The Secret of Square Lake






The tiny festival taking music and film off the off the trail and into the woods Life can be tough for fans of low-key music festivals. Around the world, fests pair performances with raging stage shows and, all too often, the spectacle absorbs the art. However, anyone who is able to make it to Stillwater, […]

Craft Culture: Custom messenger bags at Trash






When Modist Brewing Company painted its trademark teal floor and started pouring beers this spring, Andy Larson, the 34-year-old owner and CEO of Trash Messenger Bags, had a front-row seat. That’s because the North Loop brewery is also his landlord. Tucked into the narrow, low-ceilinged loft above Modist’s brewing tanks, the doorway and stairs leading […]

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Artist Profile: Jeff Nelson






If you’ve dined out in the Twin Cities sometime in the last several years, you’ve likely seen the work of Jephemera, aka Jeff Nelson. He’s one of the most sought-after chalk-art and hand-lettering artists in the state, hired by restaurants, pubs, bakeries, and taprooms to customize menus, most of which are displayed on chalkboards. But […]

The little art museum in Winona making big waves






Water is the base of life. It comprises our oceans and our blood. It inspires ideas, inventions, and opportunities, whether it takes the form of the current in which driftwood is floating or the sweat on a warming beer can. Winona’s Minnesota Marine Art Museum (MMAM) showcases the connections between water, everyday life, and artwork of […]

Weekly Set List: 5 must-see concerts happening this week






Summer is nearing the half-way point, which depending on your point of view is either exciting and terrifying. On the exciting side of things, the summer concert lineup only gets better from here on out. Here are a few shows to check out this week. Holy White Hounds | 7th Street Entry | Tuesday, July […]

Snowbate: The vital program keeping filmmaking alive in Minnesota






In his first scene in the film “I am Not a Serial Killer,” Minnesota actor Tim Russell, playing Olson the Barber, encounters a character played by Christopher Lloyd who asks Olson to dance with his wife. Lloyd’s character is happily married; however, he needs new body parts to continue his 600-year existence. Russell’s character is […]

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Artist Profile: Brian Matthew Hart






Choosing an artist to grace the cover of our arts issue was no small task. Grand questions about the nature of art and its creation swirled about as we explored the work of several talented local artists. We were hoping for an image that could elicit the interest and curiosity of the viewer, while also […]

Craft Culture: Franconia Sculpture Park






Rolling farmland and patches of trees dominate the last leg of the drive north on Highway 95 as you approach Schafer, Minnesota, a town of just over 1,000 people. Then, suddenly, the trees grow thin and open into a clearing of land, revealing a giant circular structure rising 40 feet toward the sky. This isn’t […]

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Penumbra marks 40 years of illuminating the African-American experience through art






When you pull up to St. Paul’s Penumbra Theatre, considered one of the largest and most important African-American theater companies in the nation, the first thing you notice is the playground. Tots toddle down teal-colored slides. Little yellow dump trucks sit bedded in a swath of wood chips. The fence that borders the property is […]

The Lowertown Paradox: Can artists build a community without pricing themselves out?






When Mike Savage emerged from the alleyway with a black suit and black hat, holding high his black umbrella, you could tell this was no ordinary funeral. It was a wake for the JAX, an old warehouse building that, for years, held the heart of St. Paul’s arts community. The memorial procession was a New […]

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The creative confluence at Eaux Claires






Where art meets music for a weekend in Wisconsin We pull up to an open field a few miles southwest of downtown Eau Claire. There’s nothing immediately noteworthy about the place—just an empty lot overgrown with tall grass and golden rod. Without a GPS we surely would have passed it. And yet it was here, […]

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Kathy Griffin dishes celebrity dirt, offers tips for Pride newcomers






Kathy Griffin is used to having the biggest personality in the room. But during Pride weekend, even she knows that she has work cut out for her. “Doing Pride, I’m out there trying to compete with boys in thongs,” she says. “But that’s what makes gay audiences the best; you can’t shake them.” This week, […]

Dance outside: 2016 summer music festival preview






Today, June 20, is the official start of summer, which means the calendar in the coming months is chock full of outdoor music festivals. See the list below for some of our favorites, and we’ll see you on the dance floor (or mud pit, depending on the fest and the weather). Basilica Block Party | […]

More than just “Dad Jokes”






For Twin Cities comedy dads, fatherhood means learning to take things a little less seriously On March 28, Gabe Noah and his wife, Alison, welcomed their first child into the world. The next night, he was on stage in front of a room full of strangers, making jokes about what his life was like 48 […]

VocalEssence’s ReMix mentorship program gives young songwriters a chance to shine






“Some people see classical music as a dying art,” says G. Phillip Shoultz III, associate conductor of VocalEssence, a Minneapolis-based choral non-profit founded in 1969. That, however, is a misstatement. “It’s an ever-evolving art,” he explains. “What’s classical music now is different. It’s changing and shifting from what we’ve known it to be before.” And […]