Election Day programs at the Weisman Art Museum
Love Vote Rise

Image Credit: Love Vote Rise

Upcoming Artist-Led Programs Tackle Questions of Truth, Culture, and Power this Election Season

“Truth” might just be the single most contentious word in the U.S.A. over the last four years. Fake news, alternative facts, news echo chambers, the stuff of niche conspiracy theories and dark internet corners—all of it sprang into public consciousness and changed the way we think, act and talk. Is there a role for art museums in all this? 

Museums engage with culture and, after all, and the very idea of truth is fundamentally a cultural one. Our sense of truth is shaped by the words, metaphors, colors, stories, shapes and symbols in books and articles we all read; the speeches we hear, the art we see. The stuff of culture cultivates or suppresses our expressions of empathy, fear, love, hate, compassion, and anger. It also informs the way we vote. 

With this in mind, the artists and curators of WAM’s Target Studio for Creative Collaboration offer a series of programs responding to the general election as a cultural moment: a full roster of virtual events that dig deep into some of the pressing themes, concerns, and questions at the center of this year’s electoral cycle.

Election Day Programs

Conversation // States of Control: Who's in Control?
Tues. Nov. 3, 12 noon (CST) | Free

A person selecting a speech on a tablet
Tali Keren (Israel/USA), The Great Seal, 2017. Courtesy of the artist and Weisman Art Museum.

Weisman Art Museum is partnering with the TOK collective (Russia/Israel/Netherlands) on an online debate about elections as a platform for representation of the people's will. Join an international group of speakers who, while observing the U.S. elections live, discuss alternatives to current voting procedures. The conversation will also reflect on the manipulation and suppression of voters and election processes—a topic pertinent to the current U.S. social and political environment, as well as recent election cycles in Russia, Belarus, Israel, and others. 

Moderators: Anna Bitkina and Maria Veits, TOK Curators


  • Greg Yudin, sociologist (Russia)
  • Stephen Duncombe, media researcher and activist (USA)
  • Ayşe Çavdar, journalist, writer (Turkey)
  • Tali Keren, artist, Israel - Palestine/USA 
  • Idris Goodwin, writer, playwright (USA)
  • Paul DeMain, journalist, activist (Oneida Nation of WI, Ojibwe)


This virtual event is free, but registration is required to participate in the Q & A.

Register Now >> 


Performance // Amreeka: Election Night Comedy Special
Tues., Nov. 3, 8 p.m. (CST) | Free

A bald eagle from the front

An evening of election night humor presented by Target Studio artist-in-residence Wafaa Bilal, WAM, and Theater of Public Policy, featuring stand-up comics Suzie Afridi, Usama Siddiquee, and Amer Zahr. The comedians will comment on the incoming polls and election news, as it happens, and reflect on the state of “Amreeka,” as the word is pronounced in Arabic.

First created in 2016 by Wafaa Bilal, AMREEKA is a comedy showcase that brings together a diverse group of comics—Middle Eastern, Asian, Latino, Black, Jewish—that all have one thing in common: they love to complain. The historical and current political environment leaves no shortage of opportunities to do just that.


Watch the livestream on election night via WAM's Facebook and YouTube channels.



Legends and Myths of Ancient Minnesota
On view: Oct. 25, 2020 - Jan. 3, 2021

Legends and Myths of Ancient Minnesota
Photo by Boris Oichermann.

Over the last two years, artist Brooks Turner has investigated historical documents focusing on the Silver Legion of America: a national Fascist organization that found considerable support in the 1930s. Through drawing and collage, Turner reassembled an aesthetic history of Fascism in Minnesota, traces of which are still evident in the present election campaign. The result, “an exhibition-in-print” in the form of a 32-page newspaper, was delivered to 37,000 Twin Cities subscribers of the Star Tribune on October 25, 2020. The project is accompanied by online programs dedicated to historical and contemporary manifestations of fascism. 

The publication is available at WAM for visitors to take home between October 25, 2020-January 3, 2021. It may be mailed by request (while stock lasts): submit requests via


Related Events:

Artist Talk // The Aesthetics of Fascism
Wed. Oct. 28, 7 p.m. | Free

Drawing of people holding up anti fascism signs
Courtesy of the artist and Weisman Art Museum.

Over the last two years, Target Studio artist-in-residence Brooks Turner has researched the history of fascism in Minnesota and its reverberation into the present through documents archived in the Minnesota Historical Society, existing scholarship, and aesthetic analysis of posters, publications, and propaganda materials. Through drawing and collage, Turner has mined those archival materials to reassemble an aesthetic history of Fascism in Minnesota, the traces of which can still be seen throughout the Twin Cities and beyond.


This virtual event is free, but registration is required to participate in the Q & A.

Register Now >>


Conversation // How Do We Know Fascism When We See It?
Wed., Nov. 18, 7 p.m. | Free

A white hall with red seats with two 'L' banners hanging
Courtesy of the artist and Weisman Art Museum.

This “pecha kucha” style program will feature presenters whose work focuses on the omnipresence of fascism and its effects on the American landscape: from architecture to print media, to digital algorithms and human rights. Panelists include Brooks Turner (Target Studio artist-in-residence), Caroline Sinders (machine-learning-design researcher and artist), Lorenzo Fabbri (assistant professor of Italian and moving images studies, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities), and Christopher Lehman (professor of ethnic studies, St. Cloud State University.) Moderated by Boris Oicherman (Cindy and Jay Ihlenfeld Curator for Creative Collaboration at the Weisman.)


This virtual event is free, but registration is required to participate in the Q & A.

Register Now >>


Other upcoming artist-led collaborations:

Conversation // SEEN at the Cedar: Collaborations by B, Sarith and Jeff, curated by Ritika Ganguly
Thurs., Oct. 29, 7:30 p.m. | Free

3 photo headshots underneath "SEEN AT THE CEDAR"

The Cedar Cultural Center's Artist Collective member Ritika Ganguly has partnered with We Are All Criminals (WAAC) and WAM to curate and present an evening of three new artistic works-in-progress created by incarcerated artists who are part of We Are All Criminals’ SEEN project. This program is part of the Cedar Public Access Channel series of events, streaming this summer and fall. SEEN is a poetry and portrait project that challenges and disrupts mass incarceration by clearing the pathways for people behind bars to have their voices heard, faces seen, and humanity recognized.

This evening's program will feature poetry and visual art to explore and express the chaos of the cell, as well as dance and personal interviews that shed light on the artists' experiences of incarceration.


Watch the livestream on The Cedar's Facebook and YouTube channels.


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