ArtPlace, the same organization which funded a major community development project along Twin Cities central lightrail corridor, is now funding four new cultural initiatives in the Twin Cities. Each of these projects is aimed at bringing creative placemaking to urban communities, and incorporating the arts into city planning.
Listen to an interview with ArtPlace's Director Carol Coletta:
Here's how the projects break down:
Who: Native American Community Development Institute
What: Anpetu Was'te Cultural Arts Market
How Much: $435,000
This grant will be used to construct a pedestrian plaza on Franklin Avenue at the LRT station. The market will connect the Ventura Village and Seward neighborhoods while also creating spaces for performances and vendors. The grant includes commissions for four public art pieces for the plaza, which will serve as a gateway to the American Indian Cultural Corridor.
As a result of this grant four artists will be placed in residence in the Minneapolis Planning Division, where they will use their creative artistic talents to tackle the transportation, economic, environmental and social issues facing Minneapolis.
"The arts aren't just for theaters and museums: they're for our streets, our neighborhoods and our daily lives in every corner of our city, " said Mayor R.T. Rybak. "Thanks to the generosity of ArtPlace, visionary arts organizations in Minneapolis that focus on serving low-income communities and communities of color will have the resources they need to engage in the creative place-making that we already see coming to fruition downtown."
Who: Public Art Saint Paul and the City of Saint Paul
What: City Artists In Residence
How Much: $300,000
Building on the past several years' work of Saint Paul's Artist-in-Residence Marcus Young, this grant will bring in two additional artists, involving them in conversations on the shaping and programming of public spaces. This could manifest itself in ways that effect some of the basic systems of the city, from its water and infrastructure to daily social interaction.
Who: Pillsbury House + Theatre
What: Arts on Chicago
How Much: $250,000
The goal of "Arts on Chicago" is to build upon the presence of artists and arts-related businesses already present in the neighborhood to create a stronger, more vibrant community. The grant will fund 20 art projects, while also working to build a sustainable method for continuing these projects in years to come.
"I've loved this neighborhood for the past 17 years; it's an incredibly diverse, mind-expanding, alive, creative place to live and work," says Pillsbury House + Theatre co-director Noel Raymond. "Unfortunately, the true character of the neighborhood is not always reflected in media portrayals or, sometimes, in the physical landscape on Chicago Avenue. Artplace will help us bring awareness and transform the physical space, so that the energy and strengths of these neighborhoods are really recognized."
In announcing the new grants, which total $15 million nationwide, ArtPlace's Director Carol Coletta said: "These projects all exemplify the best in creative placemaking. They demonstrate a deep understanding of how smart investments in art, design, and culture as part of a larger portfolio of revitalization strategies can change the trajectory of communities and increase economic opportunities for people."
Sometimes the best drama - and comedy - in a theater is to be found backstage.
That's what inspired British playwright Michael Frayn to write his farcical play-within-a-play Noises Off!, which runs through July 29 at the Jungle Theater in Minneapolis.
Noises Off! follows the on and off stage antics of an acting troupe as they make their way from dress rehearsal to closing night. While the show has received one rave review, other critics are decidedly mixed. Read on for more...
Cheryl Willis in "Noises Off!" at the Jungle Theater in Minneapolis
Photo: Michal Daniel
Sass has orchestrated an amazing, wonderful "mess" of a show, and assembled a cast who showed up with their own bags of tricks, including impressive skills in clowning and dance. It's such an ensemble show, and they were all so perfectly cast, that I don't find it necessary to single anyone out. Terrific performances--without exception.
Frayn's play was inspired by the observation that the backstage drama at many plays is often wilder and more interesting than what's happening onstage. That's absoluely true: real life is amusing, especially when dramatized in such elegantly absurd fashion as Frayn manages in this classic script. The script is so good that it's hard to ruin--I must admit to laughing hard during the opening minutes of Act Three, but I think I would have been laughing much more often if Sass and his team had let these characters keep their feet on the ground.
Kimberly Richardson and E. J. Subkoviak in Noises Off! at the Jungle Theater in Minneapolis
...the Jungle Theater has rallied a team of talented contributors under the direction of Joel Sass who turn the intimate space into a thriving theatrical universe, teeming with minute-to-minute disfunctionality and frustration, along with empathy and responsiveness....The ensemble builds up a dynamic that increasingly blurs the line between the real and fictional play and demonstrates once again that human creativity and outrageousness are not mutually exclusive.
If Sass's staging does not always grab me by the seat of the pants, it is because of timing and casting. When it's working, the production is tightly wound and everything clicks. At other times, it drags, and you can see the thinking of both actors and director. This on/off quality is supposed to peel back the workings of the theater for laughs. Instead, it slows down the production that should be a tour-de-farce.
Did you see Noises Off! at the Jungle Theater? If so, what did you think?
Posted at 4:20 PM on June 12, 2012
by Marianne Combs
Filed under: Books
Today The Daily Circuit fielded listeners' recommendations for science fiction reading this summer. To save you the trouble of taking notes, the DC production staff compiled a list of every book mentioned in the course of the conversation. Enjoy!
The 'Mote in Gods Eye' by Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle
'Ender's Game' by Orson Scott Card
'Dragonriders of Pern' by Anne McCaffrey
'The Lathe of Heaven' turned me on to Ursula Le Guin's social science fiction. Also wrote 'Left Hand of Darkness,' Earthsea trilogy.
Star Trek short stories by various authors
Madeleine L'Engle's 'A Wrinkle in Time'
'It' by Stephen King
'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?' by Philip K. Dick
Andre Norton's 'Decision at Doona'
'Fahrenheit 451' by Ray Bradbury
'Tuck Everlasting' by Natalie Babbitt
'The Puppet Master' by Charlie Small
'Robot Dreams' by Isaac Asimov
'The Sparrow' by Mary Doria Russell
'The Lefthand of Darkness' by Ursula K. Le Guin
'The Dipossessed' by Ursula K. Le Guin
'Ship Breaker' by Paolo Bacigalupi
'The Maze Runner' trilogy by James Dashner
'The Mists of Avalon' by Marion Zimmer Bradley
'Dune' by Frank Herbert
'Sabriel' by Garth Nix
'Glory Road' by Robert A. Heinlein
'A Princess of Mars' by Edgar Rice Burroughs
'2312' by Kim Stanley Robinson
'Double Star' by Robert A. Heinlein
'Way Station' by Clifford Simak
'The Possibility of an Island' by Michel Houellebecq
'The Golden Compass' by Philip Larry Miven
'The Veldt' by Ray Bradbury
'The Illustrated Man' by Ray Bradbury
'Foghorn' by Ray Bradbury
'The Abhorsen' trilogy by Garth Nix
'The Martian Chronicles' by Ray Bradbury
'Vorkosigan Saga' by Lois Bujold
'Beggers in Spain' by Nancy Kress
'Blackout/All Cleary' by Connie Willis
'The Big Time' by Fritz Leiber
'Bimbos of the Death Sun' by Sharyn McCrumb
'Rocket Ship' by Robert Heinlein
'Sword in Sheath' by Andre Norton
'Gateway' by Frederik Pohl
'Danny Dunn' series by Bryce Courtenay
'The Door into Summer' by Robert A. Heinlein
'Have Space Suit-Will Travel' by Robert A. Heinlein
'20,000 Leagues Under the Sea' by Jules Verne
'An Experiment in Prophecy' by H.G. Wells
'Grass' by Sherri Tepper
'Planet of the Apes' by Pierre Boulle
'Patternist' series by Octavia Butler