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Around the Arts, February 25

Gail Rixen will take part in the eighth and final event of the First City Poetry Reads series set for March 10. Submitted photo.
First City Poetry Reads final session

BEMIDJI -- The eighth and final event of the First City Poetry Reads series will be held Saturday, March 10, at 2 p.m. at Wollman Coffee, 1426 Bemidji Ave. N, No. 7.

Gail Rixen

 Kristin MajkrazkThe theme, “Poets in Conversation,” will feature poets Gail Rixen and Kristin Majkrazk. Both poets draw inspiration from nature, a press release said. Rixen is a farmer, writing instructor and woodworker; Majkrazk is a weaver, spinner and naturalist. Throughout the discussion and reading, the two poets hope to share their similarities and differences in approach to subject matter and the writing process, the release said.

There will be an open mic period after Rixen and Majkrazk’s reading. Poets should consider their own response to the subject of poetry itself and how all poets share in the great conversation. Each reading should be no more than three minutes, with family friendly content. For more information or to sign up, contact Marsh Muirhead at 218-556-6313 or

Blues and Bluegrass at Chief Theater

BEMIDJI -- Bringing bluegrass and blues to the Chief Theater, the Corey Medina Brothers, featuring The Woodpicks, will perform at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 25. The cost is $10. The Chief Theater is located at 314 Beltrami Ave. NW.

Animal portrait class for adults

BEMIDJI -- Headwaters Music and Arts, 519 Minnesota Ave. NW, will host a four-session workshop for adults about colored pencils and animal portraits. The class will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays, starting March 6. Students will “learn how to draw, blend, and create realistic animals with color pencils,” a press release said.

The class is for adults 18 and older. Cost is $45 for members and $50 for the public. No experience is required, and all supplies are provided. For more information or to register, call (218) 444-5606 or visit

HCLL to host history behind sanatorium

PARK RAPIDS -- Headwaters Center for Lifelong Learning will present Cecelia McKeig: “The Story of Ah-Gwa-Ching,” from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 6, at Park Theater in Park Rapids. Ah-Gwah- Ching, Walker, was the first tuberculosis sanatorium in the state. Started in 1907, it was the model for all the other county sanatoriums. Because it only accepted patients who had a chance of recovery, there was a lot of social and cultural interaction among the patients and staff, a press release said.

The audience will hear of individual experiences as well as learn the ways in which Ah-Gwah- Ching and its mission evolved through the decades. McKeig, an area historian, previously presented a program for HCLL about the Battle of Sugar Point. The program is open to the public, free of charge, and handicap accessible. HCLL’s weather cancellation policy is that if Park Rapids Schools close because of inclement weather, HCLL will cancel and hope to reschedule.

Great River Rescue plans art contest

BEMIDJI --- Great River Rescue will host an art contest for children living in the Bemidji School District, themed “They Need Us All.”

A winner will be selected for each grade. Winners will receive a prize bag, get to choose the name of a Great River Rescue dog or cat, and have their art on display in an exhibit at the Paul Bunyan Mall. Winners will also be invited to a reception at the shelter during the first week of May. Honorable Mention winners will receive certificates and will be invited to the reception.

Art must be 2-dimensional, on an 8 1/2” x 11” or 10” x 12” surface. The art can include crayons, markers, paint, and charcoal. There can only be one entry per person. Entry fee is $5.

Adults may help with spelling, but should not help with the artwork. The art will be judged based on the theme “They Need Us All." There are a limited number of scholarships available to cover the entry fee. Call Great River Rescue at (218) 751-7910 for more information.

Artwork can be submitted with the entry fee in person or by mail to Great River Rescue, 1612 Carr Lake Road SE, Bemidji, MN 56601. The submitted art should be turned in by April 21. Copies of the entry form can be found on in the events tab.

First City Dance Studio hosts fundraiser

BEMIDJI -- First City Dance Studio will host a competition dance team fundraiser dinner show on Thursday, March 8. Dinner will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m, with take-out orders beginning at noon, at the Elks Club, 116 Fourth St. NW. The show then will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Chief Theater, 314 Beltrami Ave. NW. The spaghetti dinner will include salad, garlic, toast and dessert. The cost is $15 for both the dinner and the show; $10 for only the dinner or the show; and $8 for children, which includes both dinner and show. Tickets can be purchased through the studio (751-5425) or from any dancer.

Applicants sought for arts grants

BEMIDJI -- The Region 2 Arts Council will award two $5,000 Anishinaabe Arts Initiative Fellowships this year. The deadline for the grant is March 1, and all applications must be completed online at

Eligible artists must be enrolled tribal members or descendants and must currently reside in one of the following counties: Beltrami, Clearwater, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Hubbard, Roseau, Becker, Itasca, and Cass.

Artists also must have had a history of sustained accomplishment in their artistic field for five years, not including any performances, works of art, exhibitions or publications created for a class for credit or as a degree-seeking arts student.

Closing reception planned for “Creative Clearwater”

SHEVLIN -- The exhibition “Creative Clearwater” on display at the History Center in Shevlin

will close after a special open house from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 4. Items on display will be removed after 3:30 p.m. to make room for a new exhibit that will open in late March. The History Center is open Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and by appointment. There is no admission fee, although donations are encouraged. For more information call (218) 785- 2000

Batt to be next performer in ‘Storytellers’ series

BAGLEY -- Naturalist storyteller Al Batt will be the next performer featured in Farm by the Lake’s Storytellers” series on Sunday, Feb. 25. The event will be held at 3 p.m. at the Bagley Public Library, 79 Spencer Ave. SW, and is free to the public.

Batt ios a writer, speaker, storyteller and humorist. He writes for newspapers, magazines, including “Bird Watcher’s Digest.” He also speaks on radio shows about nature, writes a number of syndicated cartoon strips and is the author of "A Life Gone to the Birds."

Batt has received the Ed Franey Conservation Media Award from the Izaak Walton League, and the Thomas Sadler Roberts Award from the Minnesota Ornithologists' Union for lifetime contributions to birding. He also was recognized by Bluebirds Across Nebraska for outstanding contributions to wildlife conservation.  

Additional events in the “Storytellers” series will include interactive storyteller Nothando Zulu on March 11, and a writing workshop with Will Weaver on March 25.