Actors from left to right, clockwise: Enormvs Muñoz, Soudavone Khamvongsa, Payton J. Woodson, Sandy Agustin, and Michelle de Joya. Credit: Rich Ryan

In the Twin Cities art scene this weekend, you can immerse yourself in a day dedicated to Indian culture at this year’s IndiaFest, a street arts festival featuring 27 local and international artists, and a Laotian American play exploring an apocalyptic world inhabited by zombies.


IndiaFest returns to St. Paul this weekend, packing the rich tapestry of India into a one-day extravaganza. The event will feature cultural exhibits, traditional and contemporary dance performances, and an array of food and drinks representing the Indian Diaspora. 

Marking the 50th anniversary of the India Association of Minnesota, the annual festival, formerly known as India Day, will take place at the Minnesota State Capitol grounds. Festivities will commence with Minnesota community performances, a flag hoisting ceremony displaying both American and Indian flags, followed by a parade. 

“We walk up with hundreds of people behind us with signs and posters, and beautiful costumes,” said Tanwi Prigge, the president of India Association of Minnesota (IAM), “It always gives me goosebumps. As immigrants, we walk up this Capitol and that’s just beautiful, you know? We’re very thankful for the people of Minnesota to welcome us the way they have been.” 

This year’s festival features 25 bazaar stalls offering jewelry and clothing, 11 food vendors, 13 dance groups, and a family-friendly activity tent featuring Indian and American board games, as well as henna artists. Among the 106 booths, one will demonstrate the draping of sarees, a traditional Indian garment. 

From 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., dance groups will perform a blend of Bollywood and traditional Indian dances, including North Indian Kathak and South Indian Bharatanatyam dance styles. The festival will also feature soulful, classical, and Bollywood music by Nazia Sayeed, as well as stand-up comedy acts John DeBoer and Senthil Rajaeskharan. 

For attendees, Metro Transit is offering free rides to IndiaFest. Fill out this survey to obtain a free ride pass. For those driving, parking information can be found here

Date: Saturday, August 12 

Time: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. 

Location: Minnesota State Capitol, 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, Minnesota 55155

Cost: Free

For more information: Visit or call 651-321-3421. 

Downtown Minneapolis Street Art Festival 

The 5th annual Downtown Minneapolis Street Art Festival offers live chalk art installations, spray painting, diverse musical performances, guided mural tours, and family-friendly art activities. 

Over the course of the event, 27 local and international artists will transform the sidewalks of Nicollet Avenue, stretching from 6th to 8th streets. Local chalk artist Shawn Mcann will create a 3D chalk piece. Online tours of this year’s participating artists and their artworks can be found here.

Attendees will have the opportunity to channel their inner artist through the community chalk mandala, crafting personalized signs from Mobile Sign Shop, and designing postcards through Streetcorner Letterpress. Guided downtown mural tours offered by Hennepin Theatre Trust, at 12 p.m. and 3 p.m., include the Prince mural and “It’s the People” exhibition. 

Musical performances start at 11 a.m. Saturday at the 7th and Nicollet stage, featuring Heart & Soul Drum Academy, Brother Asé, and Flamenco artists Shanan Tolzin, David Elrod, and Marie de los Reyes. From 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., local hip-hop duo iLLism will present a diverse concert lineup including Black Velvet Punks, Jordan Johnston, and Ratwhylah, spanning jazz punk, neo-soul, and hip-hop. Find the festival schedule here. 

A marketplace featuring artisan crafts and local food trucks, including Street Eats vendor Stop, Drop & Rolls, will also be available. 

Date: Saturday, August 12 and Sunday, August 13

Time: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Location: Nicollet Avenue in downtown Minneapolis from 6th to 8th street. 

Cost: Free

For more information: Visit or contact event organizer at

Kung Fu Zombies Saga Play

The Luminary Arts Center is presenting “The Kung Fu Zombies Saga: Shaman Warrior & Cannibals” by Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay, directed by Lily Tung Crystal. The play unfolds an apocalyptic world teeming with kung fu-wielding zombies. 

In Act I, shaman warrior Arun must rescue her sister from monsters that live in the mountains of Laos. Act II introduces Lao American Silka’s quest to transport her parents’ ashes from Minneapolis to Laos. Themes of war, colonialism, mental health, and community are explored, interspersed with kung fu battles and an original hip-hop soundtrack by Twin Cities artist Dj Kool Akiem. 

Date: Saturday, August 12 and Sunday, August 13

Time: Performances scheduled for 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, and 2 p.m. on Sunday. 

Location: Luminary Arts Center 700 N 1st St., Minneapolis, Minnesota 55401

Cost: Tickets start at $10. Buy tickets here. 

For more information: Visit or call Luminary Arts Center at 612-333-6669. 

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