Welcome to Seward’s online arts & culture info hub.

Have something to share? Email Kerry Cashman, SNG Community Coordinator, at: kerry@sng.org

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New play “Minneapolis/St. Paul” by Lee Blessing April 3 & 4 at Playwrights’ Center

lee-blessing

Lee Blessing

The 2016-17 Ruth Easton New Play Series at the Playwrights’ Center concludes April 3 and 4 at 7 p.m. with public readings of “Minneapolis/St. Paul” by Core Writer Lee Blessing. The readings will take place at the Playwrights’ Center, 2301 E. Franklin Avenue in Minneapolis. The events are free but reservations are recommended and can be made at pwcenter.org.

Playwright Lee Blessing grew up in the Twin Cities and now lives in Los Angeles. He has been involved with the Playwrights’ Center since the 1970s and is a permanent Core Writer with the Center. Plays by Blessing recently premiered in the Twin Cities include “For the Loyal” at the Illusion Theater and “Courting Harry” at History Theatre. Blessing has been nominated for Tony and Olivier awards as well as the Pulitzer Prize.

In “Minneapolis/St. Paul,” a celebrated crime novelist leads two different lives, one as Randall, the middle-aged husband and father, and the other as Mandy, the newly-wedded wife and stepmother. In a play that is both poignant and bitingly funny, Mandy/Randall struggles with the complexities and repercussions of an identity too vast to fit within binaries.

As Blessing explains, his hometown felt like a particularly apt setting for this new play: “I wanted to write a play about a bigamist situation in which a person was a husband in one case and a wife in the other. It struck me that the Twin Cities would be very handy for that because they are their own different spheres of experience. You can live in one of them and never be that much in the other, even though they’re cheek by jowl.”

Playwrights’ Center Producing Artistic Director Jeremy B. Cohen** will direct, Trevor Bowen (2016 Emerging Artist Ivey Award winner) will serve as costume design consultant, and the lead role will be played by Jeffrey Carlson*, a well-known Broadway actor also celebrated for his portrayal of transgender character Zarf/Zoe on “All My Children” (*Member of Actors’ Equity Association; **Member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society). In 2001, Carlson made his Off-Broadway debut in the Signature Theatre Company production of Lee Blessing’s “Thief River.”

Reserve your free tickets to Minneapolis/St. Paul »

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Articulture at Arts Advocacy Day at the Capitol

Take a look at some of the work one of our great neighborhood arts organizations is doing to help preserve arts funding:

“As part of Arts Advocacy Day on February 28, Articulture staff spoke with their legislators about preserving the Arts Legacy Fund and maintaining arts funding from the General Fund.

Minnesota has a unique system put in place referred to as the Arts Legacy Fund, which is part of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment that passed in 2008. This amendment increased the state sales tax by 3/8 of 1% that, in turn, funnels into four different funds that preserve and enhance important elements of our state. The Arts and Culture Fund receives 19.75% of this added tax, of which 47% is provided to the Minnesota State Arts Board (MSAB) and Regional Arts Councils (RACs).

What would defunding the arts mean for thousands of arts organizations across the country and the many who utilize them? The arts range from visual to performance, theatrical to musical, literary to dance. In what ways do these programs impact your everyday life?

The dissolution of the NEA would very likely lead to the dissolution of Articulture. Therefore, this month is focused on the impact and importance of the National Endowment for the Arts.”

Click here to read about the Articulture Campaign

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Artist Neighborhood Partnership Initiative Small Grant Program Request for Proposals

Seward Artists,

Check out this grant opportunity for arts-driven projects for artists of color. Deadline for submitting proposals is March 1, 2017.

Cura Grant for Artists link here