Bush Foundation Awards to help sustain, enliven Twin Cities arts community

People who make art don’t get salaries. Very few people, relatively speaking, buy much art. Yet as a community, we want painters to keep on painting, writers to keep on writing, dancers to keep on dancing, film makers to keep on making films, and sculptors to keep on forming objects out of clay and wood and metal.

For more information about the Bush Artist Program, including the rigorous selection process, visit www.BushFoundation.org.

Thankfully, for 32 years, the Bush Foundation has been selecting up to 15 artists annually from Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota to receive a chunk of money that enables them to continue their work.

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Theater note: Playwright Byrony Lavery asks some hard, cold questions in “Frozen”

You know you’re seeing good theater when the characters seem as real as your next-door neighbors. You know you’re seeing great theater when the characters who don’t appear onstage, but who are described by the actors, seem so real that you swear you saw them standing there. This is how I’ll remember Park Square Theatre’s production of FROZEN, a story that will make you want to hug your children (or your teddy bear). FROZEN runs through March 30 at Park Square Theatre in the historic Hamm Building, 408 St. Peter Street, St. Continue Reading

Theater note: Jeune Lune’s ‘Fishtank’ is bubbly fun (but watch for life’s big questions floating by)

Last night I accompanied a friend to Theatre de la Juene Lune for a performance called Fishtank. No one ever says they’re going to a play at Jeune Lune, even though it’s a theater in which actors tread the boards. It is always a performance. That’s because Jeune Lune’s work often defies categorization. To me, that’s the beauty of it. Continue Reading

Theater note: ‘Sweeney Todd’ is not for the squeamish

There’s a reason I don’t go to horror movies. Even mildly eerie Twilight Zone reruns keep me up at night. That’s because film cameras put you right into the scene, with your back to the psycho. You’re defenseless. And when you can see the eyeballs of the perpetrator as if you were the one chained to the tree while he warms up the electric saw, you’re getting too close.Therein lies the beauty of live theater: you’re one step removed from that in-your-face grittiness. Continue Reading

Theater note: ‘Peer Gynt’ reaches deep into your soul…assuming you’ve got one (i.e. you are not a troll)

In Humanities class at Austin High, we had read about Henrik Ibsen’s character Peer Gynt (say “pare,” not “peer”)—about the man who would not make commitments to family and home; who would sell friends down the river (not to mention selling slaves) without remorse; who got himself into more fistfights than Popeye the Sailor Man and who justified himself with the very same “I yam what I yam.” At least Popeye stuck around to protect Olive Oyl and Sweetpea, whereas Peer Gynt would have punched up old Bluto and left town. I felt giddy and grown up filing into the Guthrie that morning in 1980, my Peer Gynt ticket in hand. The three-hour and 30-minute play would be performed in two parts, with lunch in between. Our Humanities teacher (my father) would be taking us to Rudolph’s Barbecue. Continue Reading