The Adventures of Flashman: Memoirs of a Photojournalist 1977-2016
This project is a photographic exhibition with written commentary selected from the accumulated works of one of Rondo’s adopted sons, Gayle “Flashman” Anderson. Spanning the years 1977 to the present with an emphasis on life in the close of the last century, it chronicles events, people and life through photos and stories.
Bio: Gayle Anderson migrated to the Rondo neighborhood of St. Paul, MN in 1965 after being raised and educated in southeast Kansas. After several years of corporate life, he worked for the City of St. Paul Parks and Recreation Department before following his true passion for photography and writing in 1977. For the nearly 40 years since, he has been engaged in a lifelong pursuit of interesting images and telling the stories associated with them.
Brenda Bell Brown
Remembering the Day: telling our stories in the tradition of artist Katannah Day
Using a methodology practiced by exhibit designer, “visual explorer” Katannah Day, families of the historic Rondo (Saint Paul, MN) neighborhood will be invited to a daytime, story-telling event to visually record their family history. A traveling exhibit designed by Day will also be subjected to a research update to bring its text current as well as include information on the designer herself.
Bio: The traveling exhibit–Families Who Nurture, Individuals Who Serve: The Role of African Americans in Community Service–was initially designed for the Minnesota History Center’s Traveling Exhibit Program when Brenda Bell Brown served as the Program Manager. It is an honor for Brenda to revisit the contents of this exhibit that highlight the legacy of Saint Paul’s great Rondo community while paying homage to its designer, the late Katannah Day.
Anika Bowie & Lashon Hampton
How Are the Children? The Children Are Rondo!
This project will be a children’s book (possible series) about the vibrant Rondo community and will include the people and historic locations of old rondo and the transition to now. This project will give space for community members to teach and for children to learn about old Rondo within of a kid-friendly context. There will be a grand book launch at Rondo Library and a Read-Aloud to engage the youth of Rondo.
Dates: Rondo Festival July 26
August read-a-aloud at Rondo Library
August read-a-aloud at Freedom School
Bio: Anika Bowie is a fifth generation resident of Rondo. She is a multi-faceted performance and creative artist. Anika is a gifted educator in the Twin Cities and a creative scholar birthed from St Paul Public Schools and Hamline University.
Drum, Grow, Sow!
On a weekly basis throughout the summer months, Heart and Soul Drum Academy (HSDA) youth students from the Somalian Rondo Community will gather at Frogtown Farm (FF) to learn and participate in the universal language of music, specifically African drumming, as we revive the tradition of Griot (storytelling), which usually occurs around the simple pleasure of food from the good earth. By combining these two art forms in a community garden-fieldwork environment, our Somalian youth will gain hands-on experience playing music and gardening – cultivating the earth and themselves for a healthy wellbeing. Through HSDA and FF’s 12-week collaboration, we will help our youth develop creativity, discipline and leadership while showing them how to perform well with others in Common + Unity = Community, at the garden.
Dates: May 21st, 11 am – 2 pm
@ Frogtown Farm 941 Lafond Avenue, Bldg D, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55104
Bio: “Baba” Jesse Buckner is a percussionist with experience that spans 45+ years, and ranges from African Drumming and Beat to Gospel and Soul to Rhythm and Blues. He has performed and collaborated with the Sounds of Blackness; was Conductor of the “High Praise Orchestra;” served as Artistic Director of Intermedia Arts, Lundstrum Center and Paul Wellstone Community Center; and currently teaches West African Drumming and Dance at Friendship Academy of the Arts, a charter school in Minneapolis.
Steve Cobb, Metric Giles & Rep. Rena Moran
Rondo Magazine: The Power of Arts and Culture
Rondo Magazine: Art, Society and Power -The Penumbra Theater and Arts in Rondo. This project will look at artistry in Rondo. The voice and works of the Rondo artist will be the focus of this project. This project will look at Rondo artists as voices for community expression, cultural Identity, transformation and change.
Dates: June 23: ENG field interviews:“What Should The Arts In Your Community Say?”
Location: “Community of Peace” Festival @ the Ober Boys and Girls Club
July 16: ENG Field Interviews:“What Should Community Artists Say About The Rondo Identity?” Location: “Rondo Days” Festival @ MLK/Rondo Education Center
August 18: Community Arts Presentation and Video Screening W/ Discussion @ Lifetrack Building, 709 University Ave., St. Paul MN 55104
Bio: Stephen Cobb / Rep. Rena Moran / Metric Giles. As a group of artists we are also dedicated community servants who are concerned about and work toward the stability and well-being of the Rondo Community through representation and legislation on Capitol Hill, the dissemination of information via mass media technology and the internet -youth/family/senior programming related to housing, education, literacy, computer technology and youth leadership development and journalism.
Amos Cole aka Mitch Haze
Home, Love, Jazz, and Hip- Hop
Home, Love, Jazz and Hip- Hop is a graffiti-based art mural that is designed to reflect the thriving culture of music and life from past and present in the Rondo community. It will be created in collaboration with Gordon Parks High and focus on past and present music history including ties to the community.
Bios: Mitch Haze (Amos Cole) is a 22 year old emcee, freelance artist, musician, collaborator and educator in St Paul. Dave Branch is a comic book artist and educator. Sean Iredale is a comic book artist.
Roots & Resilience in Rondo
The Roots & Resilience in Rondo project is to celebrate, encourage, and make space for the voices in the community of Rondo. The goal of the project is to document the true narrative of the community through its people’s mouths. We’ll do this through video and photo documentation and also a creation process in collaboration with the community.
Ericka Dennis, Naajee Dennis & Khari Dennis
Rondo Youth Voices Rise!
Rondo youth voices rise! Scholars at Obama elementary school have learned about the history of Rondo in their African American Studies class. We will be documenting their hopes and dreams for the Rondo Community, through Twitter and video interviews. Their tweets and video interviews will be displayed at Rondo Day parade. We will be asking other Rondo participants to let their voice be heard. Through snapping a selfie in front of our Rondo collage and tweeting their dreams for Rondo on our live Twitter feed.
Beacons of Peace Project
As a long-term Rondo resident, I am inspired everyday by my neighbors and friends who are working for peace and reconciliation. Some of this work is visible, the community gardens we tend and our celebrations like the Community Peace Celebration, Rondo Days, the Jazz Fest, and the work that has begun on the Rondo Memorial. But most of work is not visible: the dreams we have and shared, the friendships that span generations, the thousands of volunteer hours at schools and churches, the times we speak up at public meetings. I want Beacons of Peace to illuminate all that love back to my friends and neighbors in Rondo and to people who might just be passing through. I want my friends and neighbors to know that what they are doing matters and give them fuel to keep going and for people from outside of Rondo to recognize our strength and love.
Cuts For The Community
Cuts for the Community will take place at the Grooming House Barber Shop located off University in the Rondo neighborhood. I will be working with Master Barber Anthony Chapman and we will provide free haircuts to children in school who have signed up a few weeks prior until the selected number of slots are filled.
Dates: Monday, August 29 (at Time TBD)
Bio: My name is Troy King (King Fuvi) and I am a hip-hop/spoken word musician and poet. Anthony Chapman is a Master Barber and photographer currently working with the Grooming House Barber Shop.
Links: King Fuvi – Streetcars to Lightrails:
Rhythms of the African Diaspora:
Commitment, Conversations across Cultures, Consciousness and Culminating Concert
This project is designed to motivate young people to commit to working together to build a stronger community with shared cultural and economic goals. They will be invited to participate in daily drumming workshops over the period of two weeks, culminating in a Rondo community concert. A condition for participation is a commitment to learning how to play polyrhythms, appreciating the drumming traditions of the African Diaspora, and becoming conscious of the way cultures intersect through culturally relevant conversations.
Dates: Workshops—Daily August 15-18
Culminating Performance Production—August 29 and August 30
Culminating Performance—August 31
Bio: Babatunde Lea is aprofessional jazz musician known nationally and internationally. He has traveled the world, playing with some of the masters in the genre. Babatunde’s profile may be found at babatundelea.com
Living it Up in the RONDO NEIGHBORHOOD
The Jerry Gumshoe Mobile Arts Project, “Living it Up,” will roll into Carty Park, located between Iglehart and Carroll Avenue, and between Grotto and Saint Albans Street in St. Paul. The project will feature fun marker renderings of childhood life during the 1950s and 1960s. These colorful and imaginative images represent places, spaces, people and architecture of the area. As an exciting attraction, a book by Jerry Gumshoe will be available for commentary and sheer enjoyment.
Dates: Rondo Avenue Inc. has invited “Living it Up” to be a part of their Rondo Garden Celebration Event scheduled for July 30th and 31st 2016, 10:00A.M. to 2:00P.M. unless rained out. I have created “Living it Up” shirts and hope to have some on site assistance. I will certainly be at several different location in the neighborhood as I get further into the project.
Bio: Jerome holds a degree in interdisciplinary arts and crafts. His journey into creative thinking began in junior high school writing and illustrating comic books. Later, he shifted to photography and three dimensional design. Much later, he would design and produce a piece entitled “Wings”, which was unveiled at the Basilica of Saint Mary in honor of Dr. Kings birthday.
Rondo Doo Wop Street Corner Singers
Doo Wop Throw-back at July 30 2-4pm at Arnellia’s 1183 University Ave. St. Paul. We are going to rewind the clock back to the year 1952-ish and invite the neighborhood to join the Sons of Levi (Men’s Chorus from St. James A.M.E. Church) featuring Rondo Doo Wop Street Corner Singers (S.O.L.) singing songs written by Dianne E’Laine, which narrates how the Rondo Community used to be back in its hey-day and looks forward to future improvements.
Date: July 30th 2-4pm
Location: Arnellia’s 1183 University Ave. St.Paul
Songs: Two Original Doo Wop Songs performed by the Sons of Levi
Additional Songs: Lite rail Shuffle My Prince Your Prince Our Prince
Health Fair Booth: Capt. Wigington Impersonator
Hash Tag Booth
Sherine Onukwuwe & Mary Mabry
Between the Spaces: Rondo
Between the Spaces: Rondo is a theatrical and historical exploration that unpacks real and imagined recollections of former Rondo residents through archival footage, audio, photos and theatrical interpretation.
Dates: Thursday, July 14, 6:00 pm at Rondo Library, 461 Dale St, St Paul.
Sunday, July 17, 6:00 pm at Network for the Children of African Descent (NdCAD) 655 Fairview Ave N, St Paul.
Friday, July 22 at 6:00 pm at Eastside Freedom Library, 1105 Greenbrier St, St Paul.
Sherine Bio: I am a filmmaker, photographer, writer and critic. I also tinker around with creating collage art out of everyday items and recyclable materials.
Mary Bio: I’m a visual artist and educator who uses the mediums of writing, jewelry making, storytelling, theater and dance to transform and heal.
Connecting the Dots
Through the mediums of dance, video and shadow puppetry, we will be presenting a multimedia performance art piece in collaboration with The Community Stabilization Project. Miko and Lela will investigate the vibrant and resilient contributions of African American’s historical presence in the Twin Cities area and will coincide with the opening of a new community garden in the Rondo Neighborhood.
Dates: The performance date is still being determined by the Community Stabilization Project CSP and will coincide with the launch of one or more of their summer launch events.
Lela Bio: Lela Pierce is a multidisciplinary artist working primarily in the areas of Dance and Visual art. She is a founding member of Ananya Dance Theatre and holds a BFA in Studio Art from Macalester College. In 1942 her grandparents migrated to the Rondo Neighborhood from Jackson, MS.
Miko Bio: Blurring the lines between art and technology, theater and cinema, music and visuals, media and medium, Miko Simmons is an international award-winning Multimedia Artists/Animator/Electronic Music Composer who has been innovating in the convergence of digital techniques for Film, Animation and Theater for nearly twenty years. Miko is a 4th generation Rondo descendant.
A convention meshing all the complexities of being Black and Nerdy with cool geeky weirdness from all over the diaspora. Encouraging a love and pride in self and culture. Comics, Sci-Fi, Fantasy. Artist panels, movie screenings, dance party, and Street fighter V Tournament. Bring the whole fam!
Dates: August 6 & 7 from 11:00 am – 8:00 pm at Arts-Us, 1221 Marshall Ave, Saint Paul.
Oh Rondo, Where Did You Go?
Artist Chris Scott will present a slideshow of their project, Oh Rondo, Where Did You Go? In collaboration with Golden Thyme and Obsidian Arts.
Dates: Late July, early August 2016.
Bio: Chris Scott is a St Paul based artist who uses photography and clay to explore social issues.
Nicole Smith, Michele Spaise & Ta-coumba Aiken
StArt: (Re)Foresting Rondo *(StArt = Storytelling & Art-Making)!
Reforesting Rondo: collaboration between Michele Spaise, Nicole M. Smith and Ta-Coumba Aiken magnifies Rondo tales– from community organizing, to jazz musicians/juke joints, and all in-between. These tales will be turned into pieces of art which will be seeded out into Rondo, and beyond.
Dates: Session 1: Saturday July 9th
Session 2: Saturday August 13th
Bio: Film/Photo/Visual Documentation + Radical Healing + Storytelling and Poetry = Reforesting Rondo Crew: Michele Spaise, Nicole M. Smith and Ta-Coumba Aiken.
Poems In The Key Of Sight
Poems In The Key Of Sight will bring consciousness using the artistry of music and poetry for the betterment of the African World Community.
Spoken word extravaganza bringing together 8 spoken word artists with 5 musicians, to provide conscious entertainment to the Rondo community. This is a free event!
Date: Saturday, August 6 at 8:00 pm at
Arnellia’s, 1183 University Ave W, Saint Paul, MN 55104
Clarence White & Hawona Sullivan Janzen
Poets in the Park
Two poets will transform a Rondo Days Festival tent in the neighborhood park into an on-the-spot-poetry creation studio complete with vintage typewriters and paper. The pair will create poems exploring the sights, sounds, smells, and stories of the day and historic Rondo Days celebrations of the past. The event will conclude with selected poems being read onstage at the festival.
Date: Rondo Days Festival, Saturday, July 16, 2016
Hawona Bio: Hawona Sulllivan Janzen is a poet, singer/songwriter and visual arts curator who recently ventured into the world of on-the-spot-poetry, with much success. She is the co-founder of the University of Minnesota’s Witness Writing Project.
Clarence Bio: Clarence White is a writer who has experience creating on-the-spot poems on typewriters at various events including Northern Spark, for the pubic at Saint Paul Saints games at CHS Field, as a performance/installation at “superusted,” the 4th Biennial show at the Soap Factory and at a fundraiser for Coffeehouse Press. I write nonfiction/memoir as well as poetry.
Postcards from Rondo
Marion Williams will be sharing personalized postcards that capture the memories of Rondo from 1950-1970s. Photos for the postcards will be submitted from people in the community and those who submit will receive their specific postcard in return. Those who give consent will have their personal postcards displayed throughout the community.