ART REVIEW | “Spirit + Matter” exhibit at Augsburg College makes you feel the love

Does spirit matter? Is matter spirited? Whether or not you’ve pondered such questions, you might find your native inquisitiveness fed by a new exhibit at Augsburg College’s Gage Family Art Gallery, located on the first level of the Oren Gateway Center, 2211 Riverside Avenue in Minneapolis.“Spirit + Matter” represents newly inspired work on and with paper by four artists:  Anna Boyer, Monica Edwards Larson, Wendy Fernstrum, and Regula Russelle. It is an intriguing and ethereal exhibit of prints, artist books, and sculptures that invites the visitor to explore “the relationship between matter and spirituality—matter a temporal container of spirit, spirit shaping matter.”The sub-themes, each chosen by an artist, are: Ritual. Dwelling. Continue Reading

THEATER REVIEW | Expecting the unexpected in The Clumsy Man

“The arts are a place for misfit toys,” an actor told me recently. “If you contribute something, you’re accepted.” This may describe Hans Christian Andersen, 19th c. Danish author, poet, and visual artist, whose odd life is the subject of Open Eye Figure Theatre’s latest production, The Clumsy Man, created and directed by Michael Sommers, artist in residence. It’s bold and evocative, poignant and surreal, utterly original and exquisitely entertaining! You’ll be mulling it over for days.Sommers’ work is never formulaic or shallow–his appetite for the innovative and elemental appears insatiable, plus he has the courage and conviction to probe the depths and the darkness that others may avoid, and the genius/skill to pull if off. He expands the boundaries of theater, even in the creative process: collaborative and intuitive. Continue Reading

COMMUNITY VOICES | Mpls Park Board candidate Hashim Yonis, a study in failed refugee integration and role model gone sour?

As someone who has promoted diversity in my life and work, with sadness I raise concerns about a person of color, with whom I have worked, who is running for the Minneapolis Park Board. Some had high hopes for Yonis, a Somali refugee and St. Olaf grad–he appeared to be a success story, even visiting the White House as guest of Obama. But I had serious questions.Recently, Yonis’ reputation has become tarnished. In August, the Park Board fired him for allegedly pocketing funds. Continue Reading

THEATER REVIEW | Kevin Kling gets personal in “Humanimal” at the Open Eye Figure Theatre

The first time I saw Kevin Kling up close (and personal, for that’s Kling’s nature) he was walking in my neighborhood—turns out it’s his, too—accompanied by an animal, a wiener dog. Actually, he was sauntering, a pace suited to his short-legged friend. When it comes to the human-animal connection, this man speaks from experience. Kling confesses that as a child he thought he was an animal. In his 7th summer season at Open Eye Figure Theatre, Kevin Kling, nationally known storyteller and artist-in-residence at Minnesota Public Radio, presents Humanimal, an evening of story, song, and imagery, exploring the evolving relationships between animals and humans, created with collaborators Michael Sommers, Simone Perrin, Jacqueline Ultan and Michelle Kinney. Continue Reading

FREE SPEECH ZONE | When young people speak, who will listen?

If it hadn’t been for the East African boys attending a teen circle I facilitated in a Seward park building, I’d still be in the dark about “swag.” “You don’t know what ‘swag’ means?!” they exclaimed in disbelief. Several youths rose from their chairs, shed their reserve, parading around the room in style to everyone’s delight. “Swagger,” I thought. I get it–confidence, lookin’ cool.Free Speech ZoneThe Free Speech Zone offers a space for contributions from readers, without editing by the TC Daily Planet. This is an open forum for articles that otherwise might not find a place for publication, including news articles, opinion columns, announcements and even a few press releases. Continue Reading

Remembering the tornado of 2011: An unforgettable lesson

On May 22, 2011 a tornado ripped through North Minneapolis destroying homes, tearing out trees, and taking two lives. Oblivious of this tragedy unfolding nearby, I was in the Brookdale Library community room, facilitating a tense, stormy townhome association meeting. The association board had asked me to assist them as discord within the group had escalated, with accusations being hurled and various interests groups aggressively rallying people to their “sides.” With the help of a facilitator the board hoped to find a mutually-workable resolution amidst the intense animosities. Continue Reading