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HOW TO PLAN A SAFE AND SUCCESSFUL EVENT (SO THE POPO DOESN’T SHOW UP!) Mankato has a vibrant arts and culture community, where art, music, food, drink and a good time are the standard fare of downtown fun in the city. On any given day, there is a band playing music of some sort and some type of other event going on, so the options are quite vast for having fun and enjoying the expression and exchange of ideas, emotions and thoughts. Not all events close on a positive note, however, and more recently it has become a concern for those in the entertainment business and the fans that support local musicians and entertainers. A few events have ended with the police arresting people for assault. Gunshots have even been reported at recent events. This is not good for business. People often look to the entertainers or the venues and want to point the finger. The city and the police have suggested punishing venues by giving the “strikes” if the police are called to an event. This is likely misguided for a couple of reasons. It is not always the venue’s fault, nor the performers’, when things get out of hand. Often, they are the ones trying to remedy the situation. You can never anticipate what is going to happen when people come to an event. Venues and performers suffer when this happens. So what can be done to ensure a safe and successful event? The liability for any damage that occurs at a show should ALWAYS be laid out in a contract of some sort. These contracts determine who is responsible for what aspects of the event. Named in the contract, often, are managers, venues, promoters and performers. Whoever is in charge of security and/or permits also holds liability in the event that something goes wrong as a result of faulty security. When hiring security, consider all possible scenarios and what type of crowd is expected to show up. Are there going to be people you don’t know? Will there be alcohol or intoxicated people? These are important. A very low-key show can be put on with minimal security, but one that has larger than expected crowds with many people you don’t know needs to be handled in a secure, professional manner to make sure everyone is safe and also to promote a positive music, arts and cultural experience for the attendees. Talk to people when they get to the show and establish a code of conduct right away. Make sure they know what to expect and they know what the rules are for the night. You don’t have to get all Hitler and shit, but keep it real. Let them know this show is important and that everyone should have respect for it. That’s why they came, right? People will understand. Remember this way: If people come to your house and you trash it in front of them, they will treat your house the same or worse because that’s the precedent you set. Set a precedent. There are numerous other tips, but these are the most basic to start with. Remember that the goal is to have a safe and successful event, and more importantly to stay out of trouble!





Terry Barta is a young 69-year-old gentleman. At his retirement party, a friend gifted him with a handmade walking stick adorned with a mushroom topper. He was intrigued by the craft so his friend graciously showed him the technique. Terry realized this was something he wanted to pursue when he retired. He’s been creating morel mushrooms for the last 8-9 years. I had the pleasure to chat with him about his carving expertise. Terry creates hand-crafted, intricate morel mushrooms of all shapes and sizes and turns them into works of art. Walking sticks, tabletop displays and tiny earrings are scattered about his garage studio. Some pieces are in various stages of progress. A large inventory is complete, buffed and shined with sealer. His studio garage is clean and tidy. His equipment; a band saw, table saw, various sanders and fine drill bits in a large number, and boxes of wood cut into small pieces are arranged in an orderly fashion. A box of deer antlers sit in a box, waiting to be shaped into the smallest morels ever - for earrings and other works. He has a large supply of tubs filled with all sorts of supplies on storage shelves. Everything was neatly labeled by hand. I was amazed at the large collection of unique and unusual woods. During his travels to Arkansas, he said he picks up Redwood, Gum, Sassafras, Dogwood, Elm and Hickory, just to name a few. Terry coordinates his travels south to pick up more wood so he can attend the local Blue Grass festivals. He told me he isn’t able to walk long distances and would really enjoy hunting for the real morel mushrooms, but mentioned a friend recently brought him a large container of morels. In return, he gifted her with one of his creations. He showed me the fresh ones he had stored in his refrigerator, and when compared to his wooden creations, I found it very difficult to tell the difference. I suggested we capture a photo that included both. I asked him if he had a website and told me he didn’t bother with social media on the internet. I have to assume he would prefer to spend time in his studio rather than doing online business. Instead, he sells his works in local shops in St. Peter, New Ulm, Henderson and the Old Country Store at Pioneer Power. He also attends local art and craft festivals. Terry described his art as “a fun hobby” while I called the morels intricate, amazing pieces of art. Some of his work is currently for sale in the gallery at the Arts Center of St. Peter. Stop in to see them in person. From a short distance, they look good enough to eat.


By Laurie Knight


Arts Center of Saint Peter to feature work inspired by domestic life and cancer survival

SAINT PETER, MINN. – The Arts Center of Saint Peter will feature “Same Face, Different Place,” paintings by Mankato artist and educator Rachel Compart, and “Dew Point,” photography by Saint Peter multimedia artist Laurie Zallek Knight, from June 13-July 13. Compart, a painter and instructor at Minnesota State University, Mankato, developed “Same Face, Different Place” inspired by a pile of dirty laundry. “These mundane objects turned into complex forms that could be used to describe an average person’s life, my life,” Compart says. The paintings are “a catalog of forms that began as clothes, manipulated and arranged to represent work, play, relationships, laziness, frustration, motherhood, change and love.” Knight, a self-taught multimedia artist, began using macro photography during her recovery from brain cancer. “The fascination started as I viewed the intricate details of a spider web covered in drops of dew,” Knight says. “Macro photography parallels the way my senses changed after cancer. They’re more acute. Details really make a difference and my photography expresses that.” A reception and artists’ talk will take place on Saturday, June 14, from 7:00-9:00 p.m. The exhibitions and reception are free and open to the public. Since 1979, the Arts Center of Saint Peter has hosted creative performances, classes for youth and adults, exhibits and more, serving residents of Saint Peter and the surrounding region. The galleries are free and open to the public. Hours and information are at - See more at:


X-Men: Days of Future Past Review

By James Houtsma To prevent a horrible, destructive future, the X-Men must travel back in time to fix the mistakes of the past. Ironically, not only is this the basic outline of “X-Men: Days of Future Past”, it’s the reality of the “X-Men” franchise exemplified by this movie. By applying a massive scale time travel story, Fox and director Bryan Singer have made a bold play to undo many of the bumps and bruises the “X-Men” movies have hit along the way. While the odds are usually in favor of things becoming a messy, “reach exceeds their grasp” event, Singer and company do everyone a service by keeping their franchise building in check and delivering a tight and terrific standalone film that doesn’t miss a step. In a future where mutants are near extinction and constantly hunted by unstoppable killer robots called Sentinels, the remaining X-Men, consisting of Kitty Pride (Ellen Page), Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), Professor X (Patrick Stewart) and Magneto (Ian McKellan), hatch a plan to keep this horrible outcome from ever happening. By having Kitty send Wolverine’s consciousness back to 1973 (as one does), he can then bring together a team of X-Men to stop the rogue shapeshifter Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from assassinating the creator of the deadly robots (Peter Dinklage) and setting things into motion. But it won’t be a walk in the park as the young Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) has all but given up on hope for mutantkind after the events of “X-Men: First Class”, and Magneto, better known as Erik Lensherr (Michael Fassbender), well, he’s still going to end up pulling some dickish antics. Sound like a lot to process? It is but watching the movie you’d never know. The plethora of characters and separate story arcs are handled with a level of care that makes a certain recent superhero flick look shamed. Everything clicks together in a beautiful, coherent way that lets everyone shine and keeps the interest up throughout. “DOFP” has so many good things going for it but the thing that stands out is how contained the story is. Yes, there’s more than a few instances of world building and sequel-setup by the end, but the main story can stand alone without relying on a “continued next time” scenario. Even those who haven’t seen all the “X-Men” movies should be able to pick up on things fairly quickly and above all, enjoy them. Behold the power of a well-planned story with heart. Based off the Chris Claremont comic arc of the same name, “DOFP” capitalizes on the prospect of combining old favorites and new in a way that makes sense. Stewart and McKellan comfortably step back into a franchise that had all but written them out (as do a few other faces that would be criminal to spoil), while Jackman gets to apply his classic role this time as a sort of mentor to a forlorn Xavier. But it’s the returning “First Class” members who carry the show. Xavier’s journey from lost to found is a highly compelling route for a character who normally is the most composed person in the room and McAvoy sells it. While blunt, the subplot about him throwing his gifts away via a big scary needle in the arm shows that this character probably can’t get any lower. But hey, this is “X-Men”, the overlord of obvious metaphors. Fassbender’s cool, debonair disposition as Magneto continues to make his take on the character a constant center of attention. The bromance these two characters share is continued in a most satisfying way as they both hit forks in the road that will pit them against each other, despite their mutual admiration. With “X-Men” and “X2” director Bryan Singer back at the helm and “First Class” director Matthew Vaughn helping out on story, “DOFP” takes things one step further beyond the finale of the most recent film in actually feeling like an X-Men movie. Classic characters assembling in a pivotal storyline as stadiums fall from the sky and the future hangs in the balance are some things that show that the franchise is upping the ante and refining everything it can. The action is great and the character interplay has never been better. However, nothing shows more promise for the series’ direction going forward than what the filmmakers have done with Evan Peters’ Quicksilver. Originally assumed to be a throwaway inclusion appease character rights technicalities (Disney also has plans to utilize the character in next year’s “Avengers” sequel), the entire sequence featuring the character is like a whole new ballgame. Peters’ presence is an unexpected jolt of lightning as the character elevates the entire sequence he’s involved into a high-octane funny-fest that showcases a good dose of blockbuster fun. Every second of this amazing scene shows that this character was indeed bought in with a purpose: amusement, among other things. Admittedly, continuity sticklers are going to have a hard time with the film, as the creative team have all but thrown out a strict timeline. At least one previous film is totally ignored in the timeline, as are several technicalities that may be worth a head scratching. But that’s ok because the filmmakers have now reached the point of realizing that continuity won’t be an issue as long as you deliver a great film. “DOFP” only rarely suffers from slack pacing in an otherwise taught plot and has only a few instances of sub-par visual effects that have plagued the series on and off. What really would have been welcome (and may be the case for next time -- who knows?) is a more vibrant color palette that embraces the comic book origins. Not that things need to go full tilt on the saturation but a more refined color scheme on a comic book movie like this could do wonders. Looking to the past to cater to the future can be a wise choice. It certainly was for this franchise going forward. “X-Men: First Class” set up a possible direction going forward and “Days of Future Past” jumped all over it. The X-Men renaissance is upon us at last. 8.5/10 - See more at:


The popular annual Smokin in Steele BBQ and Blues Festival kicked off the last weekend in May. Photos supplied by Joe Elbert and the Smokin in Steele website. Q&A WITH LOCAL STANDUP KING ZACK KOLARS Q: Have you always been a funny guy? Were you a class clown? I have always loved making people laugh. I would say I was a class clown, but I was also a teacher’s pet so they let me get away with alot, I was a terrible student though. I just never cared that much. Q: What standup comics have influenced you? And what about movies/tv? There is an endless of comedians that have influenced me. I would say the cliche comedian answer... Richard Pryor, Dave Chappelle, Louis CK. I really find my friends, family and people in everyday life extremely funny. Nothing better than sitting around with friends bullshitting and laughing and having a good time. Movie and TV... Early in my life Adam Sandler was a big influence in movie like Billy Madison and

Happy Gilmore. Also Chris Farley in Tommy Boy and Beverly Hills Ninja. Right now I like Stephen Colbert and and the show “ Louie”. Q: Did you ever have stage fright? When was your first gig in front of people? Never really had stage fright, I have always been somewhat comfy in front of people, despite having no acting/stage experience. My first time doing stand up comedy was for a communications class. I went and did at MSU comedy club. I bombed terribly and had to record it and show it to my whole class, wasnt the funnest thing I have ever done. Q: What is your process/style? What do you find funny? My process is to try to take things that happen to me everyday or have happened to me that I find funny and turn them into funny stories. Most of my comedy starts with a truth and gets exaggeratted

from there to make things flow and to shock and make laugh. My style is to have no fear on taking on any subject, I fell like there is humor in anything no matter how horrible. I prefer to make fun of stereotypes in race, gender and religion. Q: How have your gigs in Rochester at Goonies and Minneapolis at Acme? The open mics in Rochester and the Twin Cities have been great. This summer I am really working on touring outside of Mankato so I can work on the same material night after night to perfect it. I am also competing in the Acme Funniest Person In The Twin Cities Contest” and entering my footage into some festivals this fall. I worked some corporate gigs this winter for holiday parties or anual meetings and stuff like that. So right now it is just trying to work wherever there is work, even if its an open mic. Q: What kind of foods are funny?

I dont find foods funny, I find them delicious. (points to stomach) Q: What do you want to say to the people that have supported you and Mankato Comedy? To the people that have supported Mankato Comedy this year: I want to thank you so so so so so much. You guys have no idea how much your support and laughter means to us comedians. I would like to personally thank H & R Block and Brady Smith for being our VIP sponsor most of the year. We will continue to try to bring quality comedy to Mankato and beyond.


EVENT PHOTOS Pics taken by James Houtsma, our great intern from the MSU.

Shakespeare in the Parking Lot

A Cooperative Effort from NUACT and Mankato Mosaic.


SLANTEDMAG. COM including:

Music Photos from the recent Rock Trifecta feat. Mayberry Riot, Catylyst and Suit & Tie Genocide.



An RC Car Club in Saint Peter held a race in May at a local park.

{ THE PLACE FOR BEER}    Thursday, July 17 Pre fest with Arch Allies & Tranist Authority

   


Slanted Mag June 2014 Music, Fairs & Festivals Issue  

Southern Minnesota Arts & Culture: RC Car Races Art Exhibits Bavarian Blast How to Plan a Safe & Successful Event Zack Kolars Comedian Q & A...

Slanted Mag June 2014 Music, Fairs & Festivals Issue  

Southern Minnesota Arts & Culture: RC Car Races Art Exhibits Bavarian Blast How to Plan a Safe & Successful Event Zack Kolars Comedian Q & A...