Northern Lights.mn Newsletter – March 16th
AAA: Refugees, Migration, and Climate Change
Thursday, March 23, 7 pm
Global climate change causes dramatic effects on the migration of living things — plant, animal, and insect alike. The effect on many human communities can be hugely destructive. Extreme weather events such as floods and years-long droughts become intertwined with political instability, resulting in the forced mass movement people away from their homelands.
At this edition of the Anthropocene Awareness Association we hear from Northern Spark artists whose projects address the connections between climate and refugees through performative installations. They are joined in conversation by a local foreign policy affairs consultant who will provide contextual data on climate-based mass migrations globally.
AAA: Creative Protest Workshop
Saturday, April 1, 1 – 5 pm, social hour w/ Fulton beer to follow
What do we want?
Better protest art!
When we we want it?
As artists and activists, it’s time to up our game as we take to the streets to build the climate-just world we want and everyone needs. With Northern Spark 2017 partner and climate activists MN350.org, spend an afternoon learning techniques to maximize your visual presence in public space. From gigantic poster printing to LED signage lights to the usage of a simple button maker, this workshop is designed to give an introduction to several different methods of making a visual impact. All supplies provided, but you’re welcome to bring your own.
Top image: Manfred Morgner, Moos, image licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
This April, join us for our 7th installment of the Anthropocene Awareness Association series, featuring Robin Wall Kimmerer.
Friday, April 7, 7 pm
Mother, scientist, decorated professor, and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Robin Wall Kimmerer brings an acute care to her reflections on our relationships with the natural world. Writing in prose that breezes easily across scientific thinking, cultural history and indigenous ways-of-knowing, she forwards the belief that all kinds of life hold intelligence. Through stories about plants ranging from moss to strawberries to pecan trees, she demonstrates how humans can learn to listen better to what the natural world communicates. This kind of phenological attention, she urges, is necessary to repair inequitable relationships between human life and the rest of the earth.
Wall Kimmerer is the author of Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teaching of Plants, published by Milkweed Editions and Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses, which was awarded the John Burroughs Medal for outstanding natural writing. She lives in Fabius, New York where she is SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology, and the founder and director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment.
AAA: Anthropocene Awareness Association is a sometimes club, sometimes support group, always happy hour to discuss issues related to the core ideas of the Northern Spark festival’s year-long theme: Climate Chaos | Climate Rising.
Northern Spark 2017 is all about Neighborhoods!
Past Northern Spark audiences have wandered the late-night galleries of beloved institutions like the Walker Art Center, Mia, and MCAD—but Northern Spark 2017 is all about exploring the creativity and culture of public spaces in neighborhoods along the Metro Transit Green Line. Northern Spark will still be happening downtown (both of them!) but you’ll find equal excitement of this year’s festival in these neighborhoods:
Cedar Riverside Neighborhood (West Bank)
Little Africa District (Snelling Ave)
Rondo Neighborhood (Lexington Pkwy)
Northern Spark art projects in Rondo will engage the rich history of Black creativity in the neighborhood and make connections to climate justice through a variety of art forms. Northern Spark’s neighborhood partner is the Aurora St. Anthony Neighborhood Community Development Corporation, with participation from the High School for Recording Arts.
Little Mekong District (Western Ave)
The Little Mekong Night Market is the first and only Southeast Asian Night Market in the Twin Cities featuring local food, art and performances that run until midnight. Check out the festival in this video: Little Mekong Night Market 2015.
This year, the Little Mekong Night Market has a thematic focus on water, and Northern Spark projects will carry this theme. Water is seen as a connector, connecting multiple Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. Water is sacred to many of these cultures, but can also remind other Southeast Asian communities of struggle and war.
Weisman Art Museum (East Bank)
The Commons (US Bank Stadium)
Lowertown (Union Depot)
What are the members of our Program Council excited for?
Our Program Council, made up of artists from our core neighborhoods (Little Mekong, Little Africa, Cedar Riverside, and Rondo), is extremely excited for the upcoming festival. Adan Dirie mentions, “I am looking forward to seeing how the idea of ‘Home’ and climate chaos intersect considering Ifrah [Mansour] and a few other artists’ pieces.” Aki Shibata, who will also be an artist in Little Mekong says that she is “looking forward to seeing the power of art to make us rethink about our Mother Earth.” Northern Spark and the Program Council worked together to select the pieces of art for each of the core neighborhoods. As mentioned by Filsan Ibrahim, “I can’t wait to see the community of art we have helped to create.”
Water is Life train wrap design by artist Andrea Carlson, photo courtesy of Metro Transit
The Northern Spark Metro Transit light-rail train is currently speeding along the METRO Green Line between Minneapolis and Saint Paul! Post your best photo of Andrea Carlson’s stunning train wrap design to social media by March 31st with the hashtag #catchatrainNS to win two tickets to the Northern Spark Launch Party! The Catch-A-Train Photo Contest will be juried by the new curator of Photography and New Media at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Yasufumi Nakamori. The winning photo will be featured on our social media, in our newsletter, and on our website!
This year’s Launch Party is not one to be missed. Featuring special musical guests ZULUZULUU, catered food by eight local restaurants, and complimentary beer from Fulton Brewing and cocktails by Crooked Water Spirits, your ears and your tastebuds will be signing in celebration as we kick off the night of Northern Spark 2017.
And–during the Northern Spark festival, take the METRO Green Line for free to get you to and from the Northern Spark neighborhoods all night long.
*By submitting your photo to the Catch-A-Train Photo Contest, you give permission to Northern Lights.mn to share and reproduce your photo on any of its media platforms for non-commercial purposes.
Solar Artists Workshop
Sunday, March 26th 12 – 4 pm
Just a few spots left for the Solar Artists Workshop happening at the Soap Factory on March 26th!
Can your art project be solar powered?
Solar power can give you greater mobility within urban and rural landscapes, providing you with the facility to explore new aesthetic spaces for Placemaking, temporary or mobile installations, and community outreach. A solar powered art project not only reduces your carbon footprint, it encourages dialog about art, energy consumption, and Climate Change within the community.
In this hands-on workshop you will:
– Learn how to read a multimeter
– Experience the variables of solar power by going on a solar scavenger hunt
– Power small electronics with photovoltaics
– Learn how to calculate loads using Ohm’s law
The Solar Artists Workshop is FREE. Supported by a grant from the Institute on the Environment, the workshop will focus on photovoltaics (solar panels), with brief examples of other forms such as solar thermal, solar cooking, and passive solar. All disciplines, age 18+, all experience levels, welcomed and encouraged. Lunch will be provided. Register here.
Communicating About Climate Change
Photo by Sarah Peters
Festival Projects Manager Ady Olson and Co-Director Sarah Peters just returned from three days in the north woods where they attended the Institute for Non-formal Climate Change Education. Convened by Northern Spark partner Climate Generation, this gathering brought together people who work in wide-ranging fields from zoos to nature centers, to build their skills in talking with the public about climate change. They learned how to describe the carbon cycle in 60 seconds or less and learned communications models for connecting the fundamentals of global warming to non-science issues. And like any good retreat, each long day of workshops included a bit of time to walk in the woods. Thanks to Climate Gen for a thorough and inspiring get-away!