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What's coming up for arts and entertainment around the region

John Anderson concert April 20 at Shooting Star

MAHNOMEN — Country singer and songwriter John Anderson will perform live at Mahnomen's Shooting Star Casino, Hotel & Event Center on Friday, April 20, at 8 p.m. Tickets are sold out.

Born in 1955, in Apopka, Florida, Anderson grew up listening to classic rock 'n' roll icons until he discovered country music at the age of 15. In 1972, Anderson moved to Nashville to pursue his country music dreams, but didn't catch his big break until 1977 when he signed his first recording contract with Warner Bros. Anderson dropped his debut self-titled album in 1980, which included two Top 20 singles, "1959" at No. 7 and "Your Lying Blue Eyes" at No. 15.

In 1982, Anderson dropped his fourth studio album, "Wild & Blue," which included two chart-topping singles, "Wild & Blue" and "Swingin," and was certified gold. The album's success solidified Anderson as a powerful voice in country music. The next year, Anderson released "All The People Are Talkin," which peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard Country Music charts, and included the No. 1 single "Black Sheep."

Over the next eight years, Anderson continued to record steadily and dropped six more studio albums. After little chart success, Anderson made a comeback in 1992 with the double platinum-certified album, "Seminole Wind." The title track single landed at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart, and was followed by the No. 1 single, "Straight Tequila Night." The next year, Anderson released "Solid Ground," which was certified gold and included the chart-topping single, "Money in the Bank."

With 23 studio albums and over 20 singles reaching the top 10, Anderson has entertained country crowds over the last four decades. He has won numerous Country Music Association Awards, and received three Grammy Award nominations, including Album of the Year, Best Country Vocal Performance, and Best Long Form Music Video. Anderson was inducted to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2014.

LRAC awards scholarships for young artists to work with mentors

FERGUS FALLS — The Lake Region Arts Council is pleased to announce that 14 area students have been selected to receive 2018 Artist Mentor scholarships, worth over $600 each.

Among the local recipients are Kaitlin Wake, Frazee, who will study modern dance; Hallie Hogenson, Lake Park, who will study visual arts and mixed media; and Katey Begg, Ulen, who will study visual arts and animation.

Other 2018 scholarship winners include Eleanor Koranda, Alexandria; Kate Fronning, Barnesville; Elizabeth Fischer, Breckenridge; Brianna Thompson, Felton; Mariana Santoyo, Sadie Marty, Chloe Schindler and Miranda Kaiser, all of Fergus Falls; Claire Keith, Hawley; Talia Williams, Moorhead; and Sara Hoffman, Morris.

The goal of this program is to enhance each student's artistic creativity, skill, and personal growth. The students will study their chosen art discipline one-on-one with a practicing, professional artist between June 1-Oct. 1. This program is funded by an appropriation from the Minnesota State Legislature and the Arts & Cultural Heritage (Legacy) Fund.

Applications were received from the nine counties of the LRAC region. Professional artists and educators reviewed the students on Saturday, March 3 at Underwood High School.

For more information, please contact Rebecca Davis, Artist Mentor Program coordinator, at 218-739-5780 or

Author Linda Koutsky at Wadena Depot Thursday

WADENA — A program featuring author and book artist Linda Koutsky will be held this Thursday, April 12 at 7 p.m. in the Wadena City Depot.

Linda Koutsky and Kathryn Strand Koutsky are the authors of "Tempt Me: The Fine Art of Minnesota Cooking." The book is a recent release from the Minnesota Historical Society with first-rate illustrations, vintage advertising, bygone recipes and the storied history of Minnesota's food industries. The pages of "Tempt Me" offer a true feast for the senses and to make it even more appetizing, Linda will bring some samples to taste.

This program is the first in this year's Spring Legacy Series. It is presented by the Wadena County Historical Society in collaboration with the Wadena Library and funded by a grant from Kitchigami Library System. Other programs in the Spring Legacy Series include "Alice in France" by author Nancy Weber on May 11 and "Minnesota Moxie" by the author Ben Weber on June 17. This program is also a collaboration with the Wadena Library.

Other programs this spring include "Minnesota Voices," held each month, the third Thursday at noon at the Wadena Museum. The April 19 program will celebrate National Poetry Month with readings by Minnesota poets. The Wadena County Historical Society's semi-annual meeting will be held this spring on April 25 at 7 p.m. The featured speaker will be Denis Gardner, director of the Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office. All these programs are free and open to the public.

For more information contact the Wadena County Historical Society at 218 631-9079 or email:

Saturday 'Book Ends' event to feature author Novak

WADENA — Book Ends, the monthly meet-the-author event in Wadena, welcomes Minnesota novelist Kathleen Novak on Saturday, April 14.

Novak is a native Minnesotan from Iron Range country and set her novel "Rare Birds" in a town reminiscent of Hibbing. The setting in her second novel, "Do Not Find Me" alternates between a cabin in northern Minnesota and New York City. Novak writes with one foot planted firmly on both locales.

"Rare Birds" will appeal to both young and adult readers. Readers will meet many neighbors, young and old, in this fictional town where a dozen characters and their stories interweave across ten days of June 1960.

"Do Not Find Me" tells the story of a Minnesota son of immigrants who migrates to New York City and, of course, is smitten by the first attractive woman he sees. The story is their story of unrequited love, as told by the immigrant son and his daughter who finds the mysterious note "Do not find me" as she cleans his cabin after his death. The author takes great risks with the story but makes it work.

Book Ends meets on the second Saturday of each month at The Uptown in Wadena at 11 a.m. One hour of conversation and short readings is followed by Q&A and lunch. There is no charge for the event. Lunch is on the attendees.

For questions or comments, please contact Jerry Mevissen, (218) 472-3400.

'Case for Christ' screening in Wadena Sunday

WADENA — On Sunday, April 15, the movie "Case For Christ," the Lee Strobel story, will be shown at Wadena Alliance Church. The church is located at 1428 Jefferson Street S in Wadena. A dinner of sloppy joes will be served at 5 p.m., with the film showing after.

This outreach event is a fundraiser for the Wadena Fire Department to help them raise money for a thermal imaging camera.

Childcare will be available during the movie. Donations will be received for the meal, movie and snacks.

Little Black Dress fundraiser April 19 in Fergus Falls

FERGUS FALLS — The Women's Leadership Council's Little Black Dress Black Tie Affair is to be held Thursday, April 19 at Bigwood Event Center in Fergus Falls. This year's honoree is John Helland.

Helland is a retired Fergus Falls educator whose lifelong commitment to literacy has enriched lives, young and old, through many channels and in many ways. An evening of live jazz from the Blue Note Combo, dinner, live and silent auctions, elegant face painting and much more.

Proceeds from this special event provide Dolly Parton's Imagination Library scholarships for local children, birth to five. Currently, the program mails, to seven countries, over one million specially selected, age-appropriate books monthly to registered children from birth to age five.

Recent studies suggest participation in the Imagination Library program is positively and significantly associated with higher measures of early language and math development.

Penguin Random House is the exclusive publisher for Dolly Parton's Imagination Library.

Tickets are available at United Way office in Fergus Falls or online at UWOTW.ORG.

United Way goes beyond temporary fixes to create lasting changes that lift up communities around Otter Tail and Wadena counties.

MN poets to read original works April 19 in Wadena

WADENA — The original work of 16 Minnesota poets will be read at the Wadena County Museum's "Minnesota Voices" program at noon April 19 as part of National Poetry Month. The poets selected include Marge Barrett, Eric Bervig, Ruth Boldan, Sue Bruns, Barry Carter, Samuel Cole, Neil Dyer, Kendra Gilsdorf, Audrae Gruber, Joyce C. Krueger, Melissa Kugler, Julie Martin, Susan McMillan, Lauren Nickisch, LaVonne Selleck and Jan Smith. If the poet is unable to attend, the poem will be read by a local writer. The public is invited to attend this free event.

The space has limited seating. Reservations are recommended. The Wadena County Museum is located at 603 Jefferson Street North, Wadena.

Minnesota Voices is a free program featuring Minnesota writers and their work. It is held the third Thursday of each month from noon to 1 p.m.

Northern Lights Chorale concerts coming soon

WADENA — Northern Lights Chorale will be performing their spring concert April 22 at 3 p.m. at Our Saviour's Lutheran Church in Sebeka. They will perform a second concert April 22 at 7 p.m. at Karvonen Chapel in Wadena, 419 2nd Street NE., two blocks east of Tri-County Hospital.

Enjoy your neighbors, friends and relatives sharing their passion for music with you.

New singers are welcome to the next concert season in September.

Refreshments will be served after the free concerts.

Mn Artists Training Workshop set April 25 in Bemidji

BEMIDJI — Mn Artists will visit Bemidji for a lively workshop and discussion on artists' participation in digital communities.

The program is 5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 25 at the Watermark Art Center education room, 505 Bemidji Ave. N.

They will review how to best use Mn Artists' online professional development tools, recommended for artists who want to improve their online presence and connect to more opportunities, communities, and conversations, both locally and regionally.

Mn Artists is home to art, writing, opportunities and conversation, online and off, by, for and about Midwestern artists working in every discipline. A program of the Walker Art Center, Mn Artists is dedicated to improving the quality and national visibility of regionally-rooted art, artists and cultural dialogue through a dynamic online community, responsive arts journalism, and by giving artists access to, and connections with, collaborators, influencers and the public.

This event is free and open to the public, but you must register. For more information, email