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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
John Stamos in "Big Shot."Disney Plus

10 best things our critics are watching this week

From John Stamos' new Disney series to a Dolly Parton tribute, here's what we're tuning into.
Minnesota music scene faces a #MeToo reckoning led by sexual assault survivors

Minnesota music scene faces a #MeToo reckoning led by sexual assault survivors

Survivors are leading the way as the Twin Cities music scene confronts long-standing issues of sexual assault and harassment.
DAVID JOLES • Springboard for the Arts executive director Laura Zabel at the nonprofit's offices in St. Paul's F

Pioneering program will pay St. Paul artists a guaranteed monthly income

25 artists will receive $500 a month under the privately funded effort launched by Springboard for the Arts.
Sean Tillmann, aka Har Mar Superstar, issued a statement last week apologizing for misbehavior “fueled by a toxic mixture of alcohol, drugs, and cav

Har Mar Superstar faces further accusations, fallout from supporters

Another woman said singer Sean Tillmann assaulted her at his home as Minnesota companies cut ties with him.
Festivalgoers at Northern Spark in 2017 wrote love letters to the planet at an installation called "Dear Earth."

After hiatus, Northern Spark festival will make a cautious return this summer

The two-week June fest will be online (and by mail), but organizers aren't ruling out in-person events.
Sean Tillmann as Har Mar Superstar performed at the Current’s birthday party at First Avenue in 2014.

Accused of misconduct by women, Minneapolis singer Har Mar Superstar offers 'deep apology'

Sean Tillmann was accused by several women of sexual assault and harassment.
Piotr Szyhalski’s daily COVID posters wallpaper a gallery at the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

Born on Instagram, Minneapolis artist's daily COVID posters get a museum show

All 225 of Piotr Szyhalski's drawings are on display at the Minneapolis Institute of Art.
The Twin City Model Railroad Museum’s Night Train events are popular, as is watching volunteer Peter “The Train Doctor” Southard at work. tcmrm.

Volunteers keep St. Paul's model train museum on track

A group of "engineers" works to ensure museumgoers have a magical experience.
After a tough breakup with “The Bachelor” star Matt James that aired Monday night, elementary school teacher Michelle Young was named the next “

Minnesota teacher Michelle Young will become 'The Bachelorette'

The season finale aired Monday amid controversy over the show's handling of race.
Osmo Vanska conducted a Minnesota Orchestra livestream in September. (Photo by Courtney Perry)

Minnesota Orchestra to resume indoor concerts in June

In-person, indoor concerts will resume in June at about 20% of Orchestra Hall's capacity.
After a tough breakup with “The Bachelor” star Matt James that aired Monday night, elementary school teacher Michelle Young was named the next “

Minnesota teacher Michelle Young poised to become "The Bachelorette"

Former students and their parents root for Young.
N. Scott Momaday

Attuned to the Earth's moods, revered Native writer N. Scott Momaday sounds an alarm

"The Earth is getting angry with us," says the Pulitzer winner, part of a special Talking Volumes series on race in America.
In a livestreamed St. Paul Chamber Orchestra concert last fall, violinists Steven Copes and Kyu-Young Kim, cellist Julie Albers and violist Maiya Papa

St. Paul Chamber Orchestra musicians sign an early contract extension with no pay cut

Nailing that down is seen as crucial to the orchestra's pandemic recovery plan.
Delilah (played by Maahra Hill) with kids in “Delilah.” OWN

10 best things our critics are watching this week

From Oprah's 'Delilah' to Aubrey Plaza's 'Black Bear,' here's what we're tuning into right now.
Alfred Sanders, left, and Keno Evol stood in the new space for Black Table Arts. Quotes from Black writers adorn the cooperative’s south Minneapolis

With a grand opening this week, Black Table Arts, a hub for artists, celebrates a permanent home

With a grand opening this week, Black Table Arts celebrates its first permanent home.
Sharon Mc­Mahon, a former high school government teacher, has taken to social media to continue teaching.

Duluth woman debunks conspiracies, promotes facts on viral Instagram account, CNN, the 'Daily Show'

With plain language and silly accents, Sharon McMahon has become Instagram's civics teacher.
THE BACHELOR - �2508� � It�s time to meet the families! Though Matt and his final four won�t be leaving the resort, their loved ones have sa

'The Bachelor' meets Minnesotan Michelle Young's students, parents

Star Matt James said he'd be "open" to moving to Minnesota, should the pair work out.
THE BACHELOR - Ò2504Ó Ð Still reeling from SarahÕs sudden departure, Matt fights his tendency to put up walls as his journey continues with the 18

Minnesotan Michelle Young makes final four on 'The Bachelor'

Finalists nabbed roses during episode that aired amid controversy over host Chris Harrison's comments in interview.
Sarah Hicks, center, prerecorded a segment with the Amur tiger and her keepers at the Minnesota Zoo for the Minnesota Orchestra’s Young People’s C

Minnesota Orchestra plays with tigers and bears for its first TV children's concert

The Minnesota Orchestra enlisted new on-camera talent for its first-ever televised children's concert.
The Minnesota Orchestra performed to a nearly empty hall last March in its last performance before the pandemic shutdown, a concert that wound up as a

Minnesota Orchestra reports $11.7 million loss, its largest ever

The deficit is the largest yet reported by a Minnesota arts institution. The financial results for fiscal year 2020 capture the first few months of the pandemic, which shuttered theaters and concert halls across the country.
Amelia Brown

Amelia Brown, Minneapolis arts activist who saw artists as emergency responders, died at 41

After the killing of George Floyd, Amelia Brown started a petition to declare racism a public health emergency. She also seeded art.In just six days,…
THE BACHELOR - Ò2501Ó Ð Matt James, the charismatic and engaging star of ABCÕs hit romance reality series ÒThe Bachelor,Ó will hand out the rose

One of the two Minnesotans has been booted from 'The Bachelor' after spreading rumor

Anna Redman, one of two Minnesotans on this season of the ABC reality show, left the show on Monday.
Michelle Young was among five contestants who arrived Monday night, a few episodes into the series.

Minnesota elementary school teacher stands out on 'The Bachelor'

Michelle Young, an Edina resident looking to change the world, was once a Woodbury High School basketball star.
Kate Nordstrum, the new head of the Great Northern.

With the Great Northern fest, Minnesota winters just got a little cooler

Great Northern Festival expands its reach, even in a pandemic year.
KT Taylor held copies of the zine, “Not Alone, Never Was: a Penpal Zine 4 Rural Queers.”

Minnesotans discover that art can offer a cure for loneliness in the pandemic

Minnesotans combat the pain of isolation with projects big and small.
Sheila Smith

A force behind Minnesota's Legacy Fund, arts advocate Sheila Smith retires after a quarter-century

Sheila Smith championed state funding for cultural programs.
Violinist Maureen Nelson played during a recent livestream by the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.

Despite COVID-19, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra reports $74K surplus for 2020

Cancellations cut its season short, but the real test will come next year.
The Minnesota Orchestra's bass section during a recent livestream concert.(photo by Courtney Perry)

Minnesota Orchestra to continue livestreaming concerts through March

The pandemic forced another round of cancellations of in-person concerts.
Julie Nelson Courtesy of KARE 11

KARE anchor Julie Nelson off the air after testing positive for coronavirus

She thought it was just "a nasty cold."
Richard Cisek in 1982 outside Orchestra Hall. He oversaw the hall’s construction and took performances year-round.

Richard Cisek, who helped put the Minnesota Orchestra in the big leagues, dies at 92

Cisek oversaw the construction of Orchestra Hall, the creation of Sommerfest and the hiring of sought-after guest conductors.
A sampling of the 225 ink drawings that Piotr Szyhalski produced daily during the pandemic. More can be found on his Instagram page, @laborcamp.

Minneapolis artist documents the pandemic with brush and ink

Every day, from March to November, a local artist responded to the pandemic with brush and ink.
From left, violinists Steven Copes and Kyu-Young Kim, cellist Julie Albers and violist Maiya Papach performed during a recent St. Paul Chamber Orchest

St. Paul Chamber Orchestra suspends livestream concerts due to 'rampaging' COVID

The move comes two weeks after the nonprofit canceled a performance after someone directly involved with the livestream tested positive for the virus.
Springboard for the Arts created the first CSA for art.

This CSA box will contain art, not veggies, as St. Paul nonprofit revives pioneering program

Springboard for the Arts revives pioneering artist-share program.
C. Fausto Cabrera

For famed Minneapolis artist Alec Soth, the mail delivered an unlikely friendship

A correspondence with a prison inmate yields a book, and much more.
A volunteer with the People’s Laundry placed clean clothes into a Burley to return to residents at an encampment on the Minneapolis Greenway.

People's Laundry volunteers wash and mend clothes for people living in Minneapolis encampments

For months, the People's Laundry has had a simple aim: to wash clothes for folks who could use the help.
Peyton Scott Russell depicted community members in a mural at City of Lakes Community Land Trust.

Meet the artist behind an iconic George Floyd mural and Prince's gold star

George Floyd's death reframed the life of longtime Minneapolis artist Peyton Scott Russell.
U Prof. Jiarong Hong, second from left, and U students tested aerosols as Michael Gast played.

In Minnesota study, U's engineers try to orchestrate a return to concerts

The University of Minnesota is working with the Minnesota Orchestra to study aerosols, with hopes of getting musicians back on stage.
Sarah M. Broom photo by Adam Shemper

Author Sarah M. Broom made childhood home into something much bigger in 'The Yellow House'

Talking Volumes guest rebuilt "The Yellow House" as a metaphor of America.
Minnesota Orchestra oboist John Snow and violinist Peter McGuire played an an outdoor concert in Peavey Plaza last month. LEILA NAVIDI • leila.navid

Minnesota Orchestra musicians agree to 2-year contract extension, 25% pay cut

Two-year contract extension reverses cuts after a year if whole orchestra begins performing for a full audience.

Ramsey County jail inmate died of apparent natural causes

Nurses and correctional officers tried lifesaving measures, but paramedics pronounced the 38-year-old dead.
Renowned local artist Leslie Barlow and a crew painted a mural on the boarded up front of Fall Out Arts Initiative in the wake of the death of George

Minnesota artists rise to meet a daunting challenge

Facing the uncertainties of the pandemic and mounting demands for social justice, artists are finding novel ways to connect with audiences.
Catch a glimpse of history along Stuntz Bay Boathouse Historic District on Lake Vermilion in Breitung Township, Minn.

These 143 historic boathouses offer a peek into Minnesota's past

A collection of boathouses on Lake Vermilion, built by miners, hint at the area's work-hard, play-hard past.
Protesers marched past First Avenue Saturday night. ] The 10k March for a “Free North” began outside US Bank Stadiu

These 5 civil rights leaders changed Minnesota — but not as much as they hoped

For decades, these leaders marched and protested, rallied and fought against injustice.
Garrett McQueen during the recording of the classical music podcast Trilloquy with co-host Scott Blankenship in Blankenship's basement studio.

Black MPR classical music host says he was fired after switching up playlist

Radio execs say he was warned several times about copyright concerns in changing playlists.
Mary Ceruti, executive director of Walker Art Center, in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden with Mark Manders’ sculpture “September Room.” Photo b

Staff shakeup at Walker Art Center aims to raise its 'public voice'

In a staff shakeup, the Minneapolis art center tries to refocus on "what matters to people."
Frankie Rockwell, 4, enjoyed a snow cone on opening day of Jennifer Debrow’s “State Fair at Home” on Thursday. Debrow created a mini fair for ne

Minnesota woman builds elaborate mini State Fair in her backyard

Some devoted State Fair lovers are crafting backyard homages, with classic booths and foods.
Seeds of creation: Crop artist Laura Melnick worked on a piece for the State Fair’s virtual showcase at her home in St. Paul. Melnick has won more t

Even without a State Fair, Minnesota's crop artists are in full flower

There will be a virtual version of the beloved contest, with no winners declared. But these artists don't do it for the blue ribbon, anyway.
Minnesota State Arts Board Executive Director Sue Gens.

As Minnesota arts groups struggle during COVID, controversy brews over Legacy money

Artists and arts leaders are calling for broader changes, saying the State Arts Board has focused too much of its funding on big institutions.
The woodwinds section of the SPCO during a 2019 rehearsal.

St. Paul Chamber Orchestra cancels all concerts for the rest of the year

Orchestra had planned to start a scaled-back season in September.
Ryan Stopera filming “The Return.”

Hothouse festival in northeast Minneapolis this weekend is all about poets and filmmakers of color

Saturday's Hothouse celebrates poets and filmmakers of color.
Dance will return the Northrop stage Feb. 6-7 with the Twin Cities debut of Victor Quijada’s company Rubberband, which combines hip-hop, ballet and

U of M's Northrop plans a return to live dance concerts in February

Fall season will mainly focus on virtual events.
David Grant teaches “Elements of Screenwriting,” one of 20 online filmmaking courses offered this summer at FilmNorth.

Federal dollars help keep Minnesota arts groups afloat during pandemic

But the crisis is far from over, and many organizations say they may not survive.
Polka king Winnie Taylor broke out his best dancing duds for the show in Grand Rapids.

Grand Rapids arts center brings people together with drive-ins, boat-ins and 'polka pods'

A Minnesota arts center finds ways to gather people in the pandemic — with drive-ins, boat-ins and "polka pods."
Jon Kimura Parker enjoyed the renovated Peavey Plaza outside Orchestra Hall in July 2019.

Minnesota Orchestra swaps big concerts for free summer shows

In August, the orchestra will play 24 free chamber music shows outside on Peavey Plaza for concertgoers with tickets to the nixed indoor concerts.
Garrett McQueen, left, and Scott Blankenship toasted each other as they started to record another segment of their podcast, Trilloquy, in Blankenship'

Radio host agitates for change while elevating Black artistry

Garrett McQueen knocks a few "old, dead white men" off their pedestals while elevating Black artistry.
Author Carolyn Holbrook memoir, “Tell Me Your Names and I Will Testify,” was 30 years in the making.

After George Floyd, Minnesota fights racism with free books and films

Minnesota libraries, publishers offer anti-racist titles.
“Rivus” by Lisa Nebenzahl

Two Minnesota book artists get a boost from a new $25K award

With a new award, the book arts — which involve printing and stitching and folding and binding — are getting their due. Minnesota artists Paula…
Mary Ceruti, director of the Walker Art Center, leads regular virtual meetings of arts leaders.

Zooming into an uncertain future, Minnesota's arts leaders forge a new alliance

The on-screen boxes multiply and suddenly, there are dozens of directors of Minnesota arts organizations in a single Zoom room. It’s an unlikely group. Museum…
Eager to get back into your favorite Twin Cities museums? You won't have to wait much longer.

Twin Cities museums aim to reopen as soon as next weekend

Bakken plans to open June 20 while Minneapolis Institute of Art and Walker Art Center are aiming for mid-July.
Bill Gossman worked at his pottery studio in New London in 2018. (photo by Jerry Holt, Star Tribune)

Bill Gossman dies at 67: An artist in clay, he left his fingerprints on the town of New London, Minnesota

Bill Gossman had a way with clay. Whistling, he’d dig his thumbs into a big hunk of it and, in minutes, form it into an…
Laura Zabel, Springboard for the Arts executive director, on a rooftop patio at the nonprofit's new St. Paul headquarters.

Springboard for the Arts is saving Minnesota's arts scene, $500 at a time

The St. Paul nonprofit uses "lots of little" to make big change in a crisis through its emergency relief fund.
Star Tribune photo illustration

Has summer been canceled? Minnesotans in mourning as cancellations add up

Minnesotans mourn as cancellations take a toll on our short, sweet season.
Jasmine Rognrud and Kayley Hoaby at the 2019 Pride Parade. Star Tribune file photo

Reversing decision to postpone, Twin Cities Pride will go online with a virtual parade

  Twin Cities Pride is moving its parade, party and booths online. It’s hoping crowds will follow. The nonprofit will announce Friday a…
Landmark's Uptown Theatre in Minneapolis. ] CARLOS GONZALEZ • – Minneapolis, MN – March 23, 2020, Photos of Minneapoli

Uptown Theatre may be closed, but its marquee keeps delivering the jokes

Even shuttered, the Uptown Theatre continues to reflect its quirky community via its marquee.
A clown with Z Puppets Rosenschnoz collected audio of laughter at a Maplewood YMCA event in 2016.

Shift in state funding worries Minnesota artists hit by the coronavirus crisis

State Arts Board is scrapping some grant programs with the aim of providing "more flexible support."
When Maggie Schmidt reached out to artist Maggie Thompson about a mask for her mother, Kris Brown, she expected something functional. What she receive

Minnesotans get practical, and creative, with their face mask designs

It's not only about protection. It's also a personal expression.
Philip Harder at his Minneapolis riverfront home, where he shot parts of his first feature-length film,“Tuscaloosa.”

Minnesota director's debut movie is called 'Tuscaloosa' but it was filmed right here

Philip Harder has made videos for Prince, Low and the Foo Fighters, and ads for Apple and Target. He filmed his dream project entirely in Minnesota, including in his own Minneapolis backyard.
Insipred instax images

6 Minnesotans who were voices of inspiration in 2019

As the year draws to a close, let's be inspired by people who aspire to connect, heal and support their communities.
Many Minnesota arts organizations are adapting to COVID-19 shutdowns by shifting online, as Walker Art Center did Tuesday with a lecture by Amsterdam-

As Minnesota artists struggle, state leader says: 'We'll come back'

Sue Gens talks about what the State Arts Board is doing to alleviate the current crisis.
Corrina Bakken, the Minnesota Opera’s costume director, ironed fabric to sew into masks for hospital workers.

Minneapolis costumers sew to save lives, making coronavirus face masks

Artists and theater costume makers are turning their talents to making coronavirus face masks.

Minnesota Orchestra cancels summer tour to Vietnam, South Korea

The Minnesota Orchestra has called off its tour to Vietnam and South Korea, set for late June, due to coronavirus pandemic."We wish to be exceedingly…
There’s plenty of food — and fun — at Chef Camp, where campers were treated to sessions by popular local culinary talents, including Raghavan Iy

Campfires, s'mores, canoeing and booze: Welcome to summer camp for adults

This summer adults-only getaway takes campfires and s'mores up a notch with drinks and gourmet fare.
1993 inductee Syl Liebl played Polka music as Syl and the Jolly Swiss Boys. They were very popular in the 1960’s and 70’s. The Minnesota Music Hal

With shrines to Prince and polka, the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame draws fans to this small city

The state's Music Hall of Fame honors our legends of all genres, from polka to Prince.
The Minnesota Orchestra performed to a nearly empty hall for a radio broadcast as concerns for the coronavirus forced cancellation of events around th

To an empty hall, the Minnesota Orchestra plays a goodbye — for now

Across Minnesota and beyond, people were listening.
Arts closings due to Covid 19
Star Tribune illustration
istock photos
theater, red curtains, sorry we're closed, red seats, coronavirus

'It's going to be devastating': Minnesota arts, artists brace for coronavirus fallout

Amid a flurry of cancellations, Twin Cities arts groups and artists brace for a major financial hit.