What Art Hound wouldn't be interested in a festival of playlets written and directed by Minnesota women, a Minneapolis psychedelic rock band whose stage show nearly distracts from the music and a documentary about the Motor City that captures both its decay and potential? None, we tell you. None.
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It's easy to poke fun at Detroit. But if you're a Michigan native such as Trylon
Microcinema projectionist Peter Schilling, you're relieved and excited when a documentary comes along that doesn't exploit Motown's tragic fall as a great American city. Peter says based on advance notice, Detropia is one such film. Detropia is being screened at Intermedia Arts in Minneapolis on Feb. 8 and 9th at 7pm as part of its [[ RE ]] FRAME series.
Picture it, says Twin Cities actress Michelle Guertin, an evening of bountiful theater created and directed by women who are fellow Minnesotans, neighbors, maybe even friends. Michelle says that's what the "After the Apple" theater festival promises, with each performance containing nine separate playlets. The festival was put together by Table Salt Productions and is on stage at the Playwright's Center in Minneapolis Feb. 7 - 23.
Chances are pretty darn good that if the Minneapolis indie rock band Bollywood has a local gig, writer, artist and musician Sarah Moeding will be there. Sarah confesses she's been captured by the group's swirling psychedelia and video enhanced stage shows. Bollywood celebrates the release of its new EP, "OK Animal" at Cause Spirits and Sound Bar in Minneapolis on Saturday, Feb. 9th.
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The annual "America's Most Literate Cities" report is out for 2012, and once again the Twin Cities have placed prominently.
Minneapolis remained in third place, while St. Paul climbed from 12th to sixth place.
Many people claim the cold weather in the Twin Cities helps foster a healthy readership.
(MPR Photo/Tom Weber)
The report is conducted by Dr. John Miller, President of Central Connecticut State University, and is compiled based on six indicators: number of bookstores, educational attainment, internet resources, library resources, periodical publishing, and newspaper circulation.
The study only looks at cities with a population of 250,000 and above.
Washington, D.C. took first place for the third year in a row; Seattle came in second.
According to President Miller, the ranking "presents a large-scale portrait of our nation's cultural vitality. From this data we can better perceive the extent and quality of the long-term literacy essential to individual economic success, civic participation, and the quality of life in a community and a nation."
Interestingly, while Minneapolis has remained consistently in the top three for the past eight years, St. Paul has bounced around a bit, from as high as 3rd place down to 12th place last year.
A closer look at the rankings finds that St. Paul claimed first place in the 'booksellers' category, but scored rather poorly in the categories of 'education level' and 'internet resources.'
Miller does acknowledge that his study measures quantity but not quality, "which would be more subjective."
Miller notes that spending on reading materials nationwide has declined 22% since 2000, while over the same period, federal statistics show spending on other forms of entertainment is up 25%.
Gremlin Theatre will be closing its performance space in St. Paul this summer at the expiration of its lease.
Artistic Director Peter Christian Hansen writes:
"Our new landlords are looking to possibly develop the building, which extends far to the rear of our performance space, in a different way. They are therefore not prepared to offer us a long term lease extension at this time and we have decided not to engage in a short term extension because of the facility upgrades and capital expenditures that we feel are necessary to both substantially improve the space in its current location as well as to deal with new challenges posed by the transit changes that have taken place on University Avenue.
Therefore, Gremlin has started its search for a new performance space, drawing on our successes and experiences over the last several years in particular. We expect that this will be a thorough and possibly lengthy process."
In the meantime, Gremlin is still producing plays on University Ave, including Six Characters in Search of an Author opening next month. Once the lease expires Hansen says the company will look for opportunities to continue producing theater elsewhere.