Entertainment Briefs - March 9

BHS A Cappella Choir receives state honor Brainerd High School A Cappella Choir, directed by Brian Stubbs is one of six choirs selected for the 12th and final Choral Arts Finale, a premier high school choral festival co-sponsored by American Chor...

Brainerd Just For Kix dancers, the Sparklers, who are second- and third-graders compete their jazz dance "Another Cha Cha” in a competition Feb. Feb. 25th at Eastview High School in Apple Valley. Submitted
Brainerd Just For Kix dancers, the Sparklers, who are second- and third-graders compete their jazz dance "Another Cha Cha” in a competition Feb. Feb. 25th at Eastview High School in Apple Valley. Submitted

BHS A Cappella Choir receives state honor

Brainerd High School A Cappella Choir, directed by Brian Stubbs is one of six choirs selected for the 12th and final Choral Arts Finale, a premier high school choral festival co-sponsored by American Choral Director's Association of Minnesota and Concordia University, St. Paul. Auditions came from choirs of all sizes from throughout the state. Using a blind screening process, an audition committee of ACDA members met in January and ranked the auditions and chose the top six scoring groups. The groups chosen also represent the range of auditions from outstate and metro, larger and smaller schools.

The six choirs chosen for the 12th annual Choral Arts Finale, along with Brainerd are Albert Lea High School Concert Choir, Champlin Park High School Concert Choir, Hastings High School Select Chorale, Roseville Area High School, The Good 'Pellas chamber choir and Wayzata High School Concert Choir.

Each group will receive a commemorative plaque, a $500 award and transportation expenses. The choirs will each participate in massed choir rehearsals and receive a clinic with Francisco Núñez, founder/conductor of the Young People's Chorus of New York City, March 26 at Concordia University, St. Paul. During the gala concert at Orchestra Hall, each of the choirs will perform a short program and combine for two massed choir numbers to close the event.

This festival is made possible through the generous support of Concordia donors David and Sandy Frauenshuh. This is the final year of the festival, where there has been more than 5,000 singers from 66 choirs who have participated.


"For high school choirs, this is considered on par with the state high school sports tournaments," Stubbs stated in a news release. "This is the third appearance of the Brainerd choir in the festival."

'Publish your Book' class planned March 28

The Crossing Arts Alliance presents a "Publish your Book" class from 6-8 p.m. March 28 at the Franklin Arts Center in Brainerd.

This class is for anyone who has ever thought about writing a book. The class will discuss today's book industry, publishing options, first steps in getting a book published and what an author can expect once their book is published. The class instructor is Krista Rolfzen Soukup, owner of Blue Cottage Agency. Her agency, located in the Brainerd lakes area, provides services for writers, authors and publishing companies throughout the United States. She works as a literary agent, publicist and publishing consultant offering years of experience and representing successful authors across the country. Register online at or call 218-833-0416. Fee is $35 per class or $30 for TCAA members.

TCAA is a gateway to the arts through Access, Education and Experiences. 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.

Author to speak at Danish Sisterhood

Author Donna Salli will speak at 11 a.m. March 18 at the meeting of the Danish Sisterhood, Amber Lodge at the Evelyn Matthies Studio Room No. 118 in the Franklin Arts Center, in Brainerd.

The subject of Salli's presentation will be her current fiction novel, "A Notion of Pelicans."


In a news release, Salli stated, "The novel recounts the events of a day in October, as narrated from the perspectives of four variously quirky women-the pastor's wife, a young actress, a college sociology professor, and a business woman. The women don't see the world the same, but they are all struggling to live with integrity."

Salli was born and raised in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. While pursuing her education she lived in Wausau and Madison, both in Wisconsin, Salt Lake City, Utah and Boston and Amherst, both in Massachusetts. She taught English at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she earned an master's of fine arts in the creative writing of poetry, Concordia College in Moorhead and at Central Lakes College in Brainerd. She retired from teaching in May of 2016. Salli's poems and essays have appeared in Loonfeather, Hellas, Hawaii Review, Kansas Quarterly, The Little Magazine, Primavera, Quarterly West, Lake Superior Magazine, Cream City Review, Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine and Star Tribune. In addition, her works have appeared in the following anthologies; "Dust and Fire: Women's Stories and Art" by Women from Bemidji State University Press and North Writers II: "Our Place in the Woods" from the University of Minnesota Press. In 2000, she received a Mentor Series Award in poetry from the

Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. Her play "The Rock Farm" has been performed in

translation in Finland and in Finnish/English productions in Minnesota and Michigan. In 2012, "The Rock Farm" received a staged reading and panel critique as part of PlayLab at the Great Plains Theatre Conference.

Salli received arts grants in support of "A Notion of Pelicans" and recent book tour. Funding was provided by the Five Wings Arts Council, with funds from the McKnight Foundation, supplemented with Legacy funds.

Pierz School upcoming events

PIERZ-Pierz High School announced its upcoming choir concert and spring play.

The choir concert consisting of seventh through 12th grade will be 7 p.m. March 16 at the school. There is no cost to attend.


The spring play will be presented at: 7 p.m., March 24; 5:45 p.m., March 25; and 2 p.m., March 26.

Just For Kix dancers compete at Eastview

Brainerd Just For Kix dancers competed Feb. 25 at Eastview High School in Apple Valley. There were 10 group dances competing and 12 soloists.

Brainerd teams earning first place were: the Sparklers, jazz, second- and third-graders; Sparklers, kick, second- and third-graders; Starlites, kick, fourth- and fifth-graders; Starlites, jazz, fourth- and fifth-graders; Shooting Stars, kick, sixth-eighth-graders; Shooting Stars, lyrical, sixth-eighth-graders; Shooting Stars, jazz, sixth-eighth-graders; Rising Stars, jazz, sixth-eighth-graders; and Rising Stars, lyrical, sixth-eighth-graders.

Brainerd's Starlites, lyrical, with fourth- through fifth-graders took second place.

Solo results

• Mini level solos: Cassidy Rardin received High Gold; Sydney Hamre received High Gold and placed second overall; and Adryann Helland received High Gold and placed first overall.

• Middle level solos: Saydie Olson received High Gold; Avrie George received High Gold and placed 10th overall; Hailey Clausen received Platinum and placed third overall; Thea Shogren received Platinum and placed second overall; and Greta Schloemer received Platinum and placed first overall.


• Senior level solos: Hannah Paysse received Platinum and placed ninth overall; Harlie Spieker received Platinum and placed fifth overall; Macy Clough received Platinum and placed fourth overall; and Grace Balsley received Platinum and placed first overall.

March author announced for Wadena book store

WADENA-Mary Casanova, award-winning Minnesota author of young adult and children's

books is the March guest of Book Ends, the monthly meet the author event at The Uptown in Wadena.

The event begins at 11 a.m. Saturday and concludes with lunch at noon.

Casonova's recent books are set in northern Minnesota where she and her husband reside. "Frozen" and "Ice Out," her two current publications, fictionalize local history from the 1920s and 1930s. Her interest in world history prompted research in foreign countries and resulted in novels. Her books have earned many citations and awards, including two Minnesota Book Awards.

Casanova was the 2015 lecturer for Jackpine Writers Bloc annual workshop in Menahga and

in 2016 presented to the Sebeka Public School.


Book Ends is an opportunity for local readers and writers to learn the story behind the story, and to learn how an accomplished author plants the words on the page.

Nimrod author Jerry Mevissen walks the author through 45-50 minutes of discussion, followed by a question and answer with the audience.

There is no charge for the presentation.

Contact Gillette Kempf at An Open Book at 218-637-2665 or go online at for more information.

Heartland Poets to meet

Heartland Poets, an area chapter of the League of Minnesota Poets, meets from 6-9 p.m. Friday in the large room of the Brainerd Public Library.

Poets begin the meeting with a poetry reading. Following the reading, there will be a discussion of upcoming events and opportunities for poets and writers. Afterwards poems-in-progress will be read and discussed. Poets will share their "challenge poems" of the month. Poets are asked to bring copies of their poems to share with members. This meeting is free and open to the public.

In other Heartland Poet news, Charlie Johnson, Heartland Poets' secretary is in the process of putting together a 2017 Heartland Poets membership list. For those interested in being on the membership list, there is a $10 fee for the year. Poets can pay for the fee at the Friday meeting or can mail a check made out to Heartland Poets to: Charmaine Donovan, 18755 Tracside Road, Brainerd, MN 56401.


Dues for the League of Minnesota Poets are $20 and may be paid online at the LOMP website.

'The Art of Bird Photography' to be presented

AITKIN-Aitkin County Sheriff and Wild Bird Photographer Scott Turner will give a presentation about his hobby at 1 p.m. March 16 at the Jaques Art Center in Aitkin.

Aitkin and much of North Central Minnesota is a hotspot for birds. With numerous marshlands, lakes, rivers, forests and farmlands there are ample environmental choices for our feathered friends to make suitable homes for their young.

Turner has taken advantage of this fact and has pursued his hobby of bird photography. He will bring with him a presentation showing many of the photos he has taken over the years. The presentation will last about an hour.

Comedian to take Cultural Center stage

NEW YORK MILLS-The Cultural Center in New York Mills and the Friends of the NYM Library present comedian Tommy Ryman with an 8 p.m. Saturday show. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. Advance tickets may be purchased at the New York Mills Library or the Cultural Center.

A Minnesota native, Ryman grew up with a new-age, folk-singing mother and a traditional, Lutheran insurance-agent father. He currently resides in the Minneapolis metropolitan area.

Ryman's act can be described as absurdist and clever, masked behind a likable and innocent demeanor, often thought of as disturbingly adorable.

Ryman was named a semifinalist on NBC's "Last Comic Standing."

The Cultural Center opens its spring performing arts series, which is co-sponsored by the Friends of the New York Mills Library, as part of its Best to Laugh community series. Other performances in the Cultural Center's spring series include Gao Hong on March 23, the Fargo-Moorhead Gay Men's Chorus on April 30 and Galactic Cowboy Orchestra on May 6.

For more information contact the Cultural Center at 218-385-3339 or online at or call the New York Mills Library at 218-385-2436.

The Galactic Cowboy Orchestra to perform

LITTLE FALLS-The Galactic Cowboy Orchestra, an art rock/jazz fusion group, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Great River Arts in Little Falls, as part of the 14 Fridays Performing Arts Series.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets for the performance are $12 in advance at Great River Arts, online at or at the door. The group formed in 2009 and features John Wright on bass/vocals; Lisi Wright on violin/vocals; Dan Neale on guitars/vocals; and Alec Tackmann on drums/percussion/vocals.

"We love and appreciate the craft, passion and talent of GCO and always look forward to an outstanding performance," Sam Bruno, GRA program and venue coordinator, stated in a news release. "This show is different and original and an absolute treat for fans of live music."

LFHS Art Show runs through March 25

LITTLE FALLS-Great River Arts will host the annual Little Falls Community High School Art Show in the main gallery through March 25, with an opening reception from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, featuring live music from the Flyer Jazz Combo.

There is no cost to attend.

This year, the exhibition features a range of works from traditional techniques like watercolor painting and drawing to more contemporary approaches in ceramic sculpture, mixed media and artist books. The students are given an opportunity to go through the complete process of exhibiting in a professional gallery: they create, frame and mat, wire, transport, layout, hang and label their work, deliver postcards and entertain at the opening reception.

Each year brings new techniques, subjects and completed projects to the gallery space that showcase craftsmanship and attention to detail.

Center hosts International Women's Day Celebration

NEW YORK MILLS-International Women's Day was Wednesday and the Cultural Center in New York Mills is honoring the work of women in arts and advocacy with a gallery exhibit, "Women Are the World," with a reception from 5-7 p.m. Friday.

The exhibit is free and open to all. A discussion among the artists will be facilitated by local artist and feminist, Pam Robinson.

This show presents work by Nebraska artist, Jennifer Bockerman; Minnesota artist, Jennifer Chilstrom; Mexican artist, Susana del Rosario; Northern Native artist, Annie Humphry; and pieces from Honor the Earth's Program Director, Winona LaDuke's personal collection.

LaDuke, an internationally-renowned activist, works on issues of sustainable development, renewable energy and food systems. She lives and works on the White Earth Reservation in northern Minnesota, and is a two-time Green Party vice-presidential candidate with Ralph Nader. Pieces from her collection include Native fiber and beadwork.

Humphrey-Jimenez is an Ojibwe mother, singer, songwriter and visual artist who was born and raised on the Leech Lake Reservation in Northern Minnesota. Humphrey-Jimenez has interpreted the world through painting since she was a young child who grew up in a creative family. She recalls her mother's drawings and stories. Her mother, Anne Dunn, is a published author who taught Humphrey-Jiminez how to tell a story with her paintbrush.

After graduating with a bachelor's of fine arts, del Rosario worked as a professor of semiotics, narrative and basic modeling at the Universidad Politecnica de Santa Rosa Jauregui. In 2016, she was part of the Women's Art Institute in St. Paul and felt again the call to paint. She currently is working toward a master's in art studies at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City and is part of the project Girl Power. Del Rosario's work is full of themes related to women. She uses imagery, archetypes and even her own visage to portray different fears and concerns from her personal experiences.

Chilstrom, is also an arts advocate who works in a variety of media. She is the co-founder of Showroom, a co-working retail space that spotlights the Twin Cities maker and artist community with a focus on diverse and underrepresented communities. Chilstrom draws inspiration from the world around her and explores her creative voice through direct service to the community. Her ambition as a multi-media visual artist is to inform, enrich, connect, and employ the diverse communities with whom she collaborates and serves.

Bockerman lectures on visual art at Doane University near Lincoln, Neb. Her work represents an evolution in exploring bodies, identities and culture. Throughout her education and experience as an artist and educator, Bockerman has used her work to question how women represent themselves through domestic chores, iconic roles of femininity, and their bodies. Her ability to create confrontational installations and works has been featured in shows throughout the Midwest and in New York.

The exhibit, which is sponsored by Centennial Realty of New York Mills, runs through April 8.

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