When’s MyFest?

This week I was interviewed by a film crew from New York for their upcoming doc about the changing media landscape. They shot me going up an elevator (scene setting?) then I talked about differences between the Star Tribune 10 years ago and today, and how all the rest of us media types will be hurting if big, lumbering newspapers go extinct because no other organizations have 200, 300 reporters on the ground recording the day’s happenings. Who else has the manpower and time to sit in on city council meetings, court hearings, heck, batting practice?

But the bigger problem, of course, is that the only “news” many people seem to want to know these days is about celebrities, dogs, or celebrities’ dogs. And in fact they’d prefer to watch it rather than read it. But what about you, distinguished readers? Where are you getting your news from? Online? TV? The old-fashioned way (newspapers)? Are you paying for it? (not a trick question, just asking.)

Anyway, summer used to be the time we turned off our minds, but the arts nowadays just keep rolling. On June 21, Emigrant Theater (named best indepedent theater this year by City Pages) opens “Hunger” at Mixed Blood Theater, about our abundance of choices and what happens when one woman can’t make up her mind, between contentment or yearning, husband or lover, but must before it’s too late.

On June 22, the 9th Annual Twin Cities Jazz Festival opens with sax star Kenny Garrett (of Miles Davis’s group), Chuchito Valdes Jr. (the Latin jazz piano man) and other veterans in St. Paul’s Mears Park. Through July 1, things continue in Minneapolis with the soulful Charmaine Neville, Nachito Herrera, and plenty of local players.

The Fringe Festival previews itself–3-minute excerpts from 30 shows–on June 25 and 26 at the Ritz Theater. And Bedlam Theatre, which has been on a tear since re-opening in a new West Bank venue, holds its 10-Minute Play Festival from June 27 to July 1, promising Sasquatch, a time machine, singing robots, and an astronaut love affair. What, nothing wacky this year?

But for a truly hot art experience, head to Franconia Sculpture Park this Saturday, June 23, for its annual Hot Metal Pour. Sculptors from around the country and the UK getting their liquid iron on–and bystanders can create their own sculptures from mini-molds. I visited the park recently and found it oddly transfixing–25-foot-high spacemen staring across a field, huge stone heads ogling the wildflowers. Art doesn’t get more intense than 2300 degrees.

(Images: Chuchito Valdes Jr., above, Christopher Allen in last year’s 10-Minute Play Festival, by Brad Dahlgaard.)

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