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Minneapolis deemed one of the best sports cities

Minneapolis is a good place for anyone who’s into sports, according to the financial literacy website NerdWallet.

The website examined cities across the country, evaluating them on what sports are represented, attendance at games, ticket prices, and local sports culture.

By its criteria, Minneapolis came in in sixth place, after Dallas, Chicago, Detroit, New York, and San Francisco.

The article cites reasonably priced tickets and the fact that teams like the Vikings and the Wild, which recently went to the playoffs, have generated a lot of enthusiasm from fans.  

When the Vikings play their “archrival,” the Green Bay Packers, “thousands brave the bitter cold to tailgate before these games in mid-winter.”

Minnesota has also been called the State of Hockey, “which locals make clear with attendance at Wild games over 100% this season,” the article states. 

Soon, Minneapolis will host the 2014 MLB All-Star game, when the Midsummer Classic visits Target Field, it adds.

First Avenue lands on best music venues list

Rolling Stone magazine recently identified the country's top 10 music venues, which it called "The Best Big Rooms in America."
First Avenue in Minneapolis came in at number three on the list, with a major nod toward hometown musician Prince. "Throughout the Eighties, he and the Revolution were sort of the house band here--you can see it all in the famous concert scenes in Purple Rain," the article noted.
The club was also a key staging ground for the city's punk-and-hardcore scene, the article continued, noting that bands like the Replacements, Hüsker Dü, and Soul Asylum got their start on First Avenue's no-frills stages.
The top two "best big rooms," according to Rolling Stone, are 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C., and The Fillmore in San Francisco.

'Wits' gets national stage

The locally produced comedy variety show “Wits” has made it to the next level.

A number of other National Public Radio stations are picking up the MPR show, which is recorded live at the Fitzgerald Theatre in St. Paul, Kare11 reports.   

“Wits” includes such well-known talent as singer Rufus Wainright and “30 Rock” alum Kristen Schall, the story states.   

The show’s senior producer, Larissa Anderson, describes the winning formula for “Wits,” which mixes improv, comedy, music, and theater: "It's comedy, it's music, it's surprises; and sometimes things go off the rails, and we love it when that happens,” she says.

Food site highlights dining at Twin Cities museums

Food and drink website The Daily Meal recently ran an article about dining options at Twin Cities museums, highlighting three major local museums.
Although the article is titled "Minneapolis' Best Museum Food," one of the entries is Cafe Minnesota at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul. The article notes that the cafe highlights sustainable, local ingredients, and offers self-service dining with a grill and an array of entrees.
Another notable museum dining experience, according to the site, is FIKA at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis. The Nordic-inspired cafe serves a seasonally inspired menu dedicated to regional ingredients, which includes smoked sturgeon with pickled beets.
The third highlight is the Walker Art Center's Gather restaurant, which also focuses on locally sourced ingredients for its globally inspired dishes.
The article notes, "As we know at The Daily Meal, a key part of any traveling experience is the food. Although food service at a museum might not be the establishment's first priority, many do cater to their guests' appetites, and they do it well."

Andrew Zimmern collaborates on food truck

The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reports that a Minnesota lawyer, John Levy, is teaming up with celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern on an Arizona food truck.

Levy leads the new Minnesota Food Truck Association.

The story quotes Levy as saying, “Through my friendship with Andrew and my experience as a business lawyer, I thought it would be cool on the side to have an interest in a food truck.”

Minneapolitans to get creative with The deVine Film Fest

The deVine Film Fest, which runs June 23, features six-second videos made by locals with the Vine app.

The film fest is a part of Comedy Corner Underground, which hosts an open mic night.

Right now, the group is accepting submissions for the film fest.

On the fest’s website, founder Andy Erikson writes, “My friends and I have loved using the Vine app immensely, and wanted a way to showcase the six-second videos made by local Minneapolis comedians and artists.”  

At the film fest, the best submissions will be played several times. “There will be prizes and also some standup comedy planned for the evening. The best part is, you don’t have to be from Minneapolis to submit, nor do you have to be a trained filmmaker,” the website states.

Local baker to be recognized as small business person of the year

Next month, Peter Kelsey of the New French Bakery will be honored by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as the Small Business Person of the Year for Minnesota, according to the Star Tribune.

Kelsey, who started out modestly in 1997, “credits his success to hard work, luck and the SBA,” the story states.

In the past, he ran a small shop in the Warehouse District. “Kelsey believed bread could trump booze and a hard-rock joint,” but he needed the money to make it happen, the story states.

Luckily, others believed in him and the New French Bakery grew into the 400-person operation it is today, according to the story.

John Rimarcik, a Minneapolis restaurateur, is quoted in the story, saying that Kelsey "is just driven to be one of the best bread bakers in the United States."

Minneapolis named one of the "nerdiest" cities in the country

Given the importance of science and technology in every aspect of social and professional life, being a nerd is a great thing, and it appears that Minneapolis has plenty of that greatness.
Real estate site Movoto recently released a list of "nerdiest" cities in the country, and found Minneapolis to be the 5th nerdiest, after Atlanta, Portland, Seattle, and Sacramento. Rounding out the top ten were Boston, Las Vegas, Miami, San Jose, and Denver.
The site created the ranking by measuring the number of science museums and computer stores in each city, as well as comic book stores, video game stores, and sci-fi/fantasy conventions. Even distance to a Renaissance faire was a factor.
In his blog post, survey author Randy Nelson noted that these cities are "Nerdvana" and that when nerds eventually take over the world, their new capital will be Atlanta. 

Local music venues host bands before they get big

City Pages has compiled a list of the top local clubs "to see bands before they break big."

"We are truly fortunate to have plenty of intimate rooms here in the Twin Cities, where local and national bands alike can find their footing in a live setting while building a solid reputation within the Minnesota music community--a rep that will follow them as they return to the area to play bigger clubs to match their rising profile," the story reads.

The Triple Rock Social Club, Turf Club and 7th St. Entry are among the most-established venues for seeing artists that have gone on to play for bigger audiences.

But the list also includes some new clubs, like the Icehouse in Minneapolis and the Amsterdam Bar & Hall in St. Paul. The Amsterdam has already "seen its fair share of breakout acts, including Cloud Nothings' rousing first local performance...and the emergence of the Girls Got Rhythm Festival."  

Twin Cities chefs in the running for James Beard awards

Last week, the James Beard Foundation released the names of the nominees in its various chef and restaurant award categories, in Charleston, S.C., Vita.MN reports.
Jack Riebel, the chef and co-owner of Butcher and the Boar in downtown Minneapolis, is up for best chef at these “Oscars of the food world,” according to Vita.MN.

Riebel used to work at the Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant in Minneapolis and La Belle Vie in Stillwater, the story states.
Michelle Gayer, the chef and owner of the Salty Tart, who’s been nominated for outstanding pastry chef before, is a candidate for regional best chef.


Local musicians up for independent music awards

The Current blog has a recent post about Minnesotans in the running for a couple of Independent Music Awards, in which individual songs are judged by a group of well-known artists.

Sleep Study, a pop quartet, is up for an award in the Indie/Alt. Rock category for “Flower Song,” which the post describes as “a lo-fi, driving ’70s pop cut off their debut full-length, 2012′s Nothing Can Destroy.”

Secondly, Minnesota Remembers Vic Chesnutt, a compilation, is a nominee in the Tribute Album category. Luke Redfield, a Duluth songwriter, led the project, which nonprofit Rock the Cause released. It features covers of Chesnutt songs by local performers, including Dan Wilson, Haley Bonar, Dave Simonett, and Charlie Parr.

The results of the contest will be tallied up later this summer.

Internet Cat Video Festival could make its way to Europe this year

The Walker Art Center’s Internet Cat Video Festival was “an unparalleled and unexpected success,” according to a museum magazine piece.

The film festival turned out to be a viral success, “sparking news headlines worldwide, the festival itself saw the convergence of 10,000 people—some in costumes, others cradling kitty companions, all feline fanatics—on the Walker’s hillside one warm August evening last year,” it reads.

The festival has since led to a national tour, lots of media attention and an expanded event for next year. And a "legitimate" film festival in Austria has made a bid to host it.

Scott Stulen of the Walker is quoted, saying, “It was something unique. Also, we were very aware that we were tapping into a powerful meme, and we knew there was some interest with it.”

Community Neighborhood Housing Services gets in on the 'Harlem Shake'

St. Paul’s Community Neighborhood Housing Services recently put together its own version of the “Harlem Shake,” the music and dance video that went viral on YouTube in February.

Thousands of 30-second “Harlem Shake” videos featuring part of the song went up on YouTube every day when the Internet meme hit its peak.    

In the video, staffers break out in a dance in what appears to be the office lobby.

“Our counselors are up on the latest trends,” it states on the organization’s Facebook page, adding, “It was a great team-builder.”

Minneapolis arts economy comes in sixth nationwide

Minneapolis has the sixth largest arts economy in the country, according to city information.

A report from the Creative Index, which takes into account arts jobs, consumer spending, and revenue of arts organizations, shows that in Minneapolis, the arts scene “is an integral, thriving part of the local economy that has stayed steady even during tough economic times,” the city’s website states.

Go here to see the Minneapolis Creative Index data for 2013.

The index used some indicators “that have never been measured before in Minneapolis,” drilling down to the zip-code level.

Other cities that came out ahead of Minneapolis in the Creative Index include Washington, D.C., New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Boston.

Minneapolis outpaced the national average creative index score by 4.8 times, according to city information.

Local artist Jennifer Davis featured in Juxtapoz magazine

Local artist Jennifer Davis got a shout-out in the national art magazine, Juxtapoz.

Scroll through a gallery of her work on the magazine’s website.

Davis, who has shown her work all over the U.S., Canada and the U.K., studied art at the University of Minnesota.

It was during that time that she fell in love with painting and drawing, specifically. She’s continued to work in those mediums since she graduated with a B.F.A. in 1998.

“Her portraits of people and animals, acrylic paintings on panel (and sometimes paper) have a surreal candy-land exterior full of innocent charm, which only hint at an undercurrent of darker truths," says the magazine. 

225 Arts and Culture Articles | Page: | Show All
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