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F r i d a y, N o v e m b e r 1 8 , 2 0 1 1 | T h e S p e c t r u m Nick Proulx Arts and Entertainment Editor Phone: 231-5261 | Email:


Arts and Entertainment

Coffee for the people, by the people Brittany Negaard Contributing Writer

What drives people to become regulars at their favorite coffee house? Is it the friendly baristas or the quality of coffee and espresso? In Fargo, the way the business is run is the force bringing customers to the Red Raven Espresso Parlor. The Red Raven Espresso Parlor is much more than a place to get a great cup of coffee. A first-time visitor might notice the physical differences that separate this shop from your run-of-the-mill corporate coffee house. The walls are decorated with local artwork, there's a library of books and games to entertain guests and colorful knit tagging and painting decorate the back patio. A general lack of inyour-face advertisements and promotions also make for a nice atmosphere. However, the Raven’s uniqueness is beyond surface level. The Raven is an employeeowned and managed cooperation. In other words, every employee at the shop is an owner or has the opportunity to work toward part ownership in the business. All employees vote and have a say in how the shop is run. The shop also opens its doors as a community event’s space, inviting locals to bring their ideas and talents to be showcased. The Raven wasn’t originally a co-op but has been operating as one since Jan. 1, 2010. The idea floated around for a few years, but current owners Joe Curry, Erik Meyer and Sara

Watson Curry were instrumental in the shop's change. The shop was originally located on Roberts Street in downtown Fargo but moved to its current location at 916 Main Ave. in December 2010. The Raven's new, larger space allows for a bigger kitchen and more space to host events. The location has also allowed the business to offer handicapped accessibility and parking in the back. In addition to hosting a variety of events and running dayto-day business, the shop has been working on setting up bylaws and rules of worker ownership and membership over the last year. Each employee or “member� has an equal vote in all business decisions. There are advantages and disadvantages to running a business this way, says coowner Joe Curry. “There isn’t really a hierarchy. No one is constantly pointing a finger,� Curry said. The bylaws and rules for the shop are an effort to keep the business running as a co-op for years to come. “Someday none of us will be involved, but the business will still be set up,� said Watson Curry. For now, the immediate benefit of the co-op style of business allows employees to design the business they want to be a part of. Employees also have a say in the type of products they want to offer. The menu boasts various original beverages and all vegan or vegetarian meal and desert options. Where else will you find a mock duck sandwich or a “yella-bellied-chick-pea sandwich� in Fargo? Running as a co-op has fostered the Raven’s growth into a community space and center

WOOKIEFOOT w/ Jon Wayne & The Pain

Friday, November 18 The Venue @ The Hub QN%PPSTt"HFT







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for events. The Raven hosts numerous recurring events and hopes to add more with time. All events at the Raven are free and open for the public, and many allow for the audience to be a part. The Raven regularly hosts a comedy night for the community. Anyone who has a joke or act to perform is allowed to participate. Jazz nights have also been arranged, and guests need not be limited to simply listening. Anyone can bring an instrument and join in on the event, which owners say is similar to a jamming session. The “Makers Market,� is held monthly for local artists and craftsmen to sell handmade items such as food, crafts and jewelry. The Market often has musical performances or poetry readings in addition to local vendors. “The Really Really Free Market� is another monthly event that draws guests who bring any items they wish to get rid of or are no longer using. However, unlike a rummage sale or flea market, the items are not to be bartered or sold; they are there for anyone to take. Leftover items are donated to local thrift stores after the event. The Raven currently has three part-owner employees and two member employees. Part-owner Erik Meyer says this allows new employees to get used to the business style before they take on the responsibility of buying into ownership of the business. New employees might take a pay cut initially, but the goal of the co-op is ultimately to purchase the building. Therefore em

Plans to restore Sodbuster in the works Museum seeks public’s role in reparing icon

Nick Proulx | The Spectrum

Sodbuster, San Isidro is currently stored in the basement of the Plains Art Museum. The museum plans to display the sculpture as early as next fall.

Nick Proulx A&E Editor

Sodbuster, San Isidro: Standing about seven feet tall and measuring 24 feet long, the 1,300-pound sculpture embodies down-home values of hard work, strength, tradition and pride. Two mighty oxen drive as a rugged man guides his plow, parting the earth. Having stood for 20 years at the corner of Main Avenue and Broadway, Sodbuster now lies in the basement of the Plains Story continued on page 7 Art Museum, bearing scars from exposure to Fargo’s extreme climate. The sun has left its surface faded, and both vibrations from the railroad and seasonal moisture have cracked it in numerous spots. The future of Sodbuster was the topic of last week’s public forum at the Plains Art Museum on Nov. 10. It’s their goal to one day put Sodbuster back on display in a public ROSANNE CASH place to fulfill its role as a "O&WFOJOH8JUI piece of public artwork. “It has kind of been in the 4BUVSEBZ /PWFNCFS back of the community’s 'BSHP5IFBUSF mind,â€? said Kris Kerzman, QN4IPXt"MM"HFT communication manager at the museum. “We had about 50 or 60 people at the forum, GEAR DADDIES and most of them remembered X.JMF0OF5IF3PDLGPSE.VMFT when the Sodbuster was on display. The public wants to Friday, November 25 see it back and the community The Venue @ The Hub misses it,â€? Kerzman added. QN%PPSTt"HFT

Artist Luis Jimenez created the sculpture in 1979, and Sodbuster was considered an IYAZ

unusual work at the time. Rather than using traditional sculpting materials like bronze or stone, Jimenez opted to use fiberglass, which allowed for a creative use of color. It pays tribute to the heritage of the area, specifically early immigrant plains farmers, and it is named in honor of the patron saint of agriculture. The piece was funded in 1977 by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and by the Broadway Mall Construction Fund, both contributing $20,000 to the project. The City of Fargo commissioned Jimenez in 1978 and the final version was unveiled publically in 1981. Perhaps what’s most impressive about Sodbuster is Jimenez’s ability to turn such an ordinary concept into something heroic. “Sodbuster evokes some of the history and culture of the area, but it’s not really meant to work with the environment. It’s meant to be looked at and to make an impact,� Kerzman explained. However, continued pressure from the elements challenged the sculpture’s integrity. The molding process used to create Sodbuster left holes its surface, and over time cracks spread from these holes due to moisture. Vibrations from trains nearby made the cracking worse and water collected in the bottom of the sculpture at one point. Fargo formally gifted Sodbuster to the Plains Art Museum in 1991 and it was moved from

its previous location in 2002. It’s currently in storage at the museum and rests in two pieces. “Overall we’re going through an initiative. We’re asking the community to examine public art, the meaning to them as individuals and as a whole community. [Sodbuster] has been a test piece for seeing the community’s role in public art, and how big of an impact they have,� Kerman said. Restoring Sodbuster is an uphill battle that has already suffered major setbacks. An assessment done in 2002 produced an estimated repair cost of $48,900, and plans to repair the work halted when Jimenez died working on another piece in 2006. Since then, the estimated cost to restore Sodbuster has risen to around $75,000. Still, the museum hopes that Sodbuster can be part of an exhibit as early as next fall, and they further plan to put it on display outdoors once they feel it’s safe to do so with the piece. “Really, what we want to do is what the community wants with it. We want it to be seen by people and filling the role it used to have,� Kerzman said. For more information on the their efforts, contact the Plains Arts Museum by calling 701232-3821 or by emailing them at The museum is located at 704 1st Ave. N.


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‘Community’ in danger?



Steven Strom



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Staff Writer



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If you've never seen “Community,� possibly one of the greatest comedy TV shows in the last 10 years, you're missing out. And you're not alone. While the NBC communitycollege-based sitcom has garnered the praise of fans and critics alike, the show has struggled to find a wider audience. It would seem that the much-loved comedy could be in danger. If you follow TV news at all, this should sound like a familiar story. After NBC announced their new midseason schedule, fans noticed that “Community� was strangely absent. As it turns out, the second half of the show’s third season will not be airing in the usual time slot. While the show has not been cancelled (all 22

episodes of the show will be airing eventually), this postponement doesn't speak well for NBC's confidence in their cult hit. In contrast, the upcoming midseason schedule features a new show created by Chelsea Handler. As you can see, the network is undoubtedly desperate. The removal of “Community� from the upcoming timeline could also be the result of fellow comedy show “30 Rock.� “30 Rock� was similarly postponed up until this new schedule due to Tina Fey's real-life pregnancy. While fans seem to have gone into red alert, the show's stars don't seem to be too outwardly worried. The stars’ Twitter accounts have been full of jokes and ribs about the shows worries. While no official word from the people involved with the show has been given, their confidence does help to mitigate concerns.

Then again, it could just be the show’s staff keeping up appearances. While the show’s troubles are certainly disheartening, they’re not entirely surprising. NBC has been struggling with flagging ratings on most of their high-profile shows for quite some time now. Longrunning series like “Chuck� are just now coming to an end and the network's budget isn’t what it used to be. It's not hard to imagine that they would be wary of any show that isn’t pulling in huge viewing numbers. It’s a sad fact of life that networks are becoming less tolerant of new TV shows that just can’t bring in viewers. We will have no choice but to wait to find out just what sort of shape “Community� is in and when the rest of season three will be airing. Hopefully, “Community� will be able to find its audience sooner rather than later.

Profile for NDSU Spectrum

November 18, 2011  

November 18, 2011

November 18, 2011  

November 18, 2011