Reflecting Through Art: The Minneapolis Moment Project
Xera Britt, staff writer
“What is life like in Minneapolis right now at this very moment?” is the question that Dr. Charles Adams Jr. and the rest of the Minneapolis Moment Project are asking this year. It is a question that many in Minnesota are now answering through art, literature and plays.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the rocky and complicated political election and former administration and the murders of Jamar Clark, Freddie Gray, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, to name a few, Minneapolis Moment seeks to stimulate dialogue about police brutality, politics, the pandemic and how everything that has happened is affecting the people of Minneapolis and Minnesota as a whole. Inspired by the “Ferguson Moment Project” and the Every 28 Hours Plays festival following the murder of Michael Brown, Minneapolis Moment seeks to continue the ever-growing dialogue through artistic display. Primarily, the project focuses on 1-2 minute plays that seek to answer the question, “What does it mean to live in Minneapolis and Minnesota at this very moment?”
The project reflects a wide range of emotional responses, such as humorous criticism, serious thought, mourning, hopeful solidarity and more. Adams, the facilitator of the project, tells The Echo that any type of tone is encouraged and that answers can come through personal experience or a more general one, perhaps through family, friends or as an observation. Additionally, Adams invites anyone to join, not just performers or playwrights, saying, “[We] can work with anyone.” This includes unique submissions, including graphic and visual art or musical composition, which Adams adds the project would eagerly accept. The project works in four cycles or performances. As the performances are released, they build on each other until they culminate into a single video released at the end. The first performance draws from plays from the Every 28 Hours festival, while the following performances will include submissions.
The project is intrinsically linked to Augsburg, being facilitated by one of Augsburg’s own with many participants and lead roles being filled by Augsburg students and faculty. This has made it a moment of reckoning for the Augsburg community, a community with traditional privilege as an educational institution. Adams has said that he believes the project to be one that inspires, connects, supports and educates the community by informing, asking questions, and keeping the dialogue open and the reality of this moment in mind. It is in some ways a call for community and togetherness and, in others, a call to action. This makes it critical for the Augsburg community to engage with the project if it is to live up to its goals to create informed citizens and responsible leaders.
The project has posted its first performance on the Augsburg Theater Department’s Youtube channel, Augsburg University Theater, and will be posting future performances there as well. Sign-ups can be accessed through a Google Form or emailed directly to Adams at firstname.lastname@example.org. I highly encourage Auggies to engage with this project as your responsibility as a student and a Minnesotan.