Celebrating wonder as MayDay turns 40!

Here in the Twin Cities, different benchmarks designate spring’s arrival. We wait for the snow to melt, the potholes to be filled, the perennials to sprout, and eventually we come out of hibernation to play with our neighbors at the MayDay Celebration! Mark your calendars to join the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater (HOBT) on Sunday, May 4 for the 40th year of this incredible parade, Tree of Life ceremony, and festival.Mary Delorie is a longtime MayDay fan. You can see her in the photo above, enjoying the mango-on-a-stick.You may think of the day as a hippie bacchanalia that is only welcoming to progressive white folks. Not so!Yes, there are a lot of free spirits running around during the day, but there is an open invitation for all to join. Continue Reading

VISUAL ARTS REVIEW | All My Relations presents provocative images in Maggie Thompson’s Where I Fit exhibition

When you think of your cultural and ethnic identity, is there a piece of cloth—a sown or painted tapestry, a beaded headband, a knitted cable sweater, a special quilt made by the matriarch in your family—that helps you honor and celebrate who you are? Cloth and/or textiles are often overlooked as key cultural touchstones in modern day society, but they are the focus of Maggie Thompson’s solo exhibition at All My Relations Gallery. She uses textiles to ask important questions about family, identity and culture. As a Native American woman (Fond du Lac Ojibwe), Thompson uses this show to “dig deeper into the notions of her identity focusing on issues of cultural appropriation and Native authenticity through the rigid ideas of blood quantum and stereotyping.”

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REVIEW | ‘Goddess of Mercy’ reading shines at Playwrights’ Center

When I headed out to the Playwrights’ Center for a reading, I was bracing for a heady, academic night—expecting people to be sitting around a table with a script and highlighters in hand. I thought the audience would be simply observing the process and that the reading would be informal. Instead, I was swept into an incredible, fully realized, edge-of-seat, gasp-for-breath-not-knowing-what-to-expect-next experience. I later learned that it was just a typical night at this nationally renowned center for writers.Jeremy Cohen, the producing artistic director of the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, welcomed a full house to the third of five Ruth Easton New Play Series on February 3. He announced that there was a waitlist of over 140 people who had hoped to attend, even after the Center lined the theater space with extra rows of seating.Cohen also introduced special guests from the audience. Continue Reading

Homeless theater: Ten years of laughter and tears for zAmya in Minneapolis

The zAmya Theater Project just celebrated a milestone: its tenth anniversary. Ten years. Ten memorable, heart-breaking, uplifting, hilarious, poignant, raw and real years. zAmya is not your everyday theater, like classic Shakespeare or Dickens put on by the Guthrie, or new pieces by up-and-coming playwrights celebrating global diversity at Mixed Blood, or even those avant-garde dream-like pieces that once captured our hearts and imagination at the Theatre de La Jeune Lune (RIP). As theater with a passion for social justice, zAmya brings together homeless, formerly homeless, and housed people who transform into actors in a community-based theater.zAmya’s mission is to change minds about everything we think we knew about homelessness: who becomes homeless, why, and how. Continue Reading

Johnson Loud’s life work on display at North Hennepin Community College

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to see the collection of Johnson Loud’s life work now showing at North Hennepin Community College. A Minnesota Native American artist, potter, painter, and priest, Johnson Loud was born in Red Lake Minnesota in the early 1940’s and has produced art for the past 50 years.Loud is responsible for designing the logo for the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians that is used on the flag, public buildings, and license plates. Johnson Loud has also produced large scale murals celebrating Native America history and culture displayed in various Red Lake public buildings. These murals are all beautifully featured in the exhibit through photographs alongside a number of original paintings. One painting, “Making Maple Syrup,” shows off this traditional spring undertaking. Continue Reading