Entertainment Briefs - July 4th

Linda Grover
Author Linda Grover

Author to speak at Brainerd library

Author Linda LeGarde Grover will speak at noon Monday, July 8, about her latest book, “In the Night of Memory” at the Brainerd Public Library.

The event is sponsored by the Friends of the Brainerd Public Library. The friends are celebrating the 20th season of the Brown Bag Lunch Author Series this summer with a lineup of award-winning and acclaimed Minnesota writers.

“In the Night of Memory,” two lost sisters find family and themselves, among the voices of an Ojibwe reservation, a news release stated. Some ruptures simply cannot be repaired; they can only be lived through, or lived with. LeGarde Grover returns to the fictional Mozhay Point Reservation in this nuanced, moving, often humorous picture of two Ojibwe girls becoming women in the long, sharply etched shadow of Native American history.

LeGarde Grover is professor of American Indian studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth and a member of the Bois Forte Band of Ojibwe. Her novel “The Road Back to Sweetgrass” received the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers Fiction Award as well as the Native Writers Circle of the Americas First Book Award. “Onigamiising: Seasons of an Ojibwe

Year” won the 2018 Minnesota Book Award for Memoir and Creative Nonfiction and the Northeastern Minnesota Book Award People who attend are welcome to bring a packed lunch or may just enjoy the light refreshments provided. These presentations are 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

‘Fritz Loven Park Revisited’ exhibit to open

The Crossing Arts Alliance will host an opening reception of “Fritz Loven Park Revisited,” an exhibition of artwork by Mary Hendricks, Judith Kuusisto, Mona Warren, Kathy Blake and Cindy Furda, from 5-7 p.m. July 12. Free will offerings will be accepted at the door. Light refreshments will be served. People may mingle with fellow artists and arts enthusiasts.

Beginning in 2011, the Fritz Loven Park project consisted of four painters, Hendricks, Kuusisto, Warren and the late Carol Hanson, who had all been working together for a number of years. After learning about an art group who had done a "deep study" of a natural setting, this group of artists decided to do a similar project in their own local environment and eventually chose Fritz Loven Park in Lake Shore as the ideal location, a news release stated. The park is named in honor of the man who once lived on what is known locally as "The Golden Eighty," in a small cabin from 1945-1975. He was known for his love of nature and ability to share that love as a conservator of the land with visitors.

They visited the park over an 18 month period about once a month, in order to make observations and take photographs. They experienced the changing colors and moods of the landscape and seasons. While hiking through the park they carried cameras to reference shots and wildflower books to identify their finds.

The result of this deep study was an exhibit titled “Four Artists, Four Seasons, Fritz Loven Park,” which was exhibited at TCAA a few years ago. In the summer of 2016, two large storms changed parts of the park's environment. The group of artists felt it was time to revisit the park and make more artwork. Two artists, Kathy Blake and Cindy Furda, joined the group, and in the end, are all presenting a new body of work titled “Fritz Loven Park Revisited.”


As a complement to this exhibit, Kuusisto will offer a watercolor workshop from 1-3 p.m. July 25, at The Crossing. Participants will make at least five -- 3" by 5" -- paintings using various watercolor techniques. Cost is $65 for Crossing Arts members, $70 for general public.

For more information, contact TCAA at 218-833-0416,, or visit

HSO conductor resigns

The Heartland Symphony Orchestra’s Board of Directors has regretfully accepted the resignation of its conductor, Alexander Corbett, it stated in a news release.

Corbett has led the HSO for the past three seasons has accepted a position of assistant professor of Music at Temple College in Texas.

HSO, a 55-piece orchestra serving central Minnesota, celebrates its 43rd anniversary next concert season and over the years, being the conductor of this orchestra has become a coveted position for talented, young conductors. So far, the conductor’s search committee has received more than 15 applicants. The selected candidate will be announced in the near future.

“We hope we have played a small part in Dr. Corbett's bright future,” HSO stated. “While we regret his departure, we are very happy for him and wish him the very best in his future endeavors.

Novel debuts in Brainerd and Crosby

The author of “Infamous, the Crimes of John Henry Seadlund,” will make appearances Tuesday-Wednesday, July 9-10 in Brainerd and Crosby.

Award-winning author James Brakken of Bayfield County, Wisconsin, will present his 10th book, “Infamous,” at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Sawmill Inn in Brainerd and at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Soo Line Depot Museum in Crosby. The free family events are sponsored in part by the Crow Wing County Historical Society, the Cuyuna Iron Range Heritage Network, the Sawmill In and Badger Valley Publishing.


“Infamous,” Brakken’s latest true-crime novel, delves into the life of the FBI’s 1937 Public Enemy No. 1, John Henry Seadlund, an Ironton lad who, in desperation, turned to crime, a news release stated. The novel is based closely on 1938 newspaper reports, FBI files and court documents.

The free program features a 40-minute slideshow with many images found within the book. Signed copies of the softcover book will be available at both events or may be ordered through James Brakken’s website.

“When Minnesota’s iron mines shut down during the Great Depression, Johnny Seadlund, a good kid and hockey star at Crosby-Ironton High School, couldn’t find work,” Brakken stated. “He turned to crime after a chance meeting with a John Dillinger gang member named Tommy Carroll. Seadlund’s relatively minor crimes, such as robbing Van’s Cafe (now Brainerd’s Sawmill Inn) soon escalated into multiple bank robberies in Minnesota and northern Wisconsin. Later, after a failed plan to abduct celebrated baseball star Dizzy Dean at Wrigley Field, Seadlund kidnapped a 72-year-old Chicago businessman. Disturbing events soon brought J. Edgar Hoover and his hand-picked squad of agents to Minnesota and Wisconsin to personally investigate Seadlund’s crimes. Hoover then labeled Seadlund as ‘the cruelest, most ruthless, cold-blooded killer’ he’d ever encountered.”

“This fact-based, illustrated, historical fiction novel takes the reader inside Seadlund’s mind as he carries out crimes throughout the north,” Brakken stated. “True-crime aficionados will also enjoy learning the techniques used by FBI agents determined to capture Seadlund and rescue his elderly victim, Charles Sherman Ross.”

Brakken has been published in Sports Afield, Outdoor Life, Field & Stream and Boys’ Life magazines. His writing credentials include the 2013, 2014 and 2016 Lake Superior Writers Award and the 2014 Wisconsin Writers Association Jade Ring award. Brakken’s best-seller, an 1880s lumberjack adventure titled “The Treasure of Namakagon,” took second place out of 10,000 worldwide entries in the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards.

Those attending in Brainerd are encouraged to come early and order lunch prior to the event. Reservations for this event can be made at 218-829-5444. Contact the Soo Line Depot Museum at 218-546-6178 for more information on this event.


‘First Ladies of Song’ to hit Hackensack stage

HACKENSACK -- For the fifth summer, Josh Duffee and his big band return to Hackensack for a two-day music festival at 7:30 p.m. July 12-13, at the Hackensack Community Building.

This year the spotlight shines on “The First Ladies of Song,” the female vocalists of the Big Band Era, who include Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James, Peggy Lee and Anita O’Day. Each night the show will feature different music from the Big Band Era. Guest vocalist for both performances will be Linnea Saddler, Duffee’s classmate at Moline High School, Moline, Ill. Another music festival highlight will be drum performances by Josh Duffee, band leader and professional percussionist. He will perform on one of the drum sets owned by famed Louie Bellson. Duffee is from Davenport, Iowa, and considered one of the world’s leading 1920s style percussionists, a news release stated. He leads several musical groups in the Quad Cities area, playing both jazz and music of the Big Band Era (1920-40s). Duffee performs around the world at jazz festivals and concerts. He is a respected historian and jazz authority, often lecturing and giving presentations at high schools and colleges, the release stated.

Tickets are available at Southside Fuel Plus, Swanson’s Bait and Gas in

Hackensack, the July Flea Market at Sacred Heart Church and on the NAC website at

St. Francis hosts Instrument Petting Zoo

LITTLE FALLS -- St. Francis Music Center in Little Falls is hosting an Instrument Petting Zoo for youth from 6-6:45 p.m. July 17 in Room 242.

The “zoo” will open with a short demonstration on the violin, viola, cello and string bass by Music Center students and faculty, a news release stated. Then all the youth and parents will have an opportunity to hold and play each instrument. The Instrument Zoo is free and open to everyone, but focuses on children ages 6 and up, who may be interested in playing a string instrument or want to learn more about orchestras. Staff will be on hand to answer questions about lessons and instruments. The zoo will close with a treat and a farewell song. There is no need for prior registration.

For more information visit or call 320-632-0637.


Merrifield Lions Park-Fest and Car Show set

MERRIFIELD -- The Merrifield Lions Park-Fest and Car Show will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 20 at the Merrifield Lions Park on Crow Wing County Highway 3.

The Car Show will be on the baseball field of the park and registration of $10 begins at 8:30 a.m. The Car Show is free to spectators. Pulled pork and barbecue rib dinners, hot dog plates and root beer floats will be for sale throughout the day. The fundraiser is to benefit the maintenance and improvements at the Merrifield Lions Park.

Baxter author to release book

Author Ann Dunham recently released her third book in her Blue Ray Trilogy.

The journey began in early 2018 with her book “Blue Ray of Freedom -- A Prisoner of a Cult,” which was loosely based on her brother’s life and how he unknowingly joined a cult 20 years ago and has not been heard from since. In her book, fictional Michael Morgan miraculously escapes.

A sequel to her first book was released last December titled “Prisoners of a Cult -- Released from Bondage.” In the book, the Baxter resident shows how people from all walks of life are enticed into the fictitious cult and become prisoners on The Ranch. Federal agencies ultimately get involved with “Operation Oracle” and take down the cult, however, The Oracle evades capture, a news release stated.

The final book, “The Rise of the Oracle -- A Quest for Enlightenment,” gives the background on The Oracle and how he started the cult and is now searching for the true God after fleeing from The Ranch. A bounty hunter is hot on his trail, seeking to bring him to justice.

This trilogy is available on Amazon and copies will be made available at the Brainerd Library.

Charles Lindbergh Goggles
The Minnesota Historical Society recently acquired a pair of Charles Lindbergh’s flight goggles. Submitted Photo

Lindbergh’s flight goggles join MHS collection

In May 1927, a 25-year-old Charles Lindbergh from Little Falls gained worldwide fame when he completed the first-ever nonstop, solo transatlantic flight. The 33 ½-hour flight from New York to Paris made him into a lifelong celebrity.


The Minnesota Historical Society recently acquired a pair of Lindbergh’s flight goggles. While the story of these particular 1930s US Navy MK1 goggles isn’t known, this artifact helps MNHS document Lindbergh’s celebrity and ongoing impact on aviation after his famous flight.

“Many people forget that after 1927, Lindbergh continued to make contributions to the field of aviation by working as a consultant for Transcontinental Air Transport (later TWA), Pan American Airways and the Aeronautics Branch of the Department of Commerce of the government,” Melissa Peterson, site manager at Charles Lindbergh House and Museum, the aviator's childhood home in Little Falls, stated in a news release. “These goggles will help MNHS share additional stories of Lindbergh's work in aviation beyond his 1927 flight.”

Charles Lindbergh
In May 1927, a 25-year-old Charles Lindbergh from Little Falls gained worldwide fame when he completed the first-ever nonstop, solo transatlantic flight. The Minnesota Historical Society acquired his flight goggles, which will be on display. Submitted Photo

The goggles also tell the story of Lindbergh’s enduring celebrity. They were originally a gift from Lindbergh’s widow, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, to her New York City physician, Dr. John Lattimer, who was known for his celebrity patients. In addition to Lindbergh, he collected items from the likes of Greta Garbo and Katharine Hepburn. After Lattimer’s 2007 death, the goggles were purchased by a collector, and MNHS bought them at auction.

MNHS cares for many items related to Lindbergh’s life, including his family home in Little Falls, where he saw his first plane as a child. At Charles Lindbergh House and Museum, visitors can learn about Lindbergh’s early life and see a variety of artifacts, like broken propellers from his days on the barnstormer circuit and the 1916 Saxon Six car that a teenage Charles drove across the country -- which locals dubbed “Lindy’s first plane” after his famous flight.

The goggles will be digitized and images will be available on the MNHS website. Digitization of collections items for online access is made possible by the Legacy Amendment's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on Nov. 4, 2008.

Summer Harvest Dinner set July 26

LITTLE FALLS -- Sprout’s third annual Summer Harvest Dinner event is scheduled at 5 p.m. July 26 and will celebrate the tastes of local food growing this season and creates a platform where expert chefs showcase their gourmet cooking. Three of the five chefs featured at this year’s dinner competed at Sprout’s cooking contest, MINCED: The Finer Version of Chopped. At the Summer Harvest Dinner, the competition will be set aside so that local food can be the star of the show.

The five-course meal will be served at Sprout, with each course prepared by a different chef and features a local food producer who is invited to attend the dinner and speak on behalf of their growing operation.

Social hour begins at 5 p.m., followed by a five-course meal of two appetizers, two entrees and dessert. Each of the courses is paired with wine, selected by sommelier Scott Lindman of Paustis Wine Company. Lindman is also the host of the event, entertaining the audience with his take on wine tasting education. The ingredients for the meal are sourced through Sprout’s Food Hub operation which works with a network of local growers to supply fresh local produce to schools, hospitals, co-ops and restaurants. Local growers who supply their product for the dinner are invited to the dinner to enjoy the fruits of their labor and share stories of their work with their neighbors, how and why they produce their meat, produce, grains and other products, a news release stated.

The expert chefs preparing the menu include all three competitors of the culinary cook-off, MINCED in May. The winner of the 2019 MINCED Master Chef title, Mateo Mackbee of Model Citizen the Restaurant in New London will prepare an entree; MINCED competitor Chef Thomas Kavanaugh, mentor to the Pillager High School ProStart Program, will prepare a dessert; and Chef Jenna Brower Von Siebolds of Prairie Bay Grill in Baxter, who won the 2019 MINCED People’s Choice award, will prepare one of the two appetizers of the meal.

Chef Mateo Mackbee (left) of Model Citizen the Restaurant in New London, Chef Thomas Kavanaugh, mentor to the Pillager High School ProStart Program and Chef Jenna Brower Von Siebolds of Prairie Bay Grill in Baxter will prepare an item for Sprout's annual Summer Harvest Dinner scheduled July 26. Submitted Photo

“I’m planning on doing a new take on tapas, with six different appetizer bites on one plate,” she stated.

Two chefs from Little Falls -- Ron Lyschik of Zoomski's Midtown Cafe and Tomas Zimmerman of A.T. The Black & White Restaurant -- will also prepare a course at the dinner.

The community is invited to attend the meal by reserving tickets which are $60 per person and available online through There is a limited number of tickets available and tickets must be reserved in advance.

This event is sponsored by Region Five Development Commission, ArtPlaceAmerica, and Prairie Bay Grill.

Children's author to speak in Wadena

Children's author Mary Losure will be the featured speaker at BookEnds at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 13, at the Uptown Café in Wadena.

Losure writes innovative nonfiction and the occasional fantasy for children. Her books have been praised in The Wall Street Journal, Kirkus, Booklist, School Library Journal and other publications and have been selected for several “best of” lists for children’s literature, it stated in a news release.

Her most recent book "Isaac the Alchemist: Secrets of Isaac Newton, Reveal’d" describes the magic-seeking childhood of a boy who grows up to be the world’s greatest alchemist–Isaac Newton.

Before she began writing for children, she was an award-winning reporter for Minnesota Public Radio. A long-time contributor to National Public Radio, she also reported from Mexico and South America for the independent production company Round Earth Media.

These days as well as writing books, she also makes occasional appearances in the guise of a traveling alchemist and makes school visits.

Anyone interested in having her visit a school, contact her through her website at

BookEnds is a monthly literary event connecting readers and writers. Now in its third season, the event is hosted each month on the second Saturday, unless otherwise noted. BookEnds is hosted by the Wadena County Historical Society and Travelin’ Storyseller in collaboration with the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center. For more information call 218-631-9079 or email

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.

Pequot Lakes Little Mermaid
Pequot Lakes Community Theater cast members practice for the summer production of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.” The play will be presented nine times from July 17-27 in Pequot Lakes. Submitted Photo

‘The Little Mermaid’ to open July 17

PEQUOT LAKES -- Pequot Lakes Community Theater will present its summer production of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” nine times from July 17-27.

“The Little Mermaid,” is based in a magical kingdom beneath the sea, where a beautiful young mermaid, Ariel, longs to leave her ocean home to live in the world above. Based on one of Hans Christian Andersen's most beloved stories and the classic animated film, Disney's “The Little Mermaid” is a hauntingly beautiful love story for the ages, a news release stated.

“This cast has been working their fins off to get ready for opening night. It is really something to watch these talented actors night after night as they rehearse and perfect every aspect of this show. I can’t wait for locals and visitors alike to see this amazing performance,” Director Travis Chaput stated in a news release. “This production promises to bring back all the nostalgia for our 80s and 90s parents, as well as provide a wonderful introduction into the world of Disney for young children. We anticipate large attendance for this show. I suggest you get your tickets early.”

Ticket and time information can be found online at or by contacting the Pequot Lakes Community Education office at 218-5680-9200. The performances on July 21 and 26 will have American Sign Language Interpreted provided.

Artist Mark Swenson won Best Of Show June 22 during the first Summer Solstice Event at the Northland Arboretum in Brainerd for his painting "The Gift," which represents the earth wrapped in a ribbon, as a gift to us all. Submitted Photo

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