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Wednesday November 22nd 2017

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1st Annual Bridging Festival was a Blast!

By Dallas Johnson

Our 12 hour event on 8/13 (two dozen activities moving through 10 sites) exceeded our wildest expectations. The active embodiment of an invitation, the majority of the day was hands-on and interactive. It was well attended and numbers grew with each stop along 24th St. From collecting the water at dawn, bringing the water together (w/ Sandy Spieler), Simone Speer’s dance workshop at E Philips Park, singing quietly in a circle (with Louis Alemayhu at PCC), decorating parade regalia (w/ Heart of the Beast), marveling at the Somali Mall, the parade up 24th St (with three 12 foot puppets, musicians and our decorated umbrellas), a big crowd and Patrick Nolan’s original poem at the murals unveiling (w/ artists Elissa Cedarleaf and Greta McLain), neighborhood skit honoring Muriel Simmons that ended in a spiral dance, party at Center for Changing Lives with art activities, seed balls, MPRB’s kids’ games, live African music, The Alley-hosted storytelling, snow cones and fudgicles, my original song with Julie Allen’ ASL interpretation)…we showed how creative, welcoming, willing and visionary we are when we come together.

Throughout the day, we asked guests to describe their experience. Here’s a sampling: “reawakening, connecting, renewing, an honor, refreshing, magical, activating, a God-send, dream manifestation, sacred, fun, exciting, meaningful, inspiring, motivating, wonderful seeds, audacious, ambitious, the impossible is possible”.

Big thanks to Midtown Phillips, East Phillips and Ventura Village for donations, promotions, to Whittier Alliance for promotion and to volunteers, site hosts and coordinators. Check our website (below) for more info and mark your calendar for our next event, “Bridging Shenanigans”: 6:30-8:30pm on 9/15. An original play by neighbor kids, live music, Blue Lady’s creating sand mandalas…When we do our Bridging Shenanigans we never know what will happen. We plan a foundation and invite friends to gather on the 24th St pedestrian bridge (over 35W). Then lots of people cross the bridge so we let the shenanigans unfold organically. Join us!

www.bridgingminneapolis.com / Dallas Johnson: 612-819-8881

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