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A 19th century dollhouse speaks to 21st century women.
Now, they speak to us.

In a community room outside the formal exhibit space at Mia sits an ornate 19th century dollhouse, whose intricate scenes and decorations have long fascinated Minneapolis resident Andrea Pierre and her two young daughters. Eventually, though, one of the girls noticed something. The only doll with her same skin color was hidden away back in the kitchen and posed as a servant, the single black doll in an otherwise all-white collection. Ms. Pierre saw this as a teachable moment – to talk about race, class, slavery, and the inequities intrinsic to our society.

Then one day soon after, with no fanfare or formal comment from the museum, the doll was no longer in the house. Its removal has sparked conversation between Andrea and her peers in the arts community, and has raised bigger questions surrounding racial representation in art and history.


The Dollhouse

Now, Mia and creative studio Flow Nonfiction bring this discussion to life with We Need to Talk: The Dollhouse, a 25-minute short film capturing an unmoderated and uncensored discussion between Andrea and three of her peers who sat down to tackle this complicated subject.

What starts as a conversation about a doll quickly evolves into a much larger discussion about the issues facing Black women in America. The four discuss Sandra Bland, white Feminism and the Women’s March, confederate monuments, and taking a knee during the national anthem. Artists themselves, they discuss the marginalization of African and African-American artwork in American museums, and in the process illuminate a unique opportunity for institutions like Mia to correct the course.

“It’s hard to be patient with folks who are brand new to the party we’ve been at the whole time.” Erin Sharkey

Flow Nonfiction is an Austin-based creative studio whose work seeks to celebrate humanity and promote social good. Their web and TV series for Wounded Warrior Project, Special Olympics, and Small Business Revolution have earned multiple Clio, Halo, and festival audience awards. Flow initiated the We Need to Talk: The Dollhouse project after learning of the dollhouse story while filming Mia’s Art is Essential series in 2017.

Free Black Dirt is an artistic partnership formed by Minneapolis based collaborators Junauda Petrus and Erin Sharkey. Committed to creating original theatre and performance, hosting innovative events, organizing local artists, and promoting and supporting the emerging artists’ community in the Twin Cities, Free Black Dirt seeks to spark and engage in critical conversations.

Two-time Teacher of the Year Nominee Annie Bush is an educator-turned-filmmaker based in New York City. Her recent projects have played at Sundance, Berlin, SXSW, Tribeca, and LA Film Festival. Through her distribution consultancy, Ms. Bush connects films and art to targeted audiences while raising challenging questions that expand our collective understanding. She is co-founder of OUTsider Festival, Austin’s queer multi-arts festival and academic conference.

For more info please contact

Executive Producers David Rice and Kim Huskinson
Produced by Tanya Schurr and Annie Bush
Directed by Matt Naylor

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Andrea Pierre, Junauda Petrus, Aisha Mgeni, and Erin Sharkey

Andrea Pierre, Junauda Petrus, Aisha Mgeni, and Erin Sharkey

“I’m going to put you in your place. You’re not a being, you’re not a person, you’re a commodity: act like one.”Aisha Mgeni on Taking a Knee


February 23, 2018

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Minneapolis MN

Andrea Pierre

Andrea Pierre

Erin Sharkey

Erin Sharkey

Junuada Petrus

Junauda Petrus

Aisha Mgeni

Aisha Mgeni