In addition to the development and preview performances of his new work the 51st (dream) state
, Sekou Sundiata will be in community residence for one week, holding public and private civic engagement activities that are designed to involve participants in honest and critical conversation about citizenship and civic consciousness. These activities, designed and led by Sundiata, are intended to inspire fresh and crucial questions about the most essential ideas that link imagination, democracy, and citizenship. Through these events, the Walker, in partnership with Sundiata, continues its exploration of how to most effectively connect important issues to a diverse array of communities—those embedded in the artistic works it presents, and those social processes that are creatively derived. The Walker’s civic engagement initiative, undertaken over a number of years and through a broad range of artistic approaches, seeks to link contemporary artists more closely to daily life and the concerns of citizens and communities.
Sundiata’s residency is presented in partnership with a wide array of locally-based organizations: the Department of Theater Arts and Dance/University of Minnesota; St. Olaf College; Macalaster College; the Perpich Center for Arts Education; the Minnesota Spoken Word Association (MNSWA); KFAI Radio; and the Center for Democracy and Citizenship, Hubert H. . . .
”Living in the aftermath of 9/11, I feel an urgent and renewed engagement with what it means to be an American. But that engagement is a troubling one because of a long-standing estrangement between American civic ideals and American civic practice. This project is my response to this reality. I take it as a civic responsibility to think about these things out loud, in the ritualized forum of theater and public dialogue.” —Sekou Sundiata