January 2011 MinneCulture Archives

Five stories from KFAI’s 10,000 Fresh Voices series, featuring Minnesota Writers, all produced by Britt Aamodt.

1. National Novel Writing Month
National Novel Writing Month takes place every November around the world. It was initially set up by a group of San Franciscans who wanted to help themselves and other writers overcome that perennial affliction—writer’s block. KFAI’s Britt Aamodt caught up with two Twin Citians who attempted the 50,000-word challenge this past November.

2. Dorothy Cleveland
The Twin Cities has a thriving storytelling community, and Dorothy Cleveland has been part of it since the 1990s. This past November Cleveland emceed the preeminent Twin Cities storytelling event, Tellebration, and the last Tuesday of every month she hosts “Folktales Rising,” a venue for storytelling and listening at the Book House in Dinkytown.

3. Nan Montgomery
One of 13 children, Nan Montgomery was raised on Duluth’s North Shore. As a young writer, she drew inspiration from soap operas, but it wasn’t until much later in life than Nan became a poet.

4. Todd Boss
In the last of our December miniseries on Minnesota Writers, KFAI’s Britt Aamodt [AH-mit] introduces us to St. Paul poet Todd Boss, whose poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Virginia Quarterly and the Best American Poetry annual anthology. Boss reads from his 2008 collection Yellowrocket.

5. Jim Lenfestey
In the history of poetry, there have been odes to Grecian urns, canticles to Apollo and Whitman’s song of himself. But sonnets on sows? Pastorals on pigs? KFAI’s Britt Aamodt talks with Twin Cities poet Jim Lenfestey about “Low Down and Coming On: A Feast of Delicious and Dangerous Poems About Pigs,” the new anthology edited by Lenfestey.

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The Brass Kings
Produced by Dale Connelly

Dale Connelly produced this fantastic profile of Twin Cities band, The Brass Kings. In this program the trio talks about their partnership and the origins of the group, and performs songs from their three CDs.

The Brass Kings is a Twin Cities trio with a unique, acoustic sound that incorporates some very basic instruments—guitar, washboard and washtub bass. But that’s where the simplicity ends. Steve Kaul writes sophisticated, multi-layered songs that feature great musical hooks. Mikkel Beckmen and Brad Ptacek provide an energetic rhythm section that is musically solid and fun to watch.

The Brass Kings are as busy as a band can be when its members hold down demanding jobs outside the music world. Brad is a small business owner, Mikkel is Executive Director of a social service non-profit, and Steve is a chef.

To learn more about the Brass Kings, visit them on myspace, or go to http://www.stevekaul.com/

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1. Rita Mustaphi & Katha Dance Theatre
Produced by Mahi Palanisami
Centuries ago, after the Mogul empire in India began to take an economic turn for the worst, dancers in India united despite their religious differences, and preserved the dance form that lives today. KFAI producer Mahi Palanisami spoke to Katha Dance Theater founder Rita Mustaphi about the Mogul’s obsession preserving the art, and her own passion for dance.

2. Minnesota Dance Theatre
Produced by Dixie Treichel
Lise Houlton became Artistic Director of Minnesota Dance Theatre in 1995, succeeding her mother Loyce Houlton, who founded the company in 1962. Recognized as one of Minnesota’s cultural treasures, Minnesota Dance Theatre, which turns 50 in 2012, continues its legacy of producing dance performances with an eclectic, international voice.

3. Circus Juventas
Produced by Jessica Folker
With roughly 800 children and young adult performers, Circus Juventas in St. Paul is the largest youth circus in North America, offering training in traditional circus arts to people of all ages. The troupe puts on stunning performances to sold out audiences each spring and summer. KFAI producer Jessica Folker talked to coaches and students to find out why they spend their time juggling, balancing and soaring from terrifying heights.

4. Minnesota Center for Book Arts
Produced by Asa Diebolt
Minnesota Center for Book Arts is one of the nation’s oldest and largest organizations dedicated to the fine art of book making. KFAI’s Asa Diebolt visited the MCBA on Washington Avenue in Minneapolis to learn about this creative tradition. Visit Minnesota Book Arts at mnbookarts.org.

5. Hedberg Maps: Creative Cartography
Produced by Dan Greenwood
In an age of Google Earth and Google Maps, the field of cartography is constantly redefining itself. Hedberg Maps, located in Northeast Minneapolis, takes a creative and fresh approach to traditional cartography by producing specialty maps such as its guides to farmers markets, dog parks and arts venues. KFAI’s Dan Greenwood interviews cartographer Nat Case about the Hedberg’s unique offerings.

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The 1970s Co-op Wars
Produced by Maria Almli

Think of “co-ops” and you might conjure up images of bulk food stores and tie-dye wearing hippies. But in the 1970s, co-op wars raged in the Twin Cities, dividing communities and fracturing the young movement.

In this documentary, producer Maria Almli interviews those who were there. Learn how the co-op wars began—when a secretive group in support of Marxist principles began retooling operations for the newly emerging hippie grocery stores—and how members found themselves in the midst of a car bombing and violent takeovers.

Interviews include:

Gail Graham
Craig Cox
David Gutknecht
Dean Zimmermann
Bob Malles
Dan Nordley
Annie Young
Kristin Garwick
Lynette Malles

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Five stories from KFAI’s 10,000 Fresh Voices series:

1. Freedom Form II in MLK Park: A Sculptural Metaphor for Race?
Produced by Susan Gray

Forty years ago, the first African American to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize spoke at the dedication of the Martin Luther King Park in south Minneapolis. Seven hundred people joined in song and prayer around the sculpture given in Dr. King’s honor by New York artist Dan Johnson. KFAI Producer Susan Gray spoke with people who organized the 1971 event and learned what’s become of the sculpture that was given to honor Dr. King’s legacy.

2. Miss Richfield 1981/Russ King
Produced by Dixie Treichel

Miss Richfield 1981 is recognized as one of the Twin Cities most creative artists, and been named runner-up for “Artist of the Year” by the StarTribune newspaper. With numerous appearances around town, including the Walker Art Center, Illusion Theater, Bryant Lake Bowl Theater, Miss R also made her Orchestra Hall-debut as a featured soloist in ‘Doc’s Summer Party Mix’ with Doc Severinsen and the Minnesota Orchestra. In this story, meet the vibrant Miss Richfield, and the man behind the woman—Russ King—who graciously describes his life as a performer, from humble beginnings in Richfield, Minnesota, to the Toyota Comedy Festival in New York’s Soho, and beyond. Produced by Dixie Treichel.

3. The Wildlife Rehabilitation Center
Produced by Nancy Sartor

Since 1979 the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Roseville has been caring for sick and injured wild animals from the Twin Cities metro area, greater Minnesota, and outside the state. Last year the Center treated more than 8,600 animals from 170 different species. KFAI producer Nancy Sartor toured the facility and talked to staff about their important work.

4. Pond Hockey 2011
Produced by Britt Aamodt

The U.S. Pond Hockey Championships began in 2006, with 120 teams and a great idea. Now in its sixth year, the Minneapolis-based event expects to draw upwards of 200 teams from the United States and Canada, and tens of thousands of fans, to Lake Nokomis from Jan 21-23. Film producer Andrew Sherburne was on the ground in 2006, filming the budding Minnesota winter get-together. His efforts produced the documentary, POND HOCKEY, in 2008. Former NHL player Brian Bonin was one of the pond hockey players featured in the film. KFAI’s Britt Aamodt talks to both men about their enduring love for Minnesota’s iciest cold-weather sport.

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Vaudeville & Burlesque: The History of Twin Cities Variety Theater
Produced by Michelle Alimoradi & Judith McKenzie

In the early 20th century, Vaudeville and Burlesque shows reigned supreme for live entertainment. As a major stop along the rail lines, the Twin Cities hosted some of the biggest touring productions to cross the country. Over the years, Minneapolis and St. Paul have built rich theatrical communities based on these traditions.

Today many Twin Cities artists honor tradition by incorporating elements of variety theater in contemporary productions. In this documentary, producers Michelle Alimoradi and Judith McKenzie follow the history of variety theater in the Twin Cities. Meet 93-year-old vaudeville performer and Minneapolis resident Bob Boucher, local historians, and modern Twin Cities variety artists, including Patrick Scully (Patrick’s Cabaret) and Nadine DuBois (Lili’s Burlesque Revue).

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Five stories from KFAI’s 10,000 Fresh Voices series:

1. Sound Artist Viv Corringham
Produced by Bill Lindeke
Viv Corringham became fascinated with Twin Cities skyways when she moved to Minneapolis from London. So much so, that she created the “Skyways Project”—a unique sound collage that blends singing with ambient sound recorded from the skyways.

2. Artist Harriet Bart
Produced by Britt Aamodt
You can find work by artist Harriet Bart in collections of major art museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. But lately she’s devoted herself to more “elemental” pursuits—fire and ice. KFAI’s Britt Aamodt talks to Bart about her two current exhibits: “Winter Projects” and “Drawn in Smoke.”

3. Photographer Brian Rauvola & the Duluth Photography Institute
Produced for the Radio Gallery series at KUMD
The Duluth Photography institute offers a gallery, studio, digital workstations with printers, and workshops. It is a resource for photographers of all levels, from amateurs to professionals, and a place to gain experience. Founder Brian Rauvola talked with Radio Gallery producers about DPI.
KUMD is broadcast from the University of Minnesota-Duluth
Duluth Photography Institute is located at 405 E Superior St, Suite 140.

4. Photographer Jila Nikpay & Faces of New America
Produced by Jessica Folker
“Faces of New America” is a new portrait exhibit by photographer Jila that explores the complex identities of immigrant youth. The show is currently on display at the Minneapolis Central Library through the end of January, and will later travel to other public libraries in the seven-county metro area. KFAI producer Jessica Folker spoke to Nikpay about how this generation of young immigrants is changing what it means to become American.

5. North Indian Ghazal Singer Pooja Goswami-Pavan
Produced by Mahi Palanisami
Centuries ago, when the Moguls invaded India, they committed atrocities on the local people, but were also mesmerized by local arts and culture. Unable to speak the language, the invaders adapted local music by singing vowel sounds instead of words. Today Dr. Pooja Goswami-Pavan performs Hindustani music in the Twin Cities and in India. She explains how this ancient improvisational art form is linked to daily life.

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Rogue Valley
Live at the Cedar Cultural Center

KFAI captured this live performance of Rogue Valley last November at the Cedar Cultural Center for the band’s CD-release of “Geese in the Flyway”—the third of four music projects by this prolific ensemble. Members include: Chris Koza, Peter Sieve, Luke Anderson, Linnea Mohn, and Joey Kantor.

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Five stories from KFAI’s 10,000 Fresh Voice series:

1. The St. Paul Winter Carnival Celebrates its 125th Anniversary
Produced by Elena Erofeeva
The St. Paul Winter Carnival opened last week, marking the 125th anniversary of the oldest winter festival in the country. The event features a variety of activities, from ice carving and snow sculpting, to sporting events like skiing, skating, curling and rugby. KFAI producer Elena Erofeeva spoke to the former Prime Minister of the King Boreas court, as well as the 1955 Queen of the Snows about the festival’s illustrious history.

2. Artist Marcia McEachron
Produced by Dixie Treichel
Minneapolis artist Marcia McEachron began manipulating steel nearly 30 years ago. Tool by tool, apprenticeship by apprenticeship, she hammered away at the age-old craft, gradually gaining recognition in the public and private spheres for her contemporary spin on hand-forged steel furniture and art. Producer Dixie Treichel has the story.

3. Rosalux Gallery
Produced by Dan Greenwood
The cooperative model can be applied to many things—from food and finances, to communities and artists. These days, more and more artists are uniting to share studio and gallery space in hopes of increasing exposure and ultimately, sales. For Rosalux, the co-op model has been in place since 2002. Not long after the gallery opened in a modest storefront at 6th & Central Ave in Northeast Minneapolis, fire from a nearby meth lab forced Rosalux to move. For several years the artist co-op was located in the Open Book building on Washington Ave, but last year it returned to Northeast, setting up shop in a space adjacent to the Frank Stone Gallery. Producer Dan Greenwood spoke to artist and Rosalux member Terrance Payne about about this sustainable artist co-op.

4. Lars Martinson
Produced by Britt Aamodt
Twin Cities cartoonist Lars Martinson recently published the second volume in his four-volume graphic novel “Tonoharu”. KFAI producer Britt Aamodt talked to Martinson about his latest book.

5. Musicians Dean Magraw & Marcus Wise
Produced by Dale Connelly
In the late 1970s, two young musicians were introduced to each other by a mutual friend. Tabla player Marcus Wise and guitarist Dean Magraw quickly found common musical ground and made a recording. Now, more than 30 years after that first meeting, they’ve returned to the studio to make a second disc. It finds them with the same tight musical connection, but their sound and circumstances have changed. KFAI producer Dale Connelly has this story.
Dean Magraw and Marcus Wise will be performing at the Cedar Cultural Center this weekend to celebrate the release of their CD, “How the Light Gets In”. The show is this Saturday, February 5, at 8pm.

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