The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts released the schedule for its 2010 Flint Hills International Children’s Festival set to run from June 1-6, 2010 with outdoor performances and activities at Rice Park, Landmark Plaza, Hamm Plaza next to the Ordway at 345 Washington Street, St. Paul. This is a signature arts festival for children and families and as a new feature this year, with indoor performances at the Ordway Main Hall and McKnight Theatre. All tickets are $5.
Metro Transit is offering free rides to the Festival on all Metro Transit buses and light-rail trains with a Go Greener Pass, available at http://www.ordway.org/festival.
The Festival takes place in two parts: School Days (June 1-4) and Family Weekend (June 5-6). More than 15,000 children from schools across Minnesota participate in School Days by attending performances, participating in interactive activities and engaging in artist residencies.
During Family Weekend, Festival activities fill Rice Park, Landmark Plaza and Hamm Plaza with hands-on activities and art displays. Families experience the same performances that the students enjoy during the week, along with the free activities in the parks including dance and visual art performances, art-making activity tents, Xcel Energy’s Butterfly Garden, food, walk-around artists and more.
One of the visual highlights of this year’s Festival is the Friendship Forest, an urban garden filled with trees, plants, pansies, ponds and fountains located in Hamm Plaza. Produced in collaboration with Blooming Saint Paul, the garden honors the many layers of friendships, partnerships and community that the Festival has built over the past 10 years.
The forest includes interactive components designed through a collaboration of artists and Saint Paul school children. More than 340,000 people have enjoyed the Festival since it began in 2000.
“Each year thousands of children and their families are able to enjoy world-class performing arts at the Flint Hills International Children’s Festival,” said Scott Lindemann, vice president and manufacturing manager of Flint Hills Resources. “The Festival has been a way for us to enrich the lives of children around the state and contribute to the high quality of life we enjoy in Minnesota.”
Throughout the Festival, participants can enjoy a multitude of international performances inside the Ordway and on the outdoor World Stage and Target Alley Stage. Returning to the Festival this year are Peruvian puppeteers Hugo and Ines, a creative duo who helped launch the first Festival in 2000.
Other international artists include Shangilia, a youth performance group from Nairobi, Kenya, led by singer/director/composer J.D. Steele, and the Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia, which will present “Goodnight Moon” and “The Runaway Bunny.”
Shangilia Youth Choir of Kenya will be joined by the newly formed MacPhail Community Youth Choir, both under the direction of singer/director/composer J.D. Steele. The MacPhail Community Youth Choir (MCYC) is comprised of students in grades 9-12 from the Twin Cities and is free and open to students of all skill levels and abilities.
This collaboration between the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts and MacPhail Center for Music brings these two groups together for the first time, not only to perform at the Festival, but to engage with each other on international, cultural and artistic levels, providing an exciting international and global experience for both choral groups.
In addition to the performances of Shangilia and MCYC inside the Ordway, audiences can enjoy a free, outdoor performance from the MCYC choir on the World Stage throughout the weekend.
Well-known regional artists performing for free in the parks surrounding the Ordway include El Arco Iris, CAAM, Cyril Paul and the Calypso Monarchs, Dennis Warner Band, Up ‘til 2, Salsa del Sol, Mariachi Estrella, Kalpulli Yaocenoxtlli, Katha Dance Theatre, Los Alegres Bailadores and more.
“The Festival is the only place where Minnesota families can experience such a wide range of performances by professional artists from around the world, together with amazing talent from North America,” says Heather T. Spicuzza, director of the Flint Hills International Children’s Festival. “Their breathtaking performances have left audiences with powerful memories and the anticipation of more to come.”
For the third year in a row, Target ® Corporation has generously contributed to the Festival. Thanks to its gift, all tickets to indoor shows during Family Weekend cost only $5. All tickets are for general admission and can be purchased ahead of time through the Ordway Box Office. The Saturday performances of Mermaid Theatre are already sold out, a signal that audiences are anticipating a very exciting weekend at the Ordway.
In addition to performances, the Festival features visual art projects highlighting Minnesota’s finest artistic talents and collaborations. The Festival works diligently to bring together artists and students to engage creative minds.
The art that emerges from the ARTwalk, the ARTcontest, the ARTbuilds Project (sponsored by General Mills), Digital Kids Project (sponsored by Best Buy Children’s Foundation) and other student- and young artist-driven public artworks will be displayed throughout the Festival grounds. On Saturday at 1 p.m., the ever-popular ARTmoves Parade invites participants of all ages to take part in a vibrant parade of moving art, and sound residencies take place in 12 Saint Paul community centers.
To learn more about all Festival art projects, visit www.ordway.org/festival/projects.
The Festival welcomes volunteers from the community to assist with a variety of fun and interesting activities. For information on volunteering, contact the Ordway at
Flint Hills International Children’s Festival Schedule
SATURDAY, JUNE 5
Ordway Main Hall
11 a.m. & 3 p.m.: Shangilia Youth Choir of Kenya with J.D. Steele
Ordway McKnight Theatre
10 a.m. & 12 p.m.: Mermaid Theatre’s “Goodnight Moon” and “The Runaway Bunny” – SOLD OUT
2 p.m.: Teatro Hugo and Ines “Short Stories”
Ordway World Stage
10 a.m.: Cyril Paul and the Calypso Monarchs
11 a.m.: Rince Na Chroi
12 p.m.: Dennis Warner Band
2 p.m.: Up ‘til 2
3 p.m.: Salsa Del Soul
4 p.m.: Mariachi Estrella
10:15 a.m.: Katha Dance Theatre
11:15 a.m.: CAAM
12:15 p.m.: Tiyumba Dance Company
2:15 p.m.: Los Alegres Bailadores
3:15 p.m.: The Hoang Anh Vietnamese Dance Group
3:40 p.m.: Balance Boys from Circus Xelias
4:15 p.m.: Kalpulli Yaocenoxtii
1 p.m.: ARTmoves Parade
Minnesota Planetarium ExploraDome
SUNDAY, JUNE 6
Ordway Main Hall
3 p.m.: Shangilia Youth Choir of Kenya with J.D. Steele
Ordway McKnight Theatre
10 a.m. & 12 pm.: Mermaid Theatre: “Goodnight Moon” and “The Runaway Bunny” – LIMITED SEATING AVAILABLE
2 p.m. & 4 p.m.: Teatro Hugo and Ines “Short Stories”
Ordway World Stage
10 a.m.: El Arco Iris
11 a.m.: Cyril Paul and the Calypso Monarchs
12 p.m.: Circus Juventas
1 p.m.: MacPhail Community Youth Choir
2 p.m.: Sawtooth Bluegrass Band
3 p.m.: Dennis Warner Band
4 p.m.: New Primitives
10 a.m.: Hmong Cultural Center & Qeej Players
11:15 a.m.: Vorpal Architexts
12:15 p.m.: Katha Dance Theatre
1:15 p.m.: Kalpulli Yaocenoxtii
2:15 p.m.: Niiwo Giizhik Dancers
3:15 p.m.: Los Alegres Bailadores
4:15 p.m.: Tiyumba Dance Company
The Flint Hills Resources Pine Bend refinery in Rosemount is one of Dakota County’s largest employers, with more than 900 full-time employees and 200-2,000 contractors working on site most days. Pine Bend is the Upper Midwest’s leading producer of transportation fuels and one of the cleanest and safest refineries in the United States. Since 1994, Pine Bend has reduced its air emissions by more than 60 percent, while surpassing requirements to produce cleaner-burning transportation fuels that have helped improve Minnesota’s air qualit