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The Sounds of Summer: August Arts and Culture In MSP

In this month’s feature highlights arts, entertainment and culture not to be missed in MSP by focusing on music, festivals and fashion.
Mill City Live
Wednesdays, August 12, 19, 26: 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Mill City Museum, Minneapolis
The Mill City Museum celebrates its explosive riverfront history for the twelfth year running with Mill City Live — an outdoor concert series set in the magnificent Mill Ruins Courtyard. The series includes Black Diet (August 12), a garage/indie/soul band with a distinctive fashion sense and punk-revival aesthetic that sends crowds to their feet in joyful dancing frenzies. The series goes south of the border with Malamanya (August 19). The six-member Cuban soul ensemble celebrates the communal and polyrhythmic qualities of Caribbean music. Davina and the Vagabonds close the summer showcase with high-stepping, hard-driving blues that create lots of happy feet. Overall, the series is a great opportunity to experience the eerie ruin as a non-traditional concert stage.
Grounds and Sounds Music Festival
Saturday, August 15, noon to 10 p.m.
Groundswell Coffee Bar, St. Paul
St. Paul’s Midway neighborhood is bubbling with creativity as Groundswell’s annual music fest continues to demonstrate. Co-presented by the coffee shop, Flat Earth Brewing Company and Dogwood Coffee Company, Grounds and Sounds showcases 10 local pop, folk and experimental music groups during a free, family friendly event that brings attention to the Midway arts community.
Grounds and Sounds’ 2015 roster includes Impovestra, a 10-30 member ensemble led by Christopher Cunningham that improvises an entire set of music based on the conductor’s visual cues; the electronic band RoniiA; the folk duo Undlin and Wolfe; banjo/guitar artist Paul Metzger; Hot Date’s romantic, intimate chansons; and perennial favorite Eustace the Dragon.
Twin Cities sketch comics Joey Hamburger and Drew Janda emcee the event, which includes musical activities and arts & crafts for children between 12-2pm. Artisan gift shop HWY North will feature the work of local artists in a sidewalk art fair. A silent auction will benefit the Galtier Community School. In true MSP fashion, handcrafted food, beer and coffee join forces with music and philanthropy to keep the community vibrant and engaged.
Rumble On The Runway and Minnesota Fashion Awards
Friday, August 21, 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.
The Depot, Minneapolis
The Oscars of the Minneapolis fashion community takes center stage during this two-part extravaganza, spearheaded by rock-star event producer David Vargas. If anyone can take on the challenge of producing a fashion feast, it’s Vargas. His annual Crystal Ball is the largest and longest-running New Year’s Eve celebration in the Twin Cities, and recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary with more than 3,000 partygoers.
This runway show and awards ceremony is modeled after awards shows.  A charming pair of co-hosts (Grant Whittaker and Jamie Yuccas), guest presenters, high production values, a red carpet and impeccably dressed guests come together in an alluring venue to celebrate, schmooze and congratulate pioneers in the Minneapolis fashion community. Last year’s winner of best designer went to Emma Berg, while Fatima Olive walked away with the title of best makeup artist. 
Local fashion boutiques and Minnesota designers collaborate and produce a runway show, with teams getting their work critiqued by the likes of Faatemah Ampey, Richard Moody and Jon Charles. A lavish after party concludes the event.
Japanese Lantern Lighting Festival
Sunday, August 23; 3-9 p.m.
Como Park Zoo and Conservatory, St. Paul
The annual Japanese Lantern Lighting Festival not only includes the traditional lighting of lanterns to guide spirits home and away again, but also showcases Japanese martial arts, drumming, singing and dancing. The Como Ordway Memorial Japanese Garden becomes animated with light, sound, movement and music during the event, reminiscent of Japan’s annual Obon holiday. Also on site are Taiko drums, lessons in the Japanese art of flower arranging (Ikebana), origami demonstrations, and classes in haiku and Japanese calligraphy. The day culminates in the lighting of six stone and numerous floating paper lanterns that illuminate the Japanese garden and frog pond. 
David Rue is a dance artist and writer infatuated with the companionship of arts and academia.
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