Art is for everybody. That's the basic premise of the Yes!Lets Collective, a new group of artists, musicians, storytellers, and other creative types who are all about supporting each other while generating an atmosphere where audiences are invited to participate in the art-making process. Some of the collective members strive to be professional artists, while others have "regular" jobs and simply want art to be a part of their lives. "We wanted to get together and make big things happen," says group member Tim Harlan-Marks.
Yes!Lets also has a multimedia focus with an interactive component. "Sometimes I get tired of standing and being a passive observer," he says.
Their first event was an "art luck," a hodgepodge event where everybody contributed something. Some people brought stories, others puppets, and others brought music. It took place in the courtyard of an apartment building. They decided to keep it going, and have been having monthly events since. A number of the group members are in bands that play mostly lyrical, folk, or folk-rock music. Through the project, they hope to make something imbued with an inclusiveness that has a grassroots feel, and where there is always an interactive element to the event.
Part of the desire to include more interactivity in their happenings stemmed from what members felt was a lack of participation at many art and music events. There was a "lack of a feeling, like you can't be part of this community too," Hanson says. So the group has been trying out ways to get folks involved, like playing music with fill-in-the-blank lyrics that makes the audience listen to a song differently. "A lot of our front men and women are phenomenal lyricists," Hanson says.
IF YOU GO:
Saturday, March 17
The Third Place Gallery
3730 Chicago Ave. S., Minneapolis