Entertainment Briefs - July 7

Lakes Area Music Festival 2016 Prelude Series returns to Historic Aitkin Opera House AITKIN--After a record attendance performance last year, the Lakes Area Music Festival's 2016 Prelude Series will once again return for its second consecutive ye...

Lakes Area Music Festival 2016 Prelude Series returns to Historic Aitkin Opera House

AITKIN-After a record attendance performance last year, the Lakes Area Music Festival's 2016 Prelude Series will once again return for its second consecutive year at 7 p.m. July 16 to the historic Aitkin Opera House at Butler's.

As part of its highly acclaimed series of concerts leading up to its annual Lakes Area Music Festival 2016 Season, the concert will feature selections of music by legends of the classical music world. In the past, performances have included selections from Mozart, Schubert, Puccini, Ravel and Copland.

There will be a handful of Minnesota's best classical artists being showcased during this Prelude Series show, including Violinist Francesca Anderegg of St. Olaf College Faculty; Violist David Auerbach of the Minnesota Orchestra; baritone player John Taylor Ward of Les Arts Florissants; and cellist Scott Lykins of the South Dakota Symphony. Ward and Lykins are also co-founding artistic directors of the Lakes Area Music Festival.

Admission to the concert is free, but donations are appreciated. There will be a cash bar serving beer and wine and light refreshments. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. on the second floor of the historic Butler Building, 301 Minnesota Avenue North.


"Our annual Prelude Series allows us to bring some of those musicians into various communities around central Minnesota, and we look forward to returning to Aitkin for a wonderful program of music played by an extraordinary group of musicians," says Scott Lykins, executive director of Lakes Area Music Festival, in a news release.

Celebrating its eighth season this year, the Lakes Area Music Festival was co-founded in 2009 by arts entrepreneurs Scott Lykins and Taylor Ward. The 2016 Prelude Series will run July 16-24, with other shows taking place in Brainerd, Crosslake, Motley, Deerwood, and Nisswa, respectively.

Lakes Area Music Festival performances have ranged from chamber music to symphonic orchestra to semi-staged opera, performed by a world-class collaborative roster including over 80 musicians from such ensembles and conservatories such as the Minnesota Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, New World Symphony, Metropolitan Orchestra, Minnesota Opera, Juilliard School, Eastman School of Music, Curtis Institute, and more.

For more information, visit the official Lakes Area Music Festival at , or for more information on The Butler Building, visit or call Sylvia Allen, building owner, at 218-678-2441.

Ed DuRose artwork displayed at Crow Wing County Community Services

Crow Wing County Community Services is exhibiting the artwork of Ed DuRose through September.

DuRose was born in St., Paul Minnesota He travels to the Rocky Mountain and northern Minnesota each year for inspiration. His grandmother introduced him to art at very young age as a way to portray his experiences in nature.

DuRose has a BFA in Art from University of St. Thomas and has worked as a graphic designer along with painting wildlife and landscapes in the Rocky Mountain west and northern Minnesota. DuRose's artwork has been displayed in many books, national publications and museums, such as the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Okla.;, the Bell Museum in St. Paul; and the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, Wis. Permanent collections include the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, Wis, the University of Minnesota and the city of Roseville. His artwork has been juried into the C.M. Russell Museum Art Auction in Great Falls, Mont., and the Mountain Oyster Club Show in Tucson, Ariz.


'Time and the Decay of Memory' exhibition planned

The opening reception of "Time and the Decay of Memory," a new exhibition by photographer Steven McKnight, will be 5 p.m. July 8 at the Crossing Arts Gallery, located in the Franklin Arts Center at 1001 Kingwood St., Brainerd.

McKnight's trips to study street art in New York City inspired a series of pieces in which original 35mm photography was printed as a patchwork and transferred to sheets of plywood, reminiscent of the flyers he saw wheat pasted across construction barriers and boarded windows.

Watching the layers of posters strip and weather in the sun evoked time's deteriorating effect on our memories. Our histories are seen through a looking glass, betrayed by jumbled, nostalgic fragments of past realities which have combined together, their meaning multiplied by the intensity of the emotions we felt at the time.

Light refreshments will be offered. The exhibition runs from Saturday through July 22.

'The Past is Alive Within Us' film to be shown

LITTLE FALLS-The History Film Series "The Past Is Alive Within Us: The U.S.-Dakota Conflict" will be shown from 7-9 p.m. Tuesday at Charles A. Lindbergh Historic Site, 1620 Lindbergh Drive, Little Falls.

"The Past Is Alive Within Us: The U.S.-Dakota Conflict" examines one of the most difficult chapters of Minnesota's history: the state's involvement in the Dakota War as the Civil War was simultaneously raging. It's a mix of historical information and contemporary stories and is designed to build a better understanding of historical interpretation and encourage critical thinking. It will look at the subject through the lens of public memory. This film is produced by Twin Cities Public Television.


The museum and gift shop will be open for a short time before and after the film screening. Admission is free. Call 320-616-5421 for more information.

Open the Door to Art exhibit open

The Brainerd Area Arts Club's exhibit "Open the Door to Art" is ongoing through July 28 at the Porthole Gallery in Brainerd. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The artists' reception with refreshments will be 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

Third annual Fish House Festival planned for Saturday

NEW YORK MILLS-The Cultural Center in New York Mills is hosting its third annual Fish House Festival Friday and will once again host a raffle and live auction of fish houses, decoys, and other sporting art and cabin décor painted on the street during the festival.

At 6:30 p.m. Friday, the raffle drawing will be held near the Lund stage, in front of the Fire Hall on Centennial Ave in New York Mills. First prize is a newly-painted, custom built 2016 ice-fishing spear house. Second prize is a fish house painted in 2015 at last year's festival. Third and fourth prizes are a Ron Hamm custom-painted spear and John Peeters custom carved and painted decoy, respectively.

The first prize fish house will be painted on the street in front of the Cultural Center by four regional artists: Troy Helget, Bob Johnson, John Peeters, and Pam Robinson, during the Fish House Festival earlier in the day (9 a.m.-4 p.m).

The Cultural Center's Fish House Festival (including raffle and live auction) are held in conjunction with the New York Mills Summer Celebration and the Lund Mania Fishing Tournament. The festival includes artists painting in the street, live music, kids and family activities, fish cookie decorating, art activities, youth decoy painting, hot dogs and beer for sale, and the Gallery Reception for the Decoy Show and Sporting Art Through Time Exhibit.

Each raffle ticket comes with a commemorative Fish House Festival poster. Tickets are $10 each and only 290 will be sold. Tickets are now available for sale at the Cultural Center in New York Mills, the NYM Public Library, and in Perham at Gene's Sport Shop and P.S. I Love You boutique. Last year's fish house is now on display next to the Cultural Center, in front of the NYM library.

For more information, call the Cultural Center at 218-385-3339 or visit , the Center's website.

'Mixtape! The Stories and Songs from a Crazy Life!' to premiere July 14

The Great River Arts is proud to present "Mixtape! The Stories and Songs from a Crazy Life!," an all-new unforgettable night of comedy and storytelling starring comedian Jason Schommer with music by Kelly Cordes at 7:30 p.m. July 14. Tickets are $12 and all seating is general admission. Tickets can be purchased by phone at 320-632-0960 at the Great River Arts office during business hours, online at or at the door.

Everyone has a soundtrack to their life. Memories and stories collide with a song in such a way that the minute you hear the song it takes you right back to that specific moment. "Mixtape!" is a brand new show which mixes comedy, storytelling and live music for an unexpected night looking back at the defining moments in one's life. Stories, anecdotes, and stand up comedy weave in and out with an eclectic soundtrack of a crazy life in unexpected ways.

This collaborative show stars Schommer taking center stage with tales from growing up in Little Falls to living and performing in New York City, Las Vegas, and Hollywood to surviving the ups and downs of everyday life. Kelly Cordes performs the featured songs live during the show. "Mixtape!" explores life from hanging out with friends in the Coborn's parking lot and dreaming of the big time while Cyndi Lauper blares out of a boom box to standing on the streets of New York City while listening to musicals on a Sony Walkman to driving down Sunset Boulevard in the heart of Hollywood with the windows down as Cher is cranked up on the car radio, and so much more. Wildly creative and adventurous, "Mixtape" is a one of kind show that everyone will leave everyone cheering.

Schommer, named "What's Hot For 2013" by Campus Activities Magazine, is a standup comedian and storyteller who spent two years as the opening act for comedy legend Louie Anderson in Las Vegas. Louie Anderson says, "You'll love Jason. Jason is funny, clever, smart, and on his way to the big time!" Laugh-until-you-cry stories combine with playful one liners as Jason covers a wide array of topics ranging from the daily struggles of life and his loveable, yet kooky, Minnesotan family. A special treat is his hilarious insight into pop culture and the celebrity crazed world in which we live, recounting hysterical true encounters with celebrities such as Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Dolly Parton (to name a few).

A natural storyteller, Schommer has performed at numerous storytelling events and took first place at the live storytelling event The Moth for the theme "The Dark Side." He is currently working on writing a TV show pilot with Louie Anderson and recently recorded his first live comedy album at the Paramount Theatre in St. Cloud which will be released in the fall.

Kelly Cordes is the co-host for the popular radio show "The Get Up and Go Show with Chad and Kelly" on Mix 94.9 True Variety and is from Princeton. She has also lived in Wisconsin, Tennessee and Kentucky throughout her life, pursuing her broadcasting and musical dreams. She attended college at Bemidji State University with a bachelor of science degree in broadcasting Mass Communications back in 1989. Cordes has a passion for music. She's been a pianist, singer and songwriter since she was 13. Her album, "When Love Comes Knockin," features original material. Cordes has interviewed great entertainers all over the country, including Jenny McCarthy, the cast of "The Walking Dead," "Dancing with the Stars," "Duck Dynasty" and "The Voice." Other entertainers included Gilbert Gottfried, Joan Rivers, Al Roker, author Judy Blume and Julie Andrews. Cordes has also toured the country as a performer, opening for great acts including Diamond Rio, The Judds, Wynonna, George Strait, Reba and so many more. Scott Lykins and John Taylor Ward performing in the Gregory Park Bandstand

Lykins and Ward to perform

Scott Lykins and John Ward will perform in the bandstand at Gregory Park at 7 p.m. today, Thursday.

Festival Artistic Directors John Taylor Ward (baritone) and Scott Lykins (piano) present an evening of live music outdoors, including selections from the classical and opera repertoire as well as popular selections from the Great American Songbook.

John Taylor Ward's performances have been praised by the New York Times for their "impressive clarity and color" and "velvety suaveness" and by the Washington Post for "finely calibrated precision and heart-rending expressivity." This season, Taylor has appeared as a principal artist on five continents, joining ensembles such as Les Arts Florissants (as a laureate of the Jardin des voix), Collegium Vocale Ghent, and the Boston Camerata. Other recent credits include several roles in the Boston Early Music Festival's cycle of Monteverdi operas and the premiere staging of a new opera for the Teatro Mayor of Bogota, Colombia, with the ensemble L'arpeggiata. Taylor is also a frequent collaborator with the Grammy-winning ensemble Roomful of Teeth and Pulitzer Prize composer Caroline Shaw. Originally from Boone, N.C., he is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, holds two advanced degrees from Yale University, and is pursuing a doctorate there, having focused his scholarly research on the performance practice of shape-note and Appalachian folk music.

Scott Lykins' career uniquely blends artistic performance as a cellist and pianist with administrative creativity as founding artistic and executive director of the Lakes Area Music Festival in his native Brainerd. Primarily a cellist, he enjoys a busy schedule performing throughout the Midwest. He has served as principal cellist for the National Orchestra Institute, National Repertory Orchestras, Classical Symphony of Chicago, and Eastman Philharmonic Orchestra, and has played regularly with the Syracuse, South Dakota, and New World Symphonies. As a soloist, recent concerto appearances include the Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra, Heartland Symphony, Northeast Orchestra, and the Lakes Area Music Festival. He has received both bachelor's and master's degrees in cello performance from the Eastman School of Music, studying with Steven Doane and Alan Harris, respectively. Also a collaborative pianist, he has performed in recitals and concerts throughout the United States, and recently made his European debut performing Schubert's Winterreise with baritone John Taylor Ward at the Cite Internationale Universitaire de Paris. Lykins is a graduate of the Catherine Filene Shouse Arts Leadership Program at Eastman and was a member of the 2014 cohort of the Institute for Executive Director Leadership presented by St. Thomas University's College of Business.

Concerts in the park are free and open to the public. Bring your lawn chair. Rainout site is The Center, 803 Kingwood St., Brainerd. If the concerts are moved indoors, signs will be posted on the bandstand and it will be announced on WJJY radio.

Funding for the concerts has been provided in memory of Helen Mills. Concerts in the park are a collaboration between the City of Brainerd Parks and Recreation Department and The Center.

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