About the Grant

$23,000 to Springboard for the Arts to support Then a Cunning Voice and a Night We Spend Gazing at Stars (MAP 2016)
$5,180 to general operating support for Emily Johnson

About the Project

Then a Cunning Voice and a Night We Spend Gazing at Stars is a multi-year project dedicated to building an all night outdoor performance gathering. The work includes in equal measure: making quilts, performance, storytelling, song, and a night of stargazing. It relies upon people coming together to voice intentions, witness, work, experience time, rest, and imagine.

Then a Cunning rooted in community visioning sessions created in partnership with the Minneapolis-based Native American Community Development Institute. The visioning sessions start with the questions, “What do you want for your well-­being? For your family and friends? Your neighborhood? Your city, town, or reserve?”

The responses generate joy, reflection, responsibility:

I want my city to love itself more.

The Mayor of Richfield wants free mental health clinics.

Someone writes “A full happy life for our son”

The intentions are gathered on quilt squares which are sewn into a modular series of quilts during community sewing bees. Once created, the quilts are laid together to become one 4,000 square foot area, designed by textile artist Maggie Thompson, upon which we will host all night stargazing including moments of silence, performance, stories, and First-Nations star knowledge. We want to share time, to feel and also imagine the space below us on the ground and above us in the air.

It is celebratory, to come together like this.

Related Websites

Springboard for the Arts

Emily Johnson / Catalyst Dance


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