Grand Forks' Empire Arts Center to host documentary on 1997 Flood, other films

A round up of arts and entertainment news in the region

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"The Red River Flood" is among several films by local filmmakers that will be shown during the "Homegrown Filmmakers Series" at the Empire Arts Center in downtown Grand Forks.
Image courtesy of David Kuznicki
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Empire to host ‘Homegrown Filmmakers Series’

GRAND FORKS — The Empire Arts Center is launching the “Homegrown Filmmakers Series,” featuring the work of area filmmakers, starting Saturday, April 2. The films will be shown at 2 p.m. on consecutive Saturdays.

At each screening, David Kuznicki, video producer for UND’s aerospace program, will introduce the film and lead a Q&A session, after the screening, with the audience and the filmmakers.

The films, which range from 45 to 90 minutes in length, are:

April 2 — “The Novel Movie,” by Les Sholes, owner of Fat Cat Productions. Sholes will also show his short film, the six-second “Soldier Boy,” which holds the Guinness Book of World Records for Shortest Feature Film, he said.


April 9 — “The Red River Flood,” by Kuznicki. The film won an Emmy for documentary writing last fall in the Chicago/Midwest regional competition conducted by the National Association of Television Arts and Sciences, Kuznicki said.

April 16 — “BOJ the movie,” by Job Christenson, a Grand Forks native and active playwright, actor, director and singer who lives in New York City. The film is about his recovery from a stroke.

April 23 — Three films by Daniel Bielinski, of Canticle Productions, "Bismarck: A Heart like Water,” “To Be, Or Not” and “Badlands Girl.”

Short films by other local filmmakers will also be shown April 9 and 16, including “The Writer’s Room” and “The Dream,” by Roberto Kereszi; “Last Days,” by Kaleb Koho; “The Chasm” and “Tales of the Gallant Knight,” claymation films by Peter Wagner; and “Christmas Feast,” by Jake Larson.

Event organizers are hoping that this series will continue, Kuznicki said. “There’s so much talent out there and we want to showcase more of it in the future.”

Tickets are $25 for the series and $8 for each event. For more information, visit .

Grand Forks high schools launch musical productions

Grand Forks Central and Red River high schools are presenting musicals next week.

The Red River Drama Department is staging “Footloose” at 7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, April 7-9, and 2 p.m. Sunday, April 10, in the school’s Performance Hall; enter at Door 22. Masks are recommended. For reservations, call (701) 746-2411.


Grand Forks Central will present “Purple Rhymes with Orange” at 7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, April 7-9, in the school’s auditorium, with general admission seating.

Tickets for both productions are $10 for adults and $6 for students and seniors, and may be purchased at or at the door.

ArtWise opens Student Art Show at Columbia Mall

The Greater Grand Forks Student Art Show, sponsored by ArtWise, opens Monday, April 4, at the Columbia Mall center court.

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A collage by Willow Fellman, a first-grader at Kelly Elementary School, will be among the artworks on display at the Greater Grand Forks Student Art Show starting Monday, April 4 at the Columbia Mall center court. In her art class, Willow and her classmates were learning about textures.

The show, which continues through April 15, features the artworks of students in grades K-12. At least one artwork from participating elementary schools and classes in the Grand Forks public school system, Central Valley School District, and Sacred Heart and St. Michael’s Catholic schools will be on display, said Rita Haag, ArtWise director.

Family activities are scheduled from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, April 7 and 8, and from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 9. They include make-and-take items, demonstrations by local art organizations, and geology demonstrations by UND students.

This artwork, titled "HiroHiko Araki," by Arthur Lieninger, will be displayed among others at the Greater Grand Forks Student Art Show, hosted by ArtWise, beginning Monday, April 4 at the Columbia Mall center court. Arthur is a ninth-grader at Sacred Heart School in East Grand Forks.

This year, ArtWise has invited middle and high school students to exhibit as well, Haag said.

“We are excited to showcase K-12 artwork at Columbia Mall,” Haag said. “This event gives children and youth the chance to see their artwork on display with many others their age. We are so proud of the young artists, and we look forward to celebrating the artwork with their family and friends at the art show.”

‘The Incubator Series’ showcases women playwrights, local teens

Seven new plays by women playwrights and monologues by local teens will be presented in “The Incubator Series” in Studio E at the Empire Arts Center.


The performances, featuring the 10-minute plays and six monologues, will begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 31, and Friday and Saturday, April 1 and 2; and 2 p.m. Sunday, April 3.

While women constitute the majority of theater ticket-buyers, only about 30% of produced plays are written by women playwrights, said Kathy Coudle-King, managing director of The Empire Theatre Company.

The company, now in its 10th season, has set out to introduce the public to more plays by women, Coudle-King said. In response to a call issued in December, more than 100 scripts were submitted. Those selected for the performance reflect genres such as sci-fi, murder mystery, comedy and family drama, and the perspectives of six, local, teenage girls, she said. “In other words, something for everyone.”

Tickets, $19 for students and seniors, and $23 for general admission, may be purchased at or reserved by calling (701) 746-5500. Seating is limited.

Fritz presents ‘#Momsohard’ on Thursday

The Chester Fritz Auditorium is presenting the comedy “#Momsohard: The Getaway Tour” at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 31.

The play began as a popular web-series by two, real-life best friends. It emerged from their desire to speak openly about their fears and failures, and prove that the only way to survive motherhood is through laughter and friendship.

This performance is intended for mature audiences, ages 18 and older.

Tickets, which range from $50 to $160, can be purchased at , charged by phone by calling 1-800-745-3000, or by calling the Fritz auditorium box office, (701) 777-4090 or 800-375-4068. The box office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and three hours before the start of a ticketed event. The auditorium is located at 3475 University Ave.

More information about the comedy can be found at , or visit .


Pamela Knudson is a features and arts/entertainment writer for the Grand Forks Herald.

She has worked for the Herald since 2011 and has covered a wide variety of topics, including the latest performances in the region and health topics.

Pamela can be reached at or (701) 780-1107.
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