"Meet Me on Main," a collaborative project that brings together local arts and theater groups, historians and downtown advocates, aims to involve the entire community one way or another next week. The event offers a full schedule of entertainment and enlightenment — from street corner dances and art exhibits to school workshops, an architectural scavenger hunt and a huge finale involving projection of cell phone camera images on some downtown buildings.
When residents transfer to St. Crispin Living Community's new skilled nursing center from the former Seminary Home on April 24, it will be like moving into a brand new home. Amenities and technology that aren't typical in nursing homes have been built into the facility, according to Jake Goering, administrator and CEO. The furnished suites — 16 each in the Sprucehill, Hearthstone, Rivertrail and Springview neighborhoods — are complete with private tub/shower bathrooms.
One little girl with a handful of seeds sparks the transformation of an immigrant neighborhood in "Seedfolks," a one-woman play based on the Newbery Medal-winning book by Paul Fleischman. Sonja Parks transforms herself into 11 diverse characters in the play, which will be performed for the public 3 p.m. April 21 at the Sheldon Theatre. This is her first visit to Red Wing.
Red Wing, like the rest of Minnesota, is experiencing an age wave. Four years ago nearly 1 in 5 city residents was 65 or older. Some 285,000 Minnesotans will turn 65 this decade. By 2020, there will be more seniors than school-age children in the state. One of the fastest growing populations is adults 85 and older — seniors who often develop unique health care needs including Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. Demand for memory care services is expect to increase another 17 percent by 2025.
How did a theater major from Chicago end up managing a humane society in Red Wing, Minn.? It's a long story, Marcy Dowse might say. Or she might skip over the details and get right to the heart of the matter: Someone asked for her help. Since she retired three years ago, Dowse has gotten involved in a variety of projects that enable her to apply her skills and talents in ways that serve the community. She doesn't say it in so many words, but clearly Dowse has a passion for nonprofits and all they accomplish, in Red Wing and countless other small towns.
Creativity is more than a career for Maggie Paynter. A painter by vocation, she has devoted a big chunk of her life to the arts and arts organizations. "That's how you nourish your life," Paynter explained. But her passion for being creative has always extended beyond the traditional concept of "work." It extends to gardening, cooking, sewing — and definitely, volunteering.
Four hand-picked musicians portraying John, Paul, George and Ringo will take Red Wing audiences on a "magical history tour" when they perform April 6 at the Sheldon Theatre. The Liverpool Legends will present "The Complete Beatles Experience" twice, at 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Both shows will be complete with vintage instruments, costume changes and special effects, along with musical details that promise to ring true for Beatles fans of all ages.
An inquisitive mind takes her to far-off places. Family brings her home. Rhonda Hayes has a lifetime of stories to tell about both. The daughter of Leah Nell and Lowell Peterson, she grew up on the family farm in the Vasa area — she's part of the sixth generation there, according to her genealogical research — and graduated from Red Wing High School in 1976. "I've had a variety of office, sales and computer jobs, including managing a Red Wing Shoe store in Moline, Ill.," Hayes said.
Blues vocalist Shemekia Copeland, who has been belting out songs since she was a little girl, brings an all-grown-up version of her "devastatingly powerful" sound to the Sheldon Theatre at 7:30 p.m. March 30. Shemekia comes to music naturally. Born in Harlem, N.Y., she is the daughter of the late blues guitarist and singer Johnny Copeland.
Rhonda Vincent is clearly on a roll. After 50 years as a bluegrass singer — she started at age 5 — she has come into her own. Not only did she and her bluegrass band win a Grammy this year, but she recently got inducted into the Missouri Music Hall of Fame, and she's working with Dolly Parton on music for a movie soundtrack.