minnesotabrown Posts

“On a Mission from God”

The effects of the state budget deficit will be felt by many, but one example I’ve been talking about is the potential loss of Hibbing Community College Theater. (Disclosure: I work for HCC as a communication instructor).

HCC has developed a top notch two-year theater program and community theater series. For years it has demonstrated to the blue collar Iron Range the importance and possibility represented by the fine arts. Unfortunately, the program is now on the chopping block. But the community isn’t taking this lying down. A deal was struck that if some money could be raised externally the program could continue in some form.

For one night only, a big show will be held that could save a precious community treasure from budget cuts. Yes, that is exactly like the plot of the 1980 musical “The Blues Brothers.” Which is why the cast of HCC’s 2004 production of the Blues Brothers is reuniting for the show. The HCC Blues Brothers and Blues Brothers band is top notch, as good or better than any of the other revivals you might see touring the country and is predominantly stocked with Minnesotans.

We need to fill this massive, historic hall to save theater at HCC. Consider a road trip to Hibbing to send a message in support of the arts.

HCC Theater Support Gala
7:30 p.m.
Thursday, July 2
Hibbing High School Auditorium
(easily the most impressive high school auditorium in the country, and Dylan played there before he was Dylan)

First, enjoy the hilarious promotional video featuring Elwood Blues (Hibbing’s Jaime Tintor, an actor in L.A.). This is well worth the click.

HCC Theater Support Gala featuring the Blues Brothers: July 2 in Hibbing

Send this out. Tell your friends. Tweet and Retweet. Blog and Share. Every town has something to fight for in this unfortunately political battle, but this one is awfully important to the towns of the Iron Range, knocked down by the economy and in need of the healing power of the arts. Tell the people: “We’re getting the band back together.”

Follow some hilarious updates all next week at my blog MinnesotaBrown.com

Dylan Days opens in Hibbing on Thursday

The good people of Duluth are celebrating their Dylan connection tonight. Thursday through Sunday bring a variety of arts events to the site of Dylan’s formative years up the road in Hibbing. Read more at the Dylan Days website or at the rolling updates at my MinnesotaBrown.com blog. Yes, I’m an organizer of Dylan Days and yes this is shameless promotion. But we’re proud of our grassroots funtime (including music, literature and visual arts) and I wouldn’t be involved if it weren’t something special.

This year’s Dylan Days includes four authors (including, unfortunately, myself), the world premiere of the winning play from our one-act playwright contest, music from Scarlet Rivera (the violinist from “Hurricane” among other things), the singer/songwriter contest and much more.

Hibbing is 80 short miles from Duluth and if you crash in the backseat of your car this is a highly affordable experience. But rooms are available!

Dylan Days in Hibbing coming May 21-24

Here is our fresh new Dylan Days press release, cross posted at my blog, going out today:

Dylan Days boasts full new schedule for 2009
Lineup features music, art and literature in music icon’s hometown

HIBBING, Minn. (April 20, 2009) – As Bob Dylan prepares to release another new album, his hometown of Hibbing, Minn., is preparing to honor him with its annual celebration of music, literature, visual art and Dylan history. Dylan Days 2009 takes place May 21-24.

A Gen Y life in a Greatest Generation place

Hi folks. My name is Aaron Brown and this is my first post here. I run a blog up on the Iron Range called MinnesotaBrown.com and wrote a book called “Overburden: Modern Life on the Iron Range” that came out recently.

This Friday, April 17, my “Don Quioxe de l’Iron Range” tour returns to the Twin Ports. I’ll be giving a lecture and reading from the book during a special appearance at the Manion Theater in the Holden Fine Arts Building on the campus of my alma mater University of Wisconsin at Superior.

I like Superior. It reminds me of the Iron Range and enjoys some of the same reputation for some of the same reasons. It’s a blue collar place that grew quickly about 100 years ago with a huge influx of immigrant workers. Now the critics call it dirty and downtrodden, but I think there’s a charm in its gritty ways. Like many Range towns, they combat their foes with a dazzling logo. I write often about the same ideas in regard to the Iron Range. In any event, UWS is a fantastic small liberal arts public university and I’m proud to return as an author instead of as an out-of-work grad student.

I talk a lot about the challenges facing Gen Y professionals in rusty places like the Iron Range. As a fifth generation Ranger I’ve learned to love the place and its potential, but bang my head on many walls along the way.

The lecture begins at 2 p.m. and will be followed by a book signing and what the university is calling “light refreshments.”

Read more from UWS.

My blog explains more about the book and the travails of modern life on the Iron Range. It’s part humor, part politics … if there is, in fact, a difference.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!