Berlin Miscevich is not your stereotypical bait shop owner in Minnesota. Forget any preconceived notions of a curmudgeonly old Scandinavian standing behind the counter shelling out nightcrawlers and minnows. In fact, Miscevich is the exact opposite of the aloof Sven and Ole type. She’s 35, has all manner of tattoos, runs a business as a single mother in a rural Minnesota and is a veteran of the United States Army.
Running a bait shop in Minnesota was something she didn’t predict would happen while growing up on the outskirts of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but it’s one she has fully embraced. KFAI’s Joe Friedrichs learns more. Photos by Ann Ward.
After listening to a news story about yet another case of violence against the Asian community, Katie Hae Leo wanted to organize a self defense class for AAPI women and nonbinary people. She texted a group of friends, including Jennifer Weir, who is the Executive Director of non-profit Taiko Arts Midwest. Taiko Arts Midwest took on the endeavor of creating and hosting a workshop, which is rooted in martial arts and empowerment.
Many archaeological sites lie undiscovered on the bottom of Minnesota lakes, according to Ann Merriman and Christopher Olson, co-founders of the nonprofit Maritime Heritage Minnesota. The husband-and-wife team from St. Paul scuba dives to identify wrecks in places like Lake Minnetonka, Crystal Lake and the Mississippi River.
With the help of volunteer divers, they’ve studied wrecks and artifacts that include dugout canoes, passenger steamboats, a chamber pot from a burned hotel, a homemade hydroplane and a surprising number of old cars. They monitor the USS Essex, a historic wooden Navy sailing ship that was decommissioned and sunk in Duluth. And they nominate wrecks to the National Register of Historic Places, including a barge in Wayzata Bay likely operated by James J. Hill. The couple has identified 151 Minnesota wrecks to-date, and they are still looking for more. KFAI’s Michelle Bruch spoke with Ann and Chris about exploring Minnesota history by scuba diving.
Twice a week at the Bloomington Ice Garden, a group of ex-Gophers, NHL players, and Olympians play an informal but structured game of hockey. It’s a fun game with great players, but what makes them really impressive is average age of the players: 74 years old. They call themselves the Minnesota Old Timers.
Icy sidewalks are dangerous enough for seniors — try adding skates and nine more people all scampering for a puck. How do they do it? And more importantly: what keeps them going, decades past their physical peak? Journalist Matthew Schneeman finds that it’s a simple but difficult lesson to learn.
John R. Killacky’s new book “because art: Commentary, Critique, & Conversation” is a collage of writings about his life and work across the country as a performing artist, arts administrator, curator and legislator.
Prominent in the book is his time as the Performing Arts Curator at the Walker Art Center (1988-1996) in Minneapolis. This was a time of radical queer performance art, the AIDS Crisis, Reagan-Bush politics, culture wars of the time and attacks on the National Endowment for the Arts. Killacky is a gay, differently abled artist and is currently in the Vermont House of Representatives.
Included in the book are commentaries on a debilitating spinal surgery, Zen Buddhism, and censorship; critiques on such artists as Ron Athey, Eiko Otake, John Cage, and Keith Haring; plus interviews with artists Alison Bechdel, Trisha Brown, Janis Ian, Bill T. Jones, Tony Kushner, Meredith Monk and more.
KFAI’s Dixie Treichel spoke with Killacky about his life and work.
Sean Sherman, Oglala Lakota, has been a chef for 30 years. He is the CEO of The Sioux Chef, which he began in 2014 as a caterer and food educator in the Twin Cities. He is co-owner — with Dana Thompson — of Owamni by the Sioux Chef restaurant which opened in July, 2021 at OwamniYomni, the sacred site of peace and well-being for the Dakota and Anishinaabe people.
Owamni won the James Beard Best New Restaurant in America award on Monday July 13, 2022. Owamni is located inside the Water Works Pavilion in Mill Ruins Park, between 3rd Ave S and 5th Ave S. Photo courtesy of Owamni by the Sioux Chef.
For a few short years, St. Paul was the Blue Cheese Capital of the World. In the season 6 finale of the MinneCulture podcast, Tony Williams takes us on a tour through the secret history of moldy cheese in Minnesota. It’s a story full of twists and turns including libidinous sheep farmers, Nazis, and cave explorers.
KFAI’s Sheila Regan talks to Red Wing Arts, an organization that recently opened its new Clay & Creative Center, as it keeps the city’s clay legacy alive. She also meets other arts advocates and pottery lovers in the city.