Letter from the President
In February, we celebrated with one last fling at the Walker before closing our doors for a year of expansion activities. This special After Hours/Closing-Night Party was an all-night affair, with live music, special archival installations, dusk-to-dawn screenings of films by Guy Maddin, and an overnight performance of And on the Thousandth Night by the U.K.'s Forced Entertainment. Walker After Hours is very generously supported by Target, and the VIP reception was sponsored by Lowry Hill Private Wealth Management. Promotional assistance was provided by MPLS.ST.PAUL Magazine.
       February also marked the launch of Walker without Walls, a yearlong exploration of art without boundaries. Through a major sponsorship by Target, Walker without Walls programming has taken place throughout the community and in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. These activities have ranged from a series of commissioned billboards on view down-town by artists like Matthew Barney, Frank Gaard, and Yoko Ono to a dance performance by Tere O'Connor at the Southern Theater, from Women with Vision film screenings at Oak Street Cinema to the artist-designed Walker in the Rough: Miniature Golf in the Garden. I simply can't begin to thank Target enough for all it does to support the Walker.
       The Walker's performing arts season featured work by some of the world's most significant innovators in dance, experimental theater, performance art, and new music. Dance highlights included Mikhail Baryshnikov's Solos with Piano or Not . . . with pianist Koji Attwood; a 10-day Hip-Hop Moves Festival that culminated in the performance of Facing Mekka by Rennie Harris; Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan's Cursive; the 32nd annual Choreographers' Evening showcasing Minnesota dance talent; LAWN, performed by Tere O'Connor Dance; and Bird Brain: Ducks and Geese, an inspired initiative by choreographer/community activist Jennifer Monson that builds connections between environmental education and dance. Theater and performance highlights included Carmen Funebre (Funeral Song) by Poland's Teatr Biuro Podrózy, The Hanging Man by England's Improbable Theatre, a mini-festival of recent works by the U.K.'s Forced Entertainment, and Our Little Sunbeam by Seattle's 33 Fainting Spells. Music highlights included performances by John McLaughlin and Zakir Hussain, Matthew Shipp Trio, Jon Jang and Zeitgeist, David Krakauer's Klezmer Madness!, and Oliver Mtukudzi and the Black Spirits. The Walker also copresented the 16th festival of performance alternatives, Out There, with the Southern Theater. The performing arts program is made possible by generous support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Other major supporters include the Jerome Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Rockefeller Foundation. Additional support was provided by the Best Buy Children's Foundation, National Performance Network, the New England Foundation for the Arts, Toro Giving Program, Heartland Arts Fund, and the David and Katherine Moore Family Fund of the Minneapolis Foundation.
       Highlights of the Film/Video Department's programming included Regis Dialogues with esteemed director Frederick Wiseman and experimental filmmaker Guy Maddin, made possible by the Regis Foundation; monthlong retrospectives such as Bittersweet Twist: The Films of Aki Kaurismäki; the series Inside India: Bollywood and Beyond; and a six-film series promoting cross-cultural understanding called Global Lens, presented in collaboration with the Global Film Initiative. To develop new youth audiences for film, matinee screenings of the Global Lens series-works by Frederick Wiseman and artist-in-residence Spencer Nakasako-were introduced. These matinees were so popular with metro-area school groups that we added additional screenings. The Summer Music & Movies series, copresented with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, received promotional support from City Pages and Cities 97. In December, the British Television Advertising Awards returned for its 27th year with a record-breaking audience numbering 10,000 patrons. In May, we presented another of our most vital annual series, Women with Vision 2004: Home/Away from Home. Once again, the Women's Foundation of Minnesota funded the Girls in the Director's Chair and General Mills made the opening night possible.



Photography Credit(s)
Cameron Wittig