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Music and tragic episodes in history come together this weekend in Mankato.
At a concert Sunday afternoon, the Mankato Symphony Orchestra, an 80-piece ensemble, will perform music of composers Stephen Paulus ("To Be Certain of the Dawn") and Michael Daugherty (“Trail of Tears”).
The Daugherty piece was inspired by the 1838-39 forced removal of American Indians from their southeastern U.S. homelands. Paulus' oratorio is based on photographs taken during the Holocaust, some of which will be projected during the performance.
Kenneth Freed, music director (and a violist with the Minnesota Orchestra) will conduct the concert (3 p.m. Sunday at Mankato West High School Auditorium). Guest artists at the concert include Mankato State University Concert Choir; Musicorum; Mankato Children’s Chorus Concert Choir; Minnesota Chorale; Angela Mortellaro, soprano; Abigail Fischer, mezzo soprano; Brad Benoit, tenor; Kimm Julian, baritone; and Jill Mahr, flute.
Concert tickets are $25 for adults. 507-387-1008 or www.mankatosymphony.com.
Mankato State University is hosting a related panel discussion on Friday (noon-2 p.m. at the Centennial Student Union) that is intended to bring attention to the U.S.-Dakota War, and the hangings of Native Americans that occurred in Mankato in 1862. Panelists will include: Kenneth Freed, Mankato Symphony Orchestra music director; Dave Larsen (Mdewakanton Dakota), former tribal chairman of Lower Sioux Indian Community, and former director of American Indian Affairs at MNSU/Mankato; Father Michael O’Connell, co-commissioner of “To Be Certain of the Dawn”; Rabbi Joseph Edelheit,co-commissioner of “To Be Certain of the Dawn”; and Annamarie Hill-Kleinhans (Red Lake Ojibwe), Minnesota Indian Affairs executive director.
You're STILL a good man, Charlie Brown -- not to mention box-office gold. Peanuts Worldwide, a joint venture with Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates, will release a yet-to-be-titled film about Charlie, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, Schroeder, Peppermint Patty et al. on Nov. 25, 2015, 50 years after the premiere of the holiday TV classic "A Charlie Brown Christmas."
"Peanuts," the most popular comic strip of all time, was created by Minneapolis native Charles Schulz, who died in 2000. His son Craig, head of CMS Creative, has written the screenplay along with his own son, Bryan, and will produce. Steve Martino, who co-directed "Ice Age: Continental Drift," will direct the film, to be distrubuted by Twentieth Century Fox.
Veteran preservationist Doug Gasek has been named Executive Director of the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota (PAM). The Minnesota organization, based in St. Paul, promotes understanding of Minnesota history and education about community preservation and values.
Prior to taking the Minnesota job, Gasek held a dual post as Executive Director of the Alaska Association for Historic Preservation and as State Architectural Historian for the Alaska Department of Parks and Outdoor Recreation. In his preservation role he increased membership, revenue and strategic partnerships with public and private organizations. Previous to that he served as historian and archaeologist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
He holds a M.A. in historic preservation from Southeast Missouri State University and a B.A. in history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
State history got a shot in the arm Tuesday when the Minnesota Historical Society awarded 48 grants to 46 recipients throughout the state.
The money comes from taxpayers via the 2008 Legacy Amendment, which sets aside funds for arts and culture, as well as environmental programs.
The grant amounts in this round are for $7,000 or less.
One grant in Hennepin County will pay $5,625 to the website Twin Cities Daily Planet for researching Twin Cities theaters in the 1960s and 1970s. Daily Planet freelancer Sheila Regan, who applied for the grant, said she would use the money to launch an ongoing project to locate archives, conduct interviews, unearth archival information and digitize information of what she called a key time period in the creation of the modern theater scene here.
"Part of my goal is just to find out what's out there," Regan said. "Where information is located, whether it's in libraries or in people's basements." She'll look at the history of such bigger theaters as Children's Theatre and the Guthrie, as well as smaller groups such as Heart of the Beast, she said.
Regan, a graduate of Macalester College, has an MFA in acting from Indiana University. She does some performing in the Twin Cities, in addition to her freelance writing. She will make her findings available via the Daily Planet's website.
Other winners of the Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants are spread throughout the state. Grant winners will use money to:
* fix a falling facade at the Lanesboro Arts Center in Fillmore County
* buy microfilm for the Freeborn County Historical Society
* videotape oral histories of Twin Cities dancers and dance groups
* conduct a photographic history of Minnesota railroads for a book
* assemble an exhibit of ghost towns of Mower County
The nonprofit Historical Society received a 2011 legislative appropriation to award a total of $10.5 million in Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants during the 2012 and 2013 fiscal years. Grants are available in three tiers: Small or Structured Grants of $7,000 or less, Mid-Size Grants between $7,001 and $50,000, and Large Grants of more than $50,001. For more information on the Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants program, including application deadlines, visit www.mnhs.org/legacygrants. For more information about other Legacy-funded projects, please visit http://legacy.mnhs.org/.
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