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Posts about Awards

MPR wins national journalism award

Posted by: Neal Justin Updated: December 17, 2014 - 2:16 PM

Minnesota Public Radio has won a a prestigious national award for its series of investigative stories into how the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis attempted to cover up abuse of children by priests. It is the first time MPR has received the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award, which is considered to be on par with a Pulitzer Prize.

"We are honored and grateful to receive the duPont Award," said Chris Worthington, MPR News' managing editor. "While the stories can be difficult to hear, it's important they be told. They were well-documented and carefully reported. We are proud of our journalism and community service."

Judges called the pieces "a heartbreaking, exhaustive investigation," one that "overcame the challenges rife in reporting this type of story."

Madeleine Baran served as the lead reporter.

Other winners announced Wednesday include Netflix, the Seattle Times, PBS and CNN.

Green Day, Lou Reed, Mpls. native Naftalin elected to Rock Hall of Fame

Posted by: Jon Bream Updated: December 16, 2014 - 1:38 AM

Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong/ Photo by Tony Nelson

Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong. (Photo by Tony Nelson)

To no one’s surprise, Green Day made it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in its first year of eligibility.

Also elected was frequent nominee Lou Reed, who died in October 2013 and was a sentimental favorite even though he's already a Rock Hall of Famer as leader of the Velvet Underground.

Other members of this year's class:

-- Blues-rock guitar heroes Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble.

-- Punk champion Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.

-- Masterful ‘70s soul man Bill Withers.

-- 1960s blues favorites Paul Butterfield Blues Band, whose keyboardist, Mark Naftalin, grew up in Minneapolis, where his father, Art, was the mayor.

Mark Naftalin.

Green Day lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong also has a Twin Cities tie-in: His wife, Adrienne, is from New Brighton and the couple has a second home in the Twin Cities. Last summer, he played guitar on a few dates with the Replacements (who, ironically, didn't make the Hall of Fame ballot this year despite their much-heralded reunion).

The 30th annual induction ceremonies will be held April 18 in Cleveland.

The aforementioned inductees were voted in by music industry figures, critics and previous Rock Hall inductees.

A Hall of Fame committee also voted to induct 1950s-60s R&B group the 5 Royales as an early influence, and to give Ringo Starr an “Award of Musical Excellence” (he was previously inducted as a member of the Beatles).

Jerome Foundation announces "Emerging Artists" Fellowships

Posted by: Mary Abbe Updated: December 9, 2014 - 12:14 PM

Miranda Brandon's "Impact (Warbler)" photo was made in 2013 and has been shown at Soo Visual Arts Center.

The Minneapolis College of Art and Design has picked five Midwestern artists as winners of the 2014/15 Jerome Foundation Fellowships for Emerging Artists. Each will receive $12,000 and have various professional opportunities during the fellowship year.

Chosen from 252 applicants, the winners are Miranda Brandon, a bird-enthusiast who photographs and rehabilitates injured birds; Regan Golden-McNerney, who uses altered photos and drawings to document ecological change in the landscape; Jess Hirsch, a sculptor and installation artist concerned about health and healing; Sieng Lee, an installation designer drawing on his  refugee experiences as a first-generation Hmong American; and Jason Ramey, a sculptor intrigued by roadside signage and backyard furniture.

Judges were Candida Alvarez, an artist and professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Shannon Fitzgerald, curator and executive director of the Rochester Art Center, and David Norr, a New York City-based writer/curator.

During the fellowship term, the emergees will meet with visiting critics, participate in a group show opening in fall of 2015 at the MCAD Gallery, have an essay written about their work, and participate in a panel discussion.

UPDATE: Garrison Keillor participates in Kennedy Center Honors

Posted by: Neal Justin Updated: December 8, 2014 - 4:00 PM

Garrison Keillor has yet to receive a Kennedy Center Honor, but at least he got invited to this year's bash.

Keillor paid tribute to inductee Lily Tomlin Sunday night in Washington D.C., praising the actress who starred in his film adaptation of "A Prairie Home Companion."

"People who adore Lily Tomlin ask you if you know her, and if you do, they want to know if she really is who we imagine she is," Keillor said. "And she really is."

Following Keillor's remarks, the stage was taken by Jane Lynch, Kate McKinnon, Reba McEntire and Jane Fonda who performed a spoken-word performance piece dedicated to Tomlin.

Not bad company.

Backstage, Keillor shared a dressing room with David Letterman and Steven Spielberg.

In a phone interview Monday, Keillor said Letterman appeared to be under the weather and was very focused on his presentation while the Oscar-winning director was "very friendly and chatty." Spielberg asked Keillor if anyone had ever thought about doing a movie based in Lake Wobegon. Keillor replied that he had talked to Sydney Pollack about it, but it didn't go anywhere.

Just before the ceremonies, Keillor was among the guests invited to the White House for dinner.

"I sat in the East Room in a spot where I could see the president's teleprompter," Keiller said on Monday. "His ad-libs were beautiful. He's a funny, funny guy and I got a chance to tell him that."

Other honorees -- singer Al Green, actor Tom Hanks, ballerina Patricia McBride and rocker Sting -- were feted by Herbie Hancock, Bruce Springsteen, Meryl Streep, Jennifer Hudson, Usher and many others.

The event, hosted by Stephen Colbert, will air Tuesday, Dec. 30 on CBS. Let's hope next time around, Keillor will be among those joining the prestigious club.

Paulus, Okee Dokees, other locals receive Grammy nominations

Posted by: Jon Bream Updated: December 5, 2014 - 3:45 PM
Okee Dokee Brothers/ Star Tribune photo by Anna Reed

Okee Dokee Brothers/ Star Tribune photo by Anna Reed

In the Land of 10,000 Grooves, we have stand-out musicians in many different genres. Several of them were recognized Friday with Grammy nominations.

Veteran classical composer Stephen Paulus, who died in October of medical complications after suffering a stroke, is being recognized for best contemporary classical composition for Concerto for Two Trumpets and Band (which was recorded by Eric Berlin, Richard Kelley, James Patrick Miller & UMASS Wind Ensemble).

The Okee Dokee Brothers are vying for their second trophy for best children’s album, this time for “Through the Woods.” They nabbed a Grammy two years ago for their fourth album, “Can You Canoe?”

"We're happy the Grammys are noticing independently made family music as we like to call it," said Okee's Joe Melander. "This album did have great support, good press and good momentum. And what matters most to us that the kids are enjoying the tunes and learning the lyrics."

Melander keeps his Grammy in his basement office studio in Minneapolis. He is a bit uncertain about what to wear to the Grammy ceremonies in February. 

"I just got married last month," he said, "And I'm trying to figure out if you can wear your own wedding suit or if I have to get my own Grammy suit."

A bunch of 1960s and ‘70s soul bands including 94 East and Mind & Matter featured on “Purple Snow: Forecasting the Minneapolis Sound” will watch Jon Kirby of the Chicago-based Numero Group label compete for best liner notes.

St. Paul-based Red House Records received a nod for best folk album for Eliza Gilkyson’s “Nocturne Diaries.”

Lila Downs, who attended the University of Minnesota, is nominated for best Latin pop album for “Raiz.”

The 57th annual Grammy Awards will be presented Feb. 8 in Los Angeles. 


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