David Hogg, a survivor of the February 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, will speak at the Westminster Town Hall Forum on Tuesday, March 19. After the shooting, where 17 people died, Hogg quickly emerged as a powerful and articulate gun control activist. A co-founder of March for Our Lives, a youth-led gun violence prevention movement, he also advocates for increasing voter participation and civic engagement. His topic: “Putting the USA over the NRA.”
Announced Saturday, the Westminster Forum’s spring season opens Feb. 12 with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Art Cullen, co-owner of the Iowa twice-weekly Storm Lake Times and author of the acclaimed book “Storm Lake.” His topic: “Change and Resilience in the Heartland.” On April 9, Jonathan Capehart, a Washington Post opinion writer and contributing commentator on MSNBC (and Carleton grad), will speak on “A Bold Look at Today’s Headlines.” On April 30, Episcopal priest and best-selling author Barbara Brown Taylor – her latest is “Holy Envy” – will speak on “Finding God in the Faith of Others.”
More speakers of note are coming our way. On Saturday, Feb. 23, TedXMinneapolis will bring six women to the Walker for “Piece Together,” an event exploring how what makes us unique also brings us together. Speakers include holistic psychologist Rachel Allyn, public historian Kate Beane, composer Jocelyn Hagen, relationships researcher Carol Bruess, community connector Alex West Steinman – and multimodal artist Vie Boheme, who performed an astonishing one-woman show at the Southern in September right after coming off “West Side Story” at the Guthrie, then decamped for Paris and the world, meanwhile tapping out a frank article for Medium on what it’s been like for her to live in Minneapolis. FMI and tickets ($20-250).
Tonight (Tuesday, Jan. 15) at Crooners: Ethan Iverson. The last time pianist Iverson played a solo set at Crooners, on Aug. 20, 2016, he was still a member of The Bad Plus. He left that band on New Year’s Eve 2016, and ever since, he’s been plenty busy, performing, composing, recording, traveling, collaborating, writing up a storm and shining in his own spotlight. The 2016 Crooners show was a real pleasure; he began with Scott Joplin, ended with original compositions and clued us in to what he was playing along the way. Asked about tonight’s show, he said this in an email yesterday morning: “I’ll be playing standards and originals. Solo piano is still comparatively ‘new’ to me … I guess my journey involves drawing on the best of jazz piano and classical piano traditions.” And he can play them all. DownBeat called a solo set from last year “rare and riveting,” with a “witty and mischievous virtuosity.” In the Dunsmore Room. 7:30 p.m. Tickets here ($23.78-29.84).
Wednesday at the American Swedish Institute: Poets, Writers, Musicians Against the War on the Earth. In the 1960s, American Writers Against the Vietnam War, an organization of poets begun by Robert Bly and David Ray, helped shape U.S. public opinion about the war. Half a century later, Poets, Writers, Musicians Against the War on the Earth is trying to do the same for the environment. It was formed last year by Bly’s wife, Ruth Bly, in response to Scott Pruitt’s appointment as head of the EPA. The scandal-plagued Pruitt is gone now, but the new acting EPA chief is a former coal industry lobbyist. Thursday’s event will include performances, poems, music and stories in response to daunting environmental challenges. It will also launch ASI’s “Year of Sustainability” exhibition season. With Zoe Bird, James Lenfestey, Wang Ping, Kevin Kling, Prudence Johnson, John Munson and Robert Robinson, to name a few. Hot glögg and ginger cookies will be served. 7 p.m. Free, with donations welcome.
Friday through Sunday at the Cowles: Minnesota Dance Theatre: “Carmina Burana.” Back for its fourth consecutive season, this wildly popular multimedia performance combines Carl Orff’s notoriously lusty score (“music of monks and drunks,” as NPR once observed), Loyce Holton’s sizzling choreography, and a video design by Dominique Serrand. “Carmina” is danced to live music (so important!) by musicians Bob Adney, Erik Barsness, Barbara Brooks and Tom Linker; soloists Bradley Greenwald, Linh Kauffmann and Justin Madel; and the mighty Minnesota Chorale. Directed by Lise Houlton. 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday. FMI and tickets ($22-41).
Saturday at Sabes Jewish Community Center: Minnesota Shorts Showcase. An evening of Minnesota-connected short films, plus a red-carpet event with filmmakers, cast & crew, and a Q&A with filmmakers. All nine shorts look interesting and who knows, you might see a future Oscars contender. Red carpet at 6:30 p.m., screening at 7:30, Q&A at 9. A Twin Cities Film Fest event. FMI and tickets ($10). Go early and see the exhibition by artists Frank Gaard and Pamela Gaard now on display at the center.
Sunday at the Ted Mann: 38th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute Concert. The decades-long tradition of celebrating King’s life and accomplishments began in the 1980s, founded by U of M School of Music professor Reginald Buckner at a time when it was the only event of its kind in Minnesota. Curated by U of M alumnus G. Phillip Shoultz III of VocalEssence, who will also be the conductor and songleader, the signature blend of King’s words with musical performances will feature many area artists including VocalEssence Singers of This Age (VE’s youth choir), Ginger Commodore, Harry Waters Jr. and the U’s student brass ensemble, plus a special appearance by Minneapolis City Council VP Andrea Jenkins. 3 p.m. FMI. Free and open to the public.