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Free poetry reading event

"Two River Poets," a free poetry reading event featuring John Graber and Lee Kisling, will be held on Thursday, April 19, 7-8:30 p.m. Both are inspired by the 50th anniversary of the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act, through which the St. Croix River was one of the first to receive protection.

Graber lives on the Mississippi in Stockholm. An Iowa Writers Workshop alumnus and long-time teacher, Graber has had many poems and three collections of poetry published. His poems draw from nature, psychology, and a hard-won spiritual faith. He is widely admired for his evocative language and stories that reach deep into the heart.

Kisling, a Hudson resident since 1988, is a popular local poet who conducts a monthly poetry salon in Hudson. He has many published poems around the country and his poetry readings are known to be wildly humorous, achingly sad, highly original, and always memorable.

'Happy Days - A New Musical' auditions

Auditions for "Happy Days — A New Musical," with the book by Garry Marshall, the creator of the "Happy Days" TV series, and music and lyrics by Paul Williams, a Grammy and Academy Award-winning composer, will be held Monday and Tuesday, April 30 and May 1, from 6:30-10 p.m. Actors may schedule an individual vocal audition and group dance session by going to Callbacks will be held on Monday, May 7.

Special skills sought include tap dancing and roller skating. Those auditioning are asked to prepare 16-32 bars of a song that best displays their range and ability. An accompanist will be provided. Those auditioning are asked to bring sheet music in the appropriate key. They will also learn a dance routine, so they should dress for movement. Actors should bring a list of all conflicts from May 7 to Aug. 5. A resume and headshot are appreciated, but not required.

Rehearsals are expected to begin the week of May 20 and will generally be five nights a week, between Sunday and Friday evenings, meaning some weeks may be Sunday-Thursday and some weeks may be Monday-Friday, depending on cast availability. Twelve performances are scheduled July 13 to Aug. 5 on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. as well as Sundays at 2:30 p.m.

'Goldilocks and the Three Pigs' May 4-13

"Goldilocks and the Three Pigs," by Larry Damico, will be performed by The Phipps Children's Theater May 4-13 on Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 1 and 4 p.m., as well as Sundays at 2 p.m.

The action in this playful romp begins with Goldilocks dashing into the house of the three Chop brothers. These are the same three pigs who lost two of their houses to the Wolf, and they are still emotionally scarred from the incident. With the help of their friendly neighbors, the Squeal sisters, they help Goldilocks hide from the witch who is chasing her. But when the witch puts a spell on Goldi, forcing her to stay in the house, the pig sisters leave on a mission to find a potion that can act as a spell remover.

General admission tickets are $14 for children and $19 for adults for this production in the Black Box Theater.

'Cheers for Volunteers' April 26

The Phipps Center for the Arts will host "Cheers for Volunteers," its 35th annual celebration of appreciation for all its volunteers, on Thursday, April 26 at 7 p.m. All who have volunteered in any capacity during the past year are encouraged to attend.

The event features a program at 7 p.m. with recognition and awards by the Children's Theater Council, the Drama Council, the Music Council, the Visual Arts Council, the Volunteer Council, and the newly formed Dance Council. A dessert reception will follow.

Ballroom dance parties

Ballroom dance parties are offered the first and third Saturday of every month October-May, and on the third Saturday of every month June-September, from 7-10 p.m. in the dance studio.

Tom Larson will offer a dance lesson during the first hour. The foxtrot and swing will be taught on March 17. This is an opportunity to have fun trying out new dance skills in a relaxed and comfortable environment. Dancers of all experience levels are welcome. Admission is $12 per person.

Larson has taught at The Phipps since 2003 and owns the Ballroom and Wedding Dance Studio in Minneapolis. He performed for five seasons with The Continental Ballet Company.

Spring and summer dance classes

Leta Triebold will offer the following classes on six Wednesdays, May 2-June 6: Ballet Technique Levels 3 & 4; Ballet Technique Levels 5 & 6; Pointe for Levels 5 & 6; Ballet Technique Levels 7 & 8; Pointe for Levels 7 & 8.

Marcia Keegan will offer ballet intensives on four Thursdays, June 7—28 for ages 6-8; ages 9-12; and ages 13 and older.

Mackenzie Lewis will offer a spring session of four weeks on Mondays (April 30 — May 21) for ages 9 — 13 and on Tuesdays (May 1 — 22) for ages 12 and older in jazz, musical theater/broadway, contemporary, and turns and leaps. She will also offer a summer session of eight weeks on Mondays (June 4 — July 30, except July 2) for ages 9-13 and on Tuesdays (June 5 — July 31 except July 3) for ages 12 and older in adaptive dance, jazz, contemporary, musical theater/broadway, turns and leaps, and strength and flexibility.

Full details class times, and prices can be found at

Summer theater camps

Two new theater camps culminating in productions for public audiences will be offered this summer.

"Porridgegate" Theater Camp, for students entering grades 7-9, will be offered by Tami Provencher Monday-Friday, July 9-20, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. Campers will learn and experience vocal and physical theater skills and techniques as they rehearse and perform "Porridgegate," a fractured fairytale comedy. Goldie Locks has been arrested for stealing Ursula Bear's bowl of porridge, but is she guilty or was she framed? It will take the crack investigative reporting of Woodsman and Bernadette, along with some help from a top-secret source, to unravel the biggest scandal in the history of Wychwood-under-Ooze. The play will be performed for the public on Friday, July 20 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., Saturday, July 21 at 2 p.m., and Sunday, July 22 at 2 p.m. Students should bring a bag lunch each day. The class fee is $379, and the maximum enrollment is 23.

"Cinderella: A Dream Come True" Theater Camp, for students entering grades 5 and 6, will be offered by Charles Fraser on Monday-Friday, July 30 - Aug. 10, 9 a.m.-noon each day. Campers will rehearse and perform a small production of "Cinderella." With joyful guidance, children will be encouraged to explore personal creativity, receive rigorous instruction on focus-building skills, and learn to work as an ensemble. A pizza party will follow the final Thursday class, just before the performance that afternoon. The play will be performed for the public on Thursday, Aug. 9 at 1:30 p.m., Friday, Aug. 10 at 7 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 11 at 2 p.m., and Sunday, Aug. 12 at 2 p.m. The class fee is $379, and the maximum enrollment is 24.

Art and nature summer camps

Summer Art Camp runs from June 18 through Aug. 10. Several classes exploring art and nature will be offered for ages 4 through teens. These include a series of "Just Add Water" classes taught by Liz Malanaphy, co-director of Hudson's Destination Imagination; two classes offered in partnership with Carpenter Nature Center; two photography classes with Deanna Grigus, a Hudson-based photographer; and River Habit-Art, a class organized by the St. Croix River Association.

"Just Add Water" camps include Moveable Mural (ages 8 — 12, June 18 — 22); Movie Madness (ages 6 — 10, June 18 — 22 and 25 — 29); Puddles & Paddling (ages 8 — 12, June 25 — 29); Song of the St. Croix (ages 8 — 12, July 9 — 13); BEE the Change (ages 6 — 8, July 10 — 12 or ages 8 — 12, August 7 - 9); Deluxe River Exploration (ages 8 — 14, July 16 — 19); and two art & nature theater camps, The Scavengers (ages 4 — 7, July 23 — 27) and Dehydrated Folk & Fairy Tales (ages 5 — 9, July 23 — 27).

Carpenter Nature Center is offering two classes, Critter Crafting (ages 8 — 12, June 20 — 22) and Raptor Studies (ages 12 and older, July 23 — 25). For both classes, the center will bring live animals for students to observe up close and be inspired to create art.

The Exploring Photography & Nature class (ages 8 and older, June 25 — 28) will spend one day at Belwin Conservancy in Afton, Minn., where a naturalist will take students on an informative prairie hike and for a ride on Belwin's "bison buggy." One of the projects for Exploring Photography 3 (ages 8 and older, July 9 — 12) will focus on capturing the St. Croix River.

The St. Croix River Association's class, River Habit-Art (ages 9 — 11, July 19 and 20), is being offered to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act. The St. Croix, also a national park, was one of the first rivers to receive this designation.

As a special bonus, projects created in several of these classes will be displayed at events to celebrate the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act this fall. This includes Moveable Mural, Movie Madness, Exploring Photography 3, Deluxe River Exploration, and River Habit-Art.and Sunday, Aug. 12 at 2 p.m. The class fee is $379, and the maximum enrollment is 24.

Tai chi classes

Tai chi classes continue on Thursdays from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Classes are ongoing and may be taken at any time. Punch-cards may be purchased for $100 per eight classes and are good for four months.

Voice lessons

Tony Holt, a former member of the King's Singers, offers private voice lessons for ages 11 through adult on Thursdays.

Holt, a native Londoner, was a boy chorister at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth. He was a choir member of Christ Church, Oxford, as well as Chichester Cathedral and St. Paul's Cathedral. Holt was then a soloist and chorus member of the Monteverdi Choir and the BBC Singers. For 18 years he toured and recorded as first baritone with the King's Singers.

His lessons concentrate on singing in a healthy way, and enjoying a repertoire that can range from Bach to Broadway. He encourages singers to perform without tension, to communicate well, and to enjoy their singing.

The fee is $30 per 30-minute lesson. For further information, contact the center at 715-386-2305.

Private flute and piano lessons

Private flute and piano instruction for ages five through adults is available on Fridays.

Sue Christian, a K-12 music education graduate of Luther College, has taught privately since she was 16. One of her favorite teaching opportunities is that of the Hudson Middle School Band Camp, at which she works with budding young flutists.

Christian also has extensive experience in accompanying soloists and ensembles as a collaborating pianist in college-level recitals as well as festivals in area schools. In addition, she accompanied The Phipps Festival Chorus and The Phipps Oratorio Society for numerous years.

If interested in a free trial lesson in either flute, piano, or both, contact The Phipps at 715-386-2305.

Private violin lessons

Private violin lessons for students ages seven through adult will be offered throughout the year by Sarah Bertsch. She has taught violin and coached ensembles for over 20 years and received her M.A. from St. John's University and her B.A. from St. Olaf College. For further information, contact Bertsch at 715-381-5735.

Clay workshop for adults with children

A Clay Workshop for adults with children ages 4 and older will be offered on Saturday, April 28, from 1-3:30 p.m.

Adults and children will work closely together as they learn basic hand-building techniques such as pinching, coiling, and clay slab-construction to make vases, flower pots, and hanging garden ornaments. The instructor will cover participants' creations with a clear, food-safe glaze, and then have them fired and ready to take home on Saturday, May 12, in time for Mother's Day.

The class fee is $39 for each adult and child pair; $18 for one additional person.

Birthday parties

Parents are encouraged to celebrate their child's birthday at The Phipps Center for the Arts.

Your child and guests will work with clay to create bowls, cups, and small sculptures. Children ages 7 and older will have a chance on the pottery wheel, too. The pottery will be ready to pick up within two weeks after the party.

The party fee is $218 for up to 9 participants, $24 for each additional participant. The fee includes all materials and clean-up, one to two hours of working the Ceramics Studio, one hour for snacks and gift opening, plus a behind-the-scenes tour of The Phipps (theater production schedule permitting).

To schedule a Ceramics Studio birthday party, contact Anastasia Shartin, 715-386-2305, ext. 103 or

Volunteer opportunities at art bench trail

Youth volunteers, ages 12-18, are sought to interact with the public at community events, assisting them with free, drop-in art & nature activities. This work will be done under the supervision of a National Park ranger and The Phipps Center for the Arts staff. These programs will take place at locations throughout the St. Croix River Valley on the Art Bench Trail (

This is an opportunity for volunteers to teach children and other members of their community about nature through hands-on artmaking experiences. It is also a chance to work with a National Park ranger to be a part of an effort throughout the Valley to engage residents and visitors through art and nature.

To learn more or sign up, contact Anastasia Shartin, visual arts director at The Phipps, or 715-386-2305, ext. 103.

This youth volunteer program is a partnership of The Phipps and the National Park Service with assistance from UW-Extension Polk County. The program received funding from St. Croix Master Watershed Stewards/Tropical Wings in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act.


The Western Wisconsin Photography Club meets the first Wednesday of every month, except December. The club often has special meetings at other times during the month to accommodate speaker schedules and hands-on photo opportunities. Photographers of all levels of ability and experience are invited to these meetings. For more details about upcoming programs and events visit

Healing arts at Hudson Hospital and Clinic

Current artists on view are Laura Burlis (Minneapolis), Kurt Devine (Minneapolis), Calvin Fought IV (Toledo, Ohio), Jennifer Raskob Kranz (Hastings, Minn.), a variety of works from the Minnesota Mosaic Guild (various artists), Monica Rudquist (Minneapolis), and Brian Sikes (New Richmond). Other exhibiting artists include Rebecca Campbell (Ashland), Jaron Childs (Rhinelander), Tracy Frizzell (Minneapolis), Dan Mackerman (Lauderdale, Minn.), Angie Malin (Stillwater, Minn.), and Jo Reagan Schanno (St. Paul).

Artwork can be viewed during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Maps are available at both information desks to help find artists' work.

Healing Arts at Westfields Hospital and Clinic

Current artists on view are Taylor Berman, Doug Garder and Gary Horky. Artwork can be viewed during regular business hours, Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Application open for Spirit of the St. Croix Art Festival

Applications are now being accepted for the 2018 Spirit of the St. Croix Art Festival, organized by The Phipps Center for the Arts and the Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism. This juried art fair features 90 artists with fine art and traditional crafts for sale and draws over 8,000 visitors. This year's event will take place Saturday and Sunday, September 22 and 23, in Lakefront Park, Hudson, Wis.

The initial application deadline is March 1. The second deadline is May 1. Applications received after this date will be considered until the fair is full.

An application is available at

Call for artists for 50th anniversary of Wild and Scenic Rivers Act

The Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson is seeking work in all media to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act and of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway. This juried show, "Heart of the River," will be on view in The Galleries Sept. 14 through Oct. 21, 2018. The submission deadline is July 1. Submission guidelines can be found at by searching "Heart of the River."

In partnership with the St. Croix River Association, The Phipps encourages artists nationwide to submit work for "Heart of the River" that expresses the significance of the riverway in their lives, and communicates that connection through unique depictions, interpretations, impressions, memories, and hopes for the future.

Entries sought for area high school art exhibit

All high school-age students from Western Wisconsin and Eastern Minnesota are invited to submit one recent original work of art in any media — drawing, painting, collage, photography, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, or other fine crafts — for display in the Annual Area High School Art Exhibition, which will run April 13-May 6 in The Galleries of The Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson, Wis. A closing reception will be held on Sunday, May 6, from 1:30 to 3 p.m.

All submissions must meet the specified guidelines and be dropped off at The Phipps on Tuesday or Wednesday, April 10 or 11, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Entry forms with submission guidelines can be downloaded at Student artists should follow the guidelines closely when preparing work to be submitted.