Bemidji Announces Legacy Destination Weekend Events

Celebrating arts, history and parks and trails associated with Legacy Amendment Funding

Bemidji, April 11, 2011:   Bemidji community organizations are partnering to showcase the treasure trove of the area’s cultural and recreational activities from April 28-May 1, 2011.  While it is not unusual for Bemidji to have an eclectic assortment of events going on, this weekend’s itinerary is designed to increase awareness of visitors to the local impact of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment Funding approved by Minnesota voters in 2008.  As one of twelve cities selected, Bemidji is pleased to highlight the weekend of arts, history and parks and trails activities representative of the quality and variety of opportunities the community offers though out the year.

The statewide Legacy Destination program was designed and implemented by the Minnesota Citizens for the Arts, Conservation Minnesota and Explore Minnesota Tourism.  “Great things in both the outdoors and the arts are happening in every corner of the state because of the Legacy Amendment” said Sheila Smith, Executive Director of MCA, “and we wanted Minnesotans to know how they can participate.”

Bemidji’s Legacy Destination Weekend is being organized locally through VisitBemidji, the area’s destination marketing organization, in partnership with Region 2 Arts Council, Bemidji Community Arts Council, the Beltrami History Center, the Bemidji Symphony Orchestra, the City of Bemidji, Lake Bemidji State Park and the Paul Bunyan Playhouse.

The weekend features a variety of events hosted by organizations that have received Legacy grants but not limited to said funding.  For event details go to

  • The Paul Bunyan Playhouse, celebrating its 61st season of professional theater, is hosting a gala fundraising event beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 28 to kick off the 2011 Summer Theater season.   Tickets $20 includes food (beverages additional) available at the Box Office or  Reservations are recommended as seating is limited. This activity funded in part by a Legacy grant from the Region 2 Arts Council.
  • In partnership with the Bemidji Symphony Orchestra, Nautilus Theater Company from  St Paul, presents: “I Am Anne Frank” a music-drama based on the diaries of Anne Frank. Four performances will be held at the Main Theater of Bemidji State University.  Performance times are:  7:30 pm. Thurs – Sat and 3:00 p.m. Sat.  Tickets $10 adults/$5 students available at the door and in advance at two local sources. This activity funded in part by a Legacy grant from the Region 2 Arts Council and the Minnesota State Arts Board.
  • The Beltrami County History Museum, located in the renovated 1912 Great Northern Railroad Depot, houses state-of-the-art exhibits representing the broad diversity of people who lived  and continue to live in the area.  Currently, the Main Gallery exhibit. Doctor, Doctor, Give Me the News’ is a moving exhibition capturing the sights and sounds of early healthcare, while exploring various facets of healing techniques in Beltrami County from traditional Ojibwe healing, concocted home remedies, the tonic fresh air surrounding Lake Julia Sanitorium to early dentistry.
  • For hands-on history, a Geocaching Puzzle Trail activity is available at the History Center.  Pick up brochure and head out to find historic sites in downtown Bemidji.  While a GPS will be helpful to ‘solve the puzzle’, it is not necessary to be successful.  A prize is awarded for correct completion of the puzzle.  These activities are funded in part by a Legacy grant from the Minnesota Historical Society.
  • The Bemidji Community Art Center, located in the historic Carnegie building, sponsors 8-10 exhibits per year featuring visual artists from around the country, state and region.  The current show, High School Invitational, highlights student artists from our area. Gallery and gift shop hours are Tuesday–Friday 12-5 p.m. and extended hours 10-4 on Saturday April 30.
  • Dr Mark Christensen, poet and non-fiction writer, will read from his work in both genres beginning at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 30, as part of the Spoken Word Series.  Prior to the reading, he will present a writer’s workshop entitled, Creating Nonfiction: Telling Truths Artfully, which will run from 1-4 p.m.  Adults in all stages of writing development interested in improving their non-fiction skills are invited to register.  Advance registration of $35 ($20 students) is required and space is limited.  These activities are funded in part by a Legacy grant from the Region 2 Arts Council.
  • Friday, April 29th, award-winning guitarist, Tim Sparks, will be on stage at the Historic Chief Theater downtown Bemidji at 7:30 p.m.  $12 tickets available in advance at the Historic Chief Theater and Headwaters School of Music & the Arts.  Also at the door.  These activities are funded in part by a Legacy grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board.
  • Bemidji City Parks and Recreation Department, as part of the Fit City mission of increasing walkability and recreational opportunities within the City, has teamed up with Lake Bemidji State Park staff to bring Geocaching activities to the weekend schedule of events.   Those new to one of the fastest growing sports in the country, can attend a ‘Geocaching 101’ program offered by the Lake Bemidji State Park Naturalist at the Tourist Information Center waterfront area, at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, April 29 and again on Saturday April 30 at 10:00 a.m.   For seasoned geocachers, the Bemidji 10 Cache Legacy Weekend Challenge will run from Friday, April 29 – May 1.   Ten new ‘signature caches’ from some of the area’s clever geocachers will be placed to lead participants on a trail of recreational adventure around town.  Included in the Bemidji 10 are Cache In/Trash Out (CITO) caches and a Breakfast Buddies gathering at The Cabin Coffeehouse at 9:00 a.m. Saturday, April 30.
  • The average date the ice goes out of Lake Bemidji is April 26.  To celebrate this sign of Spring, the Bogs and Logs Chapter of MN Master Naturalists, Lake Bemidji State Park and Headwaters Science Center  are joining together to host the annual ‘Ice-Out’ Ice Cream Social.  The public is invited to join this celebration of spring and Minnesota’s Clean Water Legacy at the Lake Bemidji Waterfront on April 30 from11:00 am- 1:00 p.m. or till the ice cream is gone. Take your turn at cranking the ice cream maker.
  • The final event of the weekend is “…. an event not to be missed by anyone who is willing to have his or her life changed forever,” according to Leonard Slatkin, former music director of the National Symphony Orchestra.  Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezín tells the story of courageous Jewish prisoners in the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp during World War II who performed Verdi’s Requiem Mass while experiencing the depths of human degradation. This multi-media concert drama will be performed at the Bemidji High School Auditorium, May 1 at 3:00 pm, under the direction of guest Conductor Murry Sidlin. Creator/Conductor Murry Sidlin will be joined by the Bemidji Symphony Orchestra, The Bemidji Chorale, the Bemidji State University Chorus along with vocal soloists Carrie Mineck, Janet Hopkins, Nathan Carlisle, and Michael Mayes, with actors from Theatre B of Fargo. The performance is made possible by a generous gift from the Nielson Foundation, the Region  2 Arts Council, and in partnership with Minnesota Public Radio.  Tickets: $20 adults/$15 seniors and children under 18 free. Pre-sale tickets go on sale April 13th  at Village Foods North and Brigid’s Cross Irish Pub and will be sold at the door.  MPR Members receive a $2 discount. This activity is funded in part by a Legacy grant from the Region 2 Arts Council.