Fargo-Moorhead arts organizations look ahead to 2022
Calendars are starting to fill out for the new year's live events around Fargo, Moorhead and beyond.
FARGO — As we bid a not-so-fond farewell to 2021, some are cautiously looking ahead to 2022 with one eye open, but many in the area arts scene are facing the future with open arms.
We asked leaders of the most influential organizations in the area what they were looking forward to bringing to the community in the new year.
Fargo-Moorhead Community Theatre
It’s been a busy few years for the FMCT — and not by its own planning. After the roof of the Island Park theater in Fargo was damaged at the end of 2019, the organization lost its longtime home.
In October 2021, the troupe moved into its new home in Moorhead’s Hjemkomst Center and has performed two sold-out runs of shows.
“We’re so grateful for our many, many patrons who followed us everywhere,” says FMCT Executive Director Judy Lewis. “In 2022 we can celebrate together in one location, month after month, at the Hjemkomst.”
One thing in particular she’s looking forward to in the new space is utilizing the smaller community stage.
While the focus will be on staging events at the Hjemkomst space, the Island Park location could see some activity soon. FMCT and its insurance company finally agreed on a settlement and now FMCT is working the Fargo Park District on a master plan, which could include a new performance facility and an outdoor amphitheater.
“We understand that the park has a lot of decisions to make and we look forward to understanding their vision,” Lewis says.
FMCT isn’t the only theater company in Moorhead. Trollwood Performing Arts School has already announced “Singin’ in the Rain” as its mainstage musical and Gooseberry Park Players will produce “The Spongebob Musical,” both in July.
Moorhead’s Theatre B has two fun shows in February alone, says Executive Director Carrie Wintersteen.
She calls “The How and the Why” a “quintessential 'B' show — two brilliant characters, fascinating intellectual questions, astute societal observations, a mix of heartbreak and humor, and no easy answers for the audience.”
Later that month the troupe collaborates with Concordia College and HOPE Inc., which provides recreation for families with mobility challenges, to present an adaptive version of “Alice in Wonderland” featuring actors from all three organizations.
The Fargo Theatre
After being closed for more than a year due to the pandemic, the Fargo Theatre was happy to reopen in May 2021.
This year, the historic movie house hopes to get back to normal with its first in-person Fargo Film Festival since 2019. More than 90 films will be screened March 15-19 with a lineup of guests waiting to be announced.
The Fargo is also looking forward to more live events, like the improv comedy show Whose Live Anyway , on April 9.
“The last time this troupe played the Fargo Theatre, they absolutely brought the house down,” says Executive Director Emily Beck. “This time, the live cast includes the incomparable Ryan Stiles, so we know we’re in for a treat.”
The Spirit Room
The Spirit Room in downtown Fargo has taken a big role in this year’s NEA Big Read . While the main event will be a reading and book talk by U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo about her book, “An American Sunset,” on Feb. 7 at the Plains Art Museum, the Spirit Room will host a number of corresponding events, including an art show. “Displaced” is a nationally curated exhibit by local artist Laura Youngbird, in which each artist was assigned a piece of Harjo’s verse.
Plains Art Museum
The region’s biggest and busiest art museum is booked for years, but Director and CEO Andy Maus is most excited about a show opening Feb. 24. “La Línea: 22 Years of Grupo Soap del Corazón” celebrates the work of the Minnesota-based group, one of the country’s longest running Latinx artist collectives. Members of the group previously created and exhibited Day of the Dead steamroller prints at the Plains in 2009.
Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra
The FMSO has a pretty busy schedule to look forward to before summer, with three of its signature Masterworks concerts and three chamber music shows. While the March Masterworks will feature celebrated pianist Sofya Gulyak and composer James M. Stephenson , who wrote “Fanfare for Democracy” for President Joe Biden’s inauguration, the next show, Jan. 22 and 23, is an annual highlight. The professional musicians of FMSO will play side-by-side with the FM Area Youth Symphonies.
Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County
When FMCT moved into the Hjemkomst Center, the HCSCC lost its biggest gallery space, but that’s not keeping the group from hosting some exciting shows. In July, the Hjemkomst will celebrate the 40th anniversary of its namesake ship’s sail to Norway with a new exhibit.
The space will continue looking at the history of the area and its people with a traveling show, "Savages and Princesses: The Persistence of Native American Stereotypes," which is a collection of 36 works by Native artists, also in July.
The organization taps the new year with a “history harvest” Jan. 11 at Junkyard Brewing Co. in Moorhead, with the event looking for stories and mementos from the old Ralph’s Corner Bar in Moorhead. An exhibit about the late bar will go on display at the end of 2022.