This week, a group of artists from Iraq and the U.S. share their collaborations and artistic conversations in the wake of war and conflict at events at Open Book and the East Side Freedom Library. Also this week, Melvin Carter Jr.’s autobiographer to theatrical life at the History Theatre. Over at the Woman’s Club, women vocalists and musicians perform for the live recording of “Island of Discarded Women.” Other events this week: a new play about the speed of time at the Playwrights’ Center, and an art exhibition and award celebration for young artists in Saint Paul and the metro area.
Melvin Carter Jr., the father of St. Paul’s Mayor Melvin Carter III shared his life story in 2019 with the autobiography, “Diesel Heart,” published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press. It’s a story about overcoming adversity and racism with toughness, humor, and compassion. The book details Carter growing up in the Rondo neighborhood when that neighborhood had been decimated to make way for I-94, his stint in the U.S. Navy, and his career with the St. Paul Police Department. Carter also writes about his boxing days, and the founding of Save Our Sons, a nonprofit that spearheaded alternatives to juvenile detention. Now, the History Theatre presents Brian Grandison’s adaptation of Carter’s autobiography into a play with the same title. The production is directed by Warren C. Bowles and features sets by Seitu Jones. Previews Thursday, March 9 and Friday, March 10 at 7:30 p.m., opens on Saturday, March 11 at 7:30 p.m. and runs through April 2 at the History Theatre ($20 to $53). More information here.
Her Story Is
In “Unpacking Creative Dialogue: A Conversation with an Iraqi and American Artist Collective,” arts educator, organizer and curator Tricia Heuring visits the East Side Freedom Library to talk with artists and translators from the U.S. and Iraq who are a part of the HER STORY IS collective. The conversation will focus on recent projects of the group, the art of translation and what it means to be in dialogue after war and occupation. It takes place Friday, March 10 at 7 p.m. at East Side Freedom Library (free). More information More information here.
Then on March 12, the Iraqi American Reconciliation Project will host a reading featuring HER STORY IS, with poetry, theater text readings, visual art and more. That takes place Sunday, March 12 at 7:30 p.m. at Open Book, 2022 S. Washington Ave. (free). More information here.
Music & Storyteller Sessions: Island of Discarded Women
The Music & Storyteller Series at the Woman’s Club Theater in Minneapolis hosts a live taping of “Island of Discarded Women,” a live show and podcast by radio actor Sue Scott recorded in dinner club settings each month. This month, Scott welcomes a mix of jazz, folk, rock and blues/soul musicians, including Jennifer Grimm, Ann Reed, Courtney Yasmineh, and the trio SingHers, made up of Thomasina Petrus, Gwen Matthews and Kathleen Johnson. It should be a terrific evening of great music by powerful women artists sharing their talents and stories, just in time for Women’s History Month. Sunday, March 12 at 7:30 p.m. at the Woman’s Club Theater in Minneapolis ($23 to $63). More information here.
Emerging Young Artist (EYA) Juried Student Art Show
COMPAS’ second annual juried student art show shines a light on a group of talented young people with an open gallery exhibition and awards ceremony. Students from St. Paul and the east metro share a range of artworks including photography, ceramics, painting, drawing, graphic arts, and 3D sculpture. You can visit until March 24. The opening reception and award ceremony takes place Thursday, March 9 at 6 p.m. at the Creators Space in St. Paul (free). More information here.
The Speed of Life
Mashuq Mushtaq Deen, who is part of the Core program at the Playwrights Center, shares a play about the speed of time. How does time move? Find out at the staged reading. It’s part of the In the Lab series, supporting artists developing new material. Catch a glimpse of a work still in progress. Friday, March 10 at 7 p.m. (free). More information here.