Mark Twain Exhibit and Performance in Bemidji

The Beltrami County History Center’s newest exhibit, Beltrami County in Mark Twain’s Time, opens Saturday, October 1 at the Beltrami County History Center in Bemidji and runs through December, Wednesdays- Saturdays noon-4pm.

This exhibit was developed in conjunction with the upcoming performances of Mark Twain Himself, featuring Richard Garey, veteran stage actor who will bring to life Mark Twain at the Bemidji High School auditorium October 3. Tickets are available at the High school main office for $15. Call (218) 444-1600 for more information.

The performance Mark Twain Himself is funded in part by a Region 2 Arts Council Grant through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature, and the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund passed by Minnesota Voters on November 4,  2008.

Prairie Fire Theatre Workshop at Pequana Playhouse L.O.W. School

Pequana Playhouse is having a Children’s Theatre Workshop, facilitated by Prairie Fire Theatre, the week of August 1-6 at Lake of the Woods School in Baudette. Registration is at 8:00 am Monday morning, August 1. Participants must be age 7 or older by August 1. The production is Beauty & the Beast. Performances are Friday, August 5 at 7:00 pm and Saturday, August 6 at 2:00 pm. Admission is $5.00 per person, regardless of age.

Northern Light Opera Company Presents “The Music Man!”

David Konshok, Brinn Krabbenhoft and Alan Zemek in NLOC's "The Music Man"

Northern Light Opera Company (NLOC) presents The Music Man, at 7:30 pm on July 29th, 30th, August 4th, 5th, and 6th and at a 3:00 pm matinee on July 31st at the Park Rapids Area High School Auditorium.

For its 10th year anniversary production, NLOC presents a cast of 44 (ages 6 to 86) in this delightful family musical set in River City, Iowa in 1912.  Harold Hill the band instrument salesman – Marian, the librarian – Winthrop, her young brother with a lisp – Amaryllis, Marian’s piano student – a school board barber shop quartet – the Mayor, his wife, and her entourage of “pick-a-little talk-a-little” ladies – as well as many other wonderful town characters, all come to life on stage.

The Meredith Wilson musical plot follows salesman Harold Hill, a con man selling band instruments and uniforms to naïve Iowa townsfolk before skipping town with the cash.  However, in River City, prim Marian the librarian sees through him.  When Hill helps her younger brother overcome his fear of social interactions due to his lisp, Marian begins to fall in love with Harold.  Harold, in turn falling for Marian, risks being caught to win her.  Great songs include “Iowa Stubborn,” “Trouble,” “Goodnight My Someone,” “Seventy-Six Trombones,” “Marian The Librarian,” “Gary, Indiana,” and “Till There Was You.”

Tickets, $20 Adults $10 Students, are available at Beagle Books in Park Rapids or by calling (218) 237-0400 or toll-free (866) 766-7372.  For more information about Northern Light Opera Company, visit or email:

Located in Park Rapids, NLOC has been in existence for ten years, using Actors/Singers/Musicians from the North Woods.  Under the guidance of professional stage, technical and musical directors from New York, NLOC has established a well-deserved reputation for great musical theater.

This activity is funded in part by a Region 2 Arts Council Grant through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund passed by Minnesota voters on November 4, 2008

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.

Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs at Paul Bunyan Playhouse

The public is invited to a free sneak peek of Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs, a collaboration between Bemidji Community Theater and the Paul Bunyan Playhouse,  at the historic Chief theater on Wednesday March 30 from 6:30 to 7:30 pm. Come watch a working rehearsal in progress as the cast and crew get ready for opening night. Have the chance to ask questions of the directors, costumers, technicians and actors and get a close up look at the castle of the queen and the humble home of the dwarfs themselves. Also learn how you can become a member of Bemidji Community Theater and how to audition.

Regular performances are scheduled for Friday and Saturday, April 1st  & 2nd at 7:30 pm and Sunday April 3rd at 2:00 with a special matinee on Tuesday April 5 at 4:00. Other school performances are Monday April 4 at 9:30 & 12:30 and Tuesday April 5 at 12:30 & 4:00. Tickets are $5.00 for children & $10.00 for adults and are available at Ken K. Thompson Jewelry at the Mall and Iverson Corner Drug. Group rates for the school matinees should address their questions to

This family musical fairly hums with 14 lively songs, and features a wise-cracking Mirror who will only answer if addressed in rhyme, as well as a whole court of funny bubbling characters. Snow White flees the evil Queen and finds refuge with seven little miners, but the Queen and her sister Witch Wicked, pursue her , only o be led into the woods by the Mirror. Her evil plan thwarted, the Queen is trapped in an ugliness spell, and forced to remain that way because, as the entire court reminds her, “You’re the mirror of every deed you do!”

This musical is suitable for all ages who will be enthralled by the lively antics of the 7 dwarfs themselves who live in a tiny house reminiscent of a tree house, as well as 3 mice who befriend Snow White and try to help her escape the evil clutches of the Queen. The costuming, reminiscent of German folk tales of the Middle Ages, are colorful and vibrant, as is the set that resembles a huge castle.

Boys and Girls Club of the Bemidji Area Offers Drama Program

Starting October 8, 2010 the Boys & Girls Club of the Bemidji Area will offer drama classes with local theater director Greg Gasman.  This activity is funded in whole or in part by a Region 2 Arts Council Grant through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund passed by Minnesota voters on November 4, 2008.

Continue reading “Boys and Girls Club of the Bemidji Area Offers Drama Program”

He Pulled a Rubber Chicken Out of a Hat

Last September, writer and actor, Jeremiah T.S. Liend took part in Bemidji’s first “Out of the Hat” production.  Out of the Hat is a theatrical experience in which writers, directors, and actors converge on a Friday evening and have exactly 24 hours to pull together an original play based on a prop, a setting, the first line of the play, and the actors and actresses who will perform in that play – all criteria that are literally drawn out of hats.

Liend’s “Grimaldi’s Chicken” was born as a result of him drawing none other than a rubber chicken as his prop among a colorful combination of other elements.  His play, written in 12 hours, was magical.  Liend’s ability to weave a full, connected, hilarious, and witty one-act play in such a short time is certainly a gift.  A gift those of us in Bemidji are fortunate to have access to.

Now he’s taking his show on the road.

“Grimmaldi’s Chicken” starring Eric Nelson, Britanne Ostberg, Mallory McKay, and Joel Ward is ruffling feathers at the Minnesota Fringe Festival in the Twin Cities.  This tale of the American dream has two performances left.  This coming Saturday, August 14 at 5:30 and Sunday, August 15 at 4:00.  Performances take place at the Playwright’s Center, 2301 E Franklin Avenue on the West Bank in Saint Paul.

For more information about how to support Jeremiah’s play, click here.   If you happen to be in the Twin Cities this coming weekend and would enjoy a break from whatever you are focused on, think about attending his play.  You’ll leave smiling.

Voices of Our Sisters

The Region 2 Arts Council is proud to support the Mask and Rose Theater project Voices of Our Sisters, a Youth Theater Workshop for Young Women grades 7- College.

The Mask & Rose Women’s Theater Collective offers young women ages grade 7- to college age a theater workshop from July 26-30th ( Monday – Friday 9:30 AM – 3:30 PM ) exploring famed playwright Eve Ensler’s essays about young women around the world and a style of theater originating from Argentina and Brazil called Forum Theater . The week will end with the participants creating an original theater work with original media , visual art and music to be performed on Friday the 30th at 2:30 PM .

Additional performances at the Big Tent behind Paul and Babe in Bemidji:

Friday, July 3oth – 7:30 PM

Saturday , July 31st 2:00 and 7:30 PM

Sunday , Aug. 1st , 2:00 PM

Cost $5.00 –  $7.00 pay what you can .  PG

The theater production will be available for touring to regional non profits and schools once completed . The workshop will be held at the Wild Rose Theater 501 Bemidji , MN .The instructors for the workshop are Cate Belleveau artistic director of the Mask and Rose Women’s Theater Collective and Brooke Wichmann peace skills instructor at Schoolcraft Learning Community and Central Elementary.

For further information and to register for this workshop please contact Cate at or 218-243-2685.

This opportunity is  possible in  part by Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund as appropriated by the MN . State legislature with money from the vote of people of MN on Nov.4, 2008.

Other important contributors include the Women’s Fund of the Northwest MN Foundation and the tent which is provided by the George Nielson Foundation .

Arts and Cultural Heritage Grants in Action: Lake of the Woods High School

the fine print hidden in one of the Lake of the Woods mosaics

Students at Lake of the Woods High School in Baudette, Minnesota have new opportunities for unique, hands-on arts experiences  thanks to Arts and Cultural Heritage Grants awarded through the Region 2 Arts Council.

Dragonfly Mosaic by art students at Lake of the Woods High School

Students enrolled in Deb Carlson’s art classes at Lake of the Woods High School recently completed an  Artist in Residence Project with Nevis mosaic artist, Marsha Wolff. Wolff worked for two weeks with students on large scale mosaics. Students worked in groups of four on mosaic pieces that had personal meaning to the individuals in the group. Cooperation, collaboration, creativity, and patience were key components in the projects.  The completed mosaics will be hung around the school, adorning it for years to come.

Terri Widman (second from left) presents Deb Carlson (center) and Marsha Wolff (second from right) with a check for the LOW Artist in Residence Project

The Lake of the Woods Senior Class Trip will include a viewing of the musical “Footloose” at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatre thanks to the grant written by Senior Class Advisor Don Krause. The Senior Class Trip always includes a tour of the Minnesota State Capitol Building and other historic sites, but thanks to the Arts and Cultural Heritage Grant from R2AC, Lake of the Woods seniors will have the opportunity to see professional theatre as well!

Don Krause, LOW School Senior Class Advisor, and the LOW Senior Class Officers receive a check from Terri Widman, Executive Director or R2AC

Opportunities such as working with a professional artist and experiencing live, professional theatre may not present themselves frequently, but they  have lasting, positive impacts on individuals and communities.  Congratulations to Deb Carlson and Don Krause for making art a part of their students’ experiences.  Their dedication to including art in their programming positively impacts the young people in Baudette and the greater community as well!

Theatre Workshop Announcement

mask-rose-bannerRegion 2 Arts Council is sponsoring a theater workshop, “Shakespeare Alive! How to Produce Shakespeare Plays with Non-Professional Actors.” The Workshop is planned by the Mask and Rose Women’s Theater Collective and will be presented by Michelle Hensley Friday, June 19th from 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. and on Saturday, June 20th from 9:00 a.m.— 8:30 p.m. (lunch and snacks provided), at the Wild Rose Theater, 601 Bemidji Avenue in Bemidji, Minnesota.

Hensley, a highly regarded director of theater in Minneapolis/St. Paul will conduct a theater workshop on producing quality Shakespearean theater with non-professional actors for regional theater groups. Director Hensley is the founder and artistic director of Ten Thousand Things Theater Company. She is the recipient a 2000 Minnesota State Arts Board fellowship and a 2002 McKnight artist fellowship. She received honors as City Pages theater artist of the year for 2001, best director by City Pages in 2004 and was the 2005 winner of the Francesca Primus Prize.

The workshop is limited to 40 people. To register, send a note which includes the name, complete mailing address, telephone number and email address of the participant and a check in the amount of $20.00 made payable to the Region 2 Arts Council, 426 Bemidji Avenue, Bemidji, MN 56601. The registration deadline is June 12, 2009. If you have questions regarding the content of the workshop, please contact Cate Belleveau at 218-243-2685 or email her at