Created by Dying to Film. This project is made possible by ArtPlace America’s National Creative Placemaking Fund, awarded to Region Five Development Commission.
African arts, drumming, dance, and storytelling filled the Sprout Growers & Makers Marketplace in March 2019. Many community members from Central Minnesota participated in dancing and drumming, as well as helping paint a three panel work by artist Valeria Evans.
Janette Yiran of Yiran African Arts & Designs talks with Sprout after organizing the performances at the Sprout Growers & Makers Marketplace as well as Fred Yiran African Arts Day 2019. Janette shares with us the legacy of her late husband, Fred Yiran, a master painter, instrumentalist, carver, sculptor, jewelry-maker, poet, singer, performance artist, and an arts and culture educator. Yiran’s legacy continues to expand knowledge and understanding of African arts and cultures today. For more information on Fred Yiran visit www.yiranarts.com.
Artistic Contributors to the March 2019 Growers & Makers Marketplace Included:
Buddy King studied Community Development at St. Cloud State University (SCSU) and is a playwright, percussionist, and teaching artist. As Unit Director for the Roosevelt Boys and Girls Club in St. Cloud, MN, Buddy is engaged in numerous youth arts initiatives in the community and through the Club.
Proskuneo Dance Ministry of Higher Ground Church was established in 2015. The name Proskuneo is from the Greek which means worship. The group is lead by choreographer Keshia Anderson King. This powerful dance expression pulls from a variety of dance forms including sign, mime, lyrical and African movements, to express the gospel through music and dance.
Debra Leigh is a dance artist and choreographer who has been creating dance in Central Minnesota since 1989 when she accepted the position as the Director of Dance at St. Cloud State University. Debra founded the Repertory Dance Theater and the Summer Dance Institute at SCSU, and the Multicultural Children’s Art Connection and the Full House Children’s Dance Company. Debra has choreographed for several shows at GREAT Theater in St. Cloud, including West Side Story, The Wiz, The Little Mermaid, Adams Family, Nunsense, and Ragtime. Debra earned her undergraduate degree at University of Missouri, Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance and a MFA from the University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana in Dance Performance and Pedagogy. Debra was a Fulbright Scholar in Indonesia and has taught at the Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
Janette Yiran is an educator and has a strong passion for community. She has been very dedicated to and engaged in enriching her community and many others over the years through her deep knowledge of symbolic African arts and tales. She loves sharing, and teaching African values through folktales, stories and symbols, to inspire and strengthen communities in our diverse and changing world. As Managing Director of Yiran African Arts and Designs, and the Fred Yiran Legacy Project, Janette is dedicated to the mission of Yiran Arts of connecting with the community by sharing Fred Yiran’s art work expanding the knowledge and understanding of African arts and culture.
Valeria Evans is a visual artist, born in Joliet Illinois in 1979 to Dorothy May Evans, a beautiful southern soulful gospel singer and community advocate. Being the youngest of five children, Valeria spent a lot of time in her imagination. "Since I can remember I have found freedom in the arts. To dance, sing, draw, decorate, stimulate the artistic growth of a peer, indulge in the beauty and or uniqueness of something or someone and to create has always fulfilled me in a way I can’t describe with words." Throughout her school career at SCSU, Valeria participated in the arts at every stage. As a mother of four, she has used the arts to broaden the minds of her children, their peers, and community. Valeria uses art to express herself and to create memorable moments for all who care to see. "After years of unknowingly limiting my artistic ability, I was blessed with an opportunity that opened my mind in many ways. It has ultimately unlocked my gift and shown me a level of potential that I never knew I had. I am blessed and extremely excited at every opportunity that presents itself because I see them with
new eyes and I experience a level of freedom that I for long lost. I find great pleasure in the sharing of my art and from the reactions of all who partake in it with me. I pray to touch the lives of everyone that I or my art comes in contact with. Thanks to everyone who supports my purpose, motivates my growth and shares my gift."
Danielle Daniels has a career that includes a wide variety of theater projects, storytelling programs, and workshops. Her tour shows, The Incarceration of Annie, and The Magic of Laughter, Spirit of Our Ancestors and Connecting through Stories, have been presented at the Southern Theater, Pillsbury House Theatre, Purdue University, Northwestern University, University of Louisville, Southern University, the Paramount Theater, St. Cloud, the University of Minnesota, and in Europe. She is the author of "Ghost of Old Man Willie", a children’s book. Danielle is a recipient of a LIN Grant, Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship, Jerome Fellowship and Many Voices from the Playwrights’ Center. She has a B.A. degree in Communications from the University of Minnesota, and completed The Kennedy Performing Arts Center’s “Artists as Educator” program through Northern Iowa University. In addition to collecting and sharing stories, Danielle is a teaching artist, helping students of all ages find and develop their own creative voice and style.
Habso J. Mohamud is author of "It Only Takes One Yes!," a children’s book to inspire and ignite passions for positive change, no matter one’s age or background. A proud Somali American and first-generation graduate of St. Cloud State University, she holds a bachelor's degree in Geography Travel & Tourism and a masters in Global Education, Gender & Leadership Development. As a youth champion, social activist, and community advocate, she has traveled around the globe to speak on the importance of women and children’s education.
Created by: Happy Dancing Turtle (www.happydancingturtle.org). This project is made possible by ArtPlace America’s National Creative Placemaking Fund, awarded to Region Five Development Commission.
When is dinner more than just dinner? When stories are told. And connections made.
That's the premise of a new documentary, which focuses on the stories of immigrants and other minorities living in the small towns and rural areas of central Minnesota. "Who's At your Table?" brings together people of widely varying experiences to share a family-style meal and tell their stories - Where they came from, how their cultures shaped them, and how they find life and acceptance in Minnesota.
A big thank you to Sprout MN and Arlene Jones for hosting and facilitating. Also, a big thank you to Region Five Development Commission and ArtPlace provided funding, along with assistance from Lakeland Public Broadcasting for giving us a place to share this piece.
On March 23, 2019, Yiran African Arts and Sprout MN partnered in giving the community a cultural experience to remember!
Visit: Yiran Arts (www.yiranarts.com)& Sprout MN (www.sproutmn.com)
Created by: Ashley Froemming
Music: "All That" by Bensound
By: Fortuna Alexander, Owner of FAH Tea
FAH Bissap Tea is a brewed & bottled, tart & tangy hibiscus tea, steeped in my cultural history and journey from West Africa to Minnesota.
FAH Tea’s story follows my own. Our hibiscus flowers are imported from the gateway to West Africa, Senegal, and our proceeds support the development of an orphanage, school, and clinic in Liberia. I became an orphan in Liberia when I lost my mother at the tender age of 10. Years of civil war and Ebola outbreak in Liberia have drastically increased the number of parent-less children. I brew this traditional tea to honor my mother and support these children who share this experience with me.
I am entering FAH Tea to the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest, and you can help us increase the scale of our tea process & production by voting. Cast your vote every 24 hours until April 1st, and give us the chance to win $50,000 to build our business and support our mission.
Created by: Ashley Froemming
African arts, drumming, dance, and storytelling from Fred Yiran African Arts Day will fill the indoor marketplace on March 23rd, including opportunities for you to participate in dance, drumming, and the creation of an art installation yourself!
Created by: Dying to Film (www.dyingtofilm.com). This project is made possible by ArtPlace America’s National Creative Placemaking Fund, awarded to Region Five Development Commission.
Chef Jenna from Prairie Bay Grill prepares a special menu to show how tomatoes can be used in a variety of cultural dishes. What's on the menu? Click each dish below to get the recipe!
PICKLED TOMATOES - RUSSIAN
PEBRE CON YUZU HALIBUT - CHILEAN
CAPRESE SALAD - ITALIAN
SHAKSHOUKA - NORTH AFRICAN
When we share a meal together, we share our stories. Who's at your table? Share your story with us here!
Sponsored by Region Five Development Commission and ArtPlaceAmerica.
Recipes by Jenna Brower Von Siebolds:
PICKLED TOMATOES - RUSSIAN
PEBRE - CHILEAN
CAPRESE SALAD - ITALIAN
SHAKSHOUKA - NORTH AFRICAN
Read the full story about the arrival of the Mobile Market vehicle here.
Created by: Ryan White Photography & Design. This project is made possible by ArtPlace America’s National Creative Placemaking Fund, awarded to Region Five Development Commission.
Leech Lake Early Childhood has been making many strides to revitalize language and indigenous foods. Ryan White Photography & Design, a Leech Lake local company, captures these budding initiatives in a powerful and artistic manner to show the strength within the Leech Lake communities. Using a combined skill set White beautifully weaves together the many parts of this cultural and community revitalization movement.
For more information about Ryan White Photography & Design or the Leech Lake Early Childhood please see the following links:
Leech Lake Early Childhood Development:
Aabinoojii Oshkii Bimadiziiwin Center (AOB)
The creative commissioned projects showcased in the video engaged five local artists:
Sharon Nordrum: Sharon is an experienced artist that started painting in 2012. Her inspiration comes from her dreams, her Ojibwe heritage, language, and stories and the natural world. Her work is filled with traditional Ojibwe symbolism. She is active in the communities of northern Minnesota and they range from art projects, youth work and radio shows. She has been a member of the Indigenous Foods Experts’ committee which keyed the foods highlight in AOB’s Farm to Early Care initiative and has been a key piece to its success in the classroom and in the kitchen. For this project, she created the traditional floral designs with needle felt work and taught of how we use our surroundings in our art and how they connect to tell a story.
Lolly Aguilar: Lolly is an experienced artist and has offered various classes with women teaching them different techniques and teachings that go along with her art as well as teaching involving the Three Sisters. She is a lover of mandaamin (corn) and reaches beyond central Minnesota to become known as “the corn lady” in the tribal communities of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. She has been gifted many beautiful corn seeds, teachings and stories from all across Turtle Island and Mexico. One of the teachings she highlighted during this project is how to make the traditional corn husk dolls and the teachings of mandaamin and the Three Sisters. She created a beautiful corn husk doll that is now displayed at Sprout.
Wesley Mays: Wesley is an experienced artist whose art gained popularity in 2011 and later evolved into authentic Native American Wearable Art. He views his art as a positive image for ourselves and has provided a positive influence and a positive example with the words and images he shares with everyone he comes into contact with. His art and his businesses help him raise American Indian people up, increase self-esteem, and increase pride in one self. Wesley created a collaborative canvased painting with some of the youth and families that are part of the Leech Lake Early Childhood program. This provided a more modern take on indigenous paintings and highlighted the importance of those teachings and the impact of community.
Ryan White: Ryan is an experienced artist with 5 years of professional photography. He currently works with the Leech Lake Tribal College (LLTC) as their Multimedia & Marketing Specialist and also does professional photography outside the LLTC and at several community events. He has captured amazing photos from different cultural events and the community of Leech Lake as a whole. He documented the various teachings through photographs and video and compiled them to create the video above. This highlights the intergenerational transfer of knowledge and skills in Indigenous culture as a whole and the methods and the meanings of their stories told through their art.
David Northbird: Dave is currently the Director of Operations of the Boys and Girls Club of the Leech Lake Area. Dave is a life long learner of Anishinaabe song and dance culture. Dave has instructed drum teachings in the Leech Lake area for 20 years in the Cass Lake-Bena School District, Boys and Girls Club, and Leech Lake Tribal College. Drum making is an important part of a singers development so learning how to construct ones owe drum provides a high level of respect for his/her drum.
This project was facilitated by Claire Chase, Leech Lake Area SNAP-Ed Coordinator.
By Faith, Owner of Made By Faith
My name is Faith, you may know me from past Sprout Markets. When I first started Made By Faith I didn’t think it would go anywhere. Sprout has made it a dream come true I wouldn’t be where I am now without them. I’ve met amazing people who’ve taught me so much and tried new things. To all kids out there that are creative and talented you don’t have to be an adult to be successful. So to anyone who wants to try something new and fun come to Sprout Market.
Faith chats with Sprout after winning "Best Vendor Booth" at the 2017 Vendor Awards.
Uncle Wheat & Eddie, a musical duo made up of Brad Wallace on cajón and Ed Koehler on guitar, performed at the Sprout Growers & Makers Marketplace on January 26th, 2019. While Brad “Uncle Wheat” Wallace grew up in Indiana, early connections to Minnesota pulled him and his wife to move to Cross Lake in 1977. “My wife vacationed in Longville as a kid and my family spent summers in Cross Lake,” Brad said. “We started dating in high school, got married in 1976, and knew we wanted to live here in Minnesota. We thought, if we were ever going to do it, we should do it right now.” Brad’s bandmate, Ed “Eddie” Koehler, also has roots in Minnesota, growing up in Hibbing and then teaching in Brainerd. Ed continues to teach on Thursday evenings to guitar students at Bridge of Harmony. "It would be hard to find a better guitar player than Ed Koehler, and it is just a pleasure to sing with him,” said Brad, whose stage name is “Uncle Wheat.” Uncle Wheat was a term lovingly given to him by his nieces and nephews. “My sister-in-law is from Chicago and she has a pretty strong accent. She says ‘Brad’ and my nieces and nephews tease her asking, ‘What kind of bread is he?’ And so, I became Uncle Wheat.”
Brad and Ed have been playing together for 20 years, but only as a duo in recent years. “We've been friends for 20 years and were both in different bands over the last few years. Both of those bands broke up, so we got together as a duo,” said Brad. While both Brad and Eddie played in large bands of six to nine members, Brad says it became more difficult to find venues for the larger bands. “The band I was in, Decade Seven, had nine members and we really filled out the sound for music by Blood, Sweat & Tears as well as Chicago and Steely Dan. There was a lot of pride in that band because we played a lot of songs that other bands couldn't do. We used to say we played ‘Everything from Chevy Van to Steely Dan,’ and we did that for about eight years. Venues have become more reluctant to take a chance on hiring a bigger band. ” said Brad.
Both Ed and Brad played in a six member band called SKATYRS (Still Kids After All These Years), which played music from the 50's, 60's, and 70's. As Brad says, “It was during a time when there were more events happening and people would hire bands for private parties. That band was around for about 15 years.” Brad says he hopes the region gets back to hiring larger bands, and that summer musical festivals in Pequot Lakes and Cross Lake have demonstrated the regional demand for more performance opportunities. Finding more consistent, year-round opportunities is an important factor to being able to keep a larger band together. “Our band Decade Seven practiced a lot, every week. When you have only six to eight opportunities to perform a year, it can be hard to sustain.”
When Brad and Ed decided to play as a duo, they knew they would have many more opportunities to perform. “We went into the duo knowing that we could, if we wanted to, play every weekend in the summertime. But, I do still miss that big band sound.” Uncle Wheat and Eddie play a mix of tunes from 60's rock to Summertime by Ella Fitzgerald. New breweries and summertime venues in the region are great places for smaller musical acts. It’s clear when watching Uncle Wheat & Eddie that they are having a blast performing. “We just loved the opportunity to play at Sprout because it was something new to us, and helped give us an opportunity to play in the wintertime to stay sharp.”
Follow Uncle Wheat & Eddie on Facebook for upcoming performances.
Help us collect our region's stories.