Kingery Family to perform in the bandstand

The Kingery Family, a bluegrass band from southern Minnesota, will perform at 7 p.m. today in the bandstand in Gregory Park in Brainerd.

The Kingery Family began as a family of 10 - Mike, Chris, and their eight children singing and ministering together through music. It has grown to include two sons-in-law and four grandchildren. They have enjoyed singing together for the past eight years. They sing primarily gospel bluegrass music while also incorporating fiddle, patriotic, Americana and a Capella.

The group, which has tight harmonies, uplifting songs and family unity, is a favorite at the summer park concerts.

Bring a lawn chair, or blanket to Gregory Park and enjoy the show. If it rains the concert will be moved to The Center, 803 Kingwood St., Brainerd. Signs will be posted on the bandstand and it will be announced on WJJY radio.

Funding for the concerts has been provided by community donations and by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Five Wings Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Author to sign books at Turtle Town Books and Gifts

NISSWA - Author Doris Stengel will sign copies of her book "Arrival and Departure," published by RiverPlace Press in 2014, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Turtle Town Books and Gifts in Nisswa.

The collection of poetry takes the reader off to distant times and places and returns them back again, with a renewed heart. Inspiring, haunting, joyful and whimsical, these poems continue to delight the reader.

Stengel, a retired Brainerd school teacher, is a former president of the League of Minnesota Poets and the National Federation of state Poetry Societies. She has poetry and articles published in journals, magazines and anthropologies including Encore, Dust & Fire, Lake Country Journal, Her Voice, County Lines, On and Off the Wall, and Moon Reader. Her chapbook "Small Town Lines" was published by Finishing Line Press, Georgetown, Ky., in July 2012.

Celtic folk musician to perform in Staples

STAPLES - Todd Menton of Minneapolis, known for his "edgy Celtic/eclectic folk and original music," will perform a solo show at the Music in the Park Series at 7 p.m. Sunday in the Northern Pacific Park.

Menton's calling card is his wry, edgy performing style, focusing on warm, vibrant vocals and sharp playing on guitar, bouzouki, mandolin, bodhran and tin whistle. Audiences can expect all the drama and hilarity of the traditional songs and tunes; and the darkly humorous word-play of his original songs, delivered with wit and crackling energy.

In addition to his solo work, Menton is the lead singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist for the legendary folk-rock band Boiled in Lead (BiL). A native Minnesotan, Menton joined BiL in 1985, and toured with the band for eight years, playing at major festivals and concert venues in Europe, the U.K., Canada and the U.S. He contributed songs and tunes to three award-winning albums, including "From the Ladle to the Grave" and "Orb."

Menton and Boiled in Lead parted ways in 1992, and he hit the road playing solo shows in pubs, clubs and festivals throughout the Midwest. During this time he released two acclaimed solo discs on New Folk Records, "Punts" and "Where Will You Land."

At the band's invitation, Menton rejoined Boiled in Lead in 2005. They released their CD, "Silver" in 2008. He continues to forge new ground with the band while pushing boundaries and making eclectic folk-noise in his ongoing solo work.

For more information on the Music in the Park series go to

In case of rain, the concerts will be moved to Centennial Auditorium.

The Music in the Park Series is funded by the Staples Host Lions Club. The Series is organized by the Staples Motley Area Arts Council, with the assistance of the Staples Motley Public Schools and the City of Staples.

Schwen final author in Brown Bag Summer Author Series

Author Jodi Schwen will appear from noon to 1 p.m. Monday as the final author in the Brown Bag Summer Author Series with her new book, "Northern Comforts: Musings of Jacqueline Pine Savage" at the Brainerd Public Library.

Schwen, a native of the lakes and woods of central Minnesota, is the editor-in-chief of the Lake Country Journal. In her book she writes of life in the north woods with humor and warmth.

The event is sponsored by the Friends of the Brainerd Public Library. All are welcome and the event is free of charge.

Events at the Jaques

AITKIN - Community Canvas opens Friday, with a reception from 12-3 p.m. Saturday at the Jaques Art Center in Aitkin. All ages and skill levels will be on display.

Lundeen to perform in next organ recital series

The Lakes Area Summer Organ Recital Series will present Patricia Lundeen in concert at noon Wednesday at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Brainerd.

Lundeen is currently organist and director of choirs at Bethlehem. Her program will include works by English composer William Mathias, French organist Louis Vierne, contemporary American composer Charles Callahan, Swedish composer Oskar Lindberg, Norwegian composer Knut Nystedt and Augsburg classmate Mark Sedio. Instrumentalist Sandy Halvorson will assist Lundeen in the concert.

Ken Hager, theater organ, will perform Aug. 13 at Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Baxter.

This series was first organized by Harriet Piehl in 2003.

Cherrywood Challenge scheduled at Q Gallery

Cherrywood Hand Dyed Fabrics of Brainerd invites fiber artists from all over the country to make a small quilt using the same colors, same size and same theme: WICKED!

Cherrywood Challenge will host an opening reception from 5-7 p.m. Friday at the Q Gallery in the Franklin Arts Center in Brainerd and the gallery will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Students to fiddle at Green Fair Folk Festival

LITTLE FALLS - Young violin players at St. Francis Music Center in Little Falls are preparing to fiddle at this year's Green Fair Folk Festival scheduled from 4-8 p.m. Wednesday, outdoors on the west lawn at St. Francis Convent in Little Falls.

The students will perform at 5:30 p.m. during the festival. Additional music to be featured on the stage will be Woodland Strings, The Rick Family, Sestri, a Slavic women's choir and bands from St. Francis Music Center's URock Camp. The Fiddle Festival and URock bands are funded by a grant from the Five Wings Arts Council.

The event is free and open to the public and is sponsored by the Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls.

Messy art camp scheduled

LITTLE FALLS - Great River Arts will present the upcoming summer art program titled, Mastering the Messy: Painting and Clay Camp.

The camp is for children in third- through eighth grade and will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 11-14 at Great River Arts. Students will experiment with a variety of materials and techniques that encourages messy hands dirty.

Nancy Ratzloff, a retired Little Falls High School (LFHS) art teacher, and Michelle Young, a current LFHS art teacher are coming together to instruct the camp. Ratzloff will focus on the painting portion of the camp, while Young will focus on the clay portion. This teaching team believes in the importance of keeping the arts alive in the education of our youth.

As a retired arts educator with more than 30 years of experience teaching students grades kindergarten through 12th grade, Ratzloff still finds enjoyment in teaching art.

"I enjoy observing the creative process and helping students find ways to be inspired to do their art," said Ratzloff. "I love watching my students grow with joy and pride as they express themselves and make connections with their world by exploring all the adventures and possibilities art has to offer them."

Named Minnesota Arts Educator of the Year in 2000 by fellow Minnesota Art colleagues, Ratzloff says her favorite medium to work with is painting and collage, although she also loves clay and origami.

Young will introduce techniques in ceramics to younger children. She said, "I teach high school so I don't get to see as many of the first moments when working with clay. Younger kids seem especially open to create, so I'm excited to help them make some really fun and interesting pieces."

In addition to having the opportunity to teach kids something new, Young enjoys seeing them grow artistically. "I enjoy watching my students use a technique I've just taught and practice it, then change it and find their own way to achieve their personal artistic goals," she said.

Having created many pieces using the pottery wheel, Young still finds inspiration for new and interesting work.

"I am typically inspired by other artists who are better than I am," she said. "Sometimes I'll discover a technique on the wheel that is new, or a very challenging new shape and feel motivated to master those techniques on my own."

To register for Mastering the Messy: Painting and Clay Camp, call Great River Arts at 320-632-0960. For more information regarding summer art classes and upcoming events go to

Country star Marty Haggard to perform in Walker

WALKER - Marty Haggard will perform at 6 p.m. Sunday at Northern Lights Casino.

Tickets are on sale and cost $11 and $16 in advance; day-of-show tickets cost $16 and $21. Purchase at, 1-877-LIGHTS9 or in person at the Northern Lights Casino Gift Shop.

Being the son of the famous country singer Merle Haggard has created many challenges for Marty Haggard. In 1979, Haggard began his formal career as a country music singer and toured with his own band. In 1981, he signed with Dimension Records and cut his first single, "Charleston Cotton Mill." He traveled with his father's band from 1983 to 1985, but returned to Nashville in 1985 to be on his own.

In 1986, Haggard signed with MTM Records. It released "Trains Make Me Lonesome," which won him a nomination by the Academy of Country Music as Top New Male Vocalist.

In 1995, after Haggard signed with the Critique/BMG label, he felt strongly that he needed to return to God and walked out on the album he was recording to begin seeking how to serve his Lord. Critique released both the album "Borders & Boundaries" and the single, "Amnesia," in 1996.