Hometown talent José James returns to the Cedar April 21st

José James (Photos courtesy of Blue Note Records)

José James and Kris Bowers return to the Cedar Cultural Center on Monday, April 21. Consider this an invitation to enjoy more new music from two young and gifted musicians with new albums.

MORE »

Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival 2014: New festival vibe and recommendations for the final weekend

The Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival's vibe is different this year. I am not really sure how to describe it–maybe a veneer of professionalism. Less rough and tumble, more polish, less scrappy local flair, but still the clear commitment to the diversity of the film world. One thing remains, unlike big festivals, there are no press conferences with visiting filmmakers and actors, but rather a cozy Q&A in the cinema. They did however add the logo-laden backdrop common at big festivals to the area behind the  panelists.  As I chatted with the staff, one clear technical change this year is that there are no 35mm prints being shown. Last year there were six. The year before, I remember one filmmaker worried about the safe projection of his 16 mm film. Shipping of 35mm prints is extremely expensive, so a world of film options is open in this brave new world of technology. The world is officially 100% digital.

MORE »

Good Grief: Robert Bly and friends at Carol Connolly's Readings by Writers

Good grief. If there is such a thing, we experienced it the other night during a poetry reading by Robert Bly. There was a sense in the packed audience at Carol Connolly’s Readings by Writers event at Saint Paul’s University Club that this was a rare occasion, perhaps sad but good too. As the poet approaches his ninetieth birthday, his public appearances are less frequent and, perhaps it’s fair to observe, his delivery less predictable.

MORE »

THEATER REVIEW | We Theater's "The Shadow War:" Descendants of Hmong soldiers and CIA operative illuminate history

Gregory Yang and Song Kim. Photo credit Scott Pakudaitis.

The Shadow War focuses on the years leading up to, during, and after the Vietnam War, when the Central Intelligence Agency and U.S. Army Special Forces developed a secret army made up of Hmong and Lao fighters to combat the spread of communism in Southeast Asia. Playwright Amy Russell, who created the play based on her experiences growing up in Laos as the daughter of CIA operative, explained that this became a workshop project as she developed it with the Hmong community and the actors themselves, including producer and actor Sandy ‘Ci Moua.

MORE »

Where has all the music gone?

Sometimes I plan courses I would like to teach if I were still an adjunct or a high school teacher.

MORE »

In the spotlight with Hmong Youth Leadership Group counselor Jennifer Thao

I had the great pleasure to sit down with recent University of Minnesota CEHD graduate and new CHAT Youth Leadership Group Counselor, Jennifer Thao at the charming picturesque Nina’s Coffee Cafe, located in Cathedral Hill of St Paul. As a Board member and arts lover, I must say I am proud that CHAT has a bright and talented young leader guiding the Youth Leadership Group (YLG).

MORE »

In the spotlight with Tou Yia Xiong, 'Tree Top Adventure' creator

Tou Yia Xiong is an illustrator and designer who recently designed a toy which was featured on ABCs daytime talk show The View during their Best of 2014 New York Toy Fair segment. Tou Yia’s toy design, called Tree Top Adventures, is an elevated four quadrant wooden activity center that includes 6 bead tracks and 6 gliding tracks.

MORE »
Syndicate content