Arts on Hennepin: Brave New Workshop expands, ‘Made Here’ puts out call for next exhibit

Photo by Dani Werner
Lauren Anderson and Tom Reed in Brave New Workshop's “The Wolf of Walmart.”

Our downtown Minneapolis theater district just became even more robust. On Tuesday Brave New Workshop announced plans to buy 727 Hennepin Ave., currently home of UnBank and formerly of Teeners Theatrical. The narrow building diagonally across the street from BNW’s main stage theater and event center at 824 Hennepin will house its growing improv school, the BNW Student Union, along with more office and workshop space. Construction starts soon, with the new classrooms expected to open in late fall/early winter. The school had been operating out of the former Brave New Workshop space at 2605 Hennepin Ave. S., which was sold last week. A farewell party for 2605 Hennepin Ave. is being planned for September. On stage now at BNW: “The Wolf of Walmart.” Correction: This item has been revised to correct an error in the earlier version, which stated that BNW had sold 2605 Hennepin Ave. S. It leased but did not own that building.

Artists, you can help keep the lights shining brightly on Hennepin. Made Here,” the urban walking gallery led by Hennepin Theatre Trust, has issued an open call for “Brilliance!” the fall/winter 2014 exhibition. They’re asking artists to consider the use of light and/or illumination. If “Made Here!” looks good now – and it does, with art and color, creativity and photography where empty windows used to be – imagine how it will look when it glows. Applications are due Friday, Sept. 19. FMI.

Poetry fans, mark your calendar for a once-in-a-lifetime reading. In partnership with Mizna, the Twin Cities-based Arab American arts organization, Radius of Arab American Writers, Inc. (RAWI) will hold its fifth Arab American literary conference in Minneapolis from Sept. 18–21. The opening night party and performance includes readings by Marilyn Hacker, Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets; Kuwaiti-born poet and writer Deema Shehabi; poet Philip Metres; and Fady Joudah, Palestinian American poet and 2007 winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets competition. Hacker, who’s Jewish American, and Shehabi, whose parents are Palestinian, have a new book out together called “Diaspo/Renga,” a poetic dialogue born in the Israeli siege of Gaza. 6 p.m. at the McKnight Foundation’s office, 710 S. 2nd St., Suite 400, Minneapolis. Tickets here ($20). Complete conference schedule here.

Laura Zabel, executive director of Springboard for the Arts, has won the 2014 Gard Award from the Wisconsin-based Robert E. Gard Foundation, whose mission is “fostering healthy communities through arts-based development.” The board was moved by Zabel’s leadership in connecting artists to their communities in deep and meaningful ways. Of special interest: Springboard’s Community Supported Art (CSA) program and its commitment to healthcare for artists. The Gard is an honorary award, not a monetary award. Previous recipients include Robert Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts, and Wisconsin’s first poet laureate, Ellen Kort.

Minnesota-based author Louise Erdrich has won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize’s distinguished achievement award. Inspired by the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords, the international award recognizes authors for their complete body of work. Sharon Rab, founder and co-chair of the Peace Prize Foundation, said in a statement: “As we watch people in other countries clash over culture, religion, and ancient territorial claims, Louise Erdrich’s work reminds us that the United States, too, shares a similar history of violence, discrimination, and neglect … [She] leaves us with a greater appreciation for the universal comedies and tragedies that bind all humanity and inspire empathy even among enemies.” Erdrich said, “I am not a peaceful writer. I am a troubled one, longing for peace.” Past winners include Studs Turkel, Elie Wiesel and Tim O’Brien.

Will there really be a new HBO drama called “Stillwater”? Will there be Harleys and fudge? Like every other media outlet in the Twin Cities, we’re a bit giddy at the news that appeared on Deadline Hollywood way back on July 1 and we all somehow missed until now: “HBO has inked a two-year deal with director-producer Howie Deutch to direct and produce drama and comedy projects … Deutch recently set up at HBO the one-hour drama ‘Stillwater,’ which he will direct and exec produce … ‘Stillwater’ follows a New York City cop as his life spirals out of control when he relocates his family to a small town in Minnesota.” Wait – his life spirals out of control after he moves to Stillwater? From New York City?

The Picks

Today (Wednesday, Aug. 20) through next Monday at the Walker: “The Clock.” Squeeze in as many minutes of this epic 24-hour film as you can, while you can. You have from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. today and Sunday, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Thursday, and 11 a.m. Friday – 5 p.m. Saturday, the final 24-hour, all-night screening. On Monday the museum opens for a last hurrah showing from 5 p.m. – midnight, when “The Clock” winds down. FMI. Here’s Andy Sturdevant’s piece for The Stroll, in case you missed it.

Thursday in Falcon Heights: Opening day of the 2014 Minnesota State Fair. Our great state, deep fried and on a stick. We know people who don’t like the Fair, but we don’t understand them, and they make us kind of sad. Hate to park there? Metro Transit express buses operate from 20 Twin Cities locations. FMI. You’ll be dropped off at the new Transit Hub just north of the new West End Market, where you’ll pass through a new gate. No more crossing busy Como Ave. on foot.

Thursday at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts: Third Thursday: On-A-Stick. MIA promises “a taste of state fair-like action without the huge crowds.” Look for a butter sculpture inspired by Matisse, take part in a Frank Stella-inspired seed art project, eat Fair-like food and see bees. 6–9 p.m. Free.

Thursday on the Greenway: Bike-in-Movie. Bike, bus or walk to the mixer at Freewheel Bike Midtown Bike Center, stay for the movie on the Midtown Greenway. This is the fourth year AIGA Minnesota’s Sustainable Design Committee is hosting a night out themed to a sustainable topic. The film, “Elemental,” tells the story of three people united by their connection with nature and driven to confront ecological challenges. Food and beer by Taco Cat (the bike-only taco delivery service) and Indeed Brewery. Mixer at 7 p.m., movie at 9-ish. Free. FMI.

The Weekend

Wander through the neighborhoods of Greater Longfellow at the sixth annual LoLa Art Crawl. Located in homes and shops, LoLa is spread out over many blocks from Cedar to the Mississippi, East 28th to Crosstown. Pick a spot to park and go from there, or check the map and be more methodical. See the blog for more information about individual artists. Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. both days.  Harriet Brewing will be in on the fun, with Longfellow artists and musicians in the tap room all weekend. FMI

Plan Ahead

A casualty of the Minnesota Orchestra labor dispute, lost to the LA Phil, former principal clarinetist Burt Hara will return to play the opening concert of the Chamber Music Society of Minnesota’s 2014–15 season. On the program: Brahms’ Trio in A minor for clarinet, cello and piano, Bartok’s “Contrasts” for clarinet, violin and piano, and Mozart’s Quintet in A Major for clarinet, two violins, viola and cello. They’re going to make him work. Sunday, Sept. 14, at 7 p.m. in Hamlin’s Sundin Music Hall. FMI and tickets ($15-$25). 

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