Reflecting on the work and art of the past three years
Please note: This blog post includes many of the traumas of the past three years. Please read with care.
December 31st, 2019
The World Health Organization country office in China reports several cases of pneumonia of “unknown etiology”. Symptoms include shortness of breath and a fever. Meanwhile millions around the globe are innocently, obviously staring down the barrel of a new decade with 20/20 vision. There’s hope in the air, it’s almost electric. Another World Is Possible. The words rang like a gong, heavy and attention grabbing, metallic on the tongue that dared to speak it. Another World Is Possible. Things were changing, and at Pangea, with our production of Sueño about to begin, we were eager to see where we would go next.
March 11th, 2020
Temperatures were in the low to mid 50s in the Twin Cities, clouds rolled a pale gray across the sky turning greens greener, vivid. After four thousand–two hundred–ninety one deaths worldwide, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a pandemic.
Pan– a prefix inferring the encompassment of all. Taken, originally, from Greek loanwords; Panacea, Panoply — Pangea. The “gea” is a shortening of Gaia or Gaea, known by most as the great Mother Earth, the embodiment of our world. Yet, also known as the land, the earth itself, the Gaia. By a literal definition, that would mean that Pangea is another way to say “All Mothers”, or “All Land”.
Demic– a suffix, naturally, of Greek origin meaning “people”. Academic, syndemic, epidemic.
Pandemic. “All People”, as in “All people are not safe. All people will not be able to escape the shadow of this virus. It will come into your homes, take your family, your pets, your friends, and it will follow you. All of you.”
Pangea. “All mothers.” By now, we could have all used a mother. To help us get through whatever this is this-this fear, to help carry the weight on our chests as we held our breath close to our bodies, careful. But many of us didn’t have our mothers. More of us didn’t know when we’d be able to see our mothers again, our voices trembling as we coughed out the “if”. “If” there would be a return to a normal, “If” this would all blow over, “If” the world would recover.
Those questions soon turned to “If” there would be room at the hospital for us, “If” there would be a machine available to breathe for us, until we could breathe on our own again. The “if” we would ever be able to breathe on our own again. “If” we’d ever see our mothers again.
March 13th, 2020
A woman is asleep in her bed when a hurricane of horror blows into her home in Louisville, Kentucky.
Seven to One: one moment, one one second, one woman. Gone, taken in her own home.
Breonna Taylor. Breonna Taylor. Breonna Taylor.
But we won’t learn her name and story for months to come .
March 15th, 2020
“So much has changed so fast already, friends, and much will perhaps never be the same. “
As we all begin to settle in for “two weeks”, the lines of dreams and reality have already begun to blur. The word “unprecedented” has entered everyone’s daily vocabulary.
There was a show underway, one that spoke of kings and destiny and … isolation. Something we’d only begun to share with our community. Nonetheless, the show felt important, it was important. “Our production of Sueño was cut short by one week in order to keep all of our ensemble and community members safe and healthy. All ensemble and crew were still paid until the end of the run of the show.”
March 16th, 2020
We sit in the office, and the mood is admittedly somber. We are separated out from one another, filling the ever-present space between each body with longing looks.
Staff meeting. So much to do, and no clear future to go with it. Everything is blurry; the whiplash of one day being able to reach out and touch our fellow ensemble members, hold them close if they need it, and the next day hearing that one touch, one breath, and it may be the last time you ever see that person— that friend again.
Uncertainty is palpable, but not frightening.
We are familiar with uncertainty, and as such we know that whatever comes next, we’ll be ready for it.
Well, maybe not “ready”. But regardless, we shall continue onwards. Wherever it leads.
March 26, 2020
We started the Call & Response blog as billions of people worldwide were confined to their houses and turning inward towards reading, reflection (and binge streaming/listening) for sustenance. We presented an eclectic selection of (mostly reading) materials to inspire, inform, entertain, and hopefully generate meaningful dialogue with those around you and those at a distance. To date, publishing ten interviews and profiles, thirty reading lists, and two original essays.
People are worried we may never see what we’d come to know as “normal” ever again. Some were already mourning, and rightfully so. It hurts. We all can feel that.
“We hope that you and yours are safe and healthy… We see you, and we love you.”
But you see, change has never scared Pangea.
“This is cause for despair and mourning, yes…”
Though we have never experienced change on such a level before— Our goal, our mission, remains the same.
“... But [it is] also cause for reflection, for hope and for imagination and action.”
We are here. We are here to hold you, support you, and get through this with you. We are here to grow with you.
“Let us harness that in the months ahead and let us journey together on this difficult road towards a better future for all.”
May 25th, 2020
Do you remember where you were? Were you with your family? Did you have Covid? Were you listening to the news?
We remember. We remember it all.
What do you think it’s like to die over 20 dollars? A Jackson can’t get you very much these days. Maybe a halfway-decent meal from a halfway-decent restaurant. A nice book, a couple of groceries.
His body hits the ground. Passersby grab their phones, unaware of the consequences, repercussions, of immortalizing these next eight minutes, forty-six seconds on their tiny screens.
Now seven, George is trying to explain but the words are hard to get out when someone’s knee is on your throat. “I can’t believe this”.
Six minutes– George is getting desperate, flailing for some sort of motion that would somehow get through to these people, these people, that there is no need for what’s happening. “Please man.” His neck hurts, his stomach hurts, everything hurts. Though air is hard to come by now, he manages to call out to his mother.
His mother. His mom.
Who knew that after forty-four years, the desperation for one’s mother when you’re scared– terrified, dying— is just as poignant as it was when you scraped your knee in kindergarten.
Five minutes now. If Chauvin gets up now, George might be lucky enough to not have brain damage. But no, “You’re killing me, man.”
Four. “Tell my kids I love them.”
Two. “I can’t breathe.”
We remember what happened next. Do you?
May 26th, 2020
They shut down the city. Adults and youth alike subjected to curfew like naughty children, forced back into their homes as chaos took their front yard, back yard, their own front steps. Chaos erupts at a Target of all places, looting and destruction make the hollow corporate shell crack, and out spews eons of sweet revenge. Newscasters swarm like flies, licking every piece of it up.
“We stand in solidarity with George Floyd’s family, with the Black Lives Matter movement and with all the protesters calling for long overdue systemic change.”
While our minds may join them, playing the role of witness, it was not where our hearts are. Our hearts were with you, our community, who share our roll as a witness.
We witnessed tragedy unfold at its deepest mark, yes, but we also saw nurses and doctors doing everything they could to save life after life. Frontline workers making sure everyone has what they need. Fellow protesters brought food, milk, water, supplies to those who dared stare down injustice.
There was hope in the air, we could feel it.
May 28th, 2020
The fires take Franklin Street. Our sister organization Ghandi Mahal takes the impact head on.
“Let my building burn”.
They don’t ask who started the looting, or the “riots”. They don’t show how peaceful each protest started, only the swat teams marching in to throw poison at innocent people.
Who do they protect?
Do you think they said his name?
"At this time, when it feels impossible to simply go back to work, we ask the artists in our ensemble to respond to this time, this space, this moment. Going back to business as usual is not possible. We are charging the artist/activists we work with everyday to document this moment in history, this potent moment charged with resistance. Through plays, song, visual arts – we create an equitable and just space from burnt ashes, debris and shattered glass! We rise and proclaim – Yes, another world is possible and it's time is NOW!" Meena Natarajan and Dipankar Mukherjee Artistic Directors
Another World is Possible: Pangea Artists Envision
Suzanne Victoria Cross presented Open Water Project: Words Aren't Enough.
A Zoom and Facebook presentation
Words aren't enough to address the violent act of covert racism that is concealed in the fabric of our society. It lives in the body. In an attempt to heal, Suzanne invited the community to go on an artistic exploration in how many different art forms can express what goes through the mind and body when our language and security are ripped away.
Lake Street Arts! Lake Street Story Circle
Miré Regulus presented And on the Other Side is … grief, transformation, resisting immobility, and release
This moment is an interrogation of the worn-out litany "It happened, it's finished – get over it." The breaking and the weeping, the marching and the destruction, the organizing and the advocacy, the anger and the fire tells us that that dismissive litany no longer stands. Oya, the orisa of death and rebirth, of transformation is speaking – she says, "You can't go around me on this one." In her continued community conversations with artists, politicians, community activists, and cultural workers who are working the transformations/outcomes of the once and future Lake Street through July.
Rebecca Nichloson led the Zoom workshop Minneapolis: An Awakening, A Reckoning, A Search for Breath
Nichloson shared her poem Minneapolis: An Awakening, A Reckoning, A Search for Breath and discussed its underlying themes. Workshop participants are asked to respond to writing prompts and exercises and are encouraged to continue developing their pieces after the workshop.
Juma B. Essie in conversation Blackness is Nature
Lake Street in Minneapolis is punctuated by bodies of water: the Mississippi River to the east and Lake of the Isles and Bde Maka Ska to the west. Between these undeniable natural parenthesis lies paragraphs of urbanity. Often as a Black man who fishes, hikes, and camps I feel like a walking paradox. The assumptions of who I am butt up against the reality of what I am doing. Just being, thinking, quiet. In five one-on-one conversations with other Black people about their relationship with and in nature, Essie asks, “What is the experience of being Black in nature in the Twin Cities? How is it shaped and informed by the parenthesis and paragraphs of Lake Street?”
Johanna Keller Flores, Baki Z Porter, and Ellis Pérez created Tenemos la responsabilidad to hold one another
Centering queer Black and brown artists, Flores, Porter, and Pérez questioned the role of art and joy in times of confusion, grief, guilt, rage? Como se puede hacer amigxs? Cómo podemos mostrar solidaridad verdadera con el arte hoy? Hoy digo, hoy. Quiero que todxs que me conozcan sepan que juntos tenemos la responsabilidad to hold each other. To center Black and indigenous voices. Pa enfocar en las voces Negras e indígenas. To celebrate one another.
Mollie Lacy presented Redefining Power
COVID-safe gathering in Powderhorn Park
Our community is more powerful than we could have ever imagined.
With calls for defunding the police and abolishing prison, this Story Circle invited the community to reconceptualize what power means to us. How to hold onto it — grow it and share it. How to be adaptable to the moment and committed to Black liberation and the collective liberation for all.
Sandra Agustin created Corner Conversations: Make a Wish for Lake Street
Throughout the summer, on various corners on Lake Street, Sandra invited passersby to join her in conversation around their wishes for Lake Street. What do you wish for Lake Street? In an effort to understand and share who lives along the corridor, how long they have lived there, what they see, what they want, and to build a sense of curiosity about and give hope to what will rise from the ashes.
Masanari Kawahara and Molly Van Avery envisioned Make a Sanctuary of Me
Visual artist Masnari Kawahara and writer Molly Van Avery held their story circle in the Powderhorn Park sanctuary. During the summer, hundreds of people experiencing homelessness lived in tents in the park directly following the uprisings that resulted from the death of George Floyd and the historic legacy of police brutality. People were moved into the park after being evicted from a hotel on Lake Street that had been taken over and named a sanctuary. The artists spoke with people living in the park prior to their forced removal. Kawahara drew portraits with sumi-ink while Van Avery wrote them a poem based on their conversations.
Sequoia Hauck presented Collective Healing: Taking Time to Recharge
What are the ways we can recharge in times like these? How can collective healing and storytelling bring us closer? In what ways do anger, rage, sorrow, and grief all play into self healing? And how does our connection to the land contribute to our collective strength? In this BIPOC-only story circle, folks virtually gathered together to share stories of resiliency. Sequoia facilitated a mindfulness activity to strengthen our connection with the land and ourselves.
Aegor Ray presented future/crowns
A COVID-safe gathering at Plaza Centenario
Lake Street is the beating heart of Minneapolis — and now the epicenter of the global movement to abolish the police. Black liberation, queer/trans liberation and the end of carceral white supremacist capitalism are the roots that will grow a just and joyous future world. Aegor invited community visions for change in our community 25, 200, 3000 years from now. Offerings were given to the public: small houseplants and jarred mixtures of epsom salts and essential oils to encourage rootedness in our present moment, both brief and expansive.
August 7, 2020
Webinar: Politically Engaged Art Amid Multiple Pandemics
In collaboration with Imagining Transnational Solidarities Research Circle and Mizna
The first of a virtual talk series that grappled with the political tensions emerging at the intersections of multiple pandemics — COVID-19, anti-Black racism, casteism, and anti-Muslim violence — as well as the revolutionary possibilities and deep challenges that the present moment revealed to us.
August 8th, 2020
Katia Cardenas presented The Burning Truth Project, COVID-safe performances in Meena and Dipankar’s backyard.
Through song and story, Katia and collaborators Andrina Brogden and Sarah M. Greer shared their Burning Truths — the feeling of the boat going to the bottom, the sinking feeling of existence within a society that lets injustices go unanswered, the frustration. As another installment of Another World is Possible: Pangea Artists Envision, They stoked the flames of a brilliant passion into a roaring display of heart and soul.
August 12th, 2020
Our Jenny Zander presented Rising from Concrete: Voice, Movement & Color along Lake Street, a COVID-safe performance at Moon Palace Books, as another installment of Another World is Possible: Pangea Artists Envision.
What does it mean to rebuild, redistribute and ultimately grow amid civil & societal unrest?
Concrete creates a barrier between us and the land. But plants will always push through the cracks. Through voice, movement and color dancers cascaded, took root and then rose again from the pavement.
September 4, 2020
Webinar: Politically Engaged Art Amid Pandemic and Protest
In collaboration with Imagining Transnational Solidarities Research Circle, Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change - ICGC of the University of Minnesota, Mizna, AGITATE!, and Parakh Minnesota.
October 8, 2020
National Institute for Directing & Ensemble Creation presented Black Directors Roundtable, in collaboration with Art2Action.
Featuring: Sharon Bridgforth, Lou Bellamy of Penumbra, Stephanie McKee of Junebug Productions, and Steven Sapp of UNIVERSES. Moderated by Linda Parris-Bailey.
October 10th, 2020
Adlyn Carreras presented Mothers Respond: Songs and Poetry for George Floyd, a COVID-safe gathering in Powderhorn Park.
Pangea. “All mothers.”
We all heard it. The way George called for his mother. But she couldn’t go to him. His words were still ringing in the cosmos, and Adlyn Carreras, as a mother, could not leave his pleas unanswered. In contribution to Another World is Possible: Pangea Artists Envision, Adlyn gathered mothers of all different walks of life. Through drumming, song, and poetry sent their love, comfort, pain-soothing coos of adoration and strength to his spirit, and to all of those without their mothers to protect them.
October 11, 2020
Raising the Tree of Peace, Tree of Life, Tree for the Future
Supporting Indigenous Peoples Task Force, and Sharon Day.
Many people responded to Sharon Day’s invitation to send their messages to future generations. From a place of deep love, the purest truth, and with hope, people created leaves with their messages to be part of the Tree of Peace, Tree of Life, Tree for the Future. People from all over Turtle Island contributed to this large-scale sculpture.
We raised the tree at the Minnesota State Capitol with the wish that our leaders enact policies that reflect our prayers that everyone be able to live a good life.
October 16th and 17th, 2020
We have a virtual performance of Lake Street Arts! Lake Street Story Circle.
Ten artists came together to hold Story Circles throughout the summer and created new performance work about life, spirit, resistance, power, politics, vision, relationships, history, healing, business, home, time, nature, weeds, wants, needs, survival and joy.
Grounded on Lake Street, grounded in Minneapolis, grounded in story, in place and each other.
November 1st, 2020
Keila Anali Saucedo shared Sobre Los Muertos Las Coronas, a COVID-safe art installation, as a part of Another World is Possible: Pangea Artists Envision.
Parked between Moon Palace Books and The Hub Bike Co-op dwelt a canary yellow van. Within these metal confines was an art altar created by Eric Gonzalez, Kieran Myles-Andrès Tverbakk, C. Michael, Noah Lawrence-Holder and more. Two tables hugged the sides of the van. In contrast to the bite of November, tapestries of red, orange and brown adorn the walls like a warm fire for one’s eyes. The sound of running water and breathing filled the space with the essence of life. Gazing around the van, your eyes found dear friends, family, and other loved ones lost during this turbulent time.
November 11, 2020
Reimagining Education Through Arts & Social Justice
Addressing the Impacts of the Pandemic & Uprisings on Teachers & Students.
We began to Reimagine Education through arts and social justice in the first of six virtual panel discussions. The COVID-19 Pandemic has impacted many of us in different ways. For students and teachers especially, it has required reimagining education, during this pandemic and beyond.
November 20th-22nd, 2020
National Institute for Directing & Ensemble Creation’s VIRTUAL Weekend! in collaboration with Art2Action.
So much moved online — including, the National Institute of Directing and Ensemble Creation, NIDEC. We gathered together in this digital space, instead of physical space, to share ancient and personal knowledge and be nurtured amongst peers.
December 7, 2020
Emily Meenan presented Another World is Possible: Virtual Zine Launch, an online poetry reading
This celebration and reading of excerpts from the Another World is Possible zine. Thank you to the poets Miranda Strong, Rebecca Nichloson, Juwaria Jama, Se'Anna, Winfrey Oenga, Mo Holmes, Ashley Mari and to Noah Lawrence-Holder for the cover art.
December 9, 2020
Reimagining Education Through Arts & Social Justice
Focus on Families.
December 14th, 2020
Ismail Khalidi presented A Redacted Requiem for the Wretched of the Earth,
A video release on youtube and online talk-back.
"Arms and Prisons, the Pentagon and policing; it is all part of the twisted economy of impoverishment and extraction, subjugation and distraction, white supremacy and empire. These things are inter-connected. So must be our mourning. And our resistance. The dead are with us, the disappeared by our side. This is our poem, our lamentation, our requiem, our mawwal."
Music by Hadi Eldebek, Text by Ismail Khalidi, Video by Jenny Zander
December 22nd, 2020
Pangea is two days into their holiday break. The time for rest is nye; to rejoice with family and friends of the year that was passing, and the journey yet to come; 25 years in the making. Breath is held tight as we look once more to a new year for a different world, a better one. A world where the pandemic finally takes its bow and new life can begin anew, once more.
Andre Hill would not be joining us on that journey. He will not see our new world.
There is more to come.
February 20, 2021
National Institute for Directing and Ensemble Creation (NIDEC) hosts Masterclass with Murielle Borst-Tarrant: Development of a Solo Piece Using the Story Weaving Technique. A virtual workshop built on collaboration and community.
February 27th, 2021
Reimagining Education Through Arts & Social Justice continues with An International Perspective, virtual panel discussion.
This panel addressed the impacts of the pandemic and recent uprisings on the field of education from an international perspective.
March 11th, 2021
A year has passed. We are too busy to fully notice. The world looks different than it did before all of this, like it had been stripped of its skin and was still working on growing back that extra layer. But it doesn’t stop us. It cannot stop us, in fact it will only push us forward.
March 20th, 2021
National Institute for Directing and Ensemble Creation (NIDEC)
Masterclass with Nobuko Miyamoto: Stories That Connect Us, another virtual workshop!
In this moment of distancing and racial reckoning, what can we as artists do to deepen connection and empathy between people of diverse cultures? Using breath, body, song, and story, Nobuko led us through a simple communal process to energetically open a way to reveal our connectedness.
March 25th, 2021
Reimagining Education Through Arts & Social Justice presents
Youth & Mental Health.
Education and mental health do indeed go hand in hand. Yet, mental health is so overtly overlooked within our own education systems, our society in general, that the intersection of these two concepts is hardly ever talked about. Students and social workers joined for a virtual conversation about the impacts of the pandemic and recent uprisings on youth and mental health — with the intention of building a new reality together.
April 11th, 2021
Alternative Realities. It is one of Pangea’s main philosophies; the idea that the world one experiences might be completely different from the reality someone else lives within. The concept that what might be true for some may not be true for others.
But a taser, is a Taser. A Gun, is a Gun. A choice… is everything.
Especially if you are Daunte Wright.
The dream that in another time, another reality, another universe; Daunte is back at home with his mother and his son, creating cherished memories.
April 17th, 2021
National Institute for Directing and Ensemble Creation (NIDEC)
Masterclass with Diane Roberts: Arrivals Legacy Process.
In these times of transformation and recovery we turned to the following questions:
What are the legacies we carry and what do we leave behind?
How do colonial legacies continue to impact our ability to listen to the stories that need to be told?
What are the legacies we carry in our bodies and what do we leave behind?
How do colonial legacies continue to impact our ability to listen to the stories that need to be told and sense what cannot be fully known?
In this virtual lecture and demonstration, Diane navigated between her voice as an artist and researcher to construct a profile of The Arrivals Legacy Project as a viable tool for unraveling new epistemologies.
April 18th, 2021
Lunch & Learn: MN Theater Showcase
In an online forum, Meena along with Nathan Keepers of The Moving Company, Ansa Akyea of Park Square Theatre and Robin Gillette of The Jungle Theater shared:
What they do, and why.
The role a stage can play in celebrating diversity.
What they find unique in the Minneapolis theater scene.
Recent productions and what's next.
And much more!
May 6th, 2021
Reimagining Education Through Arts & Social Justice
A Focus on BIPOC Educators, another virtual panel discussion.
Being in a distance-learning environment this past year made way for new discoveries, new ways of working and different strategies for connecting to each other amidst the various challenges. The last year brought uncertainty, isolation and unprecedented burdens, while disproportionately affecting students of color. We spoke with BIPOC teachers about their experiences and their perspective on the impacts of the pandemic and recent social uprisings on their students and classrooms.
May 15th, 2021
National Institute for Directing and Ensemble Creation (NIDEC)
Masterclass with Dora Arreola: Developing A Concept.
How do you develop a concept as a director? How do you communicate your concept to designers? Whether you are working with a published text, or a text devised through an ensemble process, how do you move from text analysis to central image, to developing your concept for your own unique production? Dora Arreola offered a virtual guide to her creative process as a director, along with tools and exercises for concept development, and examples of how the process applies to actual production.
May 21-23, 2021
The Missouri River Water Walk
Written by Sharon Day, Directed by Dipankar Mukherjee.
COVID-safe performances at Hidden Falls Regional Park.
Forgiveness is not a strong enough word for what happened when six women walked the length of the Missouri River. This outdoor performance was filled with the songs and stories of this powerful story of healing historic wounds and restoring our relationships with the land and each other.
May 25th, 2021
A Tipi is a Building Too
In collaboration with Oyate Hotanin, Gandhi Mahal, and Lake Street Creates.
A George Floyd memorial event honoring the new chapter of social justice, the Phoenix from the fire. Oyate Hotanin put up a Dakota tipi on the site of the Gandhi Mahal garden, a valued Indian restaurant that burned in the aftermath of the George Floyd killing. We gathered to illuminate the permanency of transitions clearly, by taking old cultures and past events that are going to be realized in the future, and announcing and celebrating them at the same time we commemorate a tragic event.
Pangea’s 25th Anniversary.
Our online celebration!
For 25 days, we celebrated Pangea’s 25th Season, looking toward the future by looking back through our history with interviews with artists, insight from friends in our community, a silent auction, and much more! Though we may still be separated, we know that the next 25 years will be just as magical.
June 14th, 2021
Lake Street Arts! Difficult Conversations for a more Beautiful World.
Art, Trauma, and Healing. What do all of these things have in common? More than you’d think, and much more when you think about the world we find ourselves in now.
The world before Covid is much different than the world we’ve been presented with now, but there are troubles that will not, and cannot disappear. So what does it mean, as a living artist in today’s world, to deal with the ongoing horrors of settler colonialism, white supremacy and misogyny in a way that does not merely reenact or re-traumatize?
This is what we do at Pangea, we start a conversation; that is all it takes to strike that spark and begin changing the world. Artists Angela Two Stars, Ananya Chatterjea, and Michael Kleber-Diggs come together in Meena and Dipankar’s backyard, like friends for a picnic, and they have this very conversation of trauma, art, and healing.
June 24th, 2021
Reimagining Education Through Arts & Social Justice presents:
Beyond Shakespeare & the Western Canon, a virtual panel discussion.
Now we at Pangea strive to go beyond traditional/mainstream theater, but we can’t help but quote the hit show Something Rotten when we say, “Man, I hate Shakespeare.”
Together we discussed the current state of the field, dissected the system that maintains this status quo, while discussing creative solutions to instill and sustain meaningful change, so that all stories and voices are seen and heard in classrooms and in the public sphere.
July 25th, 2022
Lake Street Arts! Poetry in the Windows
Pangea World Theater invited three guest curators to work with over twenty poets over the spring and summer — their poems were shared as installations in windows along Lake Street and in this performance. Writing in response and relationship to the ongoing Uprising, Movement for Black Lives, the global pandemic, and visions and struggle for a society transformed from its racist, sexist, colonial, anti-immigrant, anti-LBGTQ, earth hating roots.
Poets performing include Michael Kleber-Diggs, Rosetta "Rosie" Peters, Clarence White, Shá Cage, Venus DeMars, Amoke Kubat, Anthony Ceballos, Louis Alemayehu, Marcie Rendon, Fatima Camara, Arleta Little, Rush Merchant, May Lee Yang, Ellen Marie Hinchcliffe, Kevin Resse, and Tish Jones.
The Transition Stage: A community healing art project done in collaboration with artist Angela Two Stars with Longfellow Rising.
In the summer and fall of 2021, Angela Two Stars envisioned a creating vessel with the community to hold community laments and hopes as the neighborhood and city move toward growth, redevelopment, and healing.
September 10-11, 2021
Leslie Parker Dance Project’s Call to Remember Fall 2021 Residency: Public Facing Event
Leslie Parker Dance Project performed in collaboration with visual artists Jordan Hamilton and Bayou Bay as part of a residency with Pangea World Theater in the Twin Cities.
This public facing event is part of the development process for Call to Remember; an uprising of real stories embedded deep within the subconscious, a moment to imagine freedom where Blackness is the future. Unfortunately, these performances were postponed.
December 3-5, 2021
National Institute for Directing & Ensemble Creation presents: A Virtual Weekend! In collaboration with Art2Action.
We share another institute together online. This weekend of conversations, masterclasses, ensemble building, and more was open to the public and was live-streamed on HowlRound.
February 9th, 2022
New year, same tragedy.
Deshaun Hill is an ancestor at 15 years old.
His murderer won't be tried for another year, but his sentence is double the life that Deshaun got to live.
Is there a vaccine for bullets?
February 20, 2022
Suzanne Victoria Cross presented This Is How We Stand, an online multi-disciplinary artistic exploration as a part of Another World is Possible: Pangea Artists Envision.
During this presentation, Black artists responded to their unique experiences of navigating our healthcare system and the impact it has had on their own health, wellness and care practices during this pandemic. Movement, imagery and text were used to explore this theme with compassionate empathy.
Adlyn explains to then-intern Seamus about how different it all used to be. “Lake Street was alive,” she said, “there was soul and energy radiating from all the local businesses. It wasn’t perfect, of course, pero… I don’t know, it's really changed a lot.” And it continues to change. She mentioned something about how empty it feels now, but when he looks at the windows of places like Lake and Bryant Cafe, Seamus can’t help but feel a small current of energy run through his chest. Seeing the Pangea logo, the words of our own Ellen Hinchcliffe displayed proudly for all to bear witness. Then you keep walking, and suddenly you’re seeing the words of Mollie Lacy, Clarence White, Venus DeMars, and so so many more just blooming across Lake Street. As if to say “If anything, we are still here. And so is the heartbeat of Another World.”
March 30th, 2022
Written & Performed by Dipankar Mukherjee and Carlton Turner
Directed by Meena Natarajan
Conversation Facilitated by Brandi Turner.
River Sols examines race from the perspectives of African American and South Asian communities along the Mississippi River, from the upper Midwest to Utica, Mississippi; and from the United States to India and the Global South.
Dipankar Mukherjee and Carlton Turner weave personal and community stories of identity, faith, family, and the future.
May 23rd, 2022
Molly Lacy curated Beyond Climate Anxiety Into Action in contribution to Another World is Possible: Pangea Artists Envision.
The world has been slowly burning since the 50s, and the time to act is quickly running out. But it is Pangea’s prerogative to take that anxiety-filled energy and transform it into something more useful than just pure panic. In this online poetry workshop, Bernard Ferguson and Mollie Lacy aid fellow poets in taking their stances on climate change, and saving the planet before it is too late.
June 3rd-5th, 2022
Katia Cardenas curated The Burning Truth Project once again, in online and outdoor performances at East Side Freedom Library.
The boat goes to the bottom once more. Katia, Andrina and Sarah are back to share their burning truths. Things have changed since the last time we saw them, almost feels like decades ago rather than some measly two years. Their truths have changed too — evolved with the times, though no less powerful. If anything, they burn even brighter than before, online and on the lawn of the East Side Freedom Public Library in St. Paul.
June 17th, 2022
Rooting Compassionate Communities: The Pangea World Theater Gala
For the past two years we had been physically distanced, taking care to protect those most vulnerable.. The sun beats down on smiling faces, once masked now free to breathe fresh summer air. The yard that used to be Ghandi Mahal is filled with tents, straw bales adorned with red coverings, music and laughter. Pangea’s annual Gala event is in full swing, featuring delicious food and words of gratitude as we celebrate all that you have helped us accomplish during these past few years. Work that, without the support of our community, would never have seen the light of day.
August 5th-6th, 2022
Life Born of Fire: An Ensemble Created Ritual Performance
Conceived and curated by Meena Natarajan and Ellen Marie Hinchcliffe, and directed by Dipankar Mukherjee.
In a forest, when fire burns ancestral acres it is greeted by an array of emotions. Lost are the homes of many animals that had lived there since the tree earned its first branch, and as such a mourning for what becomes ever present. But all is never lost, not really, and from those small seeds sprouts new beginnings; a renewed hope for a better future. Life Born of Fire.
Artists came together, to express themselves and what they’ve been holding inside for two years and to share in the utter joy that is life; growing again from the ashes of its predecessors. In a dazzling display of pure soul and solidarity, we heard the enchanting music and voices of Rebecca Nichloson, Sandra Agustin, Lisa Marie Brimmer, Johanna Keller Flores, Ayanna and Cam Muata, Sharon Day, and our own Sir Curtis Kirby III, Suzanne Victoria Cross, and Ellen Marie Hinchcliffe.
Sadly, a dangerous summer storm interfered with our second performance of this vibrant piece.
September 24th, 2022
Written and performed by Tatanka Ohitika.
Directed by Dipankar Mukherjee.
Tatanka, the debut play from long-time poet, artist and activist, Tatanka Ohitika (Strong Buffalo), is an intuitive historical drama through his eyes and those of his relatives’ and journey from creation through the making of the state of Minnesota, to the present, and beyond. It is an evolutionary testimonial that tells the Dakota story — generations of displacement, relocation, genocide, historical trauma, and surviving all that hate — this play reclaims historical goodness, co-existence, undoing racism with humor and tears. Presented with live and recorded music, poetry, choreographed movements, original films, projections, actual accounts, and imaginative interpretations. Performed for a private audience at the Southern Theater.
September 29th, 2022
Standing in Negative Space by Suzanne Victoria Cross, in partnership with St. Paul & Minnesota Foundation
“You don’t have the right to take my mom away from me. It is that real to me.”
Never has there been such a raw display of emotion as Suzanne Victoria Cross’
Standing in Negative Space. Through movement, word, and passion, Suzanne showcases the life of a caregiver. It is by no means an easy job, but so very vital to all it concerns. Yet, not everyone seems to understand just what it takes to be a caregiver, to deal with the onset of Alzheimer's as it grows within the mind and body of your loved one. Taking each day as it comes, rolling with every bump in the road; You’d learn that every bite of food carefully delivered to a trusting mouth, every strand of hair combed oh so gently, is a triumph in and of itself. This is how she stands it. This is how they stand it. This is how we stand, together.
Honoring our Relatives by Sharon Day and Sir Curtis Kirby III, in partnership with St. Paul & Minnesota Foundation as part of Art In This Present Moment.
The Honoring our Relatives celebration was filled with memories, songs, food, and fire. We created an altar (ofrenda) for our relatives who walked on. In keeping with Ojibwe ceremonies, the fire will be for those who wish to offer some of the favorite foods for their relatives. Sharon has celebrated her loved ones for years with ofrendas, an altar, most notably associated with The Day of the Dead, that consists of a set of items often associated with a person who has passed, such as photographs, personal items that belonged to them and food the person particularly enjoyed. After the pandemic, Sharon and her grandson, Kirby, found it even more important to communicate with their family, relatives and community.
November 7th, 2022
Lake Street Arts! You Are Here.
Love is Time Travel – Writers on Death and Ancestors
Writers Venus DeMars, Anthony Ceballos, May Lee Yang, Ricardo Levins Morales, Ellen Marie Hinchcliffe, Miré Regulus, and Aegor Ray shared their work and engaged in conversation about death, ancestors and writing.
December 1-9, 2022
National Directing Institute for Directing & Ensemble Creation
Writers' Laboratory & Professional Peer Exchange
Just like a seed takes time to morph into a tree, we have taken time to evolve and grow this Institute into its current form with solidarity, authenticity, love and care at the center of what we do. Now is the time for us to document it. We gathered in snowy Minnesota in-person to begin a collective writing project — to provide us the opportunity to rigorously examine our processes, write about our work, and build knowledge for our field–while continuing to co-imagine how to transform our wider commons and ecosystems.
December 20th, 2022
It is our last day before the beginning of Pangea’s winter break. We look at ourselves, our ensemble, with an enormous amount of pride. You can see it in our faces, the sheer amount of work that we’ve done to get to this place. None of it done alone, or without the help of our dear community, friends and family. We look at our Katia Cardenas and Mollie Lacy through tearful eyes and beaming smiles. Though they will not be continuing our journey together, we cannot wait to see what they do next. As two leave, two more join, as past interns Sarah Duncan and Seamus Wakefield make their mark as fully-blown Pangea ensemble members. We see a book, the Lake Street Story Circle Archive, detailing every bit of our journey and the art it produced. A printed copy, for all to read and possess. It is the words of the community; every whisper, scream, song, poem of revolution— the nurturing of the spirit that unites us, expressed within its pages. To hold it in one’s hands, to see it in the hands of those who helped create it, is an indescribable feeling.
The future is always uncertain. There is no telling what will come next; another virus, another tragic loss at the hands of corruption and containment, another protest, another burnt down building. Indeed– there is no telling what happens next.
But we are not scared. Why would we be? We have each other, and we have you there with us, every step of the way.
January 29, 2023
Seeding Change Institute: Research and Creation Cohort 2023
The first meeting of a group of artists, activists, and organizers — we gathered to share a meal and talk deeply about how we are walking into the room, our work and who our teachers and ancestors are. This group represents a small circle of the incredible beauty, generosity and vision of the many arts communities in the Twin Cities and is envisioning a year-long process of envisioning the Seeding Change Institute that will begin in 2024.
February 3 & 5, 2023
Lake Street Arts! You Are Here Workshop
Sayge Carroll presented Ancestor Vessel.
Each participant brought an image of an ancestor they wanted to work with. We gathered and shared who and why we brought our particular beloved into the space. Artist Sayge Caroll of Mudluk Pottery guided us through the process of creating a small vessel. All the vessels will be fired and the images of our beloveds were transferred directly onto vessels..
February 8, 2023
Lake Street Arts! You Are Here Workshop
Venus DeMars and Anthony Ceballos facilitated Writing our Memory into Being.
Anthony Ceballos and Venus DeMars invited people into a lively discussion revolving around creative writing and the act of memory recall and excavation. Through workshop discussion, prompts, and a bit of open writing time, participants worked on a piece of either creative nonfiction or poetry based in memory.
As gorgeous poetry unfolds, the curation of our spring show starts to blossom. Returning to Haifa shall be our official return to indoor, in-person theater.
March 11, 2023
Lake Street Arts! You Are Here Workshop
Sarah M. Greer presents Singing a Way Through: Finding Heartsongs in Hard Times
Our voices and the sounds we make during sadness, upset, and lament are full of intelligence about how to transmute grief.
In this intimate, BIPOC-focused workshop we explored the truths we can find and the grief we can shift using our voices. We gathered as a grieving, healing community with space and time to sing songs — old and new, silly and sacred, spoken and sung, known and invented.
Together we make a world built on equity, peace, solidarity and sustainability.
Together, we are Pangea.