Arts Ecosystem

Janet and I are lucky to be living in a town that not only has a vibrant arts culture, but has an arts culture that let’s us in! My limited experience with artistic communities in other cities gave me the impression that the community was hard to break into. Not in Rochester.

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Under our current presidential administration we are facing the likelihood of loss of federal funding for the arts through entities like the National Endowment for the Arts. In Rochester, MN, where there is a strong arts presence, these cuts will have a profound impact. Recently, we participated in a community awareness event where citizens and musicians from the Rochester Symphony Orchestra and Chorale gather to sing an impromptu Hallelujah Chorus to show that we are opposed to cuts in funding for the arts. See a short video here.

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Preserve Family History

Today’s blog discusses the adventure of family history research and how photographs can add so much to your family tree. Both Janet and I enjoy researching our family history, and it’s always a special treat when we discover a photograph of an ancestor we know of by name, but otherwise know little about.

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Run Boy Run

“We hope your spirits will be lifted.” – An Interview with Matt Rolland of Run Boy Run

One of the things I like best about musicians in the folk, old-time, and bluegrass genres is how accessible and friendly they are. Meeting with Matt Rolland from Run Boy Run was no exception. Run Boy Run (from here I’ll abbreviate RBR) is in Rochester this week to participate in the Artist in the Schools program put on by Rochester Civic Music and Riverside Concerts. They finish their stay in Rochester with a full concert on Saturday, March 4, at the Rochester Art Center. Matt very kindly sat down with me for about 45 minutes to talk about RBR and their music.

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Music Jam

It’s been quite a while since I’ve picked up the banjo, so I got the itch to play recently, but didn’t really know where to find any local jam groups. In a previous blog, I wrote about my encounter with an old-timey family band. That conversation led to my discovery of a regular bluegrass and country jam group that meets on Friday nights in Rochester.

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October Highlights

October turned out to be a month filled with photography, music, and family. Previously, I presented you with some of my first attempts at taking a star trail photo at Kinstone. Since then I went out a second time to try again, and I have to say I was very pleased with the outcome.

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Support Local Music

[Originally published April, 2016]

Janet and I had a wonderfully musical weekend. It began with seeing a pair of musicians at one of our local hangouts for dinner, and we even snuck in a little dancing. It continued the next night, when we spontaneously bought tickets to hear two well-known Minnesota-based musicians play together in a very intimate yet rollicking performance. Beyond the fact that the music is good, it’s gratifying to start to build a relationship with the musicians. Over time, they begin to recognize you, then you’re connected on social media, and eventually you’re on a first name basis.
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Help Someone Be Happy Today

We recently spent time in the company of two friends, each of whom is going through some hardship. Janet has a friend who is on hard times financially.  They met for lunch, and Janet made a gesture of kindness by offering her friend a check for a modest amount to help with the week’s expenses. We know we couldn’t solve the friend’s problems, but maybe we could give her some hope.
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