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2021 Beyond the Box

Featured Artists

PerformanceArtist Information
Reimagined: Inspired by classic Chinese stories, music, and movement, this performance will illuminate its essence but reinterpret it for modern audiences including remakes of music and reconstruction of movement styles with both high energy and grace. Lively dance, colorful costumes and an engaging pieces that reflects on nature, includes a tai chi fan performance and is best experienced and understood in a natural setting. CAAM Chinese Dance Theatre, a division of Chinese American Association of Minnesota, performs not just to entertain but also to bridge cultural and artistic gaps essential to a thriving, strong community, both for its dancers and also the greater community.

Pickup Truck Opera: A lively musical retelling of The Odyssey, featuring the music of Monteverdi's baroque opera Il ritorno di Ulisse in patria, and the timeless tunes of Dolly Parton. Like a theatrical ice cream truck, the pop-up spectacle will bring music, edible treats, and fun to neighborhood streets. Mixed Precipitation creates festive events that inspire social engagement. For 12 seasons they have produced their signature event, the Picnic Operetta, a lively outdoor opera and harvest celebration touring to farms, orchards, and vineyards. 
Speaking Out Collective: Interactive multi-sensory Family Performance starts with the Greek myth of Persephone and the Pomegranate seeds, weaves in additional cultural tales to explore the food we eat and the changing of the seasons. A blend of puppetry and interactive storytelling to create a performance that engages children, caretakers, and the curious. Family friendly and COVID safe extension activities follow the performance. Speaking Out Collective creates arts-based activities to nurture curiosity, creativity and critical thinking for all ages. They are comprised of a collective of actors, directors and teaching artists who believe that story is a vehicle for self expression, questioning, and creating new narratives together. They dig into big ideas through storytelling, theatre, puppets, poetry, song, movement, and more.

Wisdom Young's piece will speak to black bodies taking up space without being viewed as out of place or a nuisance. It will soak in the experience of being black connected to the architecture and culture of downtown. Many people view black bodies as out of place and out of 'line' downtown. This dance, movement, dialogue-driven, spoken word piece addresses how Minneapolis creates space for those in transit or that are not a part of the corporate culture.

Wisdom Young resides in North Minneapolis and is an artist, educator, activist and mother of 3 divine Black children ranges in ages from 6-22. Last summer, along with Eshay Powers and Namir Fearce, she founded Black, Bold and Brilliant, a north Minneapolis based nonprofit organization that invest in community development by engaging, inspiring and empowering Black youth to tap into their purpose to become problem solvers and righteous leaders in our community.
zAmya Theater Productions' work centers around a bus driver, with a downtown route, and all the wisdom and love she spreads to the various characters to whom she give rides. A joy-filled performance taking in the overwhelming events of the past year and cultivating a feeling that we have reached the end of a long dark tunnel. zAmya Theater Productions was founded in 2004 by Minneapolis citizen Lecia Grossman who wanted to learn about homelessness working "with" people, not "for" them. With support from theater professionals and homeless advocates, she devised a process for bringing together homeless and housed individuals to create theater, learn from one another, and share with the broader community. Through captivating performances and creative collaboration workshops, zAmya builds understanding and connection between citizens who have experienced homelessness and those who have not.

Beyond the Box is an artist incubation opportunity in public, outdoor performance. Individual practitioners, burgeoning ensembles and established companies join an equitable cohort of 5 artists/companies working together to learn how to engage in public, outdoor performances in a fluid peer-to-peer mode while collaborating with organizers. 

Modular short performances (10-20 minutes) will take place June - September, 2021, in a variety of locations near Nicollet Avenue including sidewalks, plazas, parks, greenways, parking lots, etc., and will be designed to engage the diverse audiences of downtown Minneapolis and celebrate the reanimation, renewal, and changing relationship to public spaces

This project is a partnership with Vibrant and Safe Downtown and the Downtown Improvement District, and is funded, in part, by support from the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and culture heritage fund.
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