The Soap Factory presents We Are Water a month-long curatorial collaboration between Wang Ping’s Kinship of Rivers and The Soap Factory; artists from Twin Cities and New Orleans, music, performance, interactive creativity, poetry, food and celebration. Lead Artist and Curator: Wang Ping

We Are Water: Kinship of Rivers is a month-long curatorial collaboration between Wang Ping and The Soap Factory; Artists from the Yangtze and Mississippi Rivers come together to present sculptural installations, films, music, poetry, art, performance, food and interactive creativity to celebrate rivers and cultures from the two continents. 2000 river flags, made by people from both rivers, will be on display.

At the gallery, visitors and families can participate in a wide variety of activities. Make a beautiful river flag, participate in a traditional Chinese tea ceremony, learn to make paper cranes, and add your stories and poetry to life on a real canoe. A large Sand Mandala will be created by Tibetan monks over the course of the We Are Water exhibition. Visitors can watch and meditate as the mandala is carefully drawn out of colorful sand.

Performance and Activity Schedule
All performances and daily gallery admission is free

Daily activities and art installations: May 10 – June 7
Gallery hours: Weds, Thurs, Fri: 1-7pm and Sun 12-5pm

· River flags installation: Wang Ping
· All the Rivers to the Sea—installation & Mandala: Wang Ping, Lama Yeshi Choedup and monks, Kevin Conroy
· We Are Water–Video Installations: Wang Ping, Robb Harris, Robert Fagerhaugh, Jesse Katzman
· Dreaming Along the Yangtze and Mississippi–interactive arts on fabric rivers: Wang Ping
· Paper-mache canoe—interactive arts: Wang Ping, Kevin Conroy
· Origami cranes—interactive art: Wang Ping, Kevin Conroy
· River flags—interactive art: Lisa Steinmann, Scott Gannis, Wang Ping and others
· Prints and photos by river artists: Clara Feder, Vance Gellert, Ruthann Godollei, Oliver St. John, Adam Stoltman, Wang Ping
· Blown Derivatives: Sean Smuda
· From Here to There: Alonzo Davis
· Interactive web kiosk: Macalester Library

Events and Performances

Saturday May 10th
7pm Sand Mandala: Lama Yeshi Choedup and monks, violin by Nick Whitredge
7pm Tea Ceremony: Peiju Liu Picard/Formosa High Mountain Tea
7pm Wind Chime Music: Carleton Macy
7.30pm A cappella: Jayanthi R. Kyle
8pm Oriental Music Club Minnesota: Xinyi Liu, Yang Yang, Bingyu Kuang, Zeeman Choo
8.30pm Kalpulli KetzalCoatlicue, Aztec Dance: Susana De Leon and dancers
9pm Drum healing ceremony: Annette Wells and audience Bring your drums and join in the healing ceremony! We also encourage you to bring cushions or mats to sit on. A limited number of chairs will also be available

Sunday May 18th
12pm Dumpling making: Wang Ping
12pm Tea Ceremony: Peiju Liu Picard/Formosa High Mountain Tea
1pm Mount Emei Flower Sword & Chen Style Taichi: Wang Yijie and Wang Ping
2pm Muzi Chinese Chorus conducted by Li Lei and singers
3pm Singing and poetry reading: Bryce Milligan

4pm Minnesota Chinese Music Ensemble: Ying Zhang, Peiju Picard, Carleton Macy

Friday May 23rd
7pm The River Within Us; sonnet crown: Wang Ping. Music by Alex Wand with Nick Whittredge (violin), Ariel Lerner (Indian hand drum) and Oliver St. John (percussion)
8pm We Carry the Water; dance performance: Folded Paper Dance and Theatre Company (Artistic Director: Kanta Kochhar-Lindgren), Performers: Diana Garcia-Snyder, Belle Wolf, Jessica Landry

Sunday, May 25th
2pm Water Theatres; performance: Folded Paper Dance and Theatre Company (Artistic Director: Kanta Kochhar-Lindgren), Performers: Deborah Jacoby, Diana Garcia-Snyder, Belle Wolf, Jessica Landry

Sunday, June 1st
2pm We Are Water; poetry reading: Liuyu Chen, Allison Hedge Coke, Daniel Soto, Scott Gannis, Chris Staudinger, Abbie Shaine, Geoff Munsterman, Nick Whittredge, music by Nick Whittredge

Friday, June 6th
8pm Ten Thousand Waves; orchestra/dance performance: Twin Cities instrumentalists, singers and dancers; lyrics by Wang Ping, Music by Bruce Bolon, choreography by Yung-Tsi Bolon

Saturday June 7th
7pm Sand Mandala completion and blessing ceremony: Led by Lama Yeshi Choedup, music by Nick Whittredge
8pm Tea ceremony: Peiju Liu Picard/Formosa High Mountain Tea
Gala music, dance and art sale
8pm William Within: lead singer Alex Simpson
9pm Brazilian music: Mira & Tom Kehoe with Xibaba
All evening – Sale of the photos, prints, canoe: proceeds to support Kinship of Rivers

About We Are Water: The Kinship of Rivers
We Are Water is a month-long curatorial collaboration between Kinship of Rivers – a project of poet and artist Wang Ping – and The Soap Factory. Kinship of Rivers is a five-year, interdisciplinary project launched to build connection among communities along the Mississippi and Yangtze rivers, and to bring awareness of the river’s ecosystem through art, literature, music, food, and river installations. At The Soap Factory this will involve artists from the Yangtze and Mississippi Rivers, with music, performance, interactive creativity, poetry, food and celebration, connecting the great rivers of the United States with the great river of China.

Making river flags — inspired by Tibetan prayer flags— has been a key element of the Kinship of Rivers mission. Wang Ping has led artists to visit hundreds of schools and river communities to share poetry, make river flags and install them along the rivers. Artists travel by canoes, boats, trains, cars, bikes, motorcycles, and on foot, up and down the Mississippi, St. Croix, Minnesota, Missouri and the Yangtze rivers hosting vibrant community gatherings, performances: and resulting in the creation of over 2000 river flags. These flags have travelled thousands of river miles: the entire Mississippi between Itasca and the Gulf of Mexico, the entire St. Croix and Minnesota rivers, part of the Missouri, Ohio, Arkansas rivers, the Atchafalaya Basin, and rivers from California, San Antonio, Vancouver, Shanghai, Sichuan, Yunnan, Tibet, and Mount Everest. As they flutter along the riverbanks, confluences, islands and burial mounds, they release people’s wishes through the wind, soaking up energy from each place, each river, each tree, and each hand that made them. Just as rivers gather all kinds of water through streams, creeks, raindrops, and springs, Kinship of Rivers has brought immigrant, native, resident, learning and professional communities together. Blessed by the people, land and rivers, our river flags have become ambassadors of peace, joy and harmony. Wherever we go and whenever we set up the flags, people would come to share stories and joy. Under the river flags, every participant becomes a poet, artist, and river’s friend.

In 2013, Wang Ping led a group of artists and 2000 flags to the Yangtze. As they traveled with music, poetry and river flags from the Yangtze’s mouth in Shanghai to its source in Tibet, they made many friends and connected communities along the river. Through much hardship and determination, they finally reached Mount Everest on the north side; from the roof of the world, wishes for peace, harmony and clean water spread to the whole world.

Your river flags will travel to India in summer 2014, to bless and be blessed by the rivers there, then on by foot to Mount Everest in 2015 where they will be released into the wind, into the world. We Are Water is a whole month of celebrating the kinship of rivers with artists from all over the world. We hope you’ll join us in this celebration with your hands and hearts.

We are water. It runs through us like a river, like blood. It is our blood, our mother.

We Are Water: Kinship of Rivers
Wang Ping: Lead artist, curator, Kinship of Rivers director and producer

About Wang Ping:
Wang Ping is a poet, writer, photographer, multi-media artist, and professor of English at Macalester College. She has authored 11 books of poetry, stories, novel, cultural studies, translation, and received NEA, Bush, McKnight and Lannan Fellowships, MN Book Award, Eugene Kayden Book Award, AAS Book Award, and Immigrant of Distinction Award.

Participating Artists
Bruce Bolon, Yung-Tsi Bolon: Ten Thousand Waves Orchestra & Ensemble; Liuyu Chen; Yeshi Choedup and other monks; Zeeman Choo; Allison Hedge Coke; Kevin Conroy; Alonzo Davis; Annette Wells; Robert Fagerhaugh; Clara Feder; Vance Gellert; Scott Gannis; Ruthann Godollei; Robb Harris; Alex Howard; Jesse Katzman; Mira & Tom Kehoe with Xibaba; Bingyu Kuang, Jayanthi R. Kyle; Li Lei and Muzi Chorus; Susana De Leon; Ariel Lerner; Folded Paper Dance and Theatre, Artistic Director Kanta Kochhar-Lindgren; Xinyi Liu: Macalester Library; Carleton Macy; Bryce Milligan; Geoff Munsterman; Peiju Liu Picard/Formosa High Mountain Tea; Alex Simpson; Sean Smuda; Chris Staudinger; Daniel Soto; Oliver St. John; Lucy and Lisa Steinmann; Adam Stoltman; Alex Wand; Yijie Wang; Nick Whittredge; Yang Yang; Chunyu Yi; Ying Zhang

Participating Institutions:
Associated Colleges of the Midwest: Reimagine America; Associated Colleges of the Twin Cities: Writing Program; All My Relations Art Gallery, Minneapolis; Anishinabe Academy, Minneapolis; Big Muddy Canoe, St. Louis; Bruce Vento Park, St. Paul; Choctaw Island, Confluence of the Aransas and Mississippi Rivers; Dowling Elementary School, Minneapolis; Emily Carr University, Vancouver; Firecracker Print Shop, St. Louis; Gyuto Wheel of Dharma Monastery; Hamline University; Harriet Island Eco-Arts, St. Paul; Horace Mann Elementary, St. Paul; Goldmine Salon, New Orleans; Great River Museum, Alton, IL; Great River Road Park, Prescott, WI; Iowa State University, Ames; Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, Nebraska City; L’Etoile Du Nord French Immersion, St. Paul; Lock & Dam No. 1 & 26, Army Corps of Engineers; Macalester English Department; Macalester Music Department; Macalester Art Department; Macalester Library; Macalester Human Resources; Minhua Chinese School, St. Paul; TPT: Minnesota Original; Minnesota Chinese Music Ensemble; Mount Everest, North Face; Naropa Summer Writing Workshop, Boulder; National Park Service, WI & MN; Northern Spark: Megalopolis Mississippi; Open Eye Theatre, Minneapolis; Oriental Music Club, Minnesota; Pace Foundation & San Antonio River Association, San Antonio; Qinghai International Poetry Festival, Qinghai; Ramsey Junior High, St. Paul; Quapaw Canoe, Mississippi; The Soap Factory; Springboard for the Arts; St. Croix River Association; St. Anthony Elementary School; St. Paul Academy, Upper School; Silverwood State Park, St. Paul; Solstice River Dance, Minneapolis; Three Gorges Dam, Sichuan, China; Three River Source, Tibet; Water-fest at Lake Phalen, St. Paul; White Night Poets’ Café, Chengdu, China; Venice, LA; University of California, Santa Barbara; Will Steger Foundation, Ely; Yinghua Academy Immersion, Minneapolis

Many Thanks to the supporting and sponsoring organizations:
The Soap Factory; Springboard for the Arts; MN State Arts Board (Colored Artists Collaboration, Community Arts grant, management grant); Mississippi Watershed Management; Howard Family Foundation; Gladstone Family Foundation; Dayton Foundation; Associated Colleges of the Twin Cities; Wallace Research grant, Macalester; Pace Foundation; St. Croix River Association; Great River Road State Park; St. Paul Academy; University of Iowa, Ames; National Parks Service, WI & MN