Ku soo Dhawaada Xaafadeena: Welcome to Our Neighborhood (at The Cedar)

presented by the Mixed Blood and Bedlam Theatres
Saturday, July 23, 2011 - 6:00pm

Free admission-bring ANCR card or sign up at door

A new original show created by, for, with and about the people of Cedar Riverside
By playwright David Grant
With Somali and Oromo translations by the Voices of Cedar Riverside Ensemble
Directed by John Bueche; Ensemble Coaching by Maren Ward

Performed by the Voices of Cedar Riverside Ensemble of emerging East African youth and young adult actors: Amal Ali, Sakariya Ali, Samira Ali, Chaltu Berento, Abdi Farah, Fardosa Jama, Sharmarke Jama, Ifrah Mansour, Hamdi Mohamed, Shirwa Mohamed, Sara Mohammed Nur, Shemse Nuru, Farrington Starnes and Shaadiah Swenson

Saturday & Sunday, July 23 & 24
Cedar Riverside Community Weekend
Doors open at 5 p.m.; Program begins at 6 p.m., with additional performances of music, comedy and storytelling by East African artists
Free admission (bring your ANCR card or sign up at the door)

Thursday–Sunday, July 28–31
Public Weekend
Doors open at 6 p.m.; Program begins at 7 p.m.
Tickets: $15/$10 for students/free for Cedar Riverside residents

Call 612-338-6131 for advance tickets

For more than 100 years, immigrants to Minnesota have called Cedar Riverside their first home. The neighborhood's newest wave of immigrants is East African—mostly Somali—and like the settlers before them, acclimating to a new land and new culture requires reconciling two worlds. Welcome to Our Neighborhood sheds light on the experiences of the thousands of East African immigrants who now call Minnesota home.

Inspired by dozens of personal narratives collected during a series of community story circles organized by Mixed Blood and Bedlam Theatres, the engaging drama weaves together a tapestry of fictionalized stories that will be performed by the Voices of Cedar Riverside Ensemble of emerging East African youth and young adult actors.

Nadifa Islaweyne (Sakariya Ali) is a gifted high school senior with a bright future awaiting her. Abdi Hassan (Hamdi Mohamed) is a respected youth worker and part-time college student. Their grassroots work in the neighborhood has brought them together, and a romance begins to blossom. But Nadifa's family is skeptical of her community work and concerned about the relationship. The couple's growing commitment to each other is tested when a close friend of Abdi's is arrested on suspicion of terrorist activity and Abdi is arrested for allegedly sheltering him. Nadifa enlists the support of a broad coalition of friends, family and neighbors to free them and to clear their names. But can she and Abdi earn the community's acceptance and respect?

This project made possible by a grant provided by the MN State Arts Board, through an appropriation by the MN State Legislature from the MN Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund with money from the vote of the people of MN on November 4, 2008.

Major Funders

The McKnight FoundationTarget

Minnesota State Arts BoardThis activity is funded, in part, by the Minnesota State Arts Board through the arts and cultural heritage fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the Legacy Amendment vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund, and a grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation Minnesota