donavan Mountain
With students from the All Nations Program at South High School

About the project:

New Futures focuses on rebuilding community and culture in South Minneapolis. Traditional Ojibwe Style lacrosse has been played in the Great Lakes regions long before Europeans set foot on this continent. The game itself is more than just a sport: it is a ceremony that has artistic value as well, and the game is thought to contain a connection to one’s spiritual nature. New Futures will teach 12 Native youth a variety of woodworking skills to help create traditional Ojibwe lacrosse sticks. Youth will be paid a stipend for working towards mastering the skills required to produce steam bent, tournament-ready Lacrosse sticks. Youth will be able to teach others how to make sticks, and at the end of the program, they will host a co-ed community lacrosse tournament in Powderhorn Park.

About the artist: 

David Butler has years of experience making traditional lacrosse sticks and teaching young people to play the game. Mr. Butler has shared his knowledge with students at the school where he teaches, at other local schools, and in the local community with others who are working to revitalize traditional lacrosse.

New Futures ANPI

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Renters Rights are Human Rights

Cori Lin, Tori Hong and Nancy Musinguzi
With Inquilinxs Unidxs por Justica, Minneapolis Renters Coalition and Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Organization

About the project:

Renters Rights are Human Rights is a collaboration between the Minneapolis Renters Coalition, Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association, and Artist Cori Lin. This series of murals and portraits will deepen community understanding around what it means to live as a cost-burdened renter by highlighting the narratives and experiences of those spending more than 30% of their income on rent. The project will include four portraits of cost-burdened renters across Greater Powderhorn and four infographics that reflect this reality, which will be temporarily be installed in businesses and community sites across Greater Powderhorn, before becoming part of a large-scale, permanent mural in the neighborhood. The impact of both will inspire positive community action.

About the artists:

Cori Lin’s personal mission is to use her artistic abilities to amplify voices not often heard. She achieves this by capturing and interpreting the nature of these voices through visual artistry for equity-focused organizations, community groups, and individuals from marginalized communities. Her artistic experience has one foot grounded in the visual arts and one foot rooted in community-centered work. Tori Hong is a queer, non-binary, 2nd generation Hmong and Korean American visual artist based in Minneapolis. Throughout their work, they weave their experiences with and knowledge of personal and intergenerational healing in order to create healthier, more powerful communities. They also have two cats. Nancy Musinguzi is a first-generation queer visual storyteller, mixed-media artist and freelance photojournalist working and living in Minneapolis. She experiments with both traditional and emerging processes in media-making to create visual "living" histories of underrepresented voices and perspectives in culture that chronicle and influence the contemporary American experience.

Cori Lin Tori Hong Nancy Musinguzi ANPI

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Rondo Family Reunion

Chris Scott, Hawona Sullivan Janzen and Clarence White
With Aurora St. Anthony Neighborhood Development Corporation, Golden Thyme Coffee and Café, Penumbra Theater and Rondo Community Library

About the project:

The Rondo Family Reunion will bring together the “Rondo Diaspora”, people of African descent who have lived and/or currently live in the Historic Rondo Neighborhood, to capture photographs and stories that will be shared with the community via a lawn sign photo and poetry project, a book, and a final performance at Penumbra Theater.

About the artists:

Chris Scott’s work as a photographer is conceptually driven currently by themes that relate to human condition, social issues, and the architecture of “community.” She was born, raised and currently live in the Rondo neighborhood of St. Paul. Clarence White is a writer, editor, typewriter poet and arts administrator. He has extensive experience doing community-engaged artistic work, including in Frogtown and Rondo where he has led projects with the Aurora-Saint Anthony neighborhood’s StoryMobile, and the Jazz in Rondo project, which brought professional jazz musicians into Rondo Area schools for one year residencies. As a poet and interactive artist, Hawona Sullivan Janzen’s work is often focused on the individual stories that make us all feel human. Her jazz opera, “Clean,” composed in 2016 developed from conversations with other artists in her residency program regarding times in their lives they felt “unclean”, or not fit for mainstream society. No stranger to working with multiple collaborators, Hawona frequently performs with Sonoglyph, a Saint Paul based improvisational jazz quartet.

Scott Janzen White APNI

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