Jul 1, 2017 – The Call

Wild Imagining

Dear NEMAA Members,

As hard as it is for me to contain my joy when I hear Summertime Madness by DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince, I have a stronger affinity for Kool and the Gang’s original Summer Madness. It makes me think of my mother, Wendy Veronica Strange (who was a singer in a band much like Kool in the Gang), and the good times we spent together during the summers in the DC area. Those beautiful bright golden yellow days at Sandy Point on the Chesapeake, or hitting the National Zoo, or exploring Rock Creek Park. The slow burning synth-nerdy instrumental conjures up memories of hot sticky blacktops, tie dye t-shirt making, face painting, breakdancing, boom boxes and bomb pops.

Summer was what we waited for as children, with its hot humid days, and evening storms to cool off the night just slightly, allowing us time to chase fireflies before bed. Summer was a time of wild imagining and serious exploration. At NEMAA we will be doing some serious exploration, as well. This summer we will be exploring ways to better brand the work that we do which we hope will bring more recognition to the Arts District and other Creative areas of Northeast Minneapolis. We seek to make our brand more dynamic and relevant. As we continue to work with Pollen, we will focus on storytelling, highlighting not narratives of our artist members but of the community and our many creative partners.

NEMAA will also be exploring our strategic plan that will cover the next few years, looking at the current strategic plan which ends at the end of this calendar year, we will take inventory of what was achieved and what may have been left on the table. We hope to tap into the new energy that exist in the evolving community while recognizing the deep roots of this makerville, cultivating current partnerships and creating new ones, and respecting the community that exists beyond the Arts District. We will explore ideas around education, advocacy and economy and how all of these things could, being more focused on inclusiveness will help to strengthen our community. Like children in the summer, NEMAA seeks to imagine wildly and explore deeply this summer. We hope that you will do the same.

Enjoy your life in the sunshine!

Dameun Strange
NEMAA Executive Director

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