Sunday, June 15, 2008

Poetry And Storytelling: Northside Artist Residence Event Recap


Hey Friends,

What follows are a few images from last night's "Storytelling and Poetry" event, held at St. Jane's House in North Minneapolis. Host Brian Mogren assembled a crew of Artist Activists/Educators/ Agents-of-Change who are in residence at the 16th and Bryant 4-plex, known as the "Northside Artist Residence."


The evening brought together a beautiful ensemble of people from around the Twin Cities - for an opportunity to hear spoken word and stories and have meaningful discussion. Rodney "October" Dixon was the emcee, leading the gathering in a Critical Response conversation, breaking open the work that was being shared.

Among the evening's performers were:
Berato Wilson
Amoke Kubat
Caitlin Hill
Gayle Smaller, Jr.
Rodney "October" Dixon
As well as a younger mentee of Mr. Dixon's, and another elder from the community.

All were inspiring.

The facilitated discussion brought forward the poets' and storytellers' themes around poverty, survival, hope, incarceration, change, missing mothers, and having faith. To have the opportunity to hear community and audience members' voices come forward - is one of the greatest joys and privileges for me. As a former North High teacher, and person committed to the questions and actions around emancipation, peace and justice for ALL -- this kind of activity is a key for my participation and engagement.
I am in awe as I watch these former students move and grow and make change.
I am humbled and find resonance in their struggle -- and am inspired by their work and words. I am reminded time and time again of the necessity of relationship-building that is occurring in North Minneapolis and beyond, that draws seeming opposites together. I reflect on how such encounters are gift and invite mutuality.
I recognize how my liberation is deeply aligned with and dependent on the liberation of all others.

Enjoy the pictures.

Stay tuned for more events inviting such participation!

Peace,
Melissa















1 comment:

Annette Scotti said...

Melissa,

Your recount of Friday night is awe inspiring. I truly wished I could have been there (an old theater major myself), but your words have given my heart new flight...confirming the struggle for freedom and the relationship of growing community on the North Side!

Love, Annette