Insight News

Oct 07th

Metropolitan Regional Arts Council Awards 2011

The Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (MRAC) serves nonprofit arts groups in the 7-county—Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott and Washington counties—metropolitan area of Minnesota with annualized operating expenses of up to $300,000.

As one of 11 regional arts councils in Minnesota, MRAC is largely funded by an appropriation from the Minnesota State Legislature and by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund of the Land and Legacy Amendment. MRAC also receives a generous grant from The McKnight Foundation.

Born to be Morgan Freeman

Born to be Morgan FreemanMorgan Freeman finally won an Academy Award in 2005 in the Best Supporting Actor category for his work in Clint Eastwood's Million Dollar Baby, for which he also won a Screen Actors Guild Award. In 2009, he reunited with Eastwood to portray Nelson Mandela in the true-life drama Invictus, for which he garnered his latest Oscar nomination.

Freeman had previously been honored with three other Academy Award nominations, for Street Smart, Driving Miss Daisy and The Shawshank Redemption. And he is set to star next in the family adventure Dolphin Tale opening in September.

Clarence Thomas’ ex expounds on steamy memoir

Clarence Thomas’ ex expounds on steamy memoirRetired Justice Lillian McEwen was born, raised and educated in Washington, D.C. Her stellar legal career there spanned several decades, including stints as a prosecutor, Capitol Hill staff counsel, criminal defense attorney, law professor and federal judge. Judge McEwen recently published her memoir, D.C. Unmasked & Undressed, a steamy tell-all chronicling her sexually-adventurous private life, paying particular attention to her longtime relationship with a prominent colleague, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Disgraced attorney seeks redemption in crime thriller

Disgraced attorney seeks redemption in crime thrillerIf you enjoy trying to solve a cerebral, multi-layered mystery, then get yourself to a theater to see this cleverly-conceived whodunit before anybody has a chance to spoil it for you. Based on Michael Connelly’s best-seller of the same name, this intricate thriller is directed by Brad Furman (The Take) and stars Matthew McConaughey in the title role. He plays the sort of down on his luck attorney audiences just love to root for, an empathetic underdog in need of redemption, reminiscent of the recovering alcoholic Paul Newman portrays in The Verdict in an Oscar-winning performance.

Book review: D.C. Unmasked & Undressed

Book review: D.C. Unmasked & Undressed“D.C. Unmasked & Undressed is a memoir. The story of my life includes events, characters and insights related to my miserable childhood, my legal career, and my varied sexual adventures. It can be summarized as: Girl from dysfunctional family meets boy from same…

I worked hard and played hard, too. Along the way, and for several years, I was the not-so-secret lover of a sitting Supreme Court Justice who has recently published his own memoir… His name is Clarence Thomas.” (Excerpted from the Introduction—“Rules Rule”. pg. xiii)

America I AM: Pass It Down Cookbook

America I AM: Pass It Down CookbookAs the Facebook era drifts into every household making the social experience an electronic ordeal, the tradition of family dining is also becoming extinct. Fast food restaurants, and local eateries have begun to take precedence over the former “ooh’s & ahh’s” of the aromatic bread baking in your mother’s oven, or the tasting of sauces and gravies that once simmered atop the stove. However, one man seeks to remind, and redefine the traditions of African American meal time by introducing us to his latest endeavor, The America I AM: Pass It Down Cookbook, a compilation of over 130 recipes, and essays celebrating the tradition of soul food cooking, edited by Chef Jeff Henderson.

Soul legend Willie Murphy wins 2010 Sally Award

Soul legend Willie Murphy wins 2010 Sally AwardThe Ordway Center for the Performing Arts this week named West  Bank bluesman Willie Murphy as 2010 Sally Ordway Irvine Awards honoree for the category of life time commitment. A soul, R&B, blues and rock legend, Murphy is a  charter member of the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame, he has performed with everyone from Jefferson Airplane and Joan Baez to Muddy Waters and Carl Perkins.

Born in Minneapolis, Murphy started playing the piano at age four and soon developed a passion for rhythm and blues. It was while hanging around the West Bank music scene that he met folk musician “Spider” John Koerner. Together they began to write songs and tour the club and festival circuit, eventually producing the iconic Elektra release “Running, Jumping, Standing Still” and landing a top spot at the 1969 Newport Folk Festival. But Murphy was eager to return to his R&B roots, and formed a new band, Willie and the Bees, that went on to become underground legends. The Bees were also featured on Bonnie Raitt’s first Warner Bros. album that Willie produced in 1971. After the Bees’ final gig in 1984, Murphy started playing solo blues and rock piano, and launched his own label, Atomic Theory, which produced great local musicians like Becky Thompson, Boiled in Lead and The New International Trio. Now, Murphy surprises his fans once again with his new genre-bending release on Red House Records, “A Shot of Love in a Time of Need,” featuring soul, jazz, funk, rock and folk.
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