The Renegade Theatre Festival is in its 12th year, and this time the party is being spread throughout the whole city of Lansing.!From August 17-19th, Old Town, Downtown Lansing, East-sideLansing, East Lansing, and Reo Town will be jam packed with theatrical performances of comedy and drama, spoken word, musical performances, and more; delivered by local professional, community, and college theatre groups, and independent artists.
MICA Gallery will host three events during the weekend. Performances of Boise, Idaho at 7pm and Power at 9pm on Thursday-Saturday. Originally scripted by Sean Michael Welch, the comedy Boise, Idaho follows a narrator chronicling a love story in Paris, France before they expose his existence. Power is a play by the winner of Renegade N.O.W. contest winner Kate Danley. The USA today best-selling author’s dynamic piece features audience members being thrust into the play after fishing for their relationship status from a hat. These two exciting performances are sure to engage seasoned and casual performance arts fans alike and MICA Gallery is the best place to view them.
On Saturday, from 9:30am-6:30pm, a teen focused workshop led professional actor and educator Rico Bruce Wade will take place in which he will challenge teens who sign up to create and perform their own one act play in a single day! The workshop is free and open to Highschool students and the performance starts at 5pm, so if you’re a teen or know a teen, make sure to either come out or sign them up!
Whether you’re a theatre aficionado, new to the world of performance arts or are looking for something to get into for the weekend in Lansing, stop MICA Gallery to view these performances. Free admission to all! Feel free to check out more events in the city and find a Renegade Theatre Festival performance near you. See the full schedule below, and view event information the official 2017 Renegade Theatre Festival website.
Artist Spotlight: Katrina M. Daniels discusses Curating Roots | Sept. – Oct. 2015
Curating Roots: The Art of the Local Movement in Lansing was a multi-media exhibit that used visual art to celebrate the vibrant local food movement in the Greater Lansing Community. This exhibit was curated by MICA Director Katrina M. Daniels with assistance from intern Emma Foley, this was on display from Sept. 4 – Oct. 31, 2015.
As the Director of MICA, Daniels also curates exhibits and develops corresponding mission-based programming. The idea for this exhibit came from reflecting on the fact that September and October is a time of harvest and members of the Greater Lansing community would be harvesting locally grown food from their urban farms, shopping at one of the many farmers markets in the area or perhaps enjoying a meal at one of the areas farm to table restaurants. The local food movement is in Lansing is rich with community gardens, workshops, and sustainable food focused non-profits. Daniels wanted to use art to celebrate this beautiful and unique aspect of Lansing, MI, thus Curating Roots: The Art of the Local Food Movement in Lansing was developed.
This is a broad topic to discuss and Daniels knew that she wouldn’t be able to fully explore every aspect of this movement, however, the exhibit could still be used to create awareness, start conversations and lead the community to other resources and information. For this exhibit Daniels decided to use art work to represent the connection between food and community, non-profit organizations such as the Allen Neighborhood Center, the Roots Farm, the Hunter Park Garden House as well as some of the individuals who are involved. Included was a series of work from artist Amanda Greishop who used photography to document a year long cycle of a family owned and run Urban Farm and a CSA (community supported agriculture) program.
Historically food has been a common subject of art; it is possible to argue that “food art” (the representation of food in art) is as old as art itself. In order to further engage with the community inside and outside of the gallery space, Daniels chose to utilize technology and social media; specifically Instagram. Since it’s inception in 2010 images of food and meals have been a prominent feature. In the 21st Century technology has allowed us to capture images of our food and share them publicly. Daniels asked the community to take pictures of their meals and use the hashtag #ShareAMealWithMICA, resulting in an Instagram wall of printed photos in the gallery. The utilization of this hashtag allowed the community to actively contribute to this dialogue of food and art.
In addition to the physical exhibit, Daniels also developed programming that celebrated the same themes. The robust and innovative programming began at the opening reception. The opening was a multi-sensory experience that celebrated the connection between food, art and music. Musician Chelsea Koziatek and band played a repertoire of chamber music while custom made tapas dishes from the farm to table restaurant Soup Spoon Cafe which had been created based on the music, were served.
Each month MICA Gallery hosts a dance performance at the gallery, the dancers show that contemporary movement is often inspired by contemporary art. In October, the performers of DANCE Lansing choreographed a performance entitled Roots. This performance used movement to address the themes of agriculture, harvest, gathering and community – some of the subjects that ground us to our planet. The photograph to the right shows dancers performing a ballet inspired by the traditions of harvest and gathering.
An important element of the local food movement that Daniels also wanted to showcase was the fact that it is a circle that includes a market for the food and goods to be purchased, this movement doesn’t end with the harvest. In that vain, Daniels partnered with Bloom, a local coffee roaster for two tasting events that offered the community an opportunity to taste artisanal coffee and locally sourced food pairings. The proceeds from these events were then given to the Cristo Rey Community Center a basic needs center to help support their food justice programs.
Curating Roots: The Art of the Local Food Movement used art and programming to engage with the community, create awareness about food justice and the local food movement all while supporting our local farms and businesses. Daniels feels strongly that art is a powerful tool to create conversation and community engagement.
The Lansing Public Media covered the opening reception of Curating Roots and created a video with interviews and more, please watch below:
NEXT: Anamnesis will showcase the work of two talented, emerging artists, Katelin Mae Thomas and Kathleen Matkovic. Thomas is a sculptor who creates objects out of vintage books. Utilizing a two-dimensional art form that is quickly becoming obsolete, Thomas breathes new life into the pages of the past through her three-dimensional sculptures that are both romantic and contemporary. Matkovic is a photographer who creates nostalgic landscapes that harken the past. These dreamlike scenes document hazy memories, leaving the viewer to question whether or not they exist in the present or in a dream.
Henry Brimmer, professor in the Department of Advertising + Public Relations at MSU, is facilitating the second in a series of events called ‘NEXT’. These events at MICA Gallery intend to showcase and attract a younger constituency to the area, with the help of many dedicated creative folks. We would like to turn Old Town upside down … make it New Town!