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:

BISMARCK – The Dakota Access Pipeline developer agreed to plant trees to reach a settlement over two misconduct allegations while constructing the pipeline on Wednesday. A total of 20,000 trees are to be planted by December 31,…

photo by Meg Luther Lindholm.Ibtissem (pronounced Ib-tiss-em) Belmihoub is both enjoying her time in Fargo as a doctoral student in Rhetoric, Writing and Culture at NDSU and a community volunteer. She is currently the Project…

Wed-Fri, September 27-29, 8pm; Sat-Sun, 2pmComstock Theatre, Concordia College, 901 8th St S, MoorheadIt is October, 1517, at Wittenberg University in northern Germany, where students and faculty begin another academic year. A…

Our opinion: We’re more than the sum of our partsOver the weekend I was telling a friend of mine that one of the most valuable things a person can gain in life is perspective. My time at the High Plains Reader has gifted me just…

What kind of characters would charge $99 for a case of water?In the days before the solar eclipse safety glasses sold for $8.95 for a five-pack of certified glasses. The day before the eclipse the price was raised to $59. During…

The moment of truth has arrived. After seven weeks of sampling and judging some of the finest libations in the area the results for this year’s Cocktail Showdown have arrived. Christopher Larson, Raul Gomez and Sabrina Hornung…

Brand new and satisfying in so many waysI ventured into Tru Blu on Sunday at noon. As soon as I entered I was immediately astonished by the interior. It’s gorgeous! The brown tufted booths and dark wood give the impression that…

Fall is arriving, and that of course means that the new season of the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra’s “Masterworks” series sponsored by Sanford Health is right around the corner.In the last couple concert seasons they…

Rom-coms are a staple of modern movies and have been for well over a century. This summer two very different variations on the genre spotlighting iconic 20th-century superstars made their Blu-ray debuts from Kino-Lorber. One is a…

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. This nonprofit organization described their mission as “To identify students with their exceptional artistic and literary talent and…

‘Heathers’ hits the Empire stage in Grand ForksBefore the pink-clad Plastics or Cher’s group of popular beauties in “Clueless,” the shoulder pad-wearing, croquet mallet-wielding Heathers ruled the halls of Westerberg High…

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…

Up here where it’s north of normal, we can pretty much count on our first cold snap to hit right about now, and the 90 degree day we JUST HAD seems like a distant memory. Goodbye pool parties, BBQs and the patio hang sesh. Hello…

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 Robert Franklin, Esq.parents@nationalparentsorganization.orgIn North Dakota, a child’s chances of spending meaningful time with each parent following divorce have less to do with his parents than what county they divorce…