On this episode of Culture Clique, we talk to Paul Schollmeier, Regional Fair Director for the 2018 science and engineering fair taking place at St Mary’s University in Winona, MN. We will talk about what it takes to put on a regional science fair and the good it does for the students and the greater community as well.
Minnesota Native News: Turtle Theater Collective Presents ‘Our Town,’ and Three Prolific Artists Are on Display at the Duluth Art Institute
HOST: This is Minnesota Native News, I’m Marie Rock.
Headlines: Coming up…: Theater company, Turtle Theater Collective, produces a rendition of Our Town, an American Classic…
And… the Duluth Art Institute hosts the work of three widely known artists in its current exhibit…
Here is reporter Leah Lemm with these stories…
STORY #1 - Turtle Theater Collective produces Our Town
REPORTER: I recently had the opportunity to sit in on a rehearsal with Turtle Theater Collective as they went over their lines for the play, Our Town, by Thornton Wilder. I spoke with Katherine Pardue, who is directing the play.
Pardue: I founded Turtle Theater company with Marissa Carr and Ernest Briggs about a year ago now.
Now we're doing OUR TOWN, which is an American, right, like white American classic, but refocused and re-centered with Native actors and with Native members of the creative team… in a Native community space.
REPORTER: OUR TOWN takes place in Grovers Corners, a fictional town, and is narrated by the stage manager, a character in the play, who addresses the audience. Themes include the passage of time and human connection.
The telling of this particular performance is framed with Native voices and takes place in the Native community.
PARDUE: We're performing it site-specific in the Dakota Lodge at the Division of Indian work. So site specific for theater means you're not altering the space, so using the existing structure of it to support our design choices and instead of having a set and all of that.
REPORTER: OUR TOWN became the play of choice due to the collective wanting to reframe a classic, plus the play asks the universal question - What is the meaning of life? AND reaches its own answer.
PARDUE: We've been discovering all the ways that it intersects with all of our lives and our lived experiences that it's a play about living and dying and getting married and what it is to lose a child or a parent, what it is to fall in love for the first time.
REPORTER: Adrienne January plays Mrs. Webb, a complex mother character. Adrienne remarked on her ability to find a universal connection to Mrs. Webb.
JANUARY: So my character, I tie into who I am now, plus who my mother was and who my grandmothers were, who my great grandmother was. I tie into to those, the maternal… making sure your children are fed and taken care of and they're getting an education.
REPORTER: Adrienne acts, but it’s been a while. OUR TOWN with Turtle Theater Collective was a compelling re-entry into acting.
JANUARY: I haven't been acting, so this was my… ‘Okay, I'm getting back into this,’ because I really liked this and Turtle Theater Collective with this particular production has just encompassed this whole feeling of what a diverse community, especially Minneapolis, what we're really about.
REPORTER: Performances of OUR TOWN will be held July 19th through July 29th at the Dakota Lodge, at the Division of Indian Work, in Minneapolis.
STORY #2 - Duluth Art Institute hosts work of three prolific artists
REPORTER: Next, The Duluth Art Institute, in collaboration with the St. Louis County Historical Society, and the Historic Union Depot Corporation, is showing over fifty pieces from three prolific Anishinaabe artists.
Christina Woods, the Executive Director of the Duluth Art Institute, walked me through the exhibit.
WOODS: So here we are in Niiyo-wiij-anishinaabeg. We’re featuring Carl Gawboy, Joe Geshick, and George Morrison, these three men had a friendship for a long time…
REPORTER: Carl Gawboy, Joe Geshick, and George Morrison’s friendship was inspiration for Niiyo-wiij-anishinaabeg, or FOUR FRIENDS, exhibit.
WOODS: These three are from either Boise Fort or the Grand Portage nation and I'm bringing them together in this exhibition because of their direct history together in northern Minnesota and how they branched out in their lives, explored all these artistic endeavors and then came back here to create their art.
The reason this is called FOUR FRIENDS or Niiyo-wiij-anishinaabeg is because the fourth friend is you or me.
REPORTER: I walked around the gallery, circling around the several structures that held the artwork, noting the wide variety of vivid and detailed pieces. Paintings on canvas, ink and watercolor on paper, and a few wood sculptures filled the Depot’s Great Hall.
WOODS: As you move through, you find yourself in very intimate spaces one on one with very powerful pieces of visual art. And in that way I'm hearing that's where people really find themselves becoming part of the relationship of all these artists.
REPORTER: A closing reception will take place Tuesday, July 24th at the Depot in Duluth.