Arts and Culture

Art Hounds: Circus arts and mental health

An art show
"Touching Two Worlds" at the Luminary Arts Center.
Courtesy of Steve Bozeman

From MPR News, Art Hounds are members of the Minnesota arts community who look beyond their own work to highlight what’s exciting in local art. 

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Find where mental health, healing and the circus arts connect

This is the opening weekend of Mental Health Awareness Month, the perfect time to explore “Touching Two Worlds,” a circus show created by two artists who lost their brothers to suicide and found healing through circus arts. Recommended by drug safety advocate Kim Witczak.

This upcoming show is personally resonant for Kim. After losing her husband to suicide, she attended one of local psychologist Sherry Walling’s Circus of the Broken-Hearted workshops, which use the physically demanding circus arts to help participants in grief get out of their heads and into their bodies. Walling co-created this show with circus performer and coach Lynn Lunney.

Kim says: I love to think about this as the two worlds being the physical and the spiritual. It’s going to be a magical show.

This event on Saturday night is going to be a beautiful exhibit of art in the sky. It’s movement, it’s healing, it is music and you’ll see some amazing skills, not only physically but artistically as well.

It’s going to be a magical show.

There are two shows, at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 4 at Luminary Arts Center in Minneapolis.

If you are a mental health professional or social worker, there’s actually a special show on Friday night, where you can earn some CEU credits for attending because there’s going to be a panel following the show on mental health and the power of movement arts in healing.

— Kim Witczak


Come concert hopping in the Twin Ports 

Duluth Homegrown is in full swing, and there are still several nights of jam-packed performances left before the 26th annual concert series wraps up on Sunday. Each night has a theme, and Thursday is Superior Night. Recommended by local music lover Emily Lee of Duluth.  

Pro tip: Because the concerts take place at various venues with start times 15 minutes apart, there are more concerts taking place than it is physically possible to see. Make a game plan in advance by studying the Field Guide, available at many local businesses, or by perusing the schedule here.  

Emily says: Homegrown just kind of brings a different energy into the city. It’s just like, no matter where you go or whatever show you go to, everyone greets you with like a “Happy Homegrown!”

You sometimes see friends and people that you only see during Homegrown. It’s just like, “Oh, hey, welcome, see you next year!” And it’s just a really fun, quirky Duluth tradition. 

Homegrown Music Fest is a way for people to celebrate and support our local musicians and the music scene, plus get people interested in attending shows throughout the entire year and not just during Homegrown Week.

I think this is my eleventh year going. In my younger years, like in my early 20s, we would map out our plan, as in, 8:15 this bar, 9 o’clock, this bar.

And it’s just a really fun, quirky Duluth tradition.

You’re just literally running around the city. People still do that. But as I’ve gotten older, I’m looking at where my favorites are playing and I’m going to stick to that venue.

(Editor’s note: Emily says this approach has introduced her to new bands she might not otherwise have heard.)

— Emily Lee  


Sing of Peace in Minneapolis

The South Metro Chorale, an auditioned community choir of 60 singers, performs their spring concert “Peace on Earth” this Saturday, May 4. The concert will also be live-streamed.

Recommended by Amy McKown, former Board Chair and member of South Metro Chorale, who performed with them from about 2004 to 2016. From her time in the chorale, Amy says she most appreciates the friendships and the strong sense of community she formed.

Amy says: They are also, I would say, quite varied in the types of music that they do from anywhere from secular to religious music, different languages, different eras.

Hopefully, we can turn to music for some solace and comfort.

The concert program is entitled “Peace on Earth,” and the South Metro Chorale is going to be representing different countries that have been war-torn.

They’re going to have multiple languages represented including Hebrew, Arabic, Ukrainian, as well as Zulu, German and English.

Hopefully, we can turn to music for some solace and comfort. It’s also going to be featuring David Carrillo, a violinist, as well as singers from the Prior Lake Elementary schools.

The concert is scheduled for May 4 at 4 p.m. at Lutheran Church of Good Shepherd in Minneapolis.

— Amy McKown

This activity is made possible in part by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment's Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.
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