By Kristen Miller
DASSEL-COKATO, MN - The Dassel-Cokato Arts Association is gearing up for another season of quality and affordable entertainment that is close to home.
“In the times we are in, people are looking for low-cost entertainment close to home,” said DC Arts Association Executive Director Colleen Compton.
“And that’s great that’s what we can provide,” Compton added.
Last season, there was a variety of entertainment for community members to choose from including the “Church Basement Ladies,” which had a sold-out show.
There was also good attendance for Tonic Solfa, which has a large following in the area.
The Christian duo, Shane and Shane, produced a smaller attendance than anticipated.
Attendance for the summer community theatre production of “Little Me” was also less than expected, though the winter production of “More Fun than Bowling,” brought in a really good crowd, according to Compton.
On the schedule for the 2009-10 season
For the 2009-10 season, some familiar acts like the popular bluegrass group, Monroe Crossing, will return for its fourth year, as well as, Collective Unconscious for its second performance.
Monroe Crossing has quite the following in the Dassel-Cokato community, and in the surrounding area, according to Compton.
The last time the group was at the Performing Arts Center (PAC) was in 2007, with J.D. Crowe and the New South.
With the large following in the DC and surrounding communities, the popular bluegrass group will also do a holiday concert Saturday, Dec. 5 at 7:30 p.m. at the PAC.
Collective Unconscious first debuted at the PAC in 2007, with its tribute to the Beach Boys “Pet Sounds” album.
This year, they return to the PAC with the “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” concert, a tribute to Simon and Garfunkel, Saturday, April 10 at 7 p.m.
As a way to shine the light on local talent, the DC Arts Association is hosting its second annual Celebration Showcase Sunday, Feb. 14 at 3 p.m.
Jon Benson will host the variety show this year. More details are still to come regarding the individual acts.
Each year, the Minnesota Orchestra makes its way to the PAC.
This year, however, the orchestra was forced to cut back on low-fee concerts like DC, which disappointed them, as stated in a letter to Compton.
Instead, the DC Arts Association is bringing in Neuss Chamber Orchestra on tour from Neuss, Germany Sunday, March 14 at 3 p.m.
Each year, the association tries to bring in a student component.
In October, Todd Green, of Nevada, will share his musical talent with high school and middle school students.
Green will perform music with his collection of string, flute, and percussion instruments from all over the world in two school performances Thursday, Oct. 29, and a public performance Sunday, Nov. 1 at 3 p.m.
Something fun for the whole family will be the Cirko Cabaret, featuring a variety of aerial arts and acrobatics.
Compton has seen the show and said it’s interesting and fascinating entertainment both kids and adults will enjoy.
The performance date for Cirko Cabaret is Saturday, April 24 at 7 p.m.
For theater-goers, the DC Arts Association is anticipating two community theatre productions for the winter and summer. More details are to come.
“We really do appreciate the community’s financial support so we can continue to bring quality, affordable entertainment to our own community,” Compton said.
Since ticket sales don’t pay for the performances alone, the DC Arts Association depends on individual and business sponsorships along with memberships to help off-set the costs.
A person can become a member with any donation of $20 or more. With this, members have the opportunity to purchase tickets two days before they go on sale to the general public.
Most performances are reserved seating, and tickets can be purchased through Community Education, (320) 286-4120.
The new DC Arts Association’s brochure is expected to be mailed in late September.