Dan Olson Feature Archive

Joan Gorman is hard at work, restoring German artist Max Beckmann's "Blind Man's Buff." The 1944 work was painted in secret in Amsterdam for fear it would be confiscated and destroyed by the Nazis. (02/12/2014)
A gaggle of students at Pillsbury Elementary School children in north Minneapolis responded to the winter weather by sliding into snow pants and cross country ski boots. (01/31/2014)
The little hill at Duluth's Chester Bowl is a throwback to a time when skiing was more community than industry, a place where kids learn to ski without their parents needing a second mortgage. (01/27/2014)
Ice fishing is old. You've seen the pictures. People for thousands of years have chopped a hole and waited for a fish to take a baited hook. Or they've stood silently, with their spear at the ready if they see a shadowy form move in the water. (01/16/2014)
The historical society's treasure trove of history includes everything from 500-year-old travel histories by Father Louis Hennepin to bodice ripping romance novels, thrillers by Vince Flynn, and everything in between. (01/09/2014)
When Roy Carlsted skis, he doesn't worry about the temperature. The 90-year-old's favorite winter activity is cross-country skiing, and on most winter days he's on the ski trails at the Como Golf Course just a mile or so from his St. Paul home. (01/03/2014)
For birders, the Christmas bird count is equal parts adventure, fellowship and science -- the largest and oldest citizen science project in the world, according to the Audubon Society. (12/24/2013)
These musicians are not ready for the concert hall just yet. The mission of this north Minneapolis program is to help youngsters learn to play and appreciate music. In a new episode of Minnesota Sounds and Voices, MPR News reporter Dan Olson tells us this is also a program designed to overcome poverty. (12/12/2013)
Minnesota's latest centenarian Lloyd Johnson, a WWII veteran and local fiddler of Swedish heritage, had two dreams: to play at the Swedish Institute -- which he did this past summer -- and to fiddle with legendary mandolin and fiddle player Peter Ostroushko. (12/05/2013)
Faith Burns lost her home to foreclosure five years ago, even though she was up-to-date on her payments. She has since won a $20,000 settlement and now has a new home, but the emotional and financial wounds have yet to heal. (11/27/2013)
The minute Josephine Fernandez heard about Typhoon Haiyan's devastation of the Philippines, she knew people there would be without food and water. (11/22/2013)
Amelia Rivera, who is in her final year as a voice student at the University of Minnesota School of Music, has decided to follow her muse and become a jazz vocalist. A classically trained soprano, Rivera wants to give Minnesota music lovers a taste of the Paris jazz scene. (11/15/2013)
Over coffee and cookies, 11 veterans recently shared stories with volunteers at Paradigm Court Reporting and Captioning. They will become part of the Veterans History Project which includes thousands of accounts, all available on line as transcripts, audio or video. (11/11/2013)
Veterans Day today will be filled with remembrances of bravery in battle and perseverance at home. Stories like that of Red Cross volunteer, Marian Krinke, don't often get told. On a recent day, though, she led a tour from her armchair through a collection of photographs from WW II and stories that need to be heard before they disappear. (11/10/2013)
The asylums are long gone, but the unknown graves remain in Hastings and around Minnesota. Advocates for the mentally ill have pressed to find the cemeteries and identify the dead. (10/24/2013)