| Follow Us: Facebook Twitter Youtube RSS Feed


February Arts and Culture: Feasts for the Mind and the Mouth

Hmong Delights

Sherman Alexie

Eric William Carroll


A Hmong pop-up dinner, electrifying art exhibition, architecture tour of an already iconic brewery and the opportunity to laugh out loud with the nation's funniest Native American author are on our to-do list for arts and culture in February.

Union Kitchen Pop-Up at Cook St. Paul 
February 5, 5 p.m. 
Union Kitchen at Cook St. Paul 
A new Hmong restaurant in St. Paul, Union Kitchen, makes its soft debut this month with a pop-up meal at Cook St. Paul. “If we don’t make it in-house, we get it from someone local,” Cook St. Paul declares on its website. The Payne Avenue diner is fast becoming known for the Korean dishes on its menu, as well as such American comfort food as creamy chicken wild rice soup, salt-crusted roast beef sandwich and Monte Cristo with smoked ham and fontina—not to mention a full breakfast menu. But the diner also regularly welcomes and hosts pop-ups from local chefs embarking on new adventures. One recent pop-up featured Filipino fusion cuisine.
Yia Vang (who has worked at Nighthawks, Borough and Spoon & Stable) is the enthusiastic chef behind Union Kitchen. He and partners Peter Vang and Lang Vang will offer eight dishes inspired by traditional Hmong cuisine that he’s tweaked with influences from other countries around the world. The menu may include Vang’s singular interpretations of Hmong fried rice, catfish and braised pork belly. Call for price and reservations.
An Evening with Sherman Alexie
February 20, 7:30 pm
Carlson Family Stage, Northrop Auditorium
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
You’ve got to immediately love an author whose website homepage includes these two comments: “Sherman looked more Indian when his hair was long,” a woman on Facebook, and “I hate Sherman Alexie,” a dude on Twitter. Of course, those piquant condiments are deliciously sandwiched between accolades from The New York Times Book Review and the San Francisco Chronicle. Because Alexie, as those tuned into MSP’s art scene are well aware, is probably the literary equivalent of visual artist Jim Denomie, who is also an irreverent, playful, whip smart and revered Native American artist.
Alexie, currently based in Seattle, is best known as a novelist, for such award-winning titles as The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian and The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, as well as the short-story collection Smoke Signals—which was make into a film for which Alexie wrote the screenplay. He’s also a poet and filmmaker, and guest edited the 2015 edition of Best American Poetry. To hear Alexie speak is to be enlightened and entertained. Purchase your tickets here.
G.U.T. Feeling Vol. 4: Radionics
February 25, 6:30-9 p.m.
The Bakken Museum, Minneapolis

Coffee House Press’ Books in Action initiative includes something intriguingly called CHP In The Stacks. The program innovatively places readers and writers in residence at libraries to inspire new works created to intentionally bring first-time (as well as repeat) visitors into that library. The latest endeavor showcases the work of photographer Eric William Carroll, who completed his residency at the The Bakken Museum (a museum of electricity and magnetism) last summer. Titled G.U.T. Feeling Vol. 4: Radionics, the exhibition also launches a new series, Evening at The Bakken. During this panel discussion, Carroll—his work has been exhibited nationally for its singular approach to topics merging nature, science and art—visits with Bakken librarian Rachel Howell and assistant curator Adrian Fischer. Purchase tickets here. The discussion should be nothing short of electrifying.
Surly Brewing MSP Tour
February 28, noon
Surly Brewing Company, Minneapolis
Local award-winning craft beer and local award-winning architecture merge when the award-winning designer of Surly Brewing CompanySteven Dwyer of HGA—gives his monthly tour of the bold new building. Every month, Dwyer gives an hour-long, behind-the-scenes, design-detailed rundown of the brewery’s architecture, while discussing the overall design concept, why Surly selected the site and how materials were chosen. The ticket price includes a $10 coupon for the beer hall, so you can imbibe with friends and discuss what you’ve just discovered. Register here.
Signup for Email Alerts
Signup for Email Alerts