Rusty Crayfish performs in Staples

STAPLES -- The Rusty Crayfish Brass Band will perform at 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 11, at Northern Pacific Park, as part of the Music in the Park Series in Staples. In case of rain, the concert will be moved to Faith Lutheran Church.

This will be the final concert of the six week summer series. People may bring a lawn chair or blanket.

Expect to hear a variety of traditional and contemporary New Orleans brass music by this 10-piece band, as well as some popular covers and original tunes incorporating blues, swing, funk and pop.

“Get ready to party,” band member Chris Fogderud of Brainerd stated in a news release, adding the music is highly energetic and fun. Fogderud plays trumpet in the Rusty Crayfish Brass Band along with fellow trumpeter Jon Crust of Staples. Other instruments featured in the ensemble include tuba, trombone, tenor saxophone and drums.

Joining Fogderud and Crust on stage in Staples will be band members Mike Sommerness, Pequot Lakes; Brian Stubbs, Baxter; Doug Durrant, Brainerd; Joey Loss, Brainerd; Sarah Fogderud, Brainerd; Chris Halvorson, Aitkin; Kelsi Olson, Brainerd; and Malcolm Rosenberger, Backus.

Several Rusty Crayfish members are music instructors, including Crust, band director at Staples-Motley High School; Fogderud, band director at Brainerd High School; Sommerness, band director at Pequot Lakes High School; Halvorson, band director at Aitkin High School; and Stubbs, choir director at BHS. Youngest member Loss will be a freshman at Concordia College in Moorhead this fall studying music education.

The Rusty Crayfish Brass Band formed a year ago, playing their first gigs at Roundhouse Brewery in Brainerd.

“It was a little pet project of mine to get a brass band together with a bunch of my musician friends,” Fogderud stated. “We played a couple of gigs together and were really energized by the audience reaction.

“There is something for everyone with the kind of music they play. … Our shows have been full of people from 3 to 93. We love it.”

For more information on the Music in the Park series as well as the regular concert series, check out www.staplesmotleyarts.org.

Sunup Ranch is hosting its 10th annual Harvest Dinner at 4 p.m. Aug. 17 at the ranch on 12316 Crow Wing County Highway 18 SW., Brainerd. Submitted Photo
Sunup Ranch is hosting its 10th annual Harvest Dinner at 4 p.m. Aug. 17 at the ranch on 12316 Crow Wing County Highway 18 SW., Brainerd. Submitted Photo

Annual Harvest Dinner set Aug. 17

Sunup Ranch is hosting its 10th annual Harvest Dinner at 4 p.m. Aug. 17 at the ranch at 12316 Cass County Highway 18 SW south of East Gull Lake.

The dinner is open to the community to celebrate the region’s water-rich environments, the quality of waters and agricultural heritage, organizers stated in a news release. Minnesota Farm Bureau set its first roots as an organization in 1919 in the state and in Cass County. As one of the founding organizations behind the Harvest Dinner, the event will take a peek at the year 1919 in Cass County.

The dinner will consist of a variety of food from local producers including Grandpa G’s, Cass County 4H raised pork and beef from the Minnesota Beef Council. The meal is served chuckwagon style and prepared by local chefs. Local brews from Roundhouse Brewery will be available, as well as a variety of wines with a tasting sponsored by Cash Wise Liquors.

There will be a vendor’s market, live demonstrations, horse-drawn wagon rides and live music with Hans Blix and the Weapons Inspectors. There are activities for all ages.

This event began several years ago when lakeshore property owner associations began to have concerns about preserving water quality in the face of water testing revealing impairment. The lake associations endeavored on a search, and contacted the ranching and farming community to join them to study the watershed. Research was done to identify what was compromising the watershed and the study identified some sources, one being rotting pine needles. Through the organizing efforts of the Crow Wing River Basin Forage Council and Cass County Farm Bureau, producers, landowners, lakeshore owners and ranchers organized efforts to continue to educate themselves on what was going on in the watershed.

This event is also sponsored by Cass County Farm Bureau, Whitefish Area Property Owners Association, Pine River Watershed Alliance, Central Chapter of the Sustainable Farming Association, Happy Dancing Turtle, Crow Wing River Basin Forage Council, Minnesota Beef Council, Y4 Ranch, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Sunup Ranch.

Tickets for adults are $25, children ages 6-15 are $10; and under age 5 are free. There will be limited tickets available at the door.

For information or to order tickets contact Greg Booth at 218-838-1266; Ron Meyer, Pine River Watershed, at 218-831-0509; or Cass County Farm Bureau at 218-587-4604. Go to the Sunup Ranch’s Facebook page for updates or for tickets.

Crosslake Art Club hosts show

CROSSLAKE -- The Crosslake Art Club's 35th annual art show will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, Aug. 8-10, at the Crosslake Community Center.

Admission is free.

There will be door prizes of original art, a gift shop, artist demonstrations and $10 original mini painting.

‘Small Town, Big Dreams’ show set in Little Falls

LITTLE FALLS -- “Small Town, Big Dreams,” a show of comedy, storytelling and music by Jason Schommer and Michael Shynes, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 16 at the Great River Arts Center in downtown Little Falls.

Tickets are $18 and all seating is general admission with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by phone at 320-632-0960, online at www.greatart.org, at the GRA office during business hours, or at the door.

Shynes and Schommer return to their hometown of Little Falls with a show about growing up in a small town and leaving home, chasing one’s dreams in the big city, seeing the world and returning home to where it all began. Tales of hometown roots, high school awkwardness, first gigs, hitting the road, big breaks, crushing disappointments, love, loss, and coming home again are told through stories, comedy and music. Exploring the themes of discovering who you are and finding your place in the world, “Small Town, Big Dreams” is an honest, hilarious and heartfelt show that is not to be missed, a news release stated.

Comedian Jason Schommer will perform in “Small Town, Big Dreams,” a show of comedy, storytelling and music with Michael Shynes, at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 16 at the Great River Arts Center in downtown Little Falls.  Submitted Photo
Comedian Jason Schommer will perform in “Small Town, Big Dreams,” a show of comedy, storytelling and music with Michael Shynes, at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 16 at the Great River Arts Center in downtown Little Falls. Submitted Photo

Schommer is a stand-up comedian, actor, director and storyteller who spent two years as the opening act for comedy legend Louie Anderson in Las Vegas and continues to tour with Anderson regularly. As a stand-up comic, Schommer has performed all over the U.S., Canada and for the U.S. military in Japan. He’s worked with comedy superstars including Chris Kattan from “Saturday Night Live” and “Night at the Roxbury”; Josh Blue, champion of “Last Comic Standing”; Judy Tenuta, a Grammy Award winner for Best Comedy Album; and Tim Meadows of “Saturday Night Live” and “The Ladies’ Man.”

A regular performer at The Moth, Schommer has won numerous Story Slam competitions and was invited to perform at the GrandSlam at The Fitzgerald Theatre in St. Paul in 2016 and most recently in 2018 at The Guthrie Theater. Schommer has worked in New York City for “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” and for Richard Frankel Productions, a Tony Award-winning Broadway producer. 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 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.”

Michael Shynes will perform in “Small Town, Big Dreams,” a show of comedy, storytelling and music with comedian Jason Schommer at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 16 at the Great River Arts Center in downtown Little Falls.  Submitted Photo
Michael Shynes will perform in “Small Town, Big Dreams,” a show of comedy, storytelling and music with comedian Jason Schommer at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 16 at the Great River Arts Center in downtown Little Falls. Submitted Photo

Shynes is a Midwest born singer/songwriter with a platinum record in Poland. Being a self-taught musician from Little Falls, Shynes chased an unlikely dream and built a career out of nothing more than pure hustle and soulful songwriting, the release stated. While Shynes’ music may be difficult to define -- often oscillating from folk to pop to R&B to country and then back again -- the intent behind it is the unifying ingredient; the unmistakable truth that it never strives to be anything less than genuine and authentic, a news release stated. Blending shades of multiple genres over an acoustic and full band landscape, his songs are ripe with lyrical depth rarely paired with such mainstream appeal.

The thing that seems to separate Shynes is unquestionably his vocal stylings. With a range and falsetto that is nothing short of captivating, his acoustic finger picking style acts as the perfect bed of warmth on which his soulful lyrics can rest, the news release stated.Shynes would often get noticed as a strong local candidate to open up for national acts as they came through town, and even ended up on a tour with platinum recording artist Howie Day. From humble beginnings, he has worked to become one of the most sought after performers in the Midwest and now plays to standing room only crowds.

Shynes recently released his third full length album “The River, The Current, and The Undertow” to rave reviews.

The poster for The Crossing Arts Alliance exhibit titled “Carnival of Curiosities.”
The poster for The Crossing Arts Alliance exhibit titled “Carnival of Curiosities.”

Crossing’s Second Saturday event set

The Crossing Arts Alliance will host its Second Saturday event Saturday, Aug. 10, with Crossing Arts Kids art programming, a featured artist and the “Carnival of Curiosities” exhibit.

There will be two sessions for the Crossing Arts Kids art programming: 10-11:30 a.m. and noon to 1:30 p.m. “Intro to Dance” with instructor Stephanie White. Youth will learn basic Latin dance and line dancing steps. The dance is sponsored by Lily Atwel. Pre-registration is required, space is limited.

Visit crossingarts.org or call TCAA at 218-833-0416 to enroll. A $3 per child/$5 per family materials donation is requested but no child will be turned away due to need.

The featured member artist this month is Maria Thompson-Seep. Seep will appear from 10 a.m. to noon to talk about her paintings, such as her techniques and inspiration.

The “Carnival of Curiosities” exhibit will also be on display in The Crossing Arts Gallery and will feature an array of works from area artists. There will be an opening reception from 5-7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 9, with the artwork on display through Aug. 31. People who attend will enjoy carnival refreshments, take in a selection of performances, including The Hobo Band featuring Tony Powers and Brent Shepard. There will be a free will offering at the door.

Featuring artwork from 14 artists from across the land who showcase the wonder and allure of the great circus spectacle, with a little odd and eccentric spark mixed in, a news release stated. “‘Carnival Of Curiosities’ brings everything you would expect from the big top, to our gallery walls, including an array of vibrant colors, vintage vibes and a few curious characters,” news release stated. “Works on display include paintings, sculpture, photography, fiber, mixed media, and collage.”

The Raboin & Francis Law Firm, Ltd. is the exhibit’s supporting sponsor.

All activities will be at TCAA on Laurel Street in downtown Brainerd. For more information call 218-833-0416 or visit crossingarts.org.

An alcohol ink example by artist Patricia Lintner.T he Crossing Arts Alliance will host an alcohol ink workshop at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Aug. 16 at its downtown location.  Submitted Photo
An alcohol ink example by artist Patricia Lintner.T he Crossing Arts Alliance will host an alcohol ink workshop at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Aug. 16 at its downtown location. Submitted Photo

Alcohol ink workshop set

The Crossing Arts Alliance will host an alcohol ink workshop at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Aug. 16 at its downtown location.

Cost is $55 for TCAA members, or $65 for nonmembers. Patricia Lintner will lead students through the process of exploring alcohol inks on nonpourous paper to experience the fluidity and vibrancy of the medium, a news release stated. Students will create abstract effects. The class is open to ages 10 and up. No experience is necessary. The class fee includes a full set of alcohol inks that the students get to keep after class. Students are asked to bring a blow dryer to class if they have one.

Pre-registration and payment is required by calling 218-833-0416 or visit crossingarts.org. Cancellations made less than 48 hours before the class may not be eligible for a refund.

Central Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge Choir will perform 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 8, near the large pavilion at Lum Park in Brainerd.
Submitted Photo
Central Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge Choir will perform 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 8, near the large pavilion at Lum Park in Brainerd. Submitted Photo

Teen Challenge Choir to perform

Central Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge Choir will perform 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 8, near the large pavilion at Lum Park in Brainerd.

The choir will sing songs of hope and tell their stories of redemption and healing. For more than 25 years, Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge has been restoring hope to teens and adults struggling with drug and alcohol addiction.

“We offers both a long-term faith based recovery program and a short-term treatment program called Life Renewal allowing us to effectively serve 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,” Adult and Teen Challenge stated in a news release.

These free concerts are at Lum Park due to construction at Gregory Park. People who attend may bring their lawn chairs or blankets while they listen to the music.

Concerts are held rain or shine; with rain site at The Center, 803 Kingwood St., Brainerd.

Concerts in the Park are a collaboration between the Brainerd Parks and Recreation Department and The Center. Concerts are made possible by funding from grants. Organizers thank the Brainerd Community Foundation and the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Five Wings Arts Council, thanks to Legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

The OK Factor presents free concert

LITTLE FALLS -- St. Francis Music Center in Little Falls presents The OK Factor in a free concert set 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 13, in Sacred Heart Chapel, St. Francis Convent in Little Falls.

“Playful and unexpected, The OK Factor writes and performs folk-inspired music influenced

by Americana and Irish fiddle styles, with an artistry that reveals their classical training,” a news release stated. Cellist Olivia Diercks and violinist Karla Colahan put on a blend of original and popular selections, ranging from Beatles tunes to Scottish jigs. The two straddle the line between jazz, pop and classical music.

The OK Factor will also be a part of “String Expedition,” a workshop for string students from grades one to Tuesday at St. Francis Music Center. Students who participate in the workshop will have the opportunity to perform a song with The OK Factor at the concert.

The OK Factor will also play at 11 a.m. Tuesday outside at the Shoppes of Little Falls, as pre-show to the night’s concert.

This activity is made possible 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.

For more information visit www.sfmusiccenter.org or call 320-632-0637.

St. Francis Music Center is a community school for the arts located on the campus of the Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls.

Author Fuller to speak in Wadena

WADENA -- M E Fuller will be the featured author in this month's Minnesota Voices series at noon Thursday, Aug. 15 at the Wadena CountyMuseum and Bookstore. Her first novel, "Saving the Ghost," tackles the sensitive and terrifying subject of childhood sexual abuse and family violence. In her presentation, she will talk about the writing of "Saving the Ghost" and discuss the importance of this difficult yet timeless topic leaving time for questions from the audience.

Fuller has always imagined other worlds of thoughts and ways of being, a news release stated. As a writer and visual artist, her works reflect these worlds of place and interaction. She received support from Five Wings Arts Council to complete the book for publication.

Minnesota Voices is a monthly event featuring writers, artists, scientists and community leaders. The event is presented each month on the third Thursday at noon at the Wadena County Museum and Bookstore.

For more information call 218-631-9079 or email603wchs@arvig.net.

Hannah Cooper, who released her debut album "I'm Right Here" returns to her stomping grounds in Brainerd for a one-night show at 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 11, at The Farm on St. Mathias. Submitted Photo
Hannah Cooper, who released her debut album "I'm Right Here" returns to her stomping grounds in Brainerd for a one-night show at 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 11, at The Farm on St. Mathias. Submitted Photo

Foxfire Festivals presents Hannah Cooper concert

Foxfire Festivals at the Farm announce the single area concert of Brainerd’s own Hannah Cooper and the release of her debut album “I’m Right Here.”

Cooper is a multi-award winning singer-songwriter who grew up in Brainerd listening to show tunes and film scores. Having a theatrical lineage from her father, and dating back further to her great-grandfather, who was among the remaining Showboat owners/operators in the late 1930s, the stage came naturally to her, a news release stated.

“Performing as a solo artist most of her life, Hannah learned quickly how to capture an audience using her rich soulfully-filled Mezzo voice accompanied by a little eyebrow-raising guitar work you don’t see many solo female artists do,” a news release stated. “She thinks and writes in multi-layered stories with the voice and guitar. Some listeners call her original music a cross between Americana and jazz styles -- perhaps Joni Mitchell meets Hoagy Carmichael. The result is the release of ‘I’m Right Here.’”

Jim Chapdelaine, a 13-time Emmy winner, stated, “Her latest work exceeds anything I would have expected and has taught me that we can, sometimes, manage our own expectations upward.”

A 2005 graduate of Brainerd High School, Cooper pays tribute to all of the musical influences and folks in her life who made her musical career come together, including local educators for their contributions to her education and musical influences including Gary Payne, Michael Smith and Paul Melby.

“I cherish my rural roots and upbringing that included music and theatre, and the incredible influences of my education that have left footprints on my heart and along my musical journey,” Cooper stated.

Cooper returns to her stomping grounds in Brainerd for a one-night show at 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 11, at The Farm on St. Mathias. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased for $10 each in advance at https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4287538 or at the door. People may bring lawn chairs.

This event is co-sponsored by Foxfire Festivals at the Farm, a nonprofit organization founded on

the principle of using traditional music, storytelling, dance, artisans and agriculture for the primary purpose of reconnecting consumers with the source of their food, and linking urban and rural people with land, culture and agriculture.

Village Family Festival set Aug. 17

CROSSLAKE -- A Village Family Festival will be 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 17 at the Crosslake Historic Log Village. This one-day event is being planned by the Crosslake Area Historical Society. Admission is $5 with children under age 5 free.

The village features eight buildings that will be open for tours led by guides in period costumes. The buildings are furnished with exhibits to depict the industries and daily life of early Crosslake.

There will be assorted artisans who will demonstrate some of the tasks performed by people of years gone by. There will be a working blacksmith and soap maker.

There will be games with prizes, a corn husking contest, face painting and a scavenger hunt, with live music by the Big Foot Band lead by Jerry Erickson along with some members of his family. They will play three sets during the day. Food will be available for purchase from Jr’s No. 19 BBQ.

The Historic Log Village, 35404 Crow Wing County Highway 3, in Crosslake, just across from the Corps of Engineers campground.

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.