Thursday, April 26, 2012

Culturology Calendar 4-26-12

Thursday, April 26
Photographer Cal Rice presents his images and story from his trip to Emerging Bhutan, at the Brainerd Library, 6 p.m.

“Pecha kucha” is the Japanese word for “chitchat.” Pecha Kucha Night is a way to meet new people, learn new things, and have a laugh.  Speakers share their experiences, hobbies, artwork, and just about anything else in six-minute-forty-second presentations. No theme, no advertising, anyone can present. During intermission, audience members and presenters mingle. It’s hosted at Bemidji’s Hungry Bear Banquet and Conference Center, at 6:30 p.m.

Friendships are stretched to the breaking point - by a painting - in Art: a play by Yasmina Reza.  The local production will be staged at Central Lakes College Dryden Theater this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7:30.

Saturday, April 28
At Aitkin’s Jaques Art Center: Digital photography classes are offered Saturday: Dee Kotaska offers a free lecture at 9 a.m. with additional classes to follow throughout the day.
Poet Sean Hill delves into history through poetry Saturday, 1 p.m., at Beltrami History Center. What was it like to live through the Great Depression, Reconstruction, Prohibition, or the Civil Rights Era?  Hill will read and discuss his and other poets’ work and strategies for creating poetry with the materials provided by history. Sean Hill is the author of Blood Ties & Brown Liquor.
Tu Dance, the Twin Cities dance group, is back by popular demand at the Edge Center in Bigfork, at 7:00.

Sunday, April 29
Bemidji Symphony Orchestra closes its season with “American History,” featuring a new Chris Brubeck composition called Roosevelt in Cowboy Land narrated by Clay Jenkinson.  The concert starts at 3 at Bemidji High School.
The Legacy Chorale of Greater Minnesota is celebrating its tenth anniversary season.  The spring concert includes Mozart’s Requiem, with chamber orchestra.  Performances are on Thursday at Lord of Life Lutheran Church, Baxter; 7:30 p.m.; Saturday at Franciscan Sisters Convent, Little Falls; 7:30 p.m.; and
Sunday at Tornstrom Auditorium in Brainerd at 3:30.  

Minnesota History Datebook
April 26, 1896 Edward J. Thye is born in South Dakota.  As Minnesota’s 26th governor in the mid-1940s, Thye became the first farmer to hold the office.   He would reduce the state debt, increase old-age assistance, expand state institutions, establish a human rights commission, the Iron Range Rehabilitation Commission, and approve a health-care plan for state employees.  He was a Republican. As a senator from 1947 to 1958, he would be one of seven to sign a "declaration of conscience" against communist witch-hunter Joseph McCarthy. He died at his farm near Northfield in 1969.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Fish and Football: Whadyathink?

by Scott Hall

In my little world I have yet to hear from anyone who is passionately opposed to raising the cost of fishing and hunting licenses.  I've heard the usual grumblings about the DNR's black helicopters and from the ideologues who want our government to do less of everything and any new revenues means the DNR and other agencies might be enabled to do more.  These licenses are in effect user fees.  The money from licenses are spent on maintaining and restoring wildlife populations and their habitat.  People who hunt and fish come in all political stripes and they overwhelmingly support the fee increases.  They and the organizations they support have established open lines of communications with DNR staff, and have come to see the DNR as a necessary partner in keeping our wild world healthy. Senator Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, is taking heat for holding up the fee increases by insisting the cheaper "conservation licenses' not be eliminated.  But Bakk's insistence on the cheaper license satisfies one valid complaint that higher license costs will make fishing and hunting less affordable for some people. 

This week the discussion of public funding for a new stadium for the Vikings returned to the old threat that the Vikings will follow the Minneapolis Lakers and pack up and leave for Los Angeles if they don't get what they want.  A few years ago, I wanted the Twins to get a new stadium in the worst way.  To paraphrase LBJ, the Pohlad's may be billionaires, but they are our billionaires.  Same for Glen Taylor and the Timberwolves and Lynx. Would it be OK with me if we told the Vikings good luck and let them go?  Yes.  How about you?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Culturology Calendar 4-19-12

by Travis Ryder

A call for arts lovers and practitioners to give back: The Region 2 Arts Council is currently seeking Board members from Clearwater, Hubbard and Mahnomen Counties to fill a two-year vacancy beginning July 1. Applications are due by May 1st.  To get an application, email

Friday, April 20
Sally Barris, A-list Nashville songwriter, performs Friday night in Nisswa as part of the Grassroots Concerts series.
Central Lakes College offers The Celebration of Nations, with cultural entertainment, arts and crafts, and ethnic foods.  A small admission fee covers entertainment like the Scandinavian Skal Klubb, Nay Ah Shing Tribal School Drum and American Indian Dancers, Tiyumba performing music and dance from Africa, a Latin dance workshop and Latin music performed by Pachanga, and Chinese Lion Dance.  The evening’s activities will culminate with a fireworks display outside.  Vendors from a variety of cultures will be selling their wares.  International cuisine provided by Prairie Bay. It’s all happening Friday, from 5 to 9 p.m.

Saturday, April 21
Danbury, Wisconsin clay artist Marty Pearson digs local clay from a location where Native Americans did the same thing 500 years ago. Then he fires his kiln with slabs of wood from a local sawmill and reduces his raku pots in wild rice hulls. Ripple River Gallery between Aitkin and Deerwood will feature Pearson’s clay tiles and vessels now through May 13. The public is invited to meet the artist at a reception from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday. 

Sunday, April 22
Alice’s Excellent Adventure in Wonderland is an adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s classic meant for young audiences.  The Central Lakes College troupe will perform it Sunday at 1 and 3 p.m. at Chalberg Theatre at the Brainerd campus.   
Grand Rapids Area Male Chorus presents a Spring Concert, Potpourri of Songs, at 2 p.m. at the Reif Center.
Minnesota singer/songwriter Jaspar Lepak performs at the Lyric Center in Virginia at 3 p.m.
Celtic band The Outside Track plays in Bemidji at 7 p.m. Sunday at Headwaters Unitarian Fellowship.  A soup dinner starts at 5.

Wednesday, April 25
Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra is dispatching their Woodwind Quartet to the Grand Rapids Library for a free 1 p.m. concert.

Minnesota History Datebook
April 20, 1891: Minnesota’s first state park is established. Itasca State Park’s 32,000 acres preserve more than 300 lakes as well as the headwaters of the Mississippi River.
April 16, 1927: The end of streetcar service along the Range: Mesaba Railway Coach Company stops providing streetcar service to the towns between Hibbing and Gilbert.
April 19, 1945: "Hail! Minnesota" becomes the state song. Written by two University of Minnesota students in 1904 and 1905, it is also the university's official song.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Whose Side Are You On?

by Scott Hall

Like a lot of people who will vote in November, I play little attention to and give little credence to polls and political rhetoric until sometime in October.  I wish the election season lasted about three months, or about the same length as the NHL playoffs. But after Florida Congressman Allen West's recent remarks, I may start paying more attention.  Congressman West was home for the Easter break.  At a public gathering he was asked how many Marxists are members of Congress.  He said there were about 78 to 81.

Well, I'm a Marxist, and just as there are many different kinds of Democrats and Republicans, there are many kinds of Marxists.  I belong to the Groucho wing, but I admit there may be a silent majority of Marxists that go with Harpo.  And I can respect that and work with them when our issues align, but when it's time to caucus, I'll go with the lecherous wisecracker. Yeah, I know Harpo could mime lechery, but it's also about eyebrows over curly hair.

Responding to Congressman West's remarks, many Democrats said West was reviving the dark days of the McCarthy era. Being a baseball fan, I assumed they were referring to the 16 years Joe McCarthy managed the Yankees to 7 World Series wins in the 1930s and '40s.  For Yankee haters, those were dark days. The Marx and McCarthy eras certainly overlapped, but I still wasn't sure where the Democrats were going with this.  Certainly a lot of Marxists are also Yankee fans. Of course, as you probably know, I was thinking of the wrong McCarthy! One of the The Marxists true rivals of that period was Charlie McCarthy.  Those Democrats are clever.  Not only was Charlie a lecherous wisecracker, but he was a dummy.  I will certainly be paying closer attention from now on.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Culturology 4/11/12

Today we visit with the proprietor of Valentini’s Supper Club in Chisholm.  Their meatball is a featured item on the Target Field menu this year!

Also, Nathan Bergstedt drops by to give us a poem.  He’s hosting a Spoken Word Event at the MacRostie Art Center Thursday April 19th at 7 p.m. for National Poetry Month.  Local writers are invited to read their own work or their favorite poems. 
Members of the Itasca Community Chorus tell us about their Minnesota-focused concert, coming up ths Sunday.  We’ll hear excerpts from their selections, recorded at a recent rehearsal.
Contributor Amy Clark shares a story about a new documentary about Duluth resident, artist, and Scandinavian indigenous (Sami) person Solveig Arneng.
Thursday, April 12
Cheryl Sawyer, Bemidji, 7 p.m.
Musical: The Magical Pied Piper, at the Chief Theater, 7:30 Fri and Sat, 2 Sun.
The 7th annual "Celebrate the Young at Art" show will be in the Q Gallery from April 12-20th. A reception for the young artists and their families will be held on Thursday April 12th at 3:30 at the Q Gallery. 

Friday, April 13
Vocalists and instrumentalists from Minnesota Community Colleges come together for a mass concert at Breezy Point Convention Center, in the Whitebirch Room.  5 p.m. Friday.
Peter & the Wolf presented by The Pushcart Players, 7p @ Reif Center
Community theater in Pequot Lakes Friday night at 7: it’s “Stuart Little” at the high school auditorium.

Saturday, April 14
Sandy Hackett's Rat Pack Show aims to recapture the magic of Frank Sinatra and company, 7:30 p.m. at the Reif Center in Grand Rapids.

Sunday, April 15
Bemidji State University Pow Wow at the John Glas Fieldhouse, with the grand entry at 1 p.m.
Heartland Symphony Orchestra performs at Tornstrom Auditorium, Brainerd, 2 p.m.

Monday, April 16
Cal Rice shows his photography from his trip to Bhutan at the Bemidji Public Library, 7 p.m.

Minnesota History Datebook
April 11, 1680 Father Louis Hennepin, exploring the Mississippi River north from Illinois by canoe, is captured by a group of Dakota. During his captivity he is the first white man to see the Falls of St. Anthony, which he names for his patron saint. On July 25, explorer Daniel Greysolon, the Sieur Du Luth, would arrange for Hennepin's release.

April 14, 1894 Organizer Eugene Debs calls a strike by the workers of the Great Northern Railway. The railroad had imposed wage cuts despite healthy profits the previous year. Other railroads refuse to help company president James J. Hill move his stalled trains, following the lead of the Great Northern in other strike situations. On May 1 Charles A. Pillsbury negotiates an agreement. Hill consents to restore seventy–five percent of the wage cuts.

April 12, 1937 Dennis J. Banks is born on Leech Lake Indian Reservation. In 1968, he co-founded the American Indian Movement with Clyde and Vernon Bellecourt (from White Earth Reservation) and George Mitchell. The members of AIM would focus attention on the plight of Native Americans with the occupation of Alcatraz Island in San Francisco, Wounded Knee in South Dakota, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs headquarters in Washington, D.C. For these activities, Banks would spend time in prison, after which he would remain active in Indian matters.  Recently he has served as a trustee of Leech Lake Tribal College in Cass Lake.