Soul Friday, the monthly dance night by and for queer women of color and their friends, is returning to Minneapolis this fall. The monthly event, which was popular at the now closed Pi Bar, returns on September 4 at Nomad World Pub.
Ann Freeman, who has helped bring Soul Friday back, says that it was originally started at Pi by a group of women led by Roxeanne Anderson. “I came along a little bit later,” Freeman says, building on that base of work that Roxeanne had done.” Freeman said that she worked to include a food component at the Soul Friday Nights at Pi, bringing in chefs such as Susan Brooks and Eva Robinson, who cooked up food under the “soul tradition.”
Endra Persaud, another one of the organizers helping to bring Soul Friday back, says that back when Soul Friday was at Pi, it stayed away from top 40 music and instead featured old school hip-hop, R&B, and world music. “When Pi closed, we didn’t have that type of music, that type of community,” she says.
“There’s been a hole that hasn’t been filled in the community,” says Freeman. “Lots of people have said, ‘We need to get Soul Pi going again. What can we do?'” Freeman checked around and used social networking to find out if there was interest in bringing the monthly event back. “I got a resounding yes!“
Persaud and Freeman hooked up with Lindsay Hunter, another woman from the community, and contacted Shannon Blowtorch, a DJ well known in the in the Twin Cities-especially in the LGBTQ community-who used to play at Soul Friday and other Pi events. Blowtorch connected the women, who do not consider themselves club promoters, to the Nomad, and the club agreed to host the event once a month through November 6.
Unfortunately, the Nomad doesn’t have the ability to serve food, so the soul cuisine won’t happen for the first few events, but Freeman said she hopes that it might be a possibility in the future, if they consider other locations.
On the lineup for September 4 is DJ Lady L, who spins hip-hop; DJ Naughty Boy, who plays hip hop and R&B; and Blowtorch, who is “really good at bringing in a whole mix of music,” says Persaud.
The organizers are reviving the event because they, and a lot of community members, “just really miss the night,” says Persaud. “It was the only time I got to see people that I never saw anywhere else.”
Sheila Regan (email@example.com) is a Minneapolis theater artist and freelance writer.
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