Bikers on ice Not content to just hang out in their bohemian ice houses, the Art Shanty Projects crew has added a weekly bicycle race to the subzero fun. During last year's Art Shanty Project, sponsored by the Soap Factory, more than 60 artists built huts, performed, sculpted and indulged in other hijinks on the ice of Medicine Lake in Plymouth. They'll be back this year, along with participants in "Bicicle Races" that will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. on five consecutive Saturdays, starting this coming weekend; the championship is set for Feb. 23. Participation is free, but bikers must register at the warming house and sign waivers. For more info, 612-600-7663 or


New blood at Mixed Blood We assumed that Jack Reuler's car had bumper stickers like the old NRA slogan: "I'll give up my theater when they pry my dead, cold fingers from the stage." But the founding artistic director of Mixed Blood announced last week that the theater was hiring the first managing director in its 32-year history. Noel Ann Porter will oversee development and administration. She was director of visitor services and development for the Bakken Museum.

The move is significant for Mixed Blood, which has an annual budget of $1.2 million. All other Twin Cities theater companies of that size have two leaders. Porter's hiring will relieve Reuler of his double duty.

"You know, I always said that when I grow up I want to be artistic director of Mixed Blood Theatre, and Noel's involvement will let me do that," said Reuler. "I'll be able to focus on the programming, and I hope it will show to the audience."

Grants from the Carolyn and McKnight foundations helped the company fund the new position.