Soundset is a music festival which happens each May featuring a variety of events including a custom car show. The car show also had a low rider car hopping contest. Our Media Active crew visited the festival and got the chance to interview Phillip Espinoza Day, who runs the whole car show. Funded by a grant from Forecast Public Art, Phillip works with high school students to rebuild an entire car throughout a year and the students receive school credit. He talked about the custom car community and how a lot of the community has left Minnesota due to the extreme weather conditions. He hopes to gather the existing community with events like these as a form of expression and community gathering for black and brown men.
In May, TeAda Productions’ Masters of the Currents was filmed by the Media Active crew at Mixed Blood Theater. Masters of the Currents, by Leilani Chan & Ova Saopeng, is the first nationally touring play about Micronesians in the U.S. The show follows three Micronesians growing up in Hawaii while holding on to their cultural roots in Micronesia. The story explores the Micronesian community’s discrimination after being displaced from their homes. It also expresses the relationship the community has to land and water. There was a panel after each show for the audience to ask questions. For one of the performances, the theater bused in people from a large Micronesian community in Milan, Minnesota to see the show. At the end of the performance that community came on stage and sang in their language. Learn more about TeAda Productions and Masters of the Currents at teada.org.
As part of a grant from Forecast Public Art, artists Oskar Ly and Christina Vang are working to create a mural at the Hmong American Farmers Association (HAFA) in Hastings, Minnesota. The artists are spending time on the farm and engaging farmers about Hmong agriculture and Pha Ntaub (story cloth) traditions. These conversations have inspired the images and design of the mural. In June, a Media Active crew visited HAFA to document the work in progress.