Give an Instrument, Get a Symphony


The Northfield Fine Arts Boosters are kicking off their annual instrument drive, starting today. Donate a gently used band or orchestra instrument between Feb. 6 and March 20 and you'll receive a delicious Symphony chocolate bar, plus NFAB's gratitude for your tax-deductible donation.

If you don't have an instrument but want to donate $25 or more to the Instruments For All (IFA) fund, NFAB will also reward you with chocolate and gratitude.

Instruments For All aims to put an instrument into the hands of every Northfield Public Schools student who wants to participate in the band or orchestra proram. It also provides scholarships for summer lessons.

How Does It Work?

Syrian oud player Issam Rafea presents an evening of classical and contemporary Arab music at Carleton

Issam Rafea

Syrian instrumentalist Issam Rafea will present a concert of classical and contemporary Arab music on Thursday, Feb. 12 from 8 to 10 p.m. in the Carleton College Concert Hall. Rafea is an internationally acclaimed oud player, a pear-shaped stringed instrument commonly used in Middle Eastern music and considered to be an ancestor of the guitar. This event is free and open to the public.

Born in Kuwait on 1971, Issam Rafea studied in Kuwait and Syria at the High Institute of Music in Damascus. He received his BA degree in oud and double bass in 1995. Currently, in addition to his position as Chair of the Arabic Music Department at his alma mater in Damascus, he is on faculty of the Arab Conservatory where he teaches both oud and western harmony.

E-Recycling February 7 at First UCC


Once again, Carl Henry invites people to bring unwanted electronics and appliances THIS COMING SATURDAY, February 7, from 10:00 a.m. until noon, to the First United Church of Christ, 300 Union Street. Televisions or computer monitors with bulky CRT tubes will be accepted for a $5 fee per unit and no more than one unit per household. The following items will be accepted at no charge:

Computers (desktops towers, laptops); IPads, Kindles, other tablets and smartphones; Small printers; Network equipment (modems, routers); Stereos; Radios; Phones; Cables; other electronics; Dehumidifiers; Microwave ovens; Small air conditioners; Toasters; VEry small refrigerators; Other small appliances if thare largely metal. 

If weather is terrible, the event will be cancelled. 

Preeminent Native American poet, novelist, performer and filmmaker Sherman Alexie to speak at Carleton College

Sherman Alexie/Photo credit: Chase Jarvis

Acclaimed award-winning poet, writer and filmmaker Sherman Alexie will present the Christopher U. Light Lecture at Carleton College on Tuesday, Feb. 10 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the Skinner Memorial Chapel. Entitled “Security, Sovereignty, Selfishness: How to be a 21st Century American Nomad,” Alexie’s presentation is open to the public.

A Spokane/Coeur d’Alene Indian, Alexie grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Wellpinit, Washington. Considered a preeminent Native American poet, novelist, performer and filmmaker, he has garnered high praise for his depictions of contemporary Native American reservation life.

Northfield Arts Guild is Bringing Two Renown Artists to Teach Workshops

Roots festival poster

The Northfield Arts Guild is offering an opportunity to take workshops this spring with two reknown artists.

Richard James Nelson  (http: // specializes in fine woodblock prints of northern flora and fauna.

He has shown his work in galleries across Minnesota and currently has work on display at the Arts Guild.  You may recognize his wood cut that was used for our Cannon River Roots Festival last year.

Richard will be leading a woodblock printmaking workshop Saturday and Sunday, March 14 – 15 from 9:00 am – 5:00 each day.

Students will learn the ancient technique of creating a multi-colored print from multiple woodblocks or through the reduction method.  Learn and practice preparing mixing and applying ink to your block(s) for printing.  All materials provided by the instructor.

State Rail Plan Open House: Monday, February 2

Passenger Rail Service for Northfield?  A grassroots effort is underway to persuade MnDot to study the feasibility of passenger rail service between south central Minnesota and the Twin Cities on existing rail lines through Northfield!  Two routes are proposed for MnDot's consideration (see attached map).

A long list of regional cities, counties and stakeholders (see list below) have signed official letters urging MnDot to designate the Northfield rail corridor as a "Tier One" project in the State's Rail Plan which is now being revised. 

Now MnDot wants to hear directly from the public! 

Please plan to attend MnDot's STATE RAIL PLAN PUBLIC OPEN HOUSE

Monday, February 2, 5:00-7:00 pmWeitz Center, Larson Room (Room #234)

Come hear about proposed plans for Minnesota's passenger and freight rail system and weigh-in with MnDot regarding passenger rail service for Northfield and other potential projects around our State. 

This meeting is open to all members of the public! 

You may also submit comments and suggestions about the State Rail Plan online, via the 

MnDOT Rail Plan Public Comments website (Click Here).

Second Street (MN TH 19) Bridge Lane Closure Update

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Xcel Energy has confirmed that the work on Second Street Bridge (MN TH 19) Cannon River gas main directional drilling project is still on-going.  Directional Drilling crews have approximately 150’ of 8” pre-reaming left to complete underneath the Cannon River as of Friday morning January 30, 2015.  Next week, drilling crews are expected to complete the final 12” pre-reaming underneath the Cannon River. 

Crews expect the work on pulling the new 6” gas main into place and making the necessary tie-ins during the week of February 9, 2014.  Xcel Project Representatives expect the lane shift on the Second Street Bridge to be removed sometime during the week of February 16, 2014.  Additional work will be completed at a later date when the existing gas main is removed from the bridge structure.

Carleton Faculty Recital Features Renowned Pipa Master, Gao Hong

Gao Hong

Renowned composer and pipa master Gao Hong invites the public to an evening of music and storytelling on Saturday, Jan. 31 from 8 to 9 p.m. in the Carleton College Concert Hall. Using the pipa, a pear-shaped traditional Chinese lute, Gao Hong will share her own personal adventures, using the versatile instrument to take the audience along a three-part journey beginning in old China and continuing to the musician’s life today. Entitled “Gao Hong on the Highway,” this fun and experimental concert is free and open to the public.

The program will open with “Mother-in-Law Arguing with Daughter-in-Law,” a 100-year-old piece that tells the story of a mother-in-law arguing with her daughter-in-law through the various descriptive sounds of the pipa. Once lost for decades, this piece was reconstructed by Lin Shicheng, the late pipa master and Gao Hong’s mentor. Gao Hong is currently the only pipa musician known who can play this piece.

Minute with the Mayor

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Northfield Mayor Dana Graham talks about youth involvement with the city in this short video:

Calling All Artists: Art for City Hall

Art at City Hall

Calling all artists: The City of Northfield and its Arts and Culture Commission are soliciting artists interested in having their artwork displayed at City Hall. The artwork may be for sale or on loan, and the application deadline is Friday, January 30.

Exhibition Dates: February 19, 2015 – August 20, 2015.

Medium: Any 2-D or free-standing 3-D medium, no electronic (limited space for 3-D)

  • All art must be framed and/or completely ready for installation. The works will be secured.
  • All art must measure no more than 5 feet on its largest dimension.

Insurance: Artists will carry their own insurance or sign a waiver.

Images and information:

VIDEO: Northfield School Board Meeting (January 26, 2015)

The Northfield School Board held its regular meeting on Monday, January 26, 2015, at 7:00 pm, in the high school media center. A packet for the meeting can be found here. Highlights included:

Saint Dominic School to Host Saints Night Out

St. Dominic School invites the public to attend their 16th Annual Saints Night Out on February 21, 2015 starting at 5 p.m. at St. Dominic School, located at 216 Spring Street N. in Northfield, MN. 

Bombshell: The Art of the Pin-Up

Stop on down to High Noon Ink in downtown Northfield for a pin-up art show! The "Bomber Pin-Up" is a classic piece of Americana that dates back to World War I and World War II and continues to this day. High Noon is hosting an exhibition of modern re-creations of these works of art in honor of this American tradition. So stop in and check out the show, the shop, and meet the artists while you're at it.

High Noon Ink, Downtown Northfield

Saturday, January 31st @ 5pm

Free Show!

Deadline for 2015 Ruth Hansen Palestine Travel Scholarship is February First!


Jenny Hartley reminds readers that Northfielders for Justice in Palestine/Israel is accepting applications from area residents for its 2015 Ruth Hansen Palestine Travel Scholarship. Applications are being accepted through Feb. 1, 2015.

In the belief that the best way to understand the realities of the conflict in Palestine/Israel is to visit the place itself, NJP established the Ruth Hansen Palestine Travel Scholarship in 2012. It did so in honor of one of its founding and most committed members, long-time Northfield resident Ruth Hansen, in recognition of her decades of advocacy for peace and justice in the Middle East.

This is the second time NJP will award the scholarship. The first recipients, in 2013, were Soraya Dangor and Graison Chapman.

Arts and Culture Commission's Sidewalk Poetry Contest Kick-off Saturday, January 31st at 10 am

Northfield’s Arts and Culture Commission (ACC) will mark the start of the 5th year of its Sidewalk Poetry competition with a Kick-off event on Saturday, January 31st, at 10 am in the Northfield Library Meeting Room.  The short documentary featuring Northfield’s Sidewalk Poetry project, produced by local filmmaker, Paul Krause, will be shown at the event.  The public is invited to attend and to bring a favorite short poem to share.  The winners of the 2014 competition have been invited to share their entries from last year’s contest. 

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