Art Hounds: James Luna, May Day, Hmonglish

mayday.jpgGetting ready for this year’s May Day Parade. Photo credit: Alan Wilfahrt

A performance artist who contemplates the intersection of Native American and mainstream culture, a parade of puppets celebrating the sun’s return and songs about the struggle of being young and Hmong in America are all on the hounds’ ‘must see’ list this week.

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judyfairbanks.jpgFor months, Judy Fairbanks has been looking forward to James Luna’s visit to White Earth Tribal and Community College in Mahnomen, Minnesota, April 28-May 1. Luna is a Native performance and mixed media artist from San Diego, CA, who’s known in Indian communities across the country. Judy, a White Earth tribal elder and part-time art student, says Luna will perform at a free community forum this Saturday at 3pm at the Shooting Star Casino in Mahnomen.

amysalloway.JPGThe annual May Day Parade, presented by In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre in Minneapolis, is Amy Salloway’s spring ritual. Amy, a Twin Cities actor and storyteller, isn’t alone. An estimated 50,000 people come to the event each year, to see a parade of amazingly limber, larger-than-life puppets, stilt walkers and musicians march down Bloomington Ave., and to later witness the “Tree of Life” ceremony at Powderhorn Park. The parade begins at 1pm and the ceremony starts at 3:30.

janis.jpgJanis Lane-Ewart, Executive Director of KFAI Fresh Air Radio in Minneapolis, says “Hmonglish Musical” at Gremlin Theatre takes you inside the life of a Hmong American teen caught between the ways of his parents and the pressures and pleasures of American adolescence. It’s onstage at Gremlin Theatre in St. Paul through May 2.