Minnesota is known for many things related to weather and fishing, but probably not for its Japanese drumming.
But the state boasts a Taiko drum ensemble that has been around for 17 years.
Mu Daiko is celebrating its anniversary with some shows at the Cowles Center in downtown Minneapolis this weekend.
You can find out more online at Mu Performing Arts dot org.
KFAI’s Doug Cain, host of program Global Beat (Wednesdays at noon), spoke with artistic director, Iris Shiraishi and fellow performer, Susan Tanabe.

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Spring Back: A Cabaret on Resilience

Wednesday, March 5, 7pm
Whole Music Club, Coffman Union, 300 Washington Ave SE

KFAI is a proud co-sponsor of the 8th annual Transgender Commission Celebration at Coffman Union, Spring Back: A Cabaret on Resilience. In conjunction with the University of Minnesota’s Transgender Commission, and the GLBTA Programs Office, it is part of KFAI’s What’s in the Mix series. The event features performances and a panel discussion by local artists and activists, including CeCe McDonald, Venessa Fuentes, James DeWitt, Kenneth Williams, Margot Bassett, and Molly Van Avery; as well as emcee Sol Raz Asanti and moderator Jason Jackson.

The University of Minnesota’s Transgender Commission is a coalition of students, staff, faculty, alumni, and community members working for equity, access, and liberation for people of all gender identities and expressions, led by trans*, genderqueer, and gender non-conforming people across the U of M and local Twin Cities community.

The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Ally (GLBTA) Programs Office is dedicated to improving campus climate for all University of Minnesota constituents by developing and supporting more inclusive understandings of gender and sexuality.

What’s in the Mix is made possible by a grant from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. It will be recorded and edited for later broadcast on MinneCulture, KFAI’s weekly arts and culture program.

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A call for global unity and compassion was the focus of a speech delivered by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet during a visit to Minneapolis this weekend..
KFAI’s Christina Cerruti was at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum and has this report.

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President Obama visited St. Paul on February 26, 2014. He spoke at the newly restored Union Depot and presented it as an example of what federal and local partnerships can do, while also promoting what he calls his “Opporunity Agenda”. KFAI’s Janis Lane-Ewart was there, and told host Paul Brohaugh about the president’s visit on the Thursday edition of The Morning Blend.

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How governments, businesses and individuals respond to climate change is a matter of great urgency for people who accept the overwhelming scientific evidence that human activity is raising the global temperature. Climate change deniers insist this point is still debatable, but one expert who is well known to Twin Cities audiences wants to push the conversation past ideological and faith based objections. Craig Sinard reports.

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The 10th annual “Sweet On School Dance” in support of public education will be held on Friday, February 28 from 4-6:30 PM at Hiawatha Community School, 4201 42 Av. S. in Minneapolis and will be broadcast live over community radio KFAI at 90.3 and 106.7 FM and on the web at kfai.org.

This event was created as an opportunity for the public to come together to celebrate the people who contribute to making our schools successful and strong. As always, children from across the metropolitan area and other special guests will be invited on air to use the mighty megaphone of community radio to tell the world their reasons for being “Sweet On School”.

This event will be co-hosted by Lolly Obeda of KFAI’s “Sugar Shop” and Miss Lily, now a mighty high school senior. Music will encompass the Sugar Shop’s usual format of blues, rhythm and blues and sweet soul with a focus on celebrating love, learning and unity. Snacks and treats will be available for sale by the Hiawatha PTO.

This event is free and open to the public. Generous support has been provided by Friends of Sweet On School. Children must be accompanied by a parent or adult. Those who cannot attend in person can join us on the radio at 90.3 and 106.7 FM or at kfai.org.

MinneCulture, Feb 26, 7:30pm
Peggy’s Dreams: Living life with Down Syndrome
Produced by Marisa Helms

This week on MinneCulture, producer Marisa Helms presents an up-close and personal account of Peggy Mehen.

Peggy wants to make some changes in her life. She wants a new job. She wants to live independently. And her biggest dream is to be a supermodel. The fact that Peggy is a 40 year-old woman with Down syndrome has little impact on what she believes she can achieve. As a child growing up in the 1970s and ’80s, Peggy belongs to a first generation of children with Down syndrome to be mainstreamed into schools—paving the way for today’s generation of parents and people with Down syndrome who continue to push boundaries and demand greater inclusion and better social and medical supports in the community.

Tune into MinneCulture Wed, Feb 26, at 7:30pm to hear the full documentary.

Producer’s Note: The 1952 educational film heard in my story, In Our Care: Woodward State Hospital and School, is part of a 13-week series of documentaries about Iowa’s state institutions. The entire In our Care series is archived online at the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities website (mn.gov/mnddc).

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The Minnesota Legislature is starting its every-other-year “short” session – a session that is smaller in terms of size but the potential is there for it to include a slew of favorite topics – – state spending, government regulation, sex crime, marijuana, and the minimum wage – all of it influenced by the enormous pull of election year politics.
Marty Owings, covers the state capitol for KFAI and posts regular updates online at MN Capitol News, and Hamline University professor David Schultz writes about politics on his blog, Schultz’s Take. They talked politics with KFAI’s Ron Thums on the Morning Blend.

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Out on a Limb Dance Company and school is a St. Paul based dance company with a twist. It’s a nonprofit organization with a mission to embrace the notion that dance should be within the reach of everybody – whether it’s the dancers on stage or the audience.
Kim Martinez is the artistic director for Out On A Limb.
She told KFAI’s Siobhan Kierans that dance has long been part of her family, handed down by her mother.

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Health Notes will end its African History Month tribute by talking with teacher, mentor and founder of WE WIN Institute.

Titilayo Bediako was born and raised in Minnesota, and is the daughter of civil rights leader Matthew Little. She is instrumental in using African and African American history to African American youth through WE WIN Institute ( a non-profit organization dedicated to the academic and social success of all children)

Bediako says participating in African rituals helps give African-American youth a sense that they belong to something larger than themselves or their surroundings.

She says that’s something she never received when she was in school. After graduating from high school, she moved to Tennessee where she joined an African history study group. “The more I studied and the more I learned about myself, the more my given name, which was Michelle Little, didn’t fit the person I had become,” says Bediako.
The name Titilayo is from the Yoruba of Nigeria. She says it means “everlasting happiness.” Bediako is from the Ashanti people of Ghana and it means, “born to struggle for her people.”

Symbols of Kwanzaa, celebrated by African-Americans in December. Participating in African-rooted rituals and ceremonies, like Kwanzaa, is one way African-Americans nurture their African side. “So I get everlasting happiness in struggling for my people,” says Bediako. “The one thing that I’ve learned is that struggling for African people makes it possible to struggle for all people.”

Like Bediako, many African-Americans have adopted African names. However, despite attempts to identify with Africans, African-Americans carry the physical and emotional baggage of slavery and racism. Bediako says many African-Americans have poor self-esteem because they were born in a country that historically has devalued their lives.

.Health Notes Airs Mondays from 6:30-7:30PM

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