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Entertainment Briefs - June 15

Gayle Mortensen's piano students presented a spring recital May 31 at Prince of Peace Evangelical Lutheran Church in Baxter. Students are Gabe Grimsley (front row, left), Caroline Williams, Gretta Grimsley, Collin Hawkinson, Mortensen, Andrew Kirzeder, Grant Grimsley (back row, left), Grace Grimsle and Alivia Brown. Submitted1 / 6
Author Lorna Landvik will appear at noon Monday for the next author event at the Brainerd Public Library. Submitted2 / 6
One of Greg Connor’s paintings that will be on display in a new exhibit at the Brainerd Public Library through Aug. 31. Submitted3 / 6
Pierz native Frank Weber, author of “Murder Book,” will appear from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 21 at Book World in Baxter. Submitted4 / 6
An outdoor yoga class with live music by the Lakes Area Music Festival was popular last year. The class was part of the music festival's outreach program. Submitted5 / 6
Minnesota Teen Challenge Choir will perform at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 15, in the bandstand at Gregory Park in Brainerd. Submitted6 / 6

Teen Challenge choir to perform

Minnesota Teen Challenge Choir will perform at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 15, in the bandstand at Gregory Park in Brainerd.

The choir sings songs of hope and share their stories of redemption and healing. For more than 25 years Minnesota Teen Challenge has been restoring hope to teens and adults struggling with

drug and alcohol addiction. Teen Challenge offer both a long-term faith based recovery program and short-term treatment program, serving individuals with a broad spectrum of addiction issues; from those seeking treatment for the first time, to those who have been struggling with addiction for many years.

Bandstand concerts are free and open to the public. People can bring a lawn chair, a blanket and be ready to enjoy the music. Rain out site is at The Center, 803 Kingwood St., Brainerd. If the concerts are moved indoors, signs will be posted on the bandstand and it will be announced on WJJY radio.

Concerts in the park are collaboration between Brainerd Parks and Recreation Department and The Center. Additional supporting sponsors are the Brainerd Community Foundation, Brainerd Lions, Mid Minnesota Federal Credit Union and the BN Credit Union.

New exhibit at Brainerd library

Lakes area artist Greg Connor's paintings are on display in a new exhibit at Brainerd Public Library through Aug. 31. Connor paints bold abstracts, mostly of human subjects, working primarily in oil. Connor, who's also a musician, draws inspiration from jazz especially Miles Davis and John Coltrane.

Originally from Minneapolis, Connor now of Brainerd, is a self-taught artist who encourages others who want to paint to "Follow your dreams. Go for the stars ... You may only hit the moon, but that's OK too."

The exhibit is free of charge. Exhibits of work by local artists are coordinated by the Brainerd Area Art Club and the Brainerd Public Library. For more information, contact the library at 218-829- 5574.

Author Lorna Landvik returns to Brainerd Library

Author Lorna Landvik will appear at noon Monday for the next author event at the Brainerd Public Library.

The Friends of the Brainerd Public Library bring acclaimed authors every Monday to the Brainerd Public Library in June and July to speak about their latest work and the craft of writing.

Landvik has authored many best sellers and will discuss the characters from her 1995 novel "Patty Jane's House of Curl" and her new novel "Patty Jane, Once In A Blue Moon Lodge" at the author event.

In the new book, Patty Jane's daughter Nora goes on a camping trip that leads to much more than a few mosquito bites.

Attendees are welcome to bring a packed lunch or can enjoy the light refreshments provided. These presentations are sponsored by the Friends of the Brainerd Public Library through their volunteer and fundraising efforts, and are free of charge to the public. No registration is needed.

For more information on any of the events, contact the library at 218-829-5574 or visit the library's Facebook page.

Author Frank Weber to sign book

BAXTER—Pierz native Frank Weber, author of "Murder Book," published by North Star Press, will appear from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday at Book World in Baxter.

Weber's adult fiction novel captures much of his real-life professional experiences interwoven with personal details of his childhood growing up in a family of 12 in the small rural town of Pierz. "Murder Book," a law enforcement term for homicide case, is packed with authentic investigative details based on his own work and his own life experiences.

Weber is a forensic psychologist who has completed assessments for homicide, sexual assault, and domestic abuse cases. His work has ranged from assessing murderers chained to the cement floor in the basement of a prison and assessing psychopaths to providing therapy for wealthy professionals who've engaged in multiple affairs. He has testified as an expert witness in numerous sexual assault and homicide cases, written seven different treatment workbooks, and in 2015 published a training series for psychologists which has been accredited by the Minnesota Board of Psychology. He has received the President's Award from the Minnesota Correctional Association for his forensic work and recently received an award for excellence in his clinical work.

The book follows Jon Frederick, who spent his adolescence protecting his mentally ill brother and worrying about his parents' farm as it headed toward bankruptcy. So when Mandy Baker, the alluring new girl in town, pursued him, he was easily enamored. But on the day he ended their tryst, Mandy vanished. There is no doubt in the small Minnesota town of Pierz that the flirtatious girl is dead, and there is little doubt that Jon got away with murder.

A decade later, Jon is made an investigator with the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. While investigating a case near his hometown, Jon quietly reopens the murder book on Mandy Baker and begins to see commonalities between Mandy's disappearance and his new case. Digging up the past raises intriguing possibilities with an old friend, Serena Bell—but also forces them to work through old betrayals. As the investigation intensifies, Jon realizes he has crossed paths with the killer before.

Rockin Hill to perform at Summer Solstice

NISSWA—The Crossing Arts Alliance announces its "Summer Solstice Celebration and Dance" with Rockin Hill from 6:30-9:30 p.m. June 22 at the Nisswa Community Center.

The Rockin Hill Band will play a mix of rock, blues and jazz and features Mark Munson on guitar, drums and vocals; Adam Rees on lead guitar; Jim Hanson on keyboards and vocals; Joe Sullivan on keyboards and sax; Tom Ortmeier on Bass; John Jambor, on percussion and vocals; Jim Henkemeyer on vibes; and Mike Owen on drums.

Appetizers will be served and a cash bar will be available. Cost is $15 and all proceeds benefit TCAA. Pay online at or at the door. Contact TCAA with questions at or 218-833-0416.

Alpensterne to perform at Ruttger's

DEERWOOD—German party band Alpensterne will perform at 6 p.m. on Saturday as part of Ruttger's Beer and Bacon Bonanza.

Alpensterne is known for interactive, upbeat shows. The concert will feature a collection of traditional German beer house songs, including jodeling from bandleader Jim Strehke and contemporary party songs.

The outdoor concert is the second in an eight-event series featuring local and regional bands. All concerts are open to the public. Admission is $5 per person for non-resort guests. Pay at the gate only.

Concert goers are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs.

Big Sweet Life to take Little Falls stage

LITTLE FALLS—Big Sweet Life will perform a multi-media concert titled "The British Are Coming" at 7 p.m. Friday at Great River Arts in Little Falls. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets are $10 available online at or at the art center.

Big Sweet Life will take audience members back in time and bring life to the bands and music that comprised the British Invasion of the 1960s. Starting with the Beatles, the story will be told through photographs, news footage, video performance clips, interview clips and the live performance of 25 British Invasion songs from 16 different bands. Learn about and hear songs from the Beatles, Dave Clark Five, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Hollies, Kinks, Animals, Yardbirds, Cream, Donovan, Searchers, Who and Rolling Stones.

Big Sweet Life is comprised of area musicians Jim Norwood, Dave Girtz, Greg Beck and Scott Wegner.

LAMF taking proposals for outreach concerts

The Lakes Area Music Festival is now accepting nominations for musical outreach appearances in the lakes area this summer.

Over the past eight seasons, the festival has brought professional musicians from around the world to Tornstrom Auditorium in Brainerd for public classical concerts. Last summer, the organization launched a new outreach program bringing those musicians out of the concert hall and into the community. The program will continue this season through funding from the Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation and Essentia Health.

"One of the Lakes Area Music Festival's core values is accessibility," LAMF Artistic and Executive Director Scott Lykins, stated in a news release. "We offer a variety of educational programs to make the music we perform easily available, and provide concerts free of charge to open our doors to a more diverse audience. Our outreach program will allow us to bring our mission into the community and continue to remove barriers of access to world-class art for the people who need it the most."

To decide where these activities will take place, the LAMF is seeking suggestions from community members, hoping to draw a diverse set of organizations and venues to send musicians to. Proposals consist of two short statements regarding ideas for an activity and how that activity would impact the community, and may be submitted through the festival's website. The deadline for submissions is June 23.

After review by a panel of community members, 15 projects will be selected and scheduled during the three weeks of the annual festival series scheduled July 30 through Aug. 20.

"We look forward to reaching hundreds of new individuals through this expanded program and bringing live music to communities that would not otherwise experience it," Lykins stated.

Visit for more information and to submit a proposal.

Donations for Children's Book Sale wanted

The Friends of the Brainerd Public Library will hold a sale of children's and young adult books at the Brainerd Library. Sale hours are 3-6 p.m. Monday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday. Families are encouraged to come in together to stock up on books for summer reading.

The Friends also are welcoming donations of gently used children's books, DVDs and audiobooks on CD to the Brainerd Library prior to the sale. Donations are accepted anytime the library is open, but those with large donations, three or more bags or boxes are asked to bring them before noon on weekdays for assistance unloading. The library's open hours are 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday; and 9 a.m. 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Presentation for Writers planned

The Brainerd Public Library will host Stuart Horwitz, nationally-known expert on writing structure and revision, for a free presentation, "Finish Your Book in Three Drafts," at 5:30 p.m. June 22. No registration is necessary.

This presentation is for those who may have asked themselves while writing "How many drafts is this going to take?" Horwitz thinks the answer is three—provided you know what draft you're in and what action steps to take between drafts. Horwitz' "Book Architecture Method" has helped bestselling writers transform their messy manuscripts into polished books through an efficient process, signing with top literary agencies and sealing deals with coveted publishing houses.

Accomplished and aspiring writers alike will learn the secrets of how to reach the finish line through an engaging presentation. Horwitz will provide examples of "Book Architecture Method" in action. The presentation will last one hour, with a question and answer session to follow.

Horwitz is the author of three books about writing, including "Blueprint Your Bestseller: Organize and Revise any Manuscript with the Book Architecture Method," named as one of the best books about writing by "The Writer" magazine.

This program is made possible by the Friends of the Brainerd Public Library.