Join Us for the Saint Paul Art Crawl!

MN Original and TPT are getting in on one of St. Paul’s most beloved art events – the Saint Paul Art Crawl. Now in it’s 25th year alternatives to canada goose womens parkas Canada Goose vest sale shop, the Saint Paul Art Crawl features more than 400 artists in spaces in and around Lowertown. We’re thrilled to announce that we’ll be open to the public on Saturday, October 15th from 12-5PM.

Our newly renovated street space will be transformed into an artist’s market with some of your favorite MNO alums and their work. In addition to some truly local, one of a kind art, there will also be demonstrations by the artists, episodes of MN Original on the big screen, a charging station, mother’s room and light refreshments.

The featured artists include: Andrea Martin, Caitlin Warner, Chuck U, Julia Strand, Karen Morris, Kristi Abbott and Kurt Seaberg. Learn more about them and their work here:

Stop by Saturday, October 15th from 12-5PM at Twin Cities PBS located at 172 East Fourth St., St. Paul, MN 55101. We’re located right off the Union Depot light rail stop or there’s parking available in the Lowertown Ramp.

Educator Evening with MNO Artist Xavier Tavera

Attention educators*! You’re invited:

An Evening with Xavier Tavera: Creativity Across Disciplines

Spend an evening inspiring creativity with photographer and MNO alum Xavier Tavera. Through a hands-on, easy-to-replicate photography workshop, Tavera will engage, encourage, and imbue confidence in participants. Tavera will also facilitate a discussion on the meaning of creativity and how creativity applies to life outside of Art. (Cameras and camera phones are not required to participate, though if you have one, please bring it to share!)

(*this event is open to the community, not just educators, though there will be a focus on classroom application.)

In case you need further convincing, revisit our profile on him:

Event Details
Date: Thursday, October 2, 2014
Time: 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Location: Minnesota Humanities Center, 987 Ivy Ave. E, St. Paul, MN 55106
Cost: $10 per person, includes light snacks and materials
CEUs: 2 clock hours available upon request

Click here to register.


Contact Kate Westlund with questions:

MNO Celebrates Hip Hop Appreciation Week 2014

In five seasons of MNO, we’ve been fortunate to work with some of the Twin Cities’ most talented hip-hop musicians, dancers, and activists. While hardly a day goes by without the music of at least one of these artists being blasted in the MNO offices, we’re celebrating Hip Hop Appreciation Week with a playlist of all the hip-hop-related videos that have aired on MN Original. Watch the playlist below, and be sure to check out the Minnesota Hip Hop Coalition’s website for a full list of events in celebration of Hip Hop Appreciation Week!

Included in the playlist:

Heiruspecs: The Pushback
Greg Grease: I Still Love H.E.R.
B-Boy J-Sun
Kill The Vultures
Amy Sackett
Spencer Wirth-Davis / Big Cats
Maria Isa
No Bird Sing
Guante: Cartpushers
Doomtree: Slow Burn at Rock The Garden 2012
Mankwe Ndosi
Brother Ali: The Travelers
Rebecca McDonald
Chaka Mkali

Rock The Garden 2013: Metric: Breathing Underwater

Rock The Garden 2013: Silversun Pickups: The Pit

Rock The Garden 2013: Bob Mould Band: Round the City Square

#511: Rock The Garden 2013

Statement from MN Original and tpt Regarding Local Hip Hop Event

We understand and are fully supportive of the decision by our friends and colleagues at MPR to postpone this production. Twin Cities Public Television (tpt) and MN Original look forward to continuing our good work with the hip hop community and Minnesota’s entire artistic community.

Dianne Steinbach
David Roth
The entire MN Original staff

February Educator Workshop with Ka Vang

Join us the evening of February 6 for an interactive presentation by Hmong American writer, educator and artist/activist Ka Vang.

Date: Thursday, February 6, 2014
Time: 7:00PM-9:00PM
Location: Minnesota Humanities Center
Cost: $10 (includes hors d’oeuvres and materials)
Intended Audience: K-12 Educators (though all are welcome)
Clock Hours: 2 clock hours available upon request

During the course of the evening, Vang will read selections from her work, guide the audience in creating a community poem and discuss how one can use writing as a tool for social justice. Participants will leave with  a copy of Vang’s children’s book, Shoua and the Northern Lights Dragon, a DVD of the MN Original episode in which Vang appears, a set of corresponding activity guides and a fresh way to approach folktales, storytelling and poetry in the classroom.

Space is limited, so register today!

(In case you missed it, here’s Vang’s segment:)

MNO Social

Join us on Thursday, December 5 for MNO Social!

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Here’s your chance to mingle with MN Original producers, meet some of the featured artists, and find out what’s ahead in Season 5— all while noshing on treats from Icehouse Restaurant. Dan Corrigan and Gabriel Douglas from 4onthefloor will talk about their experiences on the show. It’s free! Doors at 5pm. Programming starts at 6pm. RSVP on our Eventbrite page.

MNO Receives 5 Upper Midwest Regional Emmys®

When MN Original first started in 2009, our producers made a decision to not cast a host for the show. The thought behind this decision was that a host would only serve to distract focus from the art & artists in the Twin Cities’ creative community. As MN Original has grown, we’ve continued to keep the show 100% “locally-sourced” with a focus on local arts; all the music used to soundtrack our profiles is from Minnesota-based musicians, for example. We live in a truly unique community in the Twin Cities specifically, and the State of Minnesota, more broadly. The existence of the Legacy Amendment is proof of that, and the local artists we collaborate with underscore that originality and uniqueness every week on MN Original. We couldn’t help but reflect on this when MN Original received 5 awards at the Upper Midwest Regional Emmys®. Thank you to the Citizens of Minnesota, and to all the artists, organizations, and individuals who have helped make MN Original possible. Your creativity and spirit will always be the focus of what we do.

Below is a round-up of our Emmy® winning videos:

Category 22A: Historic/Cultural/Nostalgic – Single Story
Capturing a Community: Xavier Tavera


Category 24: Informational/Instructional – Single Story
The Nomadic Press – Kent Aldrich


Category 26: Magazine Program
Minnesota Original: Episode #423
JoAnn Verburg, Marion McClinton + Cloud Cult


Category 28: Special Event Coverage
Rock The Garden 2012

MN Original‘s Ryan Klabunde was also awarded an Emmy® in the category of Editor – Program (Non-News).

Stationwide, tpt was recognized with 11 Upper Midwest Regional Emmys®.

MNO Alumni at the Fair

The gates for the Great Minnesota Get Together don’t open for another couple days, but Minnesota arts fans already have plenty to get excited about: 2013 Fine Arts Competition winners were announced at last night’s Fine Arts Preview Night. With all of the winners’ art collected under one roof at the Fine Arts Center, the State Fair actually serves as Minnesota’s largest juried art exhibit. This year, part of the Fine Arts Center will also be turned from gallery into a studio space as part of Studio: HERE, which will provide a rare glimpse into how art is created. MNO alumni are well-represented between Studio: HERE participants and Fine Arts Competition winners. We’ve got a video round-up of MNO alumni and 2013 Fine Arts Competition winners at the bottom of this page. To get more perspective on the State Fair’s Fine Arts exhibition, we spoke with Kyle Fokken, who was featured on MN Original #317, and also received a 3rd Place Award in Sculpture this year.

MNO: What have your experiences participating in the Fine Arts exhibition at the Minnesota State Fair been like?

Kyle Fokken: I love the Minnesota State Fair Art Show! I think there is so much wonderful variety that it hits so many tastes and styles. You never know who the juror is and what he or she will think of your work and whether it will make it in the exhibition. The visual arts community (at least in the metro) is a small community and everyone knows most everyone else and/or their work, making it a politically challenging exercise. I think this is my third “Third Place” award which makes me pleased, but I’d still like something higher.

As an artist, you always feel that your work is the best until you see work that blows yours out of the water and demands your respect. I always learn something new whenever I go and I appreciate the opportunity to show with so many great artists of all disciplines.

MNO: What does this award mean to you?

KF: Gas in the car and money to pay the photographer. If you are lucky or want to splurge, you can pay it forward and use it as an opportunity to buy someone else’s artwork. Being a working artist means that you celebrate the victory of winning an award but at the end of the day you need those funds to help you to keep on doing what you’re doing. With my piece “Song of the Flying Dutchman,” I would love it to be the centerpiece of someone’s lovely home or as part of a public art collection in an art or musical institution. It is one of my favorite pieces and I just love the romance that comes with the merger of classical music, sailing ships and the open sea. I have a ‘violin’ version in bronze in case anyone is interested. Please see my website for details – (Shameless plug, of course.)

MNO: How is showing at the Minnesota State Fair different than any other ‘arts only’ shows?

KF: I think it is very egalitarian from both the artists and the viewer’s perspective. In most art shows you have to have a body of work to submit whereas the Fair only allows for one piece. This allows beginners and professionals to compete side by side and mixes things up a bit which keeps the event fresh. I also like the idea that there is truly something for everyone.  This exhibit allows me to show my work to a larger audience who may never have been to an art show or would never venture into a gallery. It also allows viewers to visually ‘taste’ a variety of different artistic ‘flavors’ and develop a richer ‘pallet’ and better artist ‘taste’.

It’s always hard to know if this sampling will lead to sales, but I look at it as part of my overall marketing strategy since so many people see the show and it is highly regarded in the artistic community. Best of all, it’s free!


MNO Alumni &  2013 Minnesota State Fair Fine Arts Award Recipients

Maren Kloppmann (from MN Original #109): 1st Place, Ceramics/Glass; 1st place from Northern Clay Center; 1st Place from Tweed Museum of Art

Kyle Fokken (from MN Original #317): 3rd Place, Sculpture

John Largaespada (from MN Original #207): 3rd Place, Photography

Scott Lloyd Anderson (from MN Original #204): Honorable Mention, Oil/Acrylic/Mixed Media

Faye Passow (will be featured on a new episode of MN Original in the Fall): Honorable Mention, Prints

Faye Passow on MN Original

Kurt Seaberg (will be featured on a new episode of MN Original in the Fall): Honorable Mention, Prints

Kurt Seaberg on MN Original

2013 Minnesota State Fair Fine Arts Results (click on photo below for full pdf):