To many, the sounds of Jazz are just that—sounds. The intermingling of instruments, with their syncopated rhythms and unpredictable melodies, can seem like gibberish to those who haven’t played or studied jazz. This class will investigate the cultural, historical and personal stories of the jazz movement. You might even be tapping your feet on your way out the door. $5 for Walker Art Center members. 2–3 p.m. Lecture Room, Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave., Mpls.; 612.375.7600; members.walkerart.org.
Arts & Performance
Caroline likes photography and the Internet. Anthony, on the other hand, likes sports and poetry—an interesting combination indeed. Caroline and Anthony meet during a project about Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, and their romance is chronicled in I and You, a play full of witty language and thought-provoking scenes. I and You was a winner of the national New Play Network Rolling Premiere Award in 2013 and a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Prices and show times vary; check online. Use code “SJCC” for ticket discount.
In the Shadows, an exhibit featuring photographs by New York artist Aviva Klein, explores the life of an agunah (a Hebrew term that means “anchored” or “chained”)—a Jewish woman whose husband refuses to grant her a divorce. The complexities of this situation, especially in modern Orthodox communities, is often termed “the agunah problem.” In the Shadows documents 10 women whose lives are affected by this situation. Free. Open during gallery hours.
In a celebration of 5,000 years of civilization, the Shen Yun Performing Arts brings you on a journey through the art of Chinese dance, music and performance. Watch classical Chinese dance, considered one of the most rigorous yet beautiful art forms; hold your breath as you watch the stunning costumes and visual displays; and experience the magical tales that have inspired a culture. Classic opera or ballet performance attire is recommended. Ages 5 and up. $50–$150. 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Local photographer John Piepkorn showcases his photography in his latest exhibition, Deserted and Forsaken: Photography of the Abandoned, at the Hopkins Center for the Arts. Piepkorn’s serene images of abandoned farmhouses, schoolhouses and empty fields where life once thrived offer viewers a moment to reflect on the path of American history and perhaps their own journeys. Free. Monday–Friday 8 a.m.–8 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.–8 p.m.; Sunday noon–5 p.m.
Thanks to a new partnership between the Metropolitan Library Services Agency (MELSA) and 3M Library Systems, users of the 100 metro public libraries in the seven-country metro now have free and fast access to thousands of additional eBooks.
To celebrate there will be a demonstration open to the public at the George Latimer Central Library in downtown St. Paul at 9 a.m. on Thursday, September 4 and pop-up stands providing more information at Park and Rides and Farmers’ Markets.
The Uptown Art Fair in Minneapolis is the winner of more than 115 International Festivals and Events Association Awards, and it isn’t hard to see why. The Art Fair is three days of creative fun, from art activities to wine tasting to a Culinary Arts competition. There is non-stop entertainment ranging from reggae to magic on the performance stage, and festival food galore. The main star of the show, however, is the art: ranging from limited editions to one-of-a-kind treasures from more than 350 talented artists from around the world. Free. Times vary; check website for details.
The Public Theater of Minnesota brings free professional theater to your own neighborhood park with their summer performances at the Veterans Memorial Amphitheater. This July, don’t miss a thrilling rendition of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the dark and powerful tragedy about the psychological and political effects of a man’s quest for power. May not be suitable for young children. Free. 8 p.m. Veterans Memorial Amphitheater, Wolfe Park, 3700 Monterey Drive; 952.924.2500; stlouispark.org
Join your community one night a week to support local artists and groups looking for their shot at stardom. Performances this summer range from bluegrass band Crooked Grass to the smooth tunes of Matthew Levitt. Bring a blanket and some snacks, and enjoy a fun night of musical entertainment in the park. Free. 7-8 p.m. Veterans Memorial Amphitheater, Wolfe Park, 3700 Monterey Drive; 952.924.2500; stlouispark.org
The city of St. Louis Park has teamed up with the St. Louis Park Rotary to bring a summer concert series to the community. This year’s series is filled with amazing talent from a variety of genres. From world beat/jazz ensemble Axi Mundi World to the delightful barbershop harmonies of the Minneapolis Commodores, there is something for everyone this summer. Check the website for event details. Free. Times and locations vary; 952.924.2500; stlouispark.org