Heidi Arneson: 100 Creatives

Number 66: Heidi Arneson

City: Minneapolis

Years living in MN: 52! Whoo-hee!

A veteran performance artist, Heidi Arneson has been a fixture on the local arts scene for decades. Her theater and performance art is bold, evolving over the years from intensely personal confessions to pieces that speak to larger topics in the human experience. Her charismatic exuberance and fearlessness come through each of her many artistic endeavors, be it a Fringe show, a cabaret segment, a yoga class for inmates, a novel, or a video short. For her latest project, bloodymerryjammyparty, Arneson puts on her playwright hat to collaboratively create a musical production filled with teen angst, zombies, peeping toms, and truth or dare.
[jump] Name three things inspiring work right now:

1. Extreme patience and watching work evolve over decades.

2. Knowing every cell, person, critter, and molecule is the center of the universe.

3. Watching Blank Slate Theatre rehearsals of my bloodymerryjammyparty play.
Name three things that inspired and/or motivated you as a budding creative type:

1. At the age of nine I told my mother I wanted to be an artist. She said, "Then you better start making art," and handed me a paintbrush.

2. Swimming underwater in Pike Lake.

3. Getting encouragement from Rick Ponzio of The Playwrights Center to misbehave onstage.
Last big project:

Literally doubling the workspace of Heidi House by the sweat of my brow.
What do you have coming up that should be on our radar?

Bloodymerryjammyparty! This started as a one-woman play in 1992. In 2010, with the musical talents of Alberta Mirais and Ian Boswell,  we expanded this to a full-cast musical directed by Adam Arnold of Blank Slate Theatre. The world premiere runs April 8 through 16.

BLOODYMERRYJAMMYPARTY - Official Trailer from Ben McGinley on Vimeo.

Creative/career high point (so far)?

Right now, watching a play I wrote/performed/directed expand into a full-cast musical interpreted by many excellent youths.

What has been your biggest challenge as an artist?

Overcoming the early-instilled notion that there is no place for me here.

How has the local scene changed since you began your career?

In solo performance art, there is less wildness, less risk-taking, and less discipline to train.

If you had to live in the world of a book, which one would you choose? Why?

Lord of the Flies. I'm still not tamed. I am a tomboy at heart, and I like gritty outdoor adventures. If it were girls instead of boys marooned on the island, it may have proceeded less violently.

Describe your last dream:

Flowers and plants bend themselves around my hands in expressions of affection.

A video short for Grrrl!, which later became a Fringe production:

Do you have a suggestion for someone whose work we should be checking out? Feel free to leave your top picks in the comments.

Past creatives, so far:

100. Jennifer Davis
99. Sean Smuda
98. Chuck U
96. Amy Rice
95. Kara Hendershot
70. Tim Sievert
67. Dessa