What a Year!

As I’m preparing 2019’s first bullet journal and making plans and goals for 2019 I am constantly stumbling over evidence of what an intense year 2018 was. The bests were the best. The lows were, well, lows. I’m already writing about some of the physical health challenges I had this year. The bests of 2018 are footholds I hope to build on and here they are in no particular order:

  • My installation for Art-A-Whirl was featured in this Minneapolis Star Tribune article by visual arts critic Alicia Eler alongside some very cool artists. Also, Andy Steiner wrote an amazing piece for MinnPost on my work and how it illustrates the connection between hypersexuality and the manic side of bipolar disorder. This is too rarely written about, and I’m really glad she went there.

  • I did an AMA on Open Letters to the Men of Craigslist. It was really interesting, and taught me a lot about how to think about and talk about the work.

  • I did a few stints in The Blender, the late show at Strike Theater. It was a great opportunity to try out some new material, and I’m really enamoured of what Mike Fotis and Allison Broeren are building in Strike.

  • Both Springboard for the Arts and NEMAA were supportive of my work this year. Because of a scholarship from Springboard I was able to earn certification to facilitate the Work of Art workshops. From NEMAA I was able to buy equipment to run a participatory activity during Art-A-Whirl. The best part? That equipment just happened to be vintage typewriters. Take a look at the top of this post for an example of one sheet multiple participants contributed to.

  • And lastly, the show that Patrick’s Cabaret presented as its FUNeral (like a funeral, but fun) was one of the best I’ve attended in years. Minneapolis has lost a lot of mid-sized arts organizations this last year or so. I’m beyond sad that the Cabaret is now on that list. Back in the ’00s I performed in the firehouse in shows curated by Arturo Miles, and then later on in shows curated by Scott Artley. However, The end was a spectacular show of some of the best work I’ve seen anywhere in a long time. House of Larva, Gabriela Santiago, and Kat Purcell were particularly strong. I’m proud that I was a member of the planning committee (we were called FUNeral Directors). To get more familiar with the Patrick’s Cabaret sunset follow the link to a mini-documentary. I am so impressed with the board (particularly chair Peter Foster) and executive and artistic director Scott Artley for the way they created a grand exit for the Cabaret. I’m grateful for all the intentional community building that happened during the Cabaret’s sunset season. I know there’s still work to be made, that it will be supported somehow, and that homes for that work will be both borrowed and built.

2018 was a wild ride of a year, and I’m looking forward to 2019. What were your bests of 2018? What’re you hoping for in 2019?

In Category: SOME DAYS

Alison Bergblom Johnson

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