Saturday, December 22, 2007

America’s Giving Challenge and the Lambs Project

Notice something new on our blog? Yes, we're seeking funds to support education for 900 girls in Burkina Faso!

Friends of Burkina Faso has an amazing opportunity for the “Lambs for School” project. GlobalGiving, in partnership with PARADE Magazine and the Case Foundation, has launched the “America’s Giving Challenge” to encourage people to give to charities through new and innovative online tools.

The 4 individuals whose international charities attract the most unique donors through this Challenge will receive $50,000 for their causes! The total funding goal for the multi-year “Lambs for School” project through GG is $72,200. The total funding received to date is $1,256. To succeed at the Challenge, the objective is to get as many people to donate to the “Lambs for School” project. The minimum donation is $10, and duplicate donations from the same individual will only be counted once.

Please donate $10 to the “Lambs for School” project now! Between now and January 31st, 2008, any donation to this project received through
the website will help young Burkinabé girls obtain a primary and middle school education.

The impact of winning the Challenge is clear. To date, through the “Lambs for School” project, FBF has supported 1,100 girls enrolled in rural public primary schools and in the College Modern de l’Amitié (a middle school for girls). Over the next 3 years, the project will enable 900 rural girls whose parents cannot afford to send them to school, to enter primary school. At least 80% of the 900 girls will achieve at least 10 years of education, leading to improved child health, lower fertility rates, higher levels of education in the next generation and more effective participation in civil society and the economy

So what can you do to help win the Challenge and meet the project’s goals?
Donate $10
online today
Forward this message to your friends and family, or other appropriate listservs to which you belong
Download the “Lambs for School”
project widget and upload this to your website or blog
Add the “Lambs for School”
project widget to your Facebook or iGoogle account

FBF has won two other smaller competitions through GG. One was in late 2006 and was offered to
National Peace Corps Association affiliate groups and the other was the GG FilmFest. Both were for the Noon Meal Girl’s Education project.

Again, donations must be made
online by January 31, 2008 in order to count towards the goal of unique donors. Note that donations made through any other website will not count. Also, please do not create your own fundraiser for this project as the goal is to attract the most unique donors for one project through one fundraiser.

I hope you and others will join in this exciting opportunity, making FBF once again a winner of a GG challenge!

Barka wusugo! Merci beaucoup! Thank you!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Midwest Sanctuary Exhibit

The Midwest Sanctuary group exhibit will feature sculpture, painting, and photography from over 20 Midwest artists including Rabi Sanfo (Burkina Faso), Ute Bertog (Germany), Silvana Ravena (Brazil), Igor Dukic (Sarajevo), Haider Al-Amery (Iraq) and more. Work from TAWU, The Art Within Us, will be featured on in the Q.Underground Gallery during the opening weekend.

Midwest Sanctuary
Artwork by and about the diverse people of the Midwest
January 3-26, 2007

Altered Esthetics
1224 Quincy St. NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413

Gallery Hours
Tuesdays & Thursdays 1 - 7pm
Saturdays 1- 5pm

Opening Reception
Friday, January 4
7pm - 10pm

Postcard features "Dakota March" by Tiffany Eggenberg.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Support "Soul on Ice"

Honoring Black History Month, TAWU will present the largest group exhibition ever on black culture by Minnesota artists. You can be a part of this phenomenal group exhibition!

More than 50 artists will participate in "Soul on Ice: Understanding the value and depth of Black Culture" from February 23-March 24, 2008 at
The Soap Factory in Minneapolis. The title of this exhibit is inspired by renowned author and activist Eldridge Cleaver's book "Soul on Ice," which reflects on the turbulent times of the civil rights movement.

Rabi is a member of TAWU (The Art Within Us), a social support, artist development and growth group for African, African-American and artists of color, sponsored by Obsidian Arts. Obsidian Arts is a Minnesota non-profit arts space focused on celebration and development of black artists, arts institutions and artwork.

Your tax deductible contribution can help TAWU put on this historic art exhibit. Your last minute 2007 donation will help TAWU reach its goal of $10,000. Your check can be made payable to "TAWU/Obsidian Arts" and sent to:
Yarbi Design
1224 Quincy St NE Studio B25
Minneapolis, MN 55413

If you or your employer would be interested in sponsoring this event, please let us know and will we send you a sponsor packet.

Expect more information about the opening reception of "Soul on Ice" in January!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Desert Star Opening Reception

Due to the snow storm Saturday, the opening reception has been postponed until this Saturday, December 8th. Hope you can make it!

Works on Blessing, Loss, Exile & Return

697 13th Ave NE
Minneapolis MN 55413

December 1st-31st

Opening Reception
Saturday, December 8th

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Taste of Many Cultures

The MultiCultural Development Center (MCDC) and Cub Foods are pleased to partner together to present the annual “Taste of Many Cultures," a multicultural evening of learning, food, music, dance & fun.

Taste of Many Cultures
Crowne Plaza Riverfront Hotel
Minnesota Ballroom (lower level)
11 East Kellogg Boulevard
St. Paul, MN 55101

Thursday, December 6th

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Desert Star

Desert Star
Works on Blessing, Loss, Exile & Return

Mercy Seat Lutheran Church
697 13th Ave NE
Minneapolis MN 55413

December 1st-31st

Opening Reception
Saturday, December 1st

Live jazz and cool refreshments at the opening!

Lost Battle
Steel, brass & copper

Saturday, November 03, 2007

NEMAA Fall Fine Arts Show

It's time for NEMAA's 8th annual Fall Fine Arts Show, an exciting showcase of over 150 member artists who live and work in Northeast Minneapolis. See painting, photography, mixed media, sculpture and much more at the metro area's largest group show.

The Grainbelt Bottling House
79 NE 13th Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55418

Saturday, November 10th @ 12-6pm
Sunday, November 11th @ 12-3pm

Opening Reception
Friday, November 9th @ 6-10pm

Come before 8pm on Friday to vote for Rabi's piece for NEMAA’s first ever "People's Choice" Award.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

ASID Artisan Market

We'll be at the ASID Artisan Gift Market and Designer Sample Sale again this year. Please stop by!

275 Market St
Minneapolis, MN 55405

November 2nd-3rd
10am - 5pm

Come find the perfect holiday gift.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

TAWU Fall Art Night

Come check out the latest artwork by TAWU artists, including new pieces by Rabi. Play the art game to win art prints, and enter the drawing for original artwork.
2948 Chicago Ave S
Minneapolis, MN
(above Roberts Shoe Store)

Gallery Hours
November 2nd - November 4th

Opening Reception
Friday, November 2nd @ 6-9pm

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Call for Artists

TAWU, Obsidian Arts & Soap Factory are seeking 100 African American, African and artists of color to participate in an extraordinary show of Black Culture

Soul on Ice
Understanding the value and depth of Black Culture

518 2nd Street SE
Minneapolis, MN

February 23rd – March 24th, 2008

The “Soul on Ice” exhibition will be a chilling new art experience , as the Soap Factory Gallery will not be heated during the run of the show. Leaving the attendees and visitors to wear their coats while viewing nothing but Stone Cold Art! You should also consider this low temperature constant when creating and submitting your artwork.

The title is inspired from the renowned author and activist, Eldridge Cleaver. His book, entitled “Soul on Ice”, reflects on the turbulent times of the civil rights movement, an era of revolution and change. He made important strides in building a culture consciousness that is still very active in our lives today.

For more details, please attend the meeting on November 3rd, for the Theme Talk, a tour of the Soap Factory Gallery space and discussion of the exhibition calendar. Once submissions are received, a panel of art professionals will make the final selection of artists participating in the show. If selected, there will be a non-refundable entry fee of $35.00 to all artists accepted for the exhibition.

For more information, please conatact:
TAWU/Obsidian Arts
Pat Phillips
Soul on Ice
734 E. Lake Street #220

Minneapolis , MN 55407
(612) 822-6808 or (612) 710-9735

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Art Crawl This Weekend

Don't forget. The St Paul Art Crawl is this weekend.

Community Room
281 E 5th St
St Paul, MN 55401
(#8 on map)

Friday, October 12th at 6-10pm
Saturday, October 13th at 2-10pm
Sunday, October 14th at 12-5pm

Hope to see you then!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Peter Tosh

Check out Peter Tosh hanging out by the Qarma Bldg. This sweet picture was taken by local photographer Greg Benz and can be purchased at his site.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Save the Date

Don't forget to mark the St Paul Art Crawl on your calendar!

Crane Ordway
Community Room
281 E 5th St
St Paul, MN 55401

Friday, October 12th at 6-10pm
Saturday, October 13th at 2-10pm
Sunday, October 14th at 12-5pm

Monday, September 17, 2007

MIA's Art Perchance

Rabi's piece "Wakoloni" was selected for the Minneapolis Institute of Arts' 2007 Art Perchance, a juried exhibition and charity event. Proceeds benefit the Friends Transportation Fund, which currently provides bus funding for thousands of metro area school children to visit the MIA.

Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Target Wing Atrium
2400 3rd Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55404

September 19th-27th
Tuesday - Sunday
Various gallery hours

Patron Reception
Friday, September 28th

Tickets are on sale until Friday, September 21st at the MIA website.


Saturday, September 15, 2007

Lost Battle

Congrats to Rabi for his First Place award at the Lake Elmo Regional Art Center's "The Figure Show." It was chosen out of about 72 photographs, paintings and sculptures. Please stop by to see his piece "Lost Battle."

Lake Elmo Regional Art Center
3585 Laverne Ave N
Lake Elmo, MN 55042

September 11th - October 13th
Tuesdays - Saturdays, 10am-5pm

There will be a closing event on Saturday, October 13th at 6:30-9:30pm. Local artists will discuss their own fine art figure work and there will be a screening of the documentary film "Eloquent Nude." The cost for this event is $20 which includes a light dinner and drink. Please RSVP prior to October 11th by calling 612-256-1407.

Lost Battle
Steel, brass & copper

Monday, August 06, 2007

Powderhorn Art Fair Invitational Awards

Thanks to everyone for showing up in the rain at this year's Powderhorn Art Fair. We had a really nice time as a main exhibitor this year.

Rabi was one of 11 artists to receive the Invitational Award. This means he doesn't have to go through the juried application processes next year. So we look forward to participating again in 2008!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Farm Bill Action Needed Today

The U.S. Farm Bill is up for a vote on TODAY in the House, and that it has not been reformed as hoped, to reduce the dumping of subsidized US commodities like cotton on Third World markets. I'm calling my Congressman to ask for two actions, which you are invited to take as well:

1. Vote Yes on the Kind-Flake "Fairness" Amendment to the Farm Bill which would reduce the commodity subsidies and shift them into subsidies based on environmental performance, risk management accounts, rural development, and nutrition.

2. Vote No on the Ag Committee Farm Bill if the Kind-Flake "Fairness" Amendment is not adopted.

For more information see the Peace Corps Advocacy website, or their partner organization Oxfam America.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Coverage of American Iron

Watch the clip on Kare11 of the American Iron display on Nicollet Mall last week.

There are more pictures and commentary on the
American Iron website and at KSTP.

A short commentary was give in Recycle Today.

Check this posting for more updates and coverage!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Snaps to Powderhorn

Rabi is participating in only 1 summer art fair this year and it is the Powderhorn Art Fair. He won the Community Showcase Invitational Award last year, so he decided to try his luck with the big boys this year.

Powderhorn Art Fair
August 4-5, 2007
Saturday 10-6, Sunday 10-5
Powderhorn Park
Midtown Minneapolis
Booth #103

And please check out coverage of Rabi's work in the most recent Lavender issue. Rabi's participation in the Powderhorn Art Fair was previewed in "Art Palpitations: Minneapolis’ Art Fair Extravaganza."

Monday, July 16, 2007

Mother Earth: “What have you become?”

Mother Earth: “What have you become?”
Stainless steel & brass

I'm pleased to announce that this evening Rabi was awarded First Place in the Small Sculpture Category at the 7th Annual American Iron Metal Sculpture Competition, which is part of the 2007 Minneapolis Aquatennial celebration.

This piece is about global warming, wars and people not taking care of the earth. Mother Earth’s spirit contemplated herself and she saw that she was wounded everywhere. She started crying and asked “What have you become?”

As part of the competition, all artists have 1 hour to select their materials from the grounds of American Iron. This year, American Iron employee Kevin C was Rabi's guide during the retrieval day. Since the artists are not allowed to climb on the materials, Kevin climbed on top of a pile and found the metal globe. Once Rabi saw the globe, he had an image in his head as to the piece he was going to make. Since the Aquatennial celebrates water in Minneapolis, Rabi thought about the enviroment and global warming.

Kevin & Rabi at retrieval day with the piece that started it all.

Rabi & Kevin at the artist reception with the winning sculpture.

The sculpture will be on public display Tuesday and Wednesday, July 17th and 18th, on Nicollet Mall in front of the IDS Crystal Court (717 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis). All entries will eventually be posted on the American Iron site.

Please stop by the IDS Crystal Court from 10:30am-6pm if you get a chance. Otherwise, visit our Flickr site for photos of the piece and its creation.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Center for Independent Artists Exhibit

Please visit Rabi's solo exhibit Dargo.

Center for Independent Artists
Anexo Gallery
4137 Bloomington Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55407

July 3rd - July 28th
Tuesdays - Saturdays, 12-5pm
Wednesdays until 9pm

Opening Reception
Friday, July 6th @ 6-9pm

Saturday, June 23, 2007

GG FilmFest

There's another exciting event going on at GlobalGiving highlighting the Noon Meal Girl’s Education project supported by the Friends of Burkina Faso.

GG is currently hosting a FilmFest where people can vote for the video that makes them feel the most connected to an incredible grassroots development project. GG gathered raw footage (photos and video) from more than twenty high-impact projects around the world. Film makers used this footage to create compelling and interesting videos that tell the stories of these projects and the people who are helped by the work they do. Each video tells the story of a project from GG and will help to connect these amazing projects with the support they need. Votes will determine which videos do the best job of telling the project's story.

Please vote for the Noon Meal Girl's Education project video! Voting ends June 29th at 11:59pm. It is currently ranked 5th out of 13.

Friday, June 08, 2007

African Traditional Values Exhibit

Paintings and sculpture promoting four African artists living in the Twin Cities will be on display. Besides Rabi, the other artists include painter Constant Kpami from Cote d'Ivoire, painter Koffi Mbairamadji from Chad, painter Aziz Osman from Somalia.

1700 2nd St NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413

Opening Reception
Saturday, June 9th @ 12-2pm

The exhibit runs thru July 13th.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Minneapolis MOSAIC

Please visit the Global Unity II exhibit thru June 15 and see some of Rabi's pieces on display during Minneapolis MOSAIC. Minneapolis MOSAIC celebrates the richness and diversity of the arts and cultures of Minneapolis all summer long.

Global Unity Art Gallery
705 Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN

Opening Reception
June 9th @ 6-10pm

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

1st Annual Summer Juried Art Show

If you're in St. Cloud, please visit the Visual Arts Committee's 1st Annual Summer Juried Art Show on display from June 4th to September 13th.

Atwood Memorial Center Gallery
720 4th Av S
St. Cloud, MN 56301

Closing reception
September 11, 2007

Artists besides Rabi include Evan Cook, Vigee Blue, Brad Kissell, James Michael Lawrence, Linda Deg Lee and Mary Lingen.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Palm Court Bar & Restaurant Reception

The TAWU group (The Art within Us) will be have a closing reception of work by artists of color at:

Palm Court Bar & Restaurant
2424 Central Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418

Friday, June 8 @ 6-9pm

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

My Day Job

As some of you know, I work for AFS Intercultural Programs. This year is our 60th anniversary and AFS is undertaking an international petition. The purpose of the petition is to promote intercultural exchange as a path to greater world peace. The goal of the petition drive is to collect one million signatures, to be presented to the UN in a ceremony coinciding with the 60th anniversary celebrations this fall. Please join me and sign the petition drive at to help create a new generation of global citizens. Thank you!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Art-A-Whirl Recap

For those of you who couldn't make it, here's a few memories from this year's AAW!

Our studio

Until the End

Bankrupt in Panama

Rabi & Jono

Outside the Q.arma Bldg

Friends from out of town

My sis Jess demonstrating glass etching

S'mores to close out the night.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Art-A-Whirl this Weekend

Don't forget! This coming weekend is Art-A-Whirl! Rabi will have work in 5 Northeast locations.

The event hours are as follows:
Friday, May 18 @ 5-10pm
Saturday, May 19 @ 12-8pm
Sunday, May 20 @ 12-5pm

Our studio will be open all weekend in the Q.arma Bldg.
1224 Quincy St NE Studio B25
Minneapolis, MN 55413

Look for the Big A again. And be sure to stop by on Saturday afternoon and evening. There will be live bands, movies after sundown, a BBQ and drinks. We are sponsoring the Kotou Danse Company, who will also be performing at 4pm. Check out the tentative entertainment schedule.

Rabi will have about 5 new pieces at the Frank Stone Gallery.
1224 2nd St NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413

Preview Party: Thursday, May 17 @ 5-9pm (we will be there)
Group Show Reception: Friday, May 18 @ 7-10pm (we won't be there)
Open Gallery: Saturday and Sunday, May 19-20 @ 12-5pm
He will also have 4 pieces at Gallery 13.
302 13th Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413

Along with other members of TAWU, Rabi will have 2 pieces at the Palm Court Restaurant.
2424 Central Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418

Please support NEMAA at its silent auction and bid on his piece "Union". All proceeds from his piece go to NEMAA and help out the arts district.
Northrup King Bldg
1500 Jackson St NE Room #332
Minneapolis, MN 55413

We will post updates as they become available. Please let us know if you need directions to any of these venues or more information. Invite your friends!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Drink and Be Merry

On Friday night, come and drink a Surly. Surly is made in the neighboring bode of Brooklyn Center. Although I've been to their brewery before, I managed to get seriously lost when attempting to pick up a few growlers this last weekend. Note to Omar and Todd, put your phone number on the growlers! Their brews are served in a few spots in NE that I'm aware of (331 Club, the Sample Room). Rabi and my favorite is the Bender, but we'll also have some Furious.

We will also have treats from Kenkayba's Place. We haven't been there in a few months, but I recently stopped by to say hey. WOW! What changes Cecilia and Emmanuel have made! And they now have a website. We won't have their famous fufu or banku, but rather finger foods like meat pies, plantains and fries.

Just don't forget the art!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Preview Issues of NEED

As at our studio opening reception, we will have preview issues of NEED magazine on hand. This includes the latest 2nd issue! If you subscribe using our exclusive Yarbi Design offer, you'll get 4 issues for $18 which is 33% off the normal subscription rate.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Bike Around Art-A-Whirl

Leave your water-guzzling camel at home and jump on your bike this weekend! Pick up your Northeast Arts District Bike Map at our studio and see all the sights to see via velo.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

l'etoile Magazine

Saturday night's festivities at the Q.arma Bldg are being sponsored by l'etoile magazine, a gorgeous new publication to hit the streets. Just as NEED Magazine documented humanitarian aid efforts in a beautiful way, l'etoile takes a similar photo-based spin. Benefits from your donations will go towards Altered Esthetics, a soon to be non-profit (cross your fingers!) gallery on the 1st floor. DJ Bach will be mixing techno "after" AAW hours and hip movies will be played outside in the yard.

Friday, May 11, 2007

AfricaNOW Artist in Residence Faustin Linyekula

Next week is a busy one for us! I don’t think we’ll be able to make this event since we’ll be at the Frank Stone Gallery Preview Party and the NEMAA Silent Auction Preview Party but I just wanted to alert you to a free 30-minute solo performance and reception with Congolese choreographer Faustin Linyekula.

Walker Art Center’s Gallery 4
May 17th @ 7-9pm
1750 Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis , MN 55403
Open to the public - free

Linyekula and his ensemble cast Les Studios Kabako will return to the Twin Cities this fall to present Festival of Lies, November 1-3. He would very much like to include local musicians and performers in the final performance so is hoping to receive information about our local performance community during his visit.

If you or someone you know is a performer and would like to be considered as a participant, please mail dvds, and cds to:
Michèle Steinwald (Festival of Lies submissions)
c/o Walker Art Center
1750 Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis , MN 55403
or send website addresses and links to:

Read his interview in this month's edition of Mshale. Check out the Walker site for more information on this special event and Faustin Linyekula's artistic statement.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Tentative Entertainment Schedule

This is the schedule until further notice:

12pm: Bankrupt in Panama
1:30pm: Until the End
3pm: Jazz Mussell
4pm: Kotou Danse Company
6pm: The Sam Planet Group

There will also be fire-spinners, hair extensions and face painting during the day.

After dusk, there will be outdoor movies on the wall including Barnstormers and other cool flicks, grilling and a bonfire. DJ Bach will be mixing inside as well.

Coverage of "You of Little Faith"

It pays to Google yourself every now and then. I just found this article published in the Wake Student magazine about Rabi's winning piece at the Spiritual Art Festival.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Save the Date: Art-A-Whirl

This year's Art-A-Whirl promises to be a great event for us! What a difference a year makes...last year we were in our backyard trying to protect our pieces from a slight drizzle. This year, Rabi will have work in at least 4 Northeast locations. So mark your calendars and come on by!

The event hours are as follows:
Friday, May 18 @ 5-10pm
Saturday, May 19 @ 12-8pm
Sunday, May 20 @ 12-5pm

Our studio will be open all weekend in the Q.arma Bldg.
1224 Quincy St NE Studio B25
Minneapolis, MN 55413

Look for the Big A again. And be sure to stop by on Saturday afternoon and evening. There will be live bands, movies after sundown, a BBQ and drinks. The Kotou Danse Company will also be performing at 4pm. These events are sponsored by l’etoile magazine and Finnegan’s Irish Amber.

Rabi will have about 5 new pieces at the
Frank Stone Gallery.
1224 2nd St NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413

Preview Party: Thursday, May 17 @ 5-9pm (we will be there)
Group Show Reception: Friday, May 18 @ 7-10pm (we won't be there)
Open Gallery: Saturday and Sunday, May 19-20 @ 12-5pm

Rabi will also have 2 pieces at the Palm Court Restaurant with other members of TAWU.
2424 Central Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418

Please support NEMAA at its silent auction and bid on his piece "Union". All proceeds from his piece go to NEMAA and help out the arts district.
Northrup King Bldg
1500 Jackson St NE Room #332
Minneapolis, MN 55413

We will post updates as they become available. Please let us know if you need directions to any of these venues or more information. Invite your friends!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Kôtou Danse

Many of you have seen William and others perform at some of our other shows (Books for Africa benefit, Dunn Bros reception, studio opening). Members of the Kotou Danse Company will be performing at the Art-A-Whirl this year. A bit more about the group:

Kôtou Danse
Traditional and Contemporary Music and Dance from the African Continent

Kôtou Danse is an international collaboration of diverse artists, dedicated to bringing the beauty and tradition of West African music and dance to the contemporary sensibilities of a global world. We specialize in traditional Ivorian dance , as well as contemporary West African dance, dance theater and traditional dance from many other West African cultures. Artistic director William Atchouellou, an accomplished dancer/choreographer from Cote D’Ivoire, has an extensive background of performance and art creation that spans the globe.

William, an internationally acclaimed dancer and choreographer, has fifteen years of experience as a professional dancer with an emphasis in Afro-modern, contemporary and traditional West African dance styles. Originally from the Cote d’Ivoire, he was a member and Artistic Director of the Ten Zo Dance Company and has performed and taught throughout the U.S., Mexico and Europe. William created Kôtou Danse with a vision of bringing contemporary and traditional West African dance and drum to Minnesota through live performances, educational programs and dance classes.

Today, in collaboration with a diverse collection of international artists, Kôtou Danse is fulfilling William’s vision. Kôtou artists provide adult West African dance classes in Minneapolis/St. Paul, educate students about West African dance and music through an exciting interactive learning format and Kôtou Danse performs at numerous venues throughout the state and Midwest. Weekly company classes are currently held at Pillsbury House (35th and Chicago Ave in Minneapolis) on Tuesday nights from 6:30-8:20PM. In addition to William, numerous guests artists teach the class. We have been pleased to offer classes by Christian Adeti, N’Soroma James, and others.

Kôtou provides educational entertainment at an affordable price for schools, camps and community groups. Dance workshops, residencies, performances and lecture/demonstrations are all ways to spread knowledge about the traditions of West African music and dance. Students learn about the different instruments and the sounds they make to create the traditional rhythms. In a fun and interactive format, young people and adults alike can learn how music and dance work together in the West African tradition.

Kôtou Danse has performed all over the Minneapolis/St. Paul area at a variety of venues and events. We have delighted audiences at The Caponi Outdoor Amphitheater, The Southern Theater, Trocaderos, The Varsity Theater, Intermedia Arts, Landmark Center, and Peavey Plaza, among others. Our live performances feature skilled drumming and highly technical dance movements, accompanied by traditional instruments and song. There is always an element of theater and crowd participation in Kôtou ’s shows.

Currently, our company consists of William Atchouellou - artistic director, Pam Plagge, Tricia Adkins, Kenna Sarge, Foxy Gilley, Brent Clarke, Eric Coursen, Mat Dames, Ghana M’Baye*, Moses Brown*, Kierno Djoubate*, and Emmanuel Livingston**. Visit for more complete information on the company members. We pride ourselves on the diverse background of our company members, some of whom have been studying traditional West African music and dance for years, and some of whom come from a modern dance background. Our musicians hail from Liberia, Guinea, Cote D’Ivoire, and the United States, and play a variety of traditional percussion and melodic instruments.

*guest artist, **apprentice

Kôtou Danse has an extensive repertoire, featuring and evening length work, Sans Visage, along with numerous traditional and contemporary works choreographed by William and other company members. Our goal is to continue to perform in professional venues across the state of Minnesota, the United States, and Canada.

For Booking Information Contact:
USA-Kenna Sarge

Canada/International - William Atchouellou

Sunday, May 06, 2007

The Labor Room

The Center for Independent Artists presents The Labor Room. Rabi won't be participanting in this show but will have his own exhibit there in August. But please go check it out!

The Labor Room will feature a three-day living exhibition featuring 25 visual artists as they transform inspiration into art in a variety of media including ceramic barrel firing, screen-printing, oil and acrylic painting, photographic processes, sculpture and drawing.

Center for Independent Artists
Located inside the Instituto de Cultura y Educacion
4137 Bloomington Avenue South
South Minneapolis, MN 55407

Open Studio
Friday & Saturday, May 11 & 12 @ 4-9PM
Sunday, May 13 @ 1-6PM
Suggested Donation: $5

Artwork will be exhibited in the Mira gallery.
Tuesday, May 15 - Saturday, June 16

Friday, May 18 @ 7- 10 PM

For more information call 612-724-8392 or visit

Friday, April 27, 2007

Broken Equipment = No Products

Bummer. The fancy smancy plasma cutter is on the cutting block. It's been out of commission for almost 1 month now. What does this mean? No neato lizards, butterflies, etc. This also means we don't have a huge inventory. So, we had to cancel our spot for the St Paul Craftstravaganza. But please still check it out tomorrow!

2nd Annual St. Paul Craftstravaganza
Saturday, April 28th, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Minnesota State Fairgrounds Fine Arts Building
Admission and parking is FREE!
Free swag bags to the first 100 shoppers.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

NE Mpls Arts District

I just came across this website about the NE Mpls Arts District. It's a great site with tons of history and tidbits about our neighborhood. Come for a visit sometime!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Calling All Art Teachers

A few years back, I saw a posting on one of my list serves regarding the need for art students to make children's books for kids in Uganda. Having lived in Kampala for a month and having volunteered at the Kamwokya Christian Caring Community (KCCC), I decided to forward the message to my sister who teaches at a high school. The art students at her school ended up making a bunch of books and they were received by kids abducted by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). Check out some pictures from the delivery in Kampala and Gulu.

The project I'm referring to is the Books of Hope program, which is a part of the
Memory Project. Art students of all levels create entertaining and educational books for kids in Uganda and India. High school and university art students can also create portraits of orphans for the Memory Portrait program. Students receive a photo of an orphan and then create a high quality portrait. The project works in Honduras, Egypt, Mexico, Guatemala, Ecuador, India and Uganda, among others.

I forgot about this project until the other week when I received an update from my sister. As it turns out, the founder, Ben, is from my hometown. He also has spent time at KCCC as they have been recipients of books. Ben is currently delivering portraits and books in Egypt. He emailed to say that the greatest need is for more schools to participate for the next school year. Teachers can sign up on the

If you are an art teacher, please consider this project in your lesson plans for next year. Or if you know one, please forward on this information! If you are in the Minneapolis area, I would love to brainstorm ideas about a gallery showing of the portraits.

Friday, April 20, 2007

St Paul Art Crawl This Weekend

Please join us this weekend for the St Paul Art Crawl.

Community Room
281 E 5th St
St Paul, MN 55401
(#9 on the map)

Friday, April 20th at 6-10pm
Saturday, April 21st at 2-10pm
Sunday, April 22nd at 12-5pm
We will be showing with other artists including Kevin Showell. Hope to see you soon!

Sunday, April 15, 2007


Spring has finally, maybe, arrived in Minneapolis. And I must say the move into the Q.arma Bldg was a great decision. I hope to have snaps soon of the collaborative pieces between Rabi and building mate Kevin Showell. In the meantime, check out their piece in progress.

In the Q.arma yard.



And yummy chicken. More on the Webers to come too!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Upcoming Film & Theater Events

The continent will be making quite an impression on Minneapolis this month! Check out some of these events in the next few weeks.

Gangbé Brass Band
AfricaNOW: Currents of a Continent
April 14th at 8pm
Cedar Cultural Center
$22 ($18 for Walker or Cedar members)

Minneapolis/St Paul International Film Festival
April 19th at 7pm
Riverview Theater

Opening Night Gala with Danny Glover, actor/executive director of Bamako
April 19th at 9:30pm
Riverview Wine Bar
$25 with film

Vieux Farka Touré
April 22nd at 7:30pm
Cedar Cultural Center

Konono #1
April 25th at 7:30pm
Cedar Cultural Center

We'll be attending some of the shows. Please come out and support these artists!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Barak Woussougo

Dear friends and new acquaintances,

Rabi and I would like to express our deep gratitude for supporting us at our studio opening reception last Friday. We had a wonderful time visiting with all of you, and hope the evening was fun and inspiring.

Special thanks to our entertainers for the evening, Foxy and Christian; Peter and the A-Project; NEED magazine for the preview copies; Dane and his mates for the excellent brochettes; Jamie at Altered Esthetics; and Jono.

We hope to continue to offer quality original artwork by Rabi, and handicrafts from his country, Burkina Faso. Again, thank you for attending and we’ll see you at future events!

Barak woussougo,
Rabi and Nancy

PS, we hope to have photos of the night posted shortly as well as a clip of the African dancing and drumming.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Reminder: Studio Opening Reception

Don't forget to join us for the studio opening this Friday!

Yarbi Design Studio Opening Reception
Friday, April 6

Q.arma Bldg
1224 Quincy St NE Suite B25
Minneapolis, MN 55413

Look for the Big A as an indicator of our building.

Again, there will be an African dance and drumming performance at 7:30pm. Rabi’s winning piece “You of Little Faith” will also be on display.

And don't forget to visit the 1st floor to see Rabi's piece "Peter Tosh" in the “Art Reincarnated" show at Altered Esthetics.

If you need directions, please let us know. Hope to see you then!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Ritz Theater

The NE Mpls Arts District isn't only about visual arts. It's also about the performing arts! It's been years since I've been in the theater scene so I decided a few months ago to offer my serves as a volunteer at the Ritz Theater. What a better way to become more involved in my community and to see the shows coming through?!

I attended my first performance at the Ritz Theater on Sunday, Lost in the Stars. The musical is sort of based on the novel Cry, the Beloved Country. I have to admit, I didn't really connect the musical with South Africa, where it takes place. It seemed more of story about race in America than apartheid in South Africa. Maybe it was the music, which did not have the drumming beat that I have come to associate with the continent. Don't get me wrong, the storyline was great and I would recommend seeing it. But it was a bit of a mismatch to me.

But back to the Ritz. It's been open now for almost 1 year. The Ballet of the Dolls is the resident performing company. I haven't yet seen a performance by the company, so I can't give my 2 cents. But they've been around for 20 years. The Ritz still needs a bit of cash to complete it's capital campaign, so check out their website if you want to support our neighborhood!