Category Archives: Event News

Outdoor Concert in Fosston

OUTDOOR CONCERT WITH MIKE RENDAHL                                           SEPTEMBER 18TH

Singer and songwriter Mike Rendahl, a Fosston native, will perform an outdoor concert on Friday, September 18th at the East Polk Heritage Center grounds in Fosston.  The concert will begin at 6:30 PM.

Rendahl’s premier album “About Time” was released in January 2020 on all streaming services. Rendahl grew up in Fosston, where his passion for music began in the fields and forests that surrounded his northern Minnesota home.  Rendahl stated,

“When I sing and play, I feel like I go to a completely different place.  Nothing in my life has felt more honest and true.  Music is an amazing way to unite people under the commonality of living this life.”

The delicious food from Bigfoot BBQ food truck will be available to serve you from 2 PM-6:30PM, so bring your appetite!

The concert will follow COVID-19 pandemic guidelines. Limited seating will be available and spaces for chairs will be marked. Please bring lawn chairs or blankets – family members can be seated together. Please wear a mask as you enter the seating area.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Tickets for the concert are $10 for adults and $5 for students.  Children 5 and under are free.  Tickets must be purchased ahead of time to plan for seating arrangements.  They can be purchased at

Online Writing Classes offered by North Beach Writers’ Retreat

Advanced Memoir Writing 
Have you started a memoir, but you just don’t know where to go? Do you want to take your memoir writing skills to the next level? This class will go into more than just the basics of memoir writing. Topics will include: using an objective correlative, building characterizations, using sensory imagery, creating a narrative arc, revising, and more. If you have already started writing and are looking for some direction, then this is the class for you! You do not have to be working on a book-length memoir. All you need are some interesting stories to tell that you are ready to shape into a literary format that others can appreciate. The best memoirs are not necessarily great because of the interesting experience that you are relating, but because they are written so that others can see and participate in the experience along with you. 

Advanced Memoir Writing (6 weeks)–$210 September 14 – October 26, 2020:   Registration Deadline: September 4. Ten spots available, first-come, first served.It is not required to take Memoir Basics I to take this class, but some writing experience is recommended.

Click Here for more info or to register. 

Tanya Stafsholt Miller has an MFA in memoir and poetry from Minnesota State University, Moorheadand MA in English from Bemidji State University.  Her poems and memoir essays have appeared in The Talking Stick, Bombshells: War Stories and Poems by Women on the Homefront, Red Weather, The Minnesota English Journal and others. She won a scholarship to the Northwoods Writers’ Conference in Bemidji, MN. Most recently, she was one of twelve writers chosen to attend the Pelee Island Book House writers’ retreat with Margaret Atwood and Wayne Grady. She currently teaches writing classes in Park Rapids, MN, and is an adjunct instructor at the University of Minnesota, Crookston.
Creative Boost 1:  Grow your Creativity
So many adults want to start or continue a creative practice, but are stuck. The writing and sketching prompts in this class help you identify what inspires you, and how to grow your creative confidence and purpose. We all have something to say; those seeds are within us. Look no further than your own curiosities and convictions. You already have the seeds; push through fears to create again!

Creativity Boost 1 (5weeks)–$175 October 4-November 8, 2020—$175:  Registration Deadline: September 20, 2020
Ten spots available, first-come, first served.

Click Here for more info or to register. 

Tiffany Besonen is a practicing artist of sculpture, painting, and mixed-media. She has taught Art in Minnesotapublic schools for 26 years, and has exhibited throughout the U.S. for 20 years. Tiffany is also a co-owner of Studio 176 Gallery in Park Rapids, MN She loves to write and talk about the creative process and encourages others to do something, anything, creative!
The Art of Voice in Poetry
In this brand-new class, we will be working our way, week by week, through Tony Hoagland’s excellent new book, The Art of Voice: Poetic Principles and Practice. Each week, we will read a chapter (or occasionally two) of the book, discuss, and then write a poem draft from a prompt based on the ideas of that week’s chapter(s). It will be necessary for participants to have a copy of the book, either print or electronic. Participants will come out of the class with at least 10 new poem drafts with feedback from both class members and LouAnn Muhm, as well as a raft of new ideas both from the book and from lively class discussions of the ideas presented in it.
 The Art of Voice in Poetry (10 weeks)–$350 September 21-December 1, 2020 (with a break for Thanksgiving): Registration Deadline: September 10Ten spots available, first-come, first served.
Click Here  for more info or to register

LouAnn Shepard Muhm is a poet and teacher from northern Minnesota.  Her poems have appeared in Antiphon, AlbaRed River ReviewEclecticaPirene’s Fountain, and CALYX, among other journals and anthologies, and she was a finalist for the Creekwalker Poetry Prize and the Late Blooms Postcard Series. Muhm is a recipient of Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grants in Poetry in 2006 and 2012, and was chosen as one of two Artist Fellows by Region 2 Arts Council of Minnesota in 2016.   Her full-length poetry collection Breaking the Glass (Loonfeather Press, 2008) was a finalist for the Midwest Book Award in Poetry. Muhm was awarded an MFA in poetry from Sierra Nevada College in 2016.  She also serves as an associate instructor of English for Lake TahoeCommunity College in South Lake Tahoe, California, and taught poetry writing online for The Loft Literary Center 2011-2018.

To learn more visit their website here.

Of the Year Award Winners Honored

The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council held a program to honor the 2020 Of the Year Award Winners

Three awards are given each year to recognize artists and arts advocates within our seven county region who stand out in terms of artistry or volunteerism in the arts. Many times people serve in both roles. Of the Year Award winners were nominated by area residents. The NWMAC recently held a reception to honor this year’s awardees.

Director Mara Hanel presenting the Of the Year Awards

2020 Of the Year Award Winners include:

Rob Burkel of Thief River Falls was awarded the Northwest Artist of the Year Award for theater arts. Rob has been involved in theater in the Thief River Falls area for 30 years. His dedication and talent is well known and admired. Our Artist of the Year award can be given to any discipline artist including visual, performing, or creative writing who are emerging or at a mid-way point in their artistic endeavors. It is a cash award of $500.00. To learn more about Rob, click here.

Artist of the Year Rob Burkel

Bruce Piersol of Red Lake Falls was awarded the Northwest Arts Advocate of the Year Award. Mr. Piersol is a musician and a strong advocate for the arts. He has performed and organized numerous musical groups bringing music to people who otherwise might not be able to experience it. Our Arts Advocate of the Year award is $500 and includes arts from all disciplines. To read more about Bruce click here.

NW Arts Advocate of the Year Bruce Piersol

Joe Wavra of Red Lake Falls received the Northwest Star Award. Mr. Wavra is a self-taught wood carver, creating life-size animals, Vikings, and trolls with a chainsaw. His carvings can be found throughout the area. This award comes with $5,000. Artists can only receive our Northwest Star Award once as a lifetime achievement award. To learn more about Joe click here.

NW Star Award Winner Joe Wavra

These awards were presented on Tuesday, August 18 in Red Lake Falls. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, our celebration of these wonderful artists and leaders in our area was limited to close friends and family.

NWMAC Board Chair Briana Ingraham and Director Mara Hanel
NWMAC Promotions Specialist Kristin Eggerling and Director Mara Hanel

Funding for Northwest Star and Northwest Artist of the Year comes from The McKnight Foundation. Funding for Northwest Arts Advocate of the Year comes from the Minnesota State Legislature.

FAST*FEST 2020 Minnesota Assn of Community Theatres offers workshops

FAST*Fest 2020
Saturday, August 22, 2020

Bad Mystery Suspense Science Fiction Theater 2
Bad Mystery Suspense/Science Fiction Theater (NKBProductions)
Stephen Greenhalgh as Pemberton the Butler

On Saturday, August 22, the Minnesota Association of Community Theatres (MACT) will offer energizing workshops, ten short plays in a virtual setting with live guided discussion after each performance, and an evening social hour.

Due to the uncertainty of the coronavirus, FAST*Fest had to be reinvented for a “live online” experience in just a few short weeks. Players who never dreamed of filming their work for a festival learned how and did it successfully. The back of the house this year is entirely virtual and is being accomplished with aplomb on a shoestring budget.

You can participate in this amazing effort of your fellow community theatre artists by attending the virtual workshops and watching the plays in a new way for just $25 for the entire day. Individual workshop and play session pricing is also available.

Tickets can be found online at

The entire FAST*Fest schedule is listed below:

MACT FAST*Fest 2020 – Program
Saturday, August 22, 2020   

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“Virtual FAST*Fest 2020” participants & attendees will convene using Zoom.  Details for connectivity testing and joining the festival will be provided to all prior to the event.

Festival Staff:

Co-chairs: Amy Hunter and Jon Terrill
Technician: Darren Beecher
MACT Board of Directors
Discussion Moderators: Mary Beth King and Julianna Skluzacek

9:00 a.m. – Welcome and Introduction

9:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. – Hannah Holman, Director of MN Theater Alliance – “Ensemble Based Creative Process”

10:25 a.m. to 11:25 a.m. – Joanna Schnedler, Executive Director MN Music Coalition – “Front of the House/Box Office Management”

11:35 a.m. to 12:35 p.m. – Greg Abbott, Director of the Minnesota Shorts Festival, Mankato, MN – “Writing a One Minute Play”


Afternoon Session of Short Plays

1:30-1:40 – Welcome and Introduction

1:40 – Intro to first play

1:42 A Minnesotan Soap Opera

(or The Cold and the Uff-da-ful)

County Seat Theater Company

Written and Directed by Greg Anderson

Matt: Sean Biskey
Amanda: Mimi Effinger
Mom: Sam Lorenz
Trevor: Jason Vandervort
Mysterious Stranger: Josh Effinger
Support Staff: Ruthie Breur, Joel Soukkala
Setting: Someplace in Minnesota You’ve Probably Been.
Time: Oh, Round Suppertime I S’pose.
Performing at the Encore Performing Arts Center in Cloquet, MN

1:52 – Discussion of first play

2:00 – Intro to second play

2:02 Will(ful)(ly)

Ole Olson Onstage

Written and Directed by Jon Skaalen
Narrator: Kip Shane
Miltie: Dan Reiva
Mourner: Don Cosgrove
Setting: A murder was, or may have been, or will be, committed. Was it, or will it be, willful? Will the resolution be willfully accepted by the victim, the perpetrator and we, the virtual jurors? Find out on OOPS, 2020 on your radio dial or online at OOPS. argh.
Theatre Info:
Based in Stillwater, Ole Olson Onstage explores stories, issues and opportunities facing people of all abilities in their communities.

2:22 – Discussion of second play

2:32 – Intro to third play

2:34 Bonnie and Clod

Marshall Area Stage Company

Directors: Bob Schwoch and Maureen Keimig
Camera and Video editing: Cory Klamper
Bonnie: Maureen Keimig
Clod: Bob Schwoch
Time and Place: Suppertime in a low rent apartment, 1930’s.

2:40 – Discussion of third play

2:50 – Ten minute break

3:00 – Intro to fourth play

3:02 The Wild

Merlin Players, Faribault, MN

The Wild is an adaptation from Jack London’s novel White Fang.
Adapted by Caleb Wagner
Directed by Caleb Wagner
Videographer: Caleb Wagner

Henry: Grant Fitzgerald
Bill: Tristen Sima

3:22 – Discussion of fourth play

3:32 – Intro to fifth play

3:34 The Aunt and the Sluggard

Little Theatre of Owatonna

The Aunt and the Sluggard is a dramatic interpretation of a P.G. Wodehouse short story.

Characters: Bertie Wooster, Rocky, Ms. Rockmetteller, and Jeeves
All characters performed by Jon Terrill
Camera Technician: Zackery Knapton

3:52 – Discussion of fifth play

4:02 – Afternoon session wrap-up

Meal Break on your own

Evening Session of Short Plays

6:30-6:40 p.m. – Welcome and Introduction

6:40 – Intro to sixth play

6:42 Match Dot Bomb

Taken For Granite Players, Richmond, MN

Written and co-directed by James H. Leinen
Co-directed by Amy L. Hunter
Camera operator: Andrew Libbesmeier
Continuity: Anissa Wilke
Sound Effects, Editing, Graphics: Brad Busse

Veronica: Karla Reichel
Barista: Jennifer Wirz
William (Bill): Brad Busse

Time and Place: 2019 in a suburban coffee shop.

6:57 – Discussion of sixth play

7:07 – Intro to seventh play
7:09 In A Time of Masks

Pargeter Players

Written and directed by Greg Bastien
Corey Allred, Greg Bastien, Coral Bastien, Connor Burell, Helen Collins, Selma Petterson
(Cast members play multiple roles)
Theater Info:
Pargeter Players theater group is based in Minneapolis and they also have performed in St. Paul, St. Cloud, and Cloquet.

7:21 – Discussion of seventh play

7:31 – 10-minute break

7:41 – Intro to eighth play

7:43 Slimm, Jim, And The VI…

Mindless Mirth Productions

Written and Co-Directed by Lawrence Ripp
Co-Directed by John Gottskalkson
Filming: Hamil Cassidy
Slimm: Lawrence Ripp
Jim: John Gottskalkson
Setting: In the conversational style of Mamet, two friends cope with the pandemic of this time.
Theatre info:
Both John and Larry are Twin City acting veterans who have many years of acting and many shows under their collective belts. They have also produced and directed shows here and elsewhere and have done a number of shows for the Minnesota Fringe Festival.

8:00 – Discussion of eighth play

8:10 – Intro to ninth play

8:12 Scenes from Twelfth Night

Classics Lost N Found Theater

Director: Greg Bastien
Camera Person: Katie Holmes
A performance of two scenes (back-to-back) from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.
First scene cast:
Viola (disguised as Cesario): Helen Collins
Olivia: Selma Petterson
Second Scene cast:
Malvolio: Corey Allred
Feste: Don Larsson
Theater Info:
Classics Lost N Found Theater’s performance space is Lake Nokomis Lutheran Church in South Minneapolis.

8:30 – Discussion of ninth play

8:40 – Intro to tenth play

8:42 Bad Mystery Suspense/Science Fiction



Director: Noreen K. Brandt
Camera Person: Katie Holmes
Bad Mystery Suspense:
Narrator / Pemberton, the Butler: Stephen Greenhalgh*
Inspector Gidget: Daniel L. Dyke 
Mrs. Oodlesbottom / Percival / Hastings: Candy Dyke*
Fifi / Miss Stenophono / Lola: Selma Petterson*
(*plays multiple roles)
Bad Science Fiction Theater:
Sci-Fi  Narrator: Don Larsson
The Evil Emperor: Corey Allred 
Space Princess Zena: Katie Holmes
Space Princess Zooma: Matt Amenda  
Space Inspector Terry: Helen Collins
Theater Info:
NKBProductions is an offshoot of our old theater company, Corcoran Park Players, and is based in South Minneapolis.

9:01 – Discussion of tenth play

9:11 – Wrap up, Thank Yous

9:15-10:00 p.m. – Guided community theater social networking


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Jeff Menten & Paul NYE Livestream concert

The Fosston Community Library and Arts Association is Sponsoring Acoustofiddle Livestream Concert on

Thursday, August 20th at 7:00 PM

Violinist Jeff Menten, Park Rapids, and Fingerstyle Guitarist Paul Nye, Walker, will be presenting a Livestream Concert on Thursday, August 20th at 7:00 p.m. on YouTube Live and Facebook Live. 

The concert is sponsored by the Fosston Community Library Arts Association, and made possible by a grant from the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council, as part of a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund through the voters of Minnesota. 

Menten and Nye, who refer to their duo as “Acoustofiddle” have been performing together for nearly a decade and were part of Akeley’s Woodtick Musical Theater band for many years. 

The duo describes their music as “funky folk, punky polka, cool Celtic, caffeinated classical, and Gypsy jazz, with a bit of grassy blues.”  The music Menten and Nye will be presenting will cover a wide range of genres, including traditional, original, ethnic, and the duo’s arrangements of some pop covers.  Menten and Nye have regularly performed across the north country for several years until this year when the Covid-19 pandemic forced many music venues to close down, causing cancellations of live performances.  Many musicians have done performances on various social media platforms. 

The livestream concert will be videotaped live, courtesy of Calvary Church in Walker, which has allowed Menten & Nye not only the use of the facility, but also the video, audio and live-streaming software the church uses for online services. The concert will only be available online on YouTube Live and Facebook Live. Viewers can go online to for a link to the performance. The performance venue will be closed to the public, but the virtual online audience will be able to make comments through chat in realtime during the concert.  Menten and Nye will be reading some select comments throughout the show.  

Pre-concert streaming will be available at 6:30 p.m. on August 20th, with the concert starting at 7:00 p.m.   There is no charge for the concert, but viewers will be given an opportunity to tip the performers through PayPal or Venmo during the performance.  

Put this concert on your calendar!