A 2,500-square-foot exhibition, "We Are Hmong/Peb Yog Hmoob," timed for the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the beginning of Hmong migration to Minnesota, is planned to open on March 7, 2015 and will run through November 29, 2015.
We Are Hmong Minnesota, a 2,500-square-foot exhibit, debuted March 7, 2015, timed for the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the beginning of Hmong migration to Minnesota. MNHS staff worked in partnership with the Hmong community to develop the exhibit. A traveling version of the exhibit for loan to libraries, schools, and community centers was also developed and is currently circulating. A companion exhibit at the James J. Hill House displayed a collection of Hmong textiles recently donated to the Minnesota Historical Society.
The Hmong Oral History Project aims to document Hmong stories and perspectives and for these interviews to be used as a resource for the We Are Hmong exhibit. MNHS worked with Mitch Lee, director of St. Paul's Hmong Broadcasting Company (HBC), to interview 10 prominent Hmong individuals. The interviews were created in video format by HBC's film crew. The interviews will be featured on HBC and will also become part of the MNHS collection available online at the Voices of Minnesota website, collections.mnhs.org/voicesofmn/.
An interpretive exhibit, "Hmong History Through Textile", was created to show the relationship between Hmong history and the changing styles of traditional clothing and the "story cloth". Paj ntaub (flower cloth) is a form of textile artwork used to decorate women's skirts, men's collars and story cloths. The design of tradtional Hmong clothing identifies its wearer by familial, political, cultural and geographical connections.
The Qhia Dab Neeg (storytelling) Film Festival is a celebration of Hmong storytelling that carries with it the intent of honoring the history, tradition, and culture of the Hmong through the art of film and video.
Art Adventures is a summer arts initiative to engage and increase access to the arts for low-income, underprivileged Hmong youths through working with artists and visiting local arts organizations and events.
The Hmong Arts Connection (HArC) promotes and inspires artistic expressions of Hmong culture through storytelling, in partnership with L’Etoile du Nord French Immersion School. Professional Hmong storytellers will connect with K-6 classrooms to perform and teach the art of Hmong storytelling.
Southeast Asian Community Council's Art Adventures engages and increases access to the rich art and cultural vibrancy of the Twin Cities for underprivileged Hmong youths through art classes taught by local Hmong artists and field trips to local art organizations.
To promote the preservation of agricultural history, education and diversity at the Ramsey County Fair by showcasing traditional Hmong dances, square dancers, a fife and drum corp, and Agricadabra, a show which featurs agricultural facts and magic.
A total of 19 interviews of Asian American-Pacific Islander immigrants were conducted in English and selected Asian Languages. The project successfully captured information about their immigration history, settling experience and their memories in relationships to historical events in North Minneapolis. Eight of the interviews were recorded with a digital video camcorder then the interviews were transcribed by language specialists, then translated into English.
The summary, transcripts and video recording will be preserved and made broadly accessible through:
The Minnesota State Legislature asked the Minnesota Humanities Center to award arts and cultural heritage grants to the American Indian, immigrant, Hmong, and Somali communities through the competitive grant process. A small portion of the appropriation was reserved by the Humanities Center for direct expenses related to administering the grant.
MNHS is developing new curricula, programs, and resources to engage students in learning about Minnesota history. In FY16 a full review of online resources for the K-12 audience will be completed and an action plan put in place to update content and the design of online curriculum offered to K-12 teachers and students. In addition, staff are working with the Oliver Kelley Farm to create new curricula and programs on agriculture, history, and STEM for K-12 teachers and students. Two new programs will be developed and piloted at the Oliver Kelley Farm in FY16.
Increasing the public's online access to the MNHS permanent collections remains a top priority for the Collections Department. Since the beginning of FY16 (July 1, 2015), over 1,000 artifacts have been digitally photographed and cataloged. (About a third of the artifacts have been published to our online catalog.) This included American Indian material culture (338 items) as well as recent acquisitions and artifacts associated with the Minnesota State Fair (200 items) and popular music in Minnesota (345 items).