The hounds delight in a celebrated new children's book from a Minnesota author, a play set in the wilds of Canada about mythmaking and madness, and a new, rootsy, musical variety show.
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Brandy Dutoit has a really good feeling about the "Real-Phonic Radio Hour." Brandy, creator of the Minnesota music blog "365 Music Project," says local musician and songwriter Eric Koskinen and folk rocker Molly Maher and her Disbelievers came up with 'Real-Phonic,' an organic, monthly variety show performed live at the James J. Hill Library in St. Paul . Its debut is tonight at 8pm. Iowa guitarist and songwriter Bo Ramsey and soul singer Ashleigh Still will be special guests.
Sandbox Theatre's latest production, "The Mad Trapper of Rat River," has crept into the imagination of Carin Bratlie and stayed there. Carin, Artistic Director of Theatre Pro Rata in Minneapolis, says the story and myth of the insane trapper, who actually stalked the woods of northwest Canada in the 30s, perfectly suits the Sandbox aesthetic. On stage through Nov. 19 at Nimbus Theatre in Northeast Minneapolis.
All the superlatives critics are using to describe Minneapolis author and Minnesota Book Award winner Anne Ursu's new children's novel "Breadcrumbs," are well deserved. That's according to visual artist and Macalester College Drawing Instructor Megan Vossler. Megan says the story was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen," and is set in a snow-blanketed Minneapolis in midwinter. In fact, Megan says the state's longest season is so beautifully rendered in "Breadcrumbs" it made her have a new appreciation for it. You can hear Anne read from her book at the Loft Literary Center this Sunday at 2pm.
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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Last month Partners in Preservation announced the Basilica of St. Mary was the winning recipient of its grant challenge, awarding it $110,000 to repair and preserve its building.
This morning, Partners in Preservation announced the allocation of the remaining $1 million in grant money to historic and culturally significant sites across the Twin Cities.
Here are the results:
The Basilica of Saint Mary, Minneapolis: $110,000 to repair the Narthex and the Sacristy of the Basilica, including the repair of decorative ceilings, limestone walls and damaged plaster and restoring the historic paint and gold leaf found throughout the structure.
Emerge Career and Technology Center, Minneapolis: $110,000 to restore the library's ornate interior, including surviving 1893 interior woodwork, flooring and plaster walls, along with its distinctive wood windows.
Waterford Iron Bridge, Waterford Township: $95,000 to remove and replace the cracked southeast wing wall.
American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis: $90,000 to restore the historic first floor kitchen, dry storage room and butler's pantry to their original condition.
Pilgrim Baptist Church, Saint Paul: $86,000 to repair heavily damaged sections of brick masonry on the exterior of the building.
Harriet Tubman Center East, Maplewood: $84,000 to update the Center's public restroom facilities at the first floor.
C.S.P.S. Sokol Hall, Saint Paul: $80,000 to install an air conditioning system in the second floor auditorium, which will allow the space to be used for public events year-round.
Historic Pilot Knob, Mendota Heights: $75,000 to bury existing power lines that currently disrupt the natural landscape.
The Soap Factory, Minneapolis: $70,000 toward the repair of the failing roof of the main building.
Christ Lutheran Church on Capitol Hill, Saint Paul: $50,000 for brick masonry repair and the repair of the church's prominent concrete columns that define the main entrance of the church.
Fort Snelling Upper Post, Building 67, Hennepin County: $40,000 to restore the rare historic Seth Thomas/Hotchkiss model clock in the clock tower.
Minnesota State Fair Grandstand, Saint Paul: $30,000 to achieve the original architectural vision for the historic ramp with the installation of tower lights and new fencing that is in character with the 1937 structure.
Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery, Minneapolis: $20,000 toward the removal, cleaning, repair and reinstalling of the cemetery's historic fence.
In addition, the remaining 12 finalists, listed below, will each receive $5,000:
Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts, Fridley
Chaska Athletic Field, Chaska
Episcopal Church of Transfiguration, Belle Plaine
Fitzgerald Theater, Saint Paul
Hennepin Center for the Arts, Minneapolis
James J. Hill House, Saint Paul
Landmark Center, Saint Paul
Mill Ruins Park, Minneapolis
Minnehaha Park, Minneapolis
Minnesota Transportation Museum, Saint Paul
Washington County Historic Courthouse, Stillwater
Wayzata Depot, Wayzata
MPR and the City of Minneapolis are working together to raise the profile of public art in the city. "Sound Point" is a new interactive audio tour that allows visitors to use their mobile devices to access stories about works of public art in Minneapolis.
Signs like this one next to select works of public art in Minneapolis direct passers-by to learn more about the work and listen to interviews with the artists.
My colleague Jeff Jones conceived of the project, and partnered with Mary Altman at the City of Minneapolis to realize it.
"I wanted to take what we know about audio and storytelling to the streets," said Jones. "Minneapolis has great public art and this project allows people to hear from the artists who created it."
Say you're at the "Blossoms of Hope" bus stop in North Minneapolis, and you're admiring the huge colorful blooms over the shelter. A few feet away a sign invites you to call or text a number, or visit a website using your smart phone, and hear artist Marjorie Pitz talk about the project.
At the end of her talk, you have the option of leaving a message, telling the city and MPR what you think of the shelter. Raves and rants are equally welcome.
"Whether we look closely or not, great art in public spaces improves our quality of life in Minneapolis every day," said Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak. "I'm pleased that MPR has created the 'Sound Point' tour of our beautiful public artwork. It's a terrific tool for people to pause, look and learn more about our city, our art and our many great artists."
Currently there are 13 "sound points" in Minneapolis, with plans to expand to 25 in the near future.
The City has published a map of these locations to assist viewers in conducting their own self-guided tour of these artworks.
Note: There are lots of QR scanning apps to choose from for both iPhone and Android, and all behave a little differently. For Sound Point, MPR recommends a simple one called "Scan" for iPhone.
In the coming weeks, check State of the Arts for profiles of the individual sound points, starting Monday with a closer look at the "Blossoms of Hope" bus shelter.