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3 local arts leaders among Bush fellows; ‘100+’ photo exhibit to open at MIA

ALSO: Nachito Herrera at the Dakota on Saturday; “Anne of Green Gables” opening at Theatre in the Round; and more.

Sarah Bellamy
Photo by Ann Marsden

Penumbra’s Sarah Bellamy, Adam Perry of Arts Midwest and Tea Rozman Clark, founder of Green Card Voices, have been named 2015 Bush Fellows in recognition of their achievements and potential as leaders. Fellows receive up to $100,000 over 12-24 months to pursue learning experiences that can help them develop leadership skills and attributes.

Bellamy, co-artistic director of Penumbra Theatre Company with her father, Lou Bellamy (she takes over as sole artistic director in 2017), plans to use her fellowship to work with other leaders to learn how arts, education and advocacy can create social and economic equity. On March 30, Bellamy will host “Let’s Talk Theatre: An Evening with Dominique Morisseau,” a discussion with the Edward M. Kennedy Prize winner whose play, “Detroit ’67,” opens April 23. 5:30 p.m. Refreshments and light bites will be served. FMI and tickets ($15).

A senior program director at Arts Midwest, Adam Perry oversees complex international initiatives with musicians, authors and filmmakers. He lives with a degenerative eye disease that has taken most of his usable sight but has not compromised his vision. He’ll use his Bush Fellowship to grow his competency in cross-cultural communications and nonprofit management.

Green Card Voices combats stereotypes with first-person stories. Founded by Tea Rozman Clark in 2013, based at Intermedia Arts, it records the stories of American immigrants – naturalized citizens, permanent residents, refugees, asylum seekers and those on temporary visas – and makes them available free of charge as five-minute videos on its website. So far, 60 countries are represented in GCV’s digital library. During this year’s Festival of Nations (April 30-May 3 in St. Paul), the organization plans to record up to 32 immigrant oral histories. FMI and registration. Rozman Clark will use her Bush Fellowship to build her nonprofit manager skills to grow GCV into the nation’s largest video library of immigrant stories. 

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Louise Erdrich has won the 2015 Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction. This is a fairly new award, and Erdrich is the third winner, after E.L. Doctorow (2014) and Don DeLillo (2013).

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington said in a statement, “Louise Erdrich has portrayed her fellow Native Americans as no contemporary American novelist ever has. … her prose manages to be at once lyrical and gritty, magical yet unsentimental, connecting a dreamworld of Ojibwe legend to stark realities of the modern-day.”

Erdrich said, “My grandfather, Patrick Gourneau, was educated in an Indian boarding school, became chairman of his tribe and testified before Congress on behalf of the Turtle Mountain people. My other grandfather, Ludwig Erdrich, came here penniless from Germany in 1920 and worked incessantly through many heartbreaks to raise his family, including my father. Of all their grandchildren, it would have surprised them most to think of me, skinny and tongue-tied, amounting to anything.”

In a career spanning 30 years (so far), Erdrich has written 14 novels, starting with “Love Medicine” (1984) and, most recently, “The Round House.” She has also received the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship in the Creative Arts, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas, and the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction. She’ll be given the Library of Congress prize at the National Book Festival on Sept. 5 in Washington, D.C.

In case you don’t know this, Erdrich owns the charming and intimate Birchbark Books in Minneapolis. You can buy her books there, and many others, along with Native arts and jewelry. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.


Just out, the 2015 PEN Literary Awards Longlist includes a Graywolf title, two Coffee House books and Macalester professor Marlon James’s new novel. Leslie Jamison’s “The Empathy Exams” (Graywolf Press) and Valeria Luiselli’s “Sidewalks” (Coffee House Press) are both longlisted in the essays category; Allison Adelle Hedge Coke’s “Streaming” (Coffee House) and James’ “A Brief History of Seven Killings” are up for the PEN Open Book Award.

The picks

Tonight (Wednesday, March 18) at the Trylon Microcinema: “The Defenders: Barb Abney.” Formerly of MPR, now at Go 96.3 FM (which recently lured Reed Fischer away from City Pages), and soon of MinnRoast 2015, radio host Barb Abney presents a secret film and defends her choice. You won’t know what you’ll see until you show up. 7 p.m. FMI and tickets ($8).

Tonight at Studio Z: Franz Hautzinger, Isabelle Duthoit and Benjamin Klein. This year’s crow with no mouth concert series, curated by Jesse Goin, begins with a trio of musicians you would probably never see if it weren’t for Goin, his passion for experimental and improvised music, and his tireless pursuit of grants to showcase artists he believes we should hear. Based in Vienna, trumpeter and composer Hautzinger is a protégé of Bill Dixon and has collaborated with people like Derek Bailey, Lou Reed and Luc Ex. The classically trained French singer Duthoit has developed a technique called “singular language before language.” Benjamin Klein plays tuba and electronics; he’s currently a doctoral candidate at the U of M. He has studied with Anthony Braxton and spent a year on a Watson Fellowship exploring international improvised and experimental music in Amsterdam, London, Sydney, Wellington and Tokyo. 8 p.m. $12 at the door.

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Opens Thursday at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts: “100+: A Photograph for Every Year of the MIA.” A time capsule of world history, artistic styles and curatorial tastes, drawn from the MIA’s collection of 12,000 photos from over 800 artists. “But what about ME?” you might ask. Share a photo from any year of your life on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #tbtMIA and watch for it to appear on a screen at the entrance of the exhibition. Through Oct. 18.

The weekend

Friday and Saturday at the Bryant-Lake Bowl Theater: “Manners and Misconduct: Improvised Jane Austen.” Based on suggestions from the audience, a team of improvisers creates a story in the style of Jane Austen. We can’t imagine anything more fun. From the creators of “Troy: The Musical” and “Darjiling Unscripted: Improvised Wes Anderson. Doors at 6 p.m., show at 7. FMI and tickets ($10). Also Friday and Saturday, March 27-28.

Opens Friday at Theatre in the Round: “Anne of Green Gables.” The enormously popular book by Lucy Maude Montgomery that became an evergreen public television series is also a play, adapted from the book by Sylvia Ashby. We follow the irrepressible Anne through her rebellious childhood, her transformation into a young woman, and her romantic pairing with Gilbert Blythe. Directed by Dona Werner Freeman, artist-in-residence at St. Olaf, with Mabel Thomas as Anne Shirley, Jane Hammill as Marilla, Rod Kleiss as Matthew and Sean Gilbertson as Gilbert. 8 p.m. FMI and tickets ($22). Weekends through April 12.

Saturday at the Dakota: Nachito Herrera. The incendiary Cuban pianist will be joined by the Afro-Cuban drummer, composer and bandleader Francisco Mela, who also serves as artistic director of our Twin Cities Jazz Festival. A reservation is a good idea. 8 p.m., $15. Call 612-332-5299.