Running on the Rails, Credit: Majorie Pitz
Enter Penumbra Theatre to watch films that highlight the history and community of the Rondo neighborhood.
Running on the Rails: There was a time when one fourth of all African American men in St. Paul’s historic Rondo neighborhood worked for the railroads. These men worked as Sleeping Car porters, Red Cap porters, or Dining Car waiters and cooks. Throughout the twentieth century, the Brotherhood of the Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP) occupied a central place in both African American protest politics and community building, both locally and nationally, and laid the groundwork for Civil Rights movement mobilization in post-1945 America. This film captures the history of African American railroad workers and celebrate their contributions to the local history of St. Paul Rondo Community retold through the community members who lived and experienced this life.
8 Seasons of Art is a groundbreaking story about the Black arts community in Minnesota. The “8” in the title represents infinite creativity in the minds of artists. 8 Seasons of Art is sponsored by Saint Paul Almanac. In the documentary, director Phillip McGraw follows the story of painters, musicians, and poets as they use their unique and artistic style to respond to the current conditions of society. Each of the four chapters in the film demonstrates the way and life of artists. The consequences of long-term social and economic injustice, institutional racism, and structural violence are real. Participating artists include Kenneth Caldwell, Ta-coumba Aiken, Ron Brown, Danielle Daniels, Keno Evol, Tish Jones, Abdul Sesay, Jasmin Boudah, Joe Davis, Jamela Pettiford, Broderick Poole, Jibrell, Thandisizwe Jackson-Nisan, O.S.P., and Mayyadda.
Selby Jazz Fest captures the community’s voices on what makes the annual festival special. Director Phillip McGraw