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Entertainment Briefs - Dec. 7

Just For Kix dancer Mariah Swan Arndt performs "I'm Gettin' Nuttin' For Christmas" during a holiday dance show Dec. 2 at Brainerd High School. Submitted photo1 / 5
This is one of Brainerd lakes area artist Gust Akkanen’s paintings that will be on display in a new exhibit at Brainerd Public Library through Feb. 28. Submitted photo2 / 5
Jason Schommer will perform “Happy Ha-Ha-Ha-lidays!” at 7 p.m. Dec. 14 at Great River Arts Center in Little Falls. Submitted photo3 / 5
Brainerd High School dancers Taylor Madsen (left) and Olivia Ruhl perform at the Just For Kix holiday show Dec. 2 at BHS. Submitted photo4 / 5
Pictured are Keaira Vaughn (front row, left), Anabelle Holcomb-Smith, Elizabeth Hines, Delaney Jackman, Serena Slaughter, Ari Sibbert, Meava McFadden, Katey Selisker, K. D. Mohar, teacher Lila Clarke (second row, left), Grace Holcomb-Smith, Maya Diemer, Raina Grant, Alayn Svendsen, Cartier Diamon, Emerson Holcomb-Smith, Ezra Hopman (third row, left), Ava Thompson, Mary Cooley Davis, A.J.Thompson and Mariah Hummer. Submitted 5 / 5

Historical society to host open house

The holiday open house and bake sale will be 3-6 p.m. Friday at the Crow Wing County Historical Society Museum in Brainerd. Coffee, cider and cookies will be served.

Admission is free.

On display at the museum will be a doll house. According to the museum, "Around 1905, Robert Maghan (1861-1949) built a two-story house on his homestead on Crooked Lake south of Deerwood where he and his wife Alice raised 12 children. The 'Maghan Dollhouse' is a three-fourth to 1-foot scale replica, complete with miniature furniture, appliances, etc. The porch comes off, and the front and back walls open up to provide a wide open view of the interior rooms.

"The actual house was later trimmed down to one story and was recently sold. The family then donated the dollhouse to the Crow Wing County Historical Society where it will be on permanent display in the museum."

Consensus to perform

NISSWA—Consensus will present an a cappella concert featuring songs of the Christmas season at 3 p.m. Sunday at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Nisswa. The chamber group of six singers features Lawrence and Sonya Chamberlain, David and Jennifer Pelowski and Brian and Jenny Stubbs will sing music from Renaissance works to carol arrangements.

Admission will be a freewill offering.

Crossing Arts event set

The Crossing Arts Alliance will host its Second Saturday programming at 10 a.m. Saturday.

The Crossing Arts Kids art programming will be 10 a.m. to noon. Children will make winter paintings with instructor TyAnne Rezak, inspired by the book "Dream Snow" by Eric Carle. The class is geared for ages 5 to 13, but any age is welcome to attend. Younger artists will require an adult helper.

Cost is $3 per child or $5 per family and a donation for materials is requested, but no child will be turned away due to need. This class is sponsored by the Brainerd Area Art Club.

Author Laura Hansen will sign copies of her new book "Deja Vu" from 10 a.m. to noon. Hansen, a summa cum laude graduate of Concordia College in Moorhead, is the owner of Bookin' It, an independent bookstore for 20 years and is a founding member of The Great River Writers. Her poetry collection, "Midnight River" won the 2015 Stevens Poetry Manuscript Competition and was a Midwest Book Awards finalist.

Visitors may also browse the Kringle Market, a selection of art and fine craft from Crossing Arts member artists. All activities are at The Crossing Arts Alliance's new location at 711 Laurel St., Brainerd.

Call 218-833-0416 or visit for more information.

Forestview book sale open to public

BAXTER—Christmas "BOGO" Scholastic Book Fair will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 16 in the media center at Forestview Middle School in Baxter.

The book fair is a fundraiser for Forestview.

Santa will appear from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. People may bring their camera and take pictures. Gift wrapping also will be available for $1 or one non-perishable food item per book. All proceeds will go to the "Fuel Up Forestview" Food Pantry.

Work featured at Brainerd library

Brainerd lakes area artist Gust Akkanen's paintings are on display in a new exhibit at

Brainerd Public Library through Feb. 28. The exhibit includes acrylic and multimedia paintings of aquatic life, wildlife and landscape scenery.

Akkanen grew up in Babbitt and became an outdoor enthusiast. As a canoe guide in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, he loved paddling and hiking the northwoods of

Minnesota, a news release stated. His love of the outdoors and drawing and painting led to studying art and graphics in high school.

After working in the mines of northern Minnesota, Akkanen returned to his love of art and graduated from Staples vocational school commercial art program. After working as an art director for two years, he relocated to Brainerd. A career in the paper industry consumed his time.

Now retired, Akkanen has refocused on his artwork and is an active member of the Brainerd Area Art Club. A love of water and fishing inspired many of his early paintings. He snorkeled the clear waters in Cozumel, Mexico, that became his art subjects. Akkanen is now working on wildlife and landscape scenery.

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.

Morrison historical society hosting silent auction

LITTLE FALLS—The Morrison County Historical Society is hosting a silent auction this month at the Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Memorial Museum in Little Falls.

The items part of the auction are themed around preservation and history. Among the preservation-related items, there is a 100-year-old dresser that has been fully refinished, a photo restoration service and a genealogical research package to bid on. Within the history-related items, there is a Cushing commemorative plate, a Charles A. Lindbergh shadow box, a set of vintage mid-century modern glassware, a brewery package from the newest brewing company in Morrison County, Starry Eyed Brewing, and more.

All items have been donated specifically for this silent auction. Bids will be accepted starting Tuesday, with final bids accepted during the organization's Candlelight Hike event, which will be 5-8 p.m. Dec. 31. The public is invited to visit the museum during regular hours to see all the items on the auction and to bid on them. The museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

The proceeds from the silent auction will help support the Morrison County Historical Society's mission of preserving and sharing the county's history.

Holiday comedy show set Dec. 14

LITTLE FALLS—"Happy Ha-Ha-Ha-lidays!", an all-new comedy show starring Jason Schommer and Friends, will be 7 p.m. Dec. 14 at Great River Arts Center in Little Falls.

Tickets are $12 and all seating is general admission. Tickets can be purchased online at or by phone at 320-632-0960 or at the Great River Arts office during business hours or at the door.

Back for the fifth year in a row, Schommer returns "with a brand new hilarious and outrageous night of non-stop laughter consisting of holiday-themed stand-up comedy, Christmas music performed by Kelly Cordes and Matt Duckett and, for the first time, a special comedy sketch spoof of the holiday classic 'A Christmas Carol' set in Little Falls," a news release stated. The performance will star Schommer as Prudence from Bowlus, Robyn Gray, Gary Block, Susy Prosapio, Allen Riedeman, Laurie Koll, Rick Converse and Maria Warhol.

"A Little Falls Christmas Carol" follows Prudence from Bowlus on Christmas Eve as she is visited by the ghost of her old arts and craft partner and nemesis Rhonda who warns her she will be visited by three other ghosts of Little Falls who will show her the error of her ways. Can Prudence from Bowlus discover the true meaning of a central Minnesota Christmas or will she be doomed to a lonely fate?

Schommer is an actor, director, stand-up comedian and storyteller who spent two years as the opening act for comedy legend Louie Anderson in Las Vegas and continues to tour with Louie regularly. Schommer has directed and acted in numerous productions including Disney's "Beauty and the Beast," "Evita," "Grease," "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," "The Pajama Game," "Murder at the Howard Johnson's" and "Singin' in the Rain." Schommer has worked in New York City for The Rosie O'Donnell Show and for Richard Frankel Productions, a Broadway producer. As a stand-up comic, Schommer has performed all over the US as well as Canada and Japan. He recently released his first live comedy album "Confessions of a Local Celebrity" and worked behind the scenes in Hollywood as a stand in for Louie Anderson in the FX television series "Baskets."

St. Francis presenta 'Joyful Yuletide!'

LITTLE FALLS—St. Francis Music Center in Little Falls presents the St. Francis Preparatory, Concert and Chamber Orchestras in a Christmas concert titled "Joyful Yuletide!" at 7 p.m. Dec. 15 in Sacred Heart Chapel at St. Francis Convent in Little Falls.

These orchestras involve 50 string players, from grade-school ages through adults from central Minnesota. Among the Preparatory Orchestra's selections is a medley of several carols showing off the technical skill known as "pizzicato," which means to pluck the strings.

The Concert Orchestra will perform works by Georges Bizet, Modest Mussorgsky and Mozart and music from "A Charlie Brown Christmas." The concert will conclude with a special combined number performed with the St. Francis Community Chorale and the traditional carols sung by the audience.

The Chamber Orchestra will present several movements of Arcangelo Corelli's Concerto

Grosso in G minor titled, "Per la notte di Natale," which translates from Italian to "made for the night of Christmas." The work is more simply and commonly referred to as Corelli's "Christmas Concerto." Directing both groups will be Bobbi French, director of the strings program and instructor at St. Francis Music Center.

The public is invited to attend this free concert. There will be baskets for free-will donations. The String Orchestras are supported by the Minnesota State Arts Board, U.S. Bank, Pine Country Bank, private donations and the Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls.

Book signing event with Diane Schlagel

CROSBY—Author Diane Schlagel of "The Price of New Shoes—An Oldest Sister's Journey" will appear 1-2 p.m. Tuesday at Jessie F. Hallett Memorial Library in Crosby.

Books will be available for purchase.

Schlagel, retired psychologist, wrote the memoir of childhood sexual abuse by her father. The book chronicles the family dynamics and her struggle to get an education to escape the abuse and find healing.

Schlagel worked in the Brainerd/Aitkin area as a therapist for 25 years providing individual, couples and group therapy. She facilitated psycho-educational therapy groups for female victim/survivors of all forms of sexual assault including rape, harassment, childhood sexual abuse, marital rape and incest.

Wine and paint event in Little Falls

LITTLE FALLS—Great River Arts will host a wine and painting night 7-9 p.m. Dec. 20 with Art Bar 39, where people will paint a holiday wreath.

Perfect for all skill levels, as Art Bar 39 will lead students step by step through the process and at the end of the night the student will go home with a completed work of art. Art Bar 39 is based out of Alexandria. The class costs $39 and all creation materials are provided in addition to easels, aprons and instruction.

A cash bar will be available to participants who would like to purchase a beverage of their choice throughout the night. Register online at or call 320-632-0960.

Aitkin social event set

AITKIN—"Spirit of the Arts Christmas Social" will be 5:30-8 p.m. Dec. 14 at the Jaques Art Center in Aitkin.

The social event includes holiday food and drink. Tickets are $20 and people can get tickets by calling 218-927-2363.

The Jaques will close Dec. 22 and reopen Jan. 9.

Annual holiday artist bazaar set

NEW YORK MILLS—The Cultural Center will host its artist bazaar from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7, through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

More than 20 artists will have their one-of-a-kind work for sale at the bazaar, including paintings, mittens, hats, jewelry, ceramics, soaps, collage, books for all ages, letterpress cards and prints.