“I don’t have to be only about this rigid, tough-guy masculinity that was passed down in my neighborhood, I’m into poetry.”
Jake Virden learned anti-racism and a love for hip-hop music and culture at a very young age. On this episode of the podcast, Jake talks about growing up in Northeast Minneapolis amidst a huge cultural shift in that area and it's relationship to North Minneapolis. He talks about how rap music is black music but it's also working class music, struggle music, the people's music.
Jake shares stories from over a decade of activism and community organizing. He talks about the importance of being willing to be corrected, checked or redirected when doing organizing and justice work. And Jake thoughtfully unpacks a nuanced understanding of white-skin privilege and how it has been used as part of the narrative to strengthen and continue systemic oppression.
Jake Virden is a writer, performance artist and popular educator focused on the intersections of race, class, culture and ecology. Jake has worked as a facilitator with S.P.E.A.C.(Sustainable Progress Engaging Active Citizens), an organizer with Hope Community’s Parks and Power Campaign, and facilitates trainings on Racial Justice and European American resistance to white supremacy.
Nina Simon is inspiring speaker, writer and thinker who started changing the way museums and cultural institutions do and think about their work when she started her Museum 2.0 blog over a decade ago.
In this episode of the podcast, Nina talks about writing and sharing her latest book "The Art of Relevance" and how she came to her working definition of the word Relevance. She shares stories of truly living off the grid, getting her homes electricity from solar power and having to haul bathroom waste in a bucket every day and why that lifestyle makes her judge others less.
Nina also talks about the importance of athletics and playing sports in her life and how much play factors into all parts of her work and life. Plus Nina talks about growing up with a rockstar father, how writing books let her actually focus more on doing the work she wants to do and what community and partnership really means to her.
Executive Director of the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History Nina Simon is an internationally-recognized expert on active community participation in cultural institutions and has been named a “museum visionary” by Smithsonian Magazine for her innovative approach to design. Nina received the American Alliance for Museums’ Nancy Hanks Memorial Award in 2012 and was named one of the 50 most “powerful and influential people in nonprofit arts” by the Western States Arts Federation in 2012 and 2013. Nina is the author of The Participatory Museum (2010) and the popular Museum 2.0 blog.
“If your son says you’re a bear, you’re a bear.”
Jon Ferguson talks about how his desire to move and imagine and create caused expulsion from school but its what propels his work as an artist in adulthood. He shares how his early creative experiences as an adolescent listening to a walkman on road trips and imagining scenarios, chases, rescues, romantic stories – all to a soundtrack informs how his work interacts with set and sound as well as words. Also, Jon talks about how his negative experiences as a young student make him nervous about sending his son to school. And how becoming a parent raises money concerns that sometimes push a focus on making art to the side.
Tina North talks about being the mother of a young graphic artist and how her work has influenced his connection to the arts, “when he was in utero, I was in a show.” What it’s like to grow up with a father who is a working musician and a mother who is a makeup artist and how that made her less likely to wear makeup day to day. Also, the creativity of owning and operating her own business, Moss Envy.
Raised by a professional dancer and a rock drummer, Rick Ausland has been performing percussion and tap dancing since he was a child. Rick is a tap dancer, teacher, choreographer, bucket drummer, audio and video editor, magician and theater and event producer. Rick got his start performing live as a street performer alongside his brother Andy. In 2004 Rick and Andy created Buckets and Tap Shoes, a high-energy blend of music, dance and percussion that has performed all over the world.
In this conversation, Rick talks about how he got into dancing and percussion. He also talks about how he makes money, why comedy matters to him and how he discovered a passion for creating experiences for audiences. Check out Rick’s big event coming up on October 31 by going to spiritforward.info