Entertainment Briefs - Aug. 8

? Taylor to be next organ recitalist NISSWA -- Cathy Taylor will perform from 12-12:30 Wednesday to wrap up the Lakes Area Summer Organ Recital Series to be held at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Nisswa. Taylor will be playing a Carillon by John...

■ Taylor to be next organ recitalist

NISSWA - Cathy Taylor will perform from 12-12:30 Wednesday to wrap up the Lakes Area Summer Organ Recital Series to be held at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Nisswa.

Taylor will be playing a Carillon by John Behnke, a Buxtehude Prelude and Fugue, Dale Wood arrangements of favorite hymns and a series of hymn arrangements of “O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing.”

A free-will offering will be accepted.

■ Vibrant color and bold paintings
featured in Aitkin gallery


AITKIN - Through vibrant color and bold brushwork, painter Mickey Cunningham explores the tension between the real and the abstract.

An exhibit of Cunningham’s still life and landscape paintings at Ripple River Gallery opens Wednesday and continues through Sept. 15. The public is invited to a reception for the artist to be held from 2-4 p.m. Aug. 17.

Cunningham, St. Cloud, calls herself an intuitive painter and prefers to work from life in a spontaneous manner. 

She said, “I respond to the interaction of light and color in the real world by searching for equivalent sensations in paint.

“My concern is less with capturing representational form than with inventing attractive compositions from the shapes, lines, and colors I perceive.”

Cunningham aims for a spontaneous “alla prima” (all at once) style, yet her paintings are not always made in this fashion. Quite often, she layers color by scumbling, glazing, or scraping.

Cunningham majored in art at Colby College in Maine, and attended painting, drawing, and clay modeling classes at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. She received a master of arts in art history from Temple University’s Tyler School of Art in 1985. For 10 years she worked as a curator, specializing in American art and publishing two books in the field. She has been awarded grants for painting from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Central Minnesota Arts Board. Currently Cunningham is a part-time instructor of writing and critical thinking at the College of St. Benedict and Saint John’s University.

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 .

■ Taste of the Arts class

Blogger Mary Aalgaard will teach ‘Blogging for Artists’ from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Franklin Arts Center in Brainerd, as part of the Taste of the Arts Tuesday Sampler series. The class will discuss the basics of blogging, getting started to create your own blog and how blogging can create an outlet for creative expression to promote yourself as an artist in any field. Class fee is $10 or $5 for Crossing Arts Alliance members. Call 833-0416 to register or visit .

Aalgaard is a freelance writer, playwright and blogger. Her inspirational blog, “Play off the Page,” ( ), features art, books, theatre, music, kids, quotes and life. Aalgaard writes reviews for theaters including The Guthrie Theater, The Ordway Performing Arts Center and the Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis which are featured on her blog as well as the Brainerd Dispatch website.

The Tuesday Sampler: Taste of the Arts Series, presented by The Crossing Arts Alliance, is a literary and visual arts series of classes on Farmer Market Tuesdays at the Franklin Art Center, 1001 Kingwood St, Brainerd. Enjoy the Farmers Market in the parking lot, then come inside and improve your artistic skills with a selection of classes in August and September.

This activity is funded, in part, by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Five Wings Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and grants from Sertoma Winter Wonderland, Brainerd Service League, Mid Minnesota Federal Credit Union and the Anderson Family Legacy Fund.

■ Meire Grove Community Band to perform

STAPLES - The Meire Grove Community Band will perform at 7 p.m. Sunday in the Music in the Park Series in the Northern Pacific (NP) Park in Staples.


The Meire Grove Community Band represents a rich history and tradition that once flourished in nearly every Minnesota small town. Located in Stearns County with a population of only 125 people, this small farming community boasts of having the oldest, continuously-performing community band in the entire state of Minnesota. The band was organized in 1883.

The current director is Vern Meyer, who is in his 57th year of wielding the baton. After graduating from St. John’s University, Meyer served as a high school band director in Bertha-Hewitt and Melrose until the lure of the land and a lifestyle called him back to the family farm.

The members have their family roots in the predominantly German heritage of Meire Grove. The love of music that exists among the band members and in the community, and because talent seems to have passed on from father or mother to son and/or daughter, sister and /or brother, is an integral reason for the band’s continued success.

Band membership includes musicians of all ages from 12 to 70-plus who work together to provide quality band performances. The music the band performs focuses on traditional American marches, concert band pieces and folk music. For the younger musicians, playing with a mature ensemble expands their music education, sharpens their performance skills and gives them unique experiences to take back to their school bands.

For more information on the Music in the Park series go to .

In case of rain, the concerts will be moved to Centennial Auditorium.

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.

■ Old Wadena event includes
well known entertainers

WADENA - Entertainers, some new and some old to the local stage, will highlight the entertainment schedule for the Old Wadena Rendezvous and Folk Music Festival set Saturday and Sunday at the Old Wadena County Park just northwest of Staples.

Andra Suchy, a vocalist known as the Diva of the Da-

kotas and a featured singer on the Prairie Home Companion public radio show, will headline the Saturday afternoon schedule. She is joined by Andrew Pierzina on the guitar.

Saturday’s entertainment schedule includes a popular duo, Bill and Kate Isles who will present their program at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., preceding Suchy and Pierzina’s performances at 2:15 p.m. and 4 p.m.

The Old Wadena Society, a nonprofit organization, sponsors the annual Old Wadena Rendezvous and Folk Music Festival. The group, which will be presenting their 23rd annual rendezvous, has as part of its mission to share information about the natural environment and history of the area. The festival showcases two days of music, storytelling, food and artists and artisans displaying their work.

The Rendezvous Festival includes an encampment of the Crow Wing Muzzleloaders Club. Outfitted in authentic period leather and linen, these men and women provide the nucleus of a camp of re-enactors who will demonstrate how fur traders lived in the 1840s. The Muzzleloaders have been Old Wadena regulars since the rendezvous began.

Artists and craftsmen expected include blacksmithing; portrait/scenery painting on slab wood; wood carving, and others. Local resident Lowell Bayerkohler, with his pottery, is once again expected to be one of the artisans displaying their work.

Family entertainment includes the Clockwork Clown, a female mime actress, who has entertained at the rendezvous in previous years.

■ Great River Arts accepts donation

LITTLE FALLS - Great River Arts of Little Falls has accepted a donation of art supplies from the family of Angela “Angie” Beaumont valued at more than $700. Donated materials include four easels, a three paneled tag board display wall, architect table and stools, two figure models, 56 books, a large collection of brushes, watercolor and acrylic paint, India ink set, and watercolor pencils. Beaumont was an integral artist and member of Great River Arts, working with the organization since its inception in 1992.

“As a small non-profit working within a tight budget, we were so excited to receive the supplies,” said Jill Moore, executive director, in an email release. “Easels, paints, inks and brushes can all be used for future classes and workshops. Donations from Angie are especially cherished.”

Beaumont passed away last October. She was a member of Artists of Minnesota and the Midwest Watercolor Society. Her watercolor paintings have been showcased in Great River Art’s main gallery, as well as both satellite galleries.

■ Events in Cushing

CUSHING - The Cushing Community Park, built about 28 years ago with the formation of the Cushing Community Club, will host the following events:

A softball tournament will begin Aug. 17. Team sign up and information can be done by calling Louis Doucette at 320-749-2439. Tourney begins at 9 a.m. Arts in the Park will be held Aug. 18, where artists from all over the state will gather to share their artistic talents, technique and works. Demonstrations will include flint napping and wire jewelry with all artists available for questions about their various works. Musicians this year, include Sam Scales from Sartell, Herbie Daigle of Fort Ripley, Dalton Etzler and Brandon Lewis of Staples, Aitas, the band, from Staples, C J Promotions and Leather and Lace, both from Cushing. Cars in the Park begins at 11 a.m. and judging is at 2 p.m. Aug. 18. All car enthusiasts who would like to show in a smaller environment are welcome. Everyone is welcome to show their cars in six different categories and popular vote. All registered cars will be charged a $5 registration fee. Starts at 11:00am and judging is at 2:00pm.

For registration, vending or any other information, go to .

■ StoryWalk Weekends in Wadena

WADENA - Green Island announces StoryWalk Weekends beginning Saturday and running Saturdays and Sundays through Sept. 29th at Wadena’s Green Island.

StoryWalk, is a family outing that combines a children’s story with a walking route, encouraging physical activity and increasing reading among youth and families. Started in 2007 by Anne Ferguson in Montpelier, Vt., StoryWalk responds to the No Child Left Inside philosophy that stresses the vital importance of reconnecting children with the natural world. All stories featured at Green Island are nature stories relevant to children in our part of Minnesota. StoryWalk helps build children’s interest in reading while encouraging healthy outdoor activity.

Green Island StoryWalk books are carefully selected for their subject matter, quality of artwork, message and readability. Book pages are laminated for protection from the weather and posted along a mile of trails at Green Island. Books can be read by the children themselves or out loud by the adults that accompany them.

All are welcome to visit Green Island’s StoryWalk, no advance reservation is needed and the experience is free. Among the books featured will be: “Living Sunlight: How Plants Bring the Earth To Life” by Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm; “A Bold Carnivore: An Alphabet of Predators” by Consie Powell; “Around One Log: Chipmunks, Spiders & Creepy Insiders” by Anthony D Fredericks and others. Visitors are encouraged to share the joy of reading and record their responses in the comment book located at the end of the route.

Funding for the Green Island Story Walk is provided in part by Operation Round Up of Todd-Wadena Electric Cooperative.

For more information, contact Vicki Chepulis at (701) 200-1375 or or Kent Scheer at 218-631-3084 or .

■ Two headliner events coming
for Lakes Area Music Festival

The Lakes Area Music Festival will be presenting its next two special concerts to be held at Tornstrom Auditorium in Brainerd. Both performances are free of charge.

“Serenades” will be featured at 3 p.m. Sunday and a rollicking performance of Rossini’s Opera “Cinderella” will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday, preceded by a 6:30 p.m. music appreciation lecture.

The Sunday concert will open with Mozart’s “Serenade for Winds,” in which “four cheerful outer movements frame the inner Adagio, the beating operatic heart of the piece,” according to program notes by Emily Hogstad. The next selection will be Rossini’s sprightly “Duo for Cello and Double Bass,” in which “the instruments become characters in their own miniature opera,” according to Hogstad. Rossini was most famous as an opera composer; in fact, his opera “Cinderella” will be performed later in the festival.

The concluding work will be Dvorak’s “Serenade for Wind Instruments.” Hogstad notes that “Dvorak’s interest in folk music is evident throughout the serenade, but especially in the second Minuetto movement, which features the infectious rhythms of Czech folk dances.”

Wednesday’s “Cinderella” concert is in a semi-staged version, meaning that there will be costumes and dramatic - occasionally farcical - acting, but minimal scenery. The legend of Cinderella is very old and has taken many forms. John Taylor Ward, assistant artistic director of the festival who delighted audiences last year as Papageno in “The Magic Flute,” will play the wicked stepfather.Megan Berti will sing the role of Cinderella. Abigail Dueppen and Meghan Attridge will play the two vain and ugly stepsisters. The prince will be Kyle Erdos Knapp, his tutor will be Rodolfo Nieto, and his valet, John Buffett.

Costumes are once again being provided by Ruth Geminder.

An informal opportunity to meet the musicians will be held at Prairie Bay following Wednesday’s performance.

The Lakes Area Music Festival, an annual summer series attracting some of the country’s leading orchestral and vocal performers, runs through Aug. 18. More than 80 musicians and vocalists will be in the Brainerd lakes area as guest artists. For more information visit .

I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with numerous job titles since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently as Digital Editor. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work these 30+ years. I was present and worked on the our web page when our original website first went live on April 26, 1994.
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