On May 18 a group of business and community leaders as well as City Council Members and artists gathered at the new Midtown Exchange Global Market to kick off Minneapolis’ Fourth annual MOSAIC cultural arts celebration.
Started by Mayor R. T. Rybak, the mission of Minneapolis MOSAIC is to celebrate the richness and diversity of the arts and cultures of Minneapolis through a summer-long celebration beginning in June.
Bridging the two projects, which focus on the contributions – both economic and artistic – of the city’s ever increasingly diverse communities, was clearly a highlight for Rybak who joked at the kick off, “People that know me know that when we talk about the Global Market I get excited and when we talk about MOSAIC I get excited. They had to slip me quaaludes today!”
Archie Gibbons, MOSAIC co-chair called the Global Market place the “ultimate urban location” and said that it was the perfect place to kick off MOSAIC.
Representatives from US Bank and Allina Hospitals and Clinics also praised the Mayor’s efforts in celebrating the diversity of the city and the aims of MOSAIC.
The volunteer board that puts together the celebration each year has four goals: to present events to showcase the rich diversity of music, dance, theater, the visual arts, film and the literary arts in Minneapolis, to promote and increase the visibility of the broad range of cultural and arts organizations and events in Minneapolis to both local and regional audiences, to foster opportunities to develop new relationships and build bridges between the wide variety of arts organizations and cultural groups in Minneapolis, and to encourage diverse community to experience a wide spectrum of cultural and artistic activities in Minneapolis.
In each of MOSAIC’s first three years more than 100 culturally diverse events have been part of the celebrations in June, July and August and this year promises to also be filled with many unique events. From June 10 through August 31, Minneapolis artists and cultural organizations will open their doors. From parades to performances, to exhibitions to neighborhood festivals, their will be events for all ages and interests.
The opening events during, Many Worlds, One Weekend, June 10 – 11 promise to be particularly exciting as Hennepin Avenue is blocked off and theaters like the Pantages and the State open their doors to the public. The Honeydogs will perform and the two day event will feature free performances and events. The June 10 event happens from 6 – 10 pm on Hennepin Avenue, and the June 11 event is all afternoon at Fair Oaks Park just south of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.
That weekend will also be the opportunity to show off the 2006 MOSAIC commission. Each year Minneapolis MOSAIC commissions an artistic work, which is meant to celebrate the diversity of the city and serve as a commemorative representation of the project.
In past years, the commission have included art and music commissions and this year the commission was given to a spoken word ensemble, “Found in Translation,” a collaborative of organizations, including Soulistic Playhouse, the Center for Independent Artists, Tru Art Speaks, In the Belly and AtlanticRock.com. The organizing artists—Ibé, Tish Jones, Mankwe Ndosi, Ed Bok Lee and isis– will also be seeking participation from other artists throughout the Twin Cities to create an authentic mosaic of cultures and languages.
Their performance piece will be a visual and spoken mosaic of cultures featuring spoken word, drumming, vocal incantations and movement. In parts of the presentation, artists will present their stories in their native languages and native dress, with ‘translations’ from other artists, through language movement or song.
For a complete MOSAIC Calendar of Events of participating artists and organizations click “here”:http://www.minneapolismosaic.com.