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Coming up: Pottery Festival at Northern Clay, Dog Day at MIA

ALSO: Portland Cello Project: from Bach to Brubeck; MN Orchestra musicians at Harriet Bandshell; Selby Ave. Jazz Fest; and more.

Casserole by Paul Eshelman, part of the 2013 American Pottery Festival.
Photo by Peter Lee

Artcape as you usually know it is taking a bit of a break. But here are our top arts picks from today through Sept. 19. We’ll have another set of picks next Friday before returning with fuller coverage on Sept. 27.

Tonight at Mount Olive Lutheran ChurchPortland Cello Project. Imagine a band of 4-12 cellists playing music by Bach, Beck and Brubeck. The inventive and thrilling PCP will play a concert at Mount Olive as part of the church’s Music and Fine Arts Program. 7:30 p.m., 3045 Chicago Ave. S., Minneapolis. Free and open to the public. Free will offerings accepted. A reception follows.

Photo by Tarina Westlund
Imagine a band of 4-12 cellists playing music by Bach, Beck and Brubeck.

Friday and Saturday at the RitzOpen Door Music #1For fans of improvised music, this weekend is a very big deal. Two nights of conducted improvisation and free style music will celebrate Butch Morris, who passed away earlier this year. Morris created a unique form of large-ensemble music built on collective improvisation that he directed, shaped, named and trademarked “Conduction.” The Morris mini-festival will also feature the Twin Cities premier of the documentary film about Morris’s life, “Black February.” Friday: 7 p.m. “Black February,” 8 p.m. music by IMP ORK. Saturday: 7 p.m. “Black February,” 8 p.m. music by Cherry Spoon Collective, 9 p.m. Improvestra, 10 p.m. Coloring Time. FMI and tickets ($15 one night, $25 both nights). 345 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

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Friday through Sunday at Northern Clay Center2013 American Pottery Festival. Now in its 15th year, this annual pottery spectacular draws clay lovers from across the country to shop, talk, learn, and tour. For anyone who has fallen under the spell of handmade mugs, plates, bowls, pitchers, and tea pots, this weekend is the equivalent of dying, going to heaven, and returning to earth with new pots. 2424 East Franklin Ave., Minneapolis. Go here for information, a schedule of events, and tickets.

Saturday, Sept. 14, in St. Paul: Selby Avenue Jazz Fest. A full day of jazz from neighborhood, regional, national and international artists, artist demonstrations, family activities and food. With the Dick and Jane Brass Band, Ham Brass Band, Johannes Tona, Damon L. Brown, and Marcus Johnson. 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the intersection of Selby Ave. and Milton St. in St. Paul. Free. FMI.

Saturday, Sept. 14, at Franconia Sculpture ParkFranconia Jazz Festival. An afternoon of cool and hot jazz with Trio Pika (featuring Adam Linz), Sophia Shorai, Atlantis Quartet, Lucia Newell and Debbie Duncan. Noon – 6 p.m. 29836 St. Croix Trail, Franconia, MN. Free (parking $5).

Saturday, Sept. 14, at Target Park across from the Minneapolis Institute of Arts: Dog Day at MIA. Rescheduled from June 22, the day after all hell broke loose in a storm that toppled trees all over the cities and knocked out power for days. Bring your pooch to an afternoon of dogs, art, and music outdoors. 1-4 p.m. FMI. Free.

Sunday, Sept. 15, at the Lake Harriet Bandshell: A free concert by the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra. Principal trumpet Manny Laureano will conduct Weber’s Overture to “Der Freischutz” and Tchaikovsky’s triumphant Symphony No. 5. Last year’s Lake Harriet performance drew a crowd of nearly 4,000 people. 5 p.m., 4135 West Lake Harriet Parkway, Minneapolis.

Sunday, Sept. 15: Saint Paul Open Streets. The debut of a brand-new public street fair. Over two miles of University Ave. in St. Paul (from Hamline to Marion) will be closed to motorized traffic so people of all ages can come out and play. Three stages will feature live music, dance, and artistic performances. With activities, free dance and exercise lessons, cooking demonstrations, and the chance to sample unique foods and goods from more than 50 participating local merchants. 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. FMI and free bus pass.

charlottes web
Photo by Dan Norman
Emma Thvedt as Fern in “Charlotte’s Web”

Tuesday, Sept. 17, at the Children’s Theatre: “Charlotte’s Web” opens. Based on the book by E.B. White about a spider named Charlotte, a pig named Wilbur, friendship, devotion, and sacrifice. This is the play’s first time at CTC and we’re eager to see how it turns out. Greg Banks (“Pinocchio,” “A Wrinkle in Time”) directs Joseph Robinette’s stage play. 7 p.m., 2400 3rd Ave. S., Minneapolis. Grades K+. Go here for a calendar and tickets.

Wednesday, Sept. 18 at the Weisman: Words at WAM. Bring your fiction, poetry, nonfiction and spoken word to the literary open mic co-hosted by Hazel & Wren, the local online literary community, and the Weisman’s student group WAM Collective. Following a social hour and sign-up, wordsmiths of all genres will share their work with the crowd. Rockstar readers include fiction/nonfiction writer Ktie Sisneros (“The Tangential”) and poet Dobby Gibson, whose latest, “It Becomes You,” came out on Graywolf. 6-8:30 p.m., 333 East River Rd., Minneapolis.

Wednesday, Sept. 18 at the Orpheum: “Wicked” opens – again. This is the blockbuster Broadway musical’s fourth time in Minneapolis. The untold story of the witches of Oz, it has won 35 major awards including a Grammy and three Tonys. 910 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis. Through Oct. 28. Performance dates, times and tickets. Learn more about “Wicked” at the Broadway Confidential program on Monday, Sept. 23 at 5:30 at the New Century Theater, 615 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis. Free. FMI.

Ravi Coltrane

Thursday, Sept. 19 at the Dakota: Ravi Coltrane Quartet. Being the son of jazz icon John Coltrane and playing the saxophone could be a crushing double burden, but Ravi has his own voice, his own ideas, and his own stellar quartet with Luis Perdomo on piano, Drew Gress on bass and E.J. Strickland on drums. 7 and 9 p.m., 1010 Nicollet Mall. FMI and tickets ($35/$25).