Tickets on sale for park’s fundraiser, summer event series to start
Though it’s still a few months away, Caponi Art Park and Learning Center staff members can’t wait for their new September Bluegrass Festival.
The Spring Open House 1-4 p.m. Saturday, May 31, at the park in Eagan will have a bluegrass background as young people will have a chance to make instruments and everyone will be able to hear music from local musicians.
The Bluegrass Festival marks a first in the park’s history. It will be the first time it will charge a ticket price as the fundraiser will be the capstone of its summer programs.
Many of the park’s past events have merely asked for suggested donations.
Tickets for the Sunday, Sept. 14, Bluegrass Festival are $20 for those 13 and over, with children 12 and under being admitted for free.
Nancy Thorman Dahl, communications associate for the art park, said the financial support from the community and sponsors helps the park continue to operate as an independent nonprofit, present quality programming and maintain the natural landscape.
The festival lineup includes the Okee Dokee Brothers, Monroe Crossing, Roe Family Singers and The Blackburn Trio.
Dahl said the idea to organize the festival came from the incredible responses the park received when it hosted bluegrass bands in previous years.
“With a dedicated and growing fan base, bluegrass music transcends generations and is perfect for an outdoor setting,” Dahl said.
Three of the four bands slated to play have already played at the park to strong attendance numbers.
“For bluegrass fans that are unfamiliar with Caponi Art Park, we look forward to them discovering this hidden gem,” Dahl said. “For the community unfamiliar with bluegrass, we look forward to introducing them to this style and sound of music.”
The nonprofit will continue to raise money through donations given during the park’s most popular annual events – the Summer Performance Series and Family Fun Tuesdays.
Shakespeare, orchestral pops and dance highlight the Summer Performance Series, while Family Fun aims to examine Earth and its people through various music, dance, storytelling, and puppetry.
“The best part about providing family-friendly programming is friends and families can experience quality time together while seeing top-notch performances without expensive ticket fees,” Dahl said. “It’s a chance to unplug and connect with each other surrounded by tall oak trees and fresh air. Seeing the younger kids’ dance, interact, and sing along with our artists during Family Fun Tuesdays, while being entertained and educated, is exciting for us to witness.”
The park has a learning guide on its website to enhance visits or continue the exploration after the show.
Family Fun welcomes all ages with an emphasis toward children ages 3-12 with a parent or guardian.
More is at www.caponiartpark.org/programs/familyfuntuesdays. In the event of severe weather, cancellations will be announced via website and social media outlets.
Admission is free with a $5 per person suggested donation to support the Performance Series, which is held at 6:30 p.m. in the Theater in the Woods, and $4 each for Family Fun, which is held at 10 a.m. in the sculpture garden.
Following are the calendars for both:
Summer Performance Series
June 8 – Minneapolis-based Theatre Pro Rata presents: Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night.” Performance is most suitable for ages 10 and up due to minor crude humor and mild sexual content.
June 22 – Minnesota Sinfonia summer family pops concert (rain date June 29)
July 6 – Jawaahir Dance Company, Middle Eastern dancing
July 20 – Dakota Valley Summer Pops Orchestra and Chorus (rain date July 27)
Aug. 3 – Flying Foot Forum, percussive theater and dance
Aug. 17 – Zeitgeist: Creating New Sounds from Chamber Music (rain date Aug. 18)
Family Fun Tuesdays
June 3 – MacPhail Center for Music: Discovering the Natural World Through Music
June 10 – Dodge Nature Center: Raptors
June 17 – Marysue Moses: Shakespearience: Tales from a Trunk, kid-friendly Shakespeare
June 24 – Women’s Drum Center: Music & Styles Around the World
July 1 – Open Eye Figure Theatre: “Tucker’s Robot” hand puppet show with music
July 8 – Jack Pearson: Forever Green and Blue, environmental awareness in a whirl of stories and songs
July 15 – Nothando Zulu: African storytelling
July 22 – Jawaahir Dance Company: Middle Eastern dancing
July 29 – Flying Foot Forum: Storytelling through percussive dance
Aug. 5 – Science Museum of Minnesota: Explore Water
Aug. 12 – Zeitgeist: Creating New Sounds from Chamber Music
Aug. 19 – Engineers Paul and Emily from “The Choo Choo Bob Show”: train songs
Aug. 26 – Teatro Del Pueblo: “The Adventures of Juan” Puppet Show
People are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or a blanket.
Groups must call ahead for space availability, fees, and parking information.
In addition to the main parking lot at 1220 Diffley Road, performance parking is available at the Lexington-Diffley Athletic fields (unless noted). Walking distance to amphitheater is a hilly 5-minute hike from either entrance. Golf carts will be available to transport guests with mobility needs.
More is at www.caponiartpark.org.