Learning SAORI weaving at Homewood Studios

14.KR.SAORI.001

I’ve always wondered how a loom works, and learning how to do SAORI weaving yesterday at Homewood Studios was an experience I will cherish always.

Chiaki O’Brien and the six women artists she mentored at TSE (a non-profit that supports people with developmental and other intellectual disabilities) were outstanding teaching artists.

The combination of their brilliant SAORI exhibit in the Homewood gallery and their enthusiastic desire to teach us how to use the SAORI looms inspired us, the learners, to create our own unique pieces of art.

To George and Bev Roberts (owners of Homewood Studios): Thank you for providing us with the opportunity to explore our talents in community with other artists. Thank you, too, for providing me with a wonderful (and symbolic) bridge from my 7.5+ years at the Capri Theater to my new role as Textile Center’s new executive director.

I’m going to display my SAORI piece with pride in my new office, and it will inspire me to share wonderful stories about our vibrant arts scene in North Minneapolis, particularly Bev and George’s commitment to bring community together through art.

Photos above and below: my first SAORI work, including an inspection by Nikolas. (I think he approved of my work!)

14.KR.SAORI.002

14.KR.SAORI.003

Looking ahead: Textile Center!

 

textilecenter.photo

ANNOUNCING KARL REICHERT: TEXTILE CENTER’S NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

(From textilecentermn.org) – We are pleased to announce great news for the future of Textile Center. After an extensive examination of what qualities the organizations needs for its next Executive Director, and a national search, Textile Center has named Karl Reichert to the position.

This exceptional new leader has a track record leading arts organizations, with experience building great programing, and a history of making strong connections to individuals, funders and other arts directors across Minnesota.

Karl served as the Director of the Capri Theater for Plymouth Christian Youth Center for nearly eight years, where he created, shaped, and funded a myriad of programs that have elevated music and theater performance and education in culturally diverse and economically challenged North Minneapolis. While there, he led the redevelopment of the Capri Theater from an under-utilized movie house into a flourishing, first-rate performing arts venue, creating a sustainable impact on economic and neighborhood redevelopment in North Minneapolis.

Before the Capri, Karl worked as a marketing and public relations consultant for arts organizations, served as Fundraising Director for R.T. Rybak’s 2001 mayoral campaign, and was the Director of Public Affairs at the Minnesota Orchestral Association (1992 to 2000).

The Search Committee, comprised of members of the Textile Center Board of Directors and several textile guilds, was impressed with Reichert’s senior arts executive experience, and decades of success in developing and promoting the arts in the Twin Cities. A deeply committed and talented community leader, Karl is enthusiastic about leading Textile Center into its third decade of being a vibrant, catalytic hub for fiber art. He is also a knitter!

“I’m honored to have been appointed Textile Center’s new executive director,” Karl says, “and I’m looking forward to diving into the world of fiber arts. As Minnesotans, we are blessed to have an incomparable arts scene, and Textile Center’s national profile is the result of more two decades committed to celebrating and supporting fiber art in our region. Thanks to its dedicated board, staff and community of artists, guilds and enthusiasts, Textile Center has a very exciting future ahead of it. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to lead this important arts organization forward.”

Karl will assume the post on November 17, and there will be numerous opportunities for the community to meet him. Join us at Textile Center for the Holiday Gallery Shop’s Carter Smith artist trunk show on November 15; Karl will be in attendance from 1 – 4 pm.

Moving on from the Capri to Textile Center

A message from Anne Long, PCYC Executive Director

Dear Friends of the Capri Theater,

Our Director of the Capri Theater, Karl Reichert, has been appointed Executive Director of Textile Center, a national center for the fiber arts based here in Minneapolis, and he will conclude 7.5 years of service to Plymouth Christian Youth Center (PCYC) on November 7, 2014.

Karl’s leadership has transformed the Capri Theater into a vibrant performing arts venue. Thanks to Karl and his Capri Theater staff and artists with the support of the PCYC community, we have made major progress on our goal to “Bring up the Lights on West Broadway.

Karl has provided innovative artistic leadership that led to the development of the Legends jazz series, the Capri After School Theater (CAST), Camp Capri for middle school students, the Capri Theater Youth Apprentice program, the monthly Freedom of Xpression Open Mic, as well as collaborative partnerships with Children’s Theatre Company and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.

He guided the $800,000 plus renovation of the Capri Theater in 2009, known as the Capri Theater Renaissance – Phase I, which included significant improvements in the auditorium and lobby, and built operating and marketing systems for the Capri. As a result of this investment by PCYC, the Capri has become a hub for a wide array of arts activities by transforming it into a vibrant and affordable rental venue.

And Karl has helped set the stage for the next the Capri Theater Renaissance – Phase II, which has included establishing conceptual plans for the expansion of the Capri Theater. We honor his enormous contributions to the PCYC, to the Capri, and to the revitalization of West Broadway.

During this transition, Karl will work with me on an interim transition plan for Capri Theater operations, assuring that all he has put in place will continue to thrive.  And of course we wish him all the best and know he will continue to advocate and support the young people, artists, staff and mission of PCYC and the Capri in this next step in his professional role as an arts leader.

Karl describes his PCYC/Capri experience in this way:

“I will always treasure the time I’ve spent with PCYC working to ‘Bring Up the Lights on West Broadway’ in my role as Director of the Capri Theater. I’ve come to know so many wonderful people committed to revitalizing North Minneapolis through the arts. One of the greatest joys I’ve had working at the Capri was the level of youth engagement we brought into our operations through the Capri Theater Youth Apprentice Program. It’s been amazing to watch our young people build life skills and grow with confidence through their interaction with artists and patrons at the Capri. They have become a cornerstone for Capri Theater operations.

“As I embark on an exciting opportunity to serve Textile Center as its new Executive Director, I will continue to be an advocate for North Minneapolis youth and families in the years to come. As an arts leader I enjoyed working in a school and youth center environment, learning from some of the best artists, educators and social workers in the Twin Cities about how the arts can so powerfully impact youth and the communities they call home.

“Together we’ve built an impressive venue and an effective array of arts programs, and in the best of the PCYC tradition, which now spans 60 years, and I’m confident that we have set the stage for an upcoming Second Act for Capri Theater Renaissance that will be even more exciting than our wonderful First Act.”

Capri featured by MN Theater Alliance

001.CapriSecondFloor

“We have a beautiful, 250-seat auditorium meant to serve North Minneapolis and it’s our goal to be a hub, a destination that draws art from around the region and brings it to the Northside.”- Karl Reichert, Director of the Capri Theater

The Capri Theater was the “June Member Feature” for the Minnesota Theater Alliance’s website and newsletter. For the past seven-and-a-half years I have been working in North Minneapolis with amazing artists (including our artistic associates Dennis W. Spears, Kevin D. West and Greta Oglesby) and the Plymouth Christian Youth Center board, staff and volunteers to build develop an old movie house built in 1927 into a vibrant performing arts venue on West Broadway.

Click here to read the full feature by Ashley Hanson of the Minnesota Theater Alliance. 

Minnesota Theater Alliance

June Member Feature
The Capri Theater
Minneapolis, MN

By Ashley Hanson

The Capri Theater, built in 1927 as one of 13 movie houses in North Minneapolis, was originally called Logan Theater. In 1933 the building was renovated and the name was changed to The Paradise Theater, which it held until 1967 when it underwent a third renovation, receiving the name The Capri Theater.

The Plymouth Christian Youth Center (PCYC), originally based in the Plymouth Hotel on Plymouth Avenue, needed a new home when I-94 came through North Minneapolis. They purchased a commercial building on Oliver Avenue, just behind the Capri Theater on West Broadway in the late 1960s.

After running its contract alternative high school with Minneapolis Public Schools out of this house, the acquisition of the Capri Theater in the mid 1980s, the high school was moved to the Capri Theater in 1992, and the auditorium was rented to  American Variety Theater., a 4-H Extension  program for urban youth. After PCYC added new academic buildings to its campus from 2001 to 2004, a new vision for the Capri Theater started to take shape.

In 2007, PCYC launched its “Capri Theater Renaissance” – a strategic plan to “bring the lights up on West Broadway by renovating the Capri and expanding its artistic offerings.” This was an initiative championed by City of Minneapolis leaders, particularly Mayor R.T. Rybak, to utilize the arts as an important resource in the redevelopment of West Broadway.

It was at this time that PCYC hired a dream team to execute their strategic plan – Karl Reichert, and artistic associates Dennis W. Spears, and Kevin D. West. Karl, the Director of the Capri Theater, shared that they were charged with two major goals: 1) to re-develop the venue and determine how to make it more viable as a performing arts venue locally, regionally and nationally; and 2) to build upon existing PCYC values and programs to bring more art to the Capri and the Northside. (Click here to read more.)

“A Brown Tale” at Capri Theater

14.6.2.BrownTaleBanner.976

What follows is a post I wrote for our Capri Theater Blog:

Artists are by nature entrepreneurial in spirit, but how many times have you asked an artist (or have been asked as an artist):  “Can you make a living doing that?”

Minnesota’s thriving arts scene provides full- and part-time employment for thousands. However, an ever-changing creative economy means that independent artists are always searching for new ways to fund and produce their work.

The Capri Theater is staking its claim to be a resource to artist entrepreneurs. Today we’re pleased to announce a special partnership we have established with actor and playwright James T. Alfred for his presentation of “A Brown Tale,” which opens on Capri Saturday, Sept. 6. (Click here to order tickets.)

Directed by Lou Bellamy and performed by James, “A Brown Tale” premiered to rave reviews this past September at Penumbra Theatre’s Claude Edison Purdy Festival for Individual Artists.

Since then, James has been searching for a venue that would work for him to produce his one-person show. He explored possibilities with us just one month after our “Capri Conversation” focus groups and online survey in March revealed a desire for more theatrical productions at the Capri. You also told us that you value the Capri’s support to artists as an affordable performing arts venue. The timing for James and for us couldn’t have been better.

As a collaborative partner, the Capri Theater is providing an affordable space for James to produce his show, and our team is offering its marketing and production expertise. Our Capri Youth Apprentices will operate their concession business during this theatrical run, and they will assist with front-of-house duties. TicketWorks is managing ticket sales. James, as a most creative impresario, is producing his show.

“A Brown Tale” marks the first multi-week theatrical run in recent history at the Capri Theater. It’s a major milestone for us, as well as for the show’s producer and star, James T. Alfred. To learn more about “A Brown Tale,” click here.