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Bearing Witness

  • East Side Freedom Library 1105 Greenbrier St Saint Paul, Minnesota 55106 (map)

The East Side Freedom Library invites you to a special evening of engaging, exploring, and reflecting on genocide, racial injustice, and cultural loss. With the support of an Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, Kirsten has selected poetry and five musical compositions which she will perform. A video will provide historical context and stories narrated by teenagers.

Kirsten Whitson is a respected cellist who has performed as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician. She has played and toured with the Minnesota Orchestra, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Minnesota Opera, the Milwaukee Symphony, the Florida Orchestra, and Norway's Bergen Philharmonic. She has performed solo cello concerts throughout the Twin Cities and has been featured on programs broadcast by KFAI and Minnesota Public Radio.

Our program, which reflects ESFL's commitment to use art to tell stories and build bridges between communities, will be free and open to all, although we will take up a collection to support the artists and their project.

About the music´┐Ż
Thirty-Eight Tears by Timothy Takach was written to honor the Dakota men who were hanged in Mankato. The program begins with the Dakota poet Gwen Nell Westerman reading her poem about the event. (Many and Great, O God) Khse Buon was written by Chinary Ung, a Cambodian musician who lost family during the Khmer Rouge regime. The composer Weinberg fled Poland as a teenager and ended up in Moscow. The piece by John Williams is about the racially motivated destruction of Rosewood, Fl in 1923. Having Wept by Kancheli is a hauntingly gorgeous meditation that closes the program.