Black History for the Holidays
What: Holidays at Minnesota African American Heritage Museum and Gallery
When: Through Dec. 31
Where: Museum website, Facebook page, and YouTube channel
The Minnesota African American Heritage Museum & Gallery celebrates Black history, art, and culture this November through December with local artist Alicia Smiley’s new holiday tree exhibition, “Magical Black History Trees.” The exhibit features six handcrafted Christmas trees, each representing a unique topic in Black history and culture. The trees will be displayed through the end of the month, and can be viewed online through the museum’s website, Facebook page, and Instagram. Following the exhibit, the trees will be auctioned online with proceeds going to support the museum.
In addition to the tree exhibit, local children’s author Timi Bliss plans to get kids into the holiday spirit as she hosts the virtual reading of her book, In Search of the Gingerbread Man. Following the reading, Bliss will stream a baking video alongside her granddaughter and award-winning chef Michelle Gayer as they whip up delicious gingerbread man cookies. The video is available to access on the museum’s Facebook page and website from December 1 through December 31.
This weekend, Walker Art Center and Northrop present the art ensemble Kinetic Light’s first ever touring production, DESCENT. The performance challenges cultural stereotypes that define disability, dance, and beauty, taking audiences through a riveting love story. Redefining the idea of physicality, the performance takes place on a custom-designed ramp installation with hills, curves, and peaks. The show was voted “Most Moving Performance” in 2018 by Dance Magazine, recognizing the truth that disability does not signify incompleteness, and instead paving the way for an entirely unique choreographic form. Tickets are on sale and can be purchased through the Northrop’s website.
Bright Lights, Big Animals
What: The Minnesota Zoo’s “Nature Illuminated”
When: Dec. 3-Jan. 17
Where: The Minnesota Zoo, 13000 Zoo Blvd., Apple Valley
Ditch the screens and opt for an entertainment experience like no other. Support the Minnesota Zoo in its first ever drive-thru nighttime illuminated art show. The event will feature more than 30 larger-than-life inflatable animals that illuminate the sky, including a 30-foot-tall red panda and a cockatoo larger than a car. Combining art with education, visitors can follow along through a 30-minute audio tour filled with stories about some of the world’s most endearing animals. The work includes pieces made from reusable materials by artists at Landmark Creations in Burnsville, whose work has previously been featured at the MTV Video Music Awards, Coachella, and the GRAMMY Awards. Tickets must be purchased online and are currently available through the zoo’s website.
Great Holiday Bake-off
Make holiday cooking a breeze with Cooks of Crocus Hill’s virtual cooking class this weekend, which spotlights a delicious and Instagram-worthy star-shaped, cinnamon-flavored bread loaf. Test your kitchen skills with Chef Lorelei as she helps you make your very own star from the comfort of your home. The stress-free experience will provide you with an ingredient and equipment list prior to the start of the class, and tickets are on sale now for $50.
Nor-deck the Halls
What: Virtual Nordic Handcraft Demo: Going Green for the Holidays with Christine Hoffman
When: Dec. 6, 1 p.m.-2 p.m.
Bring the holidays home this season in the form of natural and minimalistic Nordic-style decor. Hosted by the American Swedish Institute and led by floral designer Christine Hoffman, you’ll tackle projects one step at a time, using winter greenery and other natural elements sure to spruce up a room. Purchase tickets here.