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Weekend Picks: Land of 10,000 Laughs, a Black composer showcase, craft market

Plus: a Swedish stringband; show-stopping song and dance; and an arty party.

Catch Mary Mack’s sweet voiced biting commentary at the Southern Theater during the 10,000 Laughs festival.
Catch Mary Mack’s sweet voiced biting commentary at the Southern Theater during the 10,000 Laughs festival.
Photo by Shelly Mosman

Everyone deserves to have a laugh once in a while. Luckily, the opportunities for doing so abound this weekend as comics from around the country infiltrate the Twin Cities. Also this weekend, the American Craft Council’s St. Paul Marketplace, which has been recently rebranded as “American Craft Made” heads to the RiverCentre, with lovingly created  objects to bring beauty to your home. And, the Minnesota Orchestra highlights Black composers, Interact Center recalls the Great Depression, Swedish and Minnesota music musicians find shared rhythms, and Public Functionary makes its official return.

10K Laughs

The Twin Cities get a comedy infusion as the 10,000 Laughs festival hits breweries, theaters, bars and clubs. Nearly 80 comedians will be performing over the course of three days, with nationally touring comics headlining shows that also feature local comedians. Catch Mary Mack’s sweet voiced biting commentary at the Southern Theater, identical twins the Sklar Brothers, formerly of ESPN Classic show “Cheap Seats” at the Parkway Theater and New York-based indie comic and Late Night TV alumni Carmen Lagala at the Comedy Corner Underground, Sisyphus Brewing, and Palmers. Find more laughs throughout the fest at The Cedar and The Red Sea. Thursday, Oct. 6 to Saturday, Oct. 8 ($20). More information here.

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American Craft Council

Artwork by Fred Kaemmer
Artwork by Fred Kaemmer
Head to the RiverCentre this weekend to peruse beautiful handmade objects at American Craft Made, organized by the American Craft Council. At the marketplace, artists and artisans will be selling ceramic work, glass objects, jewelry clothing, furniture and more. Formerly called the American Craft Show, American Craft Made features over 150 artists from all over the country. When you’re there, look for Loriene Pearson, Ger Xiong and Enyo Farabi, three BIPOC artists from American Craft Council’s new Emerging Artists Scholarship Program, supported by the Windgate Foundation and the Harlan Bass Foundation for the Arts. Hmong artist Ger Xiong makes jewelry and textile work, and his recent work employs traditional embroidery in contemporary pieces. Enyo Farabi, whose parents are Iranian and Puerto Rican, makes jewelry of materials like metal, stone, and antlers, while Winnebago artist Loriene Pearson specializes in new ways to explore Winnebago appliqué patterns. The scholarship is part of American Craft Council’s ongoing efforts to expand the field to include artists from diverse communities and backgrounds. Friday, Oct. 7 from 10-6 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 8 from 10 a.m. to 6 pm., Sunday, Oct. 9 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the RiverCentre in Saint Paul ($10). More information here.

The Listening Project

Kensho Watanabe
Photo by Irina Belashov
Kensho Watanabe
Guest conductor Kensho Watanabe joins the Minnesota Orchestra for the Listening Project, a concert and recording session that highlights six works by Black composers never played before by the orchestra. Hosted by Dr. Louise Toppin, a professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Music, the concert includes jazz-inspired classical music pieces, like Hale Smith’s “Contours,” and a collection of African American spirituals arranged by American composer Margaret Bonds. Bass-baritone soloist Christopher Humbert Jr. will perform in the Bonds piece, and will also sing in Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s “Idyll.” Jamaican-born composer Eleanor Alberga, Adolphus Hailstork, and the great Florence Price are also featured.   Friday, Oct. 7 at 8 p.m. at Orchestra Hall ($32). More information here.

We’re Still Here

Interact Center for Visual and Performing Arts heads back in time to the Great Depression for their latest production, telling the story of a Chicago newspaper grappling with the challenging social and economic landscape all while its own internal problems. With original music by Aaron Gabriel, the work finds parallels with recent and current events, complete with large-cast numbers and show-stopping song and dance. Friday, Oct. 7 to October 29 at 7 p.m. at the Luminary Arts Center ($18-25). More information here.

JAERV + The OK Factor
JAERV + The OK Factor

JAERV + The OK Factor at ASI

Local string duo The OK Factor continues its fruitful collaboration with Swedish folk quintet JAERV at the American Swedish Institute this week, for their upbeat program, “Traditions.” The two groups first played together in 2017, with the OK Factor opened for JAERV at the Cedar Cultural Center. The musicians hit it off, and have in the intervening years taken a deeper dive into their subsequent traditions, including visits to Scandinavia for playing and study. Friday, Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. at the American Swedish Institute ($35). More information here.

Smoke and Ground

It’s been three years since Public Functionary left their space on Buchanan Street in Northeast Minneapolis, a hub for flashy contemporary art shows and the best art parties in town. In the intervening years, PF has still been active, particularly in its development of PF Studios, a program featuring emerging BIPOC artists. This week, PF officially re-opening in the Northrop King Building, in a show that features artists from the PF Studios program. Adrienne Doyle acts as guest curator for the show, who will also be contributing a zine for the exhibition. Opening Saturday, Oct. 8 from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., through Nov. 6 (free). More information here.