March 2011 MinneCulture Archives

3/2/2011 MinneCulture

Willie Walker & Willie West @ the Music Box Theatre
Produced by Monty Lee Wilkes & Nancy Sartor

Last fall local musician Paul Metsa hosted a series of concerts and interviews at the Music Box Theatre in Minneapolis. On this special night, renowned soul musicians Willie Walker and Willie West shared the stage for the first time—talking and singing in a rare live performance that sent chills through the audience.

3/7/2011 MinneCulture

1. Environmental and educational advocate Maude Armatage
Produced by Dan Greenwood
In 1921, just a year after women were allowed to vote, Maude Armatage was only one of three women to run for public office. She won the seat of Minneapolis parks commissioner, and held the position for 30 years, retiring at 81-years-old. Recognized for her collaborative work between the park board and the school board, she was a civic leader devoted to environment and education.

2. Mixed media artist Amy Rice
Producer Nancy Sartor
Mixed media artist Amy Rice uses relics from her grandparent’s Wisconsin dairy farm to tell visual stories. She also incorporates antique love letters, maps and atlases as a way to collaborate with the past. KFAI producer Nancy Sartor spoke to the artist about her process, and what she has planned for the future. You can meet Amy Rice and see her work in her studio this Saturday during Second Satrudays at the California Building from 11am to 6pm. For more information, visit californiabuildingartists.com. Her work will also be featured at the Birchwood Cafe in April.

3. Comedy writer and satirist Lizz Winstead
Produced by Dale Connelly
Comedian Lizz Winstead is a Minnesota native who was one of the creators of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.” Her profile is national, her audience, worldwide. But Winstead has been spending a lot of time in Minnesota lately, putting the finishing touches on a book. On Saturday, March 18, she’ll lead a political writing workshop at Java Jack’s in Minneapolis. To find out more, go to lizzwinstead.com.

4. Hindustani musician Pooja Goswami-Pooja
Produced by Mahi Palanisami
Pooja Goswami-Pavan hails from a musical family in India. With a PhD in Hindustani music, she reveals the history behind her own musical life, and the evocative sound of this improvisational art form.

5. Fair trade importers Global Mamas
Produced by Michelle Alimoradi
Global Mamas is a nonprofit organization that imports colorful clothing and handmade products from a women’s cooperative in Ghana. Peace Corps volunteers Kristen Johnson and Renee Adam founded the fair trade co-op to help promote economic independence for African women and their families. The Global Mamas network of producers has grown from six founding members in 2004, to nearly 500 producers in nine communities.

3/9/2011 MinneCulture

Wilbur B. Foshay: The Man & His Tower
Produced by Britt Aamodt

It was called the Tower. It didn’t need another name. The Foshay Tower, at its founding in 1929 and for nearly a half a century, reigned as the tallest building in Minneapolis. Though the Tower sank into a period of gentle neglect, it was revitalized in 2008 as the upscale W. Hotel-Minneapolis. The same cannot be said for the Tower’s builder, Wilbur B. Foshay, whose comet-like rise as a powerful Midwestern utilities magnate was embodied in the obelisk structure. Just two months after the Tower’s dedication, on October 29, 1929, Wilbur Foshay lost everything in the Stock Market Crash, save for his his reputation. That, however, was defamed in 1931, when he stood trial for mail fraud, in what was largely a Ponzi scheme.

3/14/2011 MinneCulture

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

1. Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center
Produced by Michelle Alimoradi
On a quest to give their neighborhoods a facelift, six south Minneapolis residents get together to create a facility where community members could meet and create art together. Catering to artistic mediums that use flame, spark, or heat, the Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center has already attracted attention and gained popularity in just a few months.

2. Susan Hensel Gallery
Produced by Jessica Folker
Most art galleries are governed by the rule of “look, but don’t touch.” But at the Susan Hensel Gallery in South Minneapolis, visitors have hands-on access to the room of one-of-a-kind books, including stories spun into yarn. KFAI producer Jessica Folker spoke with gallery owner Susan Hensel and local artist Jodi Reeb-Myers about their show, Readers Art 11, a national survey of artists’ books. The exhibit runs through April 23. For more information on this and future exhibits, visit susanhenselgallery.com.

3. Lou Bellamy Retires
Produced by Sabrina Crews
After 35 years of teaching, theater legend Lou Bellamy will retire from his position as an associate professor of theater at the University of Minnesota. Recently, the University’s Department of Theater Arts and Dance presented a tribute to honor Lou Bellamy’s legacy. KFAI’s Sabrina Crews has the story.

4. Winter Farmers Markets & D’Lish
Produced by Dan Greenwood
Twin Cities farmers markets and Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs) thrive in the summertime. But with Minnesota’s short growing season and long winter, the relationship between patrons and producers is brief. Until now. Ann Yin, of Local D’Lish, spoke to KFAI producer Dan Greenwood about how she and others are bringing the market indoors, and offering delicious local products year-round. For more information about Local D’Lish, visit localdlish.com.

5. St. Paul’s West Side & District del Sol
Produced by Maria Almli
A collaboration between the Minnesota Humanities Center and the Chicano Latino Affairs Council features history of St Paul’s West Side and District del Sol. KFAI’s Maria Almli has more.

3/16/2011 MinneCulture

Wilbur B. Foshay: The Man & His Tower
Produced by Britt Aamodt

It was called the Tower. It didn’t need another name. The Foshay Tower, at its founding in 1929 and for nearly a half a century, reigned as the tallest building in Minneapolis. Though the Tower sank into a period of gentle neglect, it was revitalized in 2008 as the upscale W. Hotel-Minneapolis. The same cannot be said for the Tower’s builder, Wilbur B. Foshay, whose comet-like rise as a powerful Midwestern utilities magnate was embodied in the obelisk structure. Just two months after the Tower’s dedication, on October 29, 1929, Wilbur Foshay lost everything in the Stock Market Crash, save for his his reputation. That, however, was defamed in 1931, when he stood trial for mail fraud, in what was largely a Ponzi scheme.

Wilbur B. Foshay: The Man & His Tower, Part I

In Part I of this two-part documentary, Foshay: The Man and His Tower, KFAI producer Britt Aamodt explores the meteoric rise of the WB Foshay utilities empire, which at one time stretched from Minnesota to Central America. Combining interviews, historical research and Wilbur Foshay’s own words, Aamodt paints a portrait of an era rash big dreams, economic speculation, and a bigger fall—telling the tale of how the Great Depression stripped Wilbur Foshay of his empire.

Wilbur B. Foshay: The Man & His Tower, Part II

In Part II of this documentary, Foshay: The Man and His Tower, KFAI producer Britt Aamodt takes up the narrative of Wilbur Foshay, examining his luxurious Minneapolis lifestyle—the houses, the gold faucets in the Tower offices—and how this bumptious businessman picked himself up after the Crash of 1929, only to receive word that he was being indicted for mail fraud. One of the biggest trials of the day took place in Minneapolis, sending Foshay to Leavenworth Prison, and a Minnesota family to their deaths, in the fallout from the trial. Aamodt follows Foshay after his release from prison, when the man who built the Tower sought to rebuild his life in small-town Colorado.

Listen to the entire documentary at ampers.org

3/21/2011 MinneCulture

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

1. Pavec Museum of Broadcasting
Produced by Britt Aamodt
Salesman Joe Pavek had a dream: to create a broadcasting museum. That dream became a reality in 1988, when the Pavek Museum of Broadcasting opened in St. Louis Park. KFAI producer Britt Aamodt toured this internationally recognized museum with director Steve Raymer.

2. Mixed Blood Theatre’s 55454 Series
Produced by Allison Herrera
Mixed Blood Theater is deepening its work in the Cedar Riverside neighborhood. New programs like Arts Neighborhood Cedar Riverside, the 55454 series, and Voices of Cedar Riverside are aimed at welcoming the people who live in the West Bank and near Mixed Blood, which has been around for 35 years.

3. Trylon Microcinema
Produced by Cyn Collins
Operated by Take-Up Productions, the Trylon is the Twin Cities first microcinema. Tucked behind the X,Y and Z gallery on Minnehaha Avenue in Minneapolis, this classic movie house seats 50 and uses Century 35mm projectors for its films, which include not only classics, but indie and cult films. Take-Up sponsors screenings at the Trylon and other independent movie theaters, including the Heights, the Riverview and Bell Auditorium. KFAI producer Cyn Collins talked to Barry Kryshka and Peter Schilling about the Trylon, Take-Up’s community collaborations, and the upcoming spring and summer series. For more information, visit take-up.org.

4. Nimbus Theatre
Produced by Michelle Bruch
Long intro for web: A nomadic theater company called Nimbus is putting down roots and building a new performance theater from scratch in an old Northeast Minneapolis warehouse. After renting stages for 10 years, the staff at Nimbus decided it was time to find a home where they could connect with a community, achieve more flexibility for their experimental work, and provide space for other traveling theater groups. Located in the heart of the city’s arts district at 1517 Central Ave. NE, the theater has been met with a flood of volunteers and community support. KFAI’s Michelle Bruch interviews the artistic directors.

5. Dr. Sketchy’s Anti Art School
Produced by Nancy Sartor
The international phenomenon known as Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School is a figure drawing session with burlesque and performance artists as models. What began in 2005 in Brooklyn as an alternative to traditional co-ops, has spread to 100 locations around the world. In Minneapolis, the two-hour drinking and drawing session takes place the fourth Sunday of every month at the 331 Club, and features irreverent drawing contests with prizes from local retailers. In this story meet host and producer Ophelia Flame, model and burlesque performer Queenie von Curves, and participating artists. Sunday, March 27, is the third anniversary of Dr. Skethcy’s Twin Cities. For more information, visit Dr. Sketchy’s Twin Cities on facebook or go to drsketchy.com.

3/23/2011 MinneCulture

Yesterday’s Revolution: The Minneapolis 78rpm Record Scene
Produced by Todd Melby

Lots of folks are into vinyl these days. Some people are even making mix tapes again. But if you really want to embrace obscure, seemingly dead media, there’s no better way to do it than to buy 78 rpm records. This documentary takes listeners inside the rarefied world of 78 record enthusiasts, including Greg Carr, former KFAI “Dig Out the Roots” DJ, and Scott Holthus, owner of Vintage Music Company in Minneapolis. Holthus owns hundreds of thousands of 78 records and he refurbishes the machines that plays them.

3/28/2011 MinneCulture

This spring pledge drive edition of MinneCulture features some of KFAI’s best stories from the 10,000 Fresh Voices series. Tonight:

1. Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School
Produced by Nancy Sartor
The international phenomenon known as Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School is a figure drawing session with burlesque and performance artists as models. What began in 2005 in Brooklyn as an alternative to traditional co-ops, has spread to 100 locations around the world. In Minneapolis, the two-hour drinking and drawing session takes place the fourth Sunday of every month at the 331 Club, and features irreverent drawing contests with prizes from local retailers. In this story meet host and producer Ophelia Flame, model and burlesque performer Queenie von Curves, and participating artists. For more information, visit Dr. Sketchy’s Twin Cities on facebook, or go to drsketchy.com.

2. Theater Icon Lou Bellamy
Produced by Sabrina Crews
Lou Bellamy, founder and artistic director of the Penumbra Theatre, and associate professor of theater at the University of Minnesota, retires from teaching this spring. Bellamy has worked at the University since 1979, teaching courses in acting, directing, and the history of African American theater. The University recently presented a tribute to honor Lou Bellamy’s achievements, where Bellamy spoke to KFAI producer Sabrina Crews about the legacy he leaves behind.

3. The Effervescent Miss Richfield
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.

4. Blues Legend Cornbread Harris
Produced by Michelle Bruch
At the age of 83, Cornbread Harris still gigs regularly in Minneapolis. Recognized for his wit, soulful blues and signature style, he’s also renowned for his famous son—music producer Jimmy “Jam” Harris, who has worked with artists including Prince, Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson and Gwen Stefani. Cornbread Harris performed on Minnesota’s first rock record 55 years ago, and his most recent album is a compilation of performances with Cadillac Kolstad, a Twin Cities rockabilly artist. Currently the subject of a documentary titled, “Man, Blues and God – The Life of Cornbread Harris” by Thomas Zocher, Cornbread performs Fridays at the Loring Pasta Bar, and Sundays at the Nomad World Pub.

3/30/2011 MinneCulture

Chris Perricelli of Little Man live in the studio!

Chris Perricelli, front man of the aptly named band Little Man, joins host Nancy Sartor live in the KFAI studio to talk about his upcoming new release. Hear selections from the new CD that were recorded live at the Triple Rock in February, and make your pledge to the Twin Cities true community radio station!