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Weekend picks: ‘Women of the Big Lake’ and women who live — and create — with cancer

Plus: The Minnesota Cuban Film Festival, an immersive “Traviata,” Saturday night jazz at kj’s hideaway and Sigur Rós.

Wiigwaasi-makakoon/birchbark box, made by Margaret Hill, circa 1990, birchbark, basswood, and leather
Wiigwaasi-makakoon/birchbark box, made by Margaret Hill, circa 1990, birchbark, basswood, and leather
Courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society

Normally, this column features all the shiny and cool stuff happening in the Twin Cities and surrounding area, but there’s one additional location this week worth mentioning. Up at the Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post, visitors have a chance to learn about four important women from the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe whose knowledge of Native artistic practices will be on view. You can learn about the women and see the wonderful objects they’ve created if you happen to have plans to be in the area either this weekend or later this summer.

Also on the list, the Minnesota Cuban Film Festival kicks off a once a week festival experience, running through the end of June. For opera lovers, head to Canopy in downtown Minneapolis for an immersive experience with not one but three different performers playing the lead role of Violetta Valery in La Traviata. Other items of interest — a compelling show featuring Rachel Jendrzejewski and Pramila Vasudevan at Hair + Nails, Saturday Night Jazz at kj’s hideaway and, next week, Sigur Rós at the State Theatre.

“a\c|c/e|p\t|i/n|s\i|s/t” at Hair + Nails gallery
MinnPost photo by Sheila Regan
“ac|c/e|pt|i/n|si|s/t” at Hair + Nails gallery

Rachel Jendrzejewski and Pramila Vasudevan “a\c|c/e|p\t|i/n|s\i|s/t”

A new exhibition at Hair + Nails gallery draws you in with its raw honesty and emotion. Rachel Jendrzejewski and Pramila Vasudevan have created a kind of public journaling process to share their experiences around living with cancer and the harsh medications they’ve had to take for survival. Jendrzejewski’s works are a mix of phrases and thoughts — sometimes scribbled together and at times edited out by pieces of tape. Meanwhile, Vasudevan takes a more visual approach, creating stark, often colorful images that are viscerally evocative of their lived experiences. Together, these works draw you into their process, both of living with a terrible illness but also creating art through that experience. You can stop by the gallery 1-5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays (free). More information here.

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A scene from “El Mayor (The Major)” by Rigoberto López.
Courtesy of the Minnesota Cuban Film Festival
A scene from “El Mayor (The Major)” by Rigoberto López.

Minnesota Cuban Film festival

If you didn’t get enough international film goodness from the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival, get your fix at the Minnesota Cuba Film Festival, heading to MSP Film at The Main. The festival kicks off May 26 with “El Mayor (The Major),” by Rigoberto López, about 19th-century Cuban revolutionary Ignacio Agramonte y Loynaz. The festival continues through the end of June with documentaries like “Volverán los abrazos (I’ll Hug You Again)” on June 2, about Cuban doctors fighting the coronavirus, and “Canción de barrio (Song of the Street),” on June 16, about folk singer Silvio Rodríguez’s tour of 60 of the poorest barrios in the country. The festival also features narrative fiction films, like “El último balsero (The Last Rafter),” on June 23, about a young Cuban searching Miami for his long-absent father. The films screen 7 p.m. Thursdays, May 26-June 30, at MSP Film at The Main ($9). More information here.

!Traviata! An Immersive Experience

Three different sopranos take on the role of Violetta Valery in Out of the Box’s immersive version of “La Traviata,” directed by David Lefkowich. Out of the Box’s interactive interactive take on Giuseppe Verdi’s opera, based on Alexander Dumas’s “La Dame aux Camélias,” about a courtesan with consumption. It’s a co-presentation with Opera Columbus, which will present the production next week. Among the sopranos is Alexandra Razskazoff, from New Brighton, who recently became one of six winners just chosen in the Metropolitan Opera Dominique-Laffont Competition. After the first scene presented for the entire audience, the audience is then divided into groups, where they’ll watch scenes in different locations, each with a different Violetta performing, before joining up for the finale. Friday and Sundays performances have sold out, but you can still get tickets for the show 7 p.m. Saturday, May 28, at Canopy by Hilton Minneapolis Mill District ($93). More information here.

Misi-zagaa’iganii-ikwewag ‘Women of the Big Lake’

Naawigiizisookweban (Noon Lady) Batiste Sam, Cheryl Minnema, Naawakamigookwe (Middle of the Earth Woman) Maude Kegg, and Wabooziban (Late Rabbit) Margaret Hill
Minnesota Historical Society
Naawigiizisookweban (Noon Lady) Batiste Sam, Cheryl Minnema, Naawakamigookwe (Middle of the Earth Woman) Maude Kegg, and Wabooziban (Late Rabbit) Margaret Hill
Four women artists and culture bearers from the Mille Lacs Band are featured in a new exhibition presented by the Minnesota Historical Society at the Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post. With beaded clothing, birchbark baskets, loom-woven belts, and items made out of sweetgrass, the exhibition celebrates the artistry and cultural knowledge of late band members Wabooziban (Late Rabbit) Margaret Hill, Naawakamigookwe (Middle of the Earth Woman) Maude Kegg, and Naawigiizisookweban (Noon Lady) Batiste Sam, who all worked at the museum throughout their lives, as well as artist and children’s book author Cheryl Minnema. Words throughout the exhibit are in English and Ojibwe. Opens May 28, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays at Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post in Onamia ($10 adults, $8 seniors, veterans/active military, college students, $6 ages 5-17, free for ages 4 and under and for MNHS members and Mille Lacs Band members). More information here.

Saturday night jazz at kj’s hideaway

Make a night of it at kj’s hideaway with a double header of jazz music. Jazz Trumpeter and composer Kenny curates the evening, starting things off with his own group at 8 p.m., playing alongside Lasse Corson on piano, Ted Olsen on bass and Miguel Hurtado on drums. Following that, stay for the improvised stylings of Zacc Harris group at 9:30 p.m. Harris plays with Bryan Nichols on piano, Chris Bates playing bass, JT Bates on drums, and Brandon Wozniak and Aaron Hedenstrom on sax. 8-11:30  p.m. Saturday, May 28, at kj’s hideaway ($20). More information here.

Sigur Rós
Photo by Hörður Óttarson
Sigur Rós

Sigur Rós

The sound of post-rock Icelandic band Sigur Rós has a way of permeating your body as you listen to its layered, almost ritualistic, sound. There is a lyricism to the words, even when they are sung in a made-up language coined by the band called Vonlenska, sung by lead singer Jón Þór “Jónsi” Birgisson. With an ethereal falsetto voice, multi-instrumentalist Jónsi hypnotizes with vocals and also multi-instrumental musicianship, particularly when he uses his bow on a guitar. They perform at 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 31 at the State Theatre ($59.50-150.50.) More information here.