Arts & Culture

Nikki and The RueMates put on a very entertaining acoustic show.

It was a great night of blues, rock and roots music with Nikki & The RueMates and you can listen to this show on our FOREVER archives here:

New Beginnings: The Story of Liberians in Minnesota, Pt 1
Produced by e.g. Bailey and Sha Cage

This special three-part documentary airs from 7:30-8pm on MinneCulture:
Part 1: Wed, Feb 16
Part 2: Mon, Feb 21
Part 3: Wed, Feb 23

For some time now, Minnesota has been a refuge for immigrant communities displaced from their homes due to a variety of circumstances. Minnesota’s Liberian community grew rapidly in the aftermath of a series of civil wars that ravished their country. However the story of Liberians in Minnesota does not begin with these civil wars, but stretches over more than 50 years.

In this radio documentary, producers e.g. Bailey and Sha Cage explore Liberian history, along with the growth and development of the community here in Minnesota.

Hear conversations with a wide-range of community members, including Wynfred Russell, Abdullai Kiatamba, Piso Tarr, Yeamah Brewer, Mameneh George and others, as well as prominent local figures including State Representative Keith Ellison, history professor Peter Rachleff, and theater director Wendy Knox.

This three-part program provides an overview of where the Liberian community in Minnesota stands today, the contributions it has made to the state, and what the future holds.

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Hitting the Road (Three travel stories on Las Vegas gamblers, Julie the Amtrak God and a wayward West Coast trip)

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A bit of Love…and plenty of Dub… Not some kind of mushy Valentine’s show, but heavy, sexy and deep. First up was the new Berlin Sessions EP with the old-school sound from Aldubb, Dubmatix, & Mighty Howard. Fitting our Love theme tonight groove-wise were: Prince Fatty, Elizabeth Archer & The Equators, Dubmatix, Richard & I, Lefthand (feat. JEN), The English Beat, Lisa Shaw, Third World, and more… Finally, DJ Baby Swiss chose the track “Finally Your Day Has Come” by The Dualers to dedicate to the people of the great country of Egypt!

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Sarah Blake, author of Grange House, calls in to talk with us about her World War Two era novel, The Postmistress, which explores the lives of three women – a Postmaster, a radio broadcaster and a young wife.

Poet Matt Mauch also joins us in the studio to talk about his newest collection of poetry, Prayer Book. Matt Mauch teaches at Normandale Community College and coordinates the reading series there.

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See playlist below.

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Bubbles of Love on this Valentine’s Day edition of Radio Pocho we would like to be a fish so we can touch our fishnose on your fishbowl. Then blow bubbles of love all over the place.

Oh yeah that’s a word for word translation of the first verse of Juan Luis Guerra’s Burbujas de Amor. Trust us, sounds firme in spanish.

But it’s not all soft in the head. We’ve got some jams for the vatos going Hans Solo this Valentines. Teddy, Lenny, and Chente will make you say, I have something in my eye ese.

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Five stories from KFAI’s 10,000 Fresh Voices series:

1. Chocolat Celeste
Produced by Elena Erofeeva & Michael Milligan
After years working on the road and managing a corporate staff of thousands, Mary Leonard decided to shift her focus and manifest her dream of becoming a chocolatier. Her risk paid off. After less than a year in business Chocolat Celeste was awarded for being one of the ten best emerging chocolatiers in America. KFAI producers Elena Erofeeva and Michael Mulligan went to the St. Paul shop to talk to Mary and sample the confections.

2. Nice Girls, Mean Bags
Produced by Todd Melby
“This is what happens when Minnesota nice goes wrong.” That’s how Meghan McDonald-Heisserer describes the company she started with Christina Nguyen. Called “Maybe You Should Die,” the Minneapolis firm sells handmade “Mean Bags” with nasty insults, cards written from the point-of-view of stalkers, kinky cards for lovers and cards that celebrate failure. Says Christine, “We take it to the extreme.” KFAI’s Todd Melby takes a closer look at this unusual business venture.

3. Sculptor Rabi Sanfo
Produced by Dixie Treichel
Rabi Sanfo, a Burkina Faso native, immigrated to Minneapolis in 2004. Since then, he has put his welding background to use by creating metal sculptures. Although his artistic techniques have evolved over the years, the core theme of his work remains: to share the history and culture of his native Burkina Faso. Sanfo has received numerous awards at juried exhibits and art festivals. He also supports local organizations by donating his work to fund-raising events. Sanfo lives and works in the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District. “The shapes of my sculptures, furniture and decorative objects are inspired by words, stories, fables and situations that come into my mind, and my culture. By the magic of bending, grinding and welding, I try to give these inspirations a form, an expression and a touch of life so when I get lost in a deep contemplation, I feel like they are living.”

4. Harriet Alexander Nature Center
Produced by Maria Almli
Harriet Alexander was a bit of a recluse, so it was quite a surprise when the elderly Roseville, Minnesota, resident left a quarter of a million dollars to the Central Park Foundation after she died. In 1990 the Harriet Alexander Nature Center was built in her honor. Nestled on 52 acres of marsh, woodland and prairie, the Center is a natural respite that offers programs to groups from preschoolers to seniors. KFAI producer Maria Almli paid a visit.

5. University of Minnesota’s Experiment Station is a Factory of Innovation
Produced by Michelle Bruch
From “Honeycrisp” apples to “Sven” and “Ole” roses, the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station is a factory of innovation. Headquartered at the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul campus, the Experiment Station supports 400 research projects in a single year. KFAI’s Michelle Bruch highlights a few of the experiments underway.

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