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19 minutes | Aug 30, 2021
Ep. 35: The Toonsmith: Dave Mruz, Minnesota’s Cartooning Historian
Superman. Charlie Brown. Donald Duck. The existence of these 'toons all have roots in Minnesota. In this episode of the MinneCulture Podcast, KFAI's Britt Aamodt introduces us to a cartooning historian who helped preserve the backstory of some iconic characters. Support for MinneCulture on KFAI comes from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
32 minutes | Aug 18, 2021
Ep. 34: A Living History of the Boundary Waters
In wilderness settings, there are connections people can make to the land, regardless of their age, race or gender, by walking in the footsteps of those who have come before them.With this in mind, a group of Minnesota paddlers set out in the fall of 2020 to travel across the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness to retrace the steps of a wilderness pioneer named Arthur Carhart. Their journey took them across abandoned portages, streams plugged by beaver dams and through remote territory inside the nation’s most visited wilderness area.Carhart made his journey to the Boundary Waters in 1921. Though a century has passed since his expedition, there were generations of people who lived in this landscape that is now defined as a ‘wilderness area.’ The Indigenous communities were here long before white voyageurs and government officials put their canoes on this countless collection of lakes, streams and pathways through the Boundary Waters.In this episode of the MinneCulture Podcast, producer Joe Friedrichs takes a look at what the term ‘wilderness’ means in the past, present and future of the Boundary Waters.
19 minutes | Jul 28, 2021
Ep. 33: James Garrett Jr. on Why Black Architecture Matters
James Garrett Jr. is an architect at 4RM+ULA architects, one of the only Black-owned architecture firms in Minnesota. Garrett and his family have deep ties to St. Paul’s Rondo neighborhood. During his childhood in St. Paul, James fell in love with buildings and the bustle of urban landscapes. Later, while in college, he would discover that he himself had a connection to these landscapes through a man who helped create them, Clarence Wigington, the first Black municipal architect in the country, serving St. Paul from 1915 to 1949. In this episode of the MinneCulture Podcast, reporter Katie Thornton speaks with James Garrett Jr. about his life, his passion for architecture and how community-driven design can be a type of activism.
33 minutes | Jul 27, 2021
Ep. 32: Stay Young, Go Dancing
Polka dancing was once a staple of small-town Minnesota, enjoyed by German, Polish, and Scandinavian immigrants who settled in farming communities throughout the state. Today, polka dancing and ballrooms have mostly disappeared. But, for the residents of rural Sibley County, the legacy of one legendary polka venue still looms large. Producer James Napoli has the story.
19 minutes | Jul 16, 2021
Ep. 31: Murder Cliff: The Death of Mary Fridley Price
The plain, uninteresting Mary Fridley Price. Not the sort of girl anyone would notice—except now she'd gone and leapt over a cliff to save her poor dog. The dull—and now very dead girl—was suddenly front-page headlines. No one was supposedly more grief-stricken than her charming husband Frederick Price, who found comfort in his wife's inheritance—and in the arms of his mistress... Are you suspicious? Mary's father sure was. KFAI's Britt Aamodt shares the story of Minneapolis' most notorious murder trial of 1916. Support for MinneCulture on KFAI comes the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and the Hennepin History Museum.
57 minutes | Jun 28, 2021
Ep. 30: The Godfather of Black Space in Minneapolis
Anthony Brutus Cassius was questioned by the FBI, fought to be the first Black person in Minnesota to get a liquor license, and his famous greasy burgers were once mentioned on the Johnny Carson show. But above all, starting in the 1930s, Cassius created space for the Twin Cities Black community to eat, drink, organize and connect. Even today, there are hardly any Black-owned bars or restaurants in the Twin Cities. Cassius' story helps us to understand how we got here.“The Godfather of Black Space in Minneapolis” traces Cassius’ life and impact as a labor organizer, civil rights leader, and entrepreneur. This episode of the MinneCulture Podcast was produced by food writer and chef Mecca Bos and audio journalist Nancy Rosenbaum. It’s the first installment in the Hidden Black Foodways of Minnesota -- an audio documentary and podcast series that will spotlight untold and under-told stories of Minnesota’s Black food makers and pioneers.Special thanks to the Minnesota Historical Society for the A.B. Cassius oral history audio in this episode. Thanks also goes out to Katie Myhre, Brandt Williams and Brian Lozenski.Find more work by Mecca Bos at meccaboswrites.com and Nancy Rosenbaum at nancyrosenbaum.com.Support for the MinneCulture Podcast comes from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and the Hennepin History Museum.Photo courtesy of the Hennepin County Library and the children of John Glanton. Find more photos from the John F. Glanton Collection here: bit.ly/2T449bY
43 minutes | Jun 26, 2021
Ep. 29: Generation AIDS
In July 1981, the New York Times published an article about a mysterious illness plaguing gay men in New York City. After reading the article, Bruce Brockway, a gay activist and publisher of the Twin Cities' first LGBT newspaper, turned to his partner and said, "I think I have that." That was AIDS and Bruce was right. Numbers-wise, Minnesota was never a hot zone of infection. But for the Minnesotans living with HIV/AIDS, the struggles were the same: to stay alive and to fight the homophobia that wanted to ignore an epidemic dismissed as a gay man's disease. This is their story, reported and narrated by KFAI's Britt Aamodt.
32 minutes | Jun 16, 2021
Ep. 28: When the Gay 90's Came Out
This summer on the MinneCulture Podcast, it's all about Minnesota History. As we kick-off Season 5 during Pride month, we celebrate one of the first well-known venues in the Twin Cities exuberantly claimed by gay men, a nightclub called The Gay 90s in downtown Minneapolis. The Gay 90’s hasn’t always been gay. The bar began as a supper club for a straight crowd. It opened in the 1950s and the name was a reference to an earlier decade, the 1890s. Then, in 1975, the vibe changed in a big way. The owners of the Gay 90s bought a disco ball, hired DJs, and turned the 90's into a club catering to gay men. In this episode, we share an original KFAI documentary, “Fly Robin Fly: The Story of that Disco-Crazed Moment when the Gay 90s Came Out of the Closet and Embraced Its Name,” by KFAI's Todd Melby. You'll hear a history of the bar featuring some of the people who worked, danced and connected at the Gay 90s.Support for the MinneCulture Podcast on KFAI comes from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
25 minutes | Jul 1, 2020
Ep. 27: What Do We Do Now?
When George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police on Memorial Day, pain and anger blasted like a shock wave across the Twin Cities and the world. Floyd’s death was followed by a week of protests, marches and sometimes destructive unrest. In this episode, KFAI’s Melissa Olson takes us to the intersection of 38th and Chicago Ave, where Native jingle dress dancers offered a ceremony of healing. We also hear from Twin Cities hip-hop artist Tall Paul, who recounts his experience patrolling south Minneapolis and protecting local businesses during the uprising. Then we take a gritty walking tour of unsanctioned artwork, hosted by graffiti artist Peyton Scott Russell.
27 minutes | Jul 1, 2020
Ep. 26: What Are You Making?
We’re still social distancing and we’re still making stuff. Some artists have changed what they make. Others have changed how they make it. KFAI’s Barb Abney hosts from home and shares an uplifting interview with Twin Cities hip-hop artist Nur-D, who just dropped an EP recorded entirely from his bedroom. We also hear a tender, slightly gloomy audio diary from Minneapolis poet Ed Bok Lee, who discusses skeletons and shares knock-knock jokes with his young daughter. It’s adorable and, you guessed it, poetic.
20 minutes | May 13, 2020
Ep. 25: How Are You Doing?
Hear stories of Minnesota artists making it work in this time of social distancing. Barb Abney hosts the Season 4 launch from her daughter's bedroom while social distancing at home. In an audio diary, Haitian dancer Djenane Saint Juste fields a robocall from a bill collector, shares intimate scenes sheltering in place with her mother, then hosts a series of boisterous dance lessons in her apartment. We make a house call to Hmong chef Yia Vang who looks to his parents' experience as refugees to guide him through the pandemic.Support for MinneCulture on KFAI comes from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. This podcast was produced by Nancy Rosenbaum with Anna Stitt and Emily Bright, edited by Ryan Dawes and Melissa Olson.
26 minutes | Sep 9, 2019
Ep. 24: The Purple One
For our Season 3 finale, stories about the late, great Prince Rogers Nelson. You'll hear from the guy credited with "discovering" Prince, what it was like to get phone calls from Prince at 3 a.m., and we take of tour of "Purple Places" that mark Prince's roots in North Minneapolis. This episode was produced by KFAI’s Nancy Rosenbaum. Support for MinneCulture comes from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
15 minutes | Aug 22, 2019
Ep. 23: Other Duties As Assigned
There are often parts of a job no one else understands or even knows about. We're talking about the unheralded tasks that are executed in the shadows, after hours, void of glory. On this episode, we meet two Minnesotans, an elementary school principal and the CEO of a hip-hop record label, each fulfilling the last line of their job description: "Other Duties As Assigned."
20 minutes | Jul 31, 2019
Ep. 22: Minnesota History, In Their Own Words
Minnesota's oldest auctioneer reflects on rural life, the Kim Loo Sisters face discrimination in the jazz scene during the 1930s and 1940s, and a rusticly bunking historian sheds light on the history of slavery in Minnesota. The episode was produced by KFAI's Emily Bright.
17 minutes | Jul 31, 2019
Ep. 21: Pain, Pain Go Away
For some artists, sickness can fuel their creativity. But for others, illness can drain the inspiration right out of them. In this episode, musician P.O.S and radio producer Katie Thornton discuss the ways chronic illnesses has affected their lives. This episode was produced by KFAI's Sophie Nikitas.
24 minutes | Jul 17, 2019
Ep. 20: Minnesota Musicians, In Their Own Words
In this episode, we meet Minnesota musicians that take old music, and put their own twist on it. Host Jumondeh Tweh goes backstage at a Saint Paul jazz club with Debbie Duncan who’s known as the Twin Cities’ “First Lady of Song.” We travel to South Minneapolis, where Minnesota’s oldest African American drum corps is keeping an old musical tradition alive. And we hear from some passionate classical musicians at the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra about the album that won them a Grammy in 2018.
18 minutes | Jul 11, 2019
Ep. 19: Minnesota Eats
Immigrants are spicing up Minnesota food. In this episode of the MinneCulture podcast, host Jumondeh Tweh gets cooking tips from his Liberian mother and listens in on stories about Hmong and Somali food. KFAI's Emily Bright produced this delicious audio treat.
34 minutes | Jul 4, 2019
Ep. 18: Our Most Memorable Snowfall
In Minnesota, freezing winters and big snowfalls come with the territory. But three feet of snow on Halloween? That was a day to remember. In the premiere of Season 3, Jumondeh Tweh plays a documentary produced by Britt Aamodt about the Halloween Blizzard of 1991, which remains one of the largest and most memorable storms in Minnesota history.
24 minutes | Jun 27, 2019
Ep. 17: Fresh Fruit: Over 40 Years of Queer Radio
Fresh Fruit is the longest running queer radio program in the US. It has aired on KFAI Community Radio in Minneapolis, Minn. for over 40 years. MinneCulture host Jumondeh Tweh speaks with KFAI’s Dixie Treichel, who produced a radio documentary on this legendary radio show, tracking down former hosts and gathering the history of Fresh Fruit.
17 minutes | Sep 18, 2018
Ep. 16: Winter Special
It wouldn’t be a Minnesota podcast if we didn’t take you outside. It’s cold outside, baby, with rabid Minnesota Wild fans and anglers who won’t let a little ice get in their way. The MinneCulture crew bundles up and hits the ice to tell the unfrozen stories of the cold, bold North.
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