This project had three components: 1) An arts club that meets weekly and provides arts education and peer mentoring; 2) A theater play that will showcase issues/challenges within the Somali community in the community. The workshops are designed to introduce youth to traditional Somali arts and encourage them to extend the tradition through their own artistic practice. 3) Showcasing Somali Art, presentation and intercultural community engagement at the Somali Independence day Festival in 2016.
$125,000 each year is for a grant to Ka Joog for the Fanka Program to provide arts education and workshops, mentor programs, and community engagement events throughout Minnesota.
Most Somali artists are not known outside their community. Fanka will start to change that in a few different ways:1. Documenting the art forms and public presentations and sharing widely through the website, youtube, and other social media2. Facilitating awareness of Somali artists and art forms3. Engaging non-Somalis in cross-cultural arts appreciation and exchange
Ka Joog was able to maximize its efforts and its vision to create a powerful platform for the arts. Chronicles of The Diaspora play highlighted the experiences of two Somali-American immigrant families and examines their version of the American dream. Many forces play into the story of these families – Somali politics, identity crisis, terrorism, the strains of preserving culture, mental health, suicide, domestic abuse (topics many consider taboo), and highlights the misunderstandings and tensions between long time Americans and their new Somali neighbors. Promises of prosperity and happiness are felt that reach far beyond the limbo of living in two cultures. The post-play discussions with actors and and audience members opened up more dialogue than we had anticipated. The play was performed in three location, Minneapolis, St. Paul and St. Cloud. We worked with 11 actors. The turnout of the play were as follows: Minneapolis - 175, St. Cloud - 160, St. Paul - 185 Weekly art works were also implemented within the past year at our three locations which was led by Abdi Phenomenal, spoken word artist who has dedicated his talent to arts literacy programing tailored to the conversations of Somali identity, equity access, and opportunity. As a result of this program, we have been able to practice, teach, present, and increase intercultural understanding; improve quality of life for youth by engaging them with positive art activities that simultaneously connects them with their culture and provide opportunities for enrichment and self-expression. We also had a chance to work with 10 different artist during the Somali Independence Day Festival on July 9th this year. The event brought together 0ver 25,000 people from Minnesota, Somalis and Non- Somalis. We were also able to document Documenting the art forms and public presentations, Facilitating awareness of Somali artists, and Engaging non-Somalis in cross-cultural arts appreciation and exchange.