Best of Neighborhood News 11/7: City of Minneapolis recognizes Lao Minnesotan artist Kaysone Syonesa


October 10 is now known in Minneapolis as Kaysone Syonesa Day in recognition of prominent local Lao Minnesotan artist. Syonesa has been active in the local theater arts scene for years and is an accomplished actor, director and playwright. She is a close friend and mentor in her community. The recognition comes at the request of the Southeast Asian Literature Interdisciplinary Theater Arts Center. Syonesa and her family came to Minnesota after the Lao Civil War. Her work as an artist has greatly impacted the Lao refugee community of Minnesota, the third largest in the U.S.

Community members said Syonesa is “a positive mentor and friend of students and families of diverse backgrounds and helped them pursue their dreams; and someone who has encouraged good character, lifelong pursuit of art, education and civic engagement through personal and professional example.”

Find out more at Asian American Press.

Minneapolis NAACP compliance officer charts paths to prevent recidivism

After two years in prison, Northside resident James Badue-El is now a social activist and compliance officer of the Minneapolis chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). His experiences drive him to build resources for others in similar situations. His goal is to provide former inmates with the tools necessary to build positively from their experiences instead of letting their past dictate their future.

Read more at The Spokesman-Recorder.

The caregiver’s dance

Dancer and choreographer Anna Marie Shogren finds an intersection between her profession as a caregiver and her passion for dance. She has worked as a caregiver for years and most recently with physical therapy based movement. Shogren uses her dancing skill set to think outside the box in regard to moving with another person without full physical autonomy. It becomes like an intimate dance for Shogren. She collaborates with students and educators at the Center for Aging Science and Care Innovation.

The goal is ”to create some kind of activity that can be used between caregivers and the people they are helping, to help them connect more on a human level,” said Kristine Talley, director of the Center for Aging Science and Care Innovation.

Read more at Southwest Journal.