2015 Cultural Celebration
Hosted by the Black and Latin@ Caucuses
Friday, November 20, 2015
Cultural Celebration: 7:15 p.m.–9:00 p.m.
Minneapolis Convention Center | Room 102 D-F
Complimentary Event with Convention Registration
Refreshments will be served.
Click Here to RSVP
The sounds of the soul, the voices and verbs of the spoken word highlight an evening of culture, history, and performance. This dynamic event will start at the word when music meets breath, interacting and converging in conversation, using spoken word poetry to reclaim identities and challenge inequities around language, privilege and power. Each performance will illuminate issues transcultural and representative of neo-American being, while highlighting children and featuring stories told through themes of social justice and communities of harmony. Youth poets and performers will provide the platform on which drumbeats and dance will dramatize this new integrative dialogue, staging the power of culture and the aesthetics of human practice to engage the connective work of inclusion.
This program will remind us of the importance of championing the transformational voices of the next generation folded into vibrations of the unforgotten past. These young people will excite and delight you, make you feel proud to be a member of our diverse world.Special performances by local author/poet Danez, KetzalCoatlicue, and Voice of Culture Drum and Dance.
Danez Smith is the author of [insert] boy (2014, YesYes Books), a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award and the Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America. His 2nd collection will be published by Graywolf Press in 2017. His work has published & featured widely including in Poetry Magazine, Beloit Poetry Journal, Buzzfeed, Blavity, & Ploughshares. He is a 2014 Ruth Lilly - Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellow, a Cave Canem and VONA alum, and a recipient of a McKnight Foundation Fellowship. He is a 2-time Individual World Poetry Slam finalist, placing 2nd in 2014. He edits for The Offing & is a founding member of 2 collectives, Dark Noise and Sad Boy Supper Club. He lives in the midwest most of the time.
KetzalCoatlicue (Precious Mother Earth) is a Kalpulli (learning community) of Indigenous people joined by the desire to learn, share and live the tradition of Mexican Aztec dance. Led by director Aztec Dance Captain Susana De León, KetzalCoatlicue pursues this spiritual, mental, and physical vocation with music from the sacred drum, conch shells, seeds and other instruments gifted by the natural environment.
KetzalCoatlicue was established in the year 2000 in South Minneapolis. Since then, KetzalCoatlicue has developed three programs for children and youth and teachers workshops twice a week to multiage members. KetzalCoatlicue has participated in community celebrations, educational and political events and holds three annual ceremonies connected to cultural Mexican traditions. They are located in South Minneapolis and joining the group is free.
About Voice of Culture VoC
Since 2008, VoC has served as a core for Black arts and culture in Minnesota. Voice of Culture is a collection of artists dedicated to the study of West African arts and culture. We are also artists and social activists committed to using our art as a vehicle for social change, namely Black Liberation. The VoC philosophy explores the connections between many forms of Black art. We do this through presentations, sharing, workshops, artist residencies, presentations in schools, and cultural exchange.
As is custom in West Africa, all company members play instruments, sing and dance in the
cultural tradition. We strive to share the beauty and the cultural specificity of the traditional rhythms, movements, and songs of West African people. As descendants of enslaved Africans, this study is a great honor to us, and an attempt to discover truths about the culture we lost over the Middle Passage. It is through the art of our ancestral people that we come to
understand our history, our ancestry, and our places in contemporary society.