A classic American musical, a live silent film score from a Minneapolis chamber folk group and a group of visual artists interpreting a poem, have all captured the hounds' attention this week.
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Bloomington Civic Theatre is on a roll, according to actor, director, and Normandale College film and theater teacher Sean Byrd. Sean says not only is BCT staging excellent productions, it's improved its outreach to the community. Sean is excited about BCT's upcoming production of Oklahoma!, which marks the return of director Gary Gisselman, who served as BCT's artistic director way back in 1964. Oklahoma! is on stage Aug. 19 - Sept. 18.
Nordic roots artist Kari Tauring is going to the Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts in Fridley on Saturday, Aug. 20th, to watch a cross-discipline artistic dialogue unfold. Poet Kathryn Kysar has published a new book of poems entitled "Pretend the World," and she's asked a group of visual artists from different media to respond to one in particular. Kysar plans to continue the call and response in the future. The exhibition, also called "Pretend the World," is at Banfill-Locke through Sept. 30.
The slightly eerie yet elegant Minneapolis chamber folk group "Dark Dark Dark" has long struck a chord with freelance arts journalist Christopher Matthew Jensen. Christopher says the band will truly get to stretch its wings on Monday, Aug. 22, when it headlines the final installment of the Walker Art Center's popular "Music and Movies in the Park" series. Dark Dark Dark will be joined by 30 to 40 members of the "Modern Times Spychestra" in creating a live score to Fritz Lang's silent movie "Spies." The performance will take place in the Walker's Open Field, not Loring Park.
And you can get an early sneak peek at the Art Hounds' picks every week by texting the word ART to 677-677.
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The Bentson Foundation has granted the Walker Art Center $1 million to "enhance the presentation and preservation" of the Ruben/Bentson Film and Video Study Collection.
According to a release from the Walker, the funds will be used to digitize selected films and upgrade the Walker Cinema. Improvements include the addition of high-definition digital projectors, a redesign of the cinema's acoustics, and new seats.
A razor is drawn towards a woman's eye in this still from the film Un Chien Andalou by Salvador Dalí and Luis Buñuel, 1928.
The Ruben/Bentson Film and Video Study Collection was established in 1973 by a gift from Edmond R. Ruben, a leading figure in film exhibition in the Upper Midwest. The Rubens' daughter and son-in-law, Nancy and Larry Bentson, were also longtime supporters of the Walker whose major gift in 1998 allowed the Walker to acquire, conserve, and present film/video materials. The Bentson Foundation was established in 1956 to support a range of philanthropic causes throughout the state.
The Walker's Ruben/Bentson Film and Video Study Collection now includes more than 850 titles, from classic to contemporary cinema as well as documentaries, avant-garde films, and video works by artists.
Sometimes when looking at the local arts listings, themes appear out of nowhere.
This week, the theme is "community."
Marc Bamuthi Joseph
Photo: Bethanie Hines
Whether it's remembering those who have gone before us, talking about what brings a community together, or attending arts events that bring neighbors together in unique ways, there are plenty of ways to strengthen your community ties in the coming days.
1. The Living Classroom
What sustains life in your community? That's the question up for debate this afternoon and evening at the Walker Art Center's Open Field. Local and national artists - led by spoken word/theater artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph - host a public conversation while stimulating your creative juices with drawing, ping pong, and more.
2. Celebrate community elders
Ancestor Energy has for decades combined jazz and spoken word to create music that heals and celebrates the human experience. Tonight they reunite for a special concert to remember two recently departed community pillars, Deborah Torraine and Roy McBride
3. Get to know your neighborhood
What better setting for an operetta than your local community garden! Mixed Precipitation presents this year's musical offering "Alcina" in a host of green spaces, along with some delicious fresh food to sample while you enjoy the performance.
4. Get to know your neighbors
Open Eye Figure Theater's Driveway Tour may be over, but OffLeash Area's Garage Tour is just getting underway, featuring their popular piece "A Gift for Planet BX63." Performances take place in the garages of daring, welcoming folks.
Editor's Note: scroll down once you get to their website - the page looks like it's empty - but it's not!