Blogger’s choice, oh blogger’s choice. The wheel of fortune furiously flapping through options to feature! What will it land on to spark this post to life? Amy Schumer being hilarious? Anne Bogart being profound? Curious podcasts like The Allusionist?
Maybe it lands on a question more mundane, like, “What are you doing this weekend?” If you watch that Bogart talk on storytelling, she quotes the philosopher Martin Buber in the most unexpected of circumstances - see if you can guess it from the quote: “[T]he will to go out and the grace to receive. Extraordinary.” A mundane question about your weekend plans also has that charge to it - what will you get out to, and what will you have the grace to be open to?
So, much of the answer to, “What are you doing this weekend?” is often an open-ended shrug for me these days - except for this weekend, when I will be in Chicago for the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention. Which is great, because I am an American, and I am for the arts, and also a huge drag, because this is one of the best weekends for the arts in the Twin Cities. So here are some things - this blogger’s choices - that I am asking you to have the will to show up for, and the grace to receive them, because I cannot.
The latest episode of The Allusionist is all about the history of the word “pride,” specifically in the context of LGBTQ rights and identity. Craig Schoonmaker, activist who coined the phrase over 30 years ago, is interviewed and makes the salient observation that "The poison is shame. The antidote is pride." June is Pride Month in the United States, and before the big festivities kick off at the end of the month, there are some events this weekend that you should be proud of going to.
On Friday night, a new show opens at the All My Relations Gallery at the Native American Community Development Institute on Franklin Ave. Titled The World Through Our Eyes, the show is a celebration of the Two-Spirit community in Minnesota, featuring work from transgender and genderfluid artists from around the country. Over off Lake Street at Patrick’s Cabaret on Friday and Saturday nights, our own Lisa Marie Brimmer (see last week’s blog post if you need a reminder of how awesome she is) has curated A Tribe Called Queer: Can We Kick It? The correct answer in the call-and-response, is of course, “Yes you can!” With a great lineup of queer people of color, and knowing Lisa, this cabaret is going to explode with brilliance, prickly humor and warm hugs. Go go go.
And then, of course, it is Northern Spark from Saturday night to Sunday morning. You have to work to have a bad time with the all-night mayhem of art and people. You won’t be able to be a part of all of it, but here are some things that I would try to make it out to catch, whizzing around Minneapolis on my bike with the wind in my face. Over on the Convention Center Plaza, I’d want to be a part of Body Cartography’s CLOSER dances, stop by to see the new community-created installation mini_polis, and then head inside to experience Andy Sturdevant’s spiritually epic, temporally transporting interactive performance Footpaths ’92: A Spiritual Health and Psychic Wealth Expo. Over at the Mill City Museum, the Northern Voice Festival is presenting Voices in the Dark, with people singing together, and Amanda Lovelee and Julie Benda are taking down the Minnesotan modesty with We Are Great!
And this isn’t even getting to the Walker, or MCAD, and I’m getting sad that I’m going to miss out as I type this, so I’m going to stop now. Be brave, go out and experience new things, and write home about them. I’ll send a postcard from the Windy City, and hold out for good weather and fair winds for all of you.