Andrea Jenkins, Grand Marshal of 2015 Twin Cities Pride uplifts trans voices [Photos]

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

Wander, explore, illuminate together at this year’s Northern Spark

Northern Spark, the magical night each June when sections of the Twin Cities urban landscapes become the canvas(es) for large-scale, often interactive, ephemeral, and community-based art, is celebrating its 5th birthday this month. I am delighted to report that after hours of researching this years’ exhibits and acts, watching project videos, reading artist statements, etc, I have found very little in this years’ offerings that is not somehow captivating, compelling, and/or curious. If ever there was a summer night that justified an all-nighter for any adventurers or art-lovers, Northern Spark is it.  

I couldn’t possibly say that some of these events will be better than others, nor am I interested in doing so. This is my own personal curated vision of what sounds especially delightful and resonates with my own interests. Continue Reading

Fiesta Cinco de Mayo!

The Lowrider car and bicycle show is justifiably, one of the highlights of the Cinco de Mayo West Side Saint Paul Fiesta. The fiesta draws crowds of people along the closed off blocks of Cesar Chavez Street, drinking out of fresh pineapples, browsing the vendor goods, and checking out the lines of Lowriders that showed up for the event. Not being a car person of any sort, I felt immediately out of my depth. Several of the car and bicycle owners kindly answered my surely very ignorant questions, patiently nodding when I asked what was clearly a no-brainer. While the Lowrider show brings out people to ogle over cars and bikes, the Cinco de Mayo Fiesta is also about celebrating one of the Twin Cities oldest Latino neighborhoods. Continue Reading

Record Store Day: a cultural nod to our ever-present past

“For me, it’s just how I grew up listening to music, how I always maintained listening to music, how I collect it.” -Danny Sigelman, DJ and collector Almost every memory I have of my father and his mother, my grandmother, orbit around playing records and sitting together listening to music. One of my earliest memories is asking my mother to play a particular Peter, Paul, & Mary record, of pressing my ear to my dad’s tall speaker on the floor of our living room, transfixed, listening to the soothing, melancholy harmonies of “Puff the Magic Dragon” and “Lemon Tree”. To this day, there is a childlike wonder I feel when I buy a new record, and bring it home to open it and immerse myself in the album art and a new musical experience.  Record Store Day brought out crowds of people with similar stories of their own first encounters with records, as well as many folks just coming out for the events and live music put on for RSD. One recurrent theme with everyone I talked with who collects records is a strong emotional attachment to these beautiful small pieces of interactive art that we call “vinyl” and their packaging. Continue Reading