Preview: Lao Diaspora photos re-imagined by artist Chantala Kommanivanh

“My style pretty much sums up my childhood experience with art and in the streets. I’m influenced by graffiti and hip hop and it’s institutionalized through expressionism.” -Chantala Kommanivanh

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Youth activism: Washburn High School theater teaches advocacy

(Photo by Nate Brault) Washburn High School students in the Theatre III class, participate in the day's activities.

Eshay Brantly didn’t know what to expect walking into the Theatre I class at Washburn High School in Minneapolis.

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Jillette Johnson opens for Mary Lambert at the Fine Line Music Cafe on Saturday, November 1

Saturday, November 1st, burgeoning singer-songwriter Jillette Johnson will be opening for Mary Lambert at the Fine Line Music Cafe in Minneapolis. Johnson's debut album, Water in a Whale, was released in June 2013 on Wind-up Records. The album features catchy pop songs like "Torpedo" and "Heathen," as well as the poignant "Cameron" which tells the story of a young boy grappling with his transgender identity. Johnson's lyrics are honest and self-reflective, which sets the stage seamlessly for Mary Lambert's fearless authenticity.

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Before the museums came: A virtual tour of the Twin Cities' arts heritage

Open Access Week (October 20-26) just wasn’t long enough to explore all the permutations on the theme. And so we saved the best for last with celebration of a most wonderful open access book. Before the Museums Came: A Social History of the Fine Arts in the Twin Cities, is the brilliant and beautiful creation of publisher, social historian and attorney Leo John Harris. The book and the creator deserve a bonus day of celebration.

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MUSIC PHOTOS | Mayda at New Century Sessions

Photos by Emmerlee Sherman

The New Century Sessions on October 29 opened with Mu Daiko, an innovative Japanese-style taiko drumming ensemble based in the Twin Cities. The ensemble plays new compositions, and infuses traditional melodies into its ever-expanding repertoire. Different members of the ensemble performed with Mayda for a few songs throughout the evening.

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Courage under fire: Girls on film

The Twin Cities Jewish Film Festival is spotlighting two female driven, award-winning films this week.

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Chick flick

I have to be the least likely writer anyone would peg as the author of a chick-flick novel. But, Black & Singles Blues (Indie Gypsy Press) is, cross my heart and hope to eat a dead frog, that very thing.

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TC Weekend | Free Ink Day, Free the Beast, Día de los Muertos celebrations and more!

My, how time flies! We’ve had a gorgeous fall, with sustained colors and above average temps. Now here we are at the cusp of November, which brings cooler weather and the close of TC Weekend for the year. The good times will roll on, however, with seasonal/holiday events and arts coverage!

Naturally, this weekend’s roster is heavy with Halloween and Dia de los Muertos happenings, and a few other fun events sprinkled in for good measure. In the midst of all the spooky revelry this weekend – don’t forget to set your clocks back an hour (2 am on Sunday) for Daylight Savings Time! 

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Dylan, Spider John, and the Purple Onion

I got to know Saint Paul and I got to know Bob Dylan because I got to know Bill Danielson. Bill owned the Pink Pizza Shack at Hiawatha and Lake in Minneapolis. In 1957 it was a hangout for me and my friends. Bill and his wife, MaryAnn, did pretty well there, but he wanted to be in Saint Paul, his hometown. He sold the Pizza Shack to brothers Duane and Lonnie Anderson, who changed the name to Dulono’s.

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THEATER REVIEW | The Importance of Being Fotis' "Farmhouse" at the Twin Cities Horror Festival

Robert (Mike Fotis) and Joyce (Debra Berger) have an awkward first (and last) meeting in Farmhouse as part of the Twin Cities Horror Festival; photography by Dan Norman

The publicity for the play Farmhouse from The Importance of Being Fotis for the Twin Cities Horror Festival makes things pretty clear:“On the morning of December 28, 1949, Joyce Slorjen, Robert Huxton and Ruth Huxton (formerly Slorjen) were found murdered in the home of Jack “Buddy” Slorjen. Come witness the hour before they were murdered.” The flyer purportedly from the Ashburg Gazette which audience members are admonished to read before attending the play gives the further detail that Robert and Ruth will die of gunshot wounds while Joyce will be strangled to death.

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