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We have started work on our annual publication, Collaborating for Success!

We have began work on our annual publication, Collaborating for Success. This 20-24 page full color directory of seasonal activities informs community members and visitors to our area about upcoming 2019 summer and fall events. Headwaters accepts ads from local business and organization that host summer events which often includes camps, private instruction schools, or summer events. New this year, Collaborating for Success will also include business sponsorship ads from local businesses without events.

Collaborating for Success has a broad audience. Local families look forward to receiving Collaborating for Success as they plan their summer activities, and it has also become a resource for visitors to the community. Over 4,000 copies are sent out to area students in late April-early May, to the Bemidji, Cass Lake, Red Lake, Walker and Park Rapids school districts as well as area charter and private schools. Additional copies are delivered to area visitor centers and other public entities.

We are proud to offer this colorful, high quality publication to our community. We are also excited to set a goal to allocate any profits to fund our art space renovation project. We are still in the early fundraising stages, but we are dreaming big! Our plans include separate pottery and visual art studios, new furnace and AC, storage, shelving, and a wheelchair accessible entrance.

Collaborating for Success has limited space and contributors are accepted on a first come, first served basis. Those who are interested in purchasing space in the publication will need to confirm their commitment by February 15th. The publication will be completed April 15th.

Do you want to find out more? How about look at our 2018 publication?

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Coming Home: Songwriters Cultural Exchange

Contact: | 218.444.5606
When: Friday June 9th, 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Where: Headwaters School of Music and the Arts | 519 Minnesota Ave NW, Bemidji, MN 56601
Who: All Ages
Why: The performance features performers who have all drawn on their culture and family traditions to create authentic and meaningful art. The event will shed light on why these songwriters do what they do.

Berit Dybing, Erlend Odnes Kløvning, Caige Jambor and Corey Medina will take the Headwaters Music and Arts stage on June 9th from 6-9pm. Coming Home: Songwriters Cultural Exchange will be a mix of craft talk and performance. The audience will have the opportunity to listen to the four young singer/songwriters give insight into the songwriting process in between performances of their own songs.

Berit Dybing is a free-lance singer-songwriter/ entertainer from Bemidji, MN. She is now circulating around Minnesota and Europe, after spending a year studying Jazz and Vocal Performance in Norway.

Erlend Odnes Kløvning is a free-lance musician and performer, from Hamar, Norway. He has spent the upper half of his life studying jazz music and playing the guitar. After graduating from a music-intensive high school in Stange, he continued his jazz studies at Trøndertun Folkehøgskole in Melhus, Norway.

Berit and Erlend share a band called Bareland. The band bloomed out of the experiences they shared while studying at Folkehøgskole the last year. Their music is inspired heavily by the concept of identity. Berit’s texts and Erland’s melodies circle each other and speak of the relationships people form, and the environment that surrounds them.

Caige Jambor is a touring musician from Bemidji, MN. He comes from a strong musical background. Caige taught himself to play guitar at a young age. Since then he has been exploring different genres and instruments.

Corey Medina is a Native American Blues Artist from Shiprock, NM. Corey currently plays, writes and produces music with the Incepticons while also traveling with his band known and The Brothers. Corey Medina and Brothers set out to spread light to dark, and hope to the hopeless with their raw, soulful, intimate music and stage presence.

This activity was made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Community Arts Education Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

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Coming Home: Young Songwriters Workshop

Saturday, June 17th. Workshop / 10:00 – 5:00 pm, Registration required
Show case / 6:00 – 9:00 pm, open to the public

Headwaters School of Music and the Arts | 519 Minnesota Ave NW, Bemidji, MN 56601

Workshop / Ages 13-21. $25 per person
Showcase / Open to the public | 218.444.5606

Participants will leave the 7-hour day feeling inspired, with a basic understanding of methods that have kept the creativity flowing for professional songwriters for ages. Participants will also leave with a few pieces of original and collaborated work to add to their repertoire.

Berit Dybing is drawing on her recent experiences in Norway as a performer and songwriter to host a Songwriting Workshop Saturday June 17th, 10:00 - 5:00 pm at Headwaters Music and Arts. She will be joined by fellow instructors Erlend Odnes Kløvning, Caige Jambor, and Cory Medina. Together they will encourage participants to explore and draw upon their own heritage and culture throughout the workshop.


In the morning the Workshop will focus on Lyrics, working in groups to collaborate on texts and melodies that fit together, while exploring technique that the individual can tailor to themselves, they discover which works best for their own specific writing style.


The afternoon will be spent focusing on the full picture: Composition. The group will work together to create a backbone for the texts that were written, and shape the melody with harmonies and rhythms that will turn any simple “song” into an expressive work of art.


Following the workshop the participants will have an opportunity to take part in a songwriters showcase. The Showcase is meant to present the young writers with an opportunity to perform their work for an audience. The showcase is open to the public, and starts at 7:00PM.


This activity is funded, in part, by an appropriation from the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the State’s General Fund through a grant awarded by the Region 2 Arts Council.

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jeremy messersmith 11 Obscenely Optimistic Songs for Ukulele Tour

Contact: | 218.444.5606

When: Wednesday May 31st, Doors at 7:00pm – Concert at 7:30pm

Where: Headwaters School of Music and the Arts | 519 Minnesota Ave NW, Bemidji, MN 56601

Who: All ages - Cost to attend is $10

Jeremy Messersmith, a singer-songwriter from Minneapolis, will be performing shows around Minnesota in support of his newest record, 11 Obscenely Optimistic Songs for Ukulele.

This tour is a follow-up to the 50 shows Jeremy played all over the US last month. During this tour Jeremy will perform 30 free, open-to-the-public, pop up shows all over the state. He’s appearing in Bemidji at 5:30pm on Wednesday, May 31st for a live performance at the Paul and Babe statue where attendees are encouraged to bring an instrument and sing along.

A ticketed concert concert will be held at Headwaters Music and Arts at 7:00pm, following the event at Paul Babe. Beer and wine will be available for purchase at the concert, provided by local bar, Keg n' Cork. Tickets are $10 and are available for purchase at
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11 Obscenely Optimistic Songs For Ukulele: A Micro-Folk Record For The 21st Century And Beyond, is a new songbook and album jam-packed with ridiculous songs about kittens, world peace, flying cars and the transformative power of love. Why? Because we all need a ray of sunshine every now and again. Because it's important to not lose sight of how good things could be. Because the first step to a better world is to imagine a better world.


A free songbook with all the music and lyrics, along with a full list of tour stops can be found at Jeremy’s website
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This activity was made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Community Arts Education Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

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Headwaters Music and Arts – Art Club Exhibit


The public is welcome to attend the Headwaters Art Show at 4-6 pm Friday, May 12 at 519 Minnesota Ave NW.  The show will feature the work of the Headwaters Art Club members, a group of 15 elementary and middle school girls who have met weekly this spring with area artists Diamond Knispel and Terry Honstead.  Each week the group learned about a well known artist then worked on a project based on that artist’s style or technique.   The group has a goal to help children in foster care by providing items such as back packs and personal toiletries.  The $3 admission and any artwork and refreshments sold during the art show will go towards this goal.  For more information contact Headwaters Music and Arts at 444-5606. 

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Basic Drawing with Diamond Knispel

When: Tuesday May 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th.
6:00 – 8:00 pm. Limited number of seats – registration required.

Where: Headwaters School of Music and the Arts | 519 Minnesota Ave NW, Bemidji, MN 56601

Who: Adults +18, who have a prior interest in learning art. No previous experience required. $40.

Why: Basic drawing is one of the cornerstones of art. Learning drawing skills and techniques will further any budding or aspiring artist on their path. This class will take a fun and immersive approach to learning the basics of both drawing, and seeing the world with an artist’s eye. The world is truly just shapes and colors, learn how to explore those elements on paper.

Headwaters Music and Arts is happy to offer another drawing course. The class, taught by Diamond Knispel, will take fun approach to learning the basics. Students will be taught how to see the shapes and colors in everyday life, and then shown how to translate that on to paper using contrast, space, shade, and balance. Basic drawing is one of the cornerstones of art. Learning drawing skills and techniques will further any budding or aspiring artist on their path.

Diamond Knispel is a professional artist and teacher. She works with students of all ages and abilities, in Bemidji and the surrounding areas. Diamond has been teaching since 2013, and began holding classes at Headwaters Music and Arts in 2016.


This activity was made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Community Arts Education Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

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Music Enrichment Day

Headwaters Music and Arts will hold a music enrichment program 1-3 pm Saturday, April 29 for children ages 6 to 18. Activities include one-on-one and small group performance opportunities, knowledge and skill building games, a snack, and a piano “innards” presentation by Dale Goodyear. Current Headwaters music students attend at no charge; all children are welcome to attend with $10 admission. Space is limited to 80 children. Adult supervision provided. Register by April 26 by contacting Headwaters at 444-5606 or  Come join in the fun!

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Ragamala Dance Company

Sacred Earth explores the interconnectedness between human emotions and the environments that shape them.  Inspired by the philosophies behind the visual arts of Kolam and Warli painting and the Tamil Sangam literature of India, Sacred Earth is co-Artistic Director’s Ranee and Aparna Ramaswany’s singular vision of the beautiful, fragile relationship between nature and man. 

Headwaters Music and Arts is excited to welcome Ragamala Dance Company to the Bemidji area!  There are three opportunities to experience this talented group. 

7 pm Monday, April 17 Lecture & Demonstration with Reception Headwaters School of Music and the Arts, 519 Minnesota Ave NW, Bemidji.                                                                                                     Ragamala Dance Company introduces participants to Bharatanatyam, providing an overview of the technique, evolution, and development of this South Indian classical dance form and how Ragamala’s Artistic Directors—Ranee Ramaswamy and Aparna Ramaswamy—use it to express their own contemporary points of view. Examining issues of cultural hybridity and the intersection of history and personal voice, Ragamala sparks discussion about the place of culturally rooted art forms in the 21st century.  No charge to attend.

11 am Tuesday, April 18 Dance Demonstration at Cass Lake High School Gymnasium.                                                                                                 Through the vibrant and expressive dance form of Bharatanatyam, Ragamala Dance Company celebrates the natural world and the interconnectedness between humans emotions and the environments that surround us.  Choreographed by Ranee and Aparna Ramaswamy, Sacred Earth embodies their vision of the beautiful, fragile relationship between nature and humanity. 

This performance for young audiences features excerpts from Sacred Earth, accompanied by narration in which the performers provide explanations of the dance form of Bharatanatyam, the traditions and ideas that inspired Sacred Earth, and their relevance to the modern world.Open to the public, no charge to attend.

7:30 pm Wednesday, April 19 Dance Performance                                     BSU Bangsberg Hall Main Stage $5 per adult, free for children (5-18) and College students  with Student ID.  Tickets may be purchased in advance at Headwaters Music and Arts, 218-444-5606 or 519 Minnesota Ave NW, Bemidji.  Unless the performance is sold out, tickets will be available at the door.  

This visit to the Bemidji area is made possible in part by a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board through an appropriation of the Minnesota State Legislature and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.  And it is also made possible by the voters of Minnesota, through a grant from the Region 2 Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund



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Singers Ahoy! Exploring The Stepping Stones of Passaggio with Annalise Aakhus

Contact: | 218.444.5606
When: Saturday April 15th, 1:00 – 3:00 pm. Registration required.
Where: Headwaters School of Music and the Arts | 519 Minnesota Ave NW, Bemidji, MN 56601
Who: Ages 16+. Cost to attend is $20.

Why: The head voice is like the soul. It is so often overlooked but when the head voice is utilized and strengthened, it will bring excellence and ease to your voice, beyond what you have yet experienced.
Most of the main stream singers we hear throughout our life are trained incorrectly and bring their larynx way too high within their throats, causing damage to the vocal folds. When we hear them, we often mimic and sing that same style, ultimately training our voices to do the same incorrect activities, without realizing we are causing damage. This workshop will have attendees singing correctly and freely.


For Immediate Release:

Annalise Aakhus, is offering an afternoon workshop at Headwaters School of Music and the Arts. The workshop will focus on proper technique and the difference between belting and head-voice. The class will practice scales, vibrato, placement, and breathing while learning the science of voice. During the workshop she will work with attendees to help them learn technique to properly to use the human voice and get the most efficient sound possible for their body. In this workshop attendees will bridge the gap between the chest-voice and the mysterious head-voice! “Sing any style you would like and sing it well, once you learn and solidify a few overlooked basics,” Annalise says.

Annalise is a Junior at BSU, focusing on Music Education/ Voice. She has studied classical music for ten years. Three years ago she suffered vocal damage due to years of singing only in her chest voice while not properly utilizing her head voice. After losing her singing ability Annalise began training very strictly with head-voice, and has become passionate about teaching others to do the same. Annalise has taught at Headwaters School of Music and the Arts in the past, and now offers private lessons, along with workshops.

After the work shop, from 5:30 – 6:30 on April 15th, Annalise Aakhus and Dan Will are performing a public recital. The cost to attend the recital will be $5.00, and all are invited.

This activity was made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Community Arts Education Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

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2017 Spring Writers Workshop with Carol Ann Russell

Generating Truth: The Poet Within & Wild Geography Between Genres
-Ghosts, Figures & Friends

When: Saturday April 8th, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Where: Our home at 519 Minnesota Ave NW, Bemidji, MN 56601

Who: Adult participants with writing experience and the desire to experience unbound language and time: the intersections of poetry, fiction, non-fiction and memoir.

Why: Writer Participants will develop strategies for accessing emergent, new material for their writing (in all genres) and will learn techniques for developing this material into dynamic and authentic language.

A registration form can be found here:


Carol Ann Russell will teach a writing workshop at Headwaters School of Music and the arts on Saturday April 8th. The day long workshop will begin at 10:00 am and end at 4:00 pm, with a half hour lunch break 12:30. 

The cost to attend is $50 per participant, which includes an evaluation of 6 pages of manuscript. Those who attend will be provided a notebook and folder/

Participating writers will be invited to read and share copies of their work with workshop members during the morning session. In the afternoon, they will be introduced to a series of writing designs which generate dynamic fields between genres which can then be linguistically expended. By identifying crossings and thresholds which link autobiographical threads, traditional “genre” disappears into authentic voice: this transcends “space-time” to realize what is true beyond mere fact.

About the Instructor

Carol Ann Russell has an M.F.A in Poetry from the University of Montana, and a Ph.D. in Creative Writing from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. She has taught creative writing at universities and colleges in Montana, Missouri, Nebraska, and Connecticut prior to coming to Minnesota in 1988, to teach Creative Writing at Bemidji State University where she is a Full Professor. Russell has four published collections of poetry: The Red Envelope (U Press, FL); Feast (Loonfeather Press, MN); Silver Dollar (West End Press, NM); Gypsy Taxi (Backwaters Press, NE); and a limited edition letterpress edition, Passeggiata, in Italian and English, on handmade Fabriano paper, signed and illustrated by artist Jauneth Skinner, along with a musical score composed by Dr. Paul Brandvik, recorded at University of Minnesota. A recipient of many grants and awards, Russell was a resident in poetry at the Australian Centre, Melbourne University (Australia) and at the American Academy in Rome (Italy).