Public art projects, spotlight on new works, and a tragic loss of life.

by Levi Weinhagen • Apr. 30

News and notes |

Greetings Minnesota Playlist Community!

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The Twin Cities theater community is reeling from the untimely death of 36-year-old lighting designer Jennifer DeGolier. Her work has been seen in productions with theater companies all over town. You've probably scene shows light by her without even knowing it.

This post from the State of the Arts blog has some lovely memories and reflections on Jen and her work from local theater artists.

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Last Thursday I was lucky enough to hear urban design/planning artist Candy Chang speak about her life and her work. Before Thursday I didn't know anything about Candy's work so it's very possible that you won't know about her either.

Here's how she describes herself on her website:
Candy Chang is an artist who explores making cities more comfortable and contemplative places. This is her site. Enjoy her projects here.

What I find really compelling about her work and the connection I see to theater is that it really seems to be about engaging with her audience by asking questions. Check out Candy's website to find out more about her various projects.

One of Candy's latest projects, Neighborland, has just been introduced to Minneapolis and St Paul providing a platform for citizens to share ideas about what they want to see in their communities. I wonder if there's a way to use this kind of tool to engage theater audiences and find out what they'd like to see less or more of?

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The Star Tribune has been running a series of articles and items on
new play development in Minnesota. They're talked about playwright Aditi Kapil as well as Playwrights Center head honcho Jeremy Cohen. It's some lovely exposure of theater artists and arts organizations in town and the articles raise some good questions about how new work
is fostered in Minnesota now and how there's room to improve upon how much new work is encouraged in town.

Really great to see all this coverage.

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The new work I'd like to mention this week is everything that will be happening in and around the May Day Parade on Sunday, May 6th.

The May Day parade is rich with performative experiences both planned and completely unexpected both for performers and audience. For the uninitiated there's the parade itself as well as a post-parade ceremony and a festival throughout Powderhorn park.

Past parades have been filled with singing, dancing, street theater, machines made from recycled and reclaimed materials, and lots and lots of puppets. It's an event that consistently makes me feel like I\'m a part of a community full of weird and wonderful artists. Which is a great feeling to have even if some of those artists could use a bath.

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Are you an actor, writer, director, dancer, choreographer, designer, any kind of artist who doesn't feel terribly strong in the business side of your life?

Springboard for the Arts offers a ten-session series called "Work of Art: Business Skills for Artists."

Right now you can sign up to take these workshops for free through the Hennepin county library system.

I've taken some of these workshops and as someone who is generally business dumb I can honestly say I've walked away feeling a little less dumb. No money and a little of your time to get less dumb sounds like a pretty good deal, right?

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Well, those are some things I'm excited about and interested in. Hopefully, there's something useful in there.

May you tell someone you care about what they mean to you this week and feel good as a result.

-Levi

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