Verse Like Water set Oct. 25

Verse Like Water, the visiting poet program of Central Lakes College, will kick off its eighth year of programming by introducing Iranian-American Poet Kaveh Akbar at noon Oct. 25 in the Chalberg Theatre, Brainerd campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Akbar was born in Tehran, Iran, and teaches at Purdue University and in the low residency of master of fine arts programs at Randolph College and Warren Wilson. His poems appear

in The New Yorker, Poetry, The New York Times, Paris Review, The Nation, Best American Poetry, The New Republic, The Guardian, American Poetry Review, The Poetry Review, Public Broadcasting Service NewsHour and elsewhere.

“At 30, Kaveh Akbar has quickly established himself as a rising star on the American poetry scene, and one of the most energetic and forceful evangelists for the art form,” Jeff Johnson, CLC English instructor and director of Verse Like Water, stated in a news release. “As he told

National Public Radio, ‘To learn how to live my life in joyous grateful service of poetry -- that’s everything.’ Happily, from here on out Kaveh will be connected to Minnesota, as his next books will be published by Gray Wolf Press in Minneapolis. Attendees can expect challenging poems and a spirited performance.”

Justin Ploof and the Throwbacks return to Little Falls for concert series

LITTLE FALLS -- Great River Arts presents its 14 Fridays Concert Series with the return of Justin Ploof and the Throwbacks to take the stage Nov. 1 at the center in downtown Little Falls. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30 p.m. General admission tickets are $15. For tickets call 320-632-0960 or buy them online at

Justin Ploof and the Throwbacks will pay homage to America’s preeminent rock n’ roll band -- Creedence Clearwater Revival. The show will open with a set of CCR hits, followed by a performance of CCR’s No. 1 smash hit album, “Green River” in its entirety. An album with raging rockers and intense jams from open to close, “Green River” would reach No. 1 on the album charts and would go on to sell over three million copies and produce three Top Ten singles and numerous fan favorites, a news release stated.

Justin Ploof and The Throwbacks are a music group from Minnesota. They have developed a specialty show known as a “Rockumentary.” Each show consists of customized featurettes containing film footage, pictures and narration to take the viewer through a full multimedia, storytelling performance.

GRA features artwork of Charles Gilbert Kapsner

LITTLE FALLS -- Great River Arts present the artwork of Charles Gilbert Kapsner in the 11th Anniversary Salon titled “Collaborations IV” (Part 1). This exhibition will be on display in the front gallery of GRA through Nov. 23, with an artist reception and gala from 6-9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11. The event will include a special performance by the 34th ID Jazz Combo and a program featuring an artist talk and slide show with Kapsner beginning at 7 p.m.

“Collaborations IV” (Part 1) will feature only Kapsner’s work, and focus on a selection of around 30 pieces that are made up of drawings, sketches and composition and color studies that were created in the beginning stages of his work on the five 8-by 10- foot oil paintings that now hang at the Veterans Historic Educational Monument, at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery. For the last decade, Kapsner has worked on this project. He devoted his time to not only painting, but also researching and listening to the stories of veterans, and even using them to pose in the paintings, a news release stated. Each of the five paintings created represents a branch of the U.S. military.

Schaefer's seeks scenic photos for 2020 calendar

NISSWA -- Schaefer's Foods in Nisswa seeks scenic photos for the 2020 calendar, with the deadline for submission Oct. 20.

Schaefer's Foods is collaborating with Lakes Printing, Echo Journal/Brainerd Dispatch and the Nisswa Chamber of Commerce to produce the annual Nisswa area calendar. Photos portraying the beauty and unique character of the Nisswa area are sought for the photo contest for the calendar.

The original photographer must submit entries. Photos that have been published elsewhere are not eligible. There is a limit of five photos entries per person. Photos must be a minimum of 3,000 by 2,400 pixels or 300 dots per inch and JPG files. Entries must include the photographer's name, mailing address, email address, phone number and a brief description of the photo, including where it was taken.

Contestants may email their entries to or bring photos on a CD labeled "photo contest" along with entry information to Schaefer's Foods. CDs will not be returned.

Photos will be judged based on creativity, photographic quality and effectiveness in conveying the beauty and/or unique character of the Nisswa area.

Winners will be notified by Nov. 30.

For more information and entry details, visit

Minnesota Voices to feature Poet Chmielarz

WADENA -- Poet Sharon Chmielarz will speak from noon to 1 p.m. Oct. 17 at the Wadena County Museum where she will talk about her latest book, "The J Horoscope."

The book is a re-imagining of stories from Genesis, a news release stated. It is also a contemporary view of 21st century human nature, godly nature and nature itself. The poems are both serious and funny. Chmielarz, a graduate of the University of Minnesota, was born and raised in Mobridge, SD. “The J Horoscope” was published in 2019. It is her 12th book of poetry.

"Minnesota Voices" is a series of programs hosted by the Wadena County Historical Society featuring writers, artists and scientists and held the third Thursday of the month, unless otherwise noted. People who attend may bring a lunch.

For more information or to reserve a seat, call 218-631-9079 or email or visit

Andreas Nordrum, a young artist from Laporte, created this life size Migizi, Ojibwe for “Eagle” out of red willow and cedar wood. This art work will be featured Oct. 26 at the Sprout Growers and Makers Marketplace in Little Falls. Submitted Photo

Sprout hosts student showcase/culinary arts

LITTLE FALLS -- Students from three different central Minnesota schools will be featured artists at the indoor marketplace set from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 26 at Sprout in Little Falls.

Sprout Growers and Makers Marketplace highlights cultural arts through performances and cooking demonstrations at each monthly market. The October market will highlight talented students in both music and culinary arts, a news release stated. The market will also reveal a new art installation made by a young artist, as well as have free art activities for all ages through

Sprout Growers & Makers Marketplace season includes six monthly markets from October through March. The first of the season this month will gather a variety of food producers, artisans and artists who make their homegrown, handmade products available for community members to purchase. The market takes the form of a mini monthly festival, offering entertainment through performances and cooking demonstrations. The October performance is organized by Todd Peterson, Little Falls High School band teacher, and includes a mix of students and teachers in a first-of-its-kind jazz ensemble. The six member jazz combo includes Peterson; Joel Pohland, band director at Pierz Healy High School; and Carl Mathwig, Pierz Pioneer Elementary band teacher; as well as a student from each of the schools. Playing jazz standards from the Big Band and Swing eras, plus Latin and modern jazz, the group will perform three sets during the market from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Following the band performance, there will be a cooking demonstration at 1 p.m. in the Sprout kitchen, with samples available for market attendees. Students from Sauk Rapids-Rice High School’s ProStart Program will demonstrate a butternut squash-apple bruschetta, using ingredients sourced locally from Sprout’s Food Hub. Mary Levinski, the instructor for the program states, “This is a great recipe, we tried it out and the students loved it, even though they typically do not like squash.”

Sauk Rapids-Rice High School is one of 50 schools in Minnesota that offers the ProStart Program, a national two year culinary training program that provides real-life experience opportunities, culinary techniques and management skills to high school students. Market attendees are encouraged to come to the event hungry, to taste the samples and to dine at the Cabin Fever “pop-up restaurant” that will have lunch, craft brews, and wine available during the market. Local food and art producers interested in participating in the market can become a vendor by visiting

Another feature of the market is a new art installation by Andreas Nordrum, a young artist from Laporte, who created a life size Migizi, Ojibwe for “Eagle” out of red willow and cedar wood. The willow was woven to create the tail feathers, and the Migizi’s head has hand carved out of cedar wood. The majestic piece now hangs from the rafters of Sprout’s facility. A second new art installation resides outside of the Sprout facility and is a 6-foot tall outdoor sculpture by Brad Wegscheid of Wadena. Carved into the vertical stone sculpture are natural leaf shapes and the words “EAT WELL TO BE WELL,” with a bench style base for sitting.

Those inspired by the art at the market can now create a piece to take home with them. The Creative Cart Studio is a traveling art studio by Maria Ervasti, a K-12 Art Educator at Verndale Public Schools, that will pop-up with free painting activities at the October market. Ervasti is one of four artists engaged in Sprout’s À la cARTe Initiative that brings art experiences on the road to increase art access in rural Minnesota. The other artists include Lisa Jordan of Brainerd, Tressa Hills of Big Lake and Heidi Jeub of Little Falls, who will each have their mobile art studio at one of Sprout’s indoor winter markets throughout the season.

The community is invited to shop the Sprout Growers & Makers Marketplace vendors selling local food and art on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 26, Nov. 16 and Dec. 14.

Due to a partnership with Hunger Solutions Minnesota, families and individuals eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program can also double their dollar at the Sprout Growers & Makers Marketplace and the Sprout Mobile Market. Shoppers with SNAP can swipe their electronic benefit transfer card at the market to receive an additional dollar for every dollar spent up to $10 in “Market Bucks.” SNAP is a federal food assistance program. Benefits are placed on an EBT similar to a debit card. To find out if you qualify for SNAP, call the Minnesota Food HelpLine at 888-711-1151 or visit for more information.

The activities are funded through a grant awarded to the Region Five Development Commission by ArtPlace America’s National Creative Placemaking Fund.