Don’t let the winter blues get you down. The Great Northern is here to add some zest to your January, with all kinds of arts and culture events both outdoors and indoors, proving that snowy wintery days can be filled with joy and creativity. And that’s not all. Besides the many events taking place during The Great Northern (we’ve listed a few), watch out for a version of “Rocky Horror Show” featuring older actors, Cantus & Chanticleer at Orchestra Hall, as well as exhibitions at Dreamsong and Franconia Sculpture Park.
The Great Northern
The Great Northern kicks off its expansive offering of public art, wellness, music, the outdoors and more in spots around the Twin Cities and beyond this week. Beginning with its first iteration in 2017, when the festival joined together the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships, the City of Lakes Loppet Winter Festival and the Saint Paul Winter Carnival, the Great Northern has illuminated the wonders of the northern way of life in all of its glory. In 2019, the big thinking Kate Nordstrum, of the eclectic and ambitious Liquid Music Series, was hired to lead the festival’s direction and has broadened and expanded the series. This year’s line-up looks pretty fantastic. (See here for Pamela Espeland’s interview with Nordstrom last year.)
- Jovan C. Speller & Andy DuCett: Conservatory: A greenhouse garden thriving in a structure made of solid ice? Sounds cool. This public art project by Jovan C. Speller and Andy DuCett is also layered with an immersive soundscape and work created by Black artists during the uprisings of 2020. Jan. 27-Feb. 6 at Saint Paul Alley (free). More information here.
- Latins on Ice: The Great Northern partnered with Teatro del Pueblo for this comedy set in a beach vacation environment. Written by Sabrín Diehl, the theater piece reflects on the experience of being Latin in Minnesota. 11 & 2 p.m. Saturday, January 29, 11 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 30 on Lake Nokomis (free.) More information here.
- Philip Glass 85th birthday celebration at Malcolm Yards: Watch an outdoor screening of the cult classic art film, “Koyaanisqatsi,” directed by Godfrey Reggio and featuring the music of Philip Glass, projected onto the United Crushers Mill. Specialty cocktails, potato pizza, and vegan cake will be available. 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 30 at Malcolm Yards (free.) More information here.
- Kara-Lis Coverdale: Tap into Kara-Lis Coverdale’s ethereal vibe when she makes her Upper Midwest debut. 8 p.m Tuesday, Feb. 1, at the Icehouse ($15/$20 day of show.) More information here.
- Faribault Woolen Mill limited run blanket by Dyani White Hawk for The Great Northern: Journey: This isn’t an event, but a chance to purchase a limited edition throw blanket designed by Lakota artist Dyani White Hawk, who has just been announced as being selected for this year’s Whitney Biennial. It’s produced in partnership with Faribault Woolen Mill and the American Craft Council. ($245). More information here.