Sunday, September 30, 2012


Friendly, imaginative, community-minded attendees were not a surprise. Neither was the high caliber plenary sessions nor fabulous workshops a bolt from the blue. The after-hour soirees and luncheon were lovely. A revelation was the joyous environment of the “Hacker Space” room guarded by a funky Spoon & Cherry catapult. Populated by affable TC Makers, it was clearly the most dynamic space of the NAMAC 2012 Conference. People giggled, smiled, and were proud of their creative efforts. Experimental rhythms and beats surrounded Beatrix*Jar’s music table. The relaxed atmosphere provided the opportunity to fool around, which is sorely needed by adults. I strongly recommend that all future NAMAC gatherings include a creative space component.

Life is sequential, however its not always clear where the path will lead so sometime you just have to go with the proverbial flow… my path to NAMAC was searching employment listings on the Springboard for the Arts website. I happened upon a posting seeking 2012 Conference volunteers.

The National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture was a mystery to me. I was intrigued by the nonprofit organization, especially since they were seeking documentarians to help record the event. I rearranged my schedule, signed up to donate my time, and ventured to the Conference. The most common questions from attendees were “Where to eat” and “What to do” so I posted helpful hints on my personal blog.

I greatly enjoyed attending part of the Native American Public Telecommunications (NAPT) Producer Workshop. Moving-image makers participated to develop relationships and discuss a variety of topics. Gulgun Kayim permitted me to interview her for the NAMAC blog. I then viewed the transmedia Prison Dancer with commentary by Ana Serrano of the Canadian Film Centre. It’s original material was divided into a series posted on YouTube with an interactive website to build critical mass. The “Pak Yow” rap video has become a mainstream viral hit.

After attending meetings, I was moved to tears by the documentary, The Power of Two. “Why We Do This” installation by Andy DuCett was a proper finale for the Conference. The exhibit at The Soap Factory site and was wild & wacky. It was fun to charge through the line of football players with a long-stemmed rose clutched in my teeth. The only challenge now is how to stay connected to such a vibrant group of people…

Go forth and create!
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Thursday, September 27, 2012


This article was written for the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture blog, and published on September 19th, 2012. Thank you Ms. Kayim for sharing her wisdom and NAMAC for permission to repost this interview.

Q & A with Gulgun Kayim:
Gülgün Kayim has always been acutely aware of place. War erupted four days after her birth on the island of Cypress and her hometown is now located in the demilitarized zone. Her family fled as refugees to England. The deeply resonating theme of mapping spectral places has motivated her to create site-specific performance art. She focuses on telling the stories of a physical location as it intersections with memory and emotion.

Gülgün is currently working on a piece for the Cypress Demilitarized Zone to promote community healing and build peace by providing a narrative of people who lost the war. She has been drawn to dealing with traumatized communities, including the coordination of a five-year anniversary event for the 35W Bridge Collapse.

Gülgün began her position as the Director of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy with the City of Minneapolis in July 2011. She coordinates arts and creative economy activities within the complexities of a governmental organization; works with Minneapolis Arts Commission; and, develops arts, culture and creative industry policies around economic development and programs for the city. In October 2012 her department will be releasing a Creative Vitality Index.

Gülgün has an extensive background and professional experience in performance, public art and art installation, producing and creating large-scale public art works and theatrical performances in dance and theater. She has been awarded a number of prestigious honors. She also enjoys hanging out with her growing family, running, gardening, and canine companionship.

Define “creative place-making." Why is creative place-making of relevance to the media arts community?

I think of creative place-making as place specific. It is arts driven, cross-sector, urban development based on the idea that arts activities when engaged with the neighborhoods are attractors for other activities.

Creative place-making is of relevance to anyone in the arts community only in so far as that community is interested in engaging with the world around them. Arts organizations and artists can choose to work in their own communities without intersecting with the greater world. But when they go beyond the confines of the studio or the stage, they can have broader and more profound impacts.

How does your artistic background assist you while working within government public-policy development?

Space is subjective; the same physical location co-exists with different meanings based upon the experiences of each person. My job is to get the conversation going and discuss how to partner to value-add to the project. It is important to find allies, have specific goals, and talk with people. It is a complicated process, don’t get discouraged, and just keep trying. The end goal is to show how arts influence every part of the community. Artists are change makers in society.

What can an individual person do to help one's community’s economy benefit from the arts, beyond being a consumer?

People can support the arts economically by sending their kids to art classes and insisting that their school provides arts education. They can also volunteer, vote arts supporters into office, donate (to an artist or arts organization), get informed about the debates in the arts disciplines they care about and participate on a citizen board, advocacy group committee or commission.

Arts are vital!
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Eyes grow heavy
Hide my yawn
Limbs weary
Fidget to keep my blood circulating
Curse my full stomach

‘Tis time for a siesta
Oh, what a sweet luxury

droop and stoop
Brain drifting into the fog
I am losing the struggle of consciousness
Another boring meeting

No access to caffeine
Not appropriate to do jumping jacks
I want to be like my cat and nap before I get tired

Better not snore or drool
Like the guy at the next table

© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Friday, September 21, 2012


No drag queens but lots of artwork fit for royalty. Leapt around Longfellow neighborhood for the 2012 LOLA art crawl. Lovely weather with light traffic. This year’s map is much more accurate, which made the journey a lot easier. Multitude of artists to visit but alas I wasn’t able to stop at every location.

Despaired that several creators did not have a clear safe outside pathway for the patrons to walk or a profoundly cluttered area inside in which to view the artwork. I just hope that no potential benefactor was injured in these areas and that the homeowner has extensive insurance. It would be positive to indicate on the map the locations that are wheelchair accessible.

Kathryn Clayton and Nicole Fierce continue their development as profoundly talented artists. Both have sustained high levels of creativity after being highlighted in last year’s review. Plus, profiled via Ima’s Artist Illumination, just search their names in this blog. Please check out their websites at and Listed below are some amazing artists from this year’s crawl.

Jessica Zeglin draws sweet little critters, plants, and insects. Who knew that vermin could be so darn cute?

* Lois Jonet designs atmospheric windows, sun-catchers, stepping stones, and fabulous layered glass garden flowers. Truly delightful at
* Mimosa Greer is a talented potter of great proportion at
* Nancy Schultz offers a hand tye-dyed extravaganza of clothing.
* Jack Rumpel forms calm functional stoneware with soft textures. Terrific urns, nice yard, and hospitable host.
* Chris Miller creates whimsical glass on glass mosaics, and terrific cityscapes.
* Benito Medina carves kitchen implements and impish jewelry.
* Alice Delaney sculpts colorful concrete garden art.
* Teresa Harsma crafts delicate paper & wire earrings and decorative books. 507-455-3677

LOLA information is posted at I apologize for the much belated issuance of this review, it has been a busy late summer.

Swarmed by art.
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


You are cordially invited to join our Cash Mob St Paul MN group on Saturday, September 22nd! We will patronize two more businesses affected by Green Line – Central Corridor Light Rail construction in St. Paul. They are located a few blocks west of the intersection with Dale Street. Several of the streets are still blocked in this area so you may have to drive around a bit to gain access to these businesses. Thank you in advance for your patience and persistence.

We will meet on Saturday starting time of 11am at Trung Nam French Bakery. Load up on baguettes, croissants and yummy baked goods. They are located at 739 University Avenue West, 55104 on the north side of the road. Their phone number is 651-229-0887. There is a small parking lot but you may want to park on a side street. Their Facebook page is You can easily walk over to the next destination.

At NOON we will be gathering at Homi Mexican Restaurant situated at 864 University Avenue West, and phone number is 651-222-0655. Fresh meals made from scratch and Grandma’s recipes. They are on the south side of the road in a yellow building. Homi’s parking lot is tiny so it might be easiest to park on Victoria or a side street. Their website is

RSVP at!/events/306542059453757/ and invite your friends to congregate with us. The more the merrier! While you are at our Facebook page, be so kind as to “Like” our group and get notified of upcoming gatherings. If you aren’t able to join us for this soiree, please support the establishments listed in this note soon. Let them know that you were sent by “Cash Mob St Paul.”

Please join us for either or both of these mobful events. Construction has been arduous for all businesses along University Avenue. Mindfully spending your cash at a local retail venue has a positive impact on the entire community since local entrepreneurs are more likely to spend their income locally and that stimulates other businesses. Franchises and chain-stores have a huge advantage over small shops, that is why we focus on locally owned independent stores.

Other nominations to visit include:
Hampton Park Co-op at
Everest on Grand Restaurant at
Treadle Yard Goods at
Sonnen Pet Shop (651) 222-2425 in downtown St. Paul

Local is as local does.
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Friday, September 14, 2012


Excited about a second interview with a nonprofit. .75 FTE but enough pay to just cover my monthly bills. I was optimistic. First interview went really well. Received a call the next day to schedule number two. Arranged to meet at their other office.

I departed from my current part-time job a little early to prep for the interview and drive to their office (15 miles from my job). Arrived early which gave me time to prepare. Waited, waited, and no one arrived at the time of the interview. I called the Human Resources person’s office, no answered so I called her cell. She said that the location was switched back to the first office and since I hadn’t confirmed the people were on their way. Waited, waited, no one arrived. Finally, the person who would be the supervisor called a co-worker who was holding a class at the site where I was abandoned. She was angry with me for not getting the message. What? Excuse me, but it was she or the HR person’s responsibility to confirm the location change. They left a message for me at home and sent an email; I don’t do personal stuff at work so I never received the information. Why did they contact me only a few hours before the interview? If anything, they should have left a message at the second office in case I arrived there.

I was so irritated that I didn’t call them the next morning because I would have been rude. I did leave a voicemail for the HR person in the afternoon about rescheduling. I had to go out of town so I left her another voicemail with my cell number the next day, just to be courteous. I come home to find a message that they decided to go with another candidate and cancel with me. What bastards! Unprofessional to mess with a candidate. I will never apply there again or donate and warn other people to avoid that place.

The economy is getting better but it’s been profoundly difficult to procure gainful employment. My savings are quickly dwindling after three+ years of under & unemployment. I have started going through my stuff to see what I can sell for cash. I choose to be financially self-reliant. I don’t expect anyone to take care of me. It isn’t pride; it’s about being responsible for myself. Dang nab it, I just want to work and pay my bills without stress. Is that too much to ask??

Will work full-time for money.
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Bartender’s Tale by Ivan Doig Four worms
Delightful reminiscence a saloon owner’s son. Charming innocent humor and layers of meaning add texture to a much-documented subject. Several surprises made the novel compelling. Ending was rather abrupt; perhaps the author could continue the story in another novel.

XO by Jeffery Deaver Three and a half worms
Well written but author’s note should have been as an epilogue. Perhaps he is hankering to change careers and become a lyricist. Expected one narrative twist and surprised by more. Good pacing and insights into obsessive behavior. However, the author made disparaging remarks about plump people.

Cats Behaving Badly by Celia Haddon Three worms
Explanations why felines do the naughty things that they do. Common sense tips and insights offered with a bit of humor. A few too many stories that don’t clearly relate to the topic. Author clearly distains indoor-only cats.

Beautiful Sacrifice by Elizabeth Lowell Three worms
Turning of the Wheel and the changing of the gods to begin the Fourteenth Baktun. The world as we know it ends on December 21st, 2012. Flirting smothered an otherwise interesting storyline. Main characters were distracted by burning desire. Interesting view into archeology and cultural anthropology efforts, could have used further explanation of terminology.

The Wurst is Yet to Come by Mary Daheim Two worms
Beginning is convoluted and choppy. Relationship between the two main characters needed to only be mentioned occasionally, not in every paragraph. One of the main actors was rude, crude, and unlikable. Author clearly revolted by overweight people. Intermittent good writing with humor. Sauerkraut ending was abrupt and didn’t follow through with the story at home.

Whole Lot’O Reading
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Friday, September 7, 2012


You are cordially invited to indulge in the rich arts culture of the St. Paul & Minneapolis area (aka the conjoined-Twin Cities) during the NAMAC 2012 Conference. Venture out of the hotel to meet the plethora of creative folks in the region. Actually, the entire state is filled with talented residents.

There are a number of museums and galleries to visit as well as individual artists or collective activities. Constellation Minneapolis is a neighborhood-generated multi-site arts experience occurring on both Saturday (11am – Midnight) and Sunday (11am – 7:38pm). View their itinerary at for details. Most sites are accessible by bus but its best to take a taxi after nightfall.

After the Soap Factory soiree travel a short distance to the Northrup King Building (NKB) for the Artfall10 opening at Studio 391, 1500 Jackson Street NE, 55413 for information (7pm-11). The NKB is located in the heart of the Northeast Minneapolis arts district. The springtime Art-A-Whirl opens hundreds of studios for a three-day extravaganza of creativity ( St. Paul’s Art Crawl is presented in both the spring and the fall of each year (www.

Many more arts events are listed at and you can do a web search. If you don’t have time during this visit, please return to our vicinity to explore. The summer is jam-packed with free outdoor concerts and events, and the cold season offers the St. Paul Winter Carnival and intellectual pursuits. My personal theory is that winter increases both the intensity of creation as well as the appreciation of the arts in our community. After you shovel, there isn’t a heck of a lot to do when the temperatures are mind-numbingly cold (below 0 Fahrenheit). You can either sit home and mope or get out to enjoy dance, music, theater, or visual arts.

Featured is a painting by the talented Alison Price. Contact her at 612-805-1886 or view her website at

Yah, sure you betcha, please return to Minnesota soon, ya know…
© 2012 Ima B. Musing


It has been terrific to meet the people attending the NAMAC Conference taking place in downtown Minneapolis. The most frequent question that I’ve heard is, “Where is a good place to eat?” There are many wonderful restaurants near the hotel, like Bachelor Farmer and Hell’s Kitchen. If you wish to venture a little further south on Nicollet Avenue, you will enter “Eat Street” which has a variety of flavorful venues ranging from Thai, American, German, Greek, East Indian, Vietnamese, Chinese, and many others. You can take a bus or pedal a bike to any of these terrific places.

Another hotspot for eateries is along Lake Street. You can travel south upon Nicollet Avenue and make a right turn onto Lake. Minneapolis has a large Spanish speaking and Somali population so there are several great eateries. A concentration of restaurants is at the intersection of Lake Street and Lyndale Avenue. You can travel further west on Lake Street to the Uptown area for a more upscale experience, at the intersection of Lake and Hennepin. Swing back north (right turn) onto Hennepin Avenue to access other terrific gastronomic experiences and you’ll return to downtown Minneapolis.

Of course, we are the Twin Cities and St. Paul has fabulous restaurants, too. There is a terrific Hmong fleaW-market at the intersection of Como Avenue with Marion Street. Don’t let light rail construction deter you from visiting the University Avenue plethora of eateries. Ask a “local” person for advise regarding a good restaurant and you’ll encounter the Minnesota Nice experience.

As for after-hour activities, we offer an impressive array of entertainment. Peruse the website for art specific activities or just ask a volunteer at the event for ideas. Most bars stay open until 2am so you’ll find lots of music to enjoy.

Have a great time!
(c) 2012 Ima B. Musing

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Honored to be interviewing Gulgun Kayim, Director of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy with the City of Minneapolis, during the NAMAC Conference. Look for the posting at and other posts about this fascinating event! Exact publishing date & time to be determined…

Imagine Everyday
© 2012 Ima B. Musing