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Zorongo Flamenco Dance to perform

STAPLES — The Zorongo Flamenco Dance Company will perform at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 28 at Centennial Auditorium in Staples, as part of the Staples Motley Area Arts Council’s concert series.

Susana di Palma founded Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre in 1982. It is one of the few American Spanish dance companies that presents both traditional flamenco programs as well as original theater flamenco works. The company is comprised of an ensemble of international artists, dancers and musicians.  They are renowned for bringing the power, passion and virtuosity of the art of flamenco to American audiences.

The company is under the artistic direction of de Palma, and assisted by musical director Pedro Cortés, Jr.  The essence of Zorongo Flamenco’s work combines the passionate soul of Spain with the lively innovative spirit of America.

Still to come in the Arts Council season this year are Billy McLaughlin, with his moving music and life story; Ann Reed’s Heroes, in a celebration of women who inspire us; and the St. Cecelia Trio, featuring an intimate evening of chamber music.

Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for students in advance, or $15 for adults and $7 for students at the door. Advance tickets are available online of the council’s website at Tickets also are available from the Staples Motley Public Schools Community Education Office at (218) 894-2497.  Anyone purchasing six or more advance sale tickets to any event, or series of events, will receive the special season price of only $10 per ticket. Any student with proper identification can purchase a Student Rush Ticket one hour before the show for $1.

Heartland Poets to meet

Heartland Poets, an area chapter of The League of Minnesota Poets, will meet from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday in the large room of the Brainerd Public Library. After a brief business meeting, poets will share writing plans and goals for the coming year, then will discuss current poems-in-progress. Participants are asked to bring copies of one such poem, so that others may better understand and appreciate the creative effort.

All Heartland Poets’ meetings are free and open to the public.

For more information regarding Heartland Poets send inquiries to: or call 829-5402.

Statewide student poetry contest

The League of Minnesota Poets invites all students in sixth through 12th grade to compete in their annual student poetry contest: The 23rd annual Manningham Poetry Competition.

There are two divisions, the junior division for grades sixth through eighth and the senior division for grades ninth through 12th. There is no entry fee. Poems must be original, but may have been published and/or have won previous prizes. All students in Minnesota attending public, parochial or private schools and those who are homeschooled are eligible. Only one entry per student is permitted.

To enter a poem, a student must submit two copies of their poem. On both copies include, in upper left hand corner, the name of the division entered. One copy also must also contain in the upper right hand corner, the following: The student’s name and complete home address; the student’s grade and division; the student’s name, address and phone number of the school; including a statement of “This is my original work” that is then signed; the poem must be typed or computer-generated and no more than 50 lines long; and no large print, illustrations, unusual typefaces or colored fonts.

Entries are to be mailed to: Peter Stein, Minnesota Manningham Poetry Competition Chair, 2029–103rd Ave. N.W., Coon Rapids, MN 55433. All submissions must be postmarked by Feb. 1.

Nationally recognized poets judge the contest. The ten top poems in each division will be selected at the Minnesota State level for submission to the National Manningham Contest. Poems selected at the state level will be published in a chapbook which will be forwarded to the student authors and to participating schools.

‘A Romance of Chocolate’

fundraiser set Feb. 12

WALKER — HOWA Family Center and Faith in Action of Cass County are hosting its first ever “A Romance of Chocolate” fundraiser from 6-8 p.m. Feb. 12 at Northern Lights Casino and Event Center. The event, “A Romance of Chocolate, A Taste of Coffee” will feature the Leech Lake area’s first ever Ultimate Chocolate Challenge, as well as a live auction in which platters of chocolate and a wide variety of date night opportunities will be sold to the highest bidder. Several area coffee vendors will be in attendance.

Bakers can submit their favorite chocolate recipe for the Ultimate Chocolate Challenge that features chocolate as the main ingredient to be sampled and judged by a panel of chocolate experts. A Peoples’ Choice Award will be awarded. Entrants can submit their recipe in one of three categories: Professional, amateur and youth. Each entrant is asked to enter 100 1- by-1-inch pieces of their chocolate recipe and provide a platter of their goodies to be sold in the silent auction. Entries must be registered by Jan. 30.

For more information contact the H.O.W.A. Family Center at (218) 547-4723 or or Faith in Action Cass County at (218) 675-5435 or

The H.O.W.A. Family Center of Walker is a family-friendly program which supports and enhances individuals of all ages. H.O.W.A. works to create positive changes for families in the program areas of child/teen development, parent education/leadership, student success, mentoring and community collaboration focused on family support. Faith in Action for Cass County is a community-based, non-profit, charitable organization providing non-medical, neighborly assistance to older adults, adults with disabilities and other individuals experiencing difficult circumstances, including caregivers in need of support.

Brainerd writer group celebrate author’s book

The Brainerd Writers Alliance recently met and celebrated with author Philip Markert of the publication of his book “The Iron Road: A Sixty Year Autobiography on Weight Lifting and Running.”

Markert worked on the book for 30 years. BWA member Theresa Jarvela typed and edited the book. Markert founded the Minnesota Hall of Fame of Weight Lifting and has many records for his weight and age class and has won many awards.

Special collectible book sale set Jan. 27-28

LITTLE FALLS — The Friends of the Little Falls Carnegie Library have announced a special “Better Books and Collectibles” sale to be held on Jan. 27- 28 at the library.

The sale will be held from noon to 6 p.m. Jan. 27 and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 28.

The sale will be of only hardcover and collectible books, along with vintage records and classical music. Items will be priced from $1 and up, depending on the value.

For more information contact LuAnn Jarvis at (320) 632-1942.

‘Our Creative Community’

to be held Saturday

WADENA — New Center for the Arts in Wadena and Springboard for the Arts presents “Our Creative Community” to be held from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Saturday.

Joining Open Book and the Harvest Thyme Bistro, a new Center for the Arts is opening mid-January in the Bernauer Building. The center will provide space for life long learning classes in all forms of art, as well as gallery space for display and sales of artistic products. The upper level of the building (formerly the Masonic Hall) will be developed as a studio space for dance, yoga and other types of classes as well as a venue for the performing arts.

There will also be studio space for working artists and art related businesses.

Community members and artists of all disciplines are invited on Saturday to help shape the vision and business model for the center. Michele Anderson, the new Lake Region office program director of Springboard for the Arts, will lead the session.

Anyone in the region interested in teaching classes, renting studio space or having a display in the gallery should contact Carol Spearman and Rowland Joiner by email at

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
(218) 855-5889