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Pioneer Press photographer's smartphone-made stop-animation film goes viral

Pioneer Press photographer Ben Garvin recently produced a stop motion video that went viral, hitting over 1.2 million views on YouTube within only a couple of days. Garvin’s short film, titled “Magic Beard,” which was recorded with a smartphone app, has since been featured on numerous morning shows, evening news broadcasts, and websites all over the globe, including the Huffington Post. The film goes to lengths, literally, to reveal the wonders of Garvin's  "magic beard." Besides the amount of time Garvin spent growing the beard, the film, which runs just a couple of minutes, took 15 hours to put together.   

The Huffington Post shout-out about the film reads, “Ben Garvin's glorious stop-motion film documenting the antics of his clearly out-of-control beard validates all of our fears about facial hair.” 

"Glee" actor coming to St. Paul to record radio show and podcast

Former “Glee” actor Stephen Tobolowsky is coming to St. Paul’s Fitzgerald Theater to tape his syndicated radio show and podcast,  "The Tobolowsky Files," live on Oct. 10, the Pioneer Press reports.   

In the hit TV series, Tobolowsky was the glee club teacher early on. He's also appeared in many other roles on-screen, but he might be most known for his part as “the memory-challenged character who provides a key to the mystery in "Memento,”” the Pioneer Press story states. 

As a part of "The Tobolowsky Files,” the actor recounts personal tales about Hollywood, life, and love, the story adds. 

Forbes highlights Twin Cities in business feature

Business magazine Forbes notes that the U.S. economy is showing anemic wage growth and slow recovery from the recession, but the good news is that there are places with strong business climates that are fueled by low costs and educated labor forces.
With that in mind, Forbes singled out top locations in its annual list of the Best Places for Business and Careers.
Coming in at no. 23 is the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, including Bloomington. The article noted that the Twin Cities are rich with quaint neighborhoods, arts and culture, and natural resources. The median household income, the magazine notes, is about $63,000.
Duluth also got a nod, at no. 115 on the list, with a median household income of about $43,000.
Topping the list was Des Moines, Iowa, which was highlighted thanks to expansion there by major companies like Wells Fargo, Facebook, and Microsoft.

Twin Cities food trucks list grows to 103

As a testimony to local food trends, a database from the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal has grown to include 103 food trucks and trailers. 

The database, which can be sorted by various attributes, including “most popular menu item,” also has information about food trucks’ presence on the street and on social media, a story from the Journal states. 

Food truck reporter Urmila Ramakrishnan put it together. “Besides profiling dozens of food trucks, Urmila broke food truck news and found innovators, interesting people and companies that support the industry as the mobile eateries fight turf wars with established brick-and-mortar restaurants and struggle with their own popularity,” the story states.

Local Community Supported Art program gets a nod in the New York Times

Community-supported art, a takeoff on community-supported agriculture, provides locally made art to its members. 

Since its start with the St. Paul-based nonprofit organization Springboard for the Arts, in collaboration with the local artists behind mnartists.org, four years ago, the concept has caught on in a number of cities across the country, the New York Times reports.

It has also taken on new forms as it has sprung up in different places, the story reads.  

“The goal, borrowed from the world of small farms, is a deeper-than-commerce connection between people who make things and people who buy them,” the story reads. 

It helps that many people were already familiar with the CSA model, the story points out.  

Wall Street Journal piece highlights the 'ultimate long weekend' in Minneapolis

“The Ultimate Long Weekend in Minneapolis” is the headline of a recent Wall Street Journal story that highlights the city’s attractions. 

The scenic city “may bring to mind parkas before parks, and Vikings before biking, but Minneapolis is as sweet in summer as it is frigid in winter,” with everything from outdoor activities to cultural offerings to take in, it reads. 

The story lays out a step-by-step itinerary for visitors who visit the city for a weekend. Local restaurants like Burch, Icehouse (also an entertainment venue) and Matt’s Bar get a shout-out. The American Swedish Institute, Forage Modern Workshop, and the Walker Art Center also get props, as do a number of theaters, shops, and parks.  

Midtown Greenway named the best bike path in the nation

ActiveTimes.com recently ranked the Midtown Greenway in Minneapolis as the nation’s top bike path, CBS Minnesota reports. USA Today picked up the story.   

The over-five-mile-long trail sees up to 5,000 people daily. “It runs right through the center of Minneapolis with little interruption from street traffic or pedestrians,” the story reads. 

On the path, ActiveTimes says, riders get views of the Mississippi River, the Chain of Lakes, and the Martin Sabo suspension bridge. And the site takes note of the fact that many people take the bike path to work. 

To come up with its results, ActiveTimes evaluated “whether the path allows you to skip traffic while at the same time giving you a view of nature.”

Brooklyn Brewery MASH tour comes to the Twin Cities

The Brooklyn Brewery, a craft brewery in New York, “is paying the Twin Cities a little visit in a big way,” a City Pages article states.  

This week, the brewery is coming to the area as a part of its national MASH tour, a series of beer and food-related events plus film showings and music.

The Twin Cities is one of 11 stops in the festival that includes a “series of parties, concerts, and private diners in honor of Slow Food USA, an organization the promotes "the pleasure of food by linking it to the community and the environment."”

While in town, MASH will make its home St. Paul’s The Happy Gnome, while also visiting with a number of local restaurateurs.

Local artist in Northern Spark featured in the New York Times

The New York Times featured local artist Chris Larson’s art installation that was a part of the recent Northern Spark.

For the St. Paul dusk-to-dawn art festival, Larson created a replica of Bauhaus architect Marcel Breuer’s St. Paul house. Before an audience at the festival, Larson proceeded to burn down the house. It was the festival’s main attraction.    

Although Larson worked from 1961 blueprints of the house, he “made the walls and roof out of cardboard and two-by-four studs,” the story states.

Of the original, which is still standing, the story states, “Despite its heritage, the house has been neglected in books on Breuer.”

As for the burning of the replica, it may have been a statement about the architect, the design, or putting too much emphasis on one’s house--several people in the story weigh in on the significance of the pyrotechnics.  

Twin Cities named 6th-best metro for beer

The Huffington Post recently pulled information from a Travel + Leisure survey that shows that the Twin Cities is the 6th best metro for beer nationwide.

Craft breweries are trending across the country, with more than 2,300 counted in 2012, “the highest number since the late 19th century,” the story states.

The Twin Cities jumped nine spaces in the survey this time around. “The buzziest beers seem to channel the outdoorsy, hipster vibe that voters love about Minnesota,” according to the survey.

Local breweries range in character from Indeed Brewery, which “prides itself on its retro, back-to-basics cans, while Fulton Beer offers a Russian imperial stout.”

Fulton claims its beer can hold up against the Minnesota winter, in case it's left outside.

Portland, Oregon topped the list of beer towns.

'Mad Men' star to appear at the Guthrie this summer

Vincent Kartheiser, an actor on the popular AMC series “Mad Men,” will return to his hometown this summer to play in the Guthrie Theater’s production of “Pride and Prejudice,” according to the Star Tribune.

Kartheiser first graced the Guthrie stage as a seven-year-old in the theater’s staging of “A Christmas Carol.” This time around, he’ll play the role of Mr. Darcy.

“Kartheiser, 35, grew up in Apple Valley and moved to Los Angeles as a teen to pursue an acting career,” the story reads. The actor became well known beginning in 2007 as the “Mad Men” character Pete Campbell, the “slimy, conniving ad executive everyone loves to hate.”

“Pride and Prejudice” marks the theater’s 50th season.

Psycho Suzi's named Minnesota's best patio

Given Minnesota's love of outdoor dining during the summer, choosing the best patio in the state seems like a daunting task, but WCCO viewers took up the challenge. In a recent poll, they named Psycho Suzi's in Northeast Minneapolis as the top spot for outdoor lounging.
The restaurant boasted a popular patio area in its former location just a few miles from where it now resides, but the move a few years ago created an opportunity for building an expansive patio area that's now packed in the summertime.
In an article about the results, Psycho Suzi's Shannon Weed noted that being on the Mississippi is hugely beneficial, especially since some customers cruise up to the restaurant on their boats. Also, the patio is dog-friendly.
Recently, the restaurant added a second patio level, giving it an even bigger boost of popularity.

Local arts groups receive ArtPlace America grants

ArtPlace America, a consortium of arts funders across the country, recently announced a couple of St. Paul winners in its latest round of grant awards, according to the Star Tribune.

Both the Blue Ox Mini Golf project and the Bedlam Theatre won $350,000 grants from the group in a category titled, “Using Art to Connect and Animate Communities.”

The Blue Ox will use the funds to develop an artistic 18-hole course at the old Schmidt Brewery grounds, which is being renovated for artist lofts, while Bedlam is planning a new home base near the Union Depot.

Jennifer Pennington, a spokesperson for Blue Ox, comments in the story about the funding group: “They’re really interested in funding a variety of creative placemaking efforts to spur economic development and increase vibrancy,” she says.

Source: Star Tribune

"Renovation Raiders" comes to the Twin Cities

Minnesotan Amy Matthews has a new TV show focusing on home renovations, according to the Pioneer Press.

Matthews, who is “already a staple on the DIY Network,” is now bringing her home improvement savvy to HGTV, with the TV show, “Renovation Raiders,” the story states.

“Renovation Raiders,” which was filmed locally, is “a remodeling show with a fun twist.” It debuts on May 30.

In a matter of hours, a crew makes dramatic changes to a room in a house, which varies by episode.

Beforehand, “contractors work with another one of the homeowners, who is in on the big surprise, and strategically plan the remodel, being extra careful not to be caught by the unsuspecting party,” the story states.

Source: Pioneer Press

Locations from 70s-era 'Mary Tyler Moore Show get a nod in new book

A recent WCCO story describes New York-based author Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s book, Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted, which centers on the “Mary Tyler Moore Show.”

The 1970s TV show was set in Minneapolis.

In researching the book, Armstrong looked at a handful of places seen in the show. For example, Kowalski’s on Hennepin Avenue is where Mary shops for groceries. “The neighborhood overall also made sense for Mary, a young and single urbanite, as the Uptown area developed into an artsy enclave,” the book states.

When Moore tossed her beret into the air at 7th and Nicollet, which is marked by a statue of her character, “director Reza Badiyi captured the moment for what would become one of the most indelible TV credit sequences of all time.”

225 Arts and Culture Articles | Page: | Show All
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