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Around the Arts, Sept. 10

Russell featured poet for First City Poetry Reads

BEMIDJI -- Carol Ann Russell is the featured poet for the next First City Poetry Reads event, set for 4 p.m., Saturday Sept. 16 in the outdoor courtyard of Cantabria Coffee Co. in downtown Bemidji.  Russell is an English professor at BSU and the author of several books of poetry -- “Feast,” “The Red Envelope,” “Silver Dollar” and “Gypsy Taxi.”

Carol Ann RussellA world traveler and multiculturalist, Russell will channel both world at large and the particular in her presentation: “From Italy to Bemidji -- Gypsy Taxi,” a release said.

First City Poetry Reads is free and open to the public. The event will be followed by an open mic. Anyone interested in pre-registering to read can contact Marsh Muirhead at (218) 556-6313 or Poets are asked to keep their reading to three minutes and provide family friendly content.

This is the third of several readings in the First City Poetry Reads series, sponsored by the Spoken Word Committee of Watermark Art Center. Future First City Poetry Reads events will be held at Beltrami County History Center, Anytime Fitness, Sanford Hospital, Lake Bemidji State Park and more.

Author Hines to be in Blackduck, Bemidji

BEMIDJI -- Author Thomas (Tom) Hines is coming home again -- sort of. The author will present a book reading and discussion of his recently published book, “Cats, Bats, and Thrashing Machines: a guide to surviving childhood,” in Blackduck and Bemidji.

Thomas HinesThe Blackduck event is set at 2 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 14, at the Blackduck History and Art Center. Hines will also be appearing at the Bemidji Woolen Mills in Bemidji at 10 am, and the Beltrami County History Center at 1 p.m Saturday, Sept. 16, and at the Bemidji Buena Vista Fall Colors Festival on Sunday, Sept. 17, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. His book will be available for sale at all events or can be ordered online on

In a release, Hines said he envisioned the book as a simple collection of memories for his grandchildren, but as he wrote stories of the games he played and chores he tried to avoid, the book became so much more. It evolved into a loving and humorous chronicle of a boy’s life on a small farm in Northern Minnesota in the 1950s.

In the book Hines tells his family’s history, his home on Blackduck Lake, his neighbors, and his family traditions, the release said. He describes the small town of Hines, the nearby village of Blackduck, and the overwhelming appeal of the distant city of Bemidji. For Hines, time on the farm stopped when he moved in 1963. At age 67, he now lives on an island just north of Seattle. He retired as a professor and chair of the Department of Theatre at Whitman College and traveled extensively throughout his life.

Bemidji Contra Dance announces upcoming event

BEMIDJI -- Bemidji Contra Dance recently announced its next event, which will be held Saturday, Sept. 16. This will be the latest in a six-month contra dance series, which is part of an effort to grow contra dance music with a variety of musicians’ workshops and community dances from July through December 2017.

The event will include a musicians’ workshop, which will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Headwaters Music and Arts Center, located at 519 Minnesota Ave. There is no cost to attend, although pre-registration is encouraged. The workshop will host the O’Neil Family Band, which is based in East Grand Forks. Attendees also will be able to perform with the band during the evening’s dance.

The dance will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Rail River Folk School, 303 Railroad St. SW. There will be a free-will donation for the dance. The O’Neil Family Band will provide music.

contra dance is “a lively, traditional, social dance that originated in New England and is now done all over the United States,” according to a release. “Its music includes styles such as French Canadian, bluegrass, Celtic, Scottish and Appalachian. No partners or experience are needed.

For questions or more information on either the workshop or the dance, call (218) 407-7266, email or visit the Bemidji Contra Dance Facebook page.

Hunt to perform at Bemidji SDA

BEMIDJI -- Jeff Hunt, past recipient of the International Angel Award for Album of the Year and Male Vocalist Nominee, will be in concert at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 13 at the Bemidji Seventh Day Adventist Church at 4400 Eckles Road in Bemidji.

Southern gospel music from his latest CD, recorded in Los Angeles, will be presented along with songs he has written. Vocals, stories, humor and biblical principles for a successful life today will comprise the concert, according to a release.

The event is open to the public, although a free-will offering will be taken after the concert.

Poetry Slam set for Sept. 15

BEMIDJI -- Our Night of Jazz and Poetry will take place from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15, featuring Mark Vinz, David Ferreira and Bill Law at the Headwaters Music and Arts, 529 Minnesota Ave.

Vinz reads his original poetry in “coffeehouse style” while the band accompanies him with jazz. Vinz is a retired English professor from Moorhead State and has won numerous awards for his poetry and anthologies.

At 8 p.m., The Headwaters’ Poetry SLAM! will take place, emceed by Marsh Muirhead and featuring local poets. Poets of all calibers are invited to perform. Poets will have the opportunity to perform up to three original poems. Cash prizes of $100, $50 and $25 will go to the best three poems. Poets can arrive early, call (218) 444-5606, or go to to register.

‘Northern Minnesota’s Labor Wars’ screening

BEMIDJI -- The Beltrami County History Center will host a special screening of filmmaker Gary Kaunonen’s new documentary about a pivotal time in Northern Minnesota’s labor history. “Northern Minnesota’s Labor Wars” will be shown at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14, at the center, 130 Minnesota Ave. SW in Bemidji. The movie recounts the story of major labor uprisings in the mines of the Mesabi Iron Range and the lumber camps of the state’s far northern pine forests in 1916 and 1917. These events represent turning points in the national and international labor movement, a release said. “Labor Wars“ includes several Bemidji-area voices, according to the release.

Kaunonen was born in St. Cloud in 1975, and grew up in Braham, spending time in the summer on the Minnesota Iron Range. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Minnesota State University at Mankato in 2003 with majors in anthropology, history and psychology. In 2007, he completed his master’s degree in Industrial History and Archaeology at Michigan Technological University, with focuses in social, labor, and immigration history and the material culture of mining and industrial communities. He also holds a doctorate in rhetoric and technical communications.  

The event is free and a discussion will follow the screening. For more information, call (218) 444-3376.

Deadline approaching for R2AC Artist Fellowship

BEMIDJI -- The deadline is approaching for two $6,000 scholarships through the Region 2 Arts Council, which will be granted yearly. The funds can be used for, but are not limited to, exploring new directions or continuing work in progress; production costs, materials or equipment; collaborative or community projects; and travel, research or study to further art projects.

The R2AC Fellowship Award is made possible by the McKnight Foundation to provide unfettered funding to artists in Beltrami, Clearwater, Hubbard, Mahnomen, and Lake of the Woods counties in Minnesota.

The deadline to apply is Friday, Sept. 15. Applications are available online at For more information or questions, call the Region 2 Arts Council at (218) 751-5447, toll-free at (800) 275-5447 or email

Lindbergh focus of HCLL presentation

PARK RAPIDS -- The next installment of the Headwaters Center for Lifelong Learning is 1 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19, with “Charles Lindbergh: Triumph, Tragedy and Controversy.”

Historian David Jones returns by popular request to present a lecture and easy to follow power point slide show marking the 90 the anniversary of Lindbergh’s Atlantic flight. In 1927, Charles Lindbergh became the first pilot to fly solo from New York to Paris. This feat made him one of the biggest celebrities of his time. However, his life following the flight was filled with tragedy and controversy. Jones will explore the complicated life of a complex man. The program is open to the public, free of charge, and handicap-accessible. The events are held at the Park Theater, 107 Main Ave. S., Park Rapids.