Life after college can be a fuzzy experience, especially for a twenty-something with a liberal-arts degree. There are only so many ways a person can answer, “What do you do with a [comparative lit/music history/gender studies/etc.] degree?” before it starts to feel it’s time to go back to school to be an accountant.
Enter Err, an arts collective dedicated to producing the work of emerging writers, visual artists, and musicians.
“Parents, family friends, and other pushy well-wishers are quick to offer up options of ‘good’ and ‘correct’ decisions to make,” says Shannon Fletcher, one of the 10 founding members of Err. “Most of these are simple routes that value specialization, and look like dark, narrow tunnels with a distant glint at their end — which you’re told will be really great once you work your way there.”
Fletcher met other founding members of Err while working at Ivory Tower, the University of Minnesota’s undergraduate art and literary magazine. The group first gathered to build art installations for the Art Shanty Projects on White Bear Lake, but quickly expanded into its current format as a monthly salon featuring a handful of writers, a visual artist, and a musician.
A zine is also released each month. For many of the writers at Err, this is the first time they’ve been published.
“One of my favorite parts about Err is getting to meet artists in coffee shops and talk about their work,” says Fletcher on the mentorship aspects of Err. “Especially if I’ve published them before, it’s great to reconnect and be like, ‘Hey, you’ve grown a lot.’”
Err is currently based at Honey in northeast Minneapolis. While the art collective feels very supported at the space, starting in 2016 the group will alter their structure to include performances once every two months, with new bi-monthly home events focusing on community building and fostering the growth of Err’s artists.
“It’ll be a potluck,” says Fletcher. “Musicians will jam in one room, and other artists will work in the other room.”
This community building is crucial to Err’s mission, which aims to provide a space for young artists to maintain growth and make connections. “An artist has so many reasons in the world not to do their art or to delegate it as a hobby," says Fletcher. "Err is one more reason to keep going and not give up on that part of yourself.”
The group will celebrate its last performance of 2015 this Thursday at Honey. Artists, writers, and musicians can continue to pitch to Err at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IF YOU GO:
7:30 p.m. Thursday, December 3
205 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis
Free; zine available for $5.