Entertainment Briefs - April 28

A roundup of area concerts, shows, book and visual art events in the Brainerd lakes area.

Contributed / Metro Newspaper Service

Aitkin hosts used book sale

AITKIN — Friends of the Aitkin Library is hosting its spring used book sale May 7-8 at the Aitkin Library Community Room.

The book sale will be open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and masks are required.

Explore Music! to be in person this summer

The Lakes Area Music Festival announced its Explore Music!, an annual weeklong day camp for students entering first through fifth grade, will take place in person this August.

Explore Music! is among the numerous opportunities for audiences to experience music and the arts in a new way through the music festival programs of the 2021 season, running July 30 through Aug. 22.


Children from the 2019 Explore Music! camp play bucket drums at Tornstrom Auditorium in Brainerd. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

Registration is now open for Explore Music!, now in its 10th year. The program will take place in

person 9 a.m. to noon Aug. 2-6 at Tornstrom Auditorium in Brainerd. Participants will learn about music and the arts through numerous creative outlets including movement, dance, singing and playing instruments — all while exercising their creative muscles through guided improvisation.

The program often fills to capacity well in advance and early registration is encouraged, a news release stated.

Need-based scholarships are available by contacting Brainerd Community Education.

This invigorating musical exploration will be led by Alexander Peña, a classical musician and teaching artist now on faculty at the ‘lolani School in Honolulu, along with his team of instructors from around the country.

Explore Music Director Alexander-Pena will lead this year's Explore Music! camp sponsored by the Lakes Area Music Festival. Submitted Photo


“The Lakes Area Music Festival understands the importance of inspiring our youth and is committed to music education,” Peña stated in a news release. “Explore Music! provides lakes area children and their families a week of orchestral-music exploration through the lens of engaging activities in theater arts, instrumental study, visual arts, movement, voice, and more.”

At the end of the camp, participants will have a chance to share what they have discovered by participating in a special performance for families. A free, special concert for kids and families will be presented at 10 a.m. Aug. 7, featuring a string orchestra performing the music that will be “explored” throughout the week.

Lakes Area Music Festival musicians come from top professional orchestras and ensembles throughout the nation. Last season, due to the pandemic, the program was moved online for a full week of distance learning activities for kids and their families to do at home. By doing so, “Explore Music @Home” doubled its usual enrollment, with more than 100 kids participating around the world.

The Lakes Area Music Festival will present its 13th annual season this summer, with a full schedule of events to be announced in early May. Additional education programs include online lectures, musician question and answer sessions, open rehearsals and more.

Explore Music! is co-sponsored with Brainerd Community Education with support from the Twin Cities Opera Guild. To register, visit the LAMF website at or sign up through Brainerd Community Education.

Brainerd Book Club to meet

The Brainerd Book Club meets the second Wednesday of the month at 1 p.m for one hour.

The book club currently meets online via Zoom and welcomes new members who would like to discuss a variety of books including literary novels, mysteries, as well as nonfiction titles such as memoirs and biographies. Brainerd Public Library staff members lead the discussion and often recommend related books and other materials available through the library.

The title to be discussed at the May 12 meeting is “Homegoing” by Yaa Gyasi. “Homegoing” is the story of two half-sisters, one sold into slavery, the other married to a British slaver.


Upcoming selections include “Little Fires Everywhere” by Celeste Ng, “The Nickel Boys” by Colson Whitehead, and “Book Woman of Troublesome Creek” by Kim Michele Richardson.

The Friends of the Brainerd Public Library support this book club by providing the funds to purchase 10 copies of a title for patrons to borrow. These copies may be requested for curbside pickup appointments during the month prior to the meeting by calling the library at 218-829-5574 during business hours, or picked up during open Grab & Go hours. To get the link to join the Zoom discussion, email the library at .

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

Leaf River 1
This photograph taken by Jamie Roberston will be among his work to be displayed through May 22 at the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center. The exhibit it titled "Leaf River Inscapes." Submitted Photo

Photography exhibit on display in New York Mills

NEW YORK MILLS — The New York Mills Regional Cultural Center is featuring an exhibit titled “Leaf River Inscapes,” consisting of photographs by Jamie Robertson of Wadena.

“Leaf River Inscapes; views from the Minnesota interior” is a series of photographs that find the beauty in an ordinary place and create a link between the artist and the natural world in rural Minnesota, a news release stated.

In his artist statement, Robertson stated: “These images aren’t a documentary or objective reflection of the region. On a very basic level they provide evidence that I have lived here. They are my personal interpretations of my relationship to this place and they are grounded in this place. I want the photographs to encourage reflection, memory, and vision in everyone who sees them in a gallery, online, or on a wall in their own home. I hope they provide a means for each of us to engage in a process of creative work, building our own personal sense of place.”


Leaf River 2
This photograph taken by Jamie Roberston will be among his work to be displayed through May 22 at the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center. The exhibit it titled "Leaf River Inscapes." Submitted Photo

"Leaf River Inscapes" will be on display through May 22 in the Cultural Center Gallery, with a reception and artist talk 4-6 p.m. May 7. Refreshments will be served. Everyone is invited to attend and follow all COVID-19 precautions. People must wear a mask, maintain physical distance, wash their hands and if a person is ill, they are advised to stay home.

This show is free to see and open to the public. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays; and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. Private viewing and tours can be arranged by contacting Cheryl Bannes at 218-385-3339 or .

This activity is made possible, in part, 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.

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