Decade anniversaries have a marked way of provoking both reflection and projection. Now in its 10th year, FLOW Northside arts crawl tried to do both: reflect on its past and move forward from it–beginning with their first ever artist talk. It centered on the question of what it means to be an artist working in the community, and specifically the Northside community.
Taking place at Homewood Studios in North Minneapolis, the gathering drew some two-dozen artists and community members. One of the main goals, explained FLOW Artistic Director Dudley Voigt, was to provide an opportunity for established artists and emerging artists to be in the same space and learn from one another. “Particularly for visual artists as well as writers, for a lot of us, it can be very solitary work. And FLOW is very public, and yet it’s still solitary in the sense that the artists are spread out and they don’t get to see each others’ work.” Voigt and Homewood founder George Robert led the discussion, which included seven of FLOW’s 10 artists whose work was selected as a part of the organization’s 10-year anniversary postcard series.
In anticipation of the 10th Anniversary FLOW Northside Arts Crawl, FLOW’s artist liaison, Farrington Llewellyn asked three North Minneapolis artists, Why is FLOW important to you? Kenna Camara Cottman: Why FLOW Is Important from North MPLS. Watch Kenna also speak about FLOW 2015. Ms. Naima: Keep Flowing from North MPLS. Elder Naima Richmond, poet, storyteller, author, has more to say about FLOW. Continue Reading
The Vieux Carré offer Saint Paul’s classic basement jazz club a well-conceived and respectful facelift without sacrificing its hide-away chops. New cocktails, decor, and food provide a great place for jazz. Continue Reading
DJ Rekha lit a packed Cedar Cultural Center crowd on fire Saturday night during a benefit for Ragamala Dance. Known for her mix of reggae, hip hop and Bhangra beats, Rekha has been spinning records and creating grooves since 1997. Continue Reading
Each year you can count on Music in the Zoo at Weesner Family Amphitheater to have some favorite artists returning to the lineup, but there are always a couple unexpected shows that standout. July 8th was one of those special nights as all seats were claimed for a rare appearance by the original female rap crew Salt-N-Pepa. Hip Hop legends Cheryl James and Sandy Denton looked very much at home behind the microphone trading off lyrics while DJ Spinderella (Deidre Roper) laid their famous tracks down old school. The exceptional crowd of mostly women aided greatly in creating a party atmosphere and were on their feet the moment the needle hit the record and never sat down. It was a nostalgic evening for many as the rappers cleverly mixed in phrases from other popular jams from their era and of course closed their set with their biggest hits including “Whatta Man”, “Shoop” and “Push It”. Continue Reading
Mayda has a brand new bag. The diminutive dynamo, known far and wide as a funk-rock monster, on the bill at “A Tribe Called Queer: Can We Kick It?” (Patrick’s Cabaret) last month, branched out into spoken word, doing a damned good, dry-witted job of it, waxing humorously about childhood. And Mayda was aces on an acoustic guitar, singing a bit Laura Nyro-style sophisticato to a let stride for “All I Have” and getting bluesy with “Little Ginkgo”. If you happen not to know the name (don’t feel bad, no one’s perfect), Mayda is a bonafide funk=rock powerhouse as witnessed by her discography: “Stereotype,” “The Interrogation,” “Eyes On The Water,” “Busy Signals” and “Busy Signals Part 2.” Continue Reading
In this summer of landmark Supreme Court decisions and presidential candidates throwing their hats in the ring, it’s fitting that this July, the Heights Theater is sponsoring “The Political Circus,” a series of six classic, politically-oriented comedies. One of the comedies on the schedule holds special interest for silent film fans: silent icon Charlie Chaplin’s first excursion into sound, the 1940 film The Great Dictator. In the film, Chaplin portrays two characters: a ruthless but ridiculous dictator named Adenoid Hynkel, and a gentle Jewish barber who looks just like Hynkel. Hynkel was, of course, a thinly veiled parody of Hitler, and Chaplin’s decision to make a satire criticizing the Nazis was highly controversial, given that the United States was still trying to maintain a truce with Germany and not get embroiled in the war sweeping Europe. To gain some insight into the history behind The Great Dictator, I called up renowned Chaplin scholar Dr. Lisa Stein Haven. Continue Reading
Andrea Jenkins is a writer, poet, performance artist and activist. Other than serving as Grand Marshal for Twin Cities Pride this weekend, she recently became the oral historian for the Tretter Collection at the University of Minnesota, among many other roles in the community. She will be documenting the stories and voices of the LGBTQ community in Minnesota. As she said in an interview with Intermedia Arts, “Art serves many purposes; it can heal, educate, entertain, and challenge. Art is a tool for speaking out because it has the ability to transform people. Continue Reading
In the lobby of Intermedia Arts on Lyndale Avenue, chalkboards almost as tall as the high ceiling display vast maps of written pleas and assertions from its patrons. They resound with many handwritten hashtags relating to Black Lives Matter, such as #ICANTBREATHE and #HIREDONTFIRE. Sharing the same chalkboard space is #TRANSLIVESMATTER. These chalkboards are the living wallpaper of activists, and this lobby and the space to which it leads are better because of them. The acts of terrorism against African Americans like the Charleston shooting and the high rate of attempted suicide among transgender people are remembered at the same time. Continue Reading
For the 19th year in a row, folks gathered for a peace festival in Saint Paul’s old Rondo neighborhood. Check out some highlights from the event, which had music, food, art, hula hooping, coffee, and community. Continue Reading