Holy Foolery



John the Baptist (Jay Beck) preaches about our need to return to the waters in the Water/Fire show.

The gang of holy fools at the Carnival de Resistance have the audacity to believe that play, jest, delight, and art can unhinge the topsy-turvy, upside-down nature of our broken world. Longtime friends and co-conspirers with Restoration Village Arts, the Carnival folk dance through the world in step with RVA, working as radical peacemakers and spirit-infused artists.

“Imagine a band of holy fools, living between worlds, threading church into Big Top dream and big band protest, creating space to deviate from the norm, to shape-shift through characters, to re-approach the old sacred stories from the groan of creation to a radical reclamation of the earthy truth within the Gospel narratives.”


This past weekend, Restoration Village Arts housed and supported a few members of the Carnival crew in Charlottesville for a long weekend of rehearsals and artistic revisions. On Sunday, the work came together as a “Sneak Peak” of their longer shows, performed for close friends and supporters of RVA and Carnival.


Tree Woman (Tevyn East) and Dove (Helen Hale) perform their ecstatic dance in the Air/Earth show.

In September, the Carnival will take up a 30-day residency with a 30 person crew in the church lot of Redeemer Lutheran Church in North Minneapolis. On the weekends of the 16-18th and 23-25th, they’ll give performances under the big top with games, sideshow acts, and local resource displays in the Carnival midway, inviting the local community into transformation that calls us deeper in our responsibilities in the world. Carnival will be collaborating with other artists and performers in Minneapolis and the surrounding area, as well as artists from across the country and world.


No Carnival midway would be complete without magic! Joby the Magnificent shares some of his act, inviting onlookers to dare to believe in the impossible.

Beyond the performances, the Carnival is a demonstration village of intentional community and low-carbon-impact life. With a bike-powered sound system, a carbon-free kitchen, composting toilets, and recycled and up-cycled props, the Carnival Crew invites onlookers into a transformed space– a dream of what a low-impact lifestyle might entail, of what building the Kingdom (or Queendom!) might look like on earth. The crew also embodies peacemaking and justice through their community commitments to one another. In a two week training preceding the public showing, the crew will participate in conversations and trainings around anti-racism work, the role of the settler/colonizer on Native land, LGBT+ inclusivity, and more. The wild dance of freedom on the stage is also sought in the spirits of the crew.


The Carnival threshold in Raleigh, NC (Sept 2015, photo by Tim Nafziger)

RVA will have boots on the ground at the Minneapolis residency with Grace Aheron (RVA Program Director) who will be serving as the stage manager for the Carnival shows. We are thrilled to share more of the journey and story along the road to Carnival 2016!

Learn more about Carnival de Resistance here.
Support Carnival de Resistance!