Soomaal House of Art Microgrant
Soomaal proposes to do Spearwave - a monthly intimate exhibition and gathering space for conversations about art and culture. We hope this gesture will foster interconnectedness, and, using Spearwave as a foil, allow these artists a fresh opportunity to experiment with new ways of bringing to you the fruits of their artistic conceptions. In this program 3 Somali emerging artists will get the opportunity to learn, explore and exhibit a concept from beginning to end product. There will be four month process of learning/mentoring for the emerging artists that is being led by Soomaal and the lead artist. The emerging artists will explore concepts and skills need to present and exhibit their work at the end of the project. To conclude the project the emerging artists and the lead artist will show their work in an exhibit that will be open to the public. There will be a talk where they'll share their experience and process in hopes other artists in the audience to learn as well. In addition, to the staff at Soomaal, who are visual artists themselves, the emerging artists will work closely with an established artist and showcase with them at the end of the project.
Leyla Suleiman (Minneapolis, MN) Leyla is a first year educator, author in the Crossroads: Somali Youth Anthology, and was a panelist for the Community Partner Fund and is also serving in the immigrant cultural heritage panel. She is Somali.
Hibaq Mohamed (Minneapolis, MN) – Hibaq is an MHC Increase Engagement facilitator, author in the Crossroads: Somali Youth Anthology, and is also serving in the immigrant cultural heritage panel. She is Somali.
Nasra Farah (St. Cloud, MN) – Nasrah is a board member and featured speaker through the activist/advocacy organization #unitecloud. She is Somali.
Minnesota Humanities Center
$850,000 the first year and $850,000 the second year are for a competitive grants program to provide grants to preserve and promote the cultural heritage of Minnesota.
(2) Of this amount, $250,000 the first year is for a grant to one or more community organizations that provide arts and cultural heritage programming celebrating Somali heritage.
Through this project, we aim to curate intimate exhibitions and gathering space for conversations about art and culture. We hoped this gesture will foster interconnectedness, and allow these artists a fresh opportunity to experiment with new ways of conceptualizing their artistic expressions. This project aimed to have:
- 3 young and emerging artists to exhibit works
- 500 community members attend the events.
We were able to create programs that were open to the public and encouraged and mentored young Somali artists to showcase their works. The Soomaal artists worked with young and emerging artists with picking pieces to showcase and helped them formulate ideas. We held event outside to have people spread out and keep safe distant due to COVID19. We held four events at Soomaal (Seward neighborhood in Minneapolis) four weekends in September and October in 2020. Each event had 2-4 artists present their work. After their presentation, one of the Soomaal artists moderated talk where the audience engaged with the art work and the artists. We had 30-50 people at each event. Though we were able to work with the number of artists we aimed to, the audience were less than we anticipated which was largely due to the COVID19.