Art Hounds: Twin Cities Iranian Culture Festival celebrates with music, art and food

Emilee Geist

Minneapolis-based artist and educator Nooshin Hakim Javadi is looking forward to the Twin Cities Iranian Culture Festival. The festival includes Iranian music, visual art and food. While largely online this year — including numerous music concerts and a virtual art gallery — two events allow American and Iranian cultures to connect over food.

"BLM" by artist Neda Shahghasemi

“BLM” by artist Neda Shahghasemi, one of the artists whose work is included in the virtual gallery at the Twin Cities Iranian Culture Festival.

Courtesy of Neda Shahghasemi

One food-based connection opportunity is a virtual tea house or chaikhaneh, which allows people in Minnesota and Iran to share tea and conversation over Skype.

People also may sign up to attend or host socially distanced backyard picnics through the month of September. The Iranian Cultural Collective will provide Iranian food and music for cross-cultural conversation and celebration in your backyard.

Retired educator Bill Fried of Spring Grove is looking forward to visitors — both in-person and virtual — to the first Spring Grove International Film Festival, which runs Friday through Sunday. The festival includes 50 films that range in style from comedy to drama to documentary. Both shorts and feature-length films are included. Films will run throughout the day on Friday and Saturday at three Spring Grove locations or available online with a festival ticket. 

Actor Ed Asner has a film in the festival and will attend in person. He’ll take questions following his film early Friday evening. You’ll need a ticket to attend. Moviegoers may know Asner as the voice of Carl Fredricksen in the Pixar film “Up.”

St. Paul actor Greta Grosch recommends catching a roof-top production of “My Funny Quarantine” from Theater Unmasked this weekend. Husband-and-wife team Jen Maren and Peter Simmons wrote and will perform the 40-minute show about surviving quarantine with your spouse day after day after day. It’s a lighthearted comedy, complete with music and sword-fighting. Grosch calls the interactive show “kid-friendly and parent-approved.”

You can see the show on the newly refurbished green roof of the Bakken Museum in Minneapolis on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 5:30 p.m. The show is free, though reservations are required to ensure social distancing. Theater Unmasked requests $5-15 per person donations, with 20 percent going to the Bakken Museum.

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