Monthly Archives: July 2017

Who painted that mural? There’s an app for that!

I did not know how to paint a mural. I did not know how to prepare the surface. There was nobody from the Renaissance around who could advise me, and I did the best I could. Maurice Sendak *

To learn more about Sendak’s unique – because it’s his only – extant mural, read something about it here – or visit in person at the Rosenbach in Philadelphia http://www.philly.com/philly/entertainment/arts/20160422_Sendak_mural_gets_a_new_home_at_new_library_branch.html

If, on the other hand, you’re one of the many Minnesotans  (http://artforce.org) intrigued by the hundreds of murals you pass every day on your way to work, or by the massive painting that graces your favorite watering hole, be aware that there’s a tool for that!

The Air Force Academy in Northeast has created, and will continue to expand, a handy annotated map to the Murals of Minneapolis! 

Smart-phone in hand, google the site, click on the map – and prepare to be amazed.  You’ll find the name, something about the artists and a delightful essay the tells the story of the mural, how it came to be, what it means to the artist and to the neighborhood – the answers to questions you haven’t thought to ask.   http://www.artforce.academy/mural-map/

Here’s how the mappers describe their idea and their work:

This project came about on one of those summer days – you know the ones… We were cruising through the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District when a glorious mural peaked over the horizon.

As it drew nearer, we wondered, “Who painted this mural? Where can we find out?” Much to our surprise, there was no single source detailing all of Minneapolis’ murals. So we set out to do it ourselves. Enter the Minneapolis Mural Map! We hope to add mural maps – neighborhood by neighborhood – and could really use your help hunting them all down. In the meantime, please see the Northeast Minneapolis Mural Map as it takes shape below.

So far the Art Force sleuths have explored and documented murals in Northeast, North and South Minneapolis.  They’re eager to connect with mural-mavens throughout the community.  In their own words, “We hope to add mural maps – neighborhood by neighborhood – and could really use your help hunting them all down.”

While you’re on the Art Force website cruise the site to learn more about the range and relevance of all that’s happening at this very special  Northeast Minneapolis beehive!  (http://artforce.org)

ADDENDUM:

Interesting – and  relevant –  item found in today’s email:  7-29

http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/the-murals-of-quebec-city?utm_source=Atlas+Obscura+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=26f595253d-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_07_28&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f36db9c480-26f595253d-66588885&ct=t(Newsletter_7_28_2017)&mc_cid=26f595253d&mc_eid=f61fecf450

 

 

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Speaking truth to power: Artists’ reflections on libraries’ voice

Libraries are places – they may be a shelf in a classroom or a grand memorial to a grateful grad, the hub of a medical center or an adjunct to the public square.    It is those who envision the possibilities and shape the role of a library that make a difference.

As keepers of the record librarians have long embraced the challenge to expand access to facts and ideas. In modern times libraries in this democracy, have been quick to resist suppression of information and ideas – as well as other offenses to democratic principles  that tend to rile – and inspire – librarians.

No wonder that, in this era of alternative facts and determined truth seekers, I’m thinking of the heritage of libraries.   Recognition of University of Minnesota Libraries Day earlier this month prompted me to learn more about the ways in which today’s libraries and librarians are coping. (https://marytreacy.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=4004&action=edit)

My thoughts prompted me to remember a cluster of library-related blog posts that my friend Jack Becker of Forecast Public Art had sent me some weeks ago.  These are all stories that celebrate the library as a place with a voice – a voice that must speak truth to power. This  armchair tour features amazing  libraries that dare to capitalize on the power they have to inform and lead.

Though these magnificent examples of resistance may be a bit beyond the local library’s resources, it is nonetheless a fact that libraries across the country are speaking in a “socially acceptable” voice to support the right to know and the right to speak. For examples, just Google “libraries resistance 2017.”

Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that  of an ignorant nation.  Walter Cronkite

Fringe Festival 2017-A celebration for every Minnesotan

Fringe Festival 2017 is just one calendar flip away.  Set for August 3-13, 2017,  Fringe is just one of Minnesota’s honored traditions that needs no introduction. Just in case, take a digital tour of the highlights here: (http://www.fringefestival.org)   Or check out the official Wikipedia site which is both thorough and up-to-date. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minnesota_Fringe_Festival

While the creative spirit and energy for Fringe comes from individual Minnesotans the fiscal support is provided by all of the state’s residents whose taxes support the Legacy Fund (http://www.legacy.leg.mn/funds/arts-cultural-heritage-fund) The intent of this post is to assure that all Minnesotans will enjoy access to the events, the camaraderie and the spirit of this legendary celebration of the state’s creative expression.

Happily, Fringe has been mindful of accessibility as a priority and VSA Minnesota has provided a generous grant to support accessibility services.

Dawn Bentley, the almost new director of Fringe, has been very helpful in pointing out the accommodations.

General:  Reservation fees are waived for patrons using ASL and AD services.

Beginning at the gate – All Fringe venues are accessible to visitors with mobility challenges.  The specifics of access (e.g. entrance doors, elevators, parking) are noted on individual venue pages.

There are 42 scheduled and three wildcard spots for performances to be Audio Described or ASL Interpreted. The full list of shows with access services can be found here:  http://www.fringefestival.org/2017/shows/access/

As an extra service, during tech week crew members take note if performances use flashing or lights or if they  include loud noises that will be harmful or irritating to patrons.  If they see a problem House managers will post signs outside the doors of performances.

Reservations: Any patron wishing to use the services can make a free reservation online using the code “accessfringe” at checkout to have the reservation fee waived. 

Questions about Fringe accessibility:  Call 612 872 1212.

Minnesota groups rally for science/health research

How in heaven’s name can a nation with a $1 trillion surplus threaten so much scientific research so vital to its future? David Gergen

David Gergen echoes the words and thoughts of millions of Americans concerned about the many onslaughts to research across every discipline. The Minnesota Rally for Research will focus on scientific research, the government’s reductions in funding – and respect – for scientific innovation, particularly in medical and technological development.

The Rally is set for Saturday, August 5, 2017, 1:00-2:30 PM at the Minnesota State Capitol.

The Rally is a nonpartisan occasion for Minnesotans come together, as health care providers, researchers and as individuals and families who are dependent on the high quality medical care.  The common goal is to speak in unison for NIH research funding.

The Minnesota Rally for Research is organized by a host of partners including A Breath of Hope, ALS Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, Colon Cancer Coalition, Get Up Stand Up to Cure Paralysis, March for Science Minnesota, Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, Minnesota AIDS Project, Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance, Minnesota Nurses Association, Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance, NAMI Minnesota, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Susan G Komen, and tin Whiskers Brewing Company.

Follow Minnesota Rally plans on Twitter at  #MNRALLY4RESEARCH

Related information: 

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/aug/07/usda-climate-change-language-censorship-emails?CMP=share_btn_link

http://rallyformedicalresearch.org/Pages/default.aspx

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/07/21/trump-furthers-war-science-illegal-nomination-climate-denier-top-usda-scientist

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/08/03/trump-nominates-non-scientist-top-science-position-department-agriculture

http://www.publicnewsservice.org/2017-08-03/health-issues/minnesotans-call-for-medical-research-funding/a58766-1

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/08/03/trumps-war-science-forces-federal-officials-consider-polluters-demands

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/08/08/fearing-trump-censorship-govt-scientists-leak-alarming-climate-report

 

 

In Minnesota “Made Here” really means made here

Take empty windows and storefronts in downtown Minneapolis and fill them with the work of local artists to create a walkable urban art experience. That’s what Hennepin Theatre Trust has been doing since 2013 with the Made Here project. ~~ M.A.Rosko

Sponsors were series about the “made here” guidelines when they launched this season’s Future: Made Here campaign (http://madeheremn.org/about/main) last April.  The results, representing the work of more than 40 Minnesota artists and 120 students, are to be found throughout the summer months throughout the downtown’s streets and open spaces.  Made Here is sponsored in large part by Andersen Corporation, Le Meridien Chambers Minneapolis, supplemented by a grant from the McKnight Foundation. (More about sponsors here http://madeheremn.org/partners)

Twice a year Made Here gives life to windows and other underused spaces throughout the West Downtown Minneapolis Cultural District (aka the WeDo District).  According to planners, the project has grown over the years to now feature visual displays in windows, live performances, artist markets, pop-up galleries in more.”  Planners note that “the intent is to infuse underused public spaces with art and art-inspired experiences – and transform them with the spirit of what is possible.” To learn more about the spirit and history of Made Here, click here: http://madeheremn.org)

The displays, selected in an open competition judged by a community panel people from a range of disciplines.”  The displays reflect months of creative work by area artists of every medium.  To follow the energy, ideas and fun of the Made Here exhibit, click here: http://madeheremn.ojecorg/blog

Or take an armchair tour of what you’ll find at each Made Here window, pop-up display performance, by clicking here http://madeheremn.org/showcases.  Then follow the lively Made Here blog here: http://madeheremn.org/blog

The virtual tour and blog posts will inspire you to get up out of that armchair and head downtown for an up close and personal look at each of the wonderfully unique Made Here exhibits.  Equip yourself with this map showing exhibits and performance areas (http://madeheremn.org/map)

Clearly, Made Here thrives as a living, growing success.  Since its launch the project has produced over 300 window displays as well as scores of performances and pop-ups.

  • Learn more about the Hennepin Theatre Trust here:  hennepintheatretrust.org
  • Learn more about the West Downtown Minneapolis Cultural District here:  wedompls.org

Made Here will infuse life into the streets and storefronts of downtown Minneapolis throughout the month of August.

 

Mid-summer Meanderings on the Mississippi

The face of the water, in time, became a wonderful book – a book that was a dead language to the uneducated passenger, but which told its mind to me without reserve, delivering its most cherished secret as clearly as if it uttered them with a voice. And it was not a book to be read once and thrown aside, for it had a new story to tell every day. ~~ Mark Twain.

Though summer days and evenings are long and lush, there just are not enough of them – so many opportunities to relax and learn, so little time! The powerful flow and the majestic beauty of the Mississippi flow inspire writers, painters, photographers, musicians, creative spirits and nature lovers to its banks. As the Mississippi flows through these parts it welcomes all of those who live and work along its path to know the influence of the river on its neighbors.

Following are just a few of the  summer activities inspired by the Mighty Mississippi.

One major happening is the FLOW Northside Arts Crawl, set for July 27-29. Over the past decade the FLOW has grown in reputation and attendance; the arts crawl has morphed into a huge three-day community celebration that stretches for over a mile and a half from the Mississippi to Penn Avenue North. The celebration features the range from fine art by over 300 local artists and makers to graffiti created by expressive amateurs – plus  music, music, music!  One feature familiar to FLOW-goers is the “clusters” at Freedom Square and The Capri Theater, Juxtaposition Arts and the KMOJ Stage. FLOW is a program of the West Broadway Business and Area Coalition. (http://westbroadway.org)  All the details here: (http://www.northmpls.org/flow2015)

Through Labor Day the National Park Service, in collaboration with Mississippi Arts Connection and Friends of the Lock and Dam, will be sponsoring public tours, guided or unguided seven days a week.  Writing in MinnPost Peter Callaghan gives an excellent overview of the locks, their history and current operations, along with details about the tours. https://www.minnpost.com/politics-policy/2017/06/possible-sign-things-come-national-park-service-again-offers-tours-st-anthon

Now that you’re in the mood, grab a camera (any camera) and take a stroll along the banks of the Mississippi Riverfront (http://www.minneapolisriverfront.org/) has issued a call for entries to the Mississippi Minute Film Festival.  They’re looking for films that “inform, energize, and inspire people to action – all in 60 seconds!”  Entries are due September 15.  Learn more here:  http://www.minneapolisriverfront.org/riverfront-initiatives/mississippi-minute-film-festival/

The dust has hardly settled on the magnificent Northeast Parade and yet the community is priming for Open Streets Northeast.  (It’s Sunday, August 6, 11:00-5:00.  This is a City of Minneapolis event hosted by the Our Streets Minneapolis, formerly the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition (http://www.ourstreetsmpls.org)

And you will be right on the river when you visit the Twin Cities Polish Festival August 11-13.   Planners say their mission is to “immerse Minnesotans and visitors in ‘all things Polish” by presenting a kaleidoscope of unique cultural and educational displays, food and top-notch entertainment.” Mere words cannot convey the “feel” of the event – music, dancing, history and culture – all on Old Main Street on  the banks of the Mississippi.  Learn more here: http://www.tcpolishfestival.org.  Free and open!

There’s much more to see and do, but stop now to  take time to relax, find a cool spot – preferably near water – to read these reflections on Ol’ Mn River written by John Anfinson: http://www.minneapolisriverfront.org/john-anfinson-vision-river/  It will inspire you to keep  on exploring the wonders – to walk, photograph, paint, write , read or simply be grateful for the Mississippi River in our midst and in our lives.

The Mississippi, the Ganges, and the Nile,…the Rocky Mountains, the Himmaleh, and Mountains of the Moon, have a kind of personal importance in the annals of the world ~~   Henry David Thoreau

 

Meridel LeSueur’s words ring true at ESFL

A good civilization gives the greatest possible scope to the common passions and makes them intelligible among the great number of people ~ Meridel LeSueur

Meridel LeSueur would embrace the vision and endorse the vision of the East Side Freedom Library (ESFL).  She would no doubt have some helpful suggestions for programs and outreach strategies, but she would embrace the idea!

The feeling is mutual. The vision and words of Meridel resonate in the essence of ESFL In fact, the mission of ESFL is to “give the great possible scope to the common passions and make them intelligible among the great number of people.

Though Meridel died in 1996 her spirit lives, captured in her own words, in the memories of colleagues and in film/video – not to mention in the lives of those who felt her influence. Her spirit is needed at this hour.

To underscore that point, ESFL is sponsoring a Labor Movie Night, starring the spirit of Meridel.  My People Are My Home is a 45-minute creative documentary produced in 1976 by a Twin Cities women’s film collective.  The documentary follows the text of several of Meridel’s writings “woven with images of Midwestern people, especially working class women.  It fulfills Meridel’s vision of making “common passions…intelligible among the greatest number of people.”

Following the film there will be a discussion of the film and of the life and work of Meridel LeSeuer.  The discussion will be led by Neala Schleuning who has written about Lesueur, including for this MNOpedia entry (http://www.mnopedia.org/person/le-sueur-meridel-1900-1996)   Members of the women’s collective that created the film will be on hand to participate in the exchange of ideas.

The film showing and discussion are Tuesday, August 1, 7:00 p.m. at ESFL 1105 Greenbrier Street, St Paul 55106.   Free and open.