Honoring Ann and Gus
Friends and fans of the late Twin Cities photographers Ann Marsden and Gus Gustafson — and that means pretty much everyone in the local arts community — will be touched by the decision of IFP Minnesota to name its new photo gallery after the pair. In January, the film- and photography-boosting nonprofit moved into new quarters in Vandalia Tower in St. Paul. It set aside part of the space as the Marsden/Gustafson Gallery, which will open Aug. 21 with an exhibition of work by its namesakes, who were known for their portraits of Twin Cities actors, musicians and artists. Veteran Minneapolis gallery owner Thom Barry is organizing the opening show. He welcomes submissions of Marsden or Gustafson photos at www.ifpmn.org by May 11.
A textbook example of what makes the Cedar Cultural Center special occurred again Saturday when Somali singer Aar Maanta returned to the worldly Minneapolis West Bank venue. The London-based singer packed the room with many Somali residents from the neighborhood, plus students from nearby colleges and hippies from the Cedar's past — all of whom danced along excitedly to his jagged grooves. "I'm surprised to see so many non-Somalians," Maanta said at one point. "Ask the Somali person next to you what I'm singing about." The pride Maanta took in the well-received show wasn't lost in translation, though. "There's been a revival in Somali music," he beamed. "You can see it here at the Cedar." Great, now how about a whole festival of the stuff?
If you tuned in to "Jimmy Kimmel Live" this week at its usual time, you missed almost half the show. That's because KSTP is now running "Kimmel" directly against "The Tonight Show" and "The Late Show," instead of at 11 p.m. "The fundamental reason is that it was important to ABC," said Rob Hubbard, Channel 5's general manager. The time shift was part of Hubbard Broadcasting's recent renewal with ABC. In exchange, the locally owned company got some things that it wanted but Hubbard wouldn't go into details. The move means KSTP will no longer have an hour of local news on weeknights. "It hurts a lot," Hubbard said. "But we did some research and found out some people thought we needed a full hour to do a proper newscast. We know that's not true."
New No. 2
The Minnesota Orchestra has named Roderick Cox as assistant conductor. Cox, 27, a native of Macon, Ga., arrives from a fellowship with the Chicago Sinfonietta. He also completed a two-year hitch as assistant conductor of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. He takes over for Courtney Lewis, who left last summer after nearly five years to become music director of the Jacksonville (Fla.) Symphony. Cox is conducting this week's family concerts with the Okee Dokee Brothers at Orchestra Hall. He will start his job in June.
Let's face it
St. Louis Park native Darla Edin, 28, won the battle of prosthetic makeup artists this week on Season 8 Syfy's "Face Off" with her fantasy-related design of four superheroes who must take on the evil that rises after Adam and Eve are banished from the Garden of Eden. Judges praised her Avengers-like team, particularly a wind creature that doubles as a woodwind instrument. Edin will receive a new car and $100,000, plus other prizes. Don't think she's has gone completely Hollywood. She freelances in Minneapolis and recently worked on the local indie film "Solitude."
Guild Hall at Plymouth Congregational Church in Minneapolis was packed Monday night with poets and poetry lovers to hear Twin Cities poet Robert Bly, 88, read from his "new/old collection" of poetry, "Like the New Moon, I Will Live My Life." Emcee/poet James Lenfestey had lined up 24 poets in alphabetical order (from Thorsten Bacon to Timothy Young) to read Bly poems. Some gave brief introductions, some emulated Bly's famous habit of reading a poem twice, or rereading a line or two. And then it was Bly's turn. He read "Moon Behind a Cottonwood Tree" and "Arriving in the North Woods," even though someone had already read it that evening. "Just because it's your favorite," Bly said to Lenfestey, "I have to read it twice?"
From Walker to Warhol
After six years at Walker Art Center, assistant curator Bartholomew Ryan, 38, is moving to a senior post at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, starting May 18. Colleagues high-fived him last Friday at the SRO opening party for "International Pop," the ambitious show he co-curated. "Walker really changed my perspective on art," Ryan told I.W. "It's been great here, but it's time."
Chanhassen Dinner Theatres has extended "Mary Poppins" two extra months, through the end of October. The Chan also announced that "Sister Act" will follow "Poppins." The musical is based on a Whoopi Goldberg film about a club singer who has to hide in a convent from her bad boyfriend. Who might get that plum role? Aimee K. Bryant was great in "Hairspray." Jamecia Bennett has a big voice and personality. Austene Van? Regina Marie Williams? Stay tuned. Previews begin Oct. 30.