Dan Olson Feature Archive

Rochester resident Mel Dickie, 92, has taught hundreds of kids how to make custom fishing rods in community education classes. And two years ago, at age 90, he became a substitute teacher. (01/31/2013)
Nature is often the subject of Minnesotan Charles Beck's art. Beck, a master woodcut artist, draws on the natural environment in prints that capture his modern views of the surrounding landscape -- with its wooded hills and lakes, and nearby flat farm fields of the Red River valley. Beck is being honored this weekend as he celebrates his 90th birthday. (01/25/2013)
When charter school principal Bondo Nyembwe sees a classroom filled with the children of immigrants, he feels a professional and personal commitment to help them learn to speak English. (01/14/2013)
A Minnesota-based duo called Kaivama is dedicated to preserving and expanding the Finnish folk music tradition. And as we speak, its two members are tuning up for their midwinter tour. (01/02/2013)
Dean McFarlane is a 10th-generation master stone carver. His great-grandfather started the Minneapolis-based family stone carving company in 1916. But the line ends with McFarlane: There are no family members waiting in the wings to become master stone carvers. (12/27/2012)
There is an alternative to mass-produced holiday greeting cards: Those that are printed, one at a time, on a 126-year old letterpress. And this year, Jon Drew is making the cards as a labor of love, for the widow of the high school teacher who taught him the craft. (12/18/2012)
The Spanish-English production by In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater blends the "no room at the inn" Bible story with current events. (12/13/2012)
It seems as though nearly every ethnic group has an exotic fish specialty, and Scandinavian Americans claim two: lutefisk and pickled herring. On assembly lines at the Olsen Fish Company in Minneapolis they cater to both, packing thousands of pounds of preserved fish into jars and boxes every year. (12/04/2012)
When Minnesota surgeon Paul Severson first visited Haiti more than 20 years ago, the health care needs of that Caribbean nation went beyond anything he had ever seen. Severson founded Minnesota-based Project Haiti in response. (11/21/2012)
Nirmala Rajasekar's childhood was filled with the Carnatic music of her native southern India. As a toddler she remembers being a performer in search of a microphone. (11/14/2012)
Sam and Jenny McFadden run Jen's Wreaths, a balsam fir wreath business in Deer River, Minn. It's hard, sticky work, but the McFaddens say it's worth it. (11/09/2012)
Dumplings are a part of many ethnic food traditions. But in Minnesota Sounds and Voices this week, we're interested in potato-dumpling comfort food that can be traced back generations to the pierogi of Poland and the pyrohy in Ukrainian. (10/25/2012)
When it's feeding time at the Como Zoo in St. Paul, Pete Lee heads out to experience something that Animal Planet and YouTube can't provide. (10/23/2012)
Donovan Palmquist, a potter who lives near Farmington, discovered that the best way to earn a living while creating his art is to build the kilns that other potters need. (10/19/2012)
Dick Kimmel spent more than 30 years helping restore Minnesota's wild turkey population. Now he's working on restoring the state's population of bluegrass pickers. (10/05/2012)