Cuyuna Range band to perform in bandstand

The Cuyuna Range Community Band will perform 7 p.m. Thursday, July 26, in the Gregory Park Bandstand.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

The Cuyuna Range Community Band is a volunteer concert band performing at area community celebrations and venues throughout the summer months including Aitkin Riverboat Days, Crosby in the Park, Gregory Park bandstand and the Heartwood Senior Living Community. The group consists of musicians from throughout the Brainerd lakes area and their concert repertoire includes marches, show tunes and popular music.

Bandstand concerts are free and open to the public. People can bring a lawn chair or a blanket and be ready to enjoy the music. The rain-out site is at The Center, 803 Kingwood St., Brainerd.

If the concert is moved indoors, signs will be posted on the bandstand and it will be announced on WJJY radio.

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 from the Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation and the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Five Wings Arts Council and the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Minnesota author to visit Brainerd library

Author Nancy Langston will discuss her book "Sustaining Lake Superior: An Extraordinary Lake in a Changing World" at noon Monday, July 30, at the Brainerd Public Library.

The author appearance is part of the Friends of the Brainerd Public Library's mission to bring acclaimed authors to the library the first Monday of every month to speak about their latest work and the craft of writing. These events give local book lovers a chance to connect with up-and-coming and award-winning authors from around the Midwest, a news release stated.

J. R. McNeill, co-author of "The Great Acceleration," praised Langston's book, stating, "A Great Lake deserves a great book, and Nancy Langston has written it. Carefully researched ... literature, appropriately transnational, handsomely illustrated, and engagingly written, this book is a shining example of environmental history at its best."

Langston lives on the Keweenaw Peninsula in the Lake Superior Watershed. Since 2013, she has been professor of environmental history at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Mich. She is in the department of social sciences, the College of Forest Resources and Ecosystem Sciences and the Great Lakes Research Center.

People who attend 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 to the public.

For more information contact the library at 218-829-5574 or visit the library's Facebook page at

Artspace celebrates Franklin Arts Center

Artspace invites the public to a 10th anniversary celebration of the Artspace Franklin Arts Center, a former junior high school Artspace transformed into a mixed-use arts hub.

The arts community located in the building is hosting the event, underwritten by Brutger Equities, Inc., 4:30-6:30 p.m. Aug. 9. The event is free and open to the public. People may tour several artist live/work studios, shop for local arts and crafts, view an exhibition at the on-site community gallery and see live performances.

RSVPs are encouraged via

"Part of Artspace's mission is to sustain space for artists and arts organizations, and we are delighted to celebrate the Artspace Franklin Arts Center, which has provided the creative community in Brainerd with affordable arts spaces for 10 years now," Erika Dani, the Artspace asset manager who oversees the Brainerd property, stated in an email. "The public is invited to sample an abundant smorgasbord of arts experiences provided by the creative enclave in the Artspace Franklin Arts Center, from resident apartments and the gallery to music performances and the chance to shop local."

The arts center boasts 25 live/work units for artists and their families, as well as some 20 commercial arts spaces including a nonprofit theater company; a health and wellness center; a pottery collective; and working studios dedicated to design, woodworking, photography and yarn arts.

Artspace's mission is to create, foster, and preserve affordable and sustainable space for artists and arts organizations. Artspace was founded in 1979 to support artists displaced by rising costs-the unintended consequences of the positive community changes they inspired, a news release stated.

Through both the adaptive reuse of historic buildings and new construction projects, Artspace creates affordable places for artists, as well as moderately scaled arts organizations and other creative enterprises and retains ownership to ensure buildings remain permanently affordable, mission focused and high quality. Today, Artspace's portfolio includes 50 projects nationwide, many of which are in culturally distinct communities, representing more than $600 million invested in America's infrastructure. Artspace properties ensure communities flourish, benefiting the neighborhoods where they reside, the release stated.

With headquarters in Minneapolis and offices in Denver, New Orleans, New York, Seattle and Washington, D.C., Artspace is renowned as America's leading nonprofit real estate developer for the arts and arts-based community development, the release stated. Artspace also leverages its expertise to support the next generation of transformative art spaces, with a robust consulting division that has worked on more than 250 projects coast to coast, including citywide planning projects, arts districts and more.

For more information visit

'Woman Enough' book signing set

NISSWA-Lissa (Waller) Carlino, author of "Woman Enough," will host a book signing and sale 1-3 p.m. Sunday, July 29, at Stonehouse Coffee in Nisswa.

"Woman Enough" is an adult contemporary novel about an exotic dancer named Becca who faces down social stigma and struggles with addiction as she fights for her right to dignity in a world that would prefer she stay silent.

Carlino, a former Brainerd resident now living in New Zealand, was an addictions treatment counselor in Vermont after earning a psychology degree from Johnson State.

The author shares 12 profiles of women she admires, including several from the Brainerd lakes area on her website. She most recently profiled Emily Lindin, author and documentary filmmaker of "The Unslut Project."

The 280-page novel is available as an e-book at various online retailers and in soft cover from

Little Moran River Band to perform

STAPLES-Deb Otteson and Little Moran River Band will perform 7 p.m. Sunday, July 29, at Northern Pacific Park as part of the Music in the Park Series in Staples.

The band was formed in 2013 to perform in the first variety show during the 2013 Staples Railroad Days. The name, Little Moran, is derived from the Moran River south of Staples. The five members who form the band have more than 100 years of combined performance experience from jazz, blues, country and rock 'n' roll.

Fronted by vocalist Deb Otteson, other band members include Mike Blessing on keyboard, Ray Gildow on drums, Rick Brichacek on bass guitar and Phil Solem on lead guitar. The group plays a wide variety of music and features musicians who play multiple instruments.

This year marks the sixth year the group has performed together and they will again be featured in the Railroad Days "Little Caboose Variety Show" at 7 p.m. Aug. 23 at Centennial Auditorium in Staples.

For more information on the Music in the Park series, check out

In case of rain, the concerts will be moved to Faith Lutheran Church. 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.

Live music outdoor yoga events coming

Yogis of all levels are invited to join the Lakes Area Music Festival in two upcoming outdoor yoga classes in Nisswa and Brainerd.

The first event will be 1:30 p.m. Saturday, July 28, on the outfield of the baseball diamond

at Nisswa City Park with cellist and LAMF Artistic Director Scott Lykins playing cello. The second event will be 10:30 a.m. Aug. 18 on the football field at Brainerd High School with a string quintet of professional musicians from around the country. Both events are donation based; people are welcome to donate as they are able with proceeds supporting the music festival.

The classes will be led by local yoga teacher and Nisswa Yoga owner Jennifer Smith, with teachers from various studios around the lakes area participating as demonstrators through the fields. Arriving early is encouraged to sign in and set up. A limited number of yoga mats will be available for people who don't have them.

"These events are a great way to bring music, meditation and the beauty of the outdoors together in a yoga class setting," Lykins stated in a news release. "Our past yoga event have been a huge success with high levels of interest and attendance, and many people trying out yoga-or the Lakes Area Music Festival - for their first time."

These events are part of the organization's outreach initiative-created in 2016 with support from the Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation-which brings professional musicians from the LAMF roster out into community spaces to share music with people in public libraries, senior living and elder care facilities, the Crow Wing County Jail, Mid-Minnesota Women's Center and more.

For more information visit

GRA's children's theatre camp set

LITTLE FALLS-Great River Arts' Summer Theatre Children's Camp will present its production Friday, July 27 with two performances from two different groups of children.

The morning class will perform its version of "Snow White Lite" by Jacob Dorn at noon Friday and the afternoon class will perform its version at 4 p.m. Both productions will be directed by Heather Mastromarco.

GRA still has room for its Teen Theater Camp for ages 10 and older. The camp is scheduled 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Aug. 13-17 with a performance Aug. 17. The camp will present "HI HO ROBIN HOOD," retold as a musical play by Tim Kelly and Ole Kittleson. Robin Hood is leading a merry life with his followers in Sherwood Forest until the evil Prince John overtakes King Richard and wages a personal war against Robin Hood, a news release stated. Only the brave and shrewd Robin Hood can secure Nottingham and safely return of the king.

People's Choice winners announced

WADENA-The Picturing the Good Life Project culminated this last month with a photo exhibit at the Wadena County Fair. About 40 images, including all those submitted by the general public, were displayed at the Wadena County Fair, where people could vote for their favorite. Hundreds of people went through the exhibit and 339 votes were counted.

The top two selections were photos by Don Hoffman. The top choice was a photo of a bridge in Black's Grove, which received 57 votes. The second choice was of a red barn, which received 41 votes. The third highest, with 37 votes, was of a sunset on Spirit Lake taken by Rebecca Dooley of Sebeka. The fourth highest was of a double rainbow over Spirit Lake taken by Alvina Kytta of New York Mills. It received 29 votes. The first-prize winner will receive a cash prize of $100. The runners-up will each receive $25.

The project received more than 140 images, including some from professional photographers. They will be available for use by the Wadena chamber in a variety of ways, including social media, storefront signage and billboards. Many of the images have already been posted on Instagram.

An exhibit including all of the photos will be on display in the lobby of the Wadena County Museum through the end of August. The museum is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday.

Funding this project was provided by a grant from Region Five Branding Project funded by the Sourcewell (formerly National Joint Powers Alliance). The grant was written for the Wadena Chamber of Commerce and administered by Lina Belar.

For more information, call Jed Brazier of the Wadena chamber at 218-632-7704 or Belar of the Wadena County Historical Society at 218-631-9079 or email

Bands to perform at green festival

LITTLE FALLS-Three bands will perform Aug. 1 at the Green Fair Folk Festival on the west lawn at St. Francis Convent, Little Falls.

Homespun Jammin', a group of three women from the St. Cloud area who play a variety of folk music from old time to gospel to country, will perform 4-5 p.m. Sue Pundsack is the lead singer and plays on hammered dulcimer, guitar and harmonica. Connie Schwinghammer sings and plays electric bass. Sister Carolyn Law adds harmony and also plays guitar and mandolin.

The OK Factor will perform 5-6 p.m. The OK Factor writes and performs folk-inspired music influenced by Americana and Irish fiddle styles, with an artistry revealing their classical training. 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.

St. Francis Music Center students will take stage 6-8 p.m. The Ukulele Ensemble will present some sing-along songs and the St. Francis Percussion Ensemble and URock bands will perform.

The annual Green Fair Folk Festival is free, open to the public and sponsored by the Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls.

For more information on the musical entertainment, contact Robyn Gray at 320-632-0637 or visit For more information on the festival, contact Elise Carey at 320-632-0634, gfff//

New York Mills upcoming events

NEW YORK MILLS-Desdamona, a spoken word and hip hop artist, will perform 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 27, at the New York Mills VFW Post 3289 and a bean bag tournament hosted by the New York Mills Education Foundation precedes the concert, beginning at 5 p.m.

Based out of Minneapolis, Desdamona's writing and performance focuses on themes of domestic violence, self-esteem, individual identity, being an outsider and being a woman in hip hop. Much of her work touches on social issues. Her sense of rhythm is as strong as her message, a news release stated. She often employs beat-boxing to go with her flowing rhymes and smooth vocals. The mood of her music is at times dark but nonetheless awe-inspiring.

Desdamona's influence reaches students, artists and activists close to home and abroad. She has worked in over 200 schools throughout the Midwest. She recently visited a school in France conducting workshops as an artist-in-residence. She has worked with more than 15,000 students in public, private and alternative schools, as well as colleges, universities and prisons. Her message is especially relevant in a time of social and political upheaval. Her show at the NYM VFW will be family friendly.

Desdamona opened for Wyclef Jean and worked with Sly & Robbie. She won the Minnesota Music award for "Best Spoken Word Artist" five times.

Concert admission is $10 for adults, $5 for high school students and free for children under 12.