Tracker Pixel for Entry

A little art on the prairie

by Sabrina Hornung | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Editorial | August 16th, 2017

Our opinion: We all breathe the same air, and we all drank the same beer.

Last weekend I helped a pal plan a small festival in an even smaller town. In fact, you may find me bartending there once in a blue moon, flexing my extensive knowledge of cheap beer and rail whiskeys if Janet (their regular bartendress) needs a night off. We invited an eclectic group of talented musicians from across North Dakota and even asked our pals to bring in a pop-up art show in the old WPA-era town hall.

Live music and art shows can be found all over Fargo-Moorhead and some of us may take it for granted. And I will be the first to admit it, even though I work for an arts and entertainment weekly.

I’ve heard of Fargo referred to as “the Paris of the prairie” or “Imperial Cass” on a less flowery note because of our population influencing access to arts funding and programming. It’s easy to take that for granted when we have access to fine institutions such as the Rourke or the Plains for visual arts, FMCT or Theatre B for the theatre arts, and access to the Fargo Theatre for independent films and a handful of film events throughout the year.

If we want to see some live music we can hit up the Aquarium, Junkyard, or various other venues throughout the week to support our friends or meet up with our peers. We’re very fortunate to have such a creative community as well as spaces that accommodate our passions.

Center Fest may not have been the most well-organized event, but maintaining communication with limited service is a challenge unto itself, yet somehow our mantra came from a “Field of Dreams” reference: ”If you build it they will come,” and they did. Not in droves by any means but we did have a manageable crowd and it was pure magic on multiple levels.

In a time that is so politically divided, it was refreshing to see people of all ages get together and unite for the sake of a good time. Farmers and long-hairs stood side by side, no harsh words were overheard and the only punches thrown were the two drunk guys who ascended the amateur boxing ring.

We don’t all have to vote for the same person to get along. We all breathe the same air, and that weekend we all drank the same beer.

Along with visitors who made the trek to Robinson, a handful of locals showed up, ranging from 5 to 90. Many of us don’t think twice about having access to bands that play live original music, but to a handful of people this was their first experience -- same with the Wandering Ghost art show.

The nearest towns that provide art programming are over 60 miles away in either direction, though the number of school age children on highway 36 is pretty low. Hopefully, next year we can dedicate a portion of our programming to engaging our audience more.

There were a handful of people in the area who may never have had access to a gallery art show, and we brought it to them. We wanted to provide a unique experience and revitalize the old town hall, and breathe life into an otherwise abandoned space that once hosted basketball tournaments, sunrise dances, school plays, roller skating, and even served as a movie hall.

An old Robinson tradition was the “Sunrise Dance,” the name is self explanatory but a live band would play into the wee hours and people have been talking about it for decades after. One local in his early seventies looked bright-eyed and mentioned that maybe--maybe we could bring back the Sunrise Dance. I asked another gentleman around the same age what he thought of all the festivities and he said, “Well, it’s something different but ya gotta do stuff like this or the town will die out.”

My faith in DIY was revitalized this weekend. As artists and patrons of the arts we need to continue to work together to cultivate our scene or to at least branch out and network with creatives across the state, to see what the statewide art scene is like.

We all agree that the arts are essential. Let’s share our knowledge and make them accessible. All it takes is a little elbow grease. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Recently in:

FARGO – Republican optimism for enlisting Senate candidates is suffering blow after blow. Democrats have flipped eight Republican-controlled state legislative seats across the nation, from Roy Moore’s loss to former federal…

When I was a young boy of five I was lucky enough to have a black and white TV in our house. I had a lot of friends in those day because I let the whole neighborhood come over on Saturday morning to watch cartoons. I distinctly…

Wednesday, January 24, 6pmFargo Theatre, 314 Broadway NThe very first showing of “Homegrown: From Farm to Fargo,” a half-hour documentary shot, written, edited and produced by mass communication and journalism students at…

Last week I was asked to appear and speak on behalf of Matt Pausch, owner of the Oasis, before the Public Works and Safety Committee in Wahpeton. The Pausches are great people and I will never forget the time I spent at the Oasis.…

Corky had a knee replaced in late December and she has been diligently doing the physical therapy connected with the rehab. Although the operation was done in Fargo, I imagine the procedure would have cost about the same if it had…

Rhombus GuysWhile they may be known locally and throughout the region for their restaurants, which feature over thirty different pizzas, and their recent addition of a brewery in Grand Forks, Rhombus Guys also proudly pour from a…

Do you eat enough vegetables? Almost no one does. The current USDA nutrition guidelines for adults recommend 2.5 to 3 cups of vegetables to be eaten daily. Other nutrition sources indicate this number can be upwards of 6 cups of…

No one who has lived in Fargo for any length of time has to be told how bitterly cold it can get here during the winter. As much as we might complain about the cold temperatures, the biting winds, or the copious amounts of snow, we…

Now playing on Netflix Instant Watch, Voyeur is the curious story of strange bedfellows Gay Talese -- the once influential and celebrated journalist -- and Gerald Foos, a creepy peeper who spied on the guests at his hotel,…

High Plains Reader: How did the idea for Daily Trump Cartoon come to you -- what was your call to action?Peter Yuenger: It wasn't really a call to action, It was more of a New Year’s resolution to get back in the habit of drawing…

Smoke starts to seep from the sides of the stage and a rocker’s voice echoes over the crowd: “Are you ready to rock?!”You might think that you’re at a rock concert, if you weren’t seated in a black box theatre. For the…

Humor

​Talking to strangers

by Sabrina Hornung

“I don’t have a tour, like, on the back of a sweatshirt,” comedian Paula Poundstone says. “I go out every weekend. This weekend I went out Friday, Saturday and Monday. Mostly it’s Friday/Saturday or Thursday through…

“What are some of your favorite bottles of whiskey?” is a question I get asked quite frequently and is often harder to answer than one might think. One of the great rewards of my profession is getting to sample some of the…

Essential oils. They are all the buzz lately. It seems everyone has heard of them or is purchasing them. Some people know how to use them; others are just interested in the wonder of their complex scents.Essential oils are as…

Live and Learn

​The other shoe

by HPR Contributor

By Elizabeth Nawrotnawrot@mnstate.eduI look up from my hotel lobby breakfast astonished to see a framed print of Wassily Kandinsky's "Mit und Gegen,” a masterpiece of color and composition that just happens to be my favorite…

By Gary Olsonolsong@moravian.edu“Kissing a man without a beard is like eating an egg without salt.”— Dutch proverb, probably written by a man.“Kissing a man with a beard is like going on a picnic. You don’t mind going…