Thanks to all who came out to the NYC premiere screening of finding the 51st (dream) state: Sekou Sundiata’s America Project last Wednesday. It was an inspiring time and we look forward to continuing the dialogue about the relationship of art making and creativity to citizenship.
Last weekend, I was warmly welcomed into the community at Intermedia Arts in Minneapolis for “Singing the Legacy of Sekou Sundiata” — a citizenship potluck dinner and community sing inspired by the civic activism and artistry of poet, performer and educator Sekou Sundiata. Nearly 100 people turned out (on a Saturday night no less) to not only enjoy the great food and music but to pause and reflect on “American-ness” — our own and each other’s. The eagerness to share this exploration was palpable. We all have an American story or song or dream to share, different from having our opinions to express (and axes to grind). Responses to the question “when do you most feel like a citizen?” included when I put my money in the bank and when I go to a baseball game and when I work with new immigrants to the U.S. and when I helped Barack Obama get elected and when I hand my passport over to the immigration official and watch them stamp it. There was no patriotic agenda, only patriotic feelings. It was refreshing to be in a place and space created to nurture this personal exchange. Thank you Theresa, Julie, Reggie and Marlina, the wonderful performers, and everyone else at Intermedia who committed to making this evening happen, along with all the other citizenship dinners and lunchtime gatherings you hosted last week. We look forward to hearing how this conversation continues in your community.
Posted in Uncategorized | July 18, 2009 | by annrosenthal | Leave a Comment
Tagged Under : america project, sekou sundiata
With sadness and love we remember Sekou Sundiata who passed away this day two years ago.
His America Project and final performance piece, the 51st (dream) state, continue to inspire us as we try to achieve Sekou’s goal: “to look at the ways in which this work can live in the world, once the show is over, once I leave town, and once these partnerships or relationships are developed.”
This fall, we’ll be releasing a DVD documentary about the America Project and another of the BAM performances of the 51st (Dream) state and together with the America Project Working Group we’re supporting community projects in several cities that continue Sekou’s methodology and vision.
But on this day especially I can’t help feeling that there must be more ways to keep this work living in the world and to keep developing new connections.
Sekou often asked “when you think about where society is now, do you have any hope that there is a possible future coming out of this that is better?” We invite you to share your ideas and join us in honoring Sekou and keeping him present in our lives.
All of a sudden…