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Artist-led projects promote community healing; Pillsbury House to present ‘Flip the Script: The Great Divide IV’

ALSO: streaming live from the Dakota: Nachito Herrera; a (virtual) evening with Renée Fleming and Vanessa Williams; and more.

Keegan Xavi and Sayge Carroll’s “Harvest Feast” project.
Photo by Pierre Ware

By the end of 2020, Minneapolis will have seen, heard and experienced 10 artist-led projects that promote community healing, something sorely needed after the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police and the uprisings that followed. Some will be as simple as a haircut; others will feature first-person stories, or provide information anyone can use to live a healthier life.

The projects are sharing $100,000 in grant money, with each receiving $10,000. Support comes from the Creative CityMaking Creative Response Fund and the Kresge Foundation.

Creative CityMaking is a program of the city’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy that partners artists with staff in City of Minneapolis departments to help address economic and racial disparities. The projects supported by the Creative Response Fund will be out in the community and accessible to anyone. All are being led by current and former Creative CityMaking artists.

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These are the artists and their projects:

Sam Ero Phillips, “Haircuts for Change.” In a collaboration with Barebones Puppet Theatre’s “Passages: Mourning the Fires of Lake Street,” artists in pop-up locations along Lake St. and Chicago Ave. will give haircuts and provide opportunities for self-care.

Mankwe Ndosi and Griffen Jeffries: “Communities’ Wisdom, Imagination and Connection.” Six community events held outdoors in neighborhoods affected by the uprisings and sanctuaries of unhoused residents will examine questions of justice, safety and how we care for each other.

Shá Cage: “At the Corner of _______.” Three site-specific videos based on interviews and reflections with Black and brown community members about the realities of their daily lives.

Witt Siasoco and CarryOn Homes: “CarryOn Homes Northeast.” An ongoing installation that celebrates immigrant communities’ contributions to northeast Minneapolis and encourages local immigrants to participate in the 2020 Census.

Keegan Xavi and Sayge Carroll, “Harvest Feast.” Neighborhood gatherings with food, music and art-making. (These events have already taken place.)

E.G. Bailey: “New Neighbors Building Community Through Film.” Bailey’s award-winning film, “New Neighbors,” about a Black family that moves into a white neighborhood, will be screened in several outdoor locations and followed by community conversations.

D.A. Bullock: “excited delirium.” A series of projections of Black artists and performers on damaged or destroyed spaces in north Minneapolis and the Bryant Central neighborhood. The projections will be documented and collected in a final video.

Caroline Karanja, Wasima Farah and Abla Elmi: “East African Collective.” Stories about how the events of recent months have affected the mental health and well-being of East African women and immigrants.

Candida Gonzalez and Creatives After Curfew: “Art for Nervous Systems.” A series of four how-to murals will share simple healing knowledge.

Roxanne Anderson and Anna Meyer: “Rising from the Ashes.” A short series of online group sessions with queer, trans and BIPOC artists, followed by an online art exhibit.

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The picks

V is for virtual, L is for live and in person.

V Tonight (Wednesday, Sept. 23) on Zoom: UMN English Writers Series: Kao Kalia Yang. Get to know Yang’s two new books: “Somewhere in the Unknown World,” a collective memoir of refugee experiences, and “The Most Beautiful Thing,” a picture book based on the life of Yang’s grandmother. 7 p.m. Free. Register here.

L Tonight (Wednesday, Sept. 23) in the courtyard at Icehouse: Liz Draper, Tasha Baron and Krissy Bergmark. The evening will start with a solo set by each: Draper on upright bass, Baron on keys and Bergmark on tablas. Then the three will play together. 7-10 p.m. FMI and tickets ($12 cover). Seating is socially distanced. Wear a mask.

photo of nachito herrera
Courtesy of the artist
Nachito Herrera
V Friday (Sept. 25) streaming live from the Dakota: Nachito Herrera. The Dakota has been partnering with the Blue Note in New York City to stream performances from there. This week, it will launch its own streaming series with an artist who calls the Dakota home and who nearly died of COVID-19 earlier this year. Cuban jazz great Nachito Herrera will sit down at the newly tuned piano on the newly refinished stage for what’s sure to be a fiery and emotional performance. 7 p.m. FMI and tickets ($15). Herrera is making up for lost time. He will also perform for the Selby Ave. Jazz Fest at 7 p.m. Saturday (Sept. 26), streaming live on CrowdCast. On the following weekend, he’ll be at Crooners at 7:30 p.m. Sunday (Oct. 4). FMI and tickets ($40-45).

V Premieres Friday (Sept. 25) online: Pillsbury House Theatre presents “Flip the Script: The Great Divide IV.” Each year since 2017, Pillsbury House has commissioned five playwrights to create 10-minute plays about the growing political divide in America. For the series’ final installment, Pillsbury House invited five previous “Great Divide” playwrights – Alan Berks, Cristina Florencia Castro, Christina M. Ham, Andrew Rosendorf and Aamera Siddiqui – to write new plays to accompany their earlier works. The series will be released in five parts, each featuring both plays by the same playwright. Noël Raymond is the director; the actors are Darius Dotch, Ashawnti Sakina Ford, Tracey Maloney, Nora Montañez and Audrey Park. This has “don’t miss it” written all over it. Free to listen, with donations appreciated. Available until Dec. 1 on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and the Pillsbury House website.

photos of renee fleming and vanessa williams
Courtesy of the Kennedy Center
Renée Fleming and Vanessa Williams
V Saturday (Sept. 26) online: The Kennedy Center Presents “A Time to Sing”: An Evening with Renée Fleming and Vanessa Williams. We’ve been thinking lately about the nationally and internationally known artists who performed here pre-pandemic, and how that came to a full stop in March. Superstar soprano Renée Fleming last sang at the Ordway for the Schubert Club in 2016. On Saturday at 7 p.m. CST, Fleming and Vanessa Williams will sing at the Kennedy Center in the first live concert there since March. An invited audience of 40 mask-wearing people will be seated in physically distanced pairs. Weird, but that’s how it is. A $15 pass lets you view the live performance and have digital access through the end of the year. FMI.