TCDP TOP PICK | Becky Olstad's "Ringside at the Circle of Discipline": Boxing photos at Augsburg College

07/26/2012 (All day) - 08/21/2012 (All day)
TCDP TOP PICK: There's no art exhibit this season with a cooler name than Becky Olstad's Ringside at the Circle of Discipline—and the photos aren't too shabby either. These intimate photos of young boxers at a Lake Street gym are a compelling reason to make your first—or your second, or third—visit to the Gage Family Art Gallery at Augsburg College. - Jay Gabler

SATURDAY PICK | Square Lake Festival celebrates its tenth anniversary

The music festival circuit seems to get more and more crowded every summer, but the Square Lake Festival has been sticking it out for a decade now with a mix of top-notch music and fascinating film in the beautiful environs of Square Lake. The organizers are pulling no punches this year, with scheduled music acts including the Pines, Retribution Gospel Choir, and the unstoppable Spider John Koerner. The International Novelty Gamelan will perform a film score, and Food Pyramid will bring everything to a close with a barn dance party. Fortunately, camping is available.

SATURDAY PICK | Heavy metal (literally) at Franconia Sculpture Park

Count on the joyfully twisted minds at Franconia Sculpture Park to turn the pouring of molten metal into family fun. "Come and be part of art history," invites the park in advertisements for the annual event at which cast-metal artists (that is, artists who work in the medium of cast metal) lead workshops and help attendees make their own little sculptures. You'd better go and make a sculpture, otherwise what will your kids have to debate whether or not to throw away when you die?

THURSDAY PICK | Minnesota Fringe Festival blankets the Twin Cities in performing arts

Individually, the shows are perforce modest: a one-man Hunger Games parody, a quick riff on Shakespeare, a dirty-song cabaret. But in total, the Minnesota Fringe Festival has become the most important thing to happen to the local theater scene since the 1978 founding of Theatre de la Jeune Lune. A generation of performing artists have now come up through the Fringe, going on to found their own companies and make lasting marks.


SATURDAY PICK | Roots, rock, and deep blues on Lake Street

Don't be confused, chess gurus: it isn't that kind of Deep Blues you'll find on July 14 in the Lake/Minnehaha environs. The second annual Roots, Rock & Deep Blues Festival sprawls over four stages and features 24 acts including Black Audience, the Goondas, Grant Hart, and Charlie Parr. Since any festival with "deep blues" in its title is required by the state licensing board to feature at least one guy with "Guitar," "Mississippi," or "Slim" in his name, Mississippi Gabe Carter will make an appearance as well.

FRIDAY PICK | LauraPalooza celebrates Laura Ingalls Wilder

The itinerant nature of pioneer life means that multiple sites in multiple states can be legitimately identified as homes of Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Minnesota is not failing to stake its claim. From July 12-14, Mankato State University is hosting a "LauraPalooza" event celebrating Wilder's life, times, and legacy. Included in the event are a performance by Alison Arngrim, who played Nellie Oleson in the Little House TV show ("Confessions of a Prairie Bitch"); academic presentations; a "Camp Laura" for kids; and, natch, a spelling bee.

MONDAY PICK | Life's a P.I.C.N.I.C., whatever that means

You know when it's happening, but you don't know where (somewhere in Minneapolis). You don't know what the show is, but you know who's performing it (you). You don't know what the food is, but you know there will be a P.I.C.N.I.C. That stands for "Performative Involvement Creating Naturally Inclusive Community," which I don't think means you'll have to get naked...but better wear your good underwear, just in case.

SATURDAY PICK | Get into Bridget Beck's poetry machine at Franconia Sculpture Park

Bridget Beck, Playstation (2009). Photo courtesy Franconia Sculpture Park.

I think that I shall never see: a poem as lovely as a machine.

Artist Bridget Beck has created a whimsical interactive sculpture intended to inspire poetry, and Franconia Sculpture Park is celebrating the sculpture's installation with a two-day poetry event featuring creative writing workshops and performances by Cromulent Shakespeare Company. If Beck's poetry machine doesn't fire your creative circuits as effectively as you hoped, Franconia will provide technical assistance by poets including Heid Erdrich and Dobby Gibson.

SUNDAY PICK | Twin Cities Pride parade: 40 years marching, and prouder than ever

Twin Cities Pride 2011. Photo by Jay Gabler.

Minnesota is a land of contrasts—some amusing (we're supposedly prurient, but we also produced Prince) and some very serious. Though polls indicate that a constitutional amendment redundantly banning gay marriage in Minnesota currently looks likely to win the support of a narrow majority of voters in November, we're also the home of one of America's largest GLBTQ Pride celebrations. On June 24 at 11 a.m., thousands of Minnesotans will flood Hennepin Avenue to support and celebrate our diverse community. That's a lot of love.


FRIDAY PICK | Order your own dances from performers and filmmakers

Excerpt from Origin, a previous film in the series

Dances Made to Order is a national series featuring films made in collaboration with dancers. Films for the Minneapolis edition will be created in July by a team of dancers and choreographers curated by Laurie Van Weiren (host of the 9x22 dance series at the Bryant-Lake Bowl) working in collaboration with four filmmakers. What will the dance/films be about? That's up to you: from June 22 until July 5, you can visit the series website and vote for the three themes that will inspire the creations. Virtual tickets will be sold to view the films online starting July 25.

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