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Entertainment Briefs - Aug. 9

Guitarist and singer Michael Hoover will perform at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 9, in the Gregory Park Bandstand in Brainerd. Submitted Photo1 / 5
Minnesota folk musician Paul Doffing will appear at noon Monday, Aug. 20, at the Brainerd Public Library as part of the Brown Bag series. Submitted Photo 2 / 5
Jessica Vines and band will perform at 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 12, at Northern Pacific in Staples, as part of the Music in the Park summer series. Submitted Photo3 / 5
Tickets are on sale now for “An Evening with Billy Collins,” presented by Verse Like Water: The visiting poet program of Central Lakes College. The event is 7 p.m. Sept. 7 in the Tornstrom Auditorium in Brainerd. Submitted Photo 4 / 5
Mystery writer Erin Hart and her husband Paddy O’Brien will appear at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 11 at The Uptown in Wadena for the monthly Book Ends event. Submitted Photo 5 / 5

Hoover to perform in bandstand

Michael Hoover will perform at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 9, in the Gregory Park Bandstand in Brainerd.

Hoover has played throughout the United States in a variety of venues.

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 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.

Folk musician to perform at library

Minnesota folk musician Paul Doffing will appear at noon Monday, Aug. 20, at the Brainerd Public Library as part of the Brown Bag series.

Doffing is an independent songwriter and acoustic musician who has been touring the world by bicycle since 2012, pedaled his bicycle more than 13,000 miles to 200 concerts in seven countries and 23 states. Doffing rides his bicycle to promote alternative transportation and reduced dependence on fossil fuels. Most recently he's been in Slovakia, working on a new

studio album as well as teaching yoga and English.

Doffing's music is characterized by masterful guitar playing and poignant songwriting style, and his work has drawn comparisons to a wide range of artists, including Neil Young, Leo Kottke, Damien Jurado and Pink Floyd. Doffing's third solo album, "Songs from the (quaking) Heart," was supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Born in rural Minnesota and raised in Minneapolis, Doffing released his first solo album, "Blossom Is You," in 2012. Both the album and Doffing himself received critical praise from

"Round the Dial" magazine writer Tom Hallett, who stated in a news release: "Minneapolis based singer/songwriter Paul Doffing is much, much more than that tired old genre name implies. He plays both magical six and 12-string instrumentals that are so timeless and flawless one would think he'd just stepped out of a machine."

People are welcome to bring a packed lunch or may enjoy the light refreshments provided. The Brown Bag 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.

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

Brainerd Ski Loons shows coming

The Brainerd Ski Loons will perform free water ski shows at 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 12, and at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 15 at Lum Park.

People who come will see human ski pyramids, ski jumpers, barefooters and skiers being pulled 360 degrees around the boat. Free will donations are appreciated. People may bring blankets or lawn chairs for seating.

The Ski Loons are a nonprofit organization in Brainerd. For more information, find the Brainerd Ski Loons on Facebook or visit their website

Library features 'Crazy Horse' family

The history of the Crazy Horse family will be the focus of a visit and book signing at noon Aug. 21 at the Brainerd Public Library.

"Crazy Horse: The Lakota Warrior's Life and Legacy" by the Edward Clown family as told to William B. Matson was published in 2016. Two members of the Crazy Horse family, Floyd Clown and Doug War Eagle, will discuss aspects of the family through oral history. William B. Matson will speak as well. Matson is a multi-award winning documentary filmmaker who has worked with the Crazy Horse family since 2001.

Stories from the family featured in the book include who killed Custer at the Little Bighorn battle,

how he was killed and the vision Crazy Horse had of his death. Clown, War Eagle and Matson all reside in South Dakota and have been traveling across the United States to promote the book. Books will be available at the signing.

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

Crossing Arts Alliance features Second Saturday

The Crossing Arts Alliance will feature Crossing Arts Kids, a featured artist, and "Lakes Area Music Festival Through the Lens of Dave Boran' Exhibit" Saturday, Aug. 11.

Crossing Arts Kids art programming will be two sessions: 10-11:30 a.m. and noon to 1:30 p.m. and will be on Fabric Printing. Youth will use a variety of techniques to print on fabric and create a trio of "prayer flags" or buntings.

Pre-registration is required, space is limited. Visit or call Crossing Arts 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. This class is sponsored in memory of Evelyn Matthies.

The featured member artist for August is Susan Manchester, who will talk from 10 a.m. to noon about the process of how she creates her beaded artwork, techniques and inspiration. Light refreshments will be served.

The photography exhibition, "Lakes Area Music Festival Through the Lens of Dave Boran," will be on display through Sept. 1 in TCAA gallery, with an opening reception from 5-7 p.m. Friday. Boran will give a brief artist talk at 5:30 p.m. Wine and light hors d'ouevres will be served. There will be a free will offering at the door.

For more information call 218-833-0416 or visit

Local artist's work featured at Brainerd library

Brainerd lakes area artist Gloria Leonard's sketches and paintings are on display in a new exhibit at Brainerd Public Library.

The exhibit includes 23 works in oil and watercolor on subjects such as people, animals, still life and landscape scenery. A member of the Brainerd Area Art Club and Crossing Arts Alliance, Leonard is active in the local art community. Her mural of an eagle is featured at the Eagles Club in Brainerd. She has taken watercolor classes from Phyllis Frankum and a drawing course at Central Lakes College.

Originally from Cambridge, Leonard started painting at age 60.

"I always had an interest in art, but didn't take the time to explore it," Leonard stated in a news release. "Now my passion is finding excitement in whatever I set out to sketch or paint. I'm always looking for new challenges."

Her work will be on display at the library through Oct. 31. 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.

Book Ends event set Saturday

WADENA—This month's guest for Book Ends—a monthly meet-the-author hourly event—is mystery writer Erin Hart who will appear at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 11, at The Uptown in Wadena.

Hart is an award winning author of archeological crime novels set in the shadowed boglands of Ireland, a news release stated. .

Husband Paddy O'Brien, legendary button accordion artist, will accompany her.

Hart's "Haunted Grounds" won the Friends of American Writers' Award and was shortlisted for mystery's prestigious Anthony and Agatha awards. It has been translated into 11 foreign languages.

Other novels in her series include, "Lake of Sorrows," "False Mermaid" and "The Book of Killowen" and have been Minnesota Book Award finalists. Hart was named Minnesota's Best Mystery Writer by the Star Tribune in 2012.

O'Brien was born in the Irish midlands and is a product of the traditional music and storytelling culture of his home country. He won international acclaim for his amazing repertoire and artistry on the two-row button accordion. He recorded 1,500 traditional melodies as part of his Paddy O'Brien Tune Collection.

In 2012, Paddy was named Ireland's Traditional Composer of the Year.

Books Ends is hosted by indie bookstore, An Open Book in Wadena, and is moderated by Jerry Mevissen, and financed by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment.

Stage North holds auditions

The Stage North Theatre Company will host auditions for its Halloween special production of "Dracula" at 7 p.m. Aug. 31 and 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sept. 1 at the Franklin Arts Center.

People interested are told to meet in the main lobby for audition forms and information.

Performances will be 8 p.m. Oct. 30-31 and Nov. 1-2 at the Franklin Arts Center.

Adapted by Roger Nieboer, the playwright of "Baby Face," the script follows the Bram Stoker novel closely, a news release stated. All the story elements are intact and the major characters include Dracula, Jonathon Harker, Mina, Lucy, her three suitors Quincy Morris, Jack Seward, and Arthur Holmwood, the insane Renfield, and the vampire killer Dr. Van Helsing.

The script calls for up to 13 men and up to 12 women. Some doubling is possible, if necessary. Additional characters include some gypsies, three vampire women, a captain, a nun, a zookeeper and Mrs. Swales.

In preparation for the auditions, there will be an acting workshop at 7 p.m. Aug. 28- 29 in the Franklin Arts Center auditorium. To sign up, email director Gary Hirsch at "We'll be using scenes from 'Dracula' for the workshop so you'll get a chance to preview the script just before the auditions," Hirsch stated in a news release.

"Dracula" is being sponsored by Party World and there will be costume contests during intermission at each of the shows. Winners will receive a pair of 2019 season tickets.

Jessica Vines and band to perform in Staples

Jessica Vines and band will perform at 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 12, at Northern Pacific in Staples, as part of the Music in the Park summer series. This will be the final concert of the six week summer series.

Hailing from the Moorhead area, the band will perform a mix of covers from the Beatles to Stevie Wonder, as well as noriginals of front singer Vines, which she describes as funk/pop/jazz inspired, a news release stated.

Joining Vines on stage will be Matthew Tinjum on drums, Conor Lee on guitar, Evan Geiger on bass; and Staples native Andrew Nelson on keys.

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.

Blues and BBQ Bash set

DEERWOOD— A Blues and BBQ Bash will be 4-9:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11, at Ruttger's Bay Lake Lodge. The event is open to the public.

The festivities include a craft beer tasting event featuring four local breweries, an all-you-can-eat barbecue feast and a concert by Minneapolis blues guitarist Ken Valdez. Tickets are $25 per adult, $12 for children 12 and under and can be purchased on the day of the event or at

Craft Beer Tasting will be from 4-6 p.m.; the barbecue feast will be from 5-7 p.m.; and Ken Valdez Concert will be 7-9:30 p.m.

The Minneapolis-based guitarist and singer songwriter plays a variety of blues styles. The concert is part of the Ruttger's Summer Concert Series, presented by Surly Brewing Co., Coca-Cola and the Newshopper.

For those interested in attending the concert, but not the other events can purchase concert tickets separately at the gate or online at

Directors needed in Pequot Lakes

Pequot Lakes Community Theater is looking for two directors to direct a production in its 2019-2020 season.

Those interested in applying will need to have their submission emailed to the theater group at by Aug. 31. Interviews for the potential directors will take place in early to mid-September.

Those interested are asked to pick three shows they'd like to direct and to write a letter of intent about their interest in directing, whey they chose the shows they picked and why they think they would make a "great director for Pequot Lakes Community Theater," a news release stated. People also may include any theater experience.

For more information email

BWA seeks submissions

The Brainerd Writers Alliance is seeking submissions from literary authors across the state of Minnesota in the categories of fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry.

Winners in each category will receive a cash prize and free entry to this year's writers' conference featuring Erin Hart and will be invited to read their winning entries.

Details on the contest and how to submit can be found at

Deadline has been extended to Aug. 31.

For more information contact

BWA is a group of published and unpublished writers at every skill level, who write in a variety of genres.

Festival announces musical outreach activities

After reviewing proposals from community members this spring, the Lakes Area Music Festival

announced it will be partnering with local organizations this summer in 21 outreach programs. LAMF's roster of world-class musicians will perform and interact with underserved members of all ages living in the lakes area community, as the festival brings its mission of accessibility outside the walls of Tornstrom Auditorium and directly to those who can most benefit, a news release stated. Among the 2018 outreach events are four performances at the Crow Wing County Jail, where inmates may be exposed to music and instruments that they may have never of had the chance to see up close before.

Later in the season, musicians—along with the help of a creative writing instructor—will have a

songwriting workshop at the Mid-Minnesota Women's Center Shelter where they will work one-on-one with victims of domestic abuse. This event will explore the therapeutic ability of music to heal through storytelling.

John Taylor Ward, one of the LAMF artistic directors and world-touring opera singer, met with the local Minnesota Teen Challenge choir to offer instruction and encourage members to attend a free season program, allowing members to explore a genre they may not have had access to in the past.

For lakes area youth, LAMF will travel into libraries, an equine therapy center, the YMCA and

put on an instrument petting zoo for children to try holding and playing instruments they have

seen in action on stage.

According to the news release, "These programs have the benefit of showing children professional level playing, but also have an atmosphere that let the children ask questions, actively participate with hands-on activities, and see how classical music can be silly and fun just like other music they have heard before.

"LAMF's goal is to bring classical music both to underserved, but also to unexpected places,

which is why the festival has partnered with Nisswa Yoga to provide relaxing, live accompaniment to outdoor classes that are put on throughout the August season."

LAMF also is hosting a downtown Brainerd block party where professional musicians will play

LAMF musicians also visited more than six senior citizen programs, where dialogue is open

between the audience and the performers, to encourage those who may be interested to ask

about what school, work and what performing is like from a professional classical musician's perspective.

LAMF is able to build up its outreach initiative each year through funding from the Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation.

The LAMF was founded in 2009 by Ward and Scott Lykins, artistic directors. For more information, please visit

Tickets on sale for Verse Like Water event

Tickets are on sale now for "An Evening with Billy Collins," presented by Verse Like Water: The visiting poet program of Central Lakes College. The event is 7 p.m. Sept. 7 in the Tornstrom Auditorium in Brainerd.

America's most beloved poet will read, sign books and then greet the public at Prairie Bay Restaurant afterward. Tickets for Collins' reading are available at, in the CLC Bookstore and at The Crossing Arts Alliance.

The event is sponsored by Central Lakes College, The Minnesota Legacy Fund and Minnesota Public Radio.

This event kicks off the seventh year of Verse Like Water programming at CLC. Poet Mary

Szybist will be on campus Oct. 15 and poet Peter Balakian will follow on Nov. 7.