It was Mardi Gras in Minneapolis at the Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts on Monday as trumpeter James Andrews headlined Breaking Ground – The Artspace Celebration. More than 400 guests from New Orleans, Memphis, Chicago, Mesa, New York, the Twin Cities and elsewhere joined the Celebration in Minneapolis, with hundreds more watching a live feed at Artspace projects throughout the country.
The onstage performances had the audience standing and cheering as Buckets and Tap Shoes opened the show with a rousing percussive drumming and dancing extravaganza. Artspace resident artist Ashley DuBose performed three numbers, including her rendition of “Diamonds” that first got the attention of the judges on NBC’s “The Voice” last season.
James Andrews rocked the house, backed up by a group of local players billing themselves as the Upper Mississippi Krewe of Funk. Andrews had the audience on their feet and dancing in the aisles to classic New Orleans jazz. Andy and Rick Ausland of Buckets and Tap Shoes joined Andrews back on stage for "When the Saints Go Marching In." Andrews led the band and the audience in a second line around the house and out into the lobby for the party after.
Beyond the terrific performances, the Breaking Ground was a celebration of Artspace and the artists we serve, highlighted by the presentation of the first Artspace Artist Awards. Host John Moe presented the four awards to winners from Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Santa Cruz, California; Washington, DC and Minneapolis. The awards presentations were accompanied by a lighthearted video featuring Artspace President Kelley Lindquist and some of the talented artists who live and work in Artspace buildings.
Tabatha Mudra, recipient of the Dejunius Hughes Award for Activism, accepted her award with words that Dejunius would have appreciated: “Artspace, you have created walls without boundaries – to house the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the trouble-makers, the round pegs and the square holes; the ones who see things differently.”
Catherine Jordan, long-time arts leader and recipient of the Paul Brawner Award for Support of the Arts, issued a challenge to those attending. “We are surrounded by enormous creativity, energy and resources as we face unprecedented challenges and cataclysmic change,” Jordan said. “Artists, cultural workers and animateurs are the guides, the storytellers, the vision-makers, the people who can take an idea and transform it into new realities, the people we need who can help us chart a path to sanity, wholeness and health. Don't be shy. Don't wait to be asked. We need all hands on deck, so time to step up. My challenge to you is to get involved in something you care about as if your lives depend on it."
Linda Cover and Quest Skinner, recipients of the Su Job Award for Education and the Steve Kramer Award for Community Service, respectively, spoke movingly of their work and communities. The recipients of the awards for activism, education and community service each received a check for $5,000.
Guests immerse themselves in art before the show with a Distance Collaboration demonstration with Brookland Artspace Lofts in D.C., enjoyed live entertainment, made art buttons featuring the work of Artspace artists, had their portrait taken, and experimented with clay on a potters wheel.
We were honored to have a wonderful group of artists, civic leaders, funders and supporters from across the country serving on the Breaking Ground Host Committee in support of Artspace.
CO-CHAIRS, Blythe Brenden and Randy Loomis
HOST COMMITTEE, Cree Zischke, VP, Global Philanthropy & Community Relations, JP Morgan Chase Foundation, AZ / Ceil Cirillo, Economic Development, Santa Cruz, CA / Mayor Cecil Gutierrez, Loveland, CO / Carla Perlo, Founding Director, Dance Place, Washington, DC / Carol Bebelle, Executive Director, Ashé Cultural Arts Center, New Orleans, LA / Jonn Hankins, President, New Orleans Master Crafts Guild, New Orleans, LA / Devon M. Akmon, Director, Arab American National Museum, Dearborn, MI / Mayor Jack O’Reilly, Dearborn, MI / Councilmember Lisa Goodman, Minneapolis, MN / Randy Bourscheidt, President Emeritus, Alliance for the Arts, New York, NY / Roy Gabay, President, Roy Gabay Theatrical Production and Management, New York, NY / Rosalba Rolón, Artistic Director, Pregones Theater, New York, NY / Andrew Solomon, Author, New York, NY / Lori Pourier, President, First Peoples Fund, Rapid City, SD / Gretchen McLennon, Hyde Foundation, Memphis, TN / Maria López de León, Executive Director, National Association of Latino Arts & Culture, San Antonio, TX / Betty Massey, Executive Director, Mary Moody Northen Endowment, Galveston, TX / Sean McGlynn, Department of Cultural Affairs, El Paso, TX / Peter Beard, Senior VP, United Way Worldwide, Alexandria, VA / Jim Kelly, Executive Director, 4Culture, Seattle, WA / Sue Coliton, VP, The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, Seattle, WA
Special Thanks to our Breaking Ground Sponsors:
Video and Production services provided by www.iDream.tv
Event Photography provided by GBG Photography