Friday, August 29, 2014 at 9:15 a.m.
If you haven't yet had a chance to check out the Somali Artifact and Cultural Museum's pop-up gallery downtown, this weekend is your chance. The space, co-curated by the Museum and Made Here, opened earlier this summer along with other storefront artist displays. However, since the previous launch occurred during Ramadan, the event this weekend will be an opportunity for a bigger celebration for the gallery.
The event will include traditional dances from Somalia, poetry, and storytelling. The celebration is also your chance to see the two huts the gallery has on display. One, which is in the style of hut found in the north region of Somalia, is made out of natural fibers that were shipped here from Africa. The other, made in the style of the southern region, is made with materials that were purchased here in Minnesota, says Made Here's artist coordinator Joan Vorderbruggen.
In addition, the pop-up gallery will showcase artwork by Somali artists Aziz Osman and Mohamoud Ali "Madaxay," as well as Pamela Gaard.
The event is part of various outreach efforts the two organizations are spearheading to celebrate and educate about Somali culture for Somalis and non-Somalis alike. As part of that effort, Hennepin Theatre Trust has hired a new Somali employee who is helping with outreach to the community. He's on hand at the museum Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 1 to 6 p.m.
The pop-up museum will be open through the month of October. In addition to checking out the huts, you might also consider stopping by one of the weaving classes, where an interpreter is on hand. The weaving doesn't require any tools. Instead, you use your fingers and toes to make it work. Vorderbruggen's been to a few classes herself, and says the elder women leading the group are excellent instructors. "It took a little bit to get the hang of it, but it's easy once you get started." Participants have made things like place mats and purses. The classes happen on Wednesdays from 1 to 3 p.m. in the gallery.