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Jenna Ross

Reporter | Arts and Culture
phone: 612-673-7168
Jenna Ross is an arts and culture reporter. Before joining the Star Tribune's arts and entertainment team, she covered regional and breaking news as an enterprise reporter, spotting emerging issues and intriguing characters. Her favorite stories on that beat seemed to involve big lakes: the winter surfing scene on Lake Superior, the longtime teacher at a one-room schoolhouse on Lake of the Woods. She has also covered higher education and suburban news for the newspaper.
Recent content from Jenna Ross
Sarah Butala, far right, comforted friend Angela Emerson when her favorite contestant was eliminated from “The Bachelorette.”

Minnesota's 'Bachelorette' brings friends together for 'guilty pleasure' viewing parties

With tongues in cheeks, savvy Minnesotans gather with friends for weekly "Bachelorette" viewing parties.
Neda Kellogg, center, founded Project Diva to help mentor girls and offer them the resources she didn’t have when she was young.

Project Diva founder bolsters black girls with intensive, immersive mentorship

Neda Kellogg is "being who she needed at the time when she was young."
Michael Dagen, executive director of the Nemeth Art Center.

Collection of old European paintings and contemporary art hangs in Northwoods of Minnesota

What's a collection of old European paintings and vibrant contemporary art doing in the Northwoods? Go find out.
In his new gig at Berklee College of Music, Toki Wright will teach, advise, lead and run an in-house record label.

Hip-hop artist, educator Toki Wright says goodbye to Minneapolis: 'It's pushing me to make decisions'

Hip-hop luminary Toki Wright is leaving for Boston, but first comes a going-away concert packed with favorite artists and friends.
Valerie Castile sat amid the paintings and other works strangers have made for her since the death of her son.

Philando Castile exhibit at Minneapolis Institute of Art embraces beauty and trauma

Bringing Castile's story into the Minneapolis Institute of Art gives it weight, artists say about "Art and Healing: In the Moment," which opened this weekend.
Teens from Communist East Berlin go on a rollicking road trip in “Hot Summer,” showing Thursday at the Heights Theater in Columbia Heights.

Heights Theater lands rare Minnesota screening of feel-good musical from East Germany

1968 film "Hot Summer" is the centerpiece of a rock 'n' roll film fest at the Heights Theater.
A rendering by Ann Ryan of the new Springboard for the Arts building in St. Paul.

Springboard to turn ex-auto dealership into St. Paul arts hub

Springboard for the Arts purchased an old auto dealership in St. Paul.
Bill Gossman is mayor of New London and a potter — a mix that gives him insight into how arts can build community.

10 years later, Minnesota's Legacy Amendment fueling small town arts

The impact is clearest, leaders and artists say, in outstate Minnesota, where grants have boosted artists' projects and rooted fledgling organizations.
The women of “Westworld” spent much of Season 1 with their clothes off. Now it’s the men’s turn, with the Season 2 premiere featuring full-fro

HBO shows seek to 'normalize' full-frontal male nudity

Notorious for baring women, the network now leads the way in putting naked men on-screen.
The 14th season of "The Bachelorette" premieres Monday on KSTP.

Minnesota's Becca Kufrin gets another shot at love on 'The Bachelorette'

After a big breakup last season on "The Bachelor," the Prior Lake native returns as the star of "The Bachelorette."
U.S. Rep. Jason Lewis held three town halls Saturday with Minnesota constituents in Lakeville, Wabasha, and Jordan.

Jason Lewis holds town halls, in person this time

Empty seats inside the ticketed event rankle protesters outside.
Justin Vernon founded the Eaux Claires music fest.

Eaux neaux! Justin Vernon keeping Wisconsin music fest lineup a secret

The Bon Iver ringleader wants to "disrupt normality" by keeping names under wraps at Eaux Claires' fourth annual installment.
The moment the schedule drops, Bonnie Palmquist begins mapping out the 60-plus films she will see in the course of the two-week Minneapolis St. Paul I

How this superfan sees 64 movies in 17 days at Minnesota's largest film festival

An aficionado camps out for maximum moviegoing at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival.
Michelle Miller Burns will lead Minnesota’s largest performing arts organization beginning Sept. 1.

Minnesota Orchestra unanimous in CEO pick: 'We were startled and pleased'

Michelle Miller Burns impressed board, musicians as a collaborator.
Choreographer Uri Sands and Grammy-winning musician Justin Vernon, center, watched dancers rehearse their collaborative show.

Bon Iver and TU Dance offer a 'moving' mix of music and dance

Bon Iver and TU Dance see past "very challenging times" with their new show, premiering Thursday at St. Paul's Palace Theatre.
The artist Chuck Close at his home in Long Beach, N.Y.

Too Close for comfort? Museums face questions about works of accused artists

Since the National Gallery of Art announced in January that it would indefinitely postpone its Close exhibition, museums have been debating how to handle works by artists accused of harassment.
Minnesota Orchestra's 2018-19 season features five women composers during its flagship classical series including Florence Price, left, and Libby Lars

Minnesota Orchestra champions women composers in new season

The Minnesota Orchestra will kick off its next season with something still rare for symphony orchestras — a piece written by a woman. At a…
Minnesota audiences soon will have the chance to hear music by these women composers: Nathalie Joachim, Florence Price and Paola Prestini.

Minnesota music scene finally amplifying women composers: 'It's past time'

With small ensembles taking the lead, change is finally coming to the state's largest music institutions.
Debra Messing on the Golden Globes red carpet: “I was so shocked to hear that E! doesn’t believe in paying their female co-host the same as their

Why the Oscars red carpet needs more feminism: 'This is not the year to talk fashion'

Protests on the Golden Globes red carpet were refreshing. Here's why Hollywood should take the feminist cause even further.
Co-founders Liz Giel, Erinn Farrell, Bethany Iverson and Alex West Steinman in the North Loop office that will house the Coven, their co-working space

Women-only co-working spaces on the rise in Twin Cities

Minnesota's newest co-working spaces are designed to be a sexism-free hubs for professional women.
Nye's in Minneapolis features a mural by Burlesque Public Works Division.

From Nye's to 3M: Mpls. design studio paints town with bright, graphic murals

Murals are a new focus for the creative studio Burlesque of North America.
Theater artist Robert Wilson will present a new, immersive show at the Minneapolis Institute of Art about the Qing Empire, the last imperial dynasty o

Theater legend brings dramatic eye to new Chinese show at Minneapolis Institute of Art

Robert Wilson re-imagines what a museum show can be.
Fridley school apologizes for altering photo of student's shirt

Fridley school apologizes for altering photo of student's shirt

The words 'Deport racists' were removed from a photo of the award-winning students.
Music director Osmo Vanska visited South Africa in 2014 and “came back raving about the whole experience.”

Another first for Minnesota Orchestra: A tour to South Africa

The organization will perform in five cities, playing classical works and a new Mandela-inspired piece.
The museum wants to know if art can help you better imagine the lives of others.

Is art an answer to divided nation? Mpls. museum will test it

Minneapolis Institute of Art received $750,000 grant to study whether gazing at art can boost your empathy.
Arlene Burke-Morgan

Artist Arlene Burke-Morgan created 'circles of light' inspired by God's love

Arlene, a prolific artist who painted "circles of light" as a reflection of her deep faith, died in the couple's Minneapolis home on Dec. 16, days after their 47th wedding anniversary. She was 67.
Diane and Alan Page’s home is full of African-American art, antiques and artifacts. Many of these items will be included in an exhibit called “Tes

Alan Page and family showcase haunting array of African-American artifacts

Page and his wife, Diane, will exhibit their personal collection at the downtown Minneapolis library.
Kate DiCamillo's "The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane" will become a kid-friendly opera.

Minnesota Opera commissions kid-friendly opera based on Kate DiCamillo bestseller

"The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane" will also be the company's first new work composed by a woman.
The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra released its annual report Wednesday evening.

St. Paul Chamber Orchestra quadruples young concertgoers in 2017 with help of free tickets

Ticket revenue was steady during the past fiscal year, but the orchestra recorded impressive results from a program designed to lure young people.
Steve Eisenmenger, a regular at the sauna and Ely resident, pulled the lever for a wave of steam to begin his Wednesday night sauna at Ely Steam Sauna

For 100 years, public sauna has drawn Minnesotans to Ely — birthday suits optional

One of the oldest public saunas in the state boasts hot steam, cold showers and good conversation.
Karin Kraemer, owner of Duluth Pottery, worked on a new piece under the watchful eye of 4-year-old Amaya St. John.

Duluth's Lincoln Park neighborhood transformed by artisans, brewers, chefs

The business district has experienced a makeover at the hands of makers.
Minnesota Orchestra President and CEO Kevin Smith will leave the organization in August 2018.

Minnesota Orchestra board announces search for new CEO

Kevin Smith, leaving in August, announced third balanced budget in a row.
Walker Art Center director Olga Viso was photographed next to Liz Larner's "X" sculpture.

What will Olga Viso's legacy be? Her final year at the Walker was telling

Her decade as director culminated in a momentous way, with shows on Cunningham and Cuba, the Sculpture Garden reopening — and "Scaffold," of course.
Amy Tan: "My parents kept secrets."

Amy Tan on new memoir: 'I want to know why I got damaged and why I'm glad'

While writing her new memoir, the author uncovered dark family secrets. She also found the source of her need to write.
From the art exhibit "Bobby Rogers: The Blacker the Berry" at Public Functionary.

In regal portraits, Mpls. photographer portrays beauty, power of black lives

Bobby Rogers' first solo show nods to the Harlem Renaissance and a hit song by rap superstar Kendrick Lamar.
Russ Ringsak, the longtime truck driver for A Prairie Home Companion, plays a song as a farewell on his final show of the tour at the Ryman Auditorium

Russ Ringsak, longtime truck driver for 'Prairie Home Companion,' dies at 81

Garrison Keillor introduced Russ Ringsak to audiences as "our truck driver."
Steve Orfield, owner of Orfield Laboratories, is interested in how the anechoic chamber, at left, could help people with PTSD or autism.

A negative-decibel chamber, the 'quietest place on Earth,' is in south Minneapolis

A lab dubbed the "quietest place on Earth" finds a purpose beyond testing products: healing humans.
Ashley Hanson interviewed Dylan Locke at The Floyd Country Store in Floyd, Vir., pop. 432, after a bluegrass jam session. The jam sessions happen at t

Minnesotan makes cross-country trek to meet America's isolated rural artists

Her goal: to better understand the disconnect, made clear by polls and voting maps, between folks in urban and rural areas.
“I had forgotten how much I loved growing up in this town,” said
photographer Alex Blondeau, who recently moved back to his hometown of Fergus Fal

Fergus Falls aims to be national model with thriving arts scene

The creative economy there attracts national grant money and shows a novel method for reinventing a city.
Jessica Metcalfe on the North Dakota prairie. When she started the blog “Beyond Buckskin,” she didn’t know it would become a force for Native Am

Top American Indian stylemaker's home base: a tiny N.D. town, pop. 29

Jessica Metcalfe is one of the nation's most influential purveyors of American Indian fashion. And she does it all from a small Midwestern town.
Vintage Music owner Scott Holthus closes his eyes while listening to a record in his store. He sells solely 78s along with restored consoles and phono

Why this Minneapolis record shop owner stockpiles forgotten music

This Minneapolis shop owner has three-quarters of a million records — and he's not done collecting yet.
Cantus: Grant cut by 34%

Minnesota arts groups adapt to an unexpected dip in state funding

Some of Minnesota's largest arts groups adapt to unexpected cuts in state funding.
Yo-Yo Ma performed with the Minnesota Orchestra in June, with sponsorship from Ameriprise Financial.

As arts funding shifts, Twin Cities groups get creative to woo sponsors

As funding shifts, companies' marketing dollars are increasingly important to art institutions' bottom lines.
Osmo Vänskä at Orchestra Hall in 2014.

Minnesota Orchestra extends Osmo Vänskä's contract through 2022

His current contract expires at the end of the 2018-19 season.
Artcrank founder Charles Youel posed with one of his loyal steeds at his studio in northeast Minneapolis.

Artcrank peddled bike posters around world – now it marks 10 years in Mpls.

Artcrank's founder celebrates the 10th anniversary of his bike-inspired art show.
Performers and audience members flew kites for an interactive piece by Minnesota artist Bethany Lacktorin called "A Steady and Irresistible Wind."

Rural Midwestern artists on cultural divide: 'We can save this world'

At the Rural Arts and Culture Summit, creatives explored their role as cultural translators.
The re-opening day at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden Saturday, June 10, 2017, in Minneapolis, MN. Here, a visitor walks by Mark Manders September Ro

Celebration prevails at Sculpture Garden opening, with nod to controversy

All day, a steady stream of visitors celebrated the Sculpture Garden, a partnership between the Walker Art Center and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, with 17 new works from a new generation of artists, as well as old favorites in new spots. But a sculpture removed from the garden cast a shadow over Saturday's event.
Joseph Bester of the Mendota Dakota burned sage as work began on dismantling "Scaffold" June 2 at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.

Date and location set for Dakota elders to decide fate of 'Scaffold' wood

Meeting of elders will be June 25 in Sisseton, S.D.
Walker Art Center director Olga Viso watched as Sam Durant, the artist behind the "Scaffold" sculpture, spoke during a Q&A on May 31.

Walker director admits to pain of 'learning in public'

Sculpture may not be burned after all, Olga Viso says in one of her first interviews since the controversy erupted.
Walker Art Center executive director Olga Viso, right, watched as artist Sam Durant spoke at a news conference on May 31.

June 2017: 'I take full responsibility,' Viso says of 'Scaffold' controversy

"We were always hoping to bring awareness" through the work but realized it could only be viewed "through the lens of trauma," says Olga Viso.
Coming down: The decision to dismantle “Scaffold” was widely praised, but the plan to burn it has sparked debate.

Why Dakota elders want to burn controversial 'Scaffold' sculpture

The decision, reached in agreement with the Dakota, also provokes questions and concerns, with some Minnesotans citing other moments in history when art was destroyed.
For her, by her: The Twin Cities have seen a boom of fashionable feminist T-shirts from local designers. From left: designers Maddy Nye, Chelsea Brink

Minnesota designers fueling feminist T-shirt craze

These Minnesota designers craft fashionable tees to support their favorite feminist causes.
Kevin Smith of the Minnesota Orchestra, Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., Randy Reyes of Mu Performing Arts, moderator Graydon Royce, Laura Zabel of Sprin

Can Minnesota protect its cultural resources from D.C. politics? Arts leaders weigh in

Minnesota leaders traded thoughts on protecting the state's cultural resources at the second Star Tribune Arts Forum.
Mike “Lucky” Volkenant bought the only laundromat in Spring Grove, Minn., 25 years ago and started hanging dolls from the 12-foot ceiling. Today,

Minnesota laundromat has thousands of dolls staring from the ceiling

At eye level, it's just another laundromat. The only one in the small, historically Norwegian city of Spring Grove, Minn. But look up, and faces stare back.
Ann Marie Hanrahan

Ann Marie Hanrahan, 3M attorney who championed legal rights for foster children, dies at 58

Ann Marie Hanrahan was busy, first as a partner at a Minneapolis law firm, then as a vice president at 3M. But the attorney always…
Behind Reverend Paul Johnson were guitarist Amondo Dickerson, bassist Paul Johnson.

Your favorite Minnesota musicians say 'Hallelujah!' for paid church gigs

How do Minnesota musicians spend their Sundays? For many, it's the week's most important workday.
Stanislaw Skrowaczewski’s sons, Paul Sebastien, left, and Nicholas Skrowaczewski thanked the audience for attending and the orchestra for hosting th

Musical memorial pays tribute to Minnesota conductor Stanislaw Skrowaczewski

Fellow classical musicians remember the conductor's contributions to music and culture remembered in an emotional gathering.
John Gebretatose on his first performance with the all-black troupe Blackout: "It was so nice to have my voice heard, recognized and appreciated, not

Black comedian crusades to diversify the Twin Cities improv scene

The Black and Funny fest showcases a new diversity on the local scene.
Artist Camille Erickson pinned up at the Soap Factory postcards to be sent to lawmakers.

Trump anxiety hits Minnesota arts groups, leaders

Proposal to cut NEA funding would have big impact in the state.
Artist Leslie Barlow in her studio in Minneapolis' Northrup King Building.

Interracial families are focus of buzzworthy painter's new Minneapolis show

In a new exhibit, artist Leslie Barlow uses a surprising mix of paints to depict interracial couples and families.
Minnesota's beloved maestro Stanislaw Skrowaczewski has died at age 93.

Minnesota musical giant Stanislaw Skrowaczewski dead at 93

Polish emigre became the dean of Minnesota's classical music scene, leading the Minnesota Orchestra for two decades.
Flute players young and old, ranging in ability from newbies to masters, filed into Ordway Concert Hall on Saturday morning for an unusual rehearsal.

Almost 200 everyday flutists form a 'flute force' for SPCO concert

The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra is pairing a superstar flutist with nearly 200 community flutists for an unusual concert.
Composer Melanie DeMore pointed to the music as Arianna Caver and her daughter, Amina, listened to their song for the first time.

Baby, this one's for you: Teen moms write lullabies with help from Mpls. choral group

Writing songs gives moms a tool to calm and connect with their children.
From exhibit "Where the Children Sleep."

What's bedtime like for Syrian refugee children? See the haunting photos at American Swedish Institute

To help people care about a complicated conflict, a Swedish photojournalist focused on child refugees at a vulnerable moment – as they tried to fall asleep.
Meade was photographed at the Walker Art Center in April 2016.

Walker Art Center's top curator resigns for 'personal reasons'

A Walker spokeswoman declined to give a reason for Fionn Meade's departure, saying it's "his news to share."
Finnish Ambassador Kirsti Kauppi sat in a sauna set up outside Orchestra Hall that will soon heat up as part of Minnesota’s celebration of Finnish i

Minnesota is playing a central role in Finland's centennial bash

"Finland 100" events will travel across the country, with two large festivals in Washington, D.C. But the U.S. celebration starts and ends in Minnesota,
Minneapolis artist Brant Kingman and his mother, Polly Penney, 87, have worked together on art like this angel made of found sticks and feathers.

Latest in memory care? Artists tap power of art in age of Alzheimer's

Neurological disorders that attack memory and verbal communication can spare creativity, and in some cases can kick it into overdrive.
The National Endowment for the Arts announced Tuesday about $30 million in awards to writers, theaters and other arts groups. Of that, Minnesota nabbe

More bragging rights for Minnesota? We're 'above average' in nabbing federal arts grants

The state ranked sixth nationally in the latest round of NEA grants.
Karine Watne and twins Khloe (on lap) and Kamille, 7, had a front-row seat as Sarah Hicks conducted a Minnesota Orchestra screening of “Ratatouille�

How movies became the latest concert craze for Minnesota Orchestra

Orchestras across the country are banking on the popularity of film scores.
Officials took part in a groundbreaking last May at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.

Hit shows helped Walker Art Center weather a year of construction

Despite renovation work, two crowd-pleasing exhibitions helped the organization balance its budget.
It was the ensemble’s first full season in the new, $42 million Ordway Concert Hall.

St. Paul Chamber Orchestra builds momentum with year of risk-taking

Bold moves helped the orchestra boost ticket sales, donations in 2016.
Adam Turman painted this owl inside the A-Mill Artist Lofts in Minneapolis. As an illustrator, he said, he focuses on his clients: “their brand, the

You've seen his art all over Minnesota; now meet the real Adam Turman

Adam Turman's murals and prints are ubiquitous. What's next for the state's most visible artist?
Minnesota Orchestra Music Director Osmo Vanska and musicians performing in "Purple Rain" at U.S. Bank Stadium earlier this year.

Minnesota Orchestra reports 'very promising' year with balanced budget

The organization got a boost from ticket sales and hall rentals as it continued recovering from its lockout.
As dusk arrives, tens of thousands of lights blink on at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.

Landscape Arboretum hosts colorful 'winter light' show

This exhibition is no string of holiday lights. The colorful, luminescent show -- the first of its kind at the Landscape Arboretum -- is immersive and inventive.
Polica and s t a r g a z e rehearse for the Liquid Music concert.

Poliça starts 'new band' with Berlin orchestra for St. Paul concert

A concert featuring music by Poliça and a Berlin-based orchestra is Liquid Music's most ambitious yet.
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