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News & Views of Phillips Since 1976
Tuesday July 16th 2024

2012 Bridging Festival

Bridging Festival 2012 “linked” neighbors by Bridging Minneapolis, Whittier Store Front Arts, and Interact combining to embellish the 24th Street pedestrian bridge, neighbors, and neighborhoods working together.

By Dallas Johnson

Bridging-Artists in Storefronts-Interact Center Partner in Celebration

Bridging Minneapolis partnered with Artists in Storefronts and Interact Center to present the 2nd annual Bridging Festival, using music, visual art, textile design, dance, games, a parade, bubbles, face paint and more to create a community bridge from Whittier to Phillips West.

During our art-inspired, community-built bridge event, we gathered on the Whittier side of the 24th Street Bridge to don costumes and festooned umbrellas and we paraded onto the bridge, where we had a disco party among chalked messages on the bridge deck, “Make Friends, Community, Peace, Love, Fun Fun Fun!”. We wrote our big wishes on colorful cloth and hung them on the chain link and chalked them all over the bridge deck. When we reached the Phillips West side of the bridge, we danced to banjo and harmonica music and read Patrick Nolan”'s poem together. Parading down the Phillips side of the bridge was a breathtaking experience because Interact Center had installed their textile piece (“Palace of Wonder”) all over the sides of the bridge. Astonishingly gorgeous! (Palace of Wonder is an interactive, collaborative art “world” that garnered community and critical acclaim after it appeared outside the Minneapolis Institute of Art during this summer”'s Northern Spark festival.)

The Sunday afternoon “Bridging Festival” closed out the second run of the Whittier Artists in Storefronts project, which turns vacant or underused storefronts along the Eat Street corridor into ongoing artist exhibition spaces.

In addition to the art, design, dance, and music by musicians Rich Howard, Siama Matuzungidi, Chico Harris, Lance Pollonais and Serge Akou among others, the “Bridging Festival” also featured “Buddy Goodfellow”'s magic carpet” (Rob Stealcheat), which gave kids the opportunity to play real instruments in a rockin”' band. The event also included face painting, gigantic bubble making, refreshments galore, a huge Interact Center puppet, potato sack races and a limbo contest, toy giveaways, and hands-on community-engagement activities such as loving messages to our favorite neighbors and turning the bridge”'s chain-link fence into a canvas of personalized wishes created in colorful fabrics. And if that wasn”'t enough!, Blue Lady was on hand to grant our biggest wishes with her magic wishing oil.

Check out these photos of our event

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