Arts & Culture

    Date: May 7, 2013
    Contact: Nancy Sartor, Project Manager, 612-501-9479 or

    Five KFAI producers have received Page One Awards from the Minnesota chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ). Jessica Folker, Dan Greenwood, Marisa Helms and Daniel Zamzow won awards for work they produced for KFAI’s Legacy Project—the station’s arts and culture initiative managed by Nancy Sartor. KFAI’s Libby Donohue was also recognized with a Page One Award for a story she produced for News Director Dale Connelly.

    KFAI’s Legacy Project includes short features that are broadcast on the Morning Blend (Monday through Friday from 6 to 8am), and audio documentaries and live performances that air during MinneCulture (Mondays and Wednesdays from 7:30 to 8pm). Now in its third cycle, the Legacy Project is supported by a grant from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Links to KFAI’s Legacy stories can be found at

    SPJ’s Page One Awards honor the best in journalism from across the state. A banquet celebrating the winners takes place on June 18 at the Town & Country Club in St. Paul.

    2013 Page One Award Winners:

    Jessica Folker – Military Intelligence Service Language School at Fort Snelling
    Category: Mini-documentary/In-depth series [Radio]

    Dan Greenwood – West Hills State School: A Troubled Past for the Owatonna Orphanage
    Category: Feature-length documentary [Radio]

    Marisa Helms – Third Home from Burma: Minnesota’s Karen Community
    Category: Feature-length documentary [Radio]

    Daniel Zamzow – Twin Cities Hmong Hip-Hop on the Rise
    Category: Feature [Radio]

    Libby Donohue – Walker Church Destroyed, Community Looks to Future
    Category: Hard News Report [Radio]

  • This week on MinneCulture, KFAI producer Britt Amodt talks with historian Rhoda Gilman, Pam Brunfelt and Peter Rachleff.

    At the turn of the last century, Minnesota’s Iron Range was a cauldron of ethnicities and languages. From 1892 to 1914, more than 40 different ethnic groups immigrated there from the Old World, converging on one of the richest iron lodes in history.

    In 1907, a large-scale labor strike erupted on the Mesabi Range, led primarily by immigrant Finns. The strike raised questions about whether laborers had the right to strike for liveable wages, eight-hour work days and fair work practices. Though ultimately unsuccessful, the strike broke down cultural barriers and united miners under the common banner of organized labor.

    Tune in on Monday and Wednesday at 7:30pm.

  • Tune into MinneCulture on Wednesday, April 24, at 7:30pm to hear a captivating audio documentary by Susan Gray. Second Chances: The Story of Fergus Falls State Hospital explores the history of a Minnesota landmark, and why a place on the National Register of Historic Places may not save it from demolition.

    In the late 19th century, insane asylums were built across the country in response to a national outcry over the treatment of the mentally ill. More than 75 asylums were designed using Dr. Thomas Kirkbride’s Moral Treatment Plan, which claimed that mental ailments could be alleviated with beautiful architecture and serene landscaping. The former State Hospital in Fergus Falls is one of the few remaining intact Kirbride hospitals in the country. Re-named the Regional Treatment Center in 1985, the building is destined for the wrecking ball if a developer is not soon found. KFAI producer Susan Gray spoke with preservation supporters to learn about the building’s historical significance to Fergus Falls, and the treatment of people with mental illness.

  • This week on MinneCulture, live from Minnesota visits the Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar in Lowertown St. Paul for When Poets Found Bass, a night of spoken word poetry presented by the Saint Paul Almanac. Featuring Saymoukda D. Vongsay, Fres Thao, Desdamona, Truthmaze and DJ Kool Akiem. Produced for KFAI by Daniel Zamzow. MinneCulture is made possible by a grant from the Minnesota Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.

  • Last night on KFAI’s Radio Pocho, Miguel Vargas talked with the star of a film that will be shown tonight in Minneapolis as part of the 4th annual Cuban Film Festival. Victor Alvarez is a musician based now in Santa Fe – back in the 1960’s he was one of the children from the so-called “Operation Peter Pan”, a CIA project that removed over 14 thousand children from Cuba and re-settled them in Miami away from their families and friends. Victor Alvarez returned to Cuba for the first time in 43 years with a film crew trailing him. He told Miguel about the experience of going back and performs his rendition of “La Negra Tomasa” …

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  • This Wednesday 8-10pm, Radio Pocho has planned a very special Valentine’s Day program for all you vatos and cholas. The day of love is approaching Thursday, so join Miguel Vargas, Rambo Salinas, and DJ Espada, as we we will be giving you 120 minutes of lowrider anthems, sweet soul rolas, and boleros.

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  • Last Sunday night, the Okee Dokee Brothers won a Grammy for Best Children’s Album for their 2012 release, “Can You Canoe?” Inspired by nature, the local duo entertains children and adults with messages about environmental stewardship. In tonight’s encore presentation, MinneCulture presents ““Rediscovering the Mississippi River”“:—an audio documentary by Flor and Peter Frey that features music by the Okee Dokee Brothers. Learn about the Mighty Miss—dubbed “messippi” by the Ojibwe Indians—which begins at Itasca State Park in Northern Minnesota and flows into the Gulf of Mexico from Louisiana. Covering more than 2,000 miles in 31 states, the Mississippi River has been the creative inspiration for American legends, folklore, and literature, including the Okee Dokee Brothers. For more information, go to

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  • Orkestar Bez Ime is Bulgarian for “orchestra without a name.” The local group formed in 2002 to bring Balkan dance music to the Upper Midwest. It performs across the country with a repertoire that reaches from Albania to the Ukraine, with plenty of stops in-between. Tonight on MinneCulture, producer Daniel Zamzow captures their recent performance at Acadia Cafe. For more information on Orkestar Bez Ime, visit

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  • Grant Cutler is a songwriter, producer and composer. His ethereal electronic music has garnered national acclaim, and this year he received a commission from the Minnesota State Arts Board for a three-­part composition. Here is Grant Cutler, performing at the Cedar Cultural Center in January 2012. Produced for KFAI by Tom Garneau. MinneCulture is made possible by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

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  • This week on MinneCulture: “The Walk to School,” an audio documentary about a Minneapolis family’s decision to attend public school outside its immediate residential zone. Producer Ralph L. Crowder III explores education and school choice through the lens of Monique, a single parent raising her daughter Amaree, and her niece Leslie. “The Walk to School” is a day-in-the-life account of how the family copes with the public education achievement gap, and what it’s doing to create better opportunities for the next generation. Ralph Crowder is an independent producer from Minneapolis who specializes in local and national education issues. MinneCulture airs every Monday and Wednesday evening from 7:30-8pm on KFAI, and is made possible by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

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