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At the Walker: First-person stories of Minnesota Muslims

Courtesy of Islamic Resource Group
Officer Abdiwahab Ali of the Minneapolis Police Department is featured in “Tracks in the Snow: The Minnesota Muslim Experience,” opening at the Walker Thursday.

Starting tonight at the Walker, a traveling exhibit will share the first-person stories of Minnesota Muslims, a deep-rooted and growing part of the state’s community. Muslims were among the earliest immigrants to Minnesota; we now have the largest Somali Muslim population in the United States, and the first Muslim congressman. “Tracks in the Snow: The Minnesota Muslim Experience since 1880” is meant as a bridge-builder. It opens tonight (Thursdays at the Walker are free, thank you, Target) and continues through next Thursday, Aug. 8. The Walker and Islamic Resource Group will host a public reception there on Saturday, Aug. 2, from 1–4 p.m.

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Olga Viso, the Walker’s executive director, and Ragamala Dance’s Ranee and Aparna Ramaswamy were all at the White House on Monday to congratulate dancer and choreographer Bill T. Jones on his new National Medal for the Arts, which was awarded by President Obama. Both Viso and Ranee are members of the National Council on the Arts, which advises the National Endowment for the Arts. Jones has had a long relationship with the Walker. Next Thursday, Aug. 7, Ragamala’s new dance with saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa, “Song of the Jasmine,” which had its world premiere at the Walker, will have its New York premiere, the start of a tour that will take them from Chicago to India and back to Minnesota. At times it seems that everything in the arts is connected.

Some people buy season tickets; some don’t. If you’re in the latter category, this is a good week. Single tickets for all shows in Park Square Theatre’s 2014–15 season go on sale today (Thursday, July 31). You can buy online, over the phone (651-291-7005), or in person at the theater’s 7th Place entrance in St. Paul, where they’re throwing a party with lemonade, purple cupcakes (in honor of “The Color Purple,” which opens Jan. 16), a prize wheel, and tours of the new Andy Boss Thrust Stage. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., $38 tickets are on sale for $28 in person or over the phone only. Tickets for “The Color Purple” will be $38 during these two hours.

On Tuesday, single tickets to all Minnesota Orchestra performances through Nov. 1 went on sale, including the Gala Benefit Concert on Sept. 5 with soprano Renée Fleming, the season opener Sept. 26, 27, and 28 (Barber’s Cello Concerto, Mahler’s “Resurrection”), October’s Strauss Celebration, “Out of This World with Christopher Lloyd” on Halloween night, and more. Here’s the concert calendar. On Monday at 11 a.m., you can buy single tickets to the Schubert Club’s International Artist Series, the annual lineup of heavy hitters. That’s also when single tickets go on sale to the sixth year of the exquisite chamber ensemble Accordo, and this time you can make specific seating requests for the concerts at Christ Church Lutheran.

Here’s a Good Question for our friends at WCCO: How many theater companies have gotten their start at the Fringe? Walking Shadow is one. It just announced its 10th anniversary season – three plays, all regional premieres.  Sept. 26 – Oct. 11: “Gabriel” by Moira Buffini. A naked young man washes up on the mine-filled Guernsey beach during the German occupation. Savior or something else? Nov. 26 – Dec. 20: “The Whale” by Samuel D. Hunter. A 600-pound recluse reaches out to his long-estranged daughter. Feb. 6 – 28, 2015: “The Coward” by Nick Jones. A manly comedy about manly honor, played by a company of women. Season tickets here.

Tickets go on sale at noon today for the next season of “A Prairie Home Companion,” which just celebrated its 40th anniversary. The 2014 season opener on Sept. 20 is a live broadcast from the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, followed by the annual Meatloaf Supper and Street Dance.

For artists: Take a survey, have a say in a potential live/work facility in Hastings in the Mississippi River Valley. The Hastings Prescott Area Arts Council (HPAAC) has contracted with Artspace to determine artists’ interest in living and working there. (For you city mice, Hastings is a scant 20 minutes from downtown St. Paul.) Artspace specializes in developing affordable space for artists. Their Minnesota projects include the Northern Warehouse and Tilsner Artists’ Cooperatives in St. Paul, Grain Belt Studios and Artspace Jackson Flats in Minneapolis, and the Kaddatz Artist Lofts in Fergus Falls.

The Picks

Tonight at Studio Z: Steve Kenny’s “All Originals Jazz Series” continues with Red Planet, the very fine trio with Dean Magraw on guitar, Chris Bates on bass and Jay Epstein on drums. The music varies from spacey to rock-star (when Magraw lets loose), from Hendrix to Coltrane to “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” 8 p.m. FMI and tickets ($10), also at the door. Here’s the rest of the series lineup, which continues through Sept. 11 and features Twin Cities jazz ensembles playing their own compositions, some brand-new.

Friday at the Ted Mann: YMM’s Summer Grand Finale Concert. Works by Wagner, Glazunov, and Tchaikovsky performed by future members of the Minnesota Orchestra, if they all have their way. 7 p.m. Free. If you missed yesterday’s story about the Young Musicians of Minnesota, here it is. (A nice thing about the new media is it never gets tossed into the recycling.)

The Weekend

Opens Friday at the Film Society’s St. Anthony Main Theater: Eric Rohmer’s “A Summer’s Tale.” France. Summer. The sea. France. Beautiful young French people. Love. Complications. Sun and sand. Did we say France? The new HD restoration of Rohmer’s 1996 film is here through Thursday, Aug. 7. In French. FMI, trailer and tickets ($6–$8.50).

Friday at Crossings at Carnegie in Zumbrota: Prudence Johnson and Dean Magraw. It’s hard to imagine a lovelier evening than a summer one spent in the old Carnegie library in Zumbrota, hearing Prudence Johnson sing and Dean Magraw play guitar. 8 p.m. Tickets online or by phone at 507-732-7616 ($20 advance, $22 day of show). Dean Magraw twice in one week is not too much.

At the Weisman: “Trains that Passed in the Night: The Photographs of O. Winston Link.” During the 1950s, Brooklyn native and commercial photographer Link recorded the final years of the last major railroad in America to operate exclusively with steam power. His black-and-white photos are on display at WAM through Feb. 8. Free. FMI.

Sunday at Brit’s Pub: “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)” by the Actors Theater of Minnesota. Three guys in tights perform all 37 plays in 97 minutes, outside on the rooftop garden. 6 p.m. Free. Also next Sunday (Aug. 10), same time, same place.

Plan Ahead

Minnesota History Center-led tours tend to sell out (like the Midcentury Modern Tour on Saturday, Aug. 9 – curses!). So we’re alerting you early to the Cass Gilbert Home and Building Tour on Saturday, Aug. 23 ($30–$35) and From Pig’s Eye to Summit – St. Paul’s Brewing History by Bus on Saturday, Sept. 6 and 20 ($30-$35). From stately homes to hops, the History Center has it covered.

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