Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Photos from the Nokomis Gallery Event

Hey Everyone!
Wanted to share some photos from the Nokomis Gallery event that we had on December 17th. Lots of people attended and helped us celebrate the opening of the gallery and showed their support for CAFAC. Many of the artists that are currently featured in the gallery were in attendance and mingled with shoppers. We also had some of the coolest jazz holiday tunes around, provided by Minneapolis duo Charmin & Shapira.

If you weren't able to attend, don't be discouraged! The gallery is open again tomorrow night, December 22nd, from 6 - 9pm. New gallery hours will be posted in early January.


You Asked For 'Em, You Got 'Em!

Due to popular demand, CAFAC T-Shirts are back! They are from American Apparel, are 100% cotton, cost $25, and available in the following sizes:

Women: M, L, XL
Men: M, L, XL, XXL
Kids: 10

Limited quantities available in the blue version that is pictured. There is also an orange and yellow version available in all sizes listed above.

Visit the Nokomis Gallery at the Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center, or contact us to get one of your very own!


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-FUNDRAISER!

The Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center cordially invites you to:

A Festive Fundraiser, Gallery Grand Opening & Holiday Sale
‘Tis the season for giving…so please join us to show your support for CAFAC while checking off your holiday shopping list in our just-opened Nokomis Gallery! Choose from hundreds of one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces and other decorative giftables by local fire artists, enjoy festive fare and libations while touring our new facility, delight in the live swingin' sounds of jazz duo Charmin & Shapira, and make a much-appreciated donation to a great cause.

Give generously. Shop generously. Have fun.
Friday, December 17, 2010
6 – 9 pm


Nokomis Gallery
Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center
3749 Chicago Avenue South
Minneapolis

*A minimum $25 donation requested.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Looking for That Perfect Holiday Gift? CAFAC's Nokomis Gallery Opens Dec. 8!

The Nokomis Gallery at the Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center is opening December 8, and it's the place to do your shopping this holiday season! Come check out our beautiful new space in the former Nokomis Theater lobby, featuring the original 1915 decorative wall and floor tiles. Discover an array of stunning glass and metal works by local artists Lonny McLaughlin, Jacob Honer, Jim Wadsworth, and Betty Jäger of 3 Jäg Design. Our 2010 holiday sale offers everything from hundreds of one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces and other smaller giftable items to larger, dramatic works of art. The Nokomis Gallery has something for everyone, every space, and at every price range!


Nokomis Gallery
3749 Chicago Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55407

Hours:
• Wednesday, December 8, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
• Thursday, December 9, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
• Saturday, December 11, Noon - 6:00 pm
• Sunday, December 12, Noon - 6:00 pm
• Wednesday, December 15, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
• Thursday, December 16, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
• Saturday, December 18, Noon - 6:00 pm
• Sunday, December 19, Noon - 6:00 pm

Monday, November 29, 2010

LED Hoop-making Workshop POSTPONED

We need a few more hoop-makers to run our LED Hoop-Making class, so we have postponed it until Saturday, December 11. If you've been thinking about signing up, now's the time! Give us a call at 612.294.0400 or register online and soon you'll be hooping and glowing too!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Keeping it hot all winter long!

We've still got space left in our December 4th LED Hoop-Making class, so if you're interested, give us a call at 612.294.0400 or register online. What could be hotter? How about a FREE cup of coffee or hot chocolate at the South City Cafe? Our awesome neighbors down the street are offering a special warm-up to everyone who registers for the December 4th LED Hoop-making WorkshopPick up your coupon at class and then stop by this new neighborhood hot spot anytime to warm up with your FREE hot beverage. South City is located just three blocks north of CAFAC at 3405 Chicago Avenue South. Check them out at www.southcitycafe.com or on Facebook.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Winter Break OAW Found Object Sculpture Class

For teachers, college students, and others taking a holiday season break, we're offering our Oxy-Acetylene Found Object Sculpture class in a short-term, intensive format this December/January. Complete details:
This beginning class will focus on applying Oxy-Acetylene welding techniques to the fabrication of a sculptural project.  Oxy-fuel cutting, welding and brazing processes will be covered. Learn the limitations and benefits of these processes through the design and fabrication of your own work of art. Discover scrap metal! Methods for identifying metals, surface preparation for scrap welding, along with aesthetic and protective surface treatments for finishing pieces will be covered.  Additionally, we will touch on the history of art welding so that students develop an understanding of the art form’s past as well as the tools to inspire its future.
 
Please bring or wear the following personal protective gear to class: safety glasses, welding gloves and head covering.  Attendance at the first class session is required, as important safety information will be presented.
 
Instructor: Roger Karlson has a BFA from UW-Stout, with a concentration in Interior Design. He has been teaching for the last 6 years, assisting students in the creative design process to resolve clients' needs. Roger's exploration of sculptural welding began several years ago, and as an instructor, he finds inspiration in observing the unique way others create objects and resolve problems as they acquire new skills.

Dates/Times: Tuesdays & Thursdays, December 28 - January 13, Noon to 5 p.m.
Fee: $330

Register online or call 612.294.0400.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Give early, give often - you could win the golden ticket!

Giving - everyone's going to be doing it tomorrow, Tuesday, November 16. It's Give to the Max Day, a 24-hour, massive online fundraising event for hundreds of worthy Minnesota charities. Last year's event blew away all expectations and this year the hope is to beat that record. We hope you'll consider making a donation to yours truly, the little fire arts center that could, as we strive to purchase new equipment that will allow us to grow our already successful programs.

As an added incentive, this year you could be singing like Charlie Bucket, because every hour one donor will be randomly chosen to have his/her donation increased by $1000. So, consider making multiple donations throughout the day - or if you're a night owl or early bird, how about increasing your odds by making those donations during the wee morning hours? Any amount, from $10 on up, is greatly appreciated. Join the fun tomorrow - it really is an amazing experience to see so many generous folks coming together to make a huge difference in a single day.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Who needs daylight?

LED Hoop-making Workshop
Shorter days got you down? We’ve got the solution! Get ready to greet the winter solstice by making your own LED hoop, and you’ll be spinning your own sparks throughout the long nights ahead. In this half-day workshop, you’ll assemble your own LED hoops from scratch, using PVC pipe, wire, LEDs and tape. Then we’ll lower the lights, turn our hoops on, and spin! You’ll also learn the basics of hooping, so no previous experience is necessary. Open to ages 13 and up.

Instructor: Connie Nompelis discovered hooping two years ago, and was instantly enchanted by the activity. She has brought hoops and the joy of hooping to kids and adults across Minneapolis, and as far as Greece and Honduras. When not hooping, Connie sells real estate in the Twin Cities.

Saturday, December 4, 12:30 - 4:30 p.m.
Fee: $75 (includes all materials to make your own LED hoop)

Space is limited and you must register in advance. Sign up and pay online or call 612.294.0400 to register today!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Space left in daytime OAW class!

We're starting another Oxy-Acetylene Found Object Sculpture class this Wednesday, November 3.  It runs for seven weeks, from 12:30 to 4:30-ish p.m.   We've got enough students to run but have space for more!  Call 612.294.0400 to register.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Daytime Oxy-Acetylene Welding Class Added

Classes are officially up and running!  We have a great group of students, and we’ve heard from a few more of you that had your hearts set on taking the Oxy-Acetylene Found Object Sculpture class, but these filled up pretty quickly. Good news - we’re adding another one!   We're trying a daytime class this time, so this one will run Wednesdays from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.  We’ll need a minimum of six participants to run it, and the maximum is ten, so if you’re interested please give us a call at 612 294 0400.

Complete details:
 
Oxy-Acetylene Found Object Sculpture 
This beginning class will focus on applying Oxy-Acetylene welding techniques to the fabrication of a sculptural project.  Oxy-fuel cutting, welding and brazing processes will be covered. Learn the limitations and benefits of these processes through the design and fabrication of your own work of art. 

Discover scrap metal! Methods for identifying metals, surface preparation for scrap welding, along with aesthetic and protective surface treatments for finishing pieces will be covered.  Additionally, we will touch on the history of art welding so that students develop an understanding of the art form’s past as well as the tools to inspire its future.
 
Please bring or wear the following personal protective gear to class: safety glasses, welding gloves and head covering.  Attendance at the first class session is required, as important safety information will be presented.
 
Instructor: Roger Karlson has a BFA from UW-Stout, with a concentration in Interior Design. He has been teaching for the last 6 years, assisting students in the creative design process to resolve clients' needs. Roger's exploration of sculptural welding began several years ago, and as an instructor, he finds inspiration in observing the unique way others create objects and resolve problems as they acquire new skills.

7 Wednesdays, November 3 - December 15, 12:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Price: $320
 

*Please call 612 294 0400 to register, and don't forget, we do have scholarships available!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Fall class dates

For those of you registered for a class this fall, or those interested in one of the spots still available, here's a handy list of all classes, with dates and times!

Blacksmithing Basics
Mondays, 10/11 - 12/13, 6 to 9 p.m. - 3 SPOTS AVAILABLE

Blacksmithing Basics
Tuesdays, 10/12 - 12/14, 6 to 9 p.m. -1 SPOT AVAILABLE

Oxy-Acetylene Found Object Sculpture 
Wednesdays, 10/13 - 12/15, 6 to 9 p.m. - SPACE STILL AVAILABLE

Oxy-Acetylene Found Object Sculpture
Thursdays, 10/14 - 12/16, 6 to 9 p.m. - FULL

Build Your Own Propane Forge
Mondays, 10/18 - 11/22, 6 to 9 p.m. - 2 SPOTS AVAILABLE

Give us a call at 612/294.0400 to register!

Note to those already signed up: please bring/wear safety glasses, welding/leather work gloves, natural fiber clothing including long pants/long sleeves, work boots/shoes.  Head covering (hat, scarf) is also recommended for welding classes.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Space left in our first round of classes!

We've filled a few classes so far (thank you!) but still have space available in these two classes:

Blacksmithing Basics (If I Had a Hammer...)
If you had a hammer, would you use it to drive a nail? Or, would you use it as a means to discover the fundamentals of forging iron? This course is designed to ignite your passion for blacksmithing and to introduce you to the seemingly endless ways of expressing yourself by shaping iron with fire and hammer. You’ll gain basic knowledge of iron and its characteristics, and understanding of the dynamics of forging, and the ability to safely shape iron with heat and a hammer. You’ll have the opportunity to learn by making basic forging tools and then use those tools to make some really cool stuff !

Please bring or wear the following personal protective equipment to class: safety glasses, gloves, steel toed shoes or boots, all cotton clothing with long sleeves. A Nomex lab jacket or leather apron is advisable.

Instructor: David Mariette

Mondays, October 11 - December 13, 6 - 9 p.m., $340

Oxy-Acetylene Found Object Sculpture
This beginning class will focus on applying Oxy-Acetylene welding techniques to the fabrication of a sculptural project. Oxy-fuel cutting, welding and brazing processes will be covered. Learn the limitations and benefits of these processes through the design and fabrication of your own work of art. Discover scrap metal! Methods for identifying metals, surface preparation for scrap welding, along with aesthetic and protective surface treatments for finishing pieces will be covered. Additionally, we will touch on the history of art welding so that you develop an understanding of the art form’s past as well as the tools to inspire its future.

Please bring or wear the following personal protective gear to class: safety glasses, welding gloves and head covering. Attendance at the first class session is required, as important safety information will be presented.

Instructor: Heather Doyle/Ryan Salmon

Wednesdays, October 13 - December 15, 6 - 9 p.m., $320

To register, please call us at 612.294.0400 or email fireartscenter@gmail.com.  If you don't reach us, please leave your contact info and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Exterior Restoration: One small step for man, one giant leap for CAFAC



We’ve just made a giant leap towards completing the restoration of the exterior of the historic Nokomis Theatre.

A few months back, the first floor windows and doors made a return (complete with historically appropriate mullion transoms) after years of the front being bricked in.

Next came the unearthing of the gorgeous original encaustic tiles in the second floor parapet (they’d long been hidden under layers of paint). We had once only hoped that remnants of these tiles might still exist, but in our wildest dreams we never imagined that they’d all still be there--and be in such amazing condition!

Then, board member Scott made historically-appropriate wood storm windows to protect our soon-to-arrive replicas of the original (but long-ago removed) Prairie-style stained glass windows, courtesy of the amazing talent and generosity of stained glass artist (and neighborhood resident) Lonny McLaughlin.

But the latest icing on this nearly completed cake is the just-finished exterior paint job, thanks to a generous grant from the Pohlad Foundation! We originally hoped to have the facade (which had been painted for decades) stripped down to the original bare brick, but we soon discovered that there were countless barriers to this approach: aside from a hefty price tag, experts warned that due to the nature of the highly porous brick we would run the risk of not getting the brick clean enough to look good. So, after much deliberation, we decided to investigate the option of painting, and after board member Montana came up with this stunning color scheme (inspired by the historic colors in the original encaustic tiles), we were sold on the idea…and we couldn’t be more thrilled with the results! (Now we just need to get our marquee restored…that will be the cherry on top! Time to do some more fundraising…)

And so, the CAFAC Board is pleased (downright giddy, in fact) to present the beautiful new face of the former historic Nokomis Theatre to the world. Drum roll please…

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Lend a hand at CAFAC

As we get closer to the start of our first round of classes, we've got many small projects to complete and would love your help. If you've got a few hours and some elbow grease to spare, please join us on Wednesday, September 29, at 6 p.m. We'll be working on prepping cabinets and shelving units for painting, removing the old linoleum tile from the gallery floor, and a few other projects. We'll have additional work dates in the coming weeks. Thanks so much for your help - we couldn't do this without your support!

Fall classes update

We've filled our Tuesday night Blacksmithing Basics class and our Thursday night Oxy-Acetylene Found Object Sculpture class! Yahoo - we're thrilled! We've added a second Oxy-Acetylene class on Wednesday nights (Oct 13 - Dec 15) and have started a waiting list for Blacksmithing. The Build Your Own Propane Forge class currently has one spot left. Give us a call at 612.294.0400 or email fireartscenter@gmail.com if you'd like to register for any remaining spots.

All classes will begin the week of October 11. 

Let the Painting Begin!

Our painting crew has just gotten started, and we couldn't be more excited! The Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center paint job is happening compliments of a marvelous program created by the Pohlad Family Foundation and operated by Stuart Morgan, Calvin Littlejohn, and Jeff Wieber of Tri-Construction. The program was initiated over the summer as a means to employ teenagers looking for summer work, and we're absolutely delighted that they were willing to take on our project! The Star Tribune ran a great article about how the program got started, which you can read here.

The teens work with a professional painters and gain valuable job skills while earning a good wage. Here you can see the team getting started on masking and cleaning the surfaces in the gallery prior to paint.



They'll be in the building for the next week or so, and, weather permitting, will be working on the facade as well, so please say "hello" if you see them while walking by!

Thanks guys, and welcome to CAFAC!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Seeing the Light!


Hooray! The overhead lighting was just installed in our building, so now we can actually see! Many many thanks to volunteer Roger Karlson for talking us through our lighting needs, helping us retrofit the fixtures, and to board member Scott Hofer for his super stealth shopping. It's pretty amazing what $50 and a little elbow grease will get you--thanks, guys!

Now if only we could manage to pull off that kind of bargain find for everything else we need to do!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Fall classes at CAFAC!

At long last, we've scheduled a handful of classes to start in October. While we are still in the final stages of renovation, the end is in sight and we're excited to start welcoming students and artists to CAFAC. So far we've scheduled classes in welding, blacksmithing, and glass, and plan to add more in the coming months. Read on for descriptions! (Note: our website is also still under renovation, so to sign up for classes, please send us an email at fireartscenter@gmail.com or call us at 612.294.0400.)

Oxy-Acetylene Found Object Sculpture
This beginning class will focus on applying Oxy-Acetylene welding techniques to the fabrication of a sculptural project. Oxy-fuel cutting, welding and brazing processes will be covered. Learn the limitations and benefits of these processes through the design and fabrication of your own work of art. Discover scrap metal! Methods for identifying metals, surface preparation for scrap welding, along with aesthetic and protective surface treatments for finishing pieces will be covered. Additionally, we will touch on the history of art welding so that you develop an understanding of the art form’s past as well as the tools to inspire its future.

Please bring or wear the following personal protective gear to class: safety glasses, welding gloves and head covering. Attendance at the first class session is required, as important safety information will be presented.

Instructor: Heather Doyle

Thursdays, October 7 - December 16, 6 - 9 p.m., $320

Build Your Own Propane Forge
Build a propane blacksmithing forge of your own to take home! In this introductory course, we will begin by learning the metal fabrication and welding techniques needed to build your own propane forge. Building a forge will provide you with an intimate understanding of the equipment and how to safely operate and maintain it, inspiring the confidence to use it on your own. You will need to purchase your own regulator (approximately $90) to complete the project. All other supplies are included.

Please bring or wear the following personal protective equipment to class: safety glasses, head covering, long sleeves and long pants. Loose-fitting welding gloves are optional.

Instructor: Heather Doyle

Mondays, October 4 - November 8, 6 - 9 p.m., $300

Blacksmithing Basics (If I Had a Hammer...)
If you had a hammer, would you use it to drive a nail? Or, would you use it as a means to discover the fundamentals of forging iron? This course is designed to ignite your passion for blacksmithing and to introduce you to the seemingly endless ways of expressing yourself by shaping iron with fire and hammer. You’ll gain basic knowledge of iron and its characteristics, and understanding of the dynamics of forging, and the ability to safely shape iron with heat and a hammer. You’ll have the opportunity to learn by making basic forging tools and then use those tools to make some really cool stuff !

Please bring or wear the following personal protective equipment to class: safety glasses, gloves, steel toed shoes or boots, all cotton clothing with long sleeves. A Nomex lab jacket or leather apron is advisable.

Instructor: David Mariette

Tuesdays, October 5 - December 7, 6 - 9 p.m., $340

Gifts in Glass
Gifts galore and items for home décor! You will learn many techniques of glass fusing while completing a series of projects which you will enjoy showing in your home, wearing as jewelry, or giving as personalized gifts.The range of items you will create is both exciting and rewarding and include wine stoppers, pendants and earrings, wind chimes, sun catchers, and more. The focus of the class will be on having fun creating glass art while becoming familiar with the tools and techniques of glass fusing and enameling. While the course will not prepare you to work independently, it will expose you to a wide range of techniques to will inspire you toward advanced work offered in other courses. Some of the topics covered are basic glass fusing, glass cutting and shaping, glass enameling, and glass jewelry design.

Course fee includes all materials with the exception of jewelry hardware and findings and dichroic glass which can optionally be purchased from the instructor during class.

Instructor: Jim Boles

Sundays, October 10 - November 14, 1 - 4 p.m., $230

Jewelry Sampler: Glass Fusing, Enameling & Metal Clay
Do you dream in color? You will after attending this class! Experience a glass and metal creative extravaganza using fused glass (including dichroic), enameling on glass copper and silver, and creating silver jewelry with metal clay. In our first act, you’ll create your first pieces of fused glass jewelry within an hour of starting the class and watch your creation come alive in mini kilns with a viewing window. Glitzy them with glass enamel, glass paste, and miniature etching.
In the middle of your adventure we will switch over to enameling on copper, choosing from an array of stamped shapes. You’ll learn to prepare your copper for enameling and experience how easy it is to create colorful designs in minutes that you can wear as pins and pendants for a lifetime. In the final act you will take one of your fused glass designs and create a bezel of pure silver out of metal clay, turning your fused glass art work into a pendant. As time permits and the silver lasts, we will attempt one last act, using transparent enamel to color textured silver in the age-old technique of Basse Taille. All of that for the price of one admission!

Course fee includes all materials and supplies with the exception of the jewelry findings/hardware which can be purchased from the instructor or on your own.

Instructor: Jim Boles

Mondays, October 4 - December 6, 6 - 9 p.m., $360

Sunday, August 8, 2010

SPEAK 2010 CELEBRATION!

A huge thank you to those of you joined us for the celebration and dedication ceremony for this year's SPEAK Project on such a sultry day! We were delighted to have such a great crowd turn out for our first first official event in our new building!

We would like to extend special thanks to our partners for this year's project, which include Hennepin County, the Kingfield Neighborhoood Association, the Plymouth Church Neighborhood Foundation, VOA Phoenix High Schoool, Pillsbury House, and Youthlink, and especially to this year's participants for sharing their talents with us.

Instructors this year include Dessa of Doomtree, Andrea Jenkins, Nicole Smith, and Elisa McBrayer and Adrienne Doyle, and of course project founder Heather Doyle. Andof course this project would not happen without the countless volunteers taking care of things behind the scenes, but a special shout goes out to Adam Brusic, Sarah Linnes-Robinson, and Ryan Salmon.

Funding for the project was provided in part by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 8, 2008. Thank you people of Minnesota!

The theme of this year's SPEAK project was "Home" which we celebrated on many different levels: the pieces that were created for this year's project will be installed in the Nicollet Square Building which will includes transitional housing for teens; many of the youth who participated in this year's project have themselves dealt with issues of homelessness and finding their place in the world, and obviously this was the first year that components of the SPEAK Project took place in our new home. I think our poets from this year's spoken word group summed it up best when they wrote:

Home is the good, the bad, and the ugly
The constant reminders of true life.
Home is nothing without the people who live there.

Indeed. We thank you for joining us at our new home, and we hope you will enjoy these photos from the celebration:


A happy Heather introduces this year's project



The tremendously talent Latifah shares her talents in the spoken word section of the program



Met with thunderous applause!



Time for a closer look at the artwork

And of course some treats!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

SPEAK 2010 CELEBRATION THIS SATURDAY, AUGUST 7!


Please join us for the SPEAK Project, 2010 Celebration and Dedication Ceremony. Come and celebrate the work created by the youth of our community including digital photography, spoken word, and metal sculpture!

The art was created by students at the VOA Phoenix High School and will be installed at Nicollet Square, 3700 Nicollet. This project is also supported by Metropolitan Regional Arts Commission, the Plymouth Church Neighborhood Foundation, and Hennepin County.

When? 4-6 p.m. on Saturday, August 7th
Where: Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center
3749 Chicago Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55407

We look forward to seeing you there!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Oh, I've been working on the railing....

OK, not really. I was just there to drop off lunch and take pictures as I'm not much use in the welding department, but it was another busy weekend at the Fire Arts Center for our fabulous volunteers, Danielle, Ryan, and Al. They helped install the patterned inserts for the railing that wraps around the mezzanine. The design was created by the students of another one of our Fire Artists, Roger Karlson, who had his interior design class at Brown Institute work on a plan for the interior of the building as part of a design project they did for us.

Here is Ryan working on one of the first four panels.

and here is a better look at the full design.

And here are our volunteers taking a much needed and much deserved break. We picked a fine day to be working in welding gear in a building without air conditioning! Sorry guys!

And here's the rest of the mezzanine, which will be where classes and studio space for jewelery and glass will be located.


It's all coming together--thanks again to those of you who helped us out again! You're the best!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Another Prize Uncovered!

While the rest of us were off relaxing, celebrating our nation's independence, or just generally goofing off over the long weekend, two of our intrepid board members were hard at work and accomplished a major feat in the restoration of our building.

Just as reminder, here is what it looked when we started the project:


And here is what it looks like now:
























(click on the photo for full view)

Board members Ryan Knoke and Montana Scheff spent the weekend on ladders laboriously scraping off every inch of paint that covered up the original encaustic tile. Isn't it beautiful? Hard to imagine that someone would want to paint over it, but that's the way it's been for at least the past 20 years!

All along it has been our intention to preserve or restore as much of the original movie theater as possible, and Ryan and Montana helped us take one huge step towards that effort this weekend.

Well done!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Thank you, MRAC!

In June 2010, The Metroplitan Regional Arts Council (MRAC) awarded $503,837 to 61 organizations/projects in the second round of its 2009/2010 Arts Activity Support grant program. This round's funded projects include summer festivals, music series, site-specific performances, a poetry slam, art residencies, a book festival, visual art exhibitions, plays, puppetry, dance programs, cultural heritage events, and the Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center's very own SPEAK Project!

The SPEAK Project builds connections between urban youth and their communities through the media of digital photography, spoken word, and, of course, metal sculpture. We are very excited about this year's project as we've got some wonderful talent lined up, and this year is the first year that the SPEAK metal arts classes will be taking place in our own building!

Thank you MRAC, and stay tuned for more details!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Renovation Sneak Peek!

Just want to let everyone know that if you are interested in checking out the building this weekend, it will be open from roughly 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Saturday, June 19th, as part of the 38th and Chicago Festival.

Construction is still underway, but if you'd like to take a look at how things are progressing come on by. The mezzanine is in, the roof repairs are (just about!) complete, and if you've driven by lately you've seen that the front facade is about to go in.

Feel free to stop by!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

CAFAC Documentary

A couple of people have asked if there is a spot on the web where they can watch the documentary we showed at our fundraiser. Sorry we've been so slow about getting this out, but here it is!

http://vimeo.com/11300330

Sincere thanks to all that were involved in making it! Enjoy!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

CAFAC Peeps in the Press!

Several of our CAFAC board members have recently been featured in the media, and even though these stories aren't about CAFAC specifically, both discuss a big part of what makes us tick!

Board members Ryan Knoke and Montana Scheff were recently featured in an article in the Star Tribune about their efforts to research the history of our neighborhood, and draw attention to restoration and preservation work in the community. Check it out at:
http://www.startribune.com/local/west/91983789.html?elr=KArksUUUoDEy3LGDiO7aiU





And our very own Heather Doyle was featured in MN Original, a new weekly series on PBS celebrating Minnesota's creative community. http://www.mnoriginal.org/art/?p=607





Way to go, guys! Don't forget us when you're famous!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

It was indeed a Fundraiser to Remember!

Thank you so much to everyone who joined us for our fundraiser at the Parkway last Thursday! It was a wonderful event, and we are so grateful for our amazing volunteers who made this night possible:

To the spectacular Charmin Michelle and the amazing Kevin Anthony and their bands for sharing their musical talents with us. They had the joint jumpin'!


To Kevin Obsatz for his amazing work making our documentary!

To Betsey Giles and her team for the beautiful set decoration, and to Janet and her friends at Richfield Floral for the beautiful bouquet. Breathtaking!
To Joe Senkyr Menjares, our host for the evening, and his entire family, for sharing their beautiful building, the delicious treats, and most of all the incredibly warm welcome--thank you so much everyone!

To the fabulous Julie Denning, who took these lovely pictures!

To our volunteers Brian, Connie, Matthew, Jen, Molly and Elise for keeping the show running!

And especially to our supporters, who came, who gave, and shared a fantastic night with us!

Thanks so much everyone! We can't do this without you!

With heartful thanks for helping us get those sparks flying!
Ryan, Heather, Montana, Victoria, Scott & Maren

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center Presents: A Fundraiser to Remember

We're delighted to announce our next big event, "A Fundraiser to Remember," which will take place on April 22, from 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. at the Parkway Theater in Minneapolis.

This is one fundraiser that promises to live up to its name! We’re honored to have two critically acclaimed—and entirely unique—local musical acts lending their incredible talents in support of CAFAC: Jazz vocalist Charmin Michelle and Cajun Country musician Kevin Anthony & The Twin City Playboys. We're also proud to present the world premiere of the short documentary about how CAFAC got started.


The Swingin' Sophistication of Charmin Michelle

With savoir-faire to spare, Charmin Michelle will deliver the kind of swingin’ sophistication that has made her a fixture on the Twin Cities jazz scene for more than 20 years. No stranger to such prestigious local venues as the Dakota Jazz Club, Charmin has also been featured on Minnesota Public Radio and performed at jazz festivals around the world. Charmin will be joined by an intimate trio, including long-time collaborator and jazz guitarist Joel Shapira. Read more about Charmin at www.charmsongs.com/.


The Hot Cajun Country Vibe of Kevin Anthony & The Twin City Playboys

Critically acclaimed local musician—and neighborhood resident—Kevin Anthony will bring his unique blend of Cajun and Country to the Parkway Theater, along with his band The Twin City Playboys. A smooth, soulful singer, guitarist, and lyricist, Anthony’s vintage Country vibe is at once reminiscent of an entirely different time in music—and yet entirely fresh and modern. Check him out at www.tcplayboys.com/Home.html.


The World Premiere of All Fired Up: Igniting the Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center

The event will also feature the world premiere of the short documentary by local filmmaker (and fire artist!) Kevin Obsatz, All Fired Up: Igniting the Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center. The film chronicles CAFAC's story, from a mere spark of an idea to what it is today. Visit Kevin's website at www.videohaiku.com/.


Catering by Pepitos

Delicious hors d'oeuvres will be catered by Pepitos and a cash bar available for attendees to enjoy a famous Pepitos margarita or other libation of their liking. A sincere thank you goes out to our good friend and neighbor (and owner of Pepitos and the Parkway Theater) Joe Senkyr Minjares!


Please Join Us...and Help Spread the Word!

With the anticipated opening of the Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center just months away, your support now is critical. In order to open our doors, we are raising funds to equip our glass and metal working facilities, to install a state-of-the-art ventilation system, and to complete the renovation of our building's facade. We need your help to stoke this fire, and bring a unique nonprofit arts resource to our community! Please mark your calendars, bring a friend, and join us for this exclusive, one-night-only engagement to show your support for CAFAC. Indeed, it should be a memorable night filled with good food, lots of fun, and superb entertainment—and all for a great cause!


Date: Thursday, April 22, 2010

Time: 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Kevin Anthony @ 6:30 p.m.
All Fired Up @ 7:30 p.m.
Charmin Michelle @ 8:00 p.m.


Location: Parkway Theater, 4814 Chicago Avenue South, Minneapolis


Suggested Minimum Donation: $25


If you're not able to join us for the event, but would like to show your support with a tax-deductible donation, we have a number of ways for you to do so:

And if you're on Facebook, please become a fan of the Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center!



Monday, February 22, 2010

Construction Update

Just wanted to give everyone a little update on how things are progressing with the renovations. As with any construction project we've had a few surprises--some good, some not so pleasant, but things are moving along a good pace!

We went to check things the past weekend and managed to snap a few pics, so here's a quick peak at how things are going.

First, the gallery area is coming along nicely. After taking apart the existing office, we realized it would be relatively easy to raise the ceiling by a few feet, so we now have much more vertical space in what will be the gallery. This is what it looks like from the shop area looking back at the front entrance.

And here's Victoria in what will be her office:

As you can see, much of the original blond brick is still in great shape.

The projection room will eventually be a multipurpose room and conference area, but there is obviously still a lot of work to be done!


One of the not so pleasant surprises we've had to deal with is that the ceiling and roof are in worse shape than we had hoped.

This was an expensive surprise, but there always are a few with any construction project! As you can see, our contractor has found a way to work around it by adding additional I-beams that run perpendicular to the original ones.

If you look closely, here you can see the five 10x10" cutouts in the middle of the photo where the south side of the building is being prepped for the I-beams that will support the mezzanine.

Once the ceiling repairs are done, the next step will be construction of the mezzanine, and then we'll probably be putting a shout out for volunteers to help with some clean-up around March 6th.

Stay tuned for more photos coming soon!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Grants, Grants, Grants!

Seems like we've been pumping out grant application after grant application over the past few weeks, and we just received some fabulous news about a couple of them from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (MRAC)!

CAFAC was one of a number of organizations who were awarded capital grants to fund infrastructure projects. The $10,000 grant we were awarded will go towards our ventilation system which is a critical component of our building plans. The ventilation system we have planned is a point-of-source system which will be used to filter particulates out of the air, to ensure that CAFAC provides a safe working environment for our students, studio artists, instructors, and our neighborhood.

We also received a smaller grant to work with a fundraising consultant to help us keep moving towards our goals. We have come a long way since our first fundraiser (a yard sale in which we raised about $300!), but we've still got a long way to go, and having some professional help to keep us moving in the right direction will be a tremendous step towards making sure we meet our goals.

Thank you, MRAC!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Bringing Back the Nokomis Theatre’s Stained Glass Windows

It's always been our hope to someday restore the facade of the arts center back to its former Nokomis Theatre glory. As such, thrilled to announce that one of those original architectural elements—the stained glass windows—are coming to us much sooner than we dared to hope for! Lonny McLaughlin, a brilliant stained glass artist, future instructor at CAFAC, and neighborhood resident has generously donated his time and talents to recreate the windows that once graced the front of our building. Lonny has painstakingly analyzed historic photos to create a sketch of what the windows originally looked like. The result is a truly spectacular Prairie-style window—one that features a Tiffany-style slumped glass “turtle” ( the ‘X’) and oversized caming.


In addition, Kokomo Opalescent Glass Company has generously donated all the glass needed for the windows. This glass company is the oldest manufacturer of opalescent and cathedral stained glass in the world, having once been a principal supplier of stained glass to both Tiffany Studios and Frank Lloyd Wright. Several stained glass window experts have surmised that, based on the age of the Nokomis Theatre (1915) and Kokomo’s massive presence in the stained glass window industry at the time, that it is likely Kokomo was also the original supplier for the Nokomis Theatre windows.


And the generosity doesn’t end there! Joseph Ring of the J. Ring Glass Studio & Store, has also generously donated the remaining supplies needed for Lonny to complete the windows, and CAFAC board members who have experience in window restoration are restoring the original wood window frames which are still intact and building protective exterior wood storm windows! As part of its mission, CAFAC believes in restoring and/or adaptively reusing original architectural elements whenever possible.


A heartfelt “THANK YOU” goes out to everyone involved in this super exciting restoration project. After likely 50+ years, the warm glow of the Nokomis Theatre’s stained glass windows will once again greet all who pass by or enter the building.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

THANK YOU, AMAZING FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS!

Wow. When we put the call out to our supporters list to join us for a Saturday of hard physical labor and back breaking work on what I'm pretty sure was the coldest day of the winter so far, we didn't really know what would happen. But we should have known to expect great things from an amazing group of people! My muscles are sore and I'm still not quite sure I've gotten all the plaster out of my hair, but all I can think about is how completely overwhelmed and blown away I am by all the wonderful people that turned out to help us remove plaster yesterday. What an incredible team!

Here's a peek at what it looked like before we started:

The goal was to tear down as much of the plaster on the walls as we could to reveal the original blond brick, most of which was in pretty good shape. It probably goes without saying that this is not an easy task. It requires a fair amount of brute strength combined with some pretty intense detail work and a lot of patience. Some spots would come right off in huge chunks, while in other sections volunteers were painstakingly working on for 1/2 an hour just to get a 12 inch section removed.

Our first step is to get everyone checked in and geared up for safety (goggles, gloves, respirator, ear plugs, check!)

Then folks went to work with a combination of sledges, crow bars, and a couple of air hammers. Here's a peak at the southern wall team going to town (and yes, that is dust in the air).
















And here's what the same wall looked like when they were almost done.
Even Bill Kordosky, our general contractor, said he was absolutely amazed at what the team of volunteers had gotten done. He said his team would be floored when they saw how much had been accomplished over the weekend.

And so are we.

To say thank you really doesn't seem to do it justice, but CAFAC supporters are an amazing group of people and we can't thank you enough!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Help CAFAC knock it off!

Over the last couple of years, many of you have asked how you can help CAFAC open its doors. Well, here's a really fun, hands-on way to take out some of that holiday angst and beat the January blues while helping us renovate our building. We need approximately 25 volunteers, age 18 or older, to help us knock off a thin layer of remaining plaster from our interior walls to reveal the beautiful, original blond brick underneath. The plaster is coming off relatively easily, and just needs a little help from a hammer. Already the building is revealing some beautiful surprises as demolition gets underway - this is your chance to see it up close and play a part in its transformation!

So, if you’re interested in helping out this coming Saturday, January 9, between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., bring your muscle and fiery spirit down to 3749 Chicago Avenue and help us start turning the space into the Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center! If you have them, please bring a dead blow hammer or rubber mallet, pry bar, work gloves, dust mask, and safety glasses. For those of you who don’t have the tools necessary to partake in the fun, we’ll have a few extras on hand for you to borrow (and we'll have a supply of dust masks and safety glasses, because you can’t participate without the necessary protective gear).

Please let us know if and when you will be able to help out by sending us an email with the following details:
  • Name
  • Phone number
  • Shift(s) available (choose one or more): 9 a.m. - Noon, 12 - 3 p.m., 3 - 6 p.m.
All participants will also be asked to sign a waiver before beginning work.

Thanks so much…and we hope to see you on Saturday!