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Cedarside 2016 Artists with Muna Ahmed,
Blessing the Boats

Blessing of the Boats is an installation that invites festival goers to take an artist-led journey with a small group of people. On the way you will experience stories, singing, and silence and have the opportunity to set your own story and message afloat in a folded paper boat. Community performers will kick off each hour through poetry, song, or music from allied immigrant communities: 9pm (Somali poets), 10pm (Hmong Poets & Vocalists), 11pm (Arab Musician).

This installation showcases the growing refugee crisis currently occurring in Europe and Northern Africa and its relationship to climate change.  In response to the festival subthemes of “movement” and “interconnect” we construct a movement based journey filled with storytelling, song & conversation, physical migration, and an all-night visual experience for reflection.

Tours led by Griot artists leave on the half-hour at these times:

  • 9:00  pm
  • 9:30  pm
  • 10:00 pm
  • 10:30 pm
  • 11:00 pm
  • 11:30 pm
  • 12:00 Midnight

Self-guided tours through the installation take place from 1 am – 5:30 am.


Cedarside 2016 is a coalition of artists, partner organizations, and community organizers who utilize arts and creative placemaking to nurture and mobilize the community.

Lead artist Muna Ahmed is a visual storyteller based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her passion in photography and film lies in her pursuit to create cultural awareness and understanding. She has devoted much of her time to documenting the lives of recent immigrants living in Minnesota. Her current work focuses on capturing poetic imagery and narratives of immigrant communities living in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Project curators Shá Cage and E.G. Bailey are innovators and creative visionaries who instigate radical expression through art that brings community together and builds bridges.

Featured Community Performers include: Lula Saleh, Jayanthi Kyle,  Kevin Yang, Jamela Pettiford, Sonic Rain, Omar Ahmed, Simone Bernadette Williams, Fayise Abrahim, Roza Brooks and more.

Creative team includes: John Bueche and Peter MacDonald (Boat Installation Artists), Zania Coleman (Documentary Artist), and Community Specialists: Ace Jiru,  Mohammed Mohammed, Khadra Figi, Marisa Mosqueda, and Kloie Rush-Spratt.

This project is supported in part by Intermedia Arts, The Arts, Culture and Creative Economy of the City of Minneapolis, and Community Planning and Economic Development / Long Range Planning as part of Creative Citymaking 2016.


View more photos from Blessing the Boats on the Northern Spark Flickr here!


Presented by

Supported by


Mill Ruins Park Enter at W River Pkwy and Portland Ave S


9 pm—5:26 am; Guided tours 9 pm—1 am


Muna Ahmed
(b.) Minneapolis
(works) Minneapolis
Visit Website