January 2013 MinneCulture Archives

The History of Nicollet Island, Part II
Produced by Jessica Folker
Once a posh enclave for the city’s wealthiest residents, Nicollet Island had turned gritty by the early 20th century. Dominated by industry and inhabited by transients, many who wandered onto the Island were drawn to the bars and flophouses of skid row. By the 1970s, slumlords offering cheap rent attracted an enclave of colorful characters, and Nicollet Island became home to an eclectic mix of hobos, hippies, artists and working-class families. In Part II of the History of Nicollet Island, producer Jessica Folker introduces us to former and current Island dwellers, who share stories about living with drifters, donkeys and some of the Twin Cities’ best musicians on this urban island oasis.

Reggae band the New Primitives, recorded at Nye’s Polonaise Room in Minneapolis.

Every weekend during summer, vacationers from all over Minnesota and beyond pack up the family car and head north to Highway 1. The highway cuts a jagged route across the top quarter of the state, from North Dakota in the west, to the rocky shores of Lake Superior in the east, through farmland, reservation, lake and lodge country. KAXE producer. Curious about this storied Northlands highway, KAXE producer Britt Aamodt hit the road to explore for herself.

Third Home from Burma: Minnesota’s Karen Community
Produced by Marisa Helms
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.

Minnesota Politicians and Their Run For the White House
Produced by Ahndi Fridell
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.

This week on MinneCulture: “The Walk to School,” an audio documentary about a Minneapolis family’s decision to attend public school outside its immediate residential zone. Producer Ralph L. Crowder III explores education and school choice through the lens of Monique, a single parent raising her daughter Amaree, and her niece Leslie. “The Walk to School” is a day-in-the-life account of how the family copes with the public education achievement gap, and what it’s doing to create better opportunities for the next generation. Ralph Crowder is an independent producer from Minneapolis who specializes in local and national education issues. MinneCulture airs every Monday and Wednesday evening from 7:30-8pm on KFAI, and is made possible by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

This week on MinneCulture: “The Walk to School,” an audio documentary about a Minneapolis family’s decision to attend public school outside its immediate residential zone. Producer Ralph L. Crowder III explores education and school choice through the lens of Monique, a single parent raising her daughter Amaree, and her niece Leslie. “The Walk to School” is a day-in-the-life account of how the family copes with the public education achievement gap, and what it’s doing to create better opportunities for the next generation. Ralph Crowder is an independent producer from Minneapolis who specializes in local and national education issues. MinneCulture airs every Monday and Wednesday evening from 7:30-8pm on KFAI, and is made possible by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Orkestar Bez Ime is Bulgarian for “orchestra without a name.” The local group formed in 2002 to bring Balkan dance music to the Upper Midwest. It performs across the country with a repertoire that reaches from Albania to the Ukraine, with plenty of stops in-between. For more information, visit rogaria.com. This Live from Minnesota segmenta was produced for KFAI by Daniel Zamzow

Grant Cutler is a songwriter, producer and composer. His ethereal electronic music has garnered national acclaim, and this year he received a commission from the Minnesota State Arts Board for a three-­part composition. Here is Grant Cutler, performing at the Cedar Cultural Center in January 2012. Produced for KFAI by Tom Garneau. MinneCulture is made possible by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.