Events in and around Northfield

James C. Scott to speak on "Two Cheers for Anarchism"

Carleton College’s Political Science Department will present James C. Scott, the Sterling Professor of Political Science and Anthropology at Yale, and Director of the Program in Agrarian Studies, on Monday, April 15. His lecture is entitled, “Two Cheers for Anarchism.”  It will begin at 4:30 p.m. in Leighton Hall, Room 305, and is free and open to the public.

Niemisto Receives Northfield Living Treasure Award


Dr. Paul Niemisto was recently named "Northfield’s Living Treasure." A special award ceremony took place on Saturday, March 9th, at the Cannon Valley Regional Orchestra (CVRO) concert. Niemisto has created and led several musical ventures, including the CVRO, the Vintage Band Festival (coming again in the summer of 2013) and numerous other musical events throughout the years. Read about the highlights in the Northfield News and this esteemed citation that now resides at Northfield’s City Hall, compliments of Northfield’s Arts and Culture Commission.

Paul Niemisto, was born and raised in a small Finnish immigrant community on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, an environment that was rich with homegrown music.  Although his mother taught piano to kids outside the family, including some of Paul’s friends, Paul followed his own path and, in fifth grade, took up the trombone.  That path subsequently led him to a Doctorate in Music Education at the University of Minnesota and, eventually, after a slight detour to teach in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada, to a teaching position at St. Olaf College, and thus, to Northfield. 

Paul’s impact on Northfield has been significant and sustained. 

Shortly after arriving here, he founded the Cannon Valley Regional Orchestra which he continued to lead for thirty-four years, giving opportunity to local amateur and professional musicians to make music together, and providing the community with access to locally performed classical music they would not otherwise have had.

World Premiere of Genesis:The Art of Creation

Genesis Painting

The world premiere of Paul Krause's new documentary, "Genesis: The Art of Creation" will take place 7pm, Thursday, March 21 at the Weitz Center for Creativity's Cinema.

The documentary features the artistry of local artist Fred Somers as he worked to create the largest and most significant painting of his long career. Fred has received numerous national awards for his oil and pastel paintings. Most recently Fred received the Bronze Award from the 2012 International Birds in Art Traveling Exhibition, International Association of Pastel Societies 20 Juried Exhibit.

DJJD Committee Elects 2013 Board


The Defeat of Jesse James Days Committee announces the  2013 board members. Wayne Eddy serves as chairman, and the newly elected members are:  Hayes Scriven, General Chairman; Deb Anthony, Treasurer;, Margaret Haugen, Secretary; Danny Ayotte, Director; Mel Miller, Director and T. J. Heinricy, Director.

This year’s events are planned for September 5th-8th. After the Minneapolis Aquatennial and St. Paul Winter Carnival, the Defeat of Jesse James celebration is largest volunteer celebration in the state.  It is also the largest all volunteer in Minnesota and is always looking for new volunteers. If interested and for more information about DJJD, go to: 

Shara Worden and yMusic in Exclusive Performance of Sarah Kirkland Snider's "Penelope" in Northfield


On Thursday evening, February 28, at 8:00 in the college chapel, Carleton College will present the only area performance of vocalist Shara Worden and New York-based yMusic in Sarah Kirkland Snider’s song cycle Penelope. yMusic was sheduled to perform in a second performance on Wednesday night in St. Paul as part of the SPCO’s Liquid Music series, but withdrew from the performance due to the ongoing SPCO labor dispute.

Calling Snider’s work “a gorgeous piece of music,” Pitchfork critic Jayson Greene writes: “The quietly devastating song cycle Penelope begins with an unexpected homecoming. A man returns to his wife's doorstep after 20 years in an unnamed war, suffering brain damage—a shadow of his former self. The woman takes this mournful figure in gravely, sorting through her ambivalence, bitterness, and grief by reading to him from Homer's Odyssey. The story’s parallels to their lives—a husband striving heroically over vast distances and years to return to his wife—become a psychological probe for the woman to sound the depths of her shell-shocked husband’s ruined mind. Speaking to him through the poem, she is able to gently coax him back from oblivion.”

Community Bands Strike Up Again

Independent Silver Band

This year the Vintage Band Festival will observe the 150th anniversary of the War Between the States, a tumultuous time in American history, but also a time when musical activity grew quickly and hugely among the citizens. Many new bands formed during those years to meet the ceremonial and entertainment needs of the troops, both Union and Confederate. As the war ended and the military musicians returned home, they brought with them an appetite for band music that spawned an explosion in town bands all over the country.

Many among us grew up attending band concerts in the village square, often at a bandstand. This was the main entertainment of the week in many communities, and these concerts helped to develop generations of music listeners and prompted the inclusion of band music in the public schools. Still today, in communities like Northfield, New Prague, Cannon Falls, and Faribault, weekly band concerts can be heard on a summer evening.

The Vintage Band Festival celebrates this important music-making by inviting several community bands from Minnesota to share their music on Aug. 1-4.

An Evening of Music with the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet


Please join us Saturday, February 23 at 7pm for an evening of music by the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet, the second of our events honoring retiring Library Director Lynne Young. With passion, style, and musical sophistication borrowing from the best chamber music and string quartet traditions, the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet is one of the world's leading guitar ensembles.

Carleton Students Present Eve Ensler’s “Vagina Monologues;" Proceeds Benefit The Hope Center

V-Day 2013

Carleton College will present its annual student-produced and performed production of Even Ensler’s “Vagina Monologues” on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. in the Skinner Memorial Chapel. The public is invited and there is a suggested donation of $5 to $15 at the door. All proceeds will benefit The Hope Center in Faribault and the V-Day Spotlight Campaign (, a global movement to end violence against women and girls.

Auxiliary book fair dates announced

The Northfield Hospital Auxiliary will hold its 52st annual Great Northfield, Minnesota Book Raid Tuesday, April 23, through Saturday, April 27, at the Northfield Ice Arena.
Donations can be made at the ice arena, beginning Monday, April 1. Hours are: 4 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday,  April 1-5; 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 7; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, April 8-19; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 13; and 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, April 20.
Over the years the book fair has raised more than half a million dollars for projects at Northfield Hospital & Clinics and for other community health initiatives, such as HealthFinders. These funds also support the Northfield Hospital Auxiliary’s health education scholarship program.

Northfield Montessori Open House

Northfield Montessori is excited to be preparing for our 16th year of educating and caring for infant through Kindergarten aged children in the Northfield area.  Please join us at 340 Montessori Court on either February 25 from 6pm-8pm or March 2 from 10am-12pm and see what has made Northfield Montessori the leader in child care and preschool since 1997.  Our program embraces the philosophies and teachings of Dr. Maria Montessori in an environment where “Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words but by experiences in the environment.”

Corruption & the Dark Side of Left Wing Populism in Argentina under the Kirchners

You are invited to hear “Corruption and the Dark Side of Left Wing Populism in Argentina under the Kirchners,” by Luigi Manzetti, Professor of Political Science, Southern Methodist University, on Friday, February 22, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in the Gould Library Athenaeum. Reception to follow. This Wynia Memorial Lecture is free and open to the public.

Carleton Cowling Arboretum Teams Up with the Cannon River Watershed Partnership to Screen Acclaimed Award-Winning Documentary Film


Carleton College will present a special public screening of the acclaimed Emmy Award-winning documentary film, “Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time,” on Tuesday, Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. in the Weitz Center for Creativity Cinema. The screening is sponsored by Carleton’s Cowling Arboretum and the Cannon River Watershed Partnership, a Northfield-based volunteer organization that works toward “protecting and improving the water quality and natural systems of the Cannon River watershed.” This event is free and open to the public.

“Green Fire” is the first full-length, high-definition documentary film ever made about legendary conservationist Aldo Leopold. Influential in the development of modern environmental ethics and in the movement for wilderness conservation, the film explores Leopold’s life in the early part of the twentieth century and the many ways his ‘land ethic’ continues to be applied all over the world today.

Rice County Horticulture Day Will Be Magical

Magical Gardens

The Rice County Master Gardeners Horticulture Day promises to be magical this year, with talks on roses, fairy gardens, peonies and garden trends on tap. The annual event will be held Saturday, March 2, at Buntrock Commons on the campus of St. Olaf College. 

The theme of this year's event is "Garden Magic" and the program includes four garden pros with many tips and ideas to share. Presenters include:

Bishop Whipple's Role in War of 1862 Topic of Northfield Historical Society Program


On Thursday, February 21 at 6:00 p.m. at the Northfield Historical Society, writer and church historian The Venerable Canon Benjamin Scott will speak on the role Bishop Henry Whipple played in the 1882 U. S. Dakota War. This event is part of the Northfield Historical Society’s seven-month observation of the 1862 war which includes an exhibit depicting the roles local Rice County residents played in this episode of our state’s history.

Whipple was Minnesota’s first Episcopal Bishop.  He came to this state in 1859 with his wife Cornelia and six children.  When the fighting broke out in August of 1862 Whipple returned home from Northern Minnesota as fast as possible.  He had seen the conflict coming since the signing of the Treaty Traverse des Sioux when many promises were broken.  He went to St. Peter were many injured were taken and he served as nurse and chaplain.

The Northfield Historical Society presents “Hops, Grapes & History,” a benefit event featuring a performance by “Guaranteed Cash,” a tribute to the songs and sounds of Johnny Cash

Hops, Grapes & History

The Northfield Historical Society presents “Hops, Grapes & History,” a benefit event on Saturday, March 2 at the Grand Event Center in Northfield.

The evening includes a beer and wine tasting from 6 to 8 p.m., featuring a hand-selected variety of Minnesota craft beers and wines; hors d’oeuvres; and a silent auction with a chance to bid on numerous goods and services from local businesses. Then from 9 to 11:30 p.m., the event concludes with a not-to-be-missed performance of “Guaranteed Cash,” a tribute to the songs and sounds of Johnny Cash, performed by legendary guitarist Bob Wootten (lead guitarist for Johnny Cash’s band for over thirty years) and country rockers, Six Mile Grove.

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