Clothing at the West Side shop's booth at the 2022 Colibrí Art Fair and Cultural Market on October 2, 2022, at Parque de Castillo in St. Paul. Credit: Genevieve Roudané

This weekend in the Twin Cities art scene, attend a poetry workshop and open mic night tailored to youth of color, visit an art market featuring work by residents of St. Paul’s West Side, and explore an exhibition that delves into the experiences of a Black woman through various mediums, including abstract painting and found objects.

“Echo With the Earth” Poetry Workshop & Open Mic

St. Paul writer Kira Bunkholt performing at Indigenous Roots Cultural Arts Center’s “I’m an Artist” event on March 19, 2022. Credit: KingDemetrius Pendleton

Indigenous Roots Cultural Arts Center is set to reopen its Roots Cafe for the fall and winter seasons, featuring poetry workshops and open mic nights as part of its “Echo with the Earth” art series. 

Isavela Lopez, an Indigenous spoken word artist and activist, will lead the workshops. Drawing upon her decade-long experience in writing and performing, Lopez encourages youth aged 13 and older who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color to express themselves in writing and on stage. 

“I want to give back to the community,” Lopez said. “I want to give kids the opportunity to just be themselves and feel empowered by their voice.” 

The upcoming workshop, titled “Harvesting Hues,” will feature St. Paul poet Kira Bunkholt and Minneapolis artist Lenora Magee. The workshop’s focus reflects Lopez’s connection between her poetry and her commitment to climate change activism. 

“I want to bring my own Indigenous identity to the forefront and remind people of the importance of bringing Black and brown folks at the center of this topic,” Lopez said. 

These events will offer young writers a flexible environment to explore their unique voices and interests, all under the mentorship and guidance of local writers and artists. 

“If you have something that you don’t know how to share, or if something has been weighing on you, sometimes it feels really freeing to let it fly and have wings,” Lopez said. 

Date: Friday, September 22

Time: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

Location: 788 7th St., St. Paul, Minnesota 55106

Cost: Free

For more information: Contact event organizer Isavela Lopez at 651-983-6850. 

Colibrí Arts & Culture Market 

The West Side Community Organization, in collaboration with ArtStart, will host a local art market featuring live music and dance performances, 18 art vendors representing St. Paul’s West Side, two food trucks, and an art activity. 

Douala Soul Collective, a DJ collective based in Minneapolis, will spin a variety of musical genres, including African rhythms, zouk, funk, soul, jazz, cumbia, disco, hip-hop, reggae and more. Additional performers include the St. Paul Hmong dance team Iny Asian Dance Theater, Aztec dancers from Kalpulli Huitzillin, and a Mexican folk dance group known as Los Alegres Bailadores

Food will be available from the Youniverse Foodie and Eggroll Queen food trucks. 

Date: Sunday, September 24

Time: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. 

Location: Union Depot, 4th Street E., St. Paul, Minnesota 55106

Cost: Free

For more information: Visit

ARTIFACT: Reality-testing through Painting and the Found Object” Exhibition

“Earth Mother” by Neeyah Muhammad. Oil on Wooden Panel, 2023. Credit: Neeyah Muhammad

Soo Visual Arts Center, a nonprofit showcasing underrepresented art, will host “Artifact: Reality-testing through Painting and the Found Object,” an exhibition featuring the work of Interdisciplinary artist Neeyah Muhammad. 

The artwork employs abstract paintings and found objects to encapsulate Muhammad’s experiences as a Black woman. Muhammad’s artistic portfolio spans multiple mediums, including music, sculpture, fashion, textile work, and painting. 

Visitors will also have the opportunity to meet the artist before Saturday’s opening reception. 

Date: Opening reception on Saturday, September 23. The exhibit runs through October 29. 

Time: Opening reception is from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday; and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 

Location: Soo Visual Arts Center, 2909 Bryant Ave. S. #101, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55408 

Cost: Free 

For more information: Visit

Myah Goff was a summer 2023 intern at Sahan Journal, and is currently pursuing a journalism degree at the University of Minnesota.