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KAXE Programs - Culturology

With volunteer and freelance contributors - Wednesdays at 6pm, Sundays at 9am
Discover and get involved with the broad and deep world of arts and culture in Northern Minnesota. Each edition features profiles of artists from a wide spectrum of creativity, from painters, potters and sculptors to fine-arts and heritage musicians, authors and poets. The program also endeavors to be an entry point into the rich cultural past and present of our region.

Join in the cultural conversation by using the calendar of events, and providing stories and reviews of events you attend. A variety of arts and culture voices, textures, and topics await you Wednesdays at 6pm and Sundays at 9am.
Now including RealGoodWords
The program is made possible with support from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
Culturology Blogs: Click here for the latest Culture Calendar and story information.
Submit poetry, prose, event reviews, or story ideas.
The Latest Programs:
June 26th, 2013: Guido's Arts Review - Steve is as excited as you'll ever hear him about "Tom Page, Then and Now, Sculpture, Drawing, Painting," the impressive and infrequent exhibit from Tom Page at the Edge Center for the Arts in Bigfork during June.
June 12th, 2013: Gendron Jenson: "The Burning Years" - Grand Rapids native, and internationally acclaimed artist Gendron Jenson recently joined MacRostie Art Center Executive Director Katie Marshall, Heidi Holtan, and John Bauer on The Morning Show to talk about his art, and the exhibit housed at the MacRostie Art Center through July 30th titled "The Burning Years."
Guido's Arts Review - Steve recounts his experience taking in the current exhibit at the Bemidji Community Art Center. The exhibit of art from John Lembi titled, "Child's Play," is available for viewing through July 27th. Guido also talks about the personal and artistic thrill that was Gendron Jenson's return to Grand Rapids to be present at the MacRostie Art Center's opening for a retrospective featuring his art the  called "The Burning Years."
June 5th, 2013: Dana Stabenow's "Kate Shugak" Series of Novels - Charlie Parson provides an insightful review of the "Kate Shugak" series of novels from author Dana Stabenow.
Erika Kooda's Senior Year: Essay Series: - Erika Compares Her Experience With The Gulf of Mexico, The Pacific Ocean, and the Atlantic. - Since last fall Erika Kooda has been a senior at Grand Rapids High School. During the school year she's checked in with essays reflecting on her experience. To hear earlier essays in this series from Erika scroll down the page.
Guido's Arts Review - Steve reviews the kickoff performance of the Grand Rapids Summer Arts Concert Series featuring the New Generation String Trio.
May 22nd, 2013: Guido's Arts Review - Steve gives the spectator's view of two readings that took place recently in Baxter and Bemidji. Candace Simar and Angela Foster read from their new book "Farm Girls" at the Prairie Bay Restaurant in Baxter as part of the "Speaking of Books" Series. The "Speaking of Books" Series takes place on the third Thursday of the month through September. Guido also talks about a reading, along with a question and answer session by the author of "The Vatican Diaries," John Thavis. Thavis spent roughly the past thirty years serving as a Reporter, and then the Rome Bureau Chief, for the Catholic News Service.
Thanks For Everything Erika! Good Luck!
Erika Kooda has been contributing to Northern Community Radio both on and off the air with her efforts since she was in the Seventh Grade. She's just completed her senior year, and will spend the summer as part of the
Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps 2013 Color Guard. Then it's on to Chicago and Columbia College.

Erika Kooda's Senior Year: Essay Series: Number 32 - The Four Years That Culminate In Being A Member of the Class of 2013. - Since last fall Erika Kooda has been a senior at Grand Rapids High School. During the school year she's checked in with essays reflecting on her experience. To hear earlier essays in this series from Erika scroll down the page.
Erika Kooda's Senior Year: Essay #31 - Erika's Take On the Prom Experience.
Erika Kooda's Senior Year: Essay #3
0 - Erika Reviews the Musical "Newsies."
Erika Kooda's Senior Year: Essay #29 - Erika Ponders the Ways That Drum Corps Has Changed Her.
Erika Kooda's Senior Year: Essay #28 - Erika's Reflection on the Grand Rapids High School Marching Band's Trip To Hawaii: Part Two
Erika Kooda's Senior Year: Essay #27 - Erika's Reflection on the Grand Rapids High School Marching Band's Trip To Hawaii: Part One
Erika Kooda's Senior Year: Essay #
26 - Erika Reviews "The Perks of Being A Wallflower," by Stephen Chbosky, and Relates the Book To Her Own Experience
Erika Kooda's Senior Year: Essay #25 - The Close of Erika's Pep Band Career
Erika Kooda's Senior Year: Essay #24 - School's Winding Down, College Decisions Looming...Arggh...I mean Yay!
Erika Kooda's Senior Year: Essay
#23 - An Excursion To Bagley and Bemidji For Rehearsals and A Performance in the Bagley Edition of the Great Northern Radio Show
Erika Kooda's Senior Year: Essay #
22 - A Family Ski Trip Out West
Erika Kooda's Senior Year: Essay #
21 - Erika Talks About Some of the Ways She Thinks Northern Community Radio Breaks the Mold
May 15th, 2013: Guido's Arts Review - Steve talks about experiencing the Bemidji Symphony Orchestra's final 2012/2013 "Tunes and Topics" season called "Music and Words," consisting entirely of "The German Requiem: Opus 45," by Johannes Brahms. Guido also summarizes a fine evening at The Reif Center with the Itasca Symphony Orchestra and special guest pianist Eric Himy.
May 8th, 2013: Bemidji Hope House Art and Writing Project - Bemidji Hope House Director Robin Wold, and Art In Residence Judith Selby recently spoke with Maggie Montgomery and Robert Saxton on The Morning Show about an art and creative writing project that have culminated in an art exhibit and a book of writing.
Heidi and John Talk To Leah Friesen of the MacRostie Art Center, plus Guido's Arts Review - Leah Friesen joins Heidi Holtan and John Bauer on The Morning Show to talk about the "Outside Voices: Mental Health Month Show," sponsored by North Homes Children and Family Services on display in the MacRostie Gallery at the MacRostie Art Center in Grand Rapids. Also Steve Downing reflects on that very exhibit, along with the "Little Big Show: 6th Annual Miniatures Invitational," on display in the Minnesota Gallery at The Mac. Further, Steve relays the very successful visit to the area, and the Reif Center, by Caravan Serei's presentation of Orchestra of Fes.
The Artistic Director of Crossing Arts Alliance In Brainerd, Millie Engisch-Morris Joins Heidi and John On The Morning Show
May 1st, 2013: The First Minnesota Finns - For the past year, Northern Community Radio has been running a mini-series on Minnesota Finns. This is our last segment and perhaps ironically -- or appropriately -- it looks back at the earliest Finns to arrive in Minnesota. Producer Britt Aamodt encountered Audrey Tack along the way, a descendant of the very first Finns to come here as well as the descents of the Finns who settled two of our largest Finnish communities, Cokato and New York Mills. Pictured - Harvey Barberg stands in front of the one-room cabin where his ancestors spent their first winter.
Guido's Arts Review - Steve gives us a taste of numerous arts exhibits and events this week. Guido touches on an exhibit at Bemidji State University's Talley Gallery, the Art From Within Exhibit at the Headwaters School of Music and the Arts in downtown Bemidji, and the annual High School Invitational at the Bemidji Community Art Center. Then Steve relays the experience of attending the most recent poetry slam sponsored by the Bemidji Public Library. And finally we get a look into the play, "Becky's New Car," a farce recently presented in Bigfork at their wonderful facility, the Edge Center for the Arts.
Doris Stengel: An Interview and Poetry From This Brainerd Area Writer - Heidi Holtan's recent conversation with Doris Stengel. Doris also reads from her collection of poetic work.
April 24th, 2013: Sean Hill On the Upcoming Northwoods Writers Conference - Heidi Holtan is joined by Sean Hill, this director of this year's Northwoods Writers Conference to be held in Bemidji this summer in July.
Guido's Arts Review - Steve outlines his visit to the Northern Creations Art and Craft Show.
April 17th, 2013:Renowned Prose Poet Louis Jenkins Talks With Heidi Holtan and Steve Downing - Duluth based prose poet Louis Jenkins is celebrated around the globe. Jenkins recently joined Heidi Holtan and Steve Downing to talk about his career, and his process. And they also delve rather deeply into "Nice Fish," a play inspired by a number prose poems written by Jenkins. "Nice Fish," is currently being presented by the Guthrie Theater, and was created as a collaboration between Louis Jenkins and Mark Rylance.
Guido's Arts Review - For this week Steve describes the work in both galleries at the MacRostie Art Center in Grand Rapids: "Revisiting Twain's Mississippi - New Photographs by Chris Faust," and "Flyover - Prints About the Places In-Between," by Laura Brown.
April 10th, 2013: Julia Oxenreider - "Slam Tools and Rools Skool" - Julia Oxenreider is a poet living in Bemidji. She took second place in a poetry slam in Bemidji that took place early last winter. And Julia emerged the victor at another poetry slam that took place after nationally renowned poet Todd Boss graced a full house with a reading of his poetry in depths of this past winter. Both poetry slams were sponsored by the Bemidji Public Library and were made possible by Minnesota's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Recently Julia presented a class at the Rail River Folk School called "Slam Tools and Rools School" in which Julia covered the rules of slam competition and how to write and effective slam poem. The the participants participated in their own slam competition at Rail River Folk School. She also joined Charlie Pulkrabek to talk about slam poetry's characteristics and what attracts to to the format.
Dan Sinykin - A Travel Memoir from Mexico: Part Two - This essay has Sinykin at a book festival, where a spirited discussion narrows its focus on the concept of truth. Sinykin then applies the assertions he witnesses to some of his own knowledge on the subject.

Dan Sinykin - A Travel Memoir from Mexico: Part One - In Mexico for the purpose of research towards his graduate school studies, Sinykin here blends lessons of philosophy with memories of family to apply perspective to his presense in his new surroundings.
Guido's Arts Review - Steve elaborates on an appearance by Palestinian-American poet Naomi Shihab Bye as part of Jeff Johnson's Verse Like Water Series at Central Lakes College in Brainerd. And Guido also previews "Nice Fish," a play inspired by a number prose poems written by Jenkins. "Nice Fish," is currently being presented by the Guthrie Theater, and was created as a collaboration between Louis Jenkins and Mark Rylance.
April 3rd, 2013: "Finns In Minnesota: Finn Halls" by Britt Aamodt - When traveling through Minnesota's Finn country, you'll see a good number of Finnish-style log cabins, a lot of saunas, and, if you look hard, a handful of Finn Halls. In this latest segment in our ongoing series on Minnesota Finns, producer Britt Aamodt travels to Wright and St. Louis counties to investigate this Finnish building tradition, which for the immigrants of the early 20th-century Minnesota provided a meeting place, cultural safe haven, dance hall, a teetotaler's Friday night out and a paradise of the arts. In this piece from Britt Aamodt you'll hear from Harvey Barberg of Cokato, and Clarence Ivonen from The Iron Range.
Guido's Arts Review - In this arts review Steve Downing highlights the April exhibit at the B'nai Abraham Museum & Cultural Center. It features photography from Vance Gellert focusing on images related to life on the Iron Range.
The Last Hunter: An American Family AlbumMarch 27th 2013: "Sugar Bush Voices" by Anne Dunn - Anne Dunn is an Ojibwe storyteller and crone, which she describes as an elder wisdom keeper, holy hag, earth mother, and sky woman. This is the sixth in a series of essays that Anne Dunn has been kind enough to contribute to the airwaves of Northern Community Radio.

"Tea Pots" by Anne Dunn
"Gown" by Anne Dunn
"When Radio Was Big" by Anne Dunn
"Elder To Crone" by Anne Dunn
"Trip In Dad's Truck" by Anne Dunn
"All My Elders Are Gone: Fabulous Crone" by Anne Dunn
Guido's Arts Review - Steve covers a lot of ground in this arts review. Guido covers Joe Plut's recent appearance at the Grand Rapids Public Library, the current exhibit at Bemidji State University's Talley Gallery, and reflects on The Beat Cafe.
Mark Christensen Talks About Getting His Bachelors Degree In Music At Age 58 - Bemidji State University English Professor Mark Christensen joined Heidi and John on The Morning Show to talk about being Bemidji State University's oldest student to get a Bachelors Degree in Music as Vocal Recitalist, and about his preparation for his Senior Recital.
Erika Kooda's Senior Year: Essay #20 - Erika Talks About the Overwhelming Support She's Received From Her Northern Minnesota Community In Making Strides Toward the Next Stage of Her Life
Erika Kooda's Senior Year: Essay #19 - A Report on the Annual Meeting For the Voyageurs Lutheran Ministry
Erika Kooda's Senior Year: Essay #18 - Erika Talks About the Television Series "Downtown Abbey"
Erika Kooda's Senior Year: Essay #17 - It's Second Semester, Senior Year and Huge Life Changes Are Just Around the Corner
Erika Kooda's Senior Year: Essay #16 - Staying Warm with TV and Movies
Erika Kooda's Senior Year: Essay #15
- Time Moves Fast In Your Senior Year
Erika Kooda's Senior Year: Essay #14 - New Year's Resolutions
Erika Kooda's Senior Year: Essay #13 - Being in The Great Northern Radio Show in Bigfork
Erika Kooda's Senior Year: Essay #12 -
The experience of downhill skiiing.
Erika Kooda's Senior Year: Essay #11 - Erika awaits the news from Atlanta.
The Last Hunter: An American Family AlbumFebruary 20th 2013: "Finns In Minnesota: Crosby's Communist Mayor" by Britt Aamodt - With help from historian Pam Brunfelt, producer Britt Aamodt turns back the pages of history to a little-known story that involved a Swede-Finn miner's son and a mayoral election that could only have happened right then and right in that small Minnesota town at the height of the Great Depression.
Joe Plut Talks About Fellow Writer and Friend Jon Hassler - The late Jon Hassler was an author, an educator, a playwrite, and an artist. Hassler didn't begin writing until age 37. Nevertheless he published 15 works of fiction and two of nonfiction. Jon Hassler taught English in high school, and college for 41 years. In this segment of this interview Joe Plut talks about Hassler book "Simon's Night."

Joe Plut Talks About Fellow Writer and Friend Jon Hassler - Segment Two
February 13th, 2013: Todd Boss - The morning after poet Todd Boss read to a packed house at Headwaters School of Music and the Arts in downtown Bemidji, and then served as a judge in the poetry slam that followed, he stopped in to the Northern Community Radio studios in Bemidji. Todd had a conversation with Maggie Montgomery and Robert Saxton, and read some of his recently created poetry.
Guido's Arts Review - Steve talks about the National Federation of Music Clubs, an organization that's existed since 1898.The Itasca Music Club, one of the three chapters in northern Minnesota, held its sanctioned Annual Music Festival at the Reif Center recently. Guido attended and presents this reflection on the afternoon of music.
February 6th, 2013: Kellie Rae Theiss: An essay on owls - Kellie Rae Theiss is an nature artist and writer that lives in Floodwood. Kellie spends a lot of her time observing nature. Sometimes she wonders if nature observes us.
January 30th, 2013: Bemidji Photographer Cal Rice talks to Maggie Montgomery and Robert Saxton about his recent body of work focusing on Bhutan and Cuba. Cal Rice's exhibit "Cultures in Change: Photography of Bhutan and Cuba" resulting from his recent trips to Bhutan and Cuba, will be on display at the Bemidji Community Art Center through March.
The Last Hunter: An American Family AlbumJanuary 23rd 2013: "Finns In Minnesota: The 1907 Mesabi Range Strike" by Britt Aamodt - July 1907, nearly 15,000 miners rose up to protest low pay and unfair and dangerous work conditions on the Mesabi Iron Range. The strike would go down in history as the first organized strike on the Range, one that was supported, sustained and led principally by the Finns living in the hardscrabble, pre-unionized industrial frontier of Northeastern Minnesota. Northern Community Radio producer Britt Aamodt brings us this feature on that historical event.
January 23rd, 2013: Guido's Arts Review - Steve Downing breaks down the experience he enjoyed when he witnessed a live performance at the Reif Center recently presented by The Gitchigami Trio from Duluth.
January 19th, 2013: Amy Rutten recalls growing up in Ely in a ski jumping family.
January 19th, 2013: The Slaughters: Authentic Gospel Music - Produced by Louise Mengelkoch Roosevelt and Elizabeth Slaughter have been playing the organ and piano for 45 years. They’ve lived in Bemidji since 1999 when their younger son moved here to attend BSU. Roosevelt grew up in Mississippi and Elizabeth is from Chicago, where they met in the late 60s. At the time, they both played spiritual music in the African-American tradition in Baptist churches. Last Sunday they treated those in attendance at the First Lutheran Church in Bemidji to their unique talents in the form of authentic gospel music. Thanks to Louise Mengelkoch for contributing this piece. And thanks to the Slaughters for their participation as well.
January 9th, 2013: Winona LaDuke's essay about Idle No More
Photo by Chris Peplin.
January 2nd, 2013: Finnish Accordionist, Oscar Forsman talks to Scott Hall - Oscar Forsman is an elementary school teacher from DeKalb, Illinois. Oscar has strong ties to his Finnish American roots on the Iron Range. He plays traditional Finnish and Finnish American music on his accordion. During his visit to the Iron Range over the holidays, Oscar stopped into our studios to play a few songs and talk with Scott Hall.
December 19th, 2012: Dan Sinykin: Christmas In A Swamp - Dan Sinykin illustrates an experience he and friend had spending Christmas removed from civilization in Argentina.
December 12th, 2012: Crossroads with Britt Aamodt - Red Lake  Every weekend during summer, vacationers from all over Minnesota and beyond its borders have packed up the family car and headed north to Highway 1. The highway cuts a jagged route across the top quarter of the state, from North Dakota in the west to the rocky shores of Superior in the east, through farmland, reservation, lake and lodge country. KAXE producer Britt Aamodt got curious about this storied northlands highway and decided to hit the road. In this episode Britt is on one of the most unique Indian reservations in the United States, Red Lake. Aamodt talks to two Gary Fuller and Bob Treuer about their lives.
SoundClipCrossroads with Britt Aamodt - Ely
Crossroads with Britt Aamodt - Tower
SoundClipCrossroads with Britt Aamodt - Northome
SoundClipCrossroads with Britt Aamodt -
December 12th, 2012: Guido's Arts Review - Steve Downing reflects on the highly positive nature of the existence and effects of Minnesota's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
December 5th, 2012: "Before the Tabernacle" - An essay from Dan Sinykin about attending deer camp, and deer hunting with his family in the Jacobson area.
November 28th, 2012: "Sally the Snapping Turtle" - An essay from Kellie Rae Thiess - Kellie Rae Theiss is an artist and writer that lives in Floodwood.
Erika Kooda's Senior Year: Essay #10 - Erika attends tryout camp for Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps 2013 Color Guard
Erika Kooda's Senior Year: Essay #9 - Erika looks at potential colleges
Erika Kooda's Senior Year: Essay #8 -A strong case for the arts in school curriculum
Erika Kooda's Senior Year: Essay #7 -
Interviewing my favorite author
Erika Kooda's Senior Year: Essay #6 - KAXE Changed My Life
Erika Kooda's Senior Year: Essay #5 - The Summer of 2012
Erika Kooda's Senior Year: Essay #4 -
Final experiences in Marching Band
Erika Kooda's Senior Year: Essay #3 -
Picking a Senior Song
Erika Kooda's Senior Year: Essay #2
Erika Kooda's Senior Year: Essay #1
November 21st, 2012: Guido's Arts Review - Steve Downing recently attended the inaugural reading and crowning of Deborah Cooper as Duluth's fourth Poet Laureate. Steve recounts a brief history of Duluth's Poet Laureate position and touches on the establishment of Minnesota's Poet Laureate title.
November 7th, 2012: An Essay From Sage Davis - Sage Davis is a 23 year old Anishinaabe woman and mother of a two year old. She lives in Onigum on Leech Lake. She brings us an essay about herself, and how language, culture, and spirituality define for her what it means to be Ojibwe.
October 24th, 2012: Guido's Arts Review - This week Steve reviews the recent staging of the play "8" at the Reif Center in Grand Rapids. Then he covers a screening of the movie "Being Flynn" which took place on the campus of the College of Saint Benedict.
The Last Hunter: An American Family AlbumOctober 17th 2012: "Finns In Minnesota: Saunas" by Britt Aamodt - The first Finnish immigrants to arrive in Minnesota settled here sometime around the middle of the 19th century and the close of the Civil War. Minnesota quickly became one of the cultural homelands of immigrant Finns in America, and their legacy lives on today in last names--Niemi [NEE-me], Lahti [LAH-tee], Saari [SAR-ee]--town names (Esko, Heinola [HEY-no-la] and Finland, come to mind) and even a made-up saint, St. Urho, who, by the way, boasts his own celebration every March 16. But the Finnish tradition we Minnesotans have the most to be grateful for takes place in a small room with a bucket of water and a firebox for heating the rocks. Check out this piece by producer Britt Aamodt. This is the first in our 5-part series on Finns in Minnesota.
The Last Hunter: An American Family AlbumOctober 3rd, 2012: Dan Sinykin presents this review of northern Minnesota author Will Weaver's memoir "The Last Hunter: An American Family Album."
September 26th, 2012: "North Country: The Making of Minnesota" by Mary Lethert Wingerd For a lot of us the history  of Minnesota begins at the time of statehood in 1858, and is a history of progress from then to the present. Historian Mary Lethert Wingerd's new book, focuses on the two hundred years prior to statehood and culminates in the Dakota War of 1862. She calls the Dakota War "Minnesota's Civil War" and says it created the conditions that led to waves of immigration and the writing of a version of our history that is now widely accepted. Mary is Associate Professor of history at St. Cloud State. She recently spoke with Kathy Dodge and Scott Hall about why she decided to write about the two hundred years before statehood.
September 26th, 2012: Guido's Arts Review Recently Steve Downing attended the Inaugural event in a series titled "Verse Like Water: the visiting poets program of Central Lakes College." Li-Young Lee is a writer important enough that it would be silly to try to decribe his life and work with any list of "bullet points." Steve Downing ellaborates on why the Brainerd area was fortunate to have him in their presence last this past Monday.
September 12th, 2012: Native Studies Hip Hop Project at Schoolcraft Learning Community - Lisa Robinson teaches social studies at Schoolcraft Learning Community in Bemidji. As part of a middle school project about intercultural ubderstanding and literacy. Lisa worked with students to write poetry to express their feelings. Leech hip hop artist (and dad), Kaboose helped them set the poetry to music.
SoundClip Sixth Grade
SoundClip Seventh Grade
SoundClip Eighth Grade
August 22nd, 2012: Finnish immigrants had a good amount of influence in shaping Minnesota's history. Scott Hall talks with Historian Arnold Alanen about his new book "Finns In Minnesota."
August 15th, 2012: Maddi Frick recently toured the historic Lyric Center for the Arts and produced this piece resulting from what she learned. As the 100th Anniversary of the Lyric Center for the Arts passes the Lyric Center celebrates new life and a bright future.
August 15th, 2012: Duluth Glass Artist Ron Benson talks to producer Amy Clark. Ron Benson talks to producer Amy Clark about his unique process and the eventual results.
August 1st, 2012: Todd Boss speaks with Heidi Holtan - In honor of the 5th Anniversary of the 35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis, Minnesota poet Todd Boss has composed 35 poems consisting of 35 words per poem. Heidi Holtan spoke with Todd Boss about this group of poems, his own experience of the bridge collapse disaster five years ago, the art installation project by European visual artist Maja Spasova commemorating the anniversary, and poetry as an art form.
May 31, 2012: Edge Center Gallery’s Karen Ferlaak tells us about Minnesota native artist Joe Geshick’s retrospective in Bigfork through June.
SoundClipMarsh Muirhead of Bemidji is the reigning winner of The Great American Think Off for 2011. He is one of four finalists, selected from hundreds of contestants, again this year. Marsh joined Maggie Montgomery on the morning show to talk about his writing and the nature of The Great American Think Off contest put on annually by The New York Mills Regional Cultural Center.
May 31, 2012: Blood On The Tracks: A musical train trip up Highway 61 in honor of Bob Dylan's 71st birthday. Produced by Amy Clark.
Lisi Wright of Galactic Cowboy Orchestra talks with Dave Lathrop about their two recent full length releases, and about making this diverse sounding band work both in the studio and on stage.
Nov. 10, 2011 A visit with the members of Bipolar Bear, headlining the Terrapin Fest at Terrapin Station in Nevis this weekend.  Patrick Dewane talks about his grandfather's World War II service and the upcoming show, The Accidental Hero. 14 year-old cellist Maggie Anderson talks about the thrill of working with professional musicians from the Minnesota Orchestra.
Sept. 29, 2011 In light of the Pagami Creek blaze, Ed Nelson from the Forest History Center reviews our state's worst forest fire disasters. Jo Wood tells us about her intricate bead art and her role in the Bemidji Community Art Center's current programs Bemidji Symphony director Beverly Everett visits about their adventurous season, which begins Sunday.
Story Highlights

"Solveig": MN filmmaker documents Duluth-based Arctic indigenous painter.

by Amy Clark   April 12, 2012

The indigenous people from the far north of Scandinavia have endured years of abuse. Governments in the region tried their best to eliminate their culture, but the Sami people persevere. These people now enjoy new legal protections and even a semi-autonomous parliament, but challenges remain. An acclaimed Twin Cities filmmaker recently focused her lens on one woman of Sami heritage who lives and paints in Duluth. Amy Clark explores the story of Solveig Arneng Johnson, and the new documentary that bears her name.

Click here to listen to listen to Amy Clark's audio documentary.
"Rez Life" - David Treuer's new nonfiction book.
by Charlie Pulkrabek   February 23, 2012
Leech Lake Native American writer, David Treuer, has a new book, "Rez Life." The author of three novels and one collection of essays, "Rez Life" is his first full length work of non-fiction. In the book, Treuer addresses tough and controversial subjects like treaty rights and relations with non-Indians; and the corruption and shortcomings of tribal governments and leadership. He skillfully weaves valuable historical data into narratives that tie the large historical and legal issues he writes about to the lives of contemporary Indians living in Minnesota.


Charlie Pulkrabek has an in depth conversation with Treuer at the Cass Lake Library.
The Gunflint Mail Run -Amy Clark interviews race organizer and musher Frank Moe.
by Amy Clark   February 23, 2012
When the John Beargrease sled dog marathon was cancelled, racers banded together to offer an alternate course. The Gunflint Mail Run race, organized with only a couple weeks of advance notice, was a result. Amy Clark was on the Gunflint Trail the last two days of January and talked with organizer and racer Frank Moe about this effort, and mushing culture.

Amy Clark talks with race organizer and musher Frank Moe.
"In Search of Enough" - Travelling exhibit on Display at MacRostie Art Center.
Art that examines to idea of having enough inhabits the MacRostie Art Center during January.
by Travis Ryder    January 13, 2012

What do consider to be enough? Do you have enough physically, emotionally? If you already have enough are you willing to share what you have with someone who doesn't? "In Search of Enough" is part of a statewide effort to eliminate poverty in Minnesota by 2020. Director of the MacRostie Art Center, Katie Marshall joins Travis Ryder to discuss the art in this travelling exhibition which examimes to concept of having "enough."

The exhibit also features art created, with guidance from artist Lea Friesen, by students from the Northern Lights Community School in Warba.

Katie Marshall talks about "In Search of Enough."

Willow shoots become graceful seating
Don and Patti Erven's furniture and decor items will be at Goods from the Woods, Sept. 17
by Travis Ryder    September 15, 2011

Don Erven first took up willow work 24 years ago when he was a teacher in Togo.  Now he and his wife Patti build chairs of several sizes, garden benches, and even loveseats from fresh, pliable willow boughs.  They also have home items like coat racks, picture frames, and custom signs made from smaller pieces of willow. 

The Ervens and 70 other artisans will show their Northwoods-oriented wares on Saturday, Sept. 17 at the IRA Civic Center in Grand Rapids.

Don and Patti Erven, willow artisans

Learn more about Goods from the Woods here.
From defunct train yard to cultural centerpiece?
Range man hopes to rebuild Mitchell Yards engine house as metal sculpture, performance center
by Travis Ryder      August 8, 2011

From 1906 to the early 1960s, the steam trains of the Duluth, Missabe and Northern and its descendent, the DM&IR, were housed, serviced and fueled in a massive brick building just north of Hibbing.  These trains hauled the ore that became American skyscrapers, and the Allied ships, tanks and munitions of two World Wars.  Bob Dylan would have heard the whistles from this yard, perhaps fueling the frequent references to trains in his songs and poems. 

After the switch to diesel locomotives, this building spent five decades slipping into disrepair and ignoble service as a scrapyard.  Now, the owner of the Mitchell Yards engine house and its 80-acre grounds has a grand plan to give this relic a new, proud future. 

David Aho at the Mitchell Yards

Find Aho's plans and images of the yards' past and present here.

Aho's metal sculpture work can be seen here.
Effie native stars in McNally Smith production of Godspell
Jake Rahier and company bring the show to Bigfork
by Travis Ryder      August 11, 2011

The NcNally Smith College of Music production of the smash musical Godspell came to The Edge Center in Bigfork this weekend.  And with it comes Effie native and 2008 Bigfork High School alumnus Jake Rahier.  Rahier has the lead role of Jesus.

Culturology 8-11-2011: Jake Rahier on "Godspell"

Performances were at 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at The Edge Center, adjacent to Bigfork High School.

Loon Opera keeps it fresh
Director Abe Hunter makes his case for vibrance of form with Figaro this weekend
by Travis Ryder      July 28, 2011

The Loon Opera Company is out to prove that opera is not stuffy, but fresh and exciting. Their production of The Marriage of Figaro is on stage in Bemidji Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m., at the BSU Bangsberg Fine Arts Complex. I spoke with artistic director Abe Hunter, a Bemidji-based freelance pianist and artistic director of the troupe. His company is in its second year of producing opera. Hear my interview with him and performances from a recent rehearsal here:

Audio Abe Hunter and the Loon Opera Company

Puppetry is not just for playtime
Theresa Linnihan offers giant puppet-building and improv workshops
by Travis Ryder     July 12, 2011
Theresa Linnihan

Puppets aren’t just child’s play.  They’re a longstanding theatrical tradition and they can take on serious roles on stage and in the public square.  That’s part of what Theresa Linnihan is going to be teaching in a series of workshops starting this week in Grand Rapids.  Linnihan has run a children’s theatre in Massachusetts, and worked with the improv group Brave New Workshop in Minneapolis. Now she works with the Czech-American Marionette Theatre and the Puppeteers' Cooperative in New York.  She’s visiting family here this summer and presenting sessions on puppet building and improvisation at MacRostie Art Center.  I started my interview with her by asking about how puppetry helped her children’s theatre performances adapt to an outdoor space:
Audio Theresa Linnihan on Puppets, Improv, and this summer's workshops
Northern Community Radio 800-662-5799
KAXE260 NE 2nd Street • Grand Rapids, Minnesota 55744 • 218-326-1234 • FAX: 218-326-1235
KBXE 305 America Avenue NW • Bemidji, Minnesota 56601 • 218-333-9005
Grand Rapids - 91.7 FM • Bemidji - 90.5 FM • Brainerd - 89.9 FM • Ely - 103.9 FM