Minneapolis, May 19, 2016 — Cool off inside the Walker Cinema all summer as Free First Saturday presents exciting pairings of music and movies. Local bands are at 11 am and family flicks are at 1 pm, with interludes of art-making, gallery tours, and activities in between.
Free First Saturdays Are for Families
Activities are free and available on a first-come, first-served basis from
10 am–3 pm. Gallery admission is free from 10 am–5 pm on Free First Saturday. Activities recommended for ages 6–12.
June Free First Saturday:
Family Summer Series: Stage & Screen/Classical Twist
Saturday, June 4, 10 am–3 pm
Performance: Lulu’s Playground
Lulu’s Playground is a sonically rich and colorful quartet of local musicians, once described as “street tango/chamber jazz.” The instrumentation is accordion, cello, guitar, and trumpet, which lends itself to a whimsical and nuanced sound reminiscent of French/Italian film music, Tango, Gypsy Jazz and a wide variety of other genres. The quartet plays a wide range of original pieces including a suite of 17 short pieces, each written in response to an accompanying painting by Tim Nyberg. Each piece strikes a different balance between improvisation and written music, with the central goal of inspiring an atmosphere of fun, wonder, and surprise.
Film: Ernest & Celestine
In this Oscar-nominated animated story, it is understood that bears and mice do not mingle. One day an unlikely friendship blossoms between a musical bear and an artist mouse, which might just turn their world upside down. Directed by Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar and Benjamin Renner, 2012, France, Belgium and Luxembourg, 80 minutes.
Best enjoyed by all ages
Bruno is displaced from his room when his grandmother comes to live with his family. As he tries his best to retain his personal space, he finds an ally in an unlikely source. Directed by Leandro Tadashi, 2015, Brazil, in Portuguese with English subtitles, 14 minutes.
July Free First Saturday:
Family Summer Series: Stage & Screen/Groovy Adventures
Saturday, July 2, 10 am–3 pm
Performance: Bunny Clogs
The dance band Bunny Clogs has been described as “Shel-Silverstein-meets-the-Beatles.” Minneapolis singer/songwriter Adam Levy and his two daughters, Esther and Ava, sing about lima beans, potatoes, and road trips, while playing a musical style that combines funk, jazz, rock, and hip-hop.
Film: Birds of Passage
A girl receives a whimsical birthday gift that she shares with her friend. As the pair cares for the gift, they discover who they truly are and experience freedom for the first time. Directed by Olivier Ringer, 2015, Belgium/France, in French with English subtitles, 84 minutes.
Best enjoyed by ages 8+
In a mystical land where discarded objects hold onto the memories of their previous owners, Moom spends his days releasing those memories. This award-winning film is based on a children’s story from Japan. Directed by Daisuke Tsutsumi, Robert Kondo, 2016, Japan, 13 minutes.
August Free First Saturday:
Family Summer Series: Stage & Screen/Afrobeats
Saturday, August 6, 10 am–3 pm
Performance: Black Market Brass
Black Market Brass sizzles with an eclectic blend of cool, deep funk and driving Afrobeat grooves that will pull you onto the dance floor and keep you there!
Despite hailing from the arctic tundra of Minneapolis, Black Market Brass sizzles with an eclectic blend of cool, deep funk and driving Afrobeat grooves that will lure you to the dance floor and never let you leave. Taking their cues from the godfathers of Afrobeat, Black Market Brass draws on complex polyrhythmic percussion, driving bass lines, dizzying guitar interplay, rolling keyboards and room-commanding brass to deliver a live show that will turn your bones to dust.
The band played their first show in June of 2012, and since then have been on a tear through Minneapolis local music scene, playing clubs like First Avenue and 7th St. Entry, Turf Club, Dakota Jazz Club, Icehouse, Cabooze, Cedar Cultural Center, including some of the cities’ most popular block parties and festivals. More recently, Black Market has taken their show on the road for a few regional tours.
Black Market Brass originally formed out of the underbelly of the Minneapolis funk music scene as a coming together of like-minded musicians. It all began when two separate groups came together to perform some Fela Kuti covers, and as more musicians were added the identity of the group began to take shape. Some of the members are trained jazz-musicians, others were raised on rock & roll. Some are into outside playing and others are students of African poly-rhythms. But what they all have in common is a commitment to the groove of the song, and a penchant for the feel of classic 1970’s West African Afrofunk and Afrobeat.
In the winter of 2013 BMB caught the ears of Secret Stash Record’s Eric Foss, who loved the bands frenetic sound and recorded a 45” single to be released on the Secret Stash label. The 45” was officially released on Oct. 1st 2013. Since then, all but a handful remain. The band recently recorded a full length LP at SSR’s studio in Minneapolis and are awaiting a backlog in vinyl pressing to announce a release date.
In this enchanting animated tale, an orphaned African boy journeys to find his place in the world and protects a young giraffe he befriends. Inspired by the true story of the first giraffe to visit France. Directed by Rémi Bezançon and Jean-Christophe Lie, 2015, France/Belgium, 78 minutes.
Best enjoyed by ages 8+; scary and/or suspenseful scenes.
September Free First Saturday:
Family Summer Series: Stage & Screen/Folk-Tail
Saturday, September 3, 10 am–3 pm
Performance: Brian Laidlaw & the Family Trade
A so-called messy folk orchestra, Brian Laidlaw & the Family Trade combines the best elements of a stadium rock show and a campfire sing-along. With word-rich and harmony-heavy tunes, this band nods to ’60s and ’70s Americana.
Brian Laidlaw is a poet, songwriter and educator from San Francisco, currently living in Minneapolis. He studied Creative Writing as an undergraduate at Stanford University, where he first began setting his poems to music; after graduating in 2005 he spent several years working seasonal jobs in the Sierra Nevada and touring nationally as a solo folksinger.
In 2008, Laidlaw moved to Minneapolis to earn an MFA in Poetry at the University of Minnesota. His poems have now been published in journals including New American Writing, The Iowa Review, Handsome, Volt, Quarter After Eight and dozens of others. He also had poems in the Arcadia Project anthology (Ahsahta Press), song lyrics in American Songwriter Magazine, and a Songwriting Consultant credit on the Grammy Award-Winning album Can You Canoe? by The Okee Dokee Brothers.
For several years, Laidlaw was a member of the Songwriting faculty at McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul. During that time, he put out a number of albums and EPs, most recently a 7” vinyl record with his band The Family Trade, released by Hymie’s Vintage Records’ new singles label.
In late 2014, Laidlaw released a hybrid poetry/music project called Amoratorium, a vinyl LP with a companion poetry chapbook in the liner notes (Paper Darts Press). His first full-length collection of poems, The Stuntman, was published – also with a companion album of music – by Milkweed Editions in 2015. A follow-up collection called The Mirrormaker is also forthcoming with Milkweed.
Film: Belle and Sebastian
Set in France during World War II, this story follows Sebastian, a six-year-old boy, who tames an enormous yet gentle mountain dog named Belle. The two become best friend and undertake a treacherous journey to help others. This film received the Audience Choice Award for Narrative Feature at the 2015 Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival. Directed by Nicolas Vanier, 2013, France, 104 minutes.
Best enjoyed by ages 8+; scary and/or suspenseful scenes.
Summer Art Lab: Paper City
During gallery hours
Saturday, July 2 – Saturday, August 6
This summer as the construction encompasses the Walker, the Art Lab will be transformed into a construction zone of its own. Contribute to an evolving, collaborative paper structure by folding and connecting polygon pieces designed by Noa Haim and inspired by Buckminster Fuller’s exploration of the relationship between objects, space, and experience. Drop in during gallery hours, including on Target Free Thursday Nights (Thursday 5–9pm) and Free First Saturdays (first Saturdays of July and August). Stop in often and watch the structure grow.