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McKnight Fellows named; arts fairs in Edina, St. Paul

ALSO: Cantus Covers at the Cowles; OUT Twin Cities Film Festival; and more.

Courtesy of the Walker Art Center
Mohamud Mumin
Muezzin at Dar Al-Hijrah Mosque in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Inkjet, 2012

The 2013-14 McKnight Artist Fellowships for photographers, dancers and choreographers, and media arts have been announced. Photography fellows are Anthony MarchettiPaula McCartney, and Mohamud Mumin of Minneapolis and Alec Soth of St. Paul. Fellowships for Dancers go to Kari MoselTamara Ober and Gregory Waletski (who recently gave his final performances with Zenon). Choreography fellows are HIJACK (Kristin Van Loon and Arwen Wilder)Emily Johnson, and Karen Sherman. The 2013-14 Media Artist Fellows are filmmakers Todd Cobery and Susan Marks and radio producer Todd Melby. Each receives an unrestricted $25,000 award.

What do McKnight Fellows do with their time and money? Stretch out, create, and when their fellowship year ends, share with the rest of us. From June 14-July 14, MCAD will present an exhibition of new work by Jim Denomie of Shafer, MN, and Chris Larson, Ruben Nusz, and Natasha Pestich of the Twin Cities, all recipients of the 2012-13 McKnight Artist Fellowship for Visual Arts. Open reception Friday, June 14, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

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Ever the provocateur, the Daily Planet’s Jay Gabler poses the question, “Minnesota Orchestra on the rocks: What – if anything – should be done?” A somewhat milder follow-up to his earlier piece on The Tangential blog, “Does It Matter That No One Gives a S— About Classical Music Anymore?” it reminds those of us who need reminding that the Minnesota Orchestra is “now poised to enter year two of its hiatus due to a labor dispute.” Are we indifferent to the orchestra’s fate? Do New Yorkers like Alex Ross and James Oestreich care more about our orchestra than we do? Is there no one in the Twin Cities or on the planet who can persuade both sides to start talking and help them do it? Or will we have a shiny new Orchestra Hall but no orchestra? July, when the new hall is scheduled to reopen (that’s this July), is fast approaching. Tonight’s “Catch Them While You Can” concert at St. John’s Episcopal Church, featuring departing musicians Burt Hara, Gina DeBello, Pitnarry Shin, and Tom Turner, has sold out. A small number of seats may be available at the door due to no-shows.

The OUT Twin Cities Film Festival is under way at the St. Anthony Main Theatre. Tonight’s theme: Ladies’ Night Out! Tomorrow: Boys’ Night Out! Sunday (closing day): A Divine Sunday. Tonight’s opening film, “Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines” aired recently on public television’s Independent Lens and it’s terrific. Sunday’s program includes a fundraiser for the Trevor Project, which works to prevent suicide among LGBTQ youth. FMI and tickets.

wonder women
Courtesy of Vaquera Films
Friday night at the OUT Twin Cities Film Festival opens with “Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines.”

United Theological Seminary is launching a multi-year conversation about LGBTIQ (lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender/intersex/questioning) in the church. On Friday, June 21, “Out in Gospel – Opening a Sacred Door” will spotlight LGBTIQ gospel musicians with an afternoon program featuring keynote speaker Bishop Yvette Flunder and an evening concert by “out” national recording artists Flunder, Riz Timané and Ray Boltz, with friends and allies The Steeles. Both events are free and open to the public, but registration is required online or by calling 651-255-6138. FMI.

Tickets are on sale now for the Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus Pride weekend concert, “We Are Family: The Anthems of Our Community.” Forty-four years after Stonewall, TCGMC honors the past, celebrates the Freedom to Marry, and performs a program of spirituals, favorites of the GALA Chorus movement, and anthems. Friday-Saturday, June 28-29 at the Ted Mann. FMI and tickets.

The Big Gay Race 5K will return for its third year on Sept. 28. Since last year’s race, Minnesota defeated the Marriage Amendment and passed the Freedom to Marry act. So this year’s Big Gay Race should be bigger and more festive than ever. The scenic route begins on Main Street under the Central Ave. Bridge, continues down historic St. Anthony Main Street, crosses the Stone Arch Bridge, runs up West River Parkway, doubles back to re-cross the Stone Arch Bridge and ends in Father Hennepin Park. FMI and registration.  

The Dakota Valley Symphony has announced its 2013-14 season of concerts at the Burnsville Performing Arts Center. Sunday, Oct. 13: “Afternoon at Pops: Latin Rhapsody.” Sunday, Dec. 8: “Handel’s Messiah.” (Two performances; one is a sing-along.) Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014: “Four Choirs Festival.” Sunday, March 16: “The Feeling in Baroque Music.” Sunday, April 27: “Orchestra Festival with Young Artists.” Tickets at the BPAC box office or Ticketmaster.

From now through Labor Day, active duty military personnel and their families have free admission to many museums across the country, thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense and the museums themselves. In the Twin Cities, they include the American Swedish Institute, Bell Museum, Weisman, Hennepin History Museum, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Minnesota Children’s Museum and the Walker. For a list of all participating museums in the state, go here and click on Minnesota.

The Minnesota History Center, which is not a Blue Star Museum (and why not?), has unveiled its annual Nine Nights of Music series of free outdoor concerts, now in its 16th year. All concerts take place on Tuesdays; most start at 6:30 p.m. July 2: Music of the Civil War and Tribute to the Fallen with Century Brass Band. (This night starts at 5:30 and concludes with a brief memorial service at 8:30.) July 9: Mi Tierra (mariachi). July 16: Rockin’ Rondo Quartet with T. Mychael Rambo and Friends. July 23: Capri Big Band. July 30: Greg Herriges and Telluric Current (East Indian Bollywood and beyond). Aug. 6: Klezmeric (Jewish jazz). Aug. 13: Petticoat Rustlers (old-time Appalachian). Aug. 20: Orkestar Bez Ime (Balkan party music). Aug. 27: Tango Pohjan Tahden (Finnish tango). FMI. Free. 

This year’s State Fair free entertainment line-up is more than 900 shows long, with music, magicians, trampoline shows, and a lumberjack show (?) happening all over the grounds. The Leinie Lodge Bandshell Tonight! series is a big winner, with Robert Randolph & The Family Band, Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers, Sheila E., and Blue Öyster Cult all scheduled to appear. We might change the name of this column to Ärtscape. The Heritage at Sundown series features Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles, Pert Near Sandstone, Chastity Brown and other crowd-pleasers. Salsa del Soul and the New Primitives will play Bazaar After Dark. Go here for the whole story. Do not miss pedal steel maestro Robert Randolph & The Family Band on Aug. 30-31. Here’s a peek.

Our picks for the weekend

Art Fair season officially begins today with the opening of the 47th annual Edina Art Fair. It’s a big one; some 320 fine artists and crafters will pitch their tents and booths on the curbs of France Avenue, 50th St. and the Lunds parking lot, offering ceramics, jewelry, glass, photography, wood carvings, mixed media, fine art, wearables, sculptures, and more. Avoid parking headaches; take the free shuttle bus from Southdale (by Firestone), get a free Metro Transit pass, or ride your bike and leave it in the bike corral in U.S. Bank’s parking lot. Friday and Saturday: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Courtesy of the St. Anthony Park Arts Festival
Woodcut by Emily Koehler, part of the St. Anthony Park Arts Festival.

On Saturday only in St. Paul, the smaller, more manageable and relaxed St. Anthony Park Arts Festival has undergone a renaissance. Now in its 44th year, it has taken an artist-centered approach and attracted some exceptional artists. This year features a who’s who of Minnesota potters, including Tom Abel, Bob Briscoe, Guillermo Cuellar, Richard Gruchalla, Chris and Sue Holmquist, Peter Jadoonath, Chuck Solberg, Will Swanson, Jo Severson, and Jason Trebs, along with renowned artists working in other media. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., St. Anthony Park, Como Ave. between Carter Ave. and Luther Place. Sales support the St. Anthony Park Branch Library.

Tonight at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church: the premiere of a new setting of the Magnificat (“My soul doth magnify the Lord”). Last year, the American Composers Forum and Saint Paul’s co-sponsored an international competition to select a composer to write a new setting of the Magnificat text. Zachary Wadsworth of Calgary, Alberta, was selected from a pool of 137 commissions. His vivacious piece will be performed by Saint Paul’s Senior Choir. 7 p.m., 1917 Logan Ave. So. (the northeast tip of Lake of the Isles), Minneapolis. Free. An Immaculate Reception will follow, and childcare will be available.

Tonight and Saturday: Cantus Covers at the Cowles. If you know Cantus of “All is Calm” or their classical or sacred music, you don’t know Cantus. Once each year, the splendid men’s vocal ensemble cuts loose with a program of pop covers and B-sides. Come to hear music by Mumford & Sons, George Gershwin, Chicago, fun., the Beatles, Sly & the Family Stone, the Zombies, and more, beautifully sung with spotless diction. They’re backed by a live band with Lee Blaske on keys, Cory Grossman on cello, Dave Hagedorn on percussion and Tetsuya Takeno on drums. 7:30 p.m. at the Cowles. Can’t make it this weekend? Also Thursday-Friday, June 6-8. FMI and tickets. Cantus fans, you’ll want to know that these are among the final concerts for bass Tim Takach, who has been with the group for 17 seasons. He’ll stay on through July.

tu dance photo
Photo by Ingrid Werthmann
This weekend: TU Dance Spring Concert at the O’Shaughnessy

Tonight through Sunday: TU Dance Spring Concert at the O’Shaughnessy. One of the Twin Cities’ most exciting dance companies closes out its ninth season with two world premieres by Uri Sands – “No Middle Name,” a triptych of duets, and “Escapades,” a full-company work – and a new solo work from New York choreographer Camille A. Brown, “Make Amends,” commissioned by the O’Shaughnessy. Also on the program: Dwight Rhoden’s “B Sessions,” set to the music of Beethoven. Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m. FMI and tickets.

Saturday: the 2013 Pinewood Derby Championship at the Mall of America. What can we say? When your son is a former scout and your spouse a former scout leader, you have to love the Pinewood Derby. Wearing blue uniforms and bright neckerchiefs, more than 300 cub scouts from 21 Minnesota counties and western Wisconsin will gather in the Rotunda to send their handcrafted cars down 60 feet of track in a 60-year-old tradition of making little blocks of wood go really fast. 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.