The Hardwood Creek branch of the Washington County Library system will feature Minnesota Book Awards finalists next weekend. The authors will appear in the Forest Lake library from 2 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 21.

Reading from their nominated works are:

• Tricia Cornell, author of “Minnesota Farmers Market Cookbook: A Guide to Selecting and Preparing the Best Local Produce with Seasonal Recipes from Local Chefs and Farmers.”

• Larry Millett, author of “Minnesota’s Own: Preserving Our Grand Homes,” and

• John Moriarty and Carol Hall, authors of “Amphibians and Reptiles in Minnesota.”

Kristin Makholm, a 2014 Minnesota Book Awards winner, will read from her winning book, “Modern Spirit: The Art of George Morrison.”

This year’s winners will be announced at the 27th Annual Minnesota Book Awards gala on April 18, at the St. Paul Union Depot.

The Hardwood Creek Library is at 19955 Forest Road N., Forest Lake. To learn more, call 651-275-7300 or visit



‘Almanac’ host will speak about Hwy. 61

Public broadcasting fixture Cathy Wurzer will appear in Stillwater to discuss her documentary and book on what can be learned by traveling the 440 miles of Hwy. 61.

The host of “Morning Edition” on Minnesota Public Radio and co-host of “Almanac” on Twin Cities Public Television will be the featured speaker at the open-to-the-public annual meeting of the Washington County Historical Society.

The session is March 26 at the Water Street Inn in Stillwater.

Wurzer’s “Tales of the Road: Hwy. 61” covers “quaint tourist cabins, supper clubs and lodges that served tourists who began motoring up the road in the 1920s,” organizers say, but the highway also passes through Washington County.

The cost is $20 for society members and $25 for nonmembers.

There is a 5:30 social hour, dinner at 6:30, a business meeting at 7:30, and the program at 8 p.m.

Reservations are required. Call 651-439-5956 or visit


St. Croix Valley

Dance company offers ‘showcase’

The Phipps Dance Company celebrates its 10th season with “showcase performances” next weekend.

The events are Friday, March 20, at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 21, at 2 p.m. at the Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson, Wis.

The 2014-15 company includes 14 auditioned dancers from 13 to 18 years old, from Hudson, Afton, Bayport, and Stillwater.

The showcase includes pieces from musical theater, lyrical, modern, hip-hop, jazz, and contemporary ballet.

The Phipps Junior Dance Company, in its second season, will also perform. These are dancers ages 9 to 13.

Tickets are $14 for adults and $12 for students. Reservations may be made by calling the Phipps ticket office at 715-386-8409 or visiting


Cottage Grove

Arts group seeks films for festival

The Cottage Grove Arts Commission is seeking entries for its Films in 5 Festival, its first-ever film fest. The event itself will take place Sept. 12.

Amateur, student or professional filmmakers are invited to submit a short film in any genre, including narrative, documentary, music videos or animation.

Films must have been made in 2015 and can be no more than five minutes long, including credits. They need to be in DVD form and are due by July 31. There is a $5 submission fee.

Prizes will be awarded for the top three films. Visit to find a submission form. Then deliver or mail it with the fee and film to Arts Commission Films in 5 Festival, Cottage Grove City Hall, 12800 Ravine Parkway South, Cottage Grove, MN 55016