Insight News

Thursday
Jul 31st

Minneapolis Institute of Arts feature African Arts and Culture for Family Day

E-mail Print PDF


A festive introduction to African arts and culture is the focus of Family Day on Sunday, February 10, 11 A.M.-5 P.M. at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA). Collaborating with St. Cloud resident and Cameroon native Fred Yiran, the MIA presents "Sharing Africa: Sights, Sounds, and Symbols." This Family Day will feature music, stories, drums, dance, and art-making activities, all free and open to the public. The art of sharing will be the underlying theme for the day's events. A festive introduction to African arts and culture is the focus of Family Day on Sunday, February 10, 11 A.M.-5 P.M. at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA). Collaborating with St. Cloud resident and Cameroon native Fred Yiran, the MIA presents "Sharing Africa: Sights, Sounds, and Symbols." This Family Day will feature music, stories, drums, dance, and art-making activities, all free and open to the public. The art of sharing will be the underlying theme for the day's events.

Left: Fred Yiran

"The heart was created by the act of sharing," said Yiran, who is an artist, storyteller, musician, and educator. "When you receive something, it is a gift and you must receive it with an open heart."

Yiran envisions this Family Day as a general introduction to African arts and culture. At a music-making workshop, families will create shaker instruments and participate in a group concert. Yiran will build a wooden xylophone and play other handmade African instruments. An African dance workshop will feature St. Cloud-based dance instructor Debra Leigh, and African drums will be played by the Southside Boys and Girls Club, Beats on the Block, also from the St. Cloud area. Additional highlights include storyteller Danielle Daniel, accompanied by musician Tony Paul; a gallery hunt; and an "art cart" featuring objects from Ghana and other African cultures.

"One of the goals of Family Day is to initiate new visitors to the museum and to provide a comfortable and fun experience that ignites their curiosity," said Julia Modest, Family Day program associate at the MIA. "Drawing on the expertise of community members like Yiran, who have direct links to cultures represented in the museum's collection, is an excellent way to help people make a connection to the museum's permanent collection."

Yiran will also conduct two continuing education sessions for the museum's guides. These classes and the Family Day are sponsored by The McKnight Foundation Fund for the African Galleries, a permanent endowment at the MIA that sponsors community education and outreach programs associated with the museum's African art collection.

Originally from Nso, Cameroon, West Africa, Yiran studied African arts under community elders, learning in traditional ways. He came to Minnesota in 1981 to pursue an art degree from Bemidji State University, later acquiring master's degrees from St. Cloud State University. In 2004, the King of the Northwest Province of Cameroon honored Yiran with the title of Mformi, identifying him as a leader of Nso traditions and a representative of the king.

Over the years, Yiran has advised the museum on many programs related to its African art collection. Many community partners like Yiran help the museum produce programs and interpretative materials that are authentic, accurate, and engaging.

"I hope the African arts and culture Family Day will spark visitors' interest in specific African cultures," said Yiran, "and that what we've planned will encourage visitors of all ages to try something new, allowing them to venture into the sense of creativity."
 

Recent Comments

Powered by Disqus



Facebook Twitter RSS Image Map

Latest show

  • July 22, 2014
    "Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art " at Walker Art Center... Valerie Cassel Oliver, curator; Fionn Meade, Walker coordinating curator; artist Jamal Cyrus and artist Maren Hassenger.

Business & Community Service Network