Visionaries Who Matter For Such a Time As This

Watch now | Premiered December 26, 2020

Every year for the past 27 years, the Ordway has honored members of Minnesota’s artistic community with Sally Awards, which recognize and celebrate the contributions and accomplishments of artists, educators, volunteers, philanthropists, and leaders who strengthen and enrich our state with their commitment to the arts. This year we are unable to gather in person to recognize another group of outstanding Minnesota artists, but at this particular moment in time, we feel the celebration of the arts have never been more vital to the health of our community.

The global health crisis and societal awakening to racial injustice has been a catalyst for artistic expression, inspiring new works that open our eyes to things we may not have seen before. Some of the most profound creative work has emerged from Black artists in Minnesota. This year we want to reintroduce the work of Black men, past Sally Award recipients, whose artistry has made an impact locally, across the country, and around the world. In this special presentation narrated by Minnesota Public Radio President Duchesne Drew, we highlight the work of three artists whose commitment to racial and social justice, and healing has been further inspired by recent events. We honor Lou Bellamy, 1994 Sally Award Winner and Founder and Artistic Director Emeritus of Penumbra Theatre Company; Gary Hines, 2004 Sally Award Winner and Music Director and Producer of the three-time Grammy Award-winning Sounds of Blackness; and Seitu Jones, 2005 Sally Award Winner and multi-disciplinary public artist and Co-Founder of Frogtown Farm.

For such a time as this, we look to artists for understanding and healing. We look to artists to remind us of our common humanity, even when there is division all around us. Some of the most profound artistic work and meaningful community contributions have emerged from these three men, right here in Minnesota. Let’s listen to their stories.

Visionaries Who Matter is directed and executive produced by Robin Hickman-Winfield, Ordway Organizational and Community Partnership Strategist, director of Taking Our Place Centerstage, and executive producer of SoulTouch Productions.