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Curtis and Loretta to perform concerts in lakes area

Curtis and Loretta — a husband and wife folk duo — will be visiting the Kitchigami Regional Library System region in July. They will present “Singing Tales of Truth” telling stories of many heroes and heroines, some of whom they know the real people. This duo produces extraordinary harmonies and proficiency on a parade of stringed instruments creates an alluring frame for their poignant original songs, and carefully chosen traditional pieces from the British Isles, America, and beyond.

Concerts in the area scheduled with Curtis and Loretta include: 3:30 p.m. Friday at the Longville Library; 2 p.m. Saturday at the Warehouse in Pine River; 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Pequot Lakes Community Library; 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Walker Public Library; 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Brainerd Public Library; 7 p.m. Wednesday at the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Wadena; and 3 p.m. July 12 at the Cass Lake Community Library.

The concert is free and sponsored by the Kitchigami’s Legacy programming. This Legacy program is funded in part or in whole with money which is dedicated to preserve Minnesota’s art and cultural heritage.

For more information or a schedule, go to

Entertainment Extravaganza planned Saturday

DEERWOOD — The Deerwood Lakes Lions Club presents Entertainment Extravaganza — an event in recognition of the Deerwood and Crosby Police and Fire Departments — is scheduled Saturday at the Deerwood Auditorium.

A silent auction will be held at 1 p.m., with a program at 2 p.m. Music will include the Cuyuna Range Community Band, directed by Chris Halvorson; the Crosby-Ironton High School jazz band, under the direction of Jennie Planer; Cuyuna Range Elementary School fifth-graders directed by Scott Ruffing; the Goodwin family; Kris Hasskamp; Sally Mann; Shoeless Joe; Hannah Swanson; Mitch Skjeveland; Arnie’s Fiddlers; and various duets and solos. John and Virginia Shogren will entertain with waltz and polka for those who may dance on the sidewalk outside the auditorium during the silent auction. There also will be a special storyteller, Mancel T. Mitchell, Jr., a retired police chief.

Master of ceremonies will be Crosby-Ironton School Superintendent Jamie Skjeveland.

Tickets are $10, $5 for ages 6 to 12; and free for children under age 5 with a paid adult. Tickets are available at Crosby-Ironton Courier, Deerwood Bank in Deerwood, Deerwood Lakes Lions members and at the door.

Proceeds benefit area community needs.

For more information call Jerry at (218) 534-4888 or (612) 940-6463; or Linda at (218) 534-3237.

Dancers from 15 states attend the Just For Kix Summer Dance Intensive

More than 160 junior and high school dancers, representing 15 states recently attended the Just For Kix Summer Dance Intensive held at the Brainerd Just For Kix Studios.

The dance intensive is nationally acclaimed for its carefully designed curriculum, teaching staff and inclusivity of dancers at varied technique levels. The event is designed to raise the level of a dancer’s ability and technique in a short amount of time. Dance styles offered included classical ballet, jazz, lyrical, kick, modern, hip-hop, musical theater and tap.

The 2012 Just For Kix Intensive featured master instructor Ashley Galvan, who was a top 10 finalist (until injured) on Season 7 of the famed dance television show, “So You Think You Can Dance.”

“This years intensive dancers were fortunate to have so many great instructors,” said Cindy Clough, executive director of Just For Kix, in an email release. “I am amazed at the staffs’ talent and passion. I believe the more instructors a dancer can experience the better ... The dancers were challenged with her style and fell in love with her approachability and modesty.”

Additional staff included local teachers Alexandra Clough, Kelsey Villwock, Brittney Schubert, Kari Stengrem and Carlos Stroia. Other key instructors from Minneapolis, New York and Florida were Danielle Pfieffer, Hannah Frederick and Adina Belenger.

For six years, Just For Kix has held a Summer Dance Intensive. Summer dance camps are also held in Minnesota, North Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Idaho, Washington and Colorado. Several private camps are also orchestrated around the country. In total, Just For Kix camps and the Summer Intensive engage and service more than 3,000 youth and coaches annually.

There is still time to register for Just For Kix Summer Dance Camps by calling 829-7101. Participants do not have to be current Just For Kix students.

Lakes art show and

sale set July 11-14

NISSWA — The Lakes Area Artists Fine Art Show and Sale is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily from July 11-14 at the Live Well at Journey Church in downtown Nisswa, located at 5459 Crow Wing County Road 18.

Artists involved in the group are from the Brainerd lakes area, many of whom have been exhibiting their work together for nearly 20 years. The group of 14 artists which includes many award winning artists, work in a range of mediums including oil, watercolor, acrylic, ink, monotype, photography, nature prints, pottery, mixed media, giglee prints, cards, jewelry and much more.

Artists participating in the July show and sale are: Phyllis Frankum, Kathy Kovala, Laurel LaBorde, Sonja Larsen, Madonna Maves, Sharon Peterson, David Rickert, Diane Runberg, Maria Thompson Seep, Cyrus Swann, Gail Walsh and Elsa Windh.

Art Demonstrations will be scheduled over the course of the sale and the public is welcome to attend and observe an artist at work. Door prizes consisting of a small piece of art by the artists will be awarded each day.

Admission is free.

Trucano to perform in organ series

NISSWA — Joe Trucano will perform in the next Lakes Area Summer Organ Series scheduled at noon July 11 at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Nisswa. On the program will be Organ Sonata No. 2 by Paul Hindemith, three chorale preludes written by Johannes Brahms and three pieces from the 24 Pièces en style libre by Louis Vierne. Trucano is a graduate student at Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y.

A free-will offering will be accepted which is given to Lutheran Church of the Cross.

Bandstand concert moved indoors

The concert scheduled at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 5, in the bandstand in Gregory Park has been moved indoors at the Lakes Area Senior Activity Center, 803 Kingwood St., Brainerd because of the sultry weather forecast for the day.

Performing will be Diane Saumer and Friends who have performed throughout the area for many years. Saumer, sings the vocals for her band. She began performing onstage with her dad at age 3. She performed in the Twin Cities for many years and then moved to the lakes area. Diane Saumer and Friends was formed in 1990 with musicians who include her husband, Bob Guidi, who plays tenor saxophone in the band. Guidi has performed with local musicians Kenny Jake, Jay Brutsman and Don Merritt. In 1991, he joined Diane Saumer and Friends. Dennis Couryelle plays piano and has performed in the Twin Cities for many years. Jim Olsen plays guitar. Olsen came to Brainerd from the Iron Range about 10 years ago.

The event is free and open to the public. Performances are a collaboration between Brainerd Parks and Recreation Department and the senior center.

Harper’s Chord to

perform Sunday in Little Falls

LITTLE FALLS — Local country music group Harper’s Chord will perform from 4-6 p.m. Sunday at Maple Island Park in Little Falls. The event is presented by Great River Arts Association as part of its Arts in the Park summer concert series.

Lead singer Jill Moore previously toured as a performer with various production companies for 10 years. Weary of traveling, Moore put down roots in Little Falls. She now works as a dance and movement instructor at St. Francis Music Center.

For Moore, country music has an organic appeal unlike her previous life of traveling.

“I found home in country and folk music,” she said in a press release.

Naming the band after her daughter, Moore pooled talents with friends Paul Drinkwine and Roger Fink. The trio has played at weddings, birthdays and outdoor festivals. In February, Harper’s Chord released their first CD, Natural Bridge.

Arts in the Park is free and family friendly. Donations are appreciated, as they support the event’s performers and help maintain Great River Arts Association. For more information about Arts in the Park, call (320) 632-0960 or visit

Margi Preus to appear

The Brown Bag Lunch Summer Authors’ Series welcomes Margi Preus who will appear from 12-1 p.m. Monday at the Brainerd Public Library. Preus is an award-winning children’s author and playwright.

Her first novel for young people, “Heart of a Samurai,” is a 2011 Newbery Honor Book, an ALSC Notable Book and a recipient of the Asian Pacific American Award for Children’s Literature, among other honors. Her picture books include “Legend of the Lady Slipper” and “Celebritrees: Historic and Famous Trees of the World,” a Parents magazine and NYPL top choice for 2011. Preus served as the artistic director of Colder by the Lake Comedy Theatre for 25 years and with current Colder director and play writing collaborator, Jean Sramek, has written hundreds of comedy sketches, a couple of comic operas, and dozens of plays for young people and grownups. When she isn’t writing, she teaches Children’s Literature at College of St. Scholastica and an occasional course at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

The free event is sponsored by the Friends of the Brainerd Public Library.

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