Entertainment Briefs - Nov. 29

? Author to sign books Saturday in Nisswa NISSWA -- Candace Simar, author of the Abercrombie Trail series novels, will sign books from 12-3 p.m. Saturday at Turtle Town Books and Gifts in Nisswa. Simar's latest book, "Blooming Prairie" (2012), is...

■ Author to sign books

Saturday in Nisswa

NISSWA - Candace Simar, author of the Abercrombie Trail series novels, will sign books from 12-3 p.m. Saturday at Turtle Town Books and Gifts in Nisswa. Simar’s latest book, “Blooming Prairie” (2012), is the fourth and final novel in the historical fiction series and is set in 1870s Minnesota. The story takes readers on a harrowing journey through grasshopper plagues, economic crisis and threatening Indian tensions. Simar’s writing and imaginings depicts the stark isolation of immigrant life and the many challenges faced by Minnesotans struggling to tame the land. Simar’s other novels in the series include “Abercrombie Trail,” “Pomme de Terre” and “Birdie,” the winner of the 2011 Western Writers of America Spur Award.

■ Just For Kix holiday shows

The Just For Kix annual holiday show will be held Saturday with three shows at the Brainerd High School.


Shows will be 1 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday. Performances will be by students in preschool through high school who take classes in jazz, kick, lyrical, ballet, hip hop and tap.

Shows will include the annual father-daughter dance to “Mr. White Christmas,” a holiday jazz production with all jazz students, “Cookies and Milk For Santa,” performed by the Tiny Kix and “Nutcracker Remix” by the Starlites Kick.

Wine tasting event

at Linden Hill

LITTLE FALLS - A wine-tasting holiday gathering will be held from 7-10 p.m. Dec. 15 at Linden Hill in Little falls.

The event includes wine tasting hosted by Coborn’s Liquor, live music, sleigh rides, appetizers, silent auction and vintage photo session.

Tickets are $30 and are available at Ambiance at 53.


The event is a fundraiser hosted by the Little Falls Sister City Committee. Proceeds will go to the committee to host 25 residents of Le Bourget, France, when they return in 2015 for a cultural exchange.

■ Log Church Choir presents Christmas Contata

CROSSLAKE - The Log Church Choir, directed by Sue Lenzen, will present the Christmas Cantata, “And on Earth, Peace” with performances at 7 p.m. Dec. 8 and 2 p.m. Dec. 9 at the Crosslake Evangelical Free Church in Crosslake. The cantata includes both new songs and familiar carols in fresh musical settings.

A free will offering will be taken with proceeds going to support local food shelves.

■ Author appearance in Royalton

ROYALTON- Author Deborah Ann Thomalla will appear at 4 p.m. Dec. 3 at the Royalton Public Library.

Thomalla of Bowlus will be available to sign copies of her book, “The Bumblebee Cousins.”

Meet Wyatt and Nolan, “The Bumblebee Cousins.” As the pair of bees migrate back to Minnesota for the spring, they reunite with all of their granite garden friends like the fireflies, butterflies, bumblebees and other neighbors. The cousins live in beautiful harmony - until the angry, mean hornet twins arrive back home. Fueled by generations of bitterness and jealousy, will they all be able to put their past behind them? Or will the mean hornets continue the generations-old habits of humiliation and torture? A story about the important things in life, truth and acceptance, “The Bumblebee Cousins” is a tale that teaches the bees just how difficult life can be when you choose to believe lies.


■ Five Wings announces

new online grants training

The Five Wings Arts Council (FWAC), which annually distributes more than $360,000 in grants to support artists and community arts projects in Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison, Todd and Wadena counties, announces training sessions for its new online grant process.

Representatives of organizations and schools interested in applying for funds to support arts projects in their communities, as well as individual artists who seek professional development or project support, will receive training in the use of FWAC’s new online grant process, learn tips about successful grant writing and gain information about changes in the FWAC grants programs at the training sessions.

Four location options for the classes will be offered: Dec. 10 at the Great River Arts Association in Little Falls; Dec. 11 at Crossing Arts Alliance in Brainerd; Dec. 12 at Chase on the Lake/Waters Edge Room in Walker; and Dec. 13 at FWAC office in Staples.

Training for individual artists will be from 3:30-5:30 p.m., and with classes for community and school arts projects, as well as general operating support for arts organizations, being held from 6-8 p.m. at each location. The classes are free, but pre-registration is encouraged to guarantee class placement. To register call 1-877-654-2166 or email .

FWAC awards Community Arts Access project grants of up to $5,000 to nonprofit organizations to either produce or sponsor an arts activity. School arts project grants up to $5,000 are available to public schools to supplement the arts education already being provided to area students. Small grants of up to $1,000 are provided to arts organizations and community groups to sponsor an arts activity. General operating grants provide unrestricted operating and capital grants up to $2,500 to established nonprofit arts to strengthen and stabilize their operations, allowing them to provide the best possible service to the arts. General Operating Support grants are awarded based upon artistic quality, commitment to community access and current stability of the organization. Staff and Board Professional Development grants of up to $500 are available for arts organizations to increase organizational and leadership skills. Project incorporate grants provides financial support and technical assistance to community arts as they pursue IRS 501 (c) 3 charitable statuses.

Individual artist grants up to $2,000 are available to artists (at least 18 years of age) working in the visual, literary or performing. Student artist mentor scholarships are awarded to students who demonstrate high motivation to work in the arts. The program serves to supplement the arts education in our region’s schools by providing the opportunity to study a chosen art field with a regional practicing artist.

The next grant deadline for applications for the community access, general operating and individual artist grant programs is Jan. 15, 2013. Small grant, student artist/mentor, school arts and individual artist applications are accepted at any time. More information about the grant programs and upcoming trainings may be found at or by calling 877-654-2166.

■ Tickets for annual Father

Daughter Ball on sale

LITTLE FALLS - Tickets for the 2013 Father Daughter Ball that will be held March 10 at the Falls Ballroom in Little Falls are available for purchase.

Ticket locations in Little Falls are Coborns Superstore, the Good Book & Gifts store, Falls Radio station and Faith Lutheran Church in the Commons from 8:30-11 a.m. Sundays.

Seating is limited.

“There was so much interest in the ball last year, we unfortunately had to turn some away due to limited seating and catering deadlines,” 2012 event co-chair Kate Bjorge said in an email release. “The intent was to offer the ball every other year, but since there were some who really wanted to attend, the committee felt it was important to offer it again this year.”

The Father Daughter Ball is a formal night of fine dining, music, dancing, photographs, flowers and a ceremony calling fathers to sign a covenant on behalf of their daughter(s). The covenant is a promise to “live as a man of integrity before God and protect the heart of (my) daughter(s).”

Likewise, daughters are invited to participate in a special prayer with their father designed to strengthen the bond of this relationship and to ask God’s blessing upon her life.

Volunteers are needed to help wait tables, greet and decorate.

To learn more about the event or to volunteer contact: Mark Whittington at 320-360-4095 or Julie Shelstad at 320-632-1826 or go to and click on “Father Daughter Ball.”

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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