Pequot to stage ‘The King and I’

PEQUOT LAKES -- Pequot Lakes Community Theatre debuts its first production of the season with “The King and I.”

East versus west makes for a dramatic, richly textured and ultimately uplifting tale of enormous fascination, play producers said in a news release. It is 1862 in Siam when an English widow, Anna Leonowens, and her young son arrive at the Royal Palace in Bangkok, having been summoned by the king to serve as tutor to his many children and wives. The king is largely considered to be a barbarian by those in the west, and he seeks Anna's assistance in changing his image, if not his ways. With both keeping a firm grip on their respective traditions and values, Anna and the king grow to understand and, eventually, respect one another, in a truly unique love story.

The cast is composed of 21 local community members. The cast includes: Karla Johnson as Anna Leonowens; Jesse Brutscher as The King; Brianna Engels as Lady Thiang; Nicole Rothluetner as Tuptim; Noah Barnhart as Lun Tha; Josiah Sescher as Prince Chulalongkorn; Marc Olipant as The Kralahome; Caleb Prince as Louis Leonowens; Isaak Anderson as Sir Edward Ramsay; CJ Anderson as Captain Orton; and Phylipe Bell as Phra Alack/Interpreter.

The ensemble is comprised of Amelia Dvorak, Gianna Sescher, Eli Sescher, Nicholas Sescher, Megan Loukota, Grace Loukota, Sarah Maroney, Isabel Pence, Thomas Salut, and Ronnie Villa.

Music by Richard Rogers and the book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein.

The show opens on Friday, Oct. 4, and runs through Oct. 13. Tickets for the show may be purchased through the Community Education Box Office by calling 218-568-9200 or by going to www.glapa.org and clicking the buy tickets button to choose date and seat.

A photography exhibit titled “Earthlings on Untrodden Pathways” by Gary Payne is on display through Oct. 25 at the Central Lakes College Art Gallery on the Brainerd campus. Submitted Photo
A photography exhibit titled “Earthlings on Untrodden Pathways” by Gary Payne is on display through Oct. 25 at the Central Lakes College Art Gallery on the Brainerd campus. Submitted Photo

CLC’s displays Gary Payne’s exhibit

A photography exhibit titled “Earthlings on Untrodden Pathways” by Gary Payne is on display through Oct. 25 at the Central Lakes College Art Gallery on the Brainerd campus.

The exhibition, which is a “collection of cultural revelations from the Amazon to Oman, Somalia to Surinam,” is free and open to the public from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Fridays.

The book cover of bestselling author J. Ryan Stradal's book “The Lager Queen of Minnesota.” Submitted Photo
The book cover of bestselling author J. Ryan Stradal's book “The Lager Queen of Minnesota.” Submitted Photo

Bestselling author visits Brainerd library

Bestselling author J. Ryan Stradal, will discuss his new book “The Lager Queen of Minnesota” at noon Monday, Oct. 7, at the Brainerd Public Library, as part of the Friends of the Brainerd Public Library’s Brown Bag Lunch Author Series.

“The Lager Queen of Minnesota” is a novel of family, Midwestern values, hard work, fate and the secrets of making a world-class beer. It serves up a cast of lovable, quintessentially Midwestern characters eager to make their mark in a world that’s often stacked against them. In this deeply affecting, humorous, emotional family saga, resolution can take generations, but when it finally comes, the reader is surprised, moved and delighted, a news release stated.

Author J. Ryan Stradal will discuss his new book “The Lager Queen of Minnesota” at noon Monday, Oct. 7, at the Brainerd Public Library, as part of the Friends of the Brainerd Public Library’s Brown Bag Lunch Author Series. Submitted Photo
Author J. Ryan Stradal will discuss his new book “The Lager Queen of Minnesota” at noon Monday, Oct. 7, at the Brainerd Public Library, as part of the Friends of the Brainerd Public Library’s Brown Bag Lunch Author Series. Submitted Photo

Stradal lives and works in Los Angeles County, California. He grew up in Hastings. His first novel, “Kitchens of the Great Midwest,” was published by Viking/Pamela Dorman Books in 2015, and reached the New York Times Hardcover Best Seller list at number 19 on its third week of release.

People who attend are welcome to bring a packed lunch or may just enjoy the light refreshments provided. This presentation is sponsored by the Friends of the Brainerd Public Library through their volunteer and fundraising efforts.

For more information, contact the library at 218-829-5574 or visit the library’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/brainerdpubliclibrary.

A art piece by Jane Ryan. Ryan's work will be on display through Oct. 26 at the Crossing Arts Alliance in downtown Brainerd. The exhibit is titled "Purgatory." Submitted Photo
A art piece by Jane Ryan. Ryan's work will be on display through Oct. 26 at the Crossing Arts Alliance in downtown Brainerd. The exhibit is titled "Purgatory." Submitted Photo

TCAA presents new exhibit

The Crossing Arts Alliance in downtown Brainerd announces a new exhibit by Jane Ryan to be on display through Oct. 26.

The public is invited to attend the opening reception of “Purgatory” from 5-7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4. A free-will offering will be accepted at the door. Light refreshments will be served.

This exhibition features a selection of drawings from Ryan's series “Purgatory.” Originating in Western Europe at the end of the 12th century, Purgatory was thought to be a place where souls endured a state of temporary suffering and transformation through fire before moving on, a news release stated. While exploring the idea of two souls having common interactions through their occupations and life experiences, Ryan questioned if they ever would find each other in the end. The souls illustrated in her work are loosely based on two real people, who find themselves in this particular place due to their own tragic actions. Alluding to them through their choice of occupation and passions, they have been able to take an instrument of their craft with them, though they don't actively use it; it is as if this source of lively-hood has now become a shared burden, perhaps a condition of suffering, being unable to use that which had given them such pleasure in life. When these ideas came together with the imagery throughout the artwork, Ryan wanted something different than fiery scenes of suffering and destruction. She decided that only items found in her garage could be used to make up the landscape in these interesting and detailed pieces that are Purgatory.

This exhibition is funded, in part, by the voters of Minnesota through grants from Five Wings Arts Council and the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

For more information call 218-833-0416 or visit crossingarts.org.

Heartland Poets to meet

Heartland Poets, an area chapter of the League of Minnesota Poets, meets for their regular monthly meeting from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, in the large room of the Brainerd Public Library. Poets begin their meeting by reading polished poems of their choice -- either their own or ones of favorite/discovered poets. Poets will then discuss the upcoming opportunity to participate in the League of Minnesota Poets’ Fall Conference set Oct. 25-27 in Minnetonka. Information and registration materials will be available to those in attendance. Other ongoing arts events may be shared in the group at that time. Following this, poets will share their poems-in-progress. Poets are asked to bring copies of two-page poems that may need some revision, so that others may appreciate the layout of the poem. Refreshments will be served. This meeting is free and open to the public.

HSO seeks performers

The Heartland Symphony Orchestra is seeking new musicians for its 2019-2020 concert season. At this time, they are especially in need of string players in all sections and percussionists. All those interested are invited to call the HSO office at 800-826-1997, or email heartlandsymphony@gmail.com for information and a rehearsal schedule. More information may be found on its website www.heartlandsymphony.com.

HSO was incorporated 43 years ago by a group of musicians from Little Falls and Brainerd. The goals of the symphony are to bring orchestral music to concert-goers in central Minnesota, to acquaint young people with the beauty of classical music and to provide an opportunity for trained musicians to play together, a news release stated.

HSO announces fall concert series

Heartland Symphony Orchestra presents its 2019 Fall Concert Series, "Musique française," under the direction of new conductor Ryan Webber.

The concerts are scheduled at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 12 at the Little Falls Community High School’s Charles D. Martin Auditorium and at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 13 at Tornstrom Auditorium in Brainerd. This concert series will showcase the music of France, including works by Offenbach, Saint-Saens and Bizet. The concerts will open with a work by Jacques Offenbach: the Overture to his comic opera, "Orpheus in the Underworld.” 2019 celebrates the 200th anniversary of Offenbach's birth and this piece is full of catchy tunes and is the source of the famous melody, “Can-Can.”

Each fall, HSO works with the orchestra students of St. Francis Music Center to prepare them to play with the HSO in the concert in Little Falls. This year, they have been working on an arrangement of “The Carnival of the Animals,” the beloved suite by Camille Saint-Saens. The original was written for string orchestra, two piano, and a handful of woodwind/percussion soloists, but this arrangement is a fully orchestrated one and appropriate for the entire instrumentation of the HSO. Each movement of the suite imitates the sounds of a specific animal, including a lion, donkey and dinosaur. This makes the work a lovely piece of program music, and also makes it the perfect work to collaborate with the young players of the St. Francis Music Center, a news release stated.

Next, symphony members will perform two works by Georges Bizet. Before intermission, they will perform “L'Arlésienne Suite No. 2.” Afterwards, they will perform Suite No. 2 from one of the most recognizable operas in the repertoire, “Carmen.” Both suites feature many memorable melodies.

Webber, will host "Conductor Chats" 45 minutes prior to each concert. For many, these informational programs make listening to classical music a much more enjoyable experience, the news release stated. Each selection on this program is based on something different: the Offenbach is from an opera, the Saint-Saens is about animals, and the Bizet is from a play. Because of these connections, the conductor will discuss the plots behind the music, giving the audience members something to listen for during the concert series, made possible through a grant from Five Wings Arts Council thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Tickets are free to youth and students through 12th grade, $12 for adults and $10 for seniors. Tickets may be purchased at the door, by mail or online at www.HeartlandSymphony.com. Season tickets are also available. For more information about the upcoming season or to order tickets, email HSO at HeartlandSymphony@gmail.com, call 1-800-826-1997 or visit the website,

About Ryan Webber

As the new conductor and music director of HSO, Webber states his goal is to make orchestra music as accessible as possible.

“I will continue to develop our relationships in Little Falls and Brainerd as well as build new connections with the community,” he stated. As a pre-concert lecturer, he has enjoyed sharing his passion for music and interacting with patrons before Minnesota Orchestra and Indianapolis Symphony concerts.

Webber maintains an active schedule as a conductor in northern Minnesota. Since 2017, he has served as the music director and pit orchestra conductor of Northern Light Opera Company. He has been a part of the Bemidji State University faculty since 2017, where he teaches applied low brass, co-directs the trombone choir, and directs the BSU Pep Band. He is a rehearsal conductor for the BSU Symphonic Band and served as assistant music director for BSU’s production of Pirates of Penzance in 2018. Webber received a bachelor’s of music from the University of California, Irvine, and a master’s of music from the University of Kansas.

Webber has led a successful career working with bands and orchestras around the country. He was the assistant conductor for the Lawrence Youth Symphony, which doubled in size during his tenure. Other groups he has worked with include the Symphonette Orchestra of the Youth Orchestras of Kansas City, La Primavera Youth Orchestra and Community Youth Orchestra of Southern California.

Beyond his time on the podium, Webber is also known as a trombonist and educator. He has served as bass trombone in HSO since 2016.

Authors to participate in readings and discussion

The Brainerd Public Library, The Northern Lights Library Network and the Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, as the Minnesota Center for the Book, will present an author event as part of the Moving Words series, a tour of Minnesota Book Award winners across Minnesota. Authors Ed Bok Lee, Margi Preus, Andrea Swensson and Diane Wilson will come together for readings and discussion at noon Oct. 14 at the Brainerd Public Library. This event is free and open to the public. American Sign Language interpretation provided upon request with two weeks advance notice. No registration is necessary.

Featuring multi-genre, Minnesota Book Award-winning authors, Moving Words is an opportunity for writers and readers to explore various themes together: the impact of literature in their lives, their connection as fellow Minnesotans, and the lens through which we read, a news release stated.

About the authors

Ed Bok Lee is the author of three books of poetry, most recently “Mitochondrial Night” from Coffee House Press. The son of North and South Korean emigrants -- his mother originally a refugee from what is now North Korea; his father was raised during the Japanese colonial period and Korean War in what is now South Korea. Lee grew up in South Korea, North Dakota, and Minnesota. He teaches at Metropolitan State University in Saint Paul, and also works as an artist, translator, and for two decades has taught in programs for youth and the incarcerated. Honors include the American Book Award, Minnesota Book Award, Asian American Literary Award (Members’ Choice) and a PEN/Open Book Award.

Margi Preus is the author of the Newbery Honor book “Heart of a Samurai,” the Minnesota Book Award-winning “West of the Moon,” “Shadow on the Mountain,” a Notable Book for a Global Society, and “The Bamboo Sword,” which Bookpage called “historical fiction at its best.” Her newest, “The Clue in the Trees,” is the second in the Enchantment Lake mystery series. Her books have won multiple awards, landed on many “best of” lists, including the New York Times Bestseller list, been honored as Association for Library Service to Children notables, selected as an NPR Backseat Book Club pick, chosen for community reads, and translated into many languages.

Andrea Swensson is an author, radio host, and music journalist. Her first book, “Got to Be Something Here: The Rise of the Minneapolis Sound,” received a 2018 Minnesota Book Award. She hosts a weekly program about the Minnesota music scene, The Local Show, at Minnesota Public Radio’s 89.3 The Current and has contributed music journalism to NPR Music, Minneapolis/St. Paul Magazine, Minnesota Monthly and Paisley Park, where she has written several tour guide books for Prince’s museum. Prior to joining MPR, she was the music editor at City Pages.

Diane Wilson is a Minnesota author and Mdewakanton descendant. Her 2007 Minnesota Book Award-winning “Spirit Car: Journey to a Dakota Past” retraces her family’s Dakota heritage across five generations. Her second book is “Beloved Child: A Dakota Way of Life.” Wilson is also the executive director of Dream of Wild Health, a Native-owned farm in Hugo, whose dream is to help American Indian people reclaim their physical, spiritual and mental health.

Presented by BNSF Railway Foundation, Moving Words is a program of The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library as the Library of Congress-designated Minnesota Center for the Book. Additional support is provided by the Harlan Boss Foundation for the Arts, Northern Lights Library Network and Education Minnesota. This program is made possible in part by the State of Minnesota through a grant to the Minnesota Department of Education and the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

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

www.facebook.com/brainerdpubliclibrary.

GRA announces classes

LITTLE FALLS -- Great River Arts in Little Falls will host youth classes -- Petite Picasso, Mini Monet and Free Art Second Saturday events.

Petite Picasso art class, for ages 4-7, is set from 10:30-11:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5. Cost is $10 for non-members and $8 for members. Petite Picasso art classes are aimed at aspiring artists. This monthly class series encourages exploration and expression through hands-on projects using a variety of mediums. Art making clothes are highly encouraged.

Mini Monet art class, for ages 7 and up will be noon to 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Cost is $15 for non-members and $12 for members. In this art class, students build upon their knowledge and use of color, composition, pattern and texture. The goal of this class is to encourage creativity and problem solving skills with hands-on projects.

Free Art Second Saturday is for ages 6-12 and will run from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Oct. 12. These free classes are a way for youth to explore art topics and feed a child's creativity. Youth will create paper mosaic self portraits. Instructor is Zoe Back.

Space is limited for thee classes, so people are encouraged to register early by calling 320-632-0960 or visit greatart.org/youth.

GLAPA volunteer workshop set

PEQUOT LAKES -- Greater Lakes Area Performing Arts will host a free training workshop from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Oct. 11 in the Pequot Lakes High School theater to connect with those in the community who have ever been interested in volunteering.

Opportunities to volunteer with GLAPA include greeters, ushers, will call table and help with ticket sales. Pre-registration is required by calling Pequot Lakes Community Education at 218-568-9200.

Pequot offers DIY workshops and more

PEQUOT LAKES -- Pequot Lakes Community Education is offering Do It Yourself workshops hosted by J’s Woodworking. At each workshop, it will be hands on and people will create, assemble, stain and finish their own projects. Basic hand and power tools will be used. Instructor will be there for help. All supplies and materials are provided in the cost of the class. The first project is creating a key/mail holder -- a rustic wall hanging for keys and mail that is 24- inches by 30-inches in size. The class is scheduled from 6-8 p.m. Oct. 11 and the fee is $48.

The second project is an outdoor sign -- a reversible outdoor Scarecrow and Snowman decor that is 22 inches by 48 inches in size. The class is scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon Oct. 12 and the fee is $66.

Art Concepts with Amber Haegele is geared for students in grades K-4 and classes will be at Eagle View Elementary in Room 154. Classes include: Beading Blast -- a class using different types of beads to make jewelry, magnets, keychains, snakes and lizard will be 3-5 p.m. Wednesday; fee is $10. Perfect Pumpkin Pictures -- a class entails drawing, cutting, coloring and gluing pumpkin pictures will be 3-5 p.m. Oct. 23; fee is $10.

BookEnds for October feature Michael Schumacher

WADENA -- Author Michael Schumacher is the featured speaker for this month’s BookEnds series -- set at 11 a.m. Oct. 12 at The Uptown Café in Wadena.

The author’s soon to be published book, “The Trial of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” looks anew at one of the most storied, and mysterious, shipwrecks in American history. A prolific writer, Schumacher’s work also includes four previous books on Great Lakes shipwrecks as well as narratives for shipwreck and lighthouse documentary films.

While in town, Schumacher will speak at the Wadena County Historical Society’s annual meeting at 7 p.m. Oct. 11 at Maasconi’s in Verndale. He will talk about his book “The Contest: The 1968 Election and the War for America’s Soul.”

For more information call the Wadena County Historical Society at 218-631-9079 or email 603wchs@arvig.net.

‘Art and Apples’ at Green Island in Wadena

WADENA -- The Cultural Center in New York Mills will host a family day focused on art and apples from 1-4:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 6 at Green Island in Wadena. The event is free and open to the public.

“Art and Apples” is a celebration of creativity, harvest and enjoyment of outdoor activities, a news release stated. There will be craft activities for children, apple tasting, apple cider, apple carving for older children and adults, and time to explore the trails and sculptures at Green Island.

There will be a special “Cider and Paint” for children from 3-4 p.m. Children who want to paint a picture guided by an artist should sign up when they arrive at Green Island as there is only room for 20 children.

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.

Terri Huro captures the spirit of the natural world in graphite and acrylic on wood panel. Huro's artwork will be on display through Oct. 27 at Ripple River Gallery near Bay Lake. Submitted Photo
Terri Huro captures the spirit of the natural world in graphite and acrylic on wood panel. Huro's artwork will be on display through Oct. 27 at Ripple River Gallery near Bay Lake. Submitted Photo

Mixed media artist captures nature’s spirit

AITKIN -- Artist Terri Huro’s mixed media artwork will be on display through Oct. 27 at Ripple River Gallery near Bay Lake, with an artist reception from 3-6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4.

As an only child, Huro spent much of her time exploring her surroundings.

”I have had a strong connection to nature and animals from a very early age,” she stated in a news release. “I still enjoy exploring nature and trying to capture the spirit of natural things.”

Working in mixed media -- mainly graphite, acrylic, watercolor and gouache -- Huro also likes to throw in some “modern style twists” to create interesting juxtapositions with her realistic graphite drawings. Her exhibit at Ripple River Gallery includes graphite and acrylic on wood panels as well as some mixed media on paper.

Ripple River Gallery is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday; and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays. For more information call 218-678-2575 or e-mail ripplerivergallery@gmail.com.

Charles Marohn’s book “Strong Towns: A Bottom-Up Revolution to Rebuild American Prosperity” was released Tuesday, Oct. 1.  Submitted Photo
Charles Marohn’s book “Strong Towns: A Bottom-Up Revolution to Rebuild American Prosperity” was released Tuesday, Oct. 1. Submitted Photo

‘Strong Towns’ book now available

Charles Marohn’s book “Strong Towns: A Bottom-Up Revolution to Rebuild American Prosperity” was released Tuesday, Oct. 1.

Copies of the book may be purchased on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-a-Million and IndieBound.org.

Marohn is a Brainerd Planning Commissioner and president of Strong Town, a media organization focused on challenging the way American cities are built. He stated in an email the book is an essential read for anyone who cares about the future of their place.

“In simple terms, I explain why our cities struggle financially and how all communities, regardless of their level of wealth or prosperity, can put themselves on a path to success,” he stated. “It's an easy read, but I hope you'll find it full of powerful insights.

“I was incredibly flattered that renowned urban thinker Andres Duany read it and called it ‘a genius plan.’”

Marohn stated he wants the book to reach “thoughtful people all over North America so we can grow the Strong Towns movement, make our cities better and help people live more prosperous and meaningful lives.”

According to the book description, the book consists of forward-thinking ideas that breaks with modern wisdom to present a new vision of urban development in the United States. Presenting the foundational ideas of the Strong Towns movement, Marohn explains why cities of all sizes continue to struggle to meet their basic needs, and reveals the new paradigm that can solve this long standing problem. Reading this book, a person will find out how cities large and small can focus on bottom-up investments to minimize risk and maximize their ability to strengthen the community financially and improve citizens' quality of life.