On the radar
1. The American Swedish Institute’s Turnblad Mansion re-opens on Saturday after six months of remodeling, part of the bigger picture that includes the addition of the Nelson Cultural Center in June. But for now, being the holiday season and all, stop by that day to make some Swedish Christmas crafts.
2. Joy Williams and John Paul White, who constitute The Civil Wars, come back to Minneapolis on their fall national tour. This time they’ll be wooing a bigger crowd at the State Theatre instead of the Bryant-Lake Bowl, which they played in April.
3. The Warmth of Other Suns, an epic study of the Great Migration—the move north by millions of African-Americans in the early 20th century—has been one of the most acclaimed works of popular history in recent years. Author Isabel Wilkerson visits the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul for a free appearance in conversation with Stephen Smith on Thursday.
4. The Daily Planet isn’t just a news publication: it’s a project in citizen journalism, one of the many projects of the nonprofit Twin Cities Media Alliance. Each year the TCMA hosts a fall forum to bring together local citizens interested in media and social justice. This Saturday’s theme: Inform, Connect, Organize.
5. The crowds that have turned out in person and on the radio for All is Calm have demonstrated the Twin Cities’ affinity for the remarkable true story of Christmas Eve 1914 on the Western Front. Now the Minnesota Opera takes its turn with the tale via Silent Night, a world premiere opera by Kevin Puts.
Under the radar
2. The editor and contributing writers of American Tensions: Literature of Identity and the Search for Social Justice read and discuss the issues within the anthology on Thursday at Birchbark Books.
3. The final installment of We Rock Long Distance is sending Hmong hip-hop MC and spoken word artist Tou SaiKo Lee home to Thailand for the first time since 2008 (documented in Travel in Spirals). A fundraiser for the trip will be held on Friday at CoCo.
4. Theatre de la Jeune Lune leading lights Dominique Serrand and Steve Epp have been working with theater students at the University of Minnesota to create The War Within/All’s Fair, a “devised piece” about “the war within ourselves.” Cool?
5. Rapper Guante and singer/songwriter Claire Taubenhaus have been working for years on an “acoustic rap project” that’s now been given a name: A Loud Heart. They’re releasing their debut disc with a performance Friday night at Honey. Sharing the bill are Kristoff Krane and Black Blondie.