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Griot Arts is a hub and collective for artists and community members in Rochester, MN. Griot works to amplify the voices of Black artists in Southeast Minnesota and to support creatives, makers, artivists, arts educators, and culture-bearers working toward community empowerment, justice, healing, and joy. It is a gathering space, resource hub, and convener of diverse, intersectional arts-based spaces, programming, alliances, and events for all, while centering Black lives and experiences from across the diaspora. We believe art connects and heals. Art is for everyone. Centering BIPOC communities in our city's arts and cultural life cultivates spaces where we can all engage, grow, and transform.


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the dream 

Our vision is one rooted in practices of Black joy and imagination that use the arts to inspire and empower. Griot Arts aims to cultivate a community of belonging and care-laden solidarity in Rochester and the wider SE MN region.

Griot Arts takes inspiration from the African-based tradition of the “griot”. Historically, griots were artists and poets who connected past, present, and future spinning stories, music, dance, and art objects to preserve, sustain, and lead communities. The ancient griot tradition still exists in many parts of Africa and has shaped African American culture through the lineage of the blues and jazz, and the voice of the hip-hop emcee as well as the visions of writers, poets, actors, dancers, visual artists and culture bearers across the Black/African/Caribbean  diaspora.

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