A Stranger Held My Heartbeat

I love collaborations – the more different the contributors are, the more their shared product surprises me and opens my mind.

The Weisman has an exhibit on display called Walk Back To Your Body, a collaboration between healthcare researchers and artists. I loved the concept so much I did the unprecedented – abandoned my kids on a weeknight to go to the opening presentations last week.

And there, a stranger did hold my heartbeat.

I was able to lie in The Daydream Chapel, also with a total stranger. I guess we adults need a fancy art gallery to give us permission to return to the simple forts of our playful youth.

But my absolute favorite was the work of psychiatrist Dr. Kathryn Cullen and poet Yuko Taniguchi. As the placard below from the exhibit indicates, adolescents struggling with behavior disorders learned to find a powerful identity as an artist rather than a person with a diagnosis. I missed their talk that night, but Taniguchi has a different one here that is worth a watch.

I could only stay for the start of the presentations, but was deeply moved by what I did hear. Dr. Jakub Toler, Dean of the University of Minnesota School of Medicine is also a bone marrow transplant surgeon. He talked about how art teaches us how to work with humanity. He said he learned 5% of the skills he uses in his work life from medical school – that he learned more from David Hopper about how to work with human beings as they suffer.

Another gem from the evening that lingers with me is from the curator, Boris Oicherman. He defined collaboration as the labor intensive work of different people finding a shared meaning.

I cannot tell if this exhibit is otherwise available, but I highly recommend if it if you have the chance.

Things I Love in the Twin Cities

For now, I have set aside performing to do the most basic things that will keep me sane, which are working (that day job that pays the bills), time with my kids, and really boring self care things that keep me sober.  I am not going out much, because one of those really boring self care things is getting a good night’s sleep and making sure my house is in order (kind of).

But I live in Minneapolis and the Twin Cities are filled with so many amazing things to do, here are a few of my favorites I see when I do get out.

Any comedy open mic: Love comedy but limited on funds? There open mics every day all over town.

Baddie’s Comedy Club: Great monthly showcase at New Rules. Great food and drink offerings.

Comedy Corner Underground: One of the best comedy clubs in town, run by a cooperative of local comics. Regularly features nationally touring comics in an intimate club setting.

Huge Theater: Great Improv! Great community theater.

Sisyphus Comedy Room: My favorite comedy room second only to Acme.

Strike Theater: Amazing stories galore and a variety of spoken word events.

Yellow Tree Theater: Yes, it is all the way up in Anoka but it has an intimate theater, incredible quality productions, and very reasonable prices.