All the buzz in the Creative Enterprise Zone
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In the Zone: Savage Umbrella Creates Space for Artists, Audiences & Meaningful Discussion

Savage Umbrella's recent original production, "These are the Men," reimagines the Oedipus mythology to explore themes of the feminine, hegemony, power, fate and time. Photo  by Carl Atiya Savage Swanson, compliments of Savage Umbrella.

Also In this issue:

  • Survey Sets Stage for Future Work in the Zone
  • CEZ Orgs Tap The Crowd for Funding
  • CEZ Featured in Green Line Video
  • Urban Boatbuilders Summer Boat Launch
  • Art Reception at Workhorse Coffee
  • Ethiopia Reads Brings Brews for Books to the CEZ
Vinland Workshop Presentation (September 2014), Ensemble in rehearsal of the work-in-progress. Photo credit: Hannah K. HolmanA new organization in the Creative Enterprise Zone is working to transcend traditional dinner table conversations about difficult issues with an innovative approach to theater and collaborative creativity.
Savage Umbrella co-operates as a company to create new works of theater, constantly striving to engage artists and audiences in vital discourse. The organization hopes to use their new 20,000 square foot space in First and First’s Vandalia Tower, 550 Vandalia Ave, to support a wide array of creative talent, while engaging audiences in critical conversations about socially relevant issues. “Our basic thrust is for us to be a home both for artists and audiences,” says Artistic Director Laura Leffler-McCabe.
Founded in 2007 as a non-traditional collaborative theater company where a multiplicity of artists could produce and act in each other’s works, Savage Umbrella has since served as a home to a long string of artists looking to push the boundaries in both structure and content of the theatrical realm.
These Are the Men (March/April 2015), Hannah K. Holman as Pythia, flanked by ensemble members Foster Johns and Siddeeqah Shabazz. Photo credit: Carl Atiya Swanson“I think that what we make together is better than what we could make by ourselves,” says Leffler-McCabe. “One person’s vision is never as big as that of a room full of people.”
Those big visions have lead to works that ask audiences to confront some difficult, yet imperative questions. One 2011 work, “Ex Gays,” threw audiences into the perilous world of reparative therapy camps. Actors played the role of camp counselors who were “recovered gays,” while the audience members were the campers coming to be “treated” at the camp. “It put the audience in this uncomfortable position of being implicated in the camp and all that that meant,” Leffler-McCabe says.
The audience often plays an integral role in Savage Umbrella’s productions. “We’re equal parts trying to serve the artists we work with and the audiences,” Leffler McCabe says. “We like to talk about creating space for critical conversation.”
These Are the Men (March/April 2015), Laura Leffler-McCabe as Jocasta, Michael Ooms as Creon, surrounded by the ensemble. Photo credit: Carl Atiya SwansonBy leveraging the avenues art can create to discuss challenging subject matter, Savage Umbrella is able to breach topics in a meaningful way not easily achieved, otherwise. “Art allows you to transcend that normal dinner table conversation,” says Hannah K. Holman, managing director with Savage Umbrella.
Savage Umbrella has a knack for surprising audiences into reflecting on big questions. Their recent work, “These are the Men,” reimagines the Oedipus mythology, broaching feminist themes of agency, hegemony and power structure. By telling the story in a non-linear fashion, producers were also able to simultaneously hint at ideas of time and fate.
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Photo 1: Vinland Workshop Presentation (September 2014), Ensemble in rehearsal of the work-in-progress. Photo credit: Hannah K. Holman
Photo 2: 
These Are the Men (March/April 2015), Hannah K. Holman as Pythia, flanked by ensemble members Foster Johns and Siddeeqah Shabazz. Photo credit: Carl Atiya Swanson
Photo 3:
These Are the Men (March/April 2015), Laura Leffler-McCabe as Jocasta, Michael Ooms as Creon, surrounded by the ensemble. Photo credit: Carl Atiya Swanson

Congratulations Knight Arts Challenge Finalists in the Zone!

From a pool of more than 450 submissions to the Saint Paul Knight Arts Challenge in 2015, 61 finalists have been selected, 3 of which are from artists in the Creative Enterprise Zone. Each finalist will now submit a detailed proposal, and winners will be announced October 6. Each winner will share in $1.5 million in funding for their projects.
Congratulations to all the finalists and best of luck in the final round! We can’t wait to see these projects come to life and transform St. Paul through the arts.

Check out these 3 exciting finalists from the Zone:

Naomi Cohn
Building community and increasing the well-being of older adults by engaging a professional writer to conduct high-quality arts activities with seniors in St. Paul’s Creative Enterprise Zone
Karl Unnasch
Enlivening the Creative Enterprise Zone area by transforming two water towers that mark its boundaries into self-illuminated beacons wrapped in backlit, contemporary stained glass murals
Can Can Wonderland
Providing a stimulating, arts-immersive environment at St. Paul’s Can Can Wonderland with sculpture, installation, multimedia, movement and sound
Take a look at the other exciting finalists and learn more here.

Help Define the Future of the Creative Enterprise Zone


As energy and momentum continues to build around the Creative Enterprise Zone, positioning our work to best serve the creative enterprises, artists, entrepreneurs and others who make a living by their creative capacities here is paramount to the continued success of this creative community.
We want to hear from you. You can share your thoughts with us online by filling out this short survey. Your perspective and input is invaluable as this area continues to grow and develop in exciting new ways. Please give us your thoughts in our brief online survey to plan for the future together.
Take Survey Now

Organizations in the Zone Successfully Tap ‘Crowds’ for Funding

Two CEZ Organizations Complete Successful Crowdfunding Campaigns

Congratulations to CEZ-based Can Can Wonderland and TU Dance for their successful recent crowdfunding campaigns and thanks to all who donated to support these valued organizations!
It’s no secret that there are some exciting organizations in the Zone doing some truly inspiring work. Two of those organizations recently had their visions and ambitions affirmed in a big way. TU Dance recently raised nearly $29,000, surpassing their goal of $25,000, in their campaign from 110 funders to purchase much needed equipment for their new TU Dance Center Studio 2. The new space will be invaluable for the expanding youth program of which they are a part, offering all youth access to a world class professional dance program.
Similarly, Can Can Wonderland, the forthcoming artist-designed mini-golf course and event space at 755 Prior Ave, raised a whopping $42,000 for their “arts-immersive environment that includes mini golf, a boardwalk of amusements, two stages, a restaurant, bar, and a café and old fashioned soda fountain.”
Raising funds as non-profit organizations is an ongoing effort that is both time consuming and often challenging. While funding from foundations and private donors often account for the backbone of non-profit budgets, small donations from the general public are often required to make ends meet. These types of donations can be incredibly encouraging for organizations and reaffirms that the work they do is valued by their community. Thanks to all who donated to support these worthy causes. Together, we are building the world we want.


CEZ Makers Featured in Green Line Anniversary Video

Here in the Zone, we’ve already begun to see the effects of the Green Line LRT one year after we celebrated it’s opening on an unfortunately stormy, yet tremendously festive day last June. Check out what a few CEZers have to say about how the Green Line has positively influenced their creative enterprises in the Zone in this video from the Metropolitan Council celebrating the Green Line’s one-year anniversary.  Hear CEZ Chair Catherine Reid Day, Khan Tran of the Dow Art Gallery and Jill Pavlak of Urban Growler Brewing, along with many other CEZ neighbors and supporters, share their thoughts on the Green Line’s impact.


Join Urban Boatbuilders for Their Summer Boat Launch

Wednesday, July 29
Como Lakeside Pavillion
1360 N. Lexington Parkway

From a roomy workshop in the Creative Enterprise Zone, Twin Cities youth have been hard at work handcrafting  canoes as part of Urban Boatbuilders youth apprentice program. After much hard work and skill development, the exciting time of year has come to give these youth-crafted boats their inaugural dip.
Join Urban Boatbuilders for an evening celebrating youth accomplishments, as they launch the new boats that will carry them on this summer’s wilderness adventures. Every vessel was hand built by their youth apprentices and Right Track students. Come out and enjoy an opportunity to meet these talented young people, enjoy hands-on activities and paddling, and enjoy a root beer float along beautiful Lake Como.

Art Reception for Masanari Kawahara’s Summer Collection 2015

Saturday, July 25
Workhorse Coffee Bar
2399 University Ave

Have you seen these gentle faces adorning the walls of Workhorse Coffee Bar? The owners of this new neighborhood establishment are continuing to support local artists with a brand new gallery showing of the work of Masanari Kawahara. Join them for a special reception where you can get an up close viewing, meet the artist and purchase his work.
While your there, check out the latest display in the Smallest Museum in St. Paul, as well!
Learn more and RSVP here

Ethiopia Reads Announces Brews for Books 2015 Tour

Series to Include Stop in the Zone at Urban Growler

Ethiopia Reads is a non-profit working to promote literacy in Ethiopia, where the literacy rate is 49 percent. In an effort to gain awareness and build support, the organization announces the 2015 Brews for Books Tour—a unique event series that features open house gatherings hosted by local breweries across the Twin Cities. They will be in the Creative Enterprise Zone at Urban Growler Brewing Company on October 20. This is an opportunity to learn about the organizations work while supporting one of our favorite local breweries. More info on their other brewery stops can be found here

Curious About the Creative Enterprise Zone?

Watch this video and take a walk through the Zone to learn more.

Get Connected!


What is the Creative Enterprise Zone?

The Creative Enterprise Zone, located mid-city between St. Paul and Minneapolis, has the goal to be recognized as a center of creativity and enterprise, a place where many people make a living by their creative capacities.
Showcasing a mixture of urban-industrial and innovative enterprises, the Creative Enterprise Zone promises to be a fertile laboratory of entrepreneurship, business incubation, artistic endeavor and eclectic urban design. Located along the Central Corridor Light Rail Transit line at the hub of the Raymond Station area, this dynamic nucleus of artisans and industry provides a unique sense of place that captures the imagination.

Regionally significant due to the central location and ease of access, the community offers a symbiotic mix of live and work opportunities. Cultivation of diverse, affordable spaces for entrepreneurial businesses, artisans and residents, and support systems for a tightly interconnected creative community, are high priorities.
Copyright © 2015 Creative Enterpise Zone, All rights reserved.

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