ST. PAUL (July 22, 2014) — Explore six unique districts over the next few months. Starting this week, ride the Green Line to free Saturday celebrations in six different cultural business districts in the Twin Cities.
Experience projects by local artists, shopping, entertainment, and distinctive food, from felt-making to African drumming and pop-up ping-pong; from Thai Tom Yum Soup to Ethiopian Bozena Shiro, and .25 cent Falafel Balls. It’s all part of C4ward with your passport to six cultural destinations.
Each district represents a part of the richness of the Twin Cities. C4ward is an invitation into each district to explore and celebrate the past, present and future of the Twin Cities. This series of events is part of the Central Corridor as a Cultural Corridor initiative (C4), which aims to foster a cultural corridor that highlights local diversity, brings communities together, and boosts neighborhood economies through arts and culture.
The series kicks-off Saturday, July 26 from 5-10 pm in Little Mekong, St. Paul’s Asian business and cultural district (Western Ave. LRT station). Their motto is: “Come for the food, stay for the culture.” Write your own poem at the “River of Poems” station, paint an illuminated mask, and stay through twilight to experience the new, open-air, Asian “Night Market”–a carnival of sights, sounds, and flavors. You’ll find food, vendors, farmers, handicrafts, music, cultural performances, and activities for all ages.
C4ward activities, made possible with the generous support of the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative, will take place every other Saturday from July 26 through October 4. Maps of all the festivities will be available in each district.
August 9, 12 to 6 p.m.
• Rondo and Frogtown/Victoria Station
Rondo has long been the center of African American culture and business in St. Paul, and Frogtown is home to generations of immigrants. Hear talented storytellers spin tales about this area, and tell your own story at the Storymobile. Or listen to the Vocal Divettes, explore the pop-up art galleries with art by artists from the neighborhoods, and hear the rich deep sound of African drums. Start with breakfast at the new diner and get a huge cinnamon roll or spicy carnitas Benedict, and later–don’t miss tasting old fashioned BBQ (try the famed Flintstone Sandwich). Watch a performance at the historic Victoria Theater then go next door for an authentic Ethiopian dinner or down the street for fusion Vietnamese cuisine.
August 23, 4 to 8 p.m.
Little Africa/Snelling Ave. Station
Enjoy all kinds of African art at this event–drumming, paintings, musical instruments, and Ethiopian dance. Visit African restaurants, coffee shops, grocery stores and other businesses in this district. Be sure to experience the authentic spices of African food like curried lamb stew or lentils cooked in Berbere sauce.
Sept. 6, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Creative Enterprise Zone/Raymond Ave. Station
Soak up the creative and artistic energy that abounds in this area through a woodworkers competition, table tennis tournament, the SparkIt Mobile Trailer (where you can create your own art), onsite letterpress activities, and much more. Spend the afternoon browsing the area’s vintage shops, get “the food you grew up with”, visit the two new neighborhood tap rooms, and end the day listening to Irish music.
Sept. 20, 12 to 6 p.m.
Prospect Park/Prospect Park Station
Start your trip with a delicious designer cupcake and espresso. Join a community felting project, listen to Music on the Line, shop for architectural antiques, and hone your paddle skills at a pop-up ping pong park. Visit the unveiling of the Pallet Pavilion at Prospect Park Community Gardens: Cornerstone, take home a Prospect Park letterpress print, and before you leave, head up the hill to the 100-year-old iconic Witch’s Hat Tower.
Oct. 4, from 1 to 4 p.m.
• West Bank/West Bank Station
C4ward will end in the West Bank with the second annual West Bank Ride-a-neighborhood cycling event that starts at Currie Park and takes you on paths and stops around the West Bank. Highlights will include a variety of creative installations including African drummers. Very Tall Tales on stilts and a West Bank art crawl. Afterward, you can kick back with a cold drink and enjoy dinner from any of the restaurants serving authentic cuisine from across the globe or pick up a hot dog with hand-cut fries.