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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
This image released by Penguin Press shows “Our Missing Hearts” by Celeste Ng. (Penguin Press via AP)

Excerpt: Our Missing Hearts

A taste of Celeste Ng's new novel
In Celeste Ng's dark new novel 'Our Missing Hearts,' libraries shine a light

In Celeste Ng's dark new novel 'Our Missing Hearts,' libraries shine a light

Ng will appear at Talking Volumes Oct. 26.
Tucked into Falcon Heights, University Grove spotlights Minnesota architecture

Tucked into Falcon Heights, University Grove spotlights Minnesota architecture

A pair of professors who live in the neighborhood are examining its unusual history.
University of Minnesota Associate Professor Maggie Hennefeld studies the forgotten female stars of the early silent film era.

University of Minnesota professor uncovers silent film's forgotten, feminist stars

With a new DVD/Blu-ray set five years in the making, Maggie Hennefeld highlights rare films by "Cinema's First Nasty Women."
The Minnesota Orchestra’s new music director designate Thomas Søndergård takes questions from President and CEO Michelle Miller Burns during a rec

Minnesota Orchestra's next music director Thomas Søndergård meets his first audience

Musicians, Minnesota and the classical music world react to Danish conductor's new role.
Osmo Vänskä led a rehearsal Dec. 29, 2021, as he prepared for the Minnesota Orchestra’s three-week Sibelius Festival.

The Minnesota Orchestra's music directors, over the years

Thomas Søndergård will become the next music director of the Minnesota Orchestra. Here are the orchestra's music directors through the years: Emil Oberhoffer, 1903-22Henri Verbrugghen,…
Thomas Søndergård has been music director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra since 2018.

Minnesota Orchestra names Danish conductor Thomas Søndergård its new music director

He was a guest conductor with the orchestra in December and April.
Campers use shadow puppets backstage for one of the time travel realms while in a dress rehearsal for their original show, “Skyview: The One-Eyed Ti

Up North, kids from Pine Point and Park Rapids come together to stage a play

Youngsters from two distinct communities create a musical from scratch at the Northern Light Opera Kids Theatre Camp.
Marge Hols

Marge Hols, St. Paul gardener and columnist, dies at 86

With a garden in the Smithsonian and a column in the Pioneer Press, Hols shared her love for planting seeds.
The Rainbow flag, Bi flag, Trans flag and Leather flag at the start of the Pride parade down Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis.     ] GLEN STUBBE ¥ glen.stub

'Gay Pride was invented here': The origins of Pride in the Twin Cities

As the celebration marks its 50th anniversary next week, we trace its history through the words of the people who lived it.
Pride marchers proceeded down Hennepin Avenue in 2017. The march is back on Hennepin this year after years of street construction and COVID constraint

Highlights of a bigger-than-ever Twin Cities Pride Week 2022

Marchers will return to Hennepin Avenue while the concert has moved downtown.
It was hours after the final concert of the Minnesota Orchestra’s 2015 Cuban tour, but Osmo Vänskä was game to put together his clarinet and join

To their kids, he's 'ukki' (grandpa): Osmo Vänskä, through the eyes (and ears) of his musicians

"If it's music, he's fully there. It's infectious," says one MInnesota Orchestra member.
Jovan C. Speller stands in her yard in Osage, Minn.

With photographs and a move to rural Minnesota, artist Jovan C. Speller explores the protection of Black lives

Speller's "Nurturing, and Other Rituals of Protection" is on exhibition at Minneapolis Institute of Art through June 26.
Maria Rosario Jackson, chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, gave the commencement address at Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

New chair of National Endowment for the Arts lands in Minnesota to talk 'artful lives'

Maria Rosario Jackson sees transformative power in the arts that could boost the nation.
Fear of bring stopped by police “is something I live every day,” says Adrian Davis, shown here leading a choral rehearsal for “Seven Last Words

Two years after George Floyd's death, 'Seven Last Words of the Unarmed' will ring out in Orchestra Hall

Minnesota Orchestra marks the moment with this piece by a Black composer who wrote it "as a catharsis" after a series of police killings.
Music director Osmo Vänskä will continue his relationship with the Minnesota Orchestra.

As he steps down, Osmo Vänskä becomes Minnesota Orchestra's conductor laureate

The position will bring him back to the podium annually.
Atlanta-raised, Washington D.C.-based composer Carlos Simon will write, along with librettist Marc Bamuthi Joseph, a piece for the Minnesota Orchestra

Spurred by George Floyd's death, Minnesota Orchestra commissions a new work by Black artists

Scheduled to premiere next spring, it's one way orchestras nationwide have responded to the call for change.
Artist Gustavo Boada works with youth from Kalpulli KetzalCoatlicue at El Colegio school to build a traditional Mexican puppet. 

A new MayDay fest is rooted in community: 'This is my neighborhood, too'

Minneapolis' popular rite of spring has been reimagined.
Catherine L. Johnson

Minnesota artist sells sunflower poster at Kramarczuk's to raise funds for Ukraine relief

The flower is a national symbol for Ukrainians.
14-year-old injured in north Minneapolis shooting

14-year-old injured in north Minneapolis shooting

Police say more than 20 shots were fired early Sunday evening.
This image from MnDOT shows the scene of a crash involving an SUV and a pedestrian Saturday on Central Avenue in Columbia Heights.

Pedestrian hit by SUV in Columbia Heights is in critical condition

A pedestrian was in critical condition after being hit by an SUV in Columbia Heights on Saturday night.Around 9 p.m., a man was crossing Central…
Arooj Aftab accepts the best global music performance for “Mohabbat” at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards April 3, 2022, in Las Vegas.

Hot off Grammy win, Arooj Aftab brings her 'sexy, sad' songs to Minneapolis

Sunday's concert follows a historic night for the Pakistani singer.
Artist Kat Corrigan works on a paintings for her 30 Cats in 30 Days project, as family cat Fatoosh struts nearby. Fatoosh was rescued from the streets

Minnesota artists create pet portraits: 'Everybody I know wants artwork of their pets'

Pet portraits done in paint, photography, felt and collage are a source of income and joy.
Artist Gustavo Boada works with youth from Kalpulli KetzalCoatlicue at El Colegio school to build a traditional Mexican puppet. 

May Day fest returns to south Minneapolis but without parade

The nonprofit behind the long-running rite of spring will host a "political-cultural festival" on May 1.
Former “Bachelorette” stars Michelle Young and Becca Kufrin are co-hosts of the new podcast, “Bachelor Happy Hour.”

Minnesota 'Bachelorette' Michelle Young named new co-host of 'Bachelor Happy Hour' podcast

She joins Becca Kufrin to host conversations with current and alumni cast members.
“Flower Thrower,” shown as part of “The Art of Banksy” in Chicago. The exhibit comes to Minneapolis in May.

Is this a Banksy prank? No, the street artist is featured in a big show coming to Minneapolis

The unauthorized exhibit, opening May 12, was culled from private collections.
Formerly the Lab Theater, the Luminary Arts Center, 700 N. 1st St., is in the North Loop area of downtown Minneapolis.

Luminary Arts Center will begin lighting up the North Loop this fall

The Minnesota Opera is renovating and rebranding the former Lab Theater while preserving it as a performance space.
Curt Pederson

Curt Pederson, American Swedish Institute curator and longtime State Fair creative maestro, dies at 72

Curt Pederson might have been in the midst of hanging a new exhibit at the American Swedish Institute or readying a demo at the Minnesota…
Fei Xie, principal bassoon for the Minnesota Orchestra.

Minnesota Orchestra taps its Chinese-born bassoonist to celebrate Lunar New Year

With his wife and parents, Fei Xie is bringing "a piece of home" to Orchestra Hall.
Performers from “Latins on Ice,” part of the Great Northern festival

'Latins on Ice' makes last-minute move from Pond Hockey site

The show's co-creator said its original host objected to aspects of the show it did not consider "family friendly."
Jenna Ross: “I wanted to be awake.”

A Star Tribune reporter's dry January led to a dry 2021

When she gave up alcohol, she gained so much more.
As Dry January ends, Minnesotans are looking to February and a fresh future

As Dry January ends, Minnesotans are looking to February and a fresh future

Many readers say they've changed for the better after a month without alcohol.
Bartenders and friends Chelsey Noack, right, and Mary Jackson toasted with mocktails — a lavender lemonade and a boyhattan.

Two Twin Cities bartenders are now Sober Sallys, sharing the joy of mocktails

The two friends have started a pop-up, nonalcoholic bar to serve events.
Performers from “Latins on Ice.”

'Latins on Ice' will tackle some cold, hard truths on frozen Lake Nokomis

The free show Saturday and Sunday coincides with U.S. Pond Hockey tourney.
Music director Osmo Vänskä applauded the audience last June after the Minnesota Orchestra concluded its first performance in front of a live audienc

Minnesota Orchestra posts a smaller budget deficit despite the pandemic

Faced with a massive drop in revenue, the orchestra managed to narrow its shortfall to $6.3M in fiscal 2021.
St. Paul Winter Carnival Bar. Photo: Brandon Werth

10 reasons to check out Great Northern fest all around the Twin Cities

The wintry celebration begins Thursday.
From left: Eric Dayton, Erin Flavin, Erick Harcey and Katy Armendariz.

For these Minnesotans, life after drinking offers more joy and fulfillment

Some found stopping simple. Others describe it as a daily battle. But all say that when they quit drinking, their lives improved.
Giving up alcohol for Dry January? How to change your habits to change your life

Giving up alcohol for Dry January? How to change your habits to change your life

The pandemic altered many routines, leaving space to create new habits.
Osmo Vänskä led a rehearsal Dec. 29, 2021 as he prepared for the Minnesota Orchestra’s three-week Sibelius Festival.

Osmo Vänskä returns to music he feels in 'the deepest possible way' — fellow Finn Jean Sibelius

As he prepares to leave the Minnesota Orchestra, the conductor spoke of the composer who has shaped his career.
5 books that can help you kick alcohol for Dry January (and beyond)

5 books that can help you kick alcohol for Dry January (and beyond)

Self-help guides, so-called "quit lit" memoirs and books, run the gamut from light to literary. Here are some to add to your list.
A hibiscus mocktail as made by Spoon and Stable bar manager Jessi Pollak. ] JEFF WHEELER • Jeff.Wheeler@startribune.com

No mocking these cocktails

Shops are stocking more delectable options to make your own NA concoctions
What would happen if you gave up drinking for a month? Find out with our Dry January challenge

What would happen if you gave up drinking for a month? Find out with our Dry January challenge

Not drinking alcohol might gain you sleep, energy and even extra pocket change.
Nayte Olukoya proposed to Michelle Young on a beach in Mexico.

Minnesota's 'Bachelorette' and her new fiancé say they're 'ready to take on the world together'

As the star of "The Bachelorette," Minnesota teacher Michelle Young had a tricky task: Find and fall in love with your soul mate on national…
Minnesota teacher Michelle Young got engaged to Nayte Olukoya during Tuesday night’s finale of “The Bachelorette.”

'Bachelorette' Michelle Young chooses Nayte Olukoya, who promises: 'I'm moving to Minnesota'

"I've never been with somebody who makes me feel so beautiful, inside and out," the Burnsville teacher said of her fiance.
An earlier staging of “Slow Show,” a dance performance that will be mounted on a frozen St. Paul lake as part of the Great Northern festival.

Ready to dance on a frozen St. Paul lake? It's just one event at expanded Great Northern fest

Volunteers are being recruited for the performance on Como Lake.
“The Bachelorette” flies from Minnesota to Mexico for the overnight, “fantasy suite” dates.

'Bachelorette' Michelle Young sends home 'Minnesota Joe,' picks her final two

After weeks of dates in Minnesota, the show moved to Mexico, where Young had overnight dates — so-called "fantasy suites" — with the three finalists.
The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra reported a balanced budget despite a year without ticket sales.

Despite a tough year, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra balances its budget

Donors were "the hero in that story," stepping up at a time when the orchestra couldn't sell concert tickets.
This week, southwest Minneapolis area residents received the first edition of the Southwest Connector, a neighborhood newspaper, on their doorsteps.

Two new publications target southwest Minneapolis a year after its newspaper folded

The print Southwest Connector and digital Southwest Voices try to fill a void in one of the city's most prosperous areas.
Earlier construction on I-94 at John Ireland Boulevard in downtown St. Paul.

St. Paul ramp reopening marks I-94 and I-35E construction's end for the year

The ramp from 12th Street to Wabasha Street reopened Friday.
Minnesota teacher Michelle Young, star of “The Bachelorette,” met her suitors families on her home turf.

'Bachelorette' Michelle Young meets the families, chooses three finalists

Due to COVID-19, the four suitors' 'hometown' dates were all set in Minnesota
Where did 'The Bachelorette' film in Minnesota? A look at local spots featured on the show

Where did 'The Bachelorette' film in Minnesota? A look at local spots featured on the show

A homegrown "Bachelorette" gives the Twin Cities a chance to show off on national TV. Here's a look at the places they've visited.
Hebrew wood type added to the Minnesota Center for Book Arts Center's millions of pieces of type and made by Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum, i

Old-fashioned wood type is new again, as Minnesota book center adds Hebrew, Arabic and Spanish letters

The center hopes to attract new audiences. "Wood type feels so human," says one designer.
The Minnesota-raised star of “The Bachelorette,” Michelle Young, picked her final four suitors during Tuesday’s episode of the reality series.

At home in Minnesota, 'Bachelorette' Michelle Young picks her final four

The Minnesota teacher starring in "The Bachelorette" picked her final four suitors — with an assist from her fifth-grade students.During Tuesday night's episode, set for…
Minnesotan Michelle Young brought her suitors home during Tuesday’s episode of “The Bachelorette.”

'The Bachelorette' brings her suitors — including 'Minnesota Joe' — home to Minnesota

The Woodbury-raised star of the ABC-TV reality series went on dates on Lake Minnetonka, Target Field and Betty Danger's, among other spots.
Comedian Jacqueline Novak is bringing her show “Get on Your Knees” to the Parkway Theater on Nov. 19 and 20.

If you think 'Get on Your Knees' is only about sex, Jacqueline Novak is here to prove you wrong

The brainy comedian brings her acclaimed one-woman show to the Parkway in Minneapolis.
James L. Peterson

James L. Peterson, who led Science Museum and Gustavus Adolphus, dies at 78

As a boy, James Lincoln Peterson grew up along the Mississippi River, climbing its bluffs and scanning its beds for interesting bugs.As a man, he…
Minnesota’s own ‘Bachelorette’ Michelle Young feels unseen after the men pay more attention to each other — and some stuffed animals — on a

Minnesota's own 'Bachelorette' Michelle Young feels 'unseen' on group date

Next week, the show moves to Minnesota, with dates at Target Field, U.S. Bank Stadium and Lake Minnetonka
On a group date Tuesday, Minnesota’s own ‘Bachelorette’ Michelle Young offers an emotional spoken-word poem of her own.

'Bachelorette' Michelle Young opens up about feeling like 'token Black girl' growing up in Minnesota

"I was never the girl invited to cute dates at the apple orchard in the fall," Young said. "I was the girl picked last for prom but the first for basketball."
Macalester College Prof. Duchess Harris has “deep concerns” about a Texas lawmaker’s investigation of 850 books, including four she wrote.

Minnesota authors land on list of 850 books targeted by Texas lawmaker as 'distressing' for students

They include Macalester Prof. Duchess Harris, who expressed "deep concerns" about the investigation into Texas school districts having books that deal with race, sexuality and other issues.
Minnesota basketball stars Michelle Young and Joe Coleman get close playing one-on-one on “The Bachelorette.”

'Bachelorette' Michelle Young shares 'Love and Basketball' moments with fellow Minnesotan

Tuesday's episode of "The Bachelorette" contained a scene straight out of the beloved 2000 film "Love and Basketball."But this one starred two Minnesotans.During a group…
Michelle Young meets a fellow Minnesotan on the season premiere of “The Bachelorette.”

Minnesotan Michelle Young makes her debut as 'The Bachelorette' in season premiere

The 28-year-old Minnesota teacher met the 30 men competing for her heart.
Dessa and Minnesota Orchestra conductor Sarah Hicks bumped fists at the end of the concert.

Minnesota Orchestra gives conductor/broadcast host Sarah Hicks a 3-year contract extension

The longtime pops conductor became the face of the orchestra in live telecasts during the pandemic.
U.S. stamps by Minneapolis artist celebrate Día de los Muertos

U.S. stamps by Minneapolis artist celebrate Día de los Muertos

The family-friendly design by Luis Fitch fulfilled a lifelong dream. His work is now being embraced by brands as big as Target.
In St. Paul, Minnesota on July 1, 2021, Bachelorette Michelle Young was the star attraction at CHS Field for the Saints game.] RICHARD TSONG-TAATARII

Minnesota's own 'Bachelorette' Michelle Young is a good sport — no matter what game

She's calling the shots at last in a season filmed partly in her home state: "I love my Minnesotans."
Springboard for the Arts’ new home on University Avenue features art around every corner.

Springboard for the Arts opens doors to artists, community at new digs in St. Paul

What was once a car dealership now features a flexible performance space, an equipment library and workspaces.
Pamela Espeland’s death Sunday at age 70 stunned many in the arts community.

Twin Cities arts scene mourns the death of beloved writer Pamela Espeland

She wrote for MinnPost and the Star Tribune about jazz and all things arts.
Sandy Spieler, a founder of In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, in the storage space where the work of many hands over dozens of years

Can the puppets from Minneapolis' May Day Parade be saved?

Beset by financial woes, In the Heart of the Beast Puppet Theatre is vacating its longtime storage space.
See a review of Lauren Groff’s “Matrix,” E2. ELI SINKUS

Craving 'a world without men,' author Lauren Groff found one in 12th-century England

Talking Volumes guest Lauren Groff explores the lives of medieval nuns in "Matrix."
Dreamland Faces — Andy McCormick and Karen Majewicz — at the Trylon Cinema, where they’ll perform live scores to silent Buster Keaton films.

Treasures of Twin Cities film scene, musical duo Dreamland Faces returns after studio fire

Minneapolis duo Dreamland Faces create distinctive soundtracks for films that have none.
Rich red sunsets and sunrises have been enhanced by the thick smoke in the air from the Greenwood fire west of Isabella, Minn.

Greenwood fire 14% contained after rainfall slows spread

Hundreds of workers stretching around the fire's perimeter are now working to fortify the rest of the line in Superior National Forest.
Laura Mattson talked with Minnesota Orchestra Communications Manager Emma Plehal as she was one of the first to arrive to see a performance at Orchest

The pandemic has opened up access to the performing arts. But will it continue?

Streaming shows opened up access to the arts world for those with mobility and other issues.
Carol Ericson

Carol Ericson, schools superintendent, dies at 88

When Carol Ericson interviewed to become superintendent of the Chaska School District in 1984, a local newspaper headline asked: "Can a woman do the job?…
The board of In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre has voted to sell the Avalon Theatre, its home since 1988.

Minneapolis' MayDay Parade puppets lose their home, warehouse to downsizing

Heart of the Beast selling its longtime home and warehouse to downsize.
Sarah Fossen

She reinvented Rosedale, now she'll be Minnesota's No. 1 arts advocate

Sarah Fossen named to lead Minnesota Citizens for the Arts.
After a tough year of isolation due to COVID-19, residents love the opportunity to gather for dinner each day and express their experiences during the

Unique Minnesota residency offers Deaf artists a place to create and connect

Together, they might shape Deaf art's future.