Artist Ifrah Mansour Headlines Fall Somali Programs at Minnesota History Center

For immediate release

Release dated: 
September 5, 2018
Media contacts: 

Lauren Peck, 651-259-3137, or Jessica Kohen, 651-259-3148,

Artist Ifrah Mansour Headlines Fall Somali Programs at Minnesota History Center

Acclaimed artist Ifrah Mansour headlines a slate of programs at the Minnesota History Center this fall that explore Somali history and culture. In November, Mansour will perform her multimedia piece "How to Have Fun in a Civil War." 

In this autobiographical performance, Mansour explores Somalia's civil war through the eyes of a seven-year-old girl. Layering poetry, puppetry, video and interviews, Mansour confronts violent history with humor, offering all Minnesotans a chance to reach across differences for hope and healing. Performances will be followed by a discussion with the artist.

Ifrah Mansour is a Somali multimedia artist, performer and teacher in Minneapolis, who uses art to bridge cultures and generations. Her work has been seen at the Minnesota State Fair and Northern Spark festival. "How to Have Fun in a Civil War" was previously mounted at the Guthrie Theater and the Children's Theatre Company. 

"How to Have Fun in a Civil War" is offered Thursday, Nov 15 at 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 17 and 18 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $9-14. It is recommended for ages 6 and up. Performances are made possible by a 2018 Knight Challenge Grant.

Additional programs offered this fall include: 

  • Crucial Conversations: Refugees and Minnesota
    Sept. 22 and Oct. 20 at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., Free
    Join a small group conversation to explore the history of refugees in Minnesota and exchange ideas about these issues today.
  • Somali Culture 101
    Sept. 29 at 2 p.m., Free
    Join the Somali Museum of Minnesota to explore the rich and diverse heritage of Somali Minnesota.
  • Islam 101 Talk with Jaylani Hussein
    Oct. 6, 2 p.m., Free
    Get to know Islam, the religion practiced by Minnesota's Muslim communities, with the head of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
  • History Hound HiJinx
    Nov 23, 24 and 25, Noon-3 p.m. and Dec 26 and 27 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Free
    Enjoy art activities and performances related to the Somalis + Minnesota exhibit during Thanksgiving break.
  • History Lounge: The Somali World & Minnesota
    Dec. 4, 7 p.m., Free
    Learn about the global diaspora that connects Minnesota to a larger Somali world. 

Find out more about related programs on our calendar of events.  

Programs are offered in conjunction with “Somalis + Minnesota,” an exhibit created in partnership with the Somali Museum of Minnesota that features immersive settings, artifacts, photos and first-hand accounts. The exhibit tells the story of Somali immigrants, their arrival in their newly adopted home of Minnesota, and the successes and struggles they have faced. The exhibit is on display at the History Center through June 9, 2019. 

About the Minnesota Historical Society
The Minnesota Historical Society is a nonprofit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. MNHS collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programsand book publishing. Using the power of history to transform lives, MNHS preserves our past, shares our state’s stories and connects people with history. Visit us at

The Minnesota Historical Society is supported in part by its Premier Partners: Xcel Energy and Explore Minnesota Tourism.