This week, the hounds take us to a a church/nightclub haunted by jazz musicians past, a happy land where comic books are free and a tribute to the legendary blues guitarist Robert Johnson.
(Want to be an art hound? Sign up!)
What's better than comic books? Free comic books! Screenwriter and director Ed Linder says Free Comic Book Day has become a tradition in his family. He and his son head to Uncle Sven's in St. Paul and leave with a big bag full of new comics to try and new characters to meet. Free Comic Book Day is this Saturday. Click here to find out more and find a comic book store near you.
According to music professor and pianist Sonja Thomspon, Hot Jazz at Da Funky Butt is a chaotic, messy good time. A band of visitng musicians from New Orleans helps to transport us to the birthplace of jazz and introduces us to the spirits of jazz musicians past. Intearact Theater's casts are made up of people with a range of disabilties, and Sonja says their performances celebrate our humanity and our differences. The show runs through May 21.
This weekend would have been the 100th birthday of blues legend Robert Johnson. To celebrate his life and music, music writer, artist and musician Sarah Moeding will be at Palmer's in Minneapolis this Saturday for the Robert Johnson Tribute show. Seven bands will be playing all 29 of the songs he recorded during his short life -- and will also play songs inspired by the guitarist. Sarah is most excited to hear The Fattenin' Frogs, whose vocalist reminds of Sarah of a sunny day on a backporch.
And you can get an early sneak peek at the Art Hounds' picks every week by texting the word ART to 677-677.
Art Hounds is powered by the Public Insight Network.(1 Comments)
Posted at 10:27 AM on May 5, 2011
by Marianne Combs
Filed under: Funding
The Southern Theater has failed to reach its $400,000 fundraising goal by its self-appointed deadline (as of yesterday afternoon the perfermance venue had raised just $95,000), but rather than take that as a sign of defeat, the organization is going to move ahead.
Because it did not meet its goal right away -- the deadline has now been extended and is unspecified -- the theater on Wednesday cut five positions, including part-time curators for dance and theater. The Southern also reduced the hours of its remaining employees, so that four people will account for 2.5 full-time jobs.
He then went on to quote Board Chair Anne Baker as saying, "We're still optimistic about preserving this wonderful community asset for future generations."
Similarly, in Euan Kerr's reporting of the layoffs, he writes:
Peterson sounded sad as a result of the layoffs, but he is an optimist, and he remains ever hopeful. He says just looking back over the last few days he sees a remarkable effort, and change in an organization he hopes to lead back to strength.
"We have made more progress in the last three weeks than in the last three years," he said.
Optimism implies "we think everything is going to be okay" which seems a little passive. Maybe a better message would be "we're in a panic?"
Posted at 12:22 PM on May 5, 2011
by Marianne Combs
Filed under: Events
Walker Art Center's Jewelry Mart
Image courtesy of Walker Art Center
Looking for something to do this weekend? Something even your mother would love? Look no further:
1. Does your mom like to shop? Check out Walker Art Center's annual jewelry mart, featuring nineteen local artists.
2. Does your mom like dance? Take her to Katha Dance Theatre's production of "The Untouchable Maiden."
3. Does your mom happen to listen to jazz and also like theater? Check out Interact's new show "Hot Jazz at Da Funky Butt."
4. Does she love Shakespeare? Classical Actors Ensemble presents "All's Well That Ends Well," and their tickets are cheaper than the Guthrie's.
5. Is you mom a class(ical) act? Take her to see the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra perform Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations.
"Life is Struggle," by David Feinberg, and collaborators
University of Minnesota associate professor David Feinberg is going to show his work in an unusual, but appropriate location.
The curator of the U.S. State Department's ART in Embassies program, Sally Mansfield, thought Feinberg's piece was a fitting choice for display at the U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo.
According to a release from the U of M:
The artwork, "Life is Struggle," was made through Feinberg's "Voice to Vision" collaborative studio project and will be displayed as part of the Kinshasa Embassy exhibition Voices. The exhibition addresses the voices and voicelessness of victims of genocide, rape, AIDS, homelessness, poverty and discrimination. It will be displayed for the tenure of U.S. Ambassador James Entwhistle, from spring 2011 to fall 2013.
According to Mansfield, "Professor Feinberg's 'Voice to Vision' project with Holocaust and genocide survivors is a perfect fit for this exhibition. His artwork 'Life is Struggle' addresses many issues of the exhibition simultaneously, in an admirably collaborative manner."
You can find out more about Feinberg's collaborative process - and how "Life is Struggle" came to be - here (scroll down to the last image).
Bedlam Theatre isn't letting the lack of a stage get in the way of its performance schedule.
This month the company is collaborating on events at Intermedia Arts (offering pre-show socializing for The Whiz: Moneyapolis) and at the Walker (in conjunction with Improbable Theatre's performance). It's annual 10 minute play festival will happen, too, at the Capri Theater.
Given all the activity, with as-of-yet no news on a permanent home, I checked in with Executive Artistic Director John Bueche to ask him a few questions.
1. What's the status of finding a new home?
Back in the fall, we decided that besides the Hiawatha corridor in South Minneapolis, we would also consider locating along University Avenue in St. Paul and that the activity in North Minneapolis was worth getting to know better. We scheduled projects in both neighborhoods for May and July of this year... since shows have always been our favorite way to learn new things and get to know people.
So, geographical decision making we see happening late this summer, and within the various geographies, their are a range of options for space.
The VISION of our future home continues to become clearer; we've done a lot of work thinking about what we learned in 10 years at our studio and 4 years at our "Social," and using the other experiments of this year "On Location" to make better sense of what we want.
Growth from '07-'10 outpaced both our expectations and our infrastructure... so the winter off ALSO provided a nice chance to play catch up, revamp financial systems, reorganize files... all that really, really fun and creative stuff.
How has your new existence challenged your work? Any pleasant surprises?
Sure. With the 10X10 Fest in particular, without a physical clubhouse the creative collaboration BECAME the community. In the 2 months of Ideathons and Project Development sessions we never had less than 125 people in the room. In the end, there's around 125 people working together to create the 25 10-minute pieces in the festival.
Do you have a timeline for how things will move forward in terms of relocating, etc?
Geographical decision making in the late summer. The vision of our COMPLEX developing over the next 2-5 years. Strongly considering opening a smaller Social outpost as soon as next spring to tide us over in the meantime. Taking advantage of this winter's downtime to invest in New Work development of a half dozen promising projects.
Oh, and the Cedar Riverside Art Zone for Youth continues full bore, working with Mixed Blood and the Brian Coyle Community Center. There we see a 5 year plan of evolving the neighborhood work there as its own autonomous program or entity. Big events in July.
Did he say "COMPLEX?" This should be fun...
It takes a lot of courage to be a Vikings fan. And for some, rooting for the team isn't just a pastime, it's a full-time passion. The documentary "SKOL" follows some of the Vikings' most dedicated fans through last year's season - you know, the one in which Coach Brad Childress was fired, Randy Moss came and went, and the roof collapsed?
As University of Minnesota sports sociologist Doug Hartmann says, "You can change your religion and your wife way easier than you can change your football team."
Even the Vikings' website admits:
Sure, part of being a Vikings fan is having the ability to feel comfortable on football's emotional roller coaster, but if you're a Vikings fan, you can't ever say you've been bored.
The documentary gets its premiere at 8 pm on Thursday, May 19, at the Heights Theatre. Will you be there? Can you bear to watch?
Posted at 5:07 PM on May 5, 2011
by Marianne Combs
Filed under: Arts around the state
The cast of "Wiley and the Hairy Man"
One of the great aspirations of any community theater is to take a show to AACTFest, the bi-annual national American Association of Community Theatre Festival.
For County Seat Theater in Cloquet, Minnesota, that dream just became a reality.
County Seat's show "Wiley and the Hairy Man," just won top honors at the Region 5 festival, which pits companies from Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and South Dakota against one another. Company member Kirk Davis won the award for Best Actor, and the group as a whole took home the award for Best Ensemble Performance.
This after taking home the Minnesota statewide competition in Fergus Falls in late March.
Now the company will head to Rochester, NY in late June for the final round.
According to the Pine Journal, "Wiley and the Hairy Man" uses lyric poetry and mime to tell a story drawn from an Alabama folk tale:
"Wiley and the Hairy Man" tells the tale of how the Hairy Man wants to make young Wiley his next victim and how Wiley and his Mammy outsmart the Hairy Man. Although these three are the only named characters, in this play the chorus members - which morph from trees to creatures to dogs like they're made of primeval ooze - are on the stage every second, dancing, standing as trees hung with moss, they even provide much of the ambient sounds for the production. The actors become the woods, the cabin, and all the props.
According to Technical Director Frank Milder, since 1973 only three other Minnesota community theaters have advanced to the National festival: Chameleon Theatre Circle of Apple Valley in 1999, Theatre in the Round Players of Minneapolis in 1997 and 1973 and Citystock Theatre Company of North Minneapolis in 1989.