The 1st MidWest Mixed Conference was a SUCCESS!
“The MidWest Mixed Conference was the nourishing, stimulating space I’ve been craving. Celebrating, healing, and building are actions I would like to take, and the conversations here help me move towards that. I want these conversations to continue happening. Thank you all for making this happen!”
The very first MidWest Mixed Conference commenced on August 4th – 6th, of 2017 in Saint Paul, MN. The packed agenda created opportunities to explore themes connected to mixed race identities & families with art at the center.
The event kicked off on Friday night at Public Functionary in Northeast Minneapolis with a free screening of the award winning documentary, Mixed Match directed by Jeff Chiba. Following the screening an intimate Q & A with one of the films stars was enjoyed by the audience along with complementary theater style popcorn.
Saturday and Sunday were held at the beautiful Amherst H Wilder Foundation in Saint Paul, MN. The agenda featured numerous workshops, small group dialogues, panel conversations, spoken word perfromances and a moving keynote address from artist and activist Ricardo Levins Morales (see full video below). On the final day of the conference , an inspiring keynote address by local midwife and birthing justice advocate Rebecca Polston (see full video below), & a stirring theatrical performance by local youth artists Bella Dawson & William Watkins were just a few of the highlights.
Three licensed counselors were onsite, f ree parking, a room for families to care for their children , a self-care room and variety of snacks and beverages were all available to all participants . We were able to display a large timeline of Mixed Race history that was generously donated by Thomas Lopez with the Multiracial Americans of Southern California(MASC). A number of visual artists were featured throughout the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation grounds (curated by artist and professor Leslie Barlow) supporting critical thinking and the various learning styles of attendees. Comment boxes and art materials were available to encourage processing in the moment.