January’s cultural jewels

In January in Minot, you can make snowballs, snowmen and angels in the snow; or go sledding or skating; or simply, keep fit by taking a walk – all in nature’s winter wonderland. The sparkling diamond carpet of snow is nature’s cultural creation.

Not to be outdone indoors, when you step into the Taube Museum of Art at 2 N. Main St. in downtown Minot on Jan. 16, you will discover that the walls sparkle with a variety of artistic creations created by someone, as the members of the Taube host the “Off the Wall Exhibit.” According to Nancy Walter, executive director, the Taube is offering a unique opportunity for members to re-sell their “previously viewed” artwork. If you are a member and have a jewel of a painting that you are willing to make available for someone else’s wall, here is your opportunity to help the Taube in this fundraising event. Simply stated, you put a price on the artwork, which will then be hung on the Taube wall for someone else to purchase. You’ll share the result of the purchase with the Taube. Artwork must be at the Taube by Jan. 9. The closing reception will be held on Feb. 13 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Walter also reminds you of the “Paint the Town Red Series.” On Jan. 23, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Taube, Walter will be present to help you become an artist. She suggests that you call 838-4445 to make reservations for this jewel of a learning adventure. It will cost you $35, which will cover the costs of your equipment and a chance to share an evening with other “wannabe” artists. As a result of this series involving wannabes, Nancy predicts that Minot will have a large quantity of new jeweled artwork.

On Jan. 16, out at Minot’s Sleep Inn and Suites at 6 p.m., a relatively new organization, The Minot Young Professionals, will host a fundraiser called “Underwear Because We Care” for the benefit of the Minot Domestic Violence Crisis Center. The event will cost you $5, or $2 if you bring with you a new piece of undergarment. For the price of your ticket there will be food and beverages. During the silent auction, you may be the winner of contributions from local businesses, including a night’s lodging and waterpark tickets from the Sleep Inn and Suites, or lodging at the Country Inn and Suites. We should all be aware of what Dina Filler, executive director of Minot’s Domestic Violence Crisis Center, says are increasing needs of Minot residents to make use of the DVCC facilities. More facilities are in the process of being erected, but all of these come with a price tag. This event is your opportunity to be a jewel to someone in need.

For many years, Minot and area residents have enjoyed a variety of jeweled performances on the stage of Minot State University’s Ann Nicole Nelson Hall. Thanks to the International Artist Series, this year, on Jan. 21 at 7:30 p.m., this series presents Anthony Kearns. Various press releases note that “with a rendition of ‘Danny Boy’ that will melt your heart, Irish lyric tenor Anthony Kearns has the ability to color each note with beauty and grace. Continuing to perform as a founding-member of platinum-selling vocal sensation ‘The Irish Tenors’ and the winner of many Irish singing festivals, including ‘Ireland’s Search for a Tenor’ in 1993, Kearns was recognized by the Irish Music Association as the ‘Best Irish Tenor’ in the U.S., United Kingdom and European Union in 2010. Kearns is also a notable opera performer, appearing in feature roles on opera stages across Europe and North America. Accompanied by piano, the strength and tenderness of his voice captures the spirit of classic opera, popular song and the traditional music of his homeland.”

Predictably, it is very likely every person of Irish descent in Minot will be in attendance, as – sure and begorra – will be Betty Fedorchak, Ireland’s “jeweled gift.” How fortunate are we to be able to enjoy jeweled, top-of-the-line Irish entertainment without leaving Minot?

If you have helped jam-pack Nelson Hall for this jeweled season of Minot Symphony Orchestra concerts, you’ll be sure to be in the same hall on Jan. 25 for the 7:30 p.m. concert. Prior to this concert, there will be an opportunity for all of you, young and old, to explore the sights and sounds of the orchestral instruments. “The Instrumental Petting Zoo” promises to be an exciting adventure where you can see and touch the instrument to which you listen. This concert is billed as the Minot Symphony Family and Children’s Concert “Exploring the Orchestra.” During the concert, cellist Hannah Veazey and hornist Reese Hamilton will be honored. Veazey won the MSO High School Soloist Competition and will play “Elegie, Op. 24” by Gabriel Faure. Congratulations also to Hamilton, who received honorable mention. It is safe to say that when dazzling jewel Scott Seaton, Minot’s symphony director, whisks his way onto the stage, baton in hand, you will be happy that you are in attendance for yet another jeweled concert.

From Jan. 16-18 at 7:30 p.m., and Jan. 19 at 2 p.m., if you are in the Mouse River Players Arlene Theater, you will be in for yet another first-class theatrical performance of “All My Sons.” In an attempt to bring to Minot audiences a variety of dramatic performances, this drama is definitely serious, and very young children might not enjoy this performance. Written by the well-known playwright Arthur Miller, this story is set during the World War II era. It involves a family entanglement, wherein a son discovers his father’s unethical dealings, which differ from his ethics, and what happens as a result of these ethics. If you remember the WWII era, this drama is sure to have moments of nostalgia, you may have even had a member involved in this life-changing war. In the theater lobby, there will be a display of WWII artifacts that you will want to take time to view. Jacob Jenkins directs this drama. The cast includes local veterans of the stage: Don Waage, Lin Knickerbocker, Ryan Haider, Ann Richardson, Joe Koppinger, John Petrik, Courtney DuPona, Patrick Dougherty, Kena Davidson and Tucker Koppinger.

“‘All My Sons’ deals with revealing hidden family secrets, sacrifice, idealism and practicality, and responsibility to oneself and to society,” Jenkins said. “There is so much going on in the subtlety of the play, a person could watch it several times and still walk away having found something new every time.” Reservations for this dramatic jewel should be made by calling 1-866-667-1977.

Another year, another column; another reason to thank you, the readers of my column; another reason for me to be thankful that I write what I want about the wonderful cultural events that make Minot “The Magic City.” Also, many heartfelt thanks go to Margaret and her computer. As you read about January’s cultural events, I hope you are enjoying a special jewel-like Christmas, and that come January 2014, my wish for you is a happy, healthy, sparkling new year.

(Arlene Saugstad is a freelance writer who lives in Minot.)