Cedar Lounge, for the indoor-concert curious

As a human whose only recent experiences In Public are grocery stores, Target and Zenith Bookstore, it is Cedar Lounge in Superior that most piques my In Public interest. It’s inspired by the well-spaced tables, added exhaust fans and Plexiglass, confessional-booth-style spots at the bar that I see on its social media.

So here’s an excuse to go there, masked: Ingeborg von Aggasiz plays from 5-7 p.m. on Fridays in February. The electronic folk singer-songwriter will play originals and cover songs.

This isn’t a willy-nilly experience, according to the Cedar Lounge’s Facebook page. Only 30 people are allowed in, and there are temp checks for employees and patrons. They also ask that you stay seated with your group, aside for when ordering or using the restroom.

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That said, the Festival Field is still active on the property with active fire to congregate near.

Breanne Marie and the Front Porch Sinners (Submitted photo)
Breanne Marie and the Front Porch Sinners (Submitted photo)

From the Front Porch to Sacred Heart

Local country band Breanne Marie and the Front Porch Sinners had to reschedule its show from the stage at Sacred Heart Music Center in the latter half of 2020 — but it’s happening now.

The band fronted by Breanne Tepler will play a live-streamed album release show at 7 p.m. Feb. 20 from Sacred Heart Music Center. (Available on the venue’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.)

The band’s “Juniper” is a collection of new tunes Tepler and friends recorded this past summer at Sparta Sound.

Origin stories

WDSE-WRPT is offering a sneak peak of “In This Place,” a collection of four stories by documentary filmmakers about family histories as they tie to Northern Minnesota. The screening, followed by a Q&A, will be available via the platform OVEE.

Producer panelists include Matthew Koshmrl, an Iron Range-based filmmaker and professor; Megan McGarvey, a documentary filmmaker whose most popular work is “Outsourced: The New Wisconsin Idea” — which is available for streaming on Amazon; Mike Scholtz, who makes documentaries on topics ranging from outlaws to jigsaw puzzle enthusiasts; Missy Whiteman, an Emmy-nominated writer-director-producer who considers her work to be a voice for her ancestors.

If you miss it, "In This Place" will air at 7 p.m. March 2 on PBS North.

The SS John V. Moran belonged to Eber Ward, an owner of merchant ships who was involved in the Underground Railroad and abolition. (michiganradio.org / Public domain)
The SS John V. Moran belonged to Eber Ward, an owner of merchant ships who was involved in the Underground Railroad and abolition. (michiganradio.org / Public domain)

Deep dive on sea shanties

Speaking of sea shanties — or are we past that already? Last week, Michigan Public Radio’s story “The forgotten sea shanties of Black Great Lakes sailors,” with Jillian Reese, the curator of an exhibition at the Michigan History Center, is about the lives of Black sailors, who made up about 10% of the crews.

“There is very little in the sort of traditional scholarship about sailors' lives on the Great Lakes, about Black sailors, but these sea shanties — because they are so rooted in the day-to-day operations of the ships, actually give us a great view into what their experiences were,” Reece said in the interview.

The 20-minute story is available on Michigan Public Radio’s website, which also offers a link to a popular shanty among the Black sailors, “The Ward Line.”

Margi Preus (Submitted photo)
Margi Preus (Submitted photo)

Fireside with Preus

Award-winning, bestselling writer Margi Preus, who writes a lot of historical fiction for young people (and, well, everyone), is the featured author for an upcoming edition of the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library’s “Fireside Reading Series.”

The focus of this edition is her novel “Village of Scoundrels,” which is based on the true story of teenagers and kids in a small French village who were involved with the French Resistance. She will be joined by Nelly Trocme Hewett, who has real-life experience with the story.

The reading at 7 p.m. Feb. 17 is one of six offered, highlighting works published in the past year. It’s available via Zoom. Register in advance.

"Braiding Sweetgrass" by Robin Wall Kimmerer
"Braiding Sweetgrass" by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Books for art

The Duluth Art Institute is offering a book club, and this month’s pick is “Braiding Sweegrass: Indigeneous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teaching of Plants,” a must-read collection of essays by Robin Wall Kimmerer.

The author is a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation and a biology professor within the SUNY system. Her essays are slow and steady portraits of nature, filled with plant wisdoms that humans can use, too.

The collection is more than 7 years old but remains in steady rotation. At one point in recent history, maybe even now, it was Zenith Bookstore’s most-popular book.

The art institute is collecting data on availability of book club members at duluthartinstitute.org.