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Weekend Arts Roundup: An artistic whirlwind

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by Marianne Combs

May 14, 2015

The halls of the Northrup King building are filled with artists, patrons and families exploring the artist studios made available during Art-A-Whirl in northeast Minneapolis.
MPR Photo/William Lager

MPR News Arts Reporter Marianne Combs joins Jill Riley and Sean McPherson (in for Steve Seel) to talk about the largest open-studio tour in the country, an Eastern European-inspired women's vocal ensemble, a new play from Ten Thousand Things, and the Minnesota Orchestra's historic concerts in Cuba.

Art-A-Whirl — "This art crawl in Northeast Minneapolis has turned into the largest open-studio tour in the country over the past 20 years," Marianne says. "This is a huge deal." Throughout Northeast Minneapolis, art abounds in studios, homes, shops and more. There's also a rich schedule of live music. Art-A-Whirl runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 15 to 17, and is presented by the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association (NEMAA).

The Nightingale Trio — This trio, inspired by folk music from Eastern Europe and the Balkans, will be performing a number of shows this weekend. From Friday to Sunday, May 15 to 17, the group will perform with Ethnic Dance Theater in a show called "Mountain Memories"; concerts take place at the Pearson Theatre at Concordia University in St. Paul. The Nightingale Trio will also perform a Saturday matinee at In the Heart of the Beast Theatre in Minneapolis. Although all three women in the Nightingale Trio hold day jobs, their performance résumé have toured the U.S. and have even appeared on A Prairie Home Companion.

Forget Me Not When Far AwayTen Thousand Things presents this show by local playwright Kira Obolensky. A man comes back from war after 10 years to discover there are no men left in his hometown. Adrift in a new world order, the man struggles to understand his place in a town and a culture that has vastly changed since he left it. This play runs May 2 to 31, with shows at the Minnesota Opera Center and at Open Book.

Minnesota Orchestra in Cuba — MPR News Arts Reporter Euan Kerr and our photographer, Nate Ryan, will be sharing stories of the Minnesota Orchestra's historic visit to Cuba. The orchestra's concerts will air live on Classical MPR on Friday, May 15, and Saturday, May 16, both starting at 7 p.m.