I have a terrible memory. And so when thinking about posting a "Year in Review"-style piece, I wondered what I'd have to write about.
It turns out, a lot.
Much has happened in the past twelve months. The recession brought with it budget cuts and layoffs, several institutions changed leadership, others marked significant anniversaries, new companies started up, other companies shut down, talented people died... (and I imagine, many talented people were born, too).
I've tried to capture the main highlights below, broken down month by month. Click on the links to find out more about each story, and take stock of what an amazing year it's been.
Theater critic Dominic Papatola "leaves" the Pioneer Press to work at a local foundation... and is roasted mightily by the theater community. He must have enjoyed it, because he continues to write for the PiPress on a semi-regular basis.
Local artists do what they can for Haiti in response to the earthquakes which struck the island nation.
Graywolf Press, Coffee House Press, Milkweed Editions and the Loft Literary Center all celebrate significant milestones
The Minneapolis Institute of Arts hosts its fourth "Foot in the Door" exhibition, and receives a record-breaking 4,800 submissions.
Southern Theater marks its 100th Birthday.
Dawn Upshaw renews her three-year contract with the SPCO
Prince gives a song to the Current.
Daniel Klein launches his online show dedicated to local food (including road kill), "The Perennial Plate."
New local publishing house Replacement Press publishes its first book.
Sally Ordway Irvine Awards are bestowed upon VSA Arts of Minnesota (Vision), Myron Johnson (Commitment), Bedlam Theatre (Initiative), and T. Mychael Rambo (Education).
Community Supported Art is launched, and the shares are sold out in a matter of hours
MN Original, the new TPT program dedicated to profiling Minnesota artists makes its debut.
Two "new music" composers, Franz Kamin and James Brody, die in a Roseville car crash.
The Minneaposis Institute of Arts launches it's contemporary art department with "Until Now" and "Art Re-Mixed."
Minnesota Center for Book Arts asks for resignation of Executive Director Dorothy Goldie.
The 22nd Annual Minnesota Book Awards takes place; review the winners here.
Jay Coogan is inaugurated as the new President of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.
Fred Gaines, playwright and teacher, dies.
Minneapolis Institute of arts Curator Bob Jacobsen resigns.
Walker Art Center announces it's suspending its annual "Movies and Music in the Park" series for the summer, which causes first an outburst, then a response - a new series of their own.
Photographer Wing Young Huie's University Avenue Project is installed in storefront windows and on the sides of buildings lining the Twin Cities corridor, where it hangs for several months.
Starting Gate Theater closes its doors.
Minnesota Opera President Kevin Smith announces his retirement, making way for new director Allan Naplan.
Open Book celebrates its 10th birthday.
Goldstar.com moves to the Twin Cities.
Bedlam Theatre's floor collapses due to a long slow leak of hot water.
Metropolitan State University honors photographer Gordon parks, a St. Paul native, by renaming its gallery "The Gordon Parks Gallery"
The Walker Art Center cuts its budget by 8% and eliminates nine staff positions.
Folk musician Bill Hinkley dies at the age of 67.
Both the SPCO and the Minnesota Orchestra begin offering recordings for download or streaming online.
First Avenue announces it plans to change up the names on the stars adorning the building.
The Childrens' Theatre Company announces it's eliminating approximately 9% of its full and part-time staff positions, and eliminating two shows from its coming season (Ballonacy and Lord of the Flies) in an effort to trim its budget to a more sustainable size.
Minneapolis Institute of Arts Kaywin Feldman is appointed the president fo the Association of Art Museum Directors.
Bravo launches its new show "Work of Art: The Next Great Artist" - one of its contestants is Twin Cities artist Miles Mendenhall.
The McKnight Foundation names Minnesota-based sculptor Siah Armajani as the 2010 McKnight Distinguished Artist.
The Playwrights' Center names new director Jeremy Cohen.
The Shubert Center is renamed the Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts, in honor of Sage and John Cowles.
Intermedia Arts wins a major grant from the Kresge Foundation, which breathes new life into the center's programming.
The Minnesota Chorale and MacPhail Center for Music announces they are forming Voices of Experience, an "artistically ambitious" 50-voice chorus of Twin Cities seniors.
On the same weekend, the Twin Cities host the Minnesota Fringe Festival and the National Poetry Slam, as well as the Powderhorn Art Fair, the Uptown Art Fair, and the Loring Park Art Festival. Phew!
For the first time in its 17-year history, the Fringe Festival sells more than 50,000 tickets.
Scottsboro Boys makes its regional premiere at the Guthrie Theater, before moving on to Broadway.
The University of Minnesota College of Continuing Education announces a new graduate program aimed at Minnesota arts professionals.
The Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists honors its Artistic Director Emeritus Wendy Lehr, by naming its new theater after her.
Dancers perform to raise money for long-time friend Jeff Bartlett after he suffers numerous injuries in a work-related fall.
Bedlam Theatre is forced to leave its Cedar-Riverside home.
100 year old Fitzgerald Theater makes the National Register of Historic Places.
Walker Art Center decides to let teens in its doors for free.
Weisman Art Center closes for a year to make way for the final stages of its Frank-Gehry-designed expansion.
Rapper Mike Eyedea Larsen dies of an accidental overdose at the age of 28.
GiveMN starts charging 2.9% transaction fees to the recipients of donations made on its site.
Judi Dutcher resigns from Museum of Russian Art
Minnesota Center for Book Arts names Jeff Rathermel as its new Executive Director.
Artist-in-Residence Lucinda Naylor is let go from her position at the Basilica of St. Mary after she begins collecting DVDs sent out by the Archbishop promoting marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Naylor then transformed the DVDs into a work of art.
David O'Fallon, CEO of MacPhail Center for Music, moves to take the position of President of the Minnesota Humanities Center.
Give to the Max day raises more than $8 million for Minnesota non-profits.
A major blizzard essentially brings the Twin Cities to a standstill, and almost every performance scheduled for that Saturday night is forced to close.
Walker Art Center screens "Fire in my Belly," a controversial video pulled from an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery.
Managing Director Eric Bunge resigns from the Commonweal Theatre in Lanesboro, upon the request of the Board of Directors.
So what do you think was the biggest arts story of the year? Share your thoughts in the comments section. And Happy New Year!(1 Comments)
Posted at 7:00 AM on December 30, 2010
by Molly Bloom
Filed under: Art Hounds
The third and final installment of Art Hounds' 2010 Highlights is here!
"Dark Matters" by Kidd Pivot Frankfurt RM at the Walker Art Center
Part of the Walker's Adventures in New Puppetry series, a truly amazing evening that brings new meaning to the word 'performance.' An unforgettable dance/theatrical experience that was both haunting and inspiring. (Trailer for the show is above).
-Juliet Patterson, poet and essayist
Eclipsed at Frank Theatre
Seven women -- writer Danai Gurira; actors, Shá Cage, Hope Cervantes, Nisreen Dawan, Signe Harriday, Yeukai Mudzi; and director Wendy Knox brought the tragedy of the Liberian civil war to the stage with an unflinching honesty that made me feel closer to my Liberian and other African sisters now residing in the Twin Cities. The excellence of the piece was in the nuances which were recognizable to me as an African-American woman -- the nod of disapproval, fury in the curl of a lip, on point accent and cadence in repeated words, and hilarious arguments, pride and hope over fake hair, nail polish, pretty dresses, and stories of folks from far away places. I laughed and cried and left feeling powerful in my woman-ness and friendships.
-DeAnna Cummings, executive director of Juxtaposition Arts
The Slow Mirror and the Metronome
The Slow Mirror and the Metronome was a sprawling sound, video and sculpture event that took place the Sample Room during Art-A-Whirl. Bands played from boats amongst video projections, floating installations, and sound collages transmitted to floating speakers, that all combined to create an environment that reroutes and harnesses the river's acoustics and reflective surface. Simply mind blowing.
-Chris Cloud, executive creative director, MPLS.TV
Arek Tesarczyk with the Minnesota Orchestra
Hearing Arek Tesarczyk perform the premiere of the Rautavaara cello concerto with the Minnesota Orchestra for their season opening concert was my highlight of the year. Arek is a musician's musician -- he always gives sensitive, complex, nuanced, and simply effective performances. Rautavaara is one of the most interesting, haunting, and effective composers to come out of Finland (which is saying a lot!). The Minnesota orchestra is playing at an exciting, world-class level.
-Rolf Erdahl, musician
Kendra Shank at the Artists' Quarter
Kendra Shank performed with Bryan Nichols on piano, Terry Burns on bass, and Phil Hey on drums. New York-based singer Shank and Minneapolis-based pianist Nichols met only hours before performing together. Both are fearless improvisers. The combination worked and the night was electric--creative, magical, in-the-moment music.
-Pamela Espeland, jazz writer and commentator
Taking the Right Turns, a pair of Jean Matzke retrospective exhibits
Jean Matzke was the most approachable, talented and engaging fiber artist. She was tragically killed in 2009. Her life and work was celebrated in a weekend of exhibitions at St. Cloud State University. Her work at face value was simply a beautiful weaving but there were a million amazing techniques going on.
-Solveig Anderson, fiber artist, furniture designer
Posted at 12:28 PM on December 30, 2010
by Marianne Combs
Filed under: News and reviews
Here's a look at the arts stories making headlines...
The Hold Steady at First Avenue
After playing two local shows over the Fourth of July weekend, the band returned to a sold-out First Avenue to close out 2010.
- Loren Green, City Pages
The Copper Field at Aster Cafe
Michael Grey's voice is not exactly beautiful. Grey's voice is powerful in a way that surprises you; it has a gritty, hard edge to it, far more callused and unpolished than what you would expect for a guy with just a guitar and a microphone.
- Natalie Gallagher
More local possibilities for 'Idol' Season 10
Looks like there are more local "American Idol" connections in the show's upcoming season, which kicks off Jan. 19. As previously reported, Maplewood's Matt Sato was featured in a "Idol" promo on Fox, singing before the judges.
- Amy Carlson Gustafson, Pioneer Press
The Twin Cities' best theater productions of 2010 - A year in review
It was a solid year for theater in the Twin Cities. Good and great shows were produced at theaters of all types and sizes, with only a few eye-gougingly bad ones along the way. In fact, a couple of dozen other productions probably lurk just beneath these 10 shows.
- Ed Huyck, City Pages
Scrimshaw Brothers ring out 2010 with a case of denial
The Scrimshaws will be joined by Tim Uren, Eric Webster, and Shanan Custer for the show, which promises to not only look back at the past year, but also features "one ukulele song and a male Lady Gaga impersonator named Lord GuyGuy."
- Ed Huyck, City Pages
This morning Euan Kerr had a fine report looking at the Legacy Amendment's first year. While the new funding has been a boon to many rural communities, it has also been a let-down for border communities like Fargo-Moorhead, where their dual-state status has disqualified them receiving the funds. Click here to read the story, or listen to it using the audio link below.