The steps between pursuing art as a hobby and becoming a practicing artist can be blurry. Local art collective Err aims to make that path a little clearer by giving creatives the opportunity to define their role in the Twin Cities arts community.
Err was founded in 2014 by a group of recent college graduates, including University of Minnesota grads who previously worked on the University’s undergraduate literary magazine, “The Tower.”
“One of the questions that sparked Err was we have so many creative friends who all actively pursued their art in their undergraduate career … how do we keep that art continuing and … how do we transition from art as a hobby to being an emerging artist?” said Hanna Kjeldbjerg, Err's event director.
The result was a collective that embraces all art forms, from visual, to literary, to musical. Err was first a traveling collective before finding a home for their variety show at Honey on the second Wednesday of every month. Here, they also host short, casual workshops that give artists a chance to refine their skills.
“We have a lot of people [performing] for the first time,” said Shannon Fletcher, who does branding for Err. “We’re always there to cheer you on … you can’t 'fail' fail. It’s pretty welcoming that way.”
Fletcher chose the name Err, similar to the word “error,” as a way to emphasize that the collective doesn't expect perfection. There is room for mistakes and space to grow as an artist.
“When I went and read, multiple people would come up to me and just compliment my work,” said Aubrey Asleson, who graduated from the U in 2017. “You don’t really feel any kind of self-consciousness there … everyone is just really there for the art and really excited about the art.”
The collective extends its work with creators through their zine “Errata.” Each month they publish their featured artists from the variety show as well as pieces from their rolling submissions.
“We’ll have somebody who will mention writing a poem and then I’ll leap on them,” Kjeldbjerg said. “One of our artists … just posted a couple of poems on Facebook and I was like ‘Girl, you got the goods,’ and she’s going to perform for her first time on stage in February.”
The founders of Err have created a collaborative community of artists that push their own artistic limits.
“Some artists return, like a musician who will come and read some writing,” said Trevor Simmons, also part of the Err team. “Acts in the past have forged together to do something experimental, in unison.”
For their fifth anniversary in September, Err will work with The Future, a shop in South Minneapolis, to create a zine inspired by each of the chakras. This will be one of many projects that the Err team has worked on with other organizations, like the Art Shanty Projects.
The basis of Err, as an organization founded by a few friends, is passion and inspiration. Their love for the arts propels them to continue their work as a collective.
“We’re doing this work with our best friends,” Kjeldbjerg said. “All of the founding members of Err are my best friends.”
Since 2014, Err has gone from a small show at a friend’s house to a monthly celebration of the Twin Cities artist population.
“We have a secret Facebook group for anyone who has ever performed at Err and … it’s kind of like a big club,” Fletcher said. “You’re part of the family after you perform.”
When: Second Wednesday of every month, 7:30 to 11:30 p.m.
Where: Honey, 205 E. Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis