April 8, 2023

St. Paul, Minn. (June 29, 2016) — Springboard for the Arts announces the roster of projects and artists for Roots of Rondo: Black Artists Rising. Roots of Rondo: Black Artists Rising engages black artists in and from the Rondo community to create collaborative artistic projects that highlight the present, past and future of Rondo. Roots of Rondo is presented in partnership with Springboard for the Arts and Aurora-Saint Anthony Neighborhood Development Center, in collaboration with ARTS-Us, Hallie Q. Community Center, Model Cities, Rondo Avenue Inc., Saint Paul Almanac, Selby Avenue Action Coalition, Soul Touch Productions, and Walker West Music Academy and others.

Artists attended a collaborative workshop on creative placemaking and business partnerships, and then proposed projects individually or in teams for up to $3,000 of project support. Projects run throughout the summer, with many concentrated around the Rondo Days festival, July 12-16. Projects and artists include:

Every Tuesday until September, 5-8pm
Drum, Grow Sow.
Summer drum class series at the community garden. Classes will be Tuesdays5-8pm at the amphitheater stage and Gardening class/fieldwork helpers on Thursday evenings. Time TBA. All Rondo community youth are invited to attend the free drumming classes.
Location: Frogtown Farm 941 Lafond Avenue, Building D, Saint Paul
Artist: Jesse Buckner
Event Link: http://heartandsoulmn.weebly.com/class-announcements.html

Saturday, July 9 at (1-5PM)
StArt: (Re)Foresting Rondo *(StArt = Storytelling & Art-Making)! – Session 1
A collaboration between Michele Spaise, Nicole M. Smith and Ta-Coumba Aiken magnifies Rondo tales– from community organizing, to jazz musicians/juke joints, and all in-between. These tales will be turned into pieces of art which will be seeded out into Rondo, and beyond.
Location: Rondo Library, 461 Dale St, St Paul
Artists: Nicole Smith, Michele Spaise & Ta-coumba Aiken
Event Linkhttps://www.facebook.com/events/148312065589336/

Saturday, July 16 at (Time TBD)
Rondo Magazine: The Power of Arts and Culture (ENG field interviews:“What Should Community Artists Say About The Rondo Identity?”)
The voice and works of the Rondo artist will be the focus of this project. This project will look at Rondo artists as voices for community expression, cultural Identity, transformation and change.
Location: “Rondo Days” Festival @ MLK/Rondo Education Center
Artists: Steve Cobb, Metric Giles & Rep. Rena Moran

Saturday, July 16 at (Time TBD)
How Are the Children? The Children Are Rondo!
This project will be a children’s book (possible series) about the vibrant Rondo community and will include the people and historic locations of old Rondo and the transition to now.
Location: Rondo Days Festival
Artists: Anika Bowie & Lashon Hampton

Sunday, July 17 at 6:00 pm
Between the Spaces: Rondo
A theatrical and historical exploration that unpacks real and imagined recollections of former Rondo residents through archival footage, audio, photos and theatrical interpretation.
Location: Network for the Children of African Descent (NdCAD) 655 Fairview Ave N, St Paul
Artists: Sherine Onukwuwe & Mary Mabry

Saturday, August 6 at 8:00 pm
Poems in the Key of Sight
Spoken word extravaganza bringing together 8 spoken word artists with 5 musicians, to provide conscious entertainment to the Rondo community.
Location: Arnellia’s, 1183 University Ave W, Saint Paul, MN 55104
Artist: Isaac Washington
Event Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/232015767185275/

Projects for Roots of Rondo: Black Artists Rising cover all disciplines, and bring artists and community members together to make work celebrating Rondo. See the full list of projects here: http://www.rootsofrondo.org/projects/

The Rondo community is both a physical place and a spirit. Comprising what is now considered the Summit-University neighborhood, Rondo was a thriving African-American community that was torn apart by the construction of Interstate 94 in the 1960s. The community lost its commercial core and many long-standing community members were displaced to other neighborhoods. Yet there is a thriving community that is still present in the area, mostly recognized through events like Rondo Days and the Selby Ave Jazz Fest. Roots of Rondo: Black Artists Rising brings black artists of all disciplines and backgrounds together with cultural organizations, economic institutions and local businesses to showcase the rich legacy and future of the community.

This work is funded through a $30,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, a $20,000 grant from the F. R. Bigelow Foundation and a $10,000 grant from The Saint Paul Foundation.

What: Roots of Rondo: Black Artists Rising, collaborative artistic projects that highlight the present, past and future of Rondo.
Who: Black artists in and from the Rondo community
When: Now through September
More information: http://www.rootsofrondo.org/upcoming-activities/

Roots of Rondo: Black Artists Rising is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the F. R. Bigelow Foundation and The Saint Paul Foundation.

For more information, images and videos, and media requests, contact Peter Haakon Thompson, Springboard for the Arts Community Development Coordinator at 651-789-0679 or peter@springboardforthearts.org

About Springboard for the Arts
Springboard for the Arts cultivates vibrant communities by connecting artists with the resources they need to make a living and a life. Springboard for the Arts offers artists professional and entrepreneurial development resources through its Work of Art series and one-on-one consultations, and as well as organizational support through its Incubator Fiscal Sponsorship program. Through innovative programs like Community Supported Art, Artists’ Access to Healthcare, Irrigate, and Ready Go, Springboard for the Arts helps communities collaborate with artists to solve local economic, social, and cultural challenges. Its national initiative, Creative Exchange, enables communities everywhere to replicate Springboard for the Arts’ flagship programs as well as proven projects from across the country that mobilize the powerful, creative force of artists to build stronger communities.  Springboard for the Arts is based in St. Paul and Fergus Falls, Minnesota. www.springboardforthearts.org

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