FLOW Northside 2015 is officially underway. Now in its tenth year, the annual arts crawl continues to celebrate arts and community in North Minneapolis. The festivities kicked off on Thursday with a block party that incorporated dance, discussion and visual art. It continues on Friday with various gallery showings, arts activities, performances and food leading up to the main event on Saturday.
For their 10th anniversary, FLOW has expanded to include Plymouth Avenue. And they’ve increased the number of artists with links to Minneapolis’s North side.
Below are some top picks for this weekend.
Friday and Saturday
Juxtaposition (JXTA) Textile Lab
1104 W Broadway Ave
Fri. 3-7pm, Sat. 1-7pm
While most of Juxtaposition’s events are slotted to take place on Saturday, on Friday, early birds can check out the North Minneapolis art hub’s newly opened storefront. The storefront was designed and remodeled by a handful of JXTA’s own instructors and apprentices. For a small fee, those looking for a more hands-on experience can also bring a shirt to make their own textile or screen-print. Other pre-printed gear and apparel will also be on sale.
You don’t get a great deal of music or theater from South Asia in the Twin Cities. There have, however, been noteworthy productions, among them Zaraawar Mistry performing his original solo piece “Indian Cowboy.” Rajib Bahar makes a promising bid to join said select company, staging “Hey Bangladesh,” a wryly intriguing premise, at the MN Fringe Festival for his fledgling Serendipity Productions. Hey Bangladesh centers on the fairly addlebrained yet happily fortuitous exploits of a fellow named Boltu, who, after accidentally head-butting a cow, comes up with the bright idea of launching his very own music show to go against the hit program “Bangladesh Idol.” It kind of sounds like a dyed-in-the-wool send-up on the order of, oh, Jack and the Beanstalk come “American Idol”. The quality of free-wheeling wild ideas area stages saw with Lonnie Carter’s “The Lost Boyz” and Marcie Rendon’s “Free Fry Bread.” Theater of the absurd isn’t for everyone. Continue Reading
Every year I clear out the past year’s top 10 to make room for ten more promising acts I’m excited to see. For the 2015 Minnesota Fringe Festival, they are:
1 – FurTrader Productions – Confessions of a Delinquent Cheerleader
Who were you in High School? Hear true stories of a reformed cheerleader/bad girl at a private school back in the late 1980s. At times hilarious, at times tragic, she shares her “glory days” for all to judge. I was already fairly sure this was going to be one great comedic solo show, just by virtue of the fact that Mame Pelletier is involved. That fact that it’s her script and her story only reinforced that instinct. Her Fringe preview made it clear I would not be allowed to even entertain doubts about this one. It’s going to be a heck of a lot of fun. Can’t wait. 2 – Little Lifeboats – Confessions of a Butter Princess or Why The Cow Jumped Over The Moon
On the planet Ceres, Alex, a Cow, and a Queen are trying to escape the wrath of the Princess Kay Chorus. Continue Reading
The second annual “Your Crew vs. My Crew” dance competition finished out this year’s Rondo Days, which celebrates the black community that once thrived where I-94 now cuts through St. Paul.
“Every year we celebrate Rondo Days and the people and community who once stood there,” Leviticus Martin, the host of the event, proclaimed to a cheering audience during intermission of the competition. “So keep that in your minds and in your hearts when you come to Rondo Days, to the festival, to the parade, to the competition, that’s what it’s about. It’s about the community, it’s about love.”
The competition took place at Gangelhoff Arena on the Concordia University campus on Saturday, July 18th and lasted almost three hours. The competition and dance exhibition included nine crews from Minnesota, Indiana, and Nebraska. Continue Reading
Raíces Media hosted a World Cup Street Fair on Saturday, June 27, at Kix Field in Minneapolis, just off the Greenway, in conjunction with The Sanneh Foundation and the Urban Stars Soccer Club. World Cup veteran Tony Sanneh and The Sanneh Foundation hosted a free soccer clinic for kids at the event. The Sanneh Foundation, based in St. Paul, offers many free camps and clinics in St. Paul and Minneapolis. Tony Sanneh leads a skill-building soccer clinic with a group of kids. Continue Reading
Just minutes from Glenwood Avenue, Wirth Lake Beach and Interstate 394, there’s a sanctuary for plants, animals and people too. Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden was first established in 1907 as the first public wildflower garden in the United States. To this day it remains unique, displaying hundreds of flowers that offer a new experience each visit, ranging from the first spring blossoms, the Showy Lady Slippers in June to the colorful fall foliage. Embedded within the larger Theodore Wirth Park near the Minneapolis-Golden Valley border, the 15-acre wildflower garden culls a mixture of native plants with others from the Eastern US and even beyond of North America. In over 100 years the garden has expanded, but its mission at the start and present are nearly identical: to offer a botanical wilderness within the city. Continue Reading
One of the curses of contemporary art is that too many artists, and viewers believe that irony – the ironic gesture, the ironic moment, the ironic image or thing – is a doppelganger for ideas, content and technical skill. Worse yet, irony functions too often as a surrogate for meaning, even quality- those abstract notions where ideas, materials and skill merge to create a resolved work of art. In Colin Matthes: Instructional and Flood Resistant Work, the Milwaukee-based artist largely avoids these pitfalls by employing irony more as an existential platform from which to respond to today’s social climate, rather than as an endgame unto itself. More a comprehensive installation than a show of discrete works, Instructional takes as its starting point the notion that most of us act as if all is well with our world, and that we are immune to all of the global trauma. After all, our lifestyle is too sophisticated and too propped up by technology for us to need basic survival skills. Continue Reading
People in the Phillips neighborhoods of Minneapolis are incensed about a new proposed water-maintenance site (or, a water yard) they say will add to the pollution of the area. Seeing little promise of new jobs from the new site, neighbors will be packing the Ways and Means committee meeting of the City Council on Monday to urge council members to vote no on allowing city staff to enter into negotiations over purchasing the property. “Phillips has been dumping grounds and forget-me-nots of polluters for several years now,” says Jose Luis Villasenor, the Executive Director of the local nonprofit Tamales y Bicicletas. He’s been a resident of East Phillips for 19-20 years. “We have been working with the community and local stakeholders about how to get rid of the polluters.”
The community group East Phillips Improvement Coalition (EPIC) had two realizations when it came to the site, Villasenor said. Continue Reading
The Minnesotan Somali community celebrated the 55th anniversary of Somalia’s independence from Britain and Italy this weekend at a festival that spanned three blocks of West Lake Street. According to the 2010 American Community Survey data, there are around 25,000 Somali-Americans in Minnesota, a third of the Somali population of the United States. Although Somali Independence Day is technically July 1, the Minneapolis festival was held on Saturday, June 13 because it will be Ramadan from mid-June until mid-July. Somali flags and balloons with the logo of Progressive Insurance, one of many sponsors of the event, were prominent features around the festival. Friends and families came together to celebrate on Lake Street, between Blaisdell and Grand. Continue Reading
They don’t hand out the programs until *after* Fire Drill’s latest production, Novelty Shots: A Political Fantasy, is over. It’s deliberate, but I’m still not entirely sure why. Do they not want to spoil the surprise? What is the surprise? Is any review like this one just going to be a massive pile of spoilers? Is it even possible to spoil this show? Continue Reading