Although he is a huge fan, Questlove mostly eschewed Prince music as a late-night DJ at First Avenue Sunday at a post-Soundset party. In his 90-minute set, the Roots drummer focused on mostly old-school hip-hop — until the very last jam. He pulled out a Prince obscurity — the nearly 15-minute 1983 track "Cloreen Baconskin" from the "Crystal Ball" triple CD. Then Questlove took to the mic at 2:10 a.m.: "It goes without saying I love this city. I'll make it up to you next time with a Prince set." After urging First Ave-goers to vote in this year's election, Questlove saluted Prince: "He made a scene. Learn from his example. He created a culture."
And from the comics
At Tuesday's opening of his 10-show marathon that continues Friday and Saturday at the State Theatre, comic Dave Chappelle was contrite about his hero and friend Prince. "You guys really gave the world a juggernaut," he told the First Avenue audience solemnly at show's end, after recounting how he tried to talk the singer into appearing as himself in the famous "blouses vs. shirts" skit. (Prince's flat one-word answer: "No.") Chappelle's surprise opener Hannibal Buress got a little more comical about the Minneapolis legend, especially when he marveled over a 2013 gig at South by Southwest Music Conference where Prince tirelessly delivered seven full encores. "I was a little drunk and high," Buress admitted, "so it got to where I thought: 'Is this what life is now? Just Prince doing encores while the rest of us slowly die.' " Sounds like heaven now.
Public art's new face
Forecast Public Art, a St. Paul-based nonprofit organization that helps develop art projects for cities of all sizes, has hired Theresa Sweetland as its new executive director. She follows Jack Becker, who founded the organization in 1978 and has assumed a new role as Forecast's director of community services. For the past year Sweetland was director of development at the Minnesota Museum of American Art, and before that spent more than 16 years at Intermedia Arts, where she co-founded the women's hip-hop summit B-Girl Be.
For a song
Elk River's Jake Berglove, a senior at Perpich Center for Arts Education, is one of three finalists in the NEA's inaugural Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge. This summer, Berglove will go to New York City to participate in an intensive two-day songwriting workshop with professionals. His original song "Getting It Sweet" will be performed by pro singers and musicians. The finalists — the others are from Seattle and Dallas — will vie for a $5,000 scholarship and having Sony/ATV publish their song. Runners-up will receive $2,500 scholarships.
It's an institution
Museum franchise expansion is all the rage. The Louvre will open a branch in Abu Dhabi this year. The Met in New York took over the former Whitney Museum space and dubbed it the Met Breuer. Now the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., has expanded to Minneapolis. Sort of. The Bakken Museum has been named a "Smithsonian Affiliate," which means it will share research, collaborate on exhibitions, and borrow items from the Smithsonian's 136 million-piece collection. It's the first Smithsonian Affiliate in Minnesota, but one of more than 200 in 45 states, Puerto Rico and Panama. Established by Medtronic co-founder Earl Bakken in a mansion overlooking Lake Calhoun, the Bakken helped produce a "Medical Alley" show at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in 2015 and is planning a related show about "Minnesota's Biomedical Revolution" in 2017. M.A.
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