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May Arts and Culture: MSP Makers

MSP Maker Faire

Letterpress cards by VSP

By Witt Siasoco, This Is Our City!

Makers—the artists, entrepreneurs and innovators (and aren’t they all the same?) who brighten our lives with the joy of creativity and their aesthetic panache—highlight May’s arts and culture selections. Art-A-Whirl, of course. But the MSP Maker Faire is big news, too.
Minneapolis/St. Paul Mini Maker Faire
May 14, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Minnesota State Fairgrounds, St. Paul
Robots, textiles and lasers, oh my! The Mini Maker Faire is back, after a blockbuster inaugural show last year. If you’re a tinkerer, coder, woodworker, crafter, farm hacker, artist, student, designer, chemist, roboticist, entrepreneur, scientist, food inventor, metalworker, educator, green technology creator, inventor, corporate designer or bicycle builder—whew!—and you’re not participating in the Faire, then it’s time for a visit. Not just a whirlwind tour.
Hosted by Leonardo’s Basement, and the brainchild of Maker Media in San Francisco, the Maker Faire is known as “the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth,” and is a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness—as well as celebration of the Maker Movement. This year’s MSP event showcases more than 250 local and regional makers. New participants include the Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center, which will demonstrate how to craft art with fire, and Pedal to the Metal Foundry, a portable furnace on a cargo bike for pouring bronze (make a sculpture to take home). Textile artists Cardamom Collective offers visitors the chance to create ikat weavings and block prints. Donutron—which bills itself as “the world’s most delicious indie arcade cabinet featuring new video games”—offers a sneak peak before debuting at Glam Doll Donuts. Get your tickets here.
Little Free Library Festival
May 21, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Minnehaha Park, Minneapolis
If you’re a reader (and who isn’t?) always on the hunt for your next favorite book, and are known to squeal “Ooohh, a Little Free Library” and dash across the street without regard to traffic to discover what you might find, then this event is definitely for you (us!). Plus the Little Free Library Festival is so much more than discovering a new read, and marveling over the design and construction of these adorable little libraries. One of our favorite local bands, the effervescent Brass Messengers, will perform. Courtney Holmes and other barbers will give free haircuts to kids who read them books while actor T. Mychael Rambo officiates. Bicyclists, tricyclists, unicyclists, skate-boarders, wagon-pullers, and stroller-pushers wearing tutus will compete in a fundraiser for Little Free Libraries. At noon, dogs outfitted to resemble their owners’ favorite authors and book characters will be on parade. Totes adorbs!!
May 20, 5-10 p.m.
May 21, noon to 8 p.m.
May 22, noon to 5 p.m.
Northeast Minneapolis
This year, Northeast Minneapolis’ must-do spring art show—held in buildings throughout NE—has an app to help you navigate. That way you can get out of your rut and explore! In addition to perusing your favorite artists and their work in their studios, Art-A-Whirl has events galore, including weaving and gelatin plate mono-print demos, performances and music parties. We’re particularly partial, this time, to happenings at the Chowgirls Lounge on the third floor of the Solar Arts Building, billed as a new mod lounge space, which will include seating from findfurnish, paintings by John Alspach, letterpress prints by Kimberly Tschida Petters from Vandalia Street Press, and live music hosted by Indeed Brewing next door. Get your groove on, mid-mod style.
This Is Our City!
Opening reception May 26, 5-7 p.m.
Intermedia Arts, Minneapolis
Creative CityMaking, a project through which Intermedia Arts has produced public art and performance pieces in North Minneapolis, Dinkytown and elsewhere, is being showcased this summer via an interactive visual art exhibition at Intermedia called This Is Our City! Creative CityMaking Minneapolis pairs staff in City of Minneapolis departments with experienced community artists to advance the City's goal of eliminating economic and racial disparities. This "One Minneapolis" goal is focused on ensuring that all residents can participate and prosper. The show highlights the recent work of such collaborations by sharing the tools and methods artists and City staff developed for equitable creative placemaking. Visitors will be able to contribute their own voices to the work. The exhibition will move to Minneapolis City Hall after closing in August at Intermedia.
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