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March 23, 2015

“Civil War Homecoming”, March 28 at the Fitzgerald Theater

Filed under: Arts, Authors, History — Alison Aten @ 10:42 am

civil_war

CIVIL WAR HOMECOMING
Saturday, March 28 at 7:00 P.M.
Fitzgerald Theater

The year 1865 saw inauguration, abolition, armistice, assassination, grief, celebration and reunion. The brand-new frontier state of Minnesota mourned and commemorated along with the rest of the nation. Minnesotans celebrated the return of the troops and got down to the business of building railroads and cities, sprinkling the countryside with farms and lumber camps and welcoming immigrants by the tens of thousands.

Dan Chouinard and an all-star group of friends gather to paint a Minnesota portrait of the times through songs, letters and newspaper accounts, in Civil War Homecoming. This live show at the Fitzgerald Theater on Saturday, March 28 is a co-production of the Minnesota Historical Society, MPR and the Minnesota Civil War Commemoration Task Force.

Featuring Kevin Kling, Maria Jette, T Mychael Rambo, Prudence Johnson, members of the Roe Family Singers, and the Brass Messengers as well as Eric Jacobson, Annette Atkins, Gwen Westerman, Mark Ritchie, Dean Urdahl, Pat Bauer and David Geister.

Additional information available here.

Interested in learning more about Minnesota and the Civil War? Visit www.mnhs.org/civilwar

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March 9, 2015

Book Launch Celebration & HowlRound LiveStream Tonight for “All the Lights On: Reimagining Theater with Ten Thousand Things”

Filed under: Arts, Authors, Event, Videos — Alison Aten @ 11:22 am

“This book tells the story of one of the most vital and important theater companies of our time.”
Oskar Eustis, The Public Theater

Join us tonight for the Book Launch Celebration at Open Book in Minneapolis for:

All the Lights On: Reimagining Theater with Ten Thousand Things by Michelle Hensley

Monday, March 9, 2015
Open Book: 1011 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis
Doors open at 6:30 pm, short program begins at 7:00 pm, followed by book signing

Also available via HowlRoundTV today at 5pm Pacific / 8pm Eastern via http://livestream.com/newplay

All the Lights On Michelle Hensley

“Ten Thousand Things brings the best possible theater, plays of Shakespeare and Aeschylus and Beckett, to audiences who have seen little of it before, those in prisons and shelters and adult education centers and rural towns and housing projects and Indian reservations and chemical dependency treatment centers, as well as to enthusiastic veteran theatergoers in consistently sold-out performances for the general public, all performed in large bare rooms, with no stage, just right on the floor inside a small circle of folding chairs, with all the fluorescent lights in the room turned on. Our budget is modest, we don’t need our own building, our set supply budget is little more than that of our very first show, but we pay our highly skilled artists on a par with the largest theater companies in town. We have even become Johnny Appleseeds of a sort, taking this unique model to other theaters around the country who are also eager to find ways to reach outside their buildings with excellent work. And all along this journey, the honest, openhearted encounters of our first-time audiences with our first-rate artists have led us to make wonderful discoveries about theater—pinpointing just what makes it thrive and flourish.” Michelle Hensley, from All the Lights On

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February 17, 2015

Curiosity’s Cats is a “CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Alison Aten @ 12:47 pm

Curiosity's Cats

The January 2015 issue of CHOICE Magazine features its annual list of  Outstanding Academic Titles, chosen by the editors for their excellence in scholarship and presentation, the significance of their contribution to the field, and their value as important treatment of their subject. We are honored to have Curiosity’s Cats: Writers on Research edited by Bruce Joshua Miller as one of this year’s selections.

“In bringing together 13 riveting, informative essays on the thrills, pitfalls, and minutiae of documentary research, Miller (a writer and independent publishing industry representative) illuminates how writers convey the truth about the life of their subjects. Contributors explain how they succeeded (or failed) in various writing projects throughout their careers, working in traditions spanning historical and ethnographic research, biography, journalism, fiction, and film. . . . A well-crafted, well-conceived volume, deserving an index. Summing Up: Highly recommended.” CHOICE (link to the full review here)

Bruce J. Miller and Ned Stuckey-French will be signing copies of Curiosity’s Cats at the AWP Annual Conference in Minneapolis on Thursday, April 9, 2015, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in the Minnesota Historical Society Press booth. If you are attending, please stop by!

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February 5, 2015

Three MNHS Press books are Minnesota Book Award Finalists!

Filed under: Awards — Alison Aten @ 10:00 am

Congratulations to our Minnesota Book Award finalists: Brenda J. Child for My Grandfather’s Knocking Sticks in the General Nonfiction category, Larry Millett and Matt Schmitt for Minnesota’s Own in the Minnesota category, and Lori Sturdevant for Her Honor, also in the Minnesota category. Finalists were announced this past weekend, and the winners will be revealed April 18 at the Minnesota Book Award Gala at St. Paul Union Depot.

My Grandfather's Knocking Sticks

Minnesota's OwnHerHonor_FINAL_rev.indd

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January 14, 2015

Book Launch Celebration for Blues Vision: African American Writing from Minnesota

Filed under: African American, Event, Literary — Alison Aten @ 7:04 pm

Blues VisionPlease join us Thursday February 5, 2015 from 6-9 pm at the Minnesota History Center to celebrate the publication of  Blues Vision: African American Writing from Minnesota edited by Alexs Pate with co-editors Pamela R. Fletcher and J. Otis Powell‽.

Blues Vision is a surprising and compelling anthology that reveals complex realities—beautiful, infuriating, painful, and uplifting—as described by African American writers in Minnesota over the past century.

The book is co-published with the Minnesota Humanities Center, sponsor of this anthology, which was made possible in part by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on November 4, 2004.

Book Launch Celebration
Thursday February 5, 2015 from 6-9 pm
Minnesota History Center
345 Kellogg Ave. W. St. Paul, MN
6-7 pm Refreshments & cash bar
7-8 pm Book Talk and Readings by Contributors
8-9 Book Signing
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December 12, 2014

Where was Santa on December 13, 1961?

Filed under: Children, History — Alison Aten @ 3:12 pm

From Wishing for a Snow Day by Peg Meier

From Wishing for a Snow Day by Peg Meier

What was Santa doing in Minneapolis fifty-three years ago? Why spreading cheer in the Sky Room at Dayton’s in Minneapolis, of course! Here he is at the store’s children’s breakfast on December 13, 1961.

This photograph, along with many other charming images of children in Minnesota, is featured in Wishing for a Snow Day : Growing Up in Minnesota by Peg Meier. Digging through letters, diaries, reminiscences, newspaper columns, and plenty of photographs, Meier unearthed a wealth of material left by Minnesotans who took the time to write, whether as children in the moment or as adults looking back.

Also by Peg Meier: Bring Warm Clothes and Too Hot, Went to Lake.

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December 11, 2014

Crafty Kids

Filed under: Arts, Children — Alison Aten @ 2:30 pm

9780873519199Do you have a crafty kid on your holiday gift list? Keep them busy with our new craft book for kids:

Making History: Have a Blast with 15 Crafts

The book features projects that celebrate Minnesota’s history and people. It includes crafts at four different skill levels, step-by-step instructions, free templates, and 180 color photos.

Imagine soldiers on the Civil War battlefield as you assemble a “housewife” sewing kit like those made by wives and mothers. Re-create the drama of a midwestern tornado when you build an automaton that actually spins, and celebrate the invention of water-skiing with a boat and skier that really glide.

Step-by-step instructions carefully guide you to make your own marionette, but it’s up to you to stage the puppet show. The playful miniature scene of a Day of the Dead nicho offers a way to honor a loved one. A woodland hike will provide the twigs and leaves to make a troll. A walking stick in the tradition of folk artist Maurice Carlton inspires you to create art out of what you can find.

These projects and more generate hours of fun, not to mention useful pieces you’ll want to share with your family and friends.

north-woods-troll-from-making-history-have-a-blast-with-15-crafts twister-tornado-from-making-history-have-a-blast-with-15-crafts paul-bunyan-action-toy-from-making-history-have-a-blast-with-15-crafts minnesota-trapper-hat-construction-from-making-history-have-a-blast-with-15-crafts minnesota-trapper-hat-from-making-history-have-a-blast-with-15-craftsmetal-foil-repousse-pendant-from-making-history-have-a-blast-with-15-crafts

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December 3, 2014

Calling all rock hunters!

Filed under: Children — Alison Aten @ 2:27 pm

9780873519502 Rhoda’s Rock Hunt by Molly Beth Griffin with illustrations by Jennifer A. Bell explores a child’s first experience of camping in the the north woods and hiking with her aunt and uncle. Rhoda wants to bring home every beautiful rock she finds. But soon, her pack gets too heavy. Rhoda has to decide what to keep and what to leave behind, if she ever wants to see her soft bed again.

The book recently made the Pioneer Press’s list of best picture books by Minnesota writers! Here is what others have to say about Rhoda and her dilemma:

“Young nature lovers and hikers will celebrate Rhoda’s creative solution.”
Kirkus

“The resolution that she arrives at independently (building cairns) speaks to the importance of memories over materials, a message Griffin delivers with a light touch.” Publishers Weekly

“There are surprisingly few picture books in which a girl goes hiking, and this is a particularly nice one. The story is not only told with a winning combination of empathy and humor, it also acknowledges that backpacking involves effort as well as enjoyment. The expressive illustrations clearly depict Rhoda’s shifts from energetic and cheerful to tired and crabby to unburdened and happy again. Suitable for reading aloud, this picture book depicts a resourceful child who creates a problem but solves it on her own. ” Booklist

“Young children will love the woods and water illustrations, the fast-paced text and Rhoda herself, with whom all of us lake-loving rock pickers can identify.” Lake Superior Magazine

Molly and Jennifer will be signing copies of the book this Saturday, December 6, from 1:00 to 2:30 pm at the Minnesota History Center Museum Stores. (MNHS members receive a double discount in the stores this Thursday-Sunday!)

rhodaspread_10_x_5_aa

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October 29, 2014

Minnesota’s Own: Preserving Our Grand Homes

Filed under: Event, Videos — Alison Aten @ 11:45 am

In this video, architectural historian and award-winning author Larry Millett and photographer Matt Schmitt walk us through the Lawrence S. Donaldson house in Minneapolis, one of the twenty-two homes profiled in their new book, Minnesota’s Own: Preserving Our Grand Homes. The home was the recipient of a 2014 Minnesota Preservation Award.

Join us for the book launch celebration at the American Swedish Institute next Wednesday, November 5, at 6:30 pm. The event is free and open to the public, but reservations are recommended.

Also of interest: Historic Preservation Tour at the American Swedish Institute with architect Laura Faucher. This special tour begins at 5:00 pm, before the Minnesota’s Own book launch. The tour is $10 for ASI and MNHS members/$12 for nonmembers. Registration is required and space is limited.

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October 23, 2014

Stolen from the Garden: The Kidnapping of Virginia Piper

Filed under: Book Excerpt, True Crime, Uncategorized, Videos — Alison Aten @ 10:01 am

On a July afternoon in 1972, two masked men waving guns abducted forty-nine-year-old Virginia Piper from the garden of her lakeside home in Orono, Minnesota. After her husband, a prominent investment banker, paid a $1 million ransom, an anonymous caller directed the FBI to a thickly wooded section of a northern Minnesota state park. There, two days after her nightmare began, Ginny Piper––chained to a tree, filthy and exhausted, but physically unharmed––awaited her rescuers.

Stolen from the Garden: The Kidnapping of Virginia Piper by William Swanson recounts the inside story of the shocking Piper kidnapping: from the abduction and recovery, through the grueling investigation and trials, and into the Pipers’ haunted final years.

Below is a clip from the press conference with Virginia Piper on July 30, 1972, just a day after her rescue. However, this is only the beginning of the story. As Swanson writes:

“But whatever the intentions of their preemptive statements, the Pipers’ nightmare is not over, nor does the story belong to them. The case is now a million-dollar whodunit driven by the US Attorney in Minneapolis and FBI personnel here and in Washington. The black-and-white patrol cars stationed at the bottom of their driveway will be gone in a few days, when the family is no longer deemed in imminent danger, but the lives of the Pipers and many of their friends, neighbors, and associates, not to mention innumerable strangers who may or, more likely, may not have had anything to do with the case, will be changed forever.”

For author events and more information, please click on the title’s hyperlink, above.

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