Updated:
Original:

A 10-day festival is celebrating Minnesota's emerging black artists

Comedy, dance, theatre, poetry, photography, music, painting, and even aerial arts.

When Josh Wilder and Jamil Jude arrived in Minnesota they felt the isolation of being young black artists in the mostly white Twin Cities theatre scene. And they figured black artists in other fields felt it, too.

So a couple years ago they got some financial backing and held a three-day festival to showcase the talents of the metro area's young black artists.

Now The New Griots Festival is back with a much bigger 10-day run at the Guthrie Theatre's Dowling Studio. This year's lineup includes poetry, theatre, dance, improv comedy, photography, an aerialist, painting, and music.

Besides more performances, the scope of the festival has also expanded compared to 2015. The motivation then "was really selfish, to be honest," co-founder Jamil Jude tells MPR News. "We just wanted to get to know other artists that looked like us."

This time around the expanded festival, which started Thursday, includes classes and panel conversations as well as performances.

The name of the festival comes from West Africa, where griots preserve the history and oral traditions of their cultures through storytelling, music, and songs.

A sampling of the festival

You can learn more about the 10 artists performing during the festival from The New Griots or from the Guthrie, but here's a taste:

Miss Coco Nostal'jah is performing Stay?, in which the aerialist tells the story of a love triangle "...through movement presentations of partnered balancing, dance, and aerial circus arts."

Shaina McCoy is a painter whose classes will include one called Self-love Through a Painter's Stroke.

April Gibson is a poet who will read from a collection titled The Black Woman Press Conference: Dear Everybody Who Ain't a Black Woman.

Arthur "LA" Buckner will perform The Drum Clinic: How Do YOU Improvise? which includes "different approaches in transforming imitation into improvisation."

The classes are all free. Tickets for each performance are $9 apiece and can be purchased through the Guthrie.

Next Up

moorhead police

Police searching for man charged with kidnapping woman at gunpoint

The man approached the victim's car and pointed a gun at her, the charges state.

teacher, coronavirus, covid-19, school, classroom

Teachers union calls for 'bold' plan to get kids vaccinated against COVID

"All options should be on the table," Denise Specht, president of Education Minnesota, said.

madden's

Madden's has banner summer with surge of visitors to Gull Lake

The resort was named the No. 1 resort in the mid-Atlantic and Midwest.

denny dempsey

Burnsville priest identified as bicyclist killed in Rosemount

The church says he was doing what he loved: riding his bike.

Matt Dumba

Wild open road trip with win over Canucks

At 5-1, only the St. Louis Blues (5-0) are off to a better start in the Western Conference than the Wild.

moose minnesota usfws - flickr

MN homeowner mistakes large tent for dead moose

They spotted two people on a security camera dragging the "moose" across a driveway.

Flickr - minneapolis police officer close-up belt camera - Tony Webster

What happens if Mpls. public safety question passes? City memo provides answers

The memo was sent to the mayor and council members Tuesday morning.

Wild

COVID-19 hits Minnesota Wild coaching staff

The Wild will be shorthanded for Tuesday night's game in Vancouver.

Anthony Edwards

Ant takes alpha role after bad loss: 'We need to lock the f*** in'

The Timberwolves' rising star was not happy after Monday's loss to the Pelicans.

Related

A 10-day festival is celebrating Minnesota's emerging black artists

Comedy, dance, theatre, poetry, photography, music, painting, and even aerial arts.

A tiny Minnesota town is getting its war hero back

There'll be a funeral for him more than 75 years after he died.

A tiny Minnesota town is getting its war hero back

There'll be a funeral for him more than 75 years after he died.

Minnesota Fringe Festival packs 165 shows into 11 days

The annual mad dash through the Minnesota performing arts scene starts Thursday. Artists perform a wildly eclectic mix of comedy, drama, musicals and other shows at 15 venues.

St. Paul celebrates Minnesota immigrants with the city's first skyway art exhibit

The first public art exhibit in the skyway's 50 years is now open.

A troupe of Minnesota kids just got one of the biggest circus awards

Circus Juventas becomes the first American group to win the award.

A troupe of Minnesota kids just got one of the biggest circus awards

Circus Juventas becomes the first American group to win the award.