Art In This Present Moment
Million Artist Movement worked on two collaborative art projects – a quilt sourced from community and a project based around food sovereignty.
Project #1 - Preparation and Interconnectedness Growers Collective
A collective group of cultural workers who share a commitment to support each other cooperatively and cultivate deeper relationships with food sovereignty. Using their collective experiences as organizers, they harness principles of solidarity (and mutual aid) to share resources and knowledge. As urban gardeners they aim to grow as much food and medicine for our families and communities as possible.
- Stephanie Watts is a multi-disciplined visual artist currently living in the Twin Cities. She is a filmmaker, musician, photographer, painter, family historian and food producer. This year she has turned her attention toward growing food with the Preparedness and Interconnectedness Growers Collective to provide food security for their collective and for people in their surrounding community.
- Alejandra C. (Tobar Alatriz) is a descendant of Mexicanxs y Chilenxs. She is a queer, light-skinned immigrant storyteller, bodyworker, arts organizer and healing justice practitioner. She centers her studies in arts, leadership and the human body at every scale. Over the last two decades, Alejandra has performed, directed and/or choreographed work at many venues in the Twin Cities, Minnesota region and is now at home with Indigenous Roots Cultural Arts collective.
- Malia Araki Burkhart (she/her) is a Japanese-American and German/English American multimedia artist. She was raised in a suburb of Minneapolis and specializes in puppetry, dance, music and poetry, and loves exploring new forms of expression. Malia works as an activist-organizer in areas of environmental justice, food justice and healing justice. She is a Community Artist, arts educator, somatic therapist, mother of a small child and urban farmer.
- Marie Michael grew up in New Mexico an only child, avid reader and perpetual journal writer. Being in the desert in close proximity to the Rocky Mountains, she grew to love open spaces, big sky and the brown curves of mother earth. Now, she lives in the Midwest where she serves as a coach and facilitator, teaching transformation of self, systems and communities.
- Mankwe Ndosi is a culture worker, using creative practice to nurture community, ancestors and the earth. She is part of a field of artists embedding creative practice into civic work. Her efforts have included interdisciplinary performance, arts-rooted community gatherings, active racial equity workshops with city housing inspectors, great black music series, and developing group healing workshops to support personal transformation from the inside out.
- Miré Regulus is a Minneapolis-based multidisciplinary community builder and parent. In both her creative projects and food-justice work, she is interested in how the Million Artist Movement engages the community and the unique ways they figure out how to take care of each other. She lives and works at the intersection of the BIPOC, queer, political and artistic communities seeking to build a more equitable and embodied world.
- Signe V. Harriday is a director, multidisciplinary artist and activist using theatre as a catalyst to ask questions about who we are and who we are in relation to others. She is co-founder of MaMa mOsAiC, a women of color theater company whose mission is to evoke positive social change through female-centered work. She is also co-founder of Million Artist Movement, a collective of artists committed to Black liberation, and co-founder of the Subversive Sirens, an award-winning synchronized swimming team committed to Black liberation, queer visibility, equity in aquatics, and radical body acceptance. She is an associate company member of Pillsbury House Theatre.
Project #2 - Power Tree Quilting
The Power Tree quilt was imagined out of the need to bring together and recognize the many powerful initiatives working for the liberation of Black people around the world. It embodies the extensive power we the people have to resist, rise up, celebrate, honor, dismantle, revolt, imagine, and build together.
Stationed at the vigil/memorial site where community has been regularly gathering since the murder of George Floyd, artists have worked in and with community to process some of the trauma and grief through conversation and quilt square making. More than 250 individuals and families have contributed to more than 300 square feet of Power Tree Quilt.
- Laura Mann Hill is a Minneapolis-based theatre artist, director, arts educator and administrator. After nearly a decade of teaching and directing art programming in New York City public schools, she returned to the Twin Cities to join Making Waves: Hamline University's Social Justice Theatre Troupe as the Assistant Director. Laura also worked as a teaching artist and administrator with the Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) engaging with communities through the nationally recognized Neighborhood Bridges Program. In addition, Laura is an arts organizer in the Twin Cities, using art for social change with various community and arts-based organizations. Laura is passionate about creating art with youth and facilitating intergenerational art spaces that engage with Black, Indigenous and communities of color.
- Paige Reynolds (she/they) is an artist based in the Twin Cities, where she is a theatre maker, and relationship marketing associate at Minnesota Opera. Paige is also a lead organizer with Million Artist Movement. Their work is guided by a deep commitment to Black liberation and co-creating with her ancestors. Recent projects include devising multidisciplinary theatre and creative consulting with LOFTrecital; a teaching artist with Neighbor Bridges critical literacy program; and completing artEquity training and joining their national cohort of art practitioners facilitating around EDI issues. Paige holds a BFA in theatre arts administration from Howard University.
- Donald Thomas is an artist and designer born in Saint Paul on the land of the Dakota peoples, based in the Twin Cities. He creates mixed-media art installations called Affirmation Mirrors, comprised mostly of fabric wrapped wood, yarn, mirrors, and beads. Donald also creates murals, digital illustrations, designs digital and print materials for artists and organizations, and works as a teaching artist. His art and design explore the themes of nature from the micro to the cosmic, healing trauma, time, portals, repetitive geometry, setting intentions for affirmations, asking questions, symbols, and identity exploration.
- Harry Waters, Jr., is best known for his portrayal of Marvin Berry in Back to the Future (1985), which earned him a Gold record for his rendition of "Earth Angel." His acting credits also include numerous television guest-starring roles. He attended Princeton University and received his MFA in Directing from University of Wisconsin-Madison. As an actor, he has appeared in numerous venues around the country and Twin Cities including The Guthrie, Penumbra Theater Company, Mixed Blood, Ten Thousand Things Theater, Pangea World Theatre, Park Square, Frank Theatre, and Pillsbury House + Theatre. He is currently the professor and former chair of the Theater and Dance Department at Macalester College. Harry was also recently named the school’s new Associate Dean in the Kofi Annan Institute for Global Citizenship.
Art In This Present Moment
This project is part of Art in This Present Moment, an initiative of the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation, with funding from the McKnight Foundation. We provided grants to 12 Minnesota-based nonprofit organizations to fund work by over 50 BIPOC artists who are changing and challenging dominant narratives through their craft.
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