The Minneapolis skyline changed dramatically in the early 1970s, after two small real estate developers with ambitious dreams initiated a complex redevelopment of the Cedar Riverside neighborhood on the West Bank of the University of Minnesota. With a design by renowned Minnesota architect Ralph Rapson, and guaranteed loans from the federal government, Gloria Segal and Keith Heller were determined to build a high-density community with a diverse mix of ages, nationalities and incomes. KFAI producers Jessica Folker and Susan Gray spoke with urban planning experts, along with past and current residents, to learn how the Cedar Square West development evolved to become home to many East African refugees.
The Lowertown Reading Jam in St. Paul is a monthly literary series at Black Dog Cafe, sponsored by the Saint Paul Almanac. Each session features a different theme and curator. In this segment of “Live from Minnesota,” poet, philosopher and educator, J. Otis Powell, presents the theme Duende and the Sound of Soul. The show features excerpts from J. Otis, e.g. bailey, Leah Nelson, Andrea Jenkins and Louis Alemayehu. Produced for KFAI by Daniel Zamzow.
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 “Times Like This” and “Old New Me.” Earlier this year he suffered a major stroke, and is currenly recovering. 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. This program features musicians Gini Dodds, Frank Randall, Katy Vernon, Jen Markey, Joe Fahey and Ben Glaros.
Forty-four men have served as President of the United States, though none hail from Minnesota. In this MinneCulture documentary, KFAI legacy producer Ahndi Fridell profiles six local politicians who left a mark on national history in their run for the White House: Ignatius Donnelly, Floyd Olson, Harold Stassen, Hubert Humphrey, Eugene McCarthy and Walter Mondale.
The fastest-growing refugee community in Minnesota over the past few years is a population from Southeast Asia most Minnesotans have never heard of—the Karen (pronounced Kuh-RENN). The nearly 7,000 Karen living here, mostly on the east side of St. Paul, have kept a low profile since they first started arriving in 2000. Their journey to Minnesota has been long and difficult. The Karen are an oppressed ethnic minority from Burma, the country also known as Myanmar, and for more than 60 years, innocent Karen men, women and children have become displaced by violence and civil war. Like many refugees who come to Minnesota, the Karen are here because they want to be safe and free from persecution. Most importantly, they want to give their children a better life and a good education. As producer Marisa Helms reports in this MinneCulture audio documentary, the story of the Karen is about resilience and the survival of a community and culture. Here in Minnesota, the Karen have found refuge, and finally, hope for the future.
This “Live from Minnesota” segment features the Brass Messengers—a Twin Cities’ band that formed from the Heart of the Beast May Day parade. With Caribbean and Balkan influences, the Brass Messengers describe themselves as, “a sprawling fun factory of musicians.” This show was recorded at the Ritz Theater in Minneapolis on March 12, 2012, and features contributions from the Yale Women’s Slavic Chorus. For more information on the Brass Messengers, visit brassmessengers.com. Produced for KFAI by Daniel Zamzow.
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. In March, he celebrated the release of “FADERS” at the Fine Line Music Cafe. This “Live from Minnesota” segment was produced for KFAI by Peter Frey.
Heart of the Beast Puppet & Mask Theatre
Produced by Dixie Treichel
In 1973 a small group of artists met in the basement of Walker Church in south Minneapolis and formed Powderhorn Puppet Theatre. Six years later the name changed to In Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, and nearly 30 years later the troupe is still going strong. Using the art of transformation in its stories and ceremonial performances, the company creates main-stage productions, educational programs, street performances and an annual May Day Parade and Festival that welcomes community participation. HOBT uses a variety of techniques, traditions and materials, including gigantic and small-rod puppets, shadow puppetry, hand puppets, colorful costumes and unique masks of all shapes and sizes. Both human and non-human characters are created, and performances focus on social justice and environmental themes. Still based in the Powderhorn neighborhood, In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre has grown into an internationally renowned theater with roots deeply planted in its community. For more infomration, visit http://www.hobt.org/. Produced for KFAI by Dixie Treichel.
Near v Minnesota: How a local rag ignited a First Amendment firestorm
When Minneapolis politicians censored small time scandal sheet publisher, Jay Near, it sparked the country’s first debate on whether the government can control people’s speech and punish them for publishing unpopular ideas. Called the first great press case, the surprising 1931 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Near vs. Minnesota is a landmark of First Amendment law, and continues to guide our democracy today. KFAI producer Susan Gray talks to media and legal experts, who describe the characters that played a role in creating this important jurisprudence.
A special Halloween edition of MinneCulture, produced by Nancy Sartor and Britt Aamodt. Local storyteller Nancy Donoval recounts a spine-tingling tale of a midnight slaughterhouse, and real-life ghostbuster Echo Bodine recalls discovering her clairvoyant powers. Tune into MinneCulture every Monday and Wednesday evening from 7:30 to 8pm to hear Legacy Project stories about Minnesota arts and culture. The program is made possible by the Minnesota Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.