Archived Posts from this Category
Archived Posts from this Category
Minnesota in the ’70s, our documentary co-produced with Twin Cities Public Television’s Minnesota Productions & Partnerships (tptMN), is nominated for a 2014 Upper Midwest Emmy® Award by the Upper Midwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in the Historic/Cultural/Nostalgic category!
More about the project:
The 1970s were more than big hair, mirror balls, and leisure suits. These were the years that bridged the chasm between the anti-establishment tumult of the 1960s and the morning-in-America conservatism of the 1980s. In Minnesota, this evolution unfolded in ways that defied expectations. No longer was Minnesota merely a vague, snow-covered outpost in the American consciousness. It was a place of note and consequence—a state of presidential candidates, grassroots activism, civic engagement, environmental awareness, and Mary Tyler Moore. Its governor appeared on the cover of Time magazine. Its city skylines shot up with uncharacteristic immodesty. Its farmers enjoyed some of their best years ever. Minnesota forged an identity during the 1970s that would persist, rightly or wrongly, for decades to come.
This is the second nomination for an MNHS Press/tptMN co-production. Last year, our Asian Flavors documentary won an Upper Midwest Emmy® in the Cultural category!
As part of the One Minneapolis One Read program, a new exhibit opens this week at Mill City Museum and Juxtaposition Arts with a panel discussion and opening reception on Oct. 24, 6-9 pm at Mill City Museum.
The panelists will include:
Archie Givens, President, The Givens Foundation for African American Literature
Robin Hickman, Founder, SoulTouch Productions’ In the Footsteps of Gordon Parks Legacy Initiative and a great-niece of Gordon Parks
Wing Young Huie, photographer
Jahliah Holloman, Juxtaposition apprentice
Moderator: Daniel Bergin, TPT
Minneapolis residents will have a unique opportunity to view a collection of photos by Gordon Parks and join in a community conversation around his book A Choice of Weapons, this year’s One Minneapolis One Read selection.
The exhibit will also feature approximately 30 photographs created by Minneapolis high school students alongside images by Parks, on loan from The Gordon Parks Foundation.
Taking inspiration from the book, the students worked with acclaimed photographer Jamel Shabazz at Juxtaposition Arts to create their own photographs. Shabazz will work with the students in early October during a week-long artist residency. (See feature in TC Daily Planet!)
For more information about these and other events visit the One Minneapolis One Read website.
About the Artist-in-Residence
Shabazz is an award winning photographer based in Brooklyn, NY, who has drawn influence from Gordon Parks, James Van Der Zee, Robert Capa, Chester Higgins and Eli Reed. Shabazz is also known for his community based youth work.
About the book A Choice of Weapons by Gordon Parks
One Read’s goals are to promote through literature and discussion a better understanding of race and the impacts of racism on our communities. A Choice of Weapons is a compelling autobiography, first published in 1966, about how Parks struggled against extreme poverty to find his purpose as a photographer, writer, director and musician.
A Minnesotan who developed an impressive artistic legacy that included an extensive photographic body of work, Parks documented important African-American political, artistic, cultural figures as well as daily life.
A Choice of Weapons is available in paperback at local independent and chain bookstores, online booksellers and MHS Press. It’s also available through the Hennepin County Library.
About One Minneapolis One Read
One Minneapolis One Read is presented by The City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County Library and Minneapolis Public Schools to promote literacy and respectful public dialogue. Minneapolis residents can play a positive role in their communities and explore important – sometimes difficult – issues that they face as a community by reading A Choice of Weapons and getting involved.
At its heart, One Minneapolis One Read is a community-driven effort with individuals, neighborhood groups, educators, businesses and nonprofits all coming together to make this a truly citywide read. Read the book. Join the Conversation.
One Minneapolis One Read is a collaboration of The City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County Library and Minneapolis Public Schools with support from Clear Channel Outdoor, Comcast, Gray Plant Mooty, Mill City Museum, Minnesota Historical Society Press, Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC), Pillsbury House Theatre and The YWCA of Minneapolis.
About Juxtaposition Arts
Juxtaposition Arts is a youth contemporary arts program, teen-staffed design firm and nonprofit cultural development center that anchors a diverse neighborhood in North Minneapolis.
Juxtaposition’s mission is to develop community by engaging and employing young urban artists in hands-on education initiatives that create pathways to self-sufficiency while actualizing creative power. We envision the youth of north Minneapolis entering the creative workforce as dynamic innovators and problem solvers with the confidence, skills, and connections they need to accomplish their goals and contributed to the revitalization of the communities where they live and work.
Juxtaposition believes that the creative genius of youth is an underutilized community asset. Since 1995, the organization has nurtured connections between underserved Twin Cities’ youth and artists and the region’s vibrant art and design communities.
About the Minnesota Historical Society
The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. The Society collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and book publishing. Using the power of history to transform lives, the Society preserves our past, shares our state’s stories and connects people with history.
Our Asian Flavors documentary, co-produced with tptMN, won the 2013 Upper Midwest Regional Emmy® Award from the Upper Midwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) in the Cultural Documentary category.
Inspired by the book Asian Flavors: Changing the Tastes of Minnesota since 1875 by Phyllis Louise Harris with Raghavan Iyer, this thirty-minute documentary celebrates Asian immigrants who have left an indelible and flavorful mark on Minnesota’s culinary, cultural, and economic history.
Congratulations to a winning team!
The Asian Flavors team:
Daniel Pierce Bergin, Producer/Director
Angela Barrett, Production Assistant
Fanique Weeks-Kelley, Production Manager
Jim Kron, Director of Photography
Jerry Lakso, Online Editor
Bob Tracy, Executive in Charge
Pamela McClanahan, Project Consultant
Phyllis Louise Harris, Co-writer/Project Consultant
Raghavan Iyer, Presenter
Shari Lamke, Senior Director-Supervising Producer
Lucy Swift, Vice President, MN Productions & Partnerships
Terry O’Reilly, Chief Content Officer
We are honored to have one of our books selected as the One Minneapolis One Read title for 2013. This year’s selection is A Choice of Weapons by Gordon Parks. (Last year’s was Spirit Car by Diane Wilson, also published by MHS Press.)
For more information on the One Minneapolis One Read program, please visit
About the book:
This compelling autobiography, first published in 1966, tells how Parks managed to escape the poverty and bigotry around him and launch his distinguished career by choosing the weapons given him by “a mother who placed love, dignity, and hard work over hatred.”
In 2010 we re-released the book with a new foreword by Wing Young Huie.
Gordon Parks (1912–2006)-–photographer for Life magazine, writer, composer, artist, and filmmaker-–was only sixteen in 1928 when he moved from Kansas to St. Paul, Minnesota, after his mother’s death. There, homeless and hungry, he began his fight to survive, to educate himself, and to “prove my worth.” Working as a janitor, railroad porter, musician, or basketball player in such places as St. Paul, Chicago, and New York, Parks struggled against poverty and racism. He taught himself photography with a secondhand camera, worked for black newspapers, and began to document the poverty among African Americans on Chicago’s South Side. Then his photographic work brought him to Washington, DC, as first a photographer with the federal Farm Security Administration and later a war correspondent during World War II.
War can strain the bonds of love. No one understood that better than Minnesotans Madison and Lizzie Bowler. During the American Civil War, Madison and Lizzie courted, married, became parents, and bought a farm. They attended dances, talked politics, and confided their deepest fears. Because of the war, however, they experienced all of these events separately, sharing them through hundreds of letters. Discover how Madison and Lizzie maintained their steadfast commitment to one another, even as they struggled to balance extraordinary duty and distance with ordinary life and love in time of war.
Written by Minnesota playwright Victoria Stewart, this original play is based on the Bowlers’ letters, held in the Minnesota Historical Society’s collection and published in the 2008 MHS Press book Go If You Think It Your Duty by Andrea R. Foroughi. It is directed by Ivey Award-winner Craig Johnson, with popular and award-winning local actors Peter Hansen, Anna Sundberg, Dietrich Poppen, and Abby DeSanto. The play features live performances of Civil War-era music with original musical direction by James Lekatz.
There are two show times: Saturday, April 6, at 2 p.m. or Tuesday, April 9, at 7 p.m. Cost is $15 or $11 for MHS members. Advance purchase is required and can be made by calling 651-259-3015 or online.
This program is made possible with support from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, voted into law by the people of Minnesota in 2008.
Order your beverage of choice at Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar while shopping at The Lowertown Neighborhood Holiday Bazaar happening tonight and tomorrow and view the “Saint Paul/Imniza Ska–A Dakota Place” exhibit at the cafe.
Based on the book, Mni Sota Makoce: The Land of the Dakota by Gwen Westerman and Lowertown resident, Bruce White, the exhibit features a ceiling high mural by Owen McBride Platt depicting the history of the Dakota people in St. Paul.
Stay tuned for more info on events related to the exhibit.
This year marks the centennial of the birth of Gordon Parks, accomplished photographer, poet, filmmaker, composer, and novelist. The Weinstein Gallery in Minneapolis is hosting an exhibit celebrating Parks’s life and work. The exhibit includes forty of his most influential photographs taken throughout his career, from impoverished teen to artistic legend.
Parks was the first African American photographer for Life magazine and the first African American to direct a major Hollywood motion picture. His work has been influential in many areas, including American Gothic, Civil Rights, and high fashion in Vogue. Similar to his memoir, A Choice of Weapons, the exhibit, open now through July 28, shows his evolution as an artist “from rural Kansas and early years in St. Paul to his decades of work as a Life magazine photographer.”
“In my youth, violence became my enemy . . . Photography, writing, music, and film are the weapons I use against it” –Gordon Parks
This coming weekend will mark the 46th Annual Edina Art Fair. Friday, June 1, to Sunday, June 3, enjoy a fun family outing at the corner of 50th & France. The Edina Art Fair, the second largest in Minnesota, is the first official art fair of the summer.
This fair showcases a large variety of art from around the Twin Cities and the country. Over three hundred artists will be displaying their unique works, including painting, photography, ceramics, engravings, wood carvings, glasswork, and jewelry. The fair also includes a special collection of GREEN artwork made by artists using only recycled materials. Artists were chosen from over six hundred applicants from around the country.
The Edina Art Fair also offers different events, activities, and performances each day. Throughout the weekend there will be fashion shows and musical performances, and a Kids Art Zone provides activities for the whole family, including face painting and puppet shows. A full list of activities and performance times is available at the Edina Art Fair website.
A fair would not be complete without delicious food: plenty of booths from local restaurants are gathered in two food courts. Enjoy smoothies, kettle corn, tacos, lemonade, and more.
The Edina Art Fair runs from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm, Friday through Sunday, and admission is free. See the website for parking tips.
Whether you’re an art buff or just want to enjoy good music and great food, be sure to stop by the 46th Annual Edina Art Fair this weekend!
Minnesota Museums Month is a statewide celebration of museums, their stories, and their communities. This May, visit a new museum in your community, take a road trip, or return to one of your favorites that you haven’t seen in a while. Museums of every type—art, historical, science, arboretums, zoos, and more—are participating.
The Minnesota History Center is one of approximately six hundred museums in the state! Check out www.museumsmonth.org as well as their Facebook and Twitter feeds for more information and events.
Minnesota Museums Month launches in conjunction with the 106th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Museums. Being held in Minneapolis/St. Paul, the meeting will welcome more than five thousand museum professionals from institutions in every state and more than thirty countries. Minnesota’s vibrant museum and cultural community provides an ideal setting for this year’s theme, “Creative Community.”
Our new book Building Museums: A Handbook for Small and Midsize Organizations by Robert Herskovitz, David Grabitske, and Timothy Glines was released earlier this year. If you are attending the AAM meeting, please stop by the Minnesota Historical Society Press booth to check it out!
See you out and about at Minnesota museums next month!
From the theatre’s website: “Rainbow-colored headdresses, pulsating drumming, and fancy footwork are part of the excitement of a Native American powwow. World Champion Fancy Dancer Larry Yazzie and the Native Pride Dancers perform flamboyant movements passed down by their ancestors and sacred songs from the Northern Plains.”