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Grand Forks, North Dakota

ISSUE 10

TA K E A B I T E
INSIDE
music / community / theatre / lit

3 6
A new venue for daily live music | pg 5

LIT LINEUP

MareLynn’s
Sewing Studio
5 8 New year, new resolutions | pg 10

MUSIC COMMUNITY
alterations
by appointment

10
sewing classes
beginning february st

SPECIAL FEATURE
Happy Birthday, Empire | pg 8

The Beat is a publication of the
Empire Arts Center. Find out more about the Empire
Empire Staff:
by visiting www.empireartscenter.com. Have an idea
for a story? Contact us at info@empireartscenter.com. Emily Montgomery, Executive Director
Mackenzie Teepen, Development & Communications
Affordable advertising opportunities are now available
for upcoming issues of The Beat. Ask about our non-
profit rates. Email mackenzie@empireartscenter.com for
marelynnsewingstudio@gmail.com | --------- more information.
---- nd Ave N Grand Forks, ND

2 THE BEAT | SPRING 2018
ARTS & CULTURE
LIT

Fiction that reflects our current state:
A review of ‘Sourdough’ by Robin Sloan
By Mollie Douthit

S
ourdough by Robin Sloan follows a of novel writing and doesn’t abandon that.
young woman, Lois Clary who works Allowing the formal structure of the novel
as an unfulfilled robotic programmer to exist, he fills this traditional space with
for the company ‘General Dexterity’. honest writing. In this approach, he tells a
General Dexterity builds robotic arms with well written narrative about the dangers of
the main objective to eliminate unnecessary where passions can lead in the fastness of
human labor. the modern world.

Skilled at her job yet unfulfilled, she leads Sourdough creates points and counterpoints
a monotonous lifestyle. Day in and day to topics that are part of our current state
out, Lois returns home ordering soup and of affairs regarding the pros and cons
sourdough bread from a local delivery. of technology. As a creative individual
When the delivery service closes, the two who finds sanity when my hands make
proprietors gift Lois their sourdough starter something from nothing or delivering
so she can continue to make their bread. something new into existence, this book
This gift catapults her into the obligation sent twinges of panicked anxiety: ‘Will,
of bread baking which quickly turns into a (No, WHEN will) machines or technology
passion. As Lois starts making life changing take over what I can contribute?’.
decisions following her heart rather than
analytic mind, she finds herself sleeping As I read this novel, I am reminded of the
less, busier than ever, and filled with life. final scene in the film Big Night, another
Soon she is selling bread to the chef at the food centered story. When Secondo makes
General Dexterity employee cafeteria, and an omelet for his brother, this 5-minute shot
about to be a premier vendor at an up and contains few words and holds inexplicable,
coming farmers market. truly selfless acting. In the simplicity of
watching the omelet being made and
Conveniently, Lois’ main task at General shared between brothers I notice I have
Dexterity is to develop the robotic arm held my breath slightly. As the scene comes
to crack an egg, one of the most delicate to a close I feel more connected, to what
acts of the human hand, thus the code for I’m unsure, but I know I am experiencing
the arm must be perfect. This task fuels honest artistic work. Robin Sloan achieves
a thread that moves easily between the the same creative tenderness when he
content of Lois’s day job and the dexterous writes about Lois and her bread. Lois the
art of baking. vessel, and the sourdough that becomes her
when it is limp and depressed, and days knew was in her. Sloan allows the character everything.
Throughout the narrative, Lois finds when it fails completely. As Lois grows as a development of Lois to happen quickly, yet
herself falling deeper into following her gut baker she becomes aware of the risks in this believably. He introduces story lines and
rather than her head. With this new-found new-found freedom and soon obligation to events Lois has to adapt to; but timed well Mollie Douthit is an internationally recognised
obsession comes the emotional rise and fall fuel her self fulfillment. This is where I as it doesn’t appear like he is playing house. painter. She lived in Ireland from 2012-2017
of what comes with a passionate occupation a reader became intrigued, feeling for her where she earned her MFA in Studio Art. Douthit
and life. She has days of monotony when as she succeeded and failed. Proud of her Sloan sticks to his guns on the fact this is currently based in Grand Forks.
the bread bakes as it should, days when for stepping outside of who she thought is fiction and he has a story to tell, not a @MollieDouthit | www.molliedouthit.com
it seems to glow with goodness, days she was and into something she never thought to muse. He is talented at his craft

SPRING 2018 | THE BEAT 3
ARTS & CULTURE
LIT
personal. in your own imagination.
How much is each word worth?
For me, the phrase “a picture is worth a Thankfully, every Spring we are lucky to
By Collin Hanson thousand words” had become something have a great reminder of the importance
different. I had misunderstood it to mean of language arts. I hope that you consider
that visual art is more valuable than words attending some of the UND Writers
and that it carries more meaning. Lately, Conference on March 21-23, and consider
I’ve asked myself a question that has grabbing a new book at your local library
caused me to reexamine my connotation or bookstore.
of the phrase:
Stunning words from authors, poets, and
If a picture is worth a thousand words, how artists can spark a deep and personal
much is each word worth? meaning when it’s uttered by one’s own
voice. So I urge you to discover those words
The more that I read, the more I begin to and remember how personal the journey
believe that there are some words which of a book can be.
pictures could hardly do justice. Reading
opens you up to worlds that are far more A proud UND (’16) graduate and Certified
immersive than 92-minute films. Words Nonprofit Professional, Collin T. Hanson is
can be profoundly personal, both in their the Executive Director of Evolve Grand Forks.
application and in their interpretation. Between coffee breaks, he’s supporting the region’s
While a movie can show you scene, when entrepreneurial community as a defining feature to
you are reading, you are creating that scene the identity of Greater Grand Forks.

E
veryone has heard that phrase. The Today, it is somewhat rare to see someone
popular cliché that has been used consult a book to acquire a specific piece
to describe iconic photographs and of knowledge. I have observed how
other still images. The idiom is often true, impatient we are when it comes to wanting
“a picture is worth a thousand words.” to know something. Many of us have a
Whether it is when astronauts capture a nearly omniscient gadget in our pockets
picture of the earth rising over the moon’s or purses (which is occasionally used as a
horizon, or this historical photograph mobile phone). Our impatience demands
of an 1895 Montparnasse train wreck in a cursory answer to the questions we have,
Paris, France, it is safe to argue that many and books are not the most convenient
pictures are worth those one thousand item to use in many situations.
words and probably more. However, we
must not misconstrue the meaning of that Overall, individuals must decide what
phrase or else we risk underappreciating mediums are best suited for them to acquire
the language arts. knowledge and information. There isn’t a
correct answer in this “battle” because not
I can only speak to my own experiences, all people learn in the same way. There is a
though I suspect there may be others who place for all of these mediums, in education
share how I feel. In school, I was caught especially.
in the battle between traditional learning
styles, such as reading and lecture, and My worry is that, in the rush to embrace
newer mediums, such as infographics and these newer mediums, that we do not lose
video. For me, pictures and video still tend the value of more traditional mediums in
to win in those battles today. I certainly feel other contexts. While a 10-minute video
like I understand certain concepts better may better give someone an idea of how
when I see them represented visually rather hockey pucks are made, language arts
than by discerning text. open us to learning about something more

4 THE BEAT | SPRING 2018
ARTS & CULTURE

Photo courtesy of Half Brothers Brewing Company

MUSIC

Something’s brewing
By Justin Dela Cruz

P
eople who are new to our community It’s not all country or folk music, I promise. the music and want to walk in even further. family and bring friends. This brewery has
often have the same complaint: After attending some of their shows and It’s a wonderful place to be by yourself helped the community by hosting not only
“There’s nothing to do here!?” My seeing that each one offered something or with friends, not to mention that any artists, but numerous events benefitting
first article for The Beat argued that there different, I found that Half Brothers was live music is appreciated in Grand Forks. different nonprofit organizations wanting
are actually plenty of things to do in town; a wonderful place to go on any given to improve Grand Forks. Change can be
you just need to look for them. The newest night. Of course, you’ll get the usual The list of artists at Half Brothers is never scary. But, with a good beer and some
addition to Grand Forks’ ever-growing cover artists, but those are always gems on the same, and every day you get a new great tunes, I’m sure Half Brothers and
brewery scene is no different. Half Brothers their own. They also aren’t just limited to person with a distinctive style. So, if one the community it’s building will bring
Brewing Company is a family-friendly craft people wanting to sing different renditions night you come in and don’t like the music, remarkable things to Grand Forks.
brewery and taproom located in downtown of popular songs. You will also be don’t worry. The next time you come in to
Grand Forks. They feature handcrafted introduced to different original musicians the brewery, someone new will be playing. Justin Dela Cruz is a native Texas and the son of
brews and a craft food menu in a relaxed and bands that pass through town. You can always check out who’s performing two Filipino immigrants. Justin has lived in Grand
and cultured gathering spot. However, that week at the restaurant or on Facebook. Forks, ND for over three years and it has grown on
their most unique offering is something The brewery’s setup helps draw you in. The him since then. He likes to write his own stories but
I have yet to see any other place in town stage is set in the very back corner, so as If you’re looking for music, delicious food, loves hearing others tell theirs. @jdelac25
do: LIVE MUSIC EVERY NIGHT! the music plays it resonates throughout the and great beer, Half Brothers Brewing
whole store. As you walk in, you’re drawn to Company is the place for you. Bring the

SPRING 2018 | THE BEAT 5
MUSIC
LIVE MUSIC MISCAST: A UND CABARET THE BREAKERS TOUR: FEATURING
Every Night February 18 LITTLE BIG TOWN
Half Brothers Brewing Company The 1919 Lounge at the Empire March 17
701.757.0805 / halfbrothersbrewing.com 701.746.5500 / empireartscenter.com Ralph Engelstad Arena
701.777.4167 / theralph.com

OPEN MIC ALI ROOD ALBUM RELEASE
February 2, March 2 & April 6 February 20 TELEGRAPH QUARTET
The Ember Half Brothers Brewing Company March 25
701.203.2877 / theemberon3rd.com 701.757.0805 / halfbrothersbrewing.com North Dakota Museum of Art
701.777.4195 / ndmoa.com

DOWNTOWN HORNS BACH & THE BEATLES
February 3 February 23 MADE IN NORTH DAKOTA
Southgate Casino Bar & Grill Presented by Grand Forks Chorales April 6
701.775.7941 / southgatecasinobarandgrill.com HB Sound & Light Warehouse Presented by UND School of Music
701.732.0091 / gfchorales.org Josephine Campbell Recital Hall
701.777.2644 / und.edu
DUELING DUO
February 14 UND CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
Brick & Barley Bar & Grill February 28 FOREIGNER
701.757.4012 / brickandbarleygf.com Presented by UND School of Music April 2
Josephine Campbell Recital Hall Chester Fritz Auditorium
701.777.2644 / und.edu 701.777.4090 / cfa.und.edu
AN EVENING WITH BROADWAY
STAR DONNA VIVINO
February 16 & 17 THE FORESTS OF CENTRAL EUROPE GARDEN PARTY: MUSIC IN BLOOM
The 1919 Lounge at the Empire March 4 April 15
701.746.5500 / empireartscenter.com Presented by Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra Presented by Northern Valley Youth Orchestras
Empire Arts Center All Seasons Floral & Garden Center
701.746.5500 / empireartscenter.com 701.213.0310 / novyo.org
ART
ART & WINE WALK UND ART COLLECTIONS 25TH ANNUAL ELEMENTARY
February 17 GALLERY OPENING RECEPTION ART SHOW
Presented by the Downtown Development Association & PAC March 6 January 19
Downtown Grand Forks & East Grand Forks Presented by UND Art Collections Presented by ArtWise
701.757.4051 / downtowngrandforks.org Empire Arts Center Alerus Center
701.746.5500 / und.edu/art-collections 701.740.2230 / artwise4kids.com

6 THE BEAT | SPRING 2018
THEATRE/DANCE
OVER THE RIVER AND THROUGH CLUB PARISIENNE/BALLET TO AGATHA CHRISTIE’S AND THEN
THE WOODS BROADWAY THERE WERE NONE
February 1 - 17 March 2 March 15 - 31
Presented by Fire Hall Theatre Presented by North Dakota Ballet Company Presented by Fire Hall Theatre
Fire Hall Theatre Empire Arts Center Fire Hall Theatre
701.777.4090 / ggfct.org 701.746.6044 / northdakotaballet.org 701.777.4090 / ggfct.org

HAND TO GOD SPAMALOT SNOW WHITE
February 1 - 10 March 8 - 10 March 17
Presented by Empire Theatre Company Presented by Grand Forks Central Presented by North Dakota Ballet Company
Empire Arts Center Grand Forks Central High School Empire Arts Center
701.746.5500 / empireartscenter.com 701.746.2411 / spacompany.org 701.746.6044 / northdakotaballet.org

A MEMORY A MONOLOGUE A MELANCHOLY PLAY THE MAN OF LA MANCHA
RANT AND A PRAYER March 8-24 April 19 & 22
February 25 Presented by Empire Theatre Company Presented by Red River High School
Half Brothers Brewing Company Empire Arts Center Red River High School
701.757.0805 / halfbrothersbrewing.com 701.746.5500 / empireartscenter.com 701.746.2411 /spacompany.org

POTPOURRI
UND AEROSPACE COMMUNITY DAY GALENTINE’S DAY BOURBON & CAKE POPS
February 3 February 8 March 9
Presented by UND Aerospace Kittsona Brick & Barley Bar & Grill
Robin Hall 701.620.0809 / kittsona.com 701.757.4012 / brickandbarleygf.com
701.777.2011

FEAST OF NATIONS SUCCULENT GARDEN WORKSHOP
BEER AND CANDY PAIRING February 10 March 10
February 3 Alerus Center All Seasons Garden Center
Half Brothers Brewing Company 701.777.2731 701.746.7777 / allseasonsgardencenter.com
701.757.0805 / halfbrothersbrewing.com

COOKIE DECORATING DATE 49TH ANNUAL WRITERS CONFERENCE
ONE MILLION CUPS February 13 March 21-23
February 7 & every following Wednesday Bully Brew Coffee University of North Dakota
Presented by One Million Cups Grand Forks 701.772.1995 / bullybrewcoffeehouse.com undwritersconference.org
The 701 coworking space
1millioncups.com
TEDXGRANDFORKS OPEN MIC EMPIRE CELEBRATION WEEK
NIGHT April 21-27
GIVING HEARTS DAY February 15 Empire Arts Center
February 8 North Dakota Museum of Art 701.746.5500 / empireartscenter.com
A 24 hour giving event.
Donate to your favorite charity or two!
givingheartsday.org SPRING INTO SPRING DINNER & DANCE
March 3 April 28
Turtle River State Park Benefiting the Empire Arts Center
701.594.4445 / parkrec.nd.gov 701.746.5500 / empireartscenter.com

SPRING 2018 | THE BEAT 7
ARTS & CULTURE
COMMUNITY

Getting more than you give
By A Loyal Volunteer

volunteer the definition and description fall short of so much more than the opportunity to see experience with others because when a
noun vol·un·teer \ ˌvä-lən-ˈtir \ describing my experience as an Empire a few shows or learn about an arts center. person finds something that is really cool,
A person who does work without getting paid to Arts Center volunteer. I got to be part of a team…a great, fun, they usually want to share it. I want to
do it. diverse team all of whom want to be meet you when we volunteer together and
I am not a native of Grand Forks nor am I volunteering. I got to feel connected to I want you to become friends with other
a performer or an artist but I think I am a other volunteers, staff, creative individuals volunteers just as I have and to look forward
Empire Arts Center pretty typical volunteer at the Empire Arts of all types, audience members and my to the volunteer experience, not just the
Endearingly coined “a jewel in the heart of Center. I started volunteering so I could community. I got to feel like my volunteer show and the free popcorn. Believe me...
Greater Grand Forks,” the Empire Arts Center is see a few shows and learn about how an job made a difference to all those people it’s worth it. So contact Charity, the Empire
a non-profit, multi-purpose arts facility located in arts venue operates, maybe learn some new with whom I built a connection and I got Arts Center volunteer coordinator (she’s
downtown Grand Forks, ND. skills. That was about ten years ago and I’m a little break from some of my day-to-day great) at volunteer@empireartscenter.
still volunteering at the Empire Arts Center stresses. com and let her know what you’d like to
even though many other things about my do…concessions, box office, usher, or my

T
he definition and description above life have changed in that ten years. What What is the point of my sharing this with personal favorite, house manager. You can
are accurate and yet when the I’ve learned through my volunteer work you? I want you to volunteer at the Empire do it and I think you’ll really, really enjoy it.
word volunteer is combined with here is what a simple Google search will Arts Center, but not just because volunteers
the venue that is the Empire Arts Center, also tell you...by giving my time, I received are always needed. I want to share my

COMMUNITY

Celebrate the Empire
By Staff Writer

B
irthdays are worth celebrating, Two decades later, it’s time to celebrate. An Empire. On April 21, a special community
right? That’s why the Empire Arts estimated 600,000 visitors (at least!) have concert will kick off the week; this free
Center is pulling out all the stops this enjoyed a play, concert, film, or other event event will feature local arts groups, talented
April in honor of the twentieth anniversary at the Empire Arts Center since it opened. professionals with local ties, and local
of the renovation of Grand Forks’ oldest The facility today is in use at least 300 favorite Terry Dullum as emcee. The rest
existing theater. nights per year, and it is the proud home of the week will be filled with free movies,
for many local arts groups as well as its own concerts, and an open mic night. Capping
In 1995, plans began to take form to convert artist programming. The Empire Theatre off the week will be the prestigious Dinner
the old Empire movie theater into a multi- Company (ETC), The 1919 Lounge, and & Dance gala event.
use arts center. The Empire had functioned the UND Art Collections Gallery all bring
as a movie theater since it was built in 1919, world-class artistic experiences to our After twenty years of providing a home
but that ended and community leaders were community. In fact, ETC audiences have for art, culture, and entertainment, the
looking for ways to save the building. The quadrupled since the Empire started its Empire Arts Center continues to impress.
Grand Forks community raised hundreds own theatre company in 2012! Hopefully, this historic theater will provide
of thousands of dollars, overcame a flood, the same for decades to come!
and persevered to open the region’s finest This April, a full week of events will
renovated historic theater in 1998. celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the

8 THE BEAT | SPRING 2018
ARTS & CULTURE
COMMUNITY

An open letter to Grand Forks
By Paige Blanchard

Photo courtesy of Greater Grand Forks Convention & Visitors Bureau

I
was 18 when I moved to Grand Forks. I me to be invested in the future of my thank every resident of Grand Forks. You I learned that community involvement is a
was going to UND, but had little sense community. They believe, not only in what all helped me become the person I am necessary part of my life.
of direction. I was scared about moving Grand Forks is, but what it can be. They today. Each conversation I had and smile
away from home. To top it all off, I was told want Grand Forks’ future to be brighter I received showed me what community Grand Forks will always be the place I
time and again there was “nothing to do” than its past. is. I am who discovered who I want to be. It will always
in Grand Forks. I figured that Grand Forks They taught I am because be the city where I met my best friends,
would be the place I lived for college, but me to believe GRAND FORKS GAVE ME THE of you. That’s found my career, and discovered my voice.
would never earn the title of ‘home.’ and want the why moving It will hold a special place in my heart.
OPPORTUNITY TO GROW. AS
same things. away was so
I was wrong. A COMMUNITY, GRAND FORKS difficult. Grand Forks gave me the opportunity
I don’t know EMBRACED ME AND TAUGHT ME to grow. As a community, Grand Forks
It took a bit of time, but I did begin to call w h e t h e r I may have embraced me and taught me more than
Grand Forks home. I came to the realization it was the MORE THAN ANY CLASSROOM. moved away, any classroom. No matter where I go, near
that Grand Forks is a vibrant and amazing volunteering, but I took with or far, Grand Forks will always have a slice
place with a strong sense of community. the interning, me all that of my heart.
After this revelation, I jumped into Grand or the people I met, but something Grand Forks and its people taught me. I
Forks headfirst. I interned at the Empire happened to me. I transformed from an learned to be giving of my time and myself. Blanchard is a resident of Fargo, where she is
Arts Center. I was on the planning team for 18-year- old college student scared about I learned it takes time and hard work to resisting the urge to cheer for NDSU. Follow her on
TEDxGrandForks. I volunteered at music her future to a 23-year-old woman with a help your community thrive. I learned twitter (paigeaalexandra) for opinions on politics,
festivals, nonprofits, concerts, and other career, a sense of community, and goals. I investing in new and uncertain things can figure skating, and the weather.
community events. I spent countless hours found my direction. be rewarding. I learned that people will
with the best people Grand Forks has to give you endless opportunities to learn
offer. These are the people who taught So today, that 23-year- old would like to and grow if you show the desire. Finally,

SPRING 2018 | THE BEAT 9
ARTS & CULTURE
SPECIAL FEATURE

Raise it up
By Janessa Jaye Champagne

N
ew Year’s resolutions are as puzzles. I judge. It’s my thing. But over the One thing I know about Grand Forks is assigned to the directors, who were then
annoying as they are ubiquitous, last year, I’ve watched much of my social that as much as people will complain about randomly assigned their actors. That
but instead of focusing on some media landscape devolve into a perpetual “nothing to do,” there are a ton of talented night, they staged the 7 plays, picked a new
new diet I’ll never follow through on shouting match of ignorance and self- and creative people working on their own theme, and did it all over again, creating a
or some crazy scheme to finally get my righteousness. It’s like we all, myself things. That’s great, but wouldn’t it be total of fourteen 10-minute plays in just 48
finances under control, I decided to start included, lost the ability to encounter other amazing if we could bring those groups hours. They even brought in musicians to
my 2018 by thinking about the kinds of perspectives or ideas with anything but and people together? I was really inspired score the pieces.
things I’d like to see right here in my own rage. I’m going to unplug once in a while, on a recent trip to Seattle when I saw seven
community – and how we can all be a part and I’m going to think before I respond, 10-minute plays that were produced as part I would love to see more people and groups
of making some positive changes. even if I really, really, REALLY want to of the 14/48 project. Seven writers, seven working together to create fun and unique
let loose on some deserving troll. I want to directors, and 20-some actors got together and challenging entertainment. When
First, I’m going to do my best to ditch the practice more compassion, and rediscover on a Thursday night to pick a theme out of I’m working on events, it often feels easier
negativity. This is going to be a challenge the power of discussion over uncivil debate. a hat. That night, each of the writers wrote to just handle my own stuff, but what
for me. Everyone has hobbies: some people a 10-minute script related to the theme. In opportunities are we missing when we
garden, some like to jog, some do jigsaw Second, I want to see more collaboration. the morning, the scripts were randomly don’t try to make connections and bring

10 THE BEAT | SPRING 2018
ARTS & CULTURE

in new people and perspectives. We have a while, and certainly self-care is important
ton of great actors, dancers, writers, event from time to time but there are enough
organizers, musicians, technicians, and forces in the world that are trying to silence
other creatives – let’s make some magic! and disappear alternative perspectives. No
sense in helping them do it.
Finally, I want to persevere. 2017 was a
rough year for a lot of us – personally and So whatever your resolutions are for this
politically – and new year, I hope
the negativity they lead to you
and isolation that THE WORLD STILL NEEDS living a happier,
lead to my first PEOPLE WHO ARE WILLING more authentic
two resolutions life and that your
TO GET LOUD, MAKE ART,
only made it changes ripple
that much more AND CAUSE PROBLEMS. outward to those
exhausting. But around you. All
the world still we can do to

L VE
needs people who are willing to get loud, combat the darkness is raise up our own
make art, and cause problems. It’s nice points of light and raise our voices to speak
to think that things will just naturally get those changes we want to see into being.
better on their own, but history has always
shown that things get better when creatives Janessa Jaye Champagne is a drag performer, writer,
and rabble-rousers and queers and commentator, part-time shit-starter, and full-time

Wine
troublemakers keep pushing, keep testing hot mess. You can find her blog, show dates, and
limits, and keep insisting on their existence reviews on her website, the World of Champagne at
and their validity. It would be easy to crawl JanessaJaye.com, or listen to her Podcast, Janessa
into a well-padded hole with a blankie and After Dark, on iTunes, SoundCloud, or Stitcher.
a bottle of Absolut and just disappear for a w

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