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Entertainment Briefs - Feb. 27

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Entertainment Briefs - Feb. 27
Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

■ Vacationland Figure Skating Club to perform

Vacationland Figure Skating Club will present their 39th annual ice show March 8-9 at the Brainerd Area Civic Center. Figure skaters from ages 3 to 18 will skate in programs featuring songs and costumes representing favorite Hollywood movies.


The guest skater at the event is Madalyn Moree, an accomplished young skater from Vadnais Heights. At 13, Madalyn is one of the youngest skaters to perform at the ice show, but she has risen in the ranks of regional skaters quickly. She is the reigning Juvenile Ladies Minnesota State Champion and Upper Great Lakes Regional Champion. She also qualified for the Midwestern Sectional Championships to compete in the 2014 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Boston, Mass., this past January. Moree started figure skating at age 4, and currently trains in Minneapolis at SportQuest Skating Academy. She is a seventh-grader at Northern Educate in Vadnais Heights and competes locally and nationally.

Tickets for “Hurray for Hollywood” are $7 in advance and $9 at the door. Tickets are available at Cub Foods in Brainerd and Baxter, Jenny’s Hallmark in the Westgate Mall and Ace Hardware in Brainerd. Show times are 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. on March 8 and 1 p.m. March 9.

Vacationland Figure Skating Club is a nonprofit organization located in the heart of the Brainerd lakes area, and is dedicated to promoting and teaching skating skills for persons of all ages and abilities.

For more information on the show or the club, contact Stacey Kruger at 820-2778.

■ Artists sought for demonstrations

STAPLES — Artists are being sought to demonstrate techniques and media during the 2014 Rotary Art Show in the lobby of Staples Centennial Auditorium.

The art show, which features the best in regional adult and student art, is scheduled for May 2-3.

Organizers hope to have artists from a variety of disciplines demonstrating their craft. Artist will be able to sell their work.

Grant funds are being sought to pay a stipend to participating artists. Because of grant deadlines, artists are asked to contact Amy at 218-894-1925 by March 10 if they wish to participate or for more information.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Rotary Art Show. For the past several years the show has been co-sponsored by the Freshwater Education District to feature the best in regional student art.

■ Winning poets announced

The 2014 “Poetry on the Wall” event was celebrated with a reception, poetry reading and announcement of the winners at the Q Gallery in the Franklin Arts Center. The reception included an exhibit of 52 poems and a standing room only audience.

Twenty-one poets read one of their submitted poems, including Ruth Boldan, Carol Campbell, Charmaine Donovan, Carole Eliseuson, John Erickson, Audrae Gruber, Laura Hansen, Kathy Hegstad, Charles Johnson, Kathy Krueger, Pat Mortenson, Dan Noss, Bob Passi, Kate Perkins, Sue Ready, Orphie Anderson Shellum, Candace Simar, Susan Smith-Grier, Joel Soukup, Doris Stengel and Bonnie Tinnes.

Following the readings, the audience voted on their favorite poem of all 52 entries.

First place went to Brainerd resident Doris Stengel for her work “Homage.” Second place went to a poem by Charles Johnson, Brainerd, entitled “A Blunt Opinion about Opinions.” Third place went to Laura Hansen of Little Falls for “Responding to a Facebook Message I Set Out to Write a Poem that Heals.” The People’s Choice award went to Susan Smith-Grier for her poem “Transplanted.”

Poetry judge was Penelope Swan. The project, under the artistic direction of Millie Morris of the Crossing Arts Alliance and managed by Krista Rolfzen Soukup of Blue Cottage Agency, was made possible through a grant from the Five Wings Arts Council.

■ Verse Like Water presents Charles Simic

Verse Like Water (VLW): The visiting poet program of Central Lakes College (CLC), in collaboration with The Crossing Arts Alliance, presents former U.S. Poet Laureate Charles Simic at noon March 5 in the CLC Chalberg Theater. This poetry reading is free and open to the public, and will be followed by a book signing/meet and greet, as well as a workshop at 1:30 p.m. for area writers, artists and anyone interested in hearing Simic speak informally about the necessity of poetry in our lives.

VLW began in the fall of 2012. Poets who have been hosted include Li-Young Lee, the Palestinian-American poet Naomi Shihab Nye, and the inaugural poet Richard Blanco.

These events are funded by Five Wings Regional Arts Council.

Last fall, VLW earned a Minnesota State Arts Board grant for $65,000. This provides funding across 2014 and in addition to Simic, VLW will offer central Minnesota first class literary events featuring Billy Collins on April 29, Robert Hass on Oct. 29 and Tracy K. Smith on Nov. 21.

■ Art Night scheduled Thursdays

LITTLE FALLS — Great River Arts is kicking off spring programming with Art Night for teens and adults that will be held from 6-9 p.m. Thursdays through May at the gallery in Little Falls.

Cost is $30.

The first Art Night will be Basket Weaving with Len Sharon on Thursday, Feb. 27. Register in person or online. Students will create a red willow woven basket. Sharon has been weaving baskets for years. He harvests the willow from around his property in Morrison County.

Class options range from mosaics to letterpress card printing.

For more complete information on the classes go to

■ Auditions at CLC Theatre

Auditions will be held March 4-5, for the Central Lakes College (CLC) Theatre production of Lanford Wilson’s “The Rimers of Eldritch.” The play will be performed on May 1-3 and 8-10.

As described by the play’s publisher, “The Rimers of Eldritch” is a mystery. A man has been murdered. The mystery is, who he is, who murdered him and what were the circumstances? And to solve it, Wilson looks at the outsides and insides of his tiny, Middle Western town, grasping the very fabric of Bible Belt America, with its catchword morality and its capability for the vicious. He understands the speech patterns of its loveless gossips, its sex-hungry boys, its compassionless preachers, its car-conscious blondes. In the end his portrait of Eldritch is full length, and the truth of its revelations will be pondered long after the stage lights have dimmed and the play has ended.”

The cast calls for 10 women aged late teens to 60s and seven men aged late teens to 70s. The play is directed by CLC Theatre Director Patrick Spradlin, and will be performed in the Dryden Theatre.

Questions about the play or auditions can be directed to Spradlin at 855-8255 or via email at

■ Fiber arts show and shinfell workshop scheduled

NEW YORK MILLS — Four local fiber artists, Karen Aakre, Joan Ellison, Katy Olson and Sharon Marquardt, will have their work on display March 1-15 on the ground floor gallery at the Cultural Center in New York Mills. The opening reception includes a workshop from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 15 on teaching the ancient Norwegian art of shinfell.

Workshop participants will create and take home a work of art using the shinfell techniques. Traditional shinfell designs will be stenciled on small pieces of sheepskin to create either a headband and wristlets or baby booties and baby mittens. Cost of the class is $50 per person and includes all materials needed to complete a piece of skin.

From Sheep to Shawl is an installation of fiber pieces which illustrate the arc of fiber arts from functional to purely visual, fiber as fine art.

This project is a collaboration between four fiber artists.

These four women have created art with fiber for 20-30 years. They each excel at various aspects of their art.

Little Falls student awarded scholarship

LITTLE FALLS — St. Francis Music Center in Little Falls announced that Lindsey Sobania, the daughter Monique and Rich Sobania of Little Falls, was awarded the 2014 Guy Christiansen Music Scholarship. The recipient of the scholarship is chosen by teacher recommendation and the scholarship committee.

Christiansen was born in 1916 in a log cabin, on a farm west of Eagle Bend. When he was a boy, his mother taught him to play guitar on an instrument made by her father. He entertained crowds of people when he was a teenager.

Around 1931 he was offered an opportunity to travel to Fargo to perform on the radio. But, since these were hard times and his family was poor, the trip was considered frivolous and unaffordable. The Great Depression came and went. World War II came and went, leaving Christiansen with permanent injuries to his left hand making it impossible to ever play the guitar again. Despite all this, his four children grew up in a home where music was played.

Christiansen died in the spring of 2005. In his memory his children established a music scholarship in his name knowing he would be pleased in helping a young person with an opportunity to enjoy life and spread happiness through music.

Sobania has studied violin for more than three years and piano for two years. Sobania is a student of Celo V’ec at the Music Center. She is in third grade at Mary of Lourdes Elementary School. She plays in the Con Brio and Sforzando Orchestra and also plays with her family for church and special occasions.

■ Artists may apply for Five Wings grant

Artists, residing in Wadena, Todd, Morrison, Cass and Crow Wing counties may apply for more than $43,000, through the newly revised Individual Artist grant program through the Five Wings Arts Council (FWAC.)

Artists may seek support to complete a project or further their career through training or purchase of equipment. Artists of any discipline are eligible, including those who work in the visual arts, music, dance, theater, literary arts, media arts and across artistic disciplines. Applicants do not need to have art as their primary form of livelihood. For example, a teacher who volunteers her talents as a musician in a local orchestra may apply to participate in a workshop related to the instrument she plays. A retiree who expresses thoughts through writing, may seek funds to hire an editor to prepare a book for publication.

The Individual Artist Project Support Grant Program provides up to $2,500 to complete projects and or purchase equipment to advance the career of area artists. The Individual Artist Professional Development Grant Program will provide up to $,1500 for artists to attend workshop, work one-on-one with a master artist to strengthen their knowledge and skills. This may include workshop fees, mentor fees, travel costs, and supply costs. Artists must supply at least 25 percent of the total project cost in either cash or inkind support. Creative time may be considered as part of the application request. Review criteria include: Merit and artistic quality, ability of the applicant to successfully carry out the project and the need for the project.

To apply, interested applicants should go to the FWAC website at, click on the “Grants Page,” where they will find more detailed information, grant guidelines and links to the online grant application process. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. Applications that are submitted by the first Friday of the month will be reviewed at that month’s board meeting, typically the fourth Tuesday of each month, with the exception of July and December, when the board does not meet.

Applicants should contact the FWAC to discuss their applications and to ensure they are eligible to apply. FWAC staff members are available to assist artists by providing a preliminary review of the application.

In addition to grant support, FWAC will also offer a series of workshops to help individual artists enhance their abilities to create, market and exhibit their artwork.

The FWAC Individual Artist grant programs are made possible through funding support from the McKnight Foundation, which believes that Minnesota thrives when its artists thrive. The McKnight Foundation supports working artists to create and contribute to vibrant communities.

Contact the FWAC for more information at 1-877-654-2166 or

‘Ghost of Chance’ to be performed

WADENA — Madhatters Community Theatre of Wadena announces the cast of the spring comedy “Ghost of a Chance.”

Performance dates are March 28-30 and April 4-6 at Wadena Memorial Auditorium. Advanced tickets are available at Nelson Insurance in Staples and An Open Book in Wadena.

“Ghost of a Chance” is a humorous play that takes a look at one of society’s toughest issues to face and talk about, death. The story is about a young woman named Bethany who lost her husband Chance and she tries to move on with her life with her new fiancé Floyd. As if having an unsupportive future mother-in-law, Verna, was not enough, Bethany must also deal with her deceased husband’s ghost. The ghost of Chance can only be seen and heard by Bethany, which leads to many comical situations and just about drives Bethany mad. The only logical solution is to hire a psychic named Crystal. What starts out as a simple cleaning the cabin weekend, leads to rich and touching discoveries as the characters are forced to examine their own lives. A show fit for the whole family that will make you laugh and think.

This activity is funded, in part, by the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on Nov. 4, 2008 and Five Wings Arts Council.

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.
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