2022 Uptown Art Fair Credit: John F. Walsh

This weekend in the Twin Cities art scene, you can experience a performing arts festival with more than 600 artists and 500 live performances, the Uptown Art Fair featuring over 320 artists, and an outdoor art exhibition showcasing street art created after George Floyd’s murder. 

Minnesota Fringe Festival 

Stills from Abdimalik Ahmed’s award-winning short film, “Isn’t This What I’m Supposed to Feel.” Credit: Abdimalik Ahmed

Minnesota Fringe will host its 30th annual performing arts festival, featuring over 600 artists, 100 different shows, and 500 separate live performances showcasing new and seasoned performance artists. Genres include comedy, drama, dance, horror, improv, puppetry, opera, and more. 

Dawn Bentley, executive director of Minnesota Fringe, said she hopes that the festival will inspire people to “see themselves on stage someday or, at least, support the people who do.”

Abdimalik Ahmed, a Somali actor, filmmaker, and journalism student at the University of Minnesota, will perform his one-man play “The Place I Return To,” exploring themes of depression, self-discovery, and his relationship with Allah. Abdimalik will share his mental health journey from ages 18 to 21, drawing inspiration from his poems and journal entries spanning five winters.

“‘The Place I Return To’ is referencing this idea of me returning to the winter,” Abdimalik said. “Returning to my bedroom. Returning to these same feelings of depression every winter. I’m returning to the same place, but it’s different each time, and as I was looking through all my writings, I saw how much I grew in these last five years.”

Bentley said that the true essence of the performing arts lies in its power to create safe environments to engage in challenging conversations. 

“You can talk to somebody about the show and the character in the show without it being like, ‘This is me and my vulnerability, or this you and your thoughts,’” she said. “It’s this safe buffer, and that’s what I really love about the performing arts.” 

Date: Thursday, August 3 through Sunday, August 13

Time: Dates and times for individual shows can be found in the 2023 schedule.

Location: Multiple locations across Minneapolis, Minnesota. Find details here

Cost: Tickets are $18 per show for adults and $13 for children. Purchase tickets for individual performances here. Attendees are also required to purchase a $5 Fringe button as their entry ticket to the festival’s venues and shows. It can be purchased at a box office near the entrance to all venues. 

For more information: Visit https://minnesotafringe.org/, or call 612-872-1212. 

Uptown Art Fair 

The 59th annual Uptown Art Fair will feature the work of over 320 artists from across the country. The fair will exhibit a diverse array of art, with 12 different mediums on display, including sculpture, painting, glasswork jewelry, and more. 

The event will also include the Uptown Youth Art Fair, which will be held at Seven Points Uptown on Saturday, August 6, and Sunday August 7, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The youth art fair will highlight 30 up-and-coming artists aged 8 to 18, with work ranging from photography and painting to woodworking and jewelry. 

Attendees can also explore a Minnesota-made marketplace, highlighting locally sourced and produced products. Hands-on activities at the fair include spray painting and printmaking demonstrations. 

Alcoholic beverages, products infused with THC and CBD, and a range of cuisines will be available for purchase. Eighteen food trucks are expected on site, serving dishes from Nepal, India, Latin America, the Caribbean, and other locales.

Date: Friday, August 4 through Sunday, August 6

Time: 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday 

Location: West Lake Street and Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis, Minnesota 55408. Find the 2023 Uptown Art Fair map here. 

Cost: Free

For more information: Email info@uptownminneapolis.com, or call 612-823-4581. 

Remember and Reflect: Street Art Boards From the George Floyd Uprising 

Becketwood Cooperative will host an outdoor exhibition titled, “Remember and Reflect: Street Art from the George Floyd Uprising,” showcasing a collection of over 20 street art boards created in response to George Floyd’s murder in 2020. The boards, many of which were created anonymously, have been provided by Save The Board Minneapolis, an organization that preserves plywood art that conveys community messages. 

The street art boards were used to cover the windows of shops and businesses during protests following George Floyd’s murder by Minneapolis police. 

The event will feature a speech at 12:30 p.m. from Kenda Zellner-Smith, founder of Save The Boards. She will share her experiences collecting the boards and will highlight their significance within the community. 

The event will also include a performance by Brass Solidarity, a band founded in 2021 as a response to the Black Lives Matter movement. Their performance is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. 

Date: Saturday, August 5

Time: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Location: Becketwood Cooperative, 4300 W. River Pkwy., Minneapolis, Minnesota 55406

Cost: Free

For more information: Call Becketwood Cooperative at 612-722-4077. 

Myah Goff is an intern at Sahan Journal, currently pursuing a journalism degree at the University of Minnesota.