Dan Olson Feature Archive

Movie buffs and regular residents in the western Minnesota city came together to keep the theater's doors open. (06/20/2013)
Why worry about frogs? Well, for one, experts say, their numbers tell us about the health of our environment. (06/12/2013)
To the untrained eye, a certain greenhouse of plants at the University of Minnesota may seem like nothing special. But Dennis McKenna, an ethno-pharmacologist, sees much more than that. (06/04/2013)
Hundreds of people who live in Minnesota are here because they fear persecution, even death, in their home countries, says Mark Lee, a lawyer who helps refugees win asylum in the United States. "They're beaten and abused in ways that is hard to imagine." (05/28/2013)
The arrival of warm weather in Minneapolis marks a new beginning for "singing season," a nod to the past when thousands of people flocked to Minneapolis parks to sing together for the fun of it. (05/17/2013)
Along with spring, migratory birds are back. More than a century ago, their seasonal arrival was the object of intense interest by one of the state's most important ornithologists, Thomas Sadler Roberts. (05/14/2013)
St. Paul bagpipe player Dick Hensold is inspired by the traditional Celtic music heard in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Hensold wants more Minnesotans to hear the music, so he's invited a Cape Breton fiddler to join him on a swing around Minnesota. (05/02/2013)
Erwin Farkas was 10 years old when World War II began in 1939. His subsequent Holocaust survival is one of eight that have been woven together in a new Twin Cities theatrical production. (04/24/2013)
A White Bear Lake man has a passion for an activity -- falconry -- that dates back thousands of years. Falconry is the practice of capturing and training raptors to hunt. It's a way of life for Frank Taylor, the man we meet in this installment of our series Minnesota Sounds and Voices. (04/11/2013)
Anthropologist and author Zora Neale Hurston had an ear for the African American dialect of the early 1900s. People would "grab a hot," which means get a meal, or, "collar a nod," get some sleep. Many of the expressions are gone now, but they have new life on stage at the Penumbra Theater's production of "Spunk" in St. Paul. (04/05/2013)
A non-profit founded in 1987 by the 88-year-old Heitzman at a suburban Twin Cities church, Bridging has grown into one of North America's largest furniture stores in which customers too poor to pay can shop for free. (03/27/2013)
"Think about it. We're in Minnesota. It's snowing," Margaret Yeakel-Twum said the other day from the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory, next to the Como Zoo in St. Paul. "And you walk in here and it's 75 degrees. It's green." (03/20/2013)
Karen Mueller is one of the country's top dulcimer and autoharp players, classically trained, steeped in Appalachian, Celtic and folk music. But this weekend, the Minneapolis musician tries something new: performing a rarely heard classical work with a chamber group. (03/15/2013)
A pipe organ worth the name should cause dress hems and pant cuffs to flutter just a bit. And the refurbished instrument at the Cathedral of St. Paul ought to do just that when it goes into service on March 30. (03/01/2013)
Minnesota is about 6,000 miles from China, but a 93-year-old Chinese scholar has made the state his home. In the process, he's become one of the University of Minnesota's oldest and most loyal alums and played a supporting role with a new wave of Chinese students flocking to the state. (02/20/2013)