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KAXE/KBXE Best of the Weekend Ahead - April 1-3, 2022

The Audacity to Be Asian in Rural America gallery image
From the artist's website
"The Audacity to Be Asian In Rural America" opens this weekend at the Macrostie Art Center in Grand Rapids, MN

With the sun shining this weekend and the mud starting to peek out from beneath the ice sheets, it's a great weekend to keep your boots clean. So head indoors and check out one of the many family entertainment, live music, and arts events happening around the KAXE listening area in northern Minnesota.

For those art-scenesters looking to get out of the house on Friday, The Macrostie Art Center in Grand Rapids debuts a new exhibition: “The Audacity to be Asian in Rural America: We Owe you No Apologies”, paintings by Nancy XiaoRong Valentine. In May 2021, Valentine created this series of 12 watercolor and Chinese ink scroll paintings on rice paper that visually tells the story of the Hao family’s (Nancy’s mom’s side) Chinese American immigrant experience in rural West Central Minnesota. The body of work, though deeply personal, is filled with the relatable themes of duty, filial piety, sacrifice, resilience, and overwhelmingly, love. The exhibition opens tonight, April 1st and there is an opening reception 6pm at the MAC, part of First-Friday Art walk in downtown Grand Rapids. The exhibition runs through May 27th.

If you’re looking for an event with a little pizzaz, head down to Brainerd for “The Magic of Bill Blagg” performing on the Gichi-ziibi stage at Central Lakes College tonight at 7pm. Blagg is one of the nation's top touring illusionists and he is always performing new, never-before-seen illusions such as the world's only rideable hoverboard. He is also known for instantly teleporting across theaters, squishing his body from 6 feet to 6 inches tall, passing through the blades of an industrial fan, and much more.

If you’re in the Bemidji area on Saturday, stop by the New Salem Lutheran Church near Turtle River for their annual rummage and bake sale from 8am-2pm. There’s no entry fee to get into the sale, so head on down ready to shop! Proceeds benefit charities like the local food shelf, the Boys and Girls Club, and the local branch of Churches United. New Salem is located 10 miles North of Bemidji on Hwy. 71 in Turtle River.

The big event of the Weekend is Sunday night with the next installment in the KAXE partnership with the Historic Chief Theater in Bemidji. Jeffrey Foucault and Erik Koskinen will be performing separately and together for a night of Country and Rock tunes. This free show, so pull on your stompin’ boots, dust off your fancy trucker hat, polish up those pearl snaps, and come on out for a great night of music. The Historic Chief Theater is in the heart of Downtown Bemidji. Doors open at 630, music at 730.

Have a great weekend, everyone! And as always, keep those event announcements coming our way at Comments@KAXE.org.

Max Philbrook (he/him) is a Producer at KAXE focused on telling the stories of the people, events, and organizations that make up the fabric of northern Minnesota. Based out of Grand Rapids, Max spends his time reading fiction at the library, seeing sports and live music, and supporting the arts and cultural events in the area. Get in touch with Max if you have a story to tell, an event to publicize, or just want to chat about life in the northland.