A Bracing, Funny One-Man Show on Racism’s History, from Minstrelsy to Today
Minneapolis-based theater artist Carlyle Brown (of Carlyle Brown & Company) devised his one-person show Acting Black back in 2015, combining spoken word, stand-up comedy, and a PowerPoint-assisted TED Talk format to riff on racism and the ways it affects everybody. There are laughs, there are tough talking points. And it’s just as relevant now—brought to audiences via Zoom by Minneapolis’ Illusion Theater, Thursday through Saturday.
The 60-minute performance treks back to the days of minstrelsy, to chart how African Americans have watched their narratives exploited before their eyes, up to today’s racial conflicts. Brown’s style draws from stand-ups like Richard Pryor, George Carlin, and even Lord Buckley, a recording artist from the 1940s and ’50s. Brown will lead a discussion after the play, and registration is required to watch and participate. Learn more.
Jazz and Social Dance via Zoom
What: Rhythmically Speaking presents The Cohort: From Home
When: Friday, August 14, 7:30-9 p.m. (plus a virtual happy hour with the artists afterward)
Where: On Zoom
The pandemic has been uniquely rough on Rhythmically Speaking. The St. Paul-based dance troupe focuses on jazz and social styles, aiming to get people—audience members, workshop attendees—up and jiving. For what would have been their twelfth annual show The Cohort, the company is putting a preview of a hoped-for 2021 performance online. Local and visiting dancers will present their works, company artists will improvise, and Zoom will hopefully establish that groovy connection. (The performance goes on YouTube a full week afterward, and a donation of $20-24 per person is suggested, to be made through GiveMN, with 10% going to the American Civil Liberties Union, according to a press release.) Learn more.
A Pirate-themed, App-assisted Treasure Hunt in Minneapolis
What: Minneapolis Pirates Treasure Hunt
When: Saturday, August 15
Scavengee is a Florida-based company that organizes scavenger hunt games (as team-building exercises for businesses), mainly in the southeastern U.S. After the pandemic hit, Scavengee set up a socially distanced version that comes to the Twin Cities on Saturday. Teams of two to six people, using Scavengee’s mobile app, will figure out where to go next, visiting real-life places throughout Minneapolis. Also, it’s pirate-themed. Only one person can access the app at a time, so make sure you go with your “family unit,” whatever that may be. Learn more.
Chalk Art and Murals in Arbor Lakes
What: Chalkfest Mural Tour
When: August 15-September 30
Where: Arbor Lakes, Maple Grove, MN
This year, Chalkfest will feature about half as many artists as usual: The Arbor Lakes Business Association chose 12 people to fill the streets with masterful chalk drawings, plus 10 other artists to send in videos of their work, completed nationally and internationally. It will all be online, streamed via Facebook and ChalkfestArborLakes.com over the weekend of August 29. Until then, a mural tour kicks off this weekend. Starting August 15, visitors can seek out 12 murals throughout the Arbor Lakes commercial district, in Maple Grove (just northwest of the Twin Cities), designed by Chalkfest artists. Learn more.
A Market for Black Businesses and Artists in St. Anthony
What: First Annual Black Villagefest
When: Saturday, August 15, 3-8 p.m.
Where: St. Anthony Village City Hall & Community Center, 3301 Silver Lake Rd. NE, St. Anthony
Convening local Black businesses and artists in St. Anthony, the first-ever Black Villagefest will serve as “a protest of the lack of action taken in the Twin Cities towards racial equality,” hosted in coordination with Communities Against Police Brutality (CUAPB). The variety of booths intends to visualize what it would look like to dedicate more resources to Black entrepreneurs and creatives. (Organizers ask attendees to wear a mask.) Learn more.
An Outdoor Film Festival at Brit’s Pub
What: Brit’s Outdoor Film Festival
When: Sunday, August 16, 2-9 p.m.
Where: Brit’s Pub, 1110 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis
Brit’s Pub, in downtown Minneapolis, holds an annual outdoor film fest—and they’re pulling it off again this year. Sensing a hunger for lighthearted fare, they’re going with the Back to the Future trilogy. Bring a blanket, spread out (in a socially distanced fashion) on the lawn, and buy food/drinks to support the pub. Learn more.