A Different Kind of August at Lynden
August is the month when we gather for our annual Backyard Barbecue, a relaxed and informal outdoor celebration that raises funds to make our K-12 education programs available to local students for free or at reduced cost. Unfortunately, we have been unable to come up with a safe alternative to the barbecue—indeed, the board felt strongly that the event was worth preserving in its traditional form, which would mean skipping this year. We are crossing our fingers and hoping that we can meet you under the tent next August, with music playing, and wonderful food from Braise, and Waterfall Hill turned over to hands-on artmaking.
We are grateful to all of you who have renewed your memberships, or made donations—or both!–in these pandemic months. To those of you who figured out that we wouldn’t be able to host the barbecue before we did, and sent donations pre-emptively: our deepest gratitude. If you would like to help us now, you can donate here.
Although we cannot gather with you in the flesh, we are hoping to share some exciting work virtually in the coming weeks. In the midst of what should have been a sixth, very full summer of Call and Response programming, Reggie Wilson is using his annual residency to conduct a series of Zoom conversations with choreographers who have spent time at Lynden in the past. Co-presented with Wilson’s Fist and Heel Performance Group, Choreographers in Place will launch on Wednesday, August 26 at 6 pm CST, and a new episode will be added each week through September 16. Wilson has invited a sparkling array of dance artists and thinkers: Nora Chipaumire, Jeanine Durning, Okwui Okpokwasili and Eiko Otake. They will be talking with him about place—Milwaukee, Lynden—and its impact on choreographic process. We think these dialogues will be as interesting to the layperson as to the dance aficionado, providing glimpses into how choreographers think and work, and how artists are surviving and making work during a global health crisis.
We have been running small, outdoor workshops for children since mid-July, and once those wind down we will be announcing what programming will look like this fall. The safety of visitors and staff remain our primary concerns. The main building remains closed to the public—though you can make an appointment here to see our latest exhibition, Ariana Vaeth: New Work. We are resuming dog days this month (the next one is on August 15), and we are offering two socially distanced prairie workdays for those who’d like to help Kyle and Robert control invasives in the labyrinth. As with all programs for the foreseeable future, you must register in advance. Top of the list for fall are small-group walks on the grounds: to look for birds, herbs, edible trees. We feel these can continue even as the weather turns colder. Kim Khaira will also be offering one-on-one outdoor indigo dyeing sessions in September and October.
We are less sanguine about indoor activities, given the configuration of our building and the hands-on nature of so many things we do. Our HOME programming continues online: In September we resume our series of conversations on displacement, this time with particular attention to the impact of the Black Lives Matter movement on refugee and immigrant communities; and we will launch a monthly, bilingual story time with a focus on the refugee experience. This will be for children aged 4-8 and will include an art project for those who want to explore further. The next episode of our cooking collaboration with Tables Across Borders rolls out in October, and we will be uploading more interviews to the HOME virtual hub in the coming days.
Stay well, consider a walk on the grounds, and take care of each other,