April 2012 MinneCulture Archives

West Hills State School: A troubled past for the Owatonna orphanage
Produced by Dan Greenwood

In 1886, the State-Run School for Dependent and Neglected Children opened in Owatonna, Minnesota. For nearly 60 years the orphanage housed thousands of children, and during the Great Depression, was massively overcrowded. For some, the orphanage provided a safe haven, but for many others, beatings and neglect were commonplace. In this documentary, KFAI producer Dan Greenwood talks with Harvey Ronglien—a former state-schooler who spent his entire childhood at the orphange—to learn about the dark and sordid past of the institution. Since the 1990s, Harvey and his wife Maxine have worked with the city to create a museum honoring the children who lived there. Today the campus at West Hills is on the National Registry as a Historic District. For more information, visit orphanagemuseum.com.

Five stories from the 10,000 Voices series:

1. HCMC’s Medical History Center
Produced by Britt Aamodt
The basement of Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) houses the Hennepin Medical History Center—a tiny, two-gallery museum filled to the rafters with old nurses uniforms, medical technology and history dating back to the 1800s. KFAI producer Britt Aamodt tours the collection.

2. The lure of Paul Bunyan
Produced by Susan Gray
The tale of Paul Bunyan and friends has captivated Minnesotans for more than 100 years. Statues of the lumberjack pepper the state, in towns of Ackley, Brainerd, Bloomington and Jenkins. To understand the lure of Paul, KFAI producer Susan Gray spoke to Bemdji residents, which is home of the country’s first roadside statue of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox.

3. Creative Ladies are Powerful
Produced by Robert W. Morgan
Success in any field is built on support, and for the women behind CLAP—Creative Ladies Are Powerful—there is definitely strength in numbers. This female art collective welcomes all creative types to contribute to its ‘zine, which features advice, interviews, recipes, poetry, creative non-fiction, art and more. Produced for KFAI by Robert W. Morgan. For more information visit creativeladiesarepowerful.blogspot.com.

4. Twin Cities Youth Media Network
Produced by Michelle Alimoradi
Many local media organizations work with young people, and as a result, the Twin Cities has become a bastion of youth-driven community media and civic engagement. KFAI producer Michelle Alimoradi has more.

5. Musician Tim O’Keefe
Produced by Daniel Zamzow
Tim O’Keefe has been playing music in Duluth and the Twin Cities since the 1970s. What began as a musical journey on harmonica has led to vast knowledge of hand-drumming styles originating in the Middle East, Africa and South America. O’Keefe talks to KFAI producer Daniel Zamzow about a lifetime of diverse projects.

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

1. Diversity in the local fashion industry
Produced by Will Wright
Models are the beautiful people—their images fill magazines, billboards and television screens. Beauty is subjective, but deciding which images sell is big business. In Minnesota, many of the blonde, blue-eyed models we see reflect our Scandinavian culture, but today’s community is significantly more diverse. In March 2012, Italian Vogue featured a woman of color, Joan Smalls, on its cover. KFAI producer Will Wright met with local professionals to get their views on how much, or how little, women of color are represented in the fashion industry.

2. Zumba craze hits Minneapolis
Produced by Cyn Collins
Zumba is an exhilarating fitness routine that promotes joyful, healthy living. The workout feels like a dance party, combining Latin music with calorie-burning moves. Since its inception in 2001, Zumba has grown to become the world’s largest dance fitness program. More than 12 million people of various ages, shapes and sizes take classes at 110,000 locations in 125 countries. Twin Cities instructor Bernice Arias has been teaching Zumba since 2006. Today she instructs hundreds of students at four Minneapolis locations. KFAI producer Cyn Collins talks to her about the Zumba craze.

3. Minnesota’s Tibetan community
Produced by Dan Greenwood
Since the 1950s, Tibetans have fled their homeland for safer havens in India, Nepal and Bhutan, as well as Europe and North America. Currently the Twin Cities has the second largest Tibetan community in the United States. KFAI’s Dan Greenwood spoke to Thupten Dadak, a former Tibetan monk who has played an instrumental role in helping Tibetans resettle in Minnesota.

4. Our Turn youth media program
Produced by Michelle Alimoradi
The Twin Cities is recognized nationally for its strong youth media programs. “Our Turn” started as a public access TV show in 1993, produced by Phillips Community Television. Two decades later, PCTV partnered with Intermedia Arts to incorporate new media technologies that include online video production. KFAI producer Michelle Alimoradi visits El Colegio School in south Minneapolis to talk to students about the “Our Turn” program.

5. Mary Cutrufello live at the Amsterdam Bar
Produced by Daniel Zamzow
Singer/songwriter Mary Cutrufello was raised in Connecticut and spent years as a recording artist in Texas. She settled in the Twin Cities 10 years ago, and continues to play locally and nationally. Known as a “honky-tonk heroine,” she’s been featured on Austin City Limits and has produced a number of albums, including a major release on Mercury Records. Vocal nodes silenced her for three years, but in 2007 she returned to performing and released the album, “35.” Her most recent release is “Fireflies till they’re Gone,” which showcases both her full-throated rock wail and quiet intensity. This “Live from Minnesota” segment was produced for KFAI by Daniel Zamzow.

Five stories from our 10,000 Fresh Voices series:

1. Medical quackery at the Science Museum
Produced by Will Wright
X-ray and CAT-scan machines are part of today’s medical landscape, but have you heard of the Orgone Energy Accumulator? Psychograph? Or Prostate Gland-Warmer? The Minnesota Science Museum houses a collection of dubious medical devices, but were these really designed to work? KFAI producer Will Wright takes a tour.

2. Alissa Barthel & Punk Rawk Labs
Produced by Cyn Collins
Punk Rawk Labs is a Minneapolis-based company specializing in living cuisine. Owner Alissa Barthel graduated with the inaugural class of the Matthew Kenney Academy, a culinary facility that specializes in raw food cuisine, then started her own line of products. In addition to her food business, Alissa writes a blog and produces an online “uncooking” show. For more information, visit punkrawklabs.net. Produced for KFAI by Cyn Collins.

3. Guante takes his message to school
Produced by Eric Blom
Guante is a spoken word and hip-hop artist, progressive activist, and educator from St. Paul. He curates the “Hip Hop Against Homophobia” concert series, taking his message to high schools, colleges and stages around the region. KFAI producer Eric Blom has more.

4. The Lila Ammons Jazz Quintet
Produced by Britt Aamodt
Lila Ammons grew up in Chicago—one of the hotbeds of American music. Trained in classical music, she was never far from her family roots in jazz. Her uncle Gene was a jazz player, and her grandfather Albert Ammons was one of the great boogie woogie piano players of the 1930s. Since 2010, Lila has been jazzing up the Twin Cities music scene with the Lila Ammons Jazz Quintent. KFAI’s Britt Aamodt talks to Ammons and saxophonist Dean Brewington.

5. Toki Wright
Produced by Cristeta Boarini
Twin Cities hip-hop artist Toki Wright is a dynamic force on stage and in the recording studio. He’s also an instructor at McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul. KFAI producer Cristeta Boarini caught up with Toki to talk about his latest projects.

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Live from Minnesota presents…

The St. Paddy’s Day Hoot for Slim
Produced by Tom Garneau with production assistance by Nancy Sartor

Recorded in March at the Amsterdam Bar and Hall in St. Paul, the St. Paddy’s Day Hoot for Slim was curated by local musician and writer Jim Walsh, who’s been hosting the Mad Ripple Hootenanny for years. Last month he organized this special event for a man and local musician known as “everybody’s friend.”

Bob “Slim” Dunlap played with the Replacements and released two solo CDs, “Times Like This” and “Old New Me.” Earlier this year Slim suffered a stroke, and is currently recovering. Live from Minnesota presents the St. Paddy’s Day Hootenanny for Slim, with performances by Gini Dodds, Frank Randall, Katy Vernon, Jen Markey, Joe Fahey and Ben Glaros.

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Live from Minnesota presents…

The Cory Wong Quartet at the Artists’ Quarter

The Cory Wong Quartet performs at the Artists’ Quarter Jazz Club in downtown St. Paul. The band features Cory Wong, Kevin Gastonguay, Andy Schuster and Zach Schmid. Songs in this segment include “Pougkeepsie,” “Flee” and “One/October Snow.”

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

1. French influences in Minneapolis
Produced by Will Wright
The Twin Cities is home to Alliance Française de Minneapolis—an organization that connects people to all things French. But evidence of the French abound, and some names are familiar to many. Hennepin, Nicollet and LaSalle are just a few of the Frenchmen who left their mark on the city. KFAI’s Will Wright spoke to local historians and filed this story.

2. Theatre Pro Rata
Produced by Cristeta Boarini
The Twin Cities have the most theater seats per capita than any other U.S. city, except for New York. Amidst Minneapolis-St. Paul’s wide spectrum of theatrical styles, Theatre Pro Rata offers a unique approach to putting on plays. Led by founder and artistic director Carin Bratlie for the past 11 years, the troupe offers unique and thoughtful productions. KFAI producer Cristeta Boarini has more.

3. West Hills State School: A troubled past for the Owatonna orphanage
Produced by Dan Greenwood
In 1886, the State-Run School for Dependent and Neglected Children opened in Owatonna, Minnesota. For nearly 60 years the orphanage housed thousands of children, and during the Great Depression, was massively overcrowded. For some, the orphanage provided a safe haven, but for many others, beatings and neglect were commonplace. In this documentary, KFAI producer Dan Greenwood talks with Harvey Ronglien—a former state-schooler who spent his entire childhood at the orphange—to learn about the dark and sordid past of the institution. Since the 1990s, Harvey and his wife Maxine have worked with the city to create a museum honoring the children who lived there. Today the campus at West Hills is on the National Registry as a Historic District. For more information, visit orphanagemuseum.com.

4. GLBT families & the Minnesota’s gay marriage amendment
Produced by Jessi Lehman
This November, Minnesotans will vote on an amendment that makes gay marriage unconstitutional in the state. KFAI producer Jessi Lehman talked to Minnesotans United for All Families, a coalition group, as well as parents from the GLBT community about this divisive issue.

5. Excerpt from the St. Paddy’s Day Hootennany for Slim Dunlap
Twin Cities’ musician Bob Dunlap is known to most of his friends and fans as “Slim.” Dunlap played with the Replacements and released two solo CDs. Earlier this year he suffered a major stroke, and is still in recovery. On St. Patrick’s Day, more than a dozen local musicians assembled at the Amsterdam Bar in St. Paul to pay tribute to their friend. Hosted by Jim Walsh, the “St. Paddy’s Day Hootenanny for Slim” showcased an outpouring of love and support for a man known as everybody’s friend. Tonight’s feature is Ben Glaros singing Slim Dunlap’s song, “Times Like This.”

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Live from Minnesota presents…

Symbolical Head: an evening with Will Alexander, Barth Anders, David J Schwartz, Haddayr Copley-Woods and Stacy Theiszen
Produced by Tom Tschantz
Production assistance by Nancy Sartor

A storytelling event and panel discussion at DreamHaven Books, with Will Alexander, Barth Anders, David J Schwartz, Haddayr Copley-Woods and Stacy Theiszen.

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Live from Minnesota presents…

Toki Wright’s FADERS mixtape release at the Fine Line
Produced by Peter Frey