Your weekly playlist

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Three dozen alabaster figures known as “The Mourners” arrived at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts this week. MPR Photo/Euan Kerr

Assembling the weekly playlist is one of my favorite tasks of the week. Why? Because it reminds me of just how much great reporting is done by my colleagues every week, particularly in the area of arts and culture. This week was a banner one, with stories about local music venues, live in-studio recordings, interviews with authors and photographers, historical finds with cultural implications, and a remembrance of former Guthrie artistic director Michael Langham. Scroll all the way down to find out more about the arrival of “The Mourners” at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts this week (pictured above). Enjoy!

Guthrie’s ‘savior,’ Michael Langham, dies

Theater director Michael Langham has died. Langham is credited with saving the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis from ruin in the 1970s, serving as artistic director from 1971 till 1977.

Walker program aims to help with Alzheimer’s challenge

When most institutions talk about accessibility it’s about how easy it is to get around their buildings. The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis is working on a different kind of accessibility — programming for people with Alzheimer’s and the people who take care of them.

A passion for signs leads to a trip of a lifetime

St. Paul-native Roger Johnson has what may be a unique travel obsession. He likes to be called “the world’s first self-proclaimed welcome sign photography expert.”

In new book, photographer Leo Kim searches for peace in St. Paul

Some prominent St. Paul residents say photographer Lee Kim has captured a sense of place about the city they love. It’s a surprising feat for a man who has spent most of his life looking for a place to call home.

Can Twin Cities music venues survive a shaky economy?

Panic spread through the Twin Cities music scene a few weeks ago when two highly regarded nightspots — the 501 Club in Minneapolis and the Turf Club on University Avenue in St. Paul — closed their doors. It’s a sign, some say, of how tough it’s become for live music venues in the Twin Cities.

In Koua Fong Lee’s and others’ stories, exhibit shows power of unexpected events

A photo exhibit that opened this week at the Minnesota History Center features Minnesotans who’ve survived serious illnesses, deadly accidents, even the Holocaust.

Author captures regional differences in whiteness

Satirical writer Christian Lander thought he was on to a good, but probably short-lived, thing with his blog, and then a book called “Stuff White People Like.” But such was his success that Lander has now come out with a regional guide, called “Whiter Shades of Pale.”

150-year-old letters give voice to Dakota prisoners

For nearly 150 years, the voices of Dakota men imprisoned after the Dakota Conflict of 1862 went unheard. But the details of their imprisonment are starting to emerge, in letters written by those prisoners after six weeks of fighting along the Minnesota River Valley that left hundreds of Indians, settlers and soldiers dead.

Lissie performs live in The Current studios

Born Elisabeth Maurus, singer-songwriter Lissie started performing songs as the age of nine, while playing the title part in the musical “Annie.”

Liz Phair performs live in The Current studios

With a long career of ground-breaking music that began in the early ’90s, singer-songwriter Liz Phair has moved from indie label goddess with the release of her debut “Exile in Guyville” in 1993 to selling over three million records across the globe including her latest, “Funstyle.”

The Mourners arrive in Mpls. from the 15th century

A group of foreign dignitaries arrives at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts this weekend. They’re called “The Mourners.” They are some three dozen alabaster figures carved for the tomb of a 15th century French Duke. The statues have caused a sensation at other stops on their U.S. tour.

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