Artists E.G. Bailey and Shá Cage will work with department staff and consult with Minneapolis communities to identify important strengths or positive qualities in communities around the city, particularly in areas with the highest concentrations of poverty and people of color. These are those important but intangible assets that communities value but that may not show up on a standard City map. For example, a community gathering place might be seen as an asset, or a person or informal network of people might be important to a community’s cohesion. The artists will seek to map and creatively represent those strengths in ways that the City can use to develop plans and policies.
As performers, E.G. Bailey and Shá Cage move fluidly between the forms of theater, spoken word, film and movement. Their work and activism has taken them through the U.S., England, South Africa, France, Croatia, Canada, the Netherlands and West Africa. Together they launched Creative Cultural Consultants (3Cs) in 2014. They founded the MN Spoken Word Association and Tru Ruts Endeavors and have taught in more than 100 schools, colleges and community centers in the U.S. They have facilitated professional development institutes, workshops, conferences and diversity training, and they have been adjunct faculty at the University of Minnesota in the Theater Department and at Augsburg College.
Shá Cage is an actor, writer, activist and spoken word artist. She was named a Changemaker by the Women’s Press, won a regional Emmy, received a 2011 McKnight Theater Fellowship, and received an Ivey Award in 2013. Noted theater roles include Mamie Till in Penumbra Theater’s Ballad of Emmett Till, Lena in the Guthrie Theater’s Clybourne Park, Venus in Frank Theater’s Venus, and Josephine in Mixed Blood’s Ruined. She is a founder of Mama Mosaic Theater (for women), a distinguished TCG/Fox Fellow and was commissioned to work on the MN Girls Are Not for Sale initiative.
Peter MacDonald is a graduate of the University of Minnesota’s Professional Degree Program in Architecture. He is a designer, sculptor, poet, social theorist, and social architect. His work explores, sustainability, community building, and how we shape our environment and how it shapes us. In 2000 he founded Peter Stafford MacDonald Residential Design Group. The firm specializes in the creation of unique, contextually sensitive single family homes in the Midwest and around the country. In 2011 Peter founded Scenius Studio. The mission of the studio is to engage in community building, explore co-creativity, and experiment with how architecture can influence social interaction.
Kirk Washington, Jr. was an artist, community leader, and scholar from the North Side of Minneapolis. He lived as an artist in and worked from 3 different continents: Africa, United Kingdom, and United States. He worked to create spaces that combine art, civic engagement, proximity and scale. He worked over the last 25 years, in many different mediums and capacities: literature, theater, video, music, design, cultural theory, critique, photography, digital, sculpture, paint, bookmaking, community development, and was always looking for more ways to create. He believed the collective imagination is the path that art can offer the world.He also believed this genius happens when life societies and their citizens realize and lean into their brokenness. It is there where the wounds are that we have the highest chance to heal. He was working on a series of quarterly art festivals in Harrison Neighborhood, on the city’s North Side. Creative CityMaking, our community, and our world experienced a tragic loss when artist Kirk Washington, Jr. was killed in a highway accident on April 4, 2016. A poet, performer and powerful advocate for civil rights and social action,
Kirk’s memory and spirit lives on in the work he did and the relationships he built.
- Developing culturally specific ways to understand and communicate the value of the civil society and the electoral process to new immigrant communities;
- Developing culturally specific ways to make legible and provide access to existing platforms for civic processes and decision making including boards, commissions and voting process;
- Developing platforms for City staff to effectively engage with underserved communities;
- Overcoming immediate barriers and motivating community interest in election processes and understanding their impacts.
Tenant Voices in the Regulatory Services Department
Artists Mankwe Ndosi and Reggie Prim will be collaborating with the Regulatory Services Department focused primarily on the rental community. The department/artist team will employ arts-based engagements to connect with and within underserved and underrepresented communities so that department policies are better aligned with the interests of the communities the department serves. Together, the Department/artist team will be focusing on how to create more opportunities for tenant engagement and how to get input on improving services that address a growing and diverse population. The artist team will work with City staff to help increase awareness on how tenant voices can be heard and engaged to inform operational and policy level decisions involving residential inspections.
Mankwe Ndosi is celebrated for a sound and practice that spans genres and disciplines: celebrating influences from Jazz and African legacies, Hip Hop and Soul, performance art, theater, public art and improvisation. She tours and performs nationally and internationally including recent appearances with Nicole Mitchell and Ballake Sissoko in France and Switzerland; Minneapolis, Chicago and Boston performances in the world-premier of River See, Sharon Bridgforth’s Theatrical-Jazz masterwork; and performances with mentor and Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) stalwart Douglas Ewart. Her studio and live work has included dates with Laurie Carlos, Ananya Dance Theater, Brother Ali and Atmosphere. Ndosi defines herself as a Culture Worker – an artist using creative practice to nurture and be useful to her community, her ancestors, and the earth. She is especially invested in bringing people together to excavate, author, and share stories. She has a history of community leadership that includes board membership, program development, teaching, designing and hosting community festivals and directing the Center for Independent Artists in South Minneapolis. She has a Bachelor’s degree in social and political theory focused on economics and women’s studies from Harvard University. She actively invests in her own skill development, including participation in leadership training programs such as Rockwood Leadership Institute’s Arts and Leadership Program, Intermedia Arts’ Creative Community Leadership Initiative, and Hope Community’s SPEAC (Sustainable Progress through Engaging Active Citizens).
For nearly two decades, Reggie Prim has worked at the intersection between civic engagement and the arts. As an independent curator, neighborhood leader and organizer, consultant, and non-profit leader, he has worked to help activate the power of the arts to bring people together across the divides of faith, ethnicity and culture. Reggie’s artistic career began as a performing artist and poet. He was trained as a dancer and worked in theater and performance art in Indianapolis. In the twin cities he has been a blogger, playwright, graphic designer, facilitator, non-profit leader, community organizer and public speaker. Reggie has led workshops, designed public arts experiences, and served on the boards of directors of a number of arts nonprofits. He served on the board of directors of Intermedia Arts and as the board chair for Kairos Alive, a leader in community-based dance. He is the curator of the community arts program at The Center For Changing Lives in Minneapolis. And from 2000 until 2007 served as community programs manager at The Walker Art Center, where he co-authored Art and Civic Engagement: Mapping The Connections – a conceptual and planning model for activating the power of art in communities.