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  Issue #37.2

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In this Issue: The Year that Was — Performance, Books and Film

For this issue, mnartists.org is finishing out its four-part 2008 YEAR IN REVIEW series with some discipline-specific observations about high and low points of last year. We asked working artists of all stripes - performers, filmmakers, authors, directors, choreographers, musicians, and arts journalists - to weigh in with their selections for the notable moments in their own fields for 2008. I think you'll find their comments illuminating and, occasionally, surprising.

PLUS: A whole year's worth of dates and deadlines for mnartists.org's full complement of artist series, including new programs to showcase local film and visual art, and Some Assembly Required turns 10!


2008 YEAR IN REVIEW: Books & Film and Music, Dance & Theater

The Talking Comes Later by Ben WeaverMinnesota artists working in performance, literature, film and music weigh in on the notable moments from 2008, whose effects will linger well into the new year.

2008 YEAR IN REVIEW: Literature and Film

As many of our authors and readers have noted in our YEAR IN REVIEW roundup, 2008 has been especially kind to Minnesota's literary presses: Graywolf, Milkweed, and Coffee House have all had a very good 12 months, with acclaimed releases and nationally recognized authors represented on all their lists this year. It's also been a wonderful year for local poetry, especially for those poets and writers living in Greater Minnesota. And don't forget the 2008 launch of mnartists.org's flash fiction series, miniStories!

There have also been a number of notable happenings and releases in local film that deserve a nod: from the release of the acclaimed Listening Project documentary, to the ubiquity of affordable tools for DIY filmmaking, there are heartening trends afoot on the Minnesota film and video scene. Click the link below for the memorable moments and offerings of 2008 in local literature and film, as selected by local writers and filmmakers, publishers and readers.


Listening Project images by Rikshaw FilmsCLICK HERE to read the notable moments in local books and films, 2008 YEAR IN REVIEW: Literature and Film, as selected by Minnesota authors and readers, publishers and filmmakers



Hey Girl! Romeo Castellucci2008 YEAR IN REVIEW: Theater, Music and Dance

Between the closure of the landmark Theatre de la Jeune Lune and the ruckus over Jeff Bartlett's departure from the Southern, the performance scene in Minnesota saw its fair share of turmoil. But the picture going forward is far from uniformly bleak. In fact, a number of companies saw their stars rise in 2008: Off-Leash Area, the spunky up-and-coming movement theater outfit responsible for the acclaimed shows staged in their garage, were awarded a sizeable chunk of change from the NEA this year, and they weren't alone in their good fortune. A number of other Minnesotans in performance recently got similar windfall shows of support: The Playwright's Center, The Guthrie, Ananya Dance Theater, The Children's Theatre, Flying Foot Forum, In the Heart of the Beast, Illusion Theater and a number of other worthies also received welcome recognition.

And what about the buzzworthy artists in the area music scene: does Bon Iver ring a bell? And consider Aviette's indefatigable frontwoman, Holly Muñoz: between her musical chops and entrepreneurial hustle, and after watching her rise to local prominence over the last year, this writer is sure she's destined for big things, and on a national stage. And let's not forget that mnartists.org launched a new series for Minnesota musicians in 2008: mnSPIN, a juried weekly playlist intended to showcase area talent (which, by the way, has an open call out for local musicians right now).

But enough of what we think: mnartists.org asked a wide swath of working theater artists, dancers, musicians, and their fans to weigh in with their own picks for the notable performance moments of '08. Below you'll find their thoughtful, sometimes surprising responses. Read on to see what they all said.


TC Chekhov Festival imageCLICK HERE for a collection of memorable performance highlights, 2008 YEAR IN REVIEW: Theater, Music and Dance, as chosen by actors and directors, choreographers, dancers, musicians, and audience members




Credits: Top right, The Talking Comes Later by Ben Weaver; top left, images from the film The Listening Project by Rikshaw Films. Bottom right, promotional photo for Hey Girl! by Romeo Castellucci (photo: Cameron Wittig for the Walker Art Center); bottom left, photo from the Twin Cities Chekhov Festival (photo courtesy of Rubenstein Photo)

News You Can Use: a selection of current artist opportunities on mnartists.org

Artist Opportunities











»CLICK HERE for a daily-updated list of many, many more opportunities for Minnesota artists in every discipline on mnartists.org

CALL FOR ARTISTS: mnartists.org has streamlined the schedule for submissions for all of the competitive arts series, and we've also expanded the programming for 2009 to include a film festival (CINEmn) and a new visual arts exhibition program (ARTmn)

  • Click here for dates and deadlines for all of mnartists.org's competitive arts series for 2009

CALL FOR MINNESOTA MUSICIANS: mnSPIN, mnartists.org's music series (sponsored by Summit Brewing and The Onion), is taking song submissions from local musicians for its 2009

competition cycle

Submission deadline: March 2

CALL FOR ART: mnartists.org is launching a new juried exhibition program for 2009, ARTmn (sponsored by The Onion and in partnership with the Mpls Public Library). Visual art submissions will be considered by a panel of established regional curators, artists, and critics for a show at the Mpls Public Library's Cargill Gallery which will open in fall '09

Submission deadline: February 6

CALL FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS: The 2009/2010 McKnight Artist Fellowship for Photographers program is now taking applications - four grants of $25K are available for mid-career MN artists

Application deadline: April 6

CALL FOR ALTAR ART: Stevens Square Center for the Art is taking artists' submissions of artwork for altars, shrines, or in homage to something (any medium is welcome) for an upcoming exhibition

Submissions deadline: February 16

CALL FOR VISUAL ARTISTS: The Yuri Arajs Artist Development Grant program is now taking applications from artists living with disabilities

Application deadline: April 1

CALL FOR VOLUNTEER PERFORMERS: The Walker and Young Jean Lee seek volunteers to sing in the choir for CHURCH

Rehearsal: Monday, January 26 from 7-11 pm

MIZNA SEEKS COMMUNITY MEMBER INVOLVEMENT: The Arab-American arts forum, Mizna, is looking for community members to become actively involved in their organization as committee members and volunteers

CALL FOR PERFORMERS: The newly formed Electric Telescope Theatre Co. is holding auditions for 3-4 new cast members in this collaborative ensemble theater company

Auditions: February 2

CALL FOR ARTISTS: The Loring Park Art Fair is taking applications for its annual summer arts festival

Application deadline: March 15

CALL FOR RESIDENT FILMMAKER: Prospect Park East River Road Improvement Association and IFP MN are starting a community-based arts education and artist-in-residence program in the SE Minneapolis community which will use digital storytelling as a way for community members to document and share their stories. (This is a paid position)

Resume, cover letter, and work sample due: January 28

Homepage: Featured arts writing and collections from MnArts magazine

VISUAL ART: Performance Captured for All to See

Writer Camille LeFevre took in the show, Art of Performance, currently on view at Altered Esthetics, and she reflects on the laudable but difficult task of capturing the essence of this most ephemeral form in visual art.


CLICK HERE to read Camille LeFevre's take on the standout pieces in this exhibition of work by emerging artists at Altered Esthetics.


WHAT: The Art of Performance
WHERE: Altered Esthetics, Minneapolis, MN
WHEN: The exhibition runs through January 31, 2009
Admission is FREE and open to the public




Credit: Dan Norman, Five Fingers of Funk, one of the pieces on view in The Art of Performance

DANCE: For the Love of "Questionable" Art

Lightsey Darst reports back on the recent ensemble performance presented by Mad King Thomas, Love Me, Love My Questionable Art, a rollicking mix of new dance work which featured some of the scene's brightest stars.


CLICK HERE to read about this recent performance of new dance work by Mad King Thomas, Galen Treuer, Sally Rousse, and Kristin Van Loon and Arwen Wilder of Hijack



Credit: Production photo of the ladies of Mad King Thomas by Megan Mayer

VISUAL ART: An Eden of One's Own

Art critic Mason Riddle weighs in on a newly published, beautifully rendered book of collages and personal nature journals by Minnesota artist and author David Coggins, Eden: Summer Collages (Cobalt Press, 2008).


CLICK HERE to read Mason Riddle's elegant review of this very personal nature journal "inspired by city and country gardens," by artist David Coggins




FEATURED COLLECTION: Lifeworks 2008 Traveling Art Show

Last month, mnartists.org Project Director Scott Stulen and the Walker's Courtney Gerber ventured to LIFEWORKS administrative headquarters in Eagan to jury a group of twenty-five artworks, which were submitted for inclusion in the organization’s annual traveling art show. The works, created by Lifeworks clients, offered a variety of media and subject matter. After about an hour of intent looking and talking the two forced themselves to decide on the twelve works that would make up the 2008 traveling art show, which will be on view at corporations that employ Lifeworks clients.


CLICK HERE to browse through the 12 pieces of work chosen for this year's LIFEWORKS traveling art show





Credit: The Bearded Lady at the Circus by Layne Lastine, the artist whose piece was selected "Best in Show"

PODCAST: Some Assembly Required (January 2009)

Hosted by Minnesota artist Jon Nelson, Some Assembly Required features sample-based music and audio art by a variety of artists and groups working with bits and pieces of their media environments, giving something back to the cultural landscape from which they so enthusiastically appropriate.

This month SAR is turning 10! The 10th anniversary will be officially celebrated with a birthday episode this Sunday (1/25) which will be uploaded to the SAR website. Listen up, because he'll be announcing a special project currently in the works with mnartists.org. Stay tuned!


Click here to start listening to the the January 2009 episodes of this nationally syndicated podcast, on mnartists.org

You Are Here: A handpicked sampling from the events listed on mnartists.org/calendar
Classes and Workshops

CLASS: 3D Stained Glass Exploration with Don Hammer
Grand Marais Art Colony, Grand Marais, January 24 through March 4

CLASS: Precious Metal Clay Exploration
Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Minneapolis, January 26 through March 9

CLASS: Eight Weeks Subbody Butoh Workshop with Kats D Fukasawa
Patrick's Cabaret, Minneapolis, February 1 - March 29

CLASS: Architectural Crossroads: Ethnic Imprints on Minnesota's Towns and Cities
U of MN Conference Center, St. Paul, February 2 through February 16

CLASS: Compleat Scholar Course: Selling Your Soul, Gounod's Faust
U of MN Conference Center, St. Paul, February 3 through February 24




Credit: Hellhound by Don Hammer


James Sewell Ballet at the Southern Theater: Ballet Works Projects
Southern Theater, Minneapolis, January 29 - February 1

Secret Affair of a Cherry Tree
Patrick's Cabaret, Minneapolis, February 6 - February 7

Sparkle: Gems from Jawaahir
Jawaahir Studio Theater, Minneapolis, February 6 through February 8

Beyond Ballroom Dance: The Book of Love

Southern Theater, Minneapolis, February 6-15

Credit: Photo by Eric Saulitis courtesy of James Sewell Ballet

Music | Video | Film

ArtStart's An Affair of the (he)ARTS Fundraiser
Landmark Center - Musser Cortelle, St. Paul, February 5

Vusi Mahlasela - an accomplished singer, percussionist, composer, band leader from South Africa

Ordway Center for the Arts, Saint Paul, February 7

Satisfaction: A Rolling Stones Experience
Sheldon Theatre of Performing Arts , Red Wing, February 14

Celebrate Sustainability Film Series: Ecological Design and The Story of Stuff
Minneapolis College of Art + Design, Minneapolis, February 3

An Exuberance of Cellos (and one lonely soprano)
The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra February 15

Lectures and Readings

Dan Beachy-Quick reads from A Whaler's Dictionary
Open Book, Minneapolis January 30

Artist and Curator Dialogue: "Vietnam Re-imagined"
Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis February 1

Loft Member's Reading: Sheila Packa (spoken word) with cellist Kathy McTavish and Chuck Palin (novelist)
The Loft Literary Center, Minneapolis February 4

"Framing Contemporary Art: Three Curatorial Views"
College of Visual Arts, Saint Paul February 8 - February 22

Janet Krestin and Nancy Vonk: an advertising lecture
Minneapolis College of Art + Design, Minneapolis February 12


Credit: Takashi Murakami courtesy of Weisman Art Museum

Openings and Festivals

Tim Crouch: England - a performance in the galleries
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis January 22- January 24

Stevens Square Center for the Arts February 28

Changing Identity preview party - work by women artists from Vietnam

Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, preview party on January 31, show runs through May 24

Art Ache an interdisciplinary festival presented by the Grain Belt Artists Collective
Grain Belt Bottling House, Minneapolis February 6-February 8

Melanie Van Houten: Agrarian Descent

Macalester College Gallery, Saint Paul, opens January 26 and runs through February 27

Front, Back and Between: a group exhibition by MCBA artists

Minnesota Center for Book Arts, Minneapolis, opening reception is January 23 and the exhibition runs through March 8


Credit: Dinh Y. Nhi, Daughters of Mr. Nguyen II, 2005, gouache on paper


Spring Awakening
Orpheum Theatre, Minneapolis, January 27-February 1

Young Jean Lee’s Theater Company: CHURCH
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, January 29-January 31

RUBY! The Story of Ruby Bridges
SteppingStone Theatre, Saint Paul, February 6-March 1

24 Hour Play Project & Benefit Gala
Paul & Sheila Wellstone Center Performance Space, St. Paul February 7

Cafe Intifada: An Intellectual Salon - an evening of interactive political theatre relaying the situation of life on the ground under Israeli occupation

Bedlam Theatre, Minneapolis, January 30-31 & February 5-7

Pure Confidence written by Carlyle Brown, directed by Marion McClinton - a historical look at African American jockeys in the pre and post civil war world of horse racing

Mixed Blood Theatre, Minneapolis, performances through February 1

Chutzpah à go-go by David Gale & Randy Vancourt
Hillcrest Center, Saint Paul, February 21-March 15

Fringe Favorites: a remounting of The Nosdrachir Sisters and The Gypsy and the General

Southern Theater, Minneapolis, January 23-25

Visual Arts

Liliana Angulo - Presencia Negra/Black Presence
Gorecki Gallery - College of Saint Benedict, St. Joseph,  February 20

Doug Rassier at Center for Independent Artists
Center for Independent Artists, Minneapolis, January 25

New Landscapes - New Work by Gregory Euclide, Robert Dorlac & Andrew Wykes
Groveland Gallery, Minneapolis, January 23-February 28

Innerworld/Outerworld: Paintings by Clinton Rost & Sarah Wieben
University Center Rochester Gallery, Rochester, January 26-March 27

A Common Thread: Textile Center Members' Exhibition

The Textile Center, Minneapolis, through February 21

Arrowhead Biennial
Duluth Art Institute : Depot Site, Duluth, through February 1

Wondersplash: the multimedia paintings of Laura Hallen

Umber Studios, Minneapolis, January 24-31

The Critics' Show: Work by emerging MN artists curated by some of the area's most-read art critics
Hopkins Center for the Arts, Hopkins, through February 22

You Are Here event listings are drawn entirely from the mnartists.org calendar, so if you want to improve the odds that you'll see your happening linked here, you'd better start posting your events!

We've made it super easy to begin: here's a step-by-step guide that'll show you how to promote your own events on the site's DIY arts calendar.

Walker Art Center

One for the Road

mnartists.org is streamlining all of its competitive series showcasing Minnesota artists into a seasonal calendar—every season will usher in a new mnartists.org artist series.

Get out your calendars and make a note of all the deadlines for 2009 for mnartists.org's programs for local artists. mnSPIN (a showcase for Minnesota musicians), mnLIT (mnartists.org's literary series, What Light: This Week's Poem and miniStories. are now under one umbrella ) are returning; we're also launching two new series for 2009, ARTmn (an exhibition program making its debut this year) and CINEmn (our new local film series set to launch this summer).

CLICK HERE for the full line-up of dates and deadlines for mnartists.org's programs and series showcasing Minnesota artists in 2009

Editor, mnartists.org & access+ENGAGE:  Susannah Schouweiler

Project Director, mnartists.org: Scott Stulen

Community Liaison & Events Wrangler, mnartists.org: Will Lager

>>Click here to read the fine print and the full credits

access+ENGAGE is a free twice monthly e-journal offering indispensable,

fuss-free coverage of the arts in Minnesota and beyond

The mission of mnartists.org is to improve the lives of Minnesota artists and provide access to and engagement with Minnesota’s arts culture.

a project of The McKnight Foundation and Walker Art Center

©2009 mnartists.org. All rights reserved.

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