A Day of Prophetic Imagination: Schedule and Details
2:00 pm: Art as Catalyst
A conversation with Mankwe Ndosi, Marcus Young, and Elizabeth Alexander, moderated by Lia Rivamonte
3:30-5:15 pm: Choose from the following activities
A New Song for a New Vision — Led by Elizabeth Alexander
All ages welcome.
As our worship services frequently remind us, ours is a faith of both radiance and reason. That is why we not only speak our faith but also sing it! Participants of this collaborative workshop will craft the most compelling aspects of our ends into a brand new composition and get to share that song at Unity’s worship services the next day. Although experienced singers and instrumentalists are welcome, no previous musical experience is necessary.
Don’t You Feel It Too? — Led by Marcus Young
All ages welcome.
Experience a new liberation, at the unfamiliar place where personal vulnerability, public presence, and embodied joy all meet. Developed since 2008, Don’t You Feel It Too? is a form of movement meditation that transforms the self while making action in the world. Participants feel stress relief, resilience, compassion, and belonging. No movement experience is required. If you don’t like to dance or feel shy about it, the practice is adaptable. If you’re intrigued, don’t let your hesitation stop you from trying it. This is spiritual exploration into new territory. And it’s good exercise! Some preparation is needed:
Creative Movement for Practical Alchemy — Led by Mankwe Ndosi
Age 18 and older, limited to 20 participants.
This workshop will focus on group process and practice for transforming from stuck places to new possibility/from fear to courage through movement, sound, writing and reflection. In this context we specifically encourage folks to attend to what keeps them from transforming their roles within our systems of oppression. Together we will energize and work with each other’s ability to see and be seen, to hold and to receive holding, and to share strength, silence and vulnerability through physical, reflective, writing and sound-based exercises. Be prepared to witness and support others, as well as to be supported by other participants.
We’re UUs, We Want to Talk About It — Led by Russel Balenger and Maura Williams
Age 14 and older.
“Create a multicultural spiritual home built on authentic relationships.”
Given cultural and personal histories and inequities, how do we even begin to fulfill our new, first-stated End? This facilitated Circle conversation will ask us to speak and listen from the heart as we share thoughtful comments related to our new congregational aspirations.
Adventures with ArtStart
This is for kids (of all ages)! An afternoon of art, exploration, wonder, and fun!
5:30 pm: Dinner
Chicken fajita bowls with all the fixings.
7:00 pm: Festive Farewell
Marcus Young is a behavioral and social practice artist making work for the stage, museums, and the public realm. He makes behavioral and social forms for everyone to use and expand the repertoire of wellness and human consciousness. He is the founding artist for Don’t You Feel It Too?—an ongoing participatory street dance practice of social healing and inner-life liberation. From 2006 to 2015, he was City Artist in St. Paul. His project Everyday Poems for City Sidewalk transformed the city’s sidewalk maintenance program into a publishing entity for poetry. Young has a BA in music from Carleton College and an MFA in theater from the University of Minnesota. He is a recipient of awards from the McKnight, Bush, and Jerome Foundations, and received the 2016 Forecast Public Art Mid-Career Grant, given to one artist a year.
Mankwe Ndosi works in live sound, performance and creativity in civic practice design. Her work nurtures relationships to each other, our ancestors, and our earth. She uses texture, rhythm, utterance and harmony to create with artists of all genres, and living beings human, animal and elemental. She is a graduate of Harvard University, and has been supported in work and study by the Jerome and McKnight Foundations, Forecast Public Arts, the Minnesota State Arts Board and the American Composer's Forum. She has 20 years of creative work in community that includes program development and design, facilitation, teaching, event production, and non-profit leadership.
Elizabeth Alexander’s love of music, language and challenging questions is reflected in her catalog of over 100 songs and choral works, which have received thousands of performances worldwide. A Unitarian Universalist for the past thirty years, many of her works have been inspired by her liberal faith, including “Kindling,” her full-length cantata based on Unitarian Universalism’s Six Sources. Her recent awards include grants and fellowships from the McKnight Foundation Fellowship, Minnesota State Arts Board, and American Composers Forum. In addition to her own composing, she has mentored budding composers young and old through her residencies and workshops at schools, art programs, and music conferences.
Lia Rivamonte worked as a professional theatre actor before recalibrating, and obtaining a MFA in Painting. While the practice of visual arts is the source of much joy, it has not given her a living so she took a job as executive director at Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts, a position she held for 13 years. More recently, it has been writing that has sustained her creative life. She has received grants from the State Arts Board and the Metro Regional Arts Council to support a fiction project on which she continues to labor. She also works as development manager at Mixed Blood Theatre. She has long been active in the TC arts community and beyond, as a grants panelist and consultant. Her poetry chapbook, “Tell Me When You Get There,” will published by Finishing Line Press, and is forthcoming in 2019.
Russel Balenger is the creator and facilitator for The Circle of Peace Movement, an unlikely conversation forged among at-risk youth of color, Rondo elders, neighborhood and Unity community members, St. Paul police officers and judges, and various others who have gathered almost every Monday evening since 2010 in our Center Room for dinner and a Circle conversation. Participants have included Mandela Fellows honored in the Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI) who then established Circles of Peace in four African countries. Russ has worked for decades to serve the prison population in Minnesota by leading programs for them while incarcerated and through re-entry. He has received awards for his work in the community from the Saint Paul Foundation and the Saint Paul Police Department.
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