Duluth Armory Music Fest - 2015

Magic Marc Productions

I am an independent concert, music and event promoter based in the Minneapolis / Saint Paul, Minnesota area.

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Marc Evan Percansky


Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Historic Duluth Armory

1915 was a drama. World War I had broken out the previous summer the British were getting knee deep into the thick of it as Winston Churchill, First Lord of the Admiralty, presented plans for sending troops to the Dardenelles. Within days the first German zeppelin attack on Great Britain commenced.

On our side of the pond the first transcontinental telephone service was inaugurated, baseball and golf continued to entertain and Americans appeared disinterested in what was going on "over there." Even so, the first American cargo ship was sunk while delivering wheat to Russia. And as events on the Continent escalated there were increasing concerns in many quarters. Here in Duluth the government built an armory, completed in November of that year.

Nowadays armories are usually built on military bases, as they exist to store weapons and munitions. But in earlier times they were placement didn't require this. The Duluth Armory, which was built five times larger than most armories, became quite a bit more than a place to store weapons. The spacious interior became a place for the local national guard to practice military drills year 'round. When the great fires of 1918 swept across the Northland, the Armory became a place to house people who lost their homes.

The Armory is featured in this documentary.

The Armory is featured in this documentary.

The building also played an important role as the cultural and entertainment hub of the Duluth region. Many famous Americans appeared at the Armory – Harry Truman, Louis Armstrong, Johnny Cash, Bob Hope, and Liberace, to name a few.

And now, the historic building is 100 years old.

The friends of the armory have been planning some special events to celebrate this landmark birthday, the first of the being an outdoor celebration on Sunday, September 6th in Leif Erikson Park across London Road from the Duluth Armory. They're calling this birthday kickoff event the Armory Arts & Music Center’s Salute to the Historic Duluth Armory Music Fest.  If I have my facts straight, the actual 100th birthday will be celebrated in November.

The aim of all these activities is to raise both awareness and funding for the restoration of the building which has been an inspiration for many. To learn how you can contribute to the Armory's restoration, click here.

To learn more read these items of note about the Duluth Armory.

It will be an interesting year for Duluth, and a milestone for friends of the Armory Arts and Music Center board which has worked for so long and so tirelessly toward this end.

Ennyman is a Life Under Construction. Writer, artist, philosopher, friend... visit www.ennyman.com to put your mind at e's.

Original Article: http://pioneerproductions.blogspot.com/2015/08/celebrating-100th-anniversary-of.html

Creative Destruction vs. Preservation: The Duluth Armory

“I know you think you understand what you thought I said but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant” ~ Alan Greenspan

The stage at Leif Erikson Park

The stage at Leif Erikson Park

I've been reading Alan Greenspan's insightful book The Age of Turbulence. As chairman of the Federal Reserve Greenspan has had the privilege of working with two decades of presidents, holding a front row seat to the fall of communism, numerous bull and bear markets, the burst tech and housing bubbles, various global financial crises and the horror of 9/11. In the midst of the 1990's tech bubble he famously warned of investors' irrational exuberance, to no avail.

Among other things the book has much to say about the wealth-generating power of free market capitalism (which can be thwarted by corrupt governments or the lack of a free press) and the concept of creative destruction. What creative destruction means is that things that are less efficient eventually fall by the wayside when better ways of doing things come along.

Examples abound, but a few might include the refrigerators and freezers that replaced the ice industry in which blocks of ice were cut from glaciers and transported to "warehouses" to be stored and cut into blocks for people with ice chests. Automobiles replaced horses and jet airline travel replaced that slow boat to China. In several places Greenspan notes how this principle of creative destruction is at the heart of progress.

In the late 90's Greenspan married TV journalist and news anchor Andrea Mitchell. During their Venice honeymoon his ideas about creative destruction were challenged when he saw that some of the world's most cherished places have changed the least.

The financial and commercial centre of Venice is known as the Rialto and has been there for centuries. Though the area was settled by the ninth century it wasn't an important district until two centuries later when Venice's market moved there, and in the following century a boat bridge was set up across the Grand Canal providing access to it. This was soon replaced by the Rialto Bridge which has since then become iconic.

In Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, Shylock asks, "What news on the Rialto?" and later, in Act III Solanio makes the same inquiry.

All this passed through Greenspan's mind as he considered the Rialto's grand heritage and that creative destruction should not be a hardened firm principle in all things. Preservation has its place.

ALL THIS TO SAY that this same conflict is being played out in our communities today, where decisions are being made whether to raze buildings to raise new structures that are more energy efficient or to preserve these remnants of our history. The Duluth Armory became a focal point where this discussion was being played out when ten years ago developers hoped to build condos on that property with its view of the lake. Today the Armory still stands, with it's advocates preparing to celebrate her 100th birthday this fall.

This year the Duluth Armory turns 100 years old in November, 2015 and the Armory Arts and Music Center (AAMC) is hosting an pre-birthday celebration on Sunday, September 6th in Leif Erikson Park across London Road from the Duluth Armory. They're calling it the Armory Arts & Music Center’s Salute to the Historic Duluth Armory Music Fest. It will be a free community festival featuring local, regional, national and international artists performing live at the historic Leif Erikson Park outdoor stage.

The concert's primary aim is to raise community awareness that fund-raising has been continuous for the AAMC's mission  "to preserve the Duluth Armory and its historic value to American culture and the arts, while encouraging its reuse, placing emphasis on arts and education, including the AAMC’s successful Music Resource Center program." The Armory Arts and Music Center is a 501(c)(3) tax-deductible organization so your sponsorship is tax deductible to the full extent of the law.

According to Nelson French, who serves on the AAMC board, "The Armory Arts and Music Center Board of Directors has been busy this year working with community leaders and interested developers to put together a package that will ensure the historic elements of the Duluth Armory are preserved while developing and implementing the right plan to ensure the building will live on and inspire generations for at least another 100 years." The Board's sustained enthusiasm for the project over many years is admirable.

In addition to securing long term protection and economic viability of the building, AAMC is focusing its efforts on the following priorities:

  • Strengthening the operation of our Music Resource Center-Duluth youth program
  • Designing and developing a state of the art AAMC Music Resource Center in the Duluth Armory to house our youth music program
  • Providing for a unique music legends historic museum and tribute space

This event is but a prequel to the real celebration. 100 years of service to the community, and host of major events. For more information visit DuluthArmory.org.

Meantime, life goes on all around you. Let's celebrate it. 

Ennyman is a Life Under Construction. Writer, artist, philosopher, friend... visit www.ennyman.com to put your mind at e's.

Original Article: http://pioneerproductions.blogspot.com/2015/08/creative-destruction-vs-preservation.html

Invitation to Next Sunday's Free Concert in Leif Erikson Park to Restore the Armory

Concert Sponsors

Concert Sponsors

Here's more information on next weekend's free concert in Leif Erikson Park. We are officially less that one week away from showtime and everything's in order for the show. The event will feature music by Courtney Yasmineh Band, Lonnie Knight & Friends, The Boomchucks, Sarah Burton, Gene LaFond and Amy Grillo, and Rich Mattson and Germaine Gemberling in one of Duluth's many beautiful settings.

The event organizer is the Armory Arts and Music Center (AAMC) with it's chief aims being to raise awareness for the 100th Anniversary Celebration that will take place later this fall, and to share their vision for the Armory's restoration. The building itself is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

I have to insert here that it made some of us ill to see the heart-breaking accident that took place this weekend at the Sacred Heart Music Center. Sacred Heart has been a wonderful host for several of the concerts and events the AAMC has created on behalf of the Armory restoration.

Here's an outline of featured artists that are lined up to perform next Sunday. There will also be food trucks, beer trucks and sunshine. (The latter is not guaranteed, but they are working on it.) There will be an abundance of smiling, foot tapping and probably some dancing.

Duluth Armory Music Fest
3:00 p.m. – 3:40 p.m. Boomchucks  
3:50 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Gene LaFond & Amy Grillo
4:40 p.m. – 5:20 p.m. Rich Mattson & Germaine Gemberling
5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Sarah Burton  
6:40 p.m. - 7:40 p.m. Lonnie & Friends
7:50 p.m. – 9:20 p.m. Courtney Yasmineh Band  

Kevin Odegard presents latest Armory banner.

Kevin Odegard presents latest Armory banner.

Meantime, life goes on all around you. Be a part of it.

Ennyman is a Life Under Construction. Writer, artist, philosopher, friend... visit www.ennyman.com to put your mind at e's.

Original Article: http://pioneerproductions.blogspot.com/2015/08/invitation-to-next-sundays-free-concert.html

Press Release - Armory Arts and Music Center Kicks Off 100th Birthday Celebration with September 6th Duluth Armory Music Fest at Leif Erikson Park

Free Concert – Sunday, September 6th, 3:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. – Leif Erikson Park

(FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Duluth, MN) - The ARMORY ARTS & MUSIC CENTER, in association with KUMD 103.3 FM and MAGIC MARC PRODUCTIONS, announced today that the COURTNEY YASMINEH BAND out of New York City will headline a September 6th lineup of six stellar musical acts assembled to kick off the celebration of the historic Duluth Armory’s 100
birthday. “Although she currently makes New York her home, Courtney has deep connections to the North Country, as do most of the artists assembled for this celebration of one of Duluth’s defining buildings,” said Nelson French, Vice President of the Armory Arts and Music Center Board, “Courtney spent her senior year of high school on Lake Vermilion and graduated from Tower-Soudan High School. It is very special that she is returning to grace the stage for our first
outdoor music fest. She has a great passion her music and for our mission to preserve the rich heritage of the Duluth Armory.” 

The Armory Arts and Music Center announced today that a development agreement for the building is in the works and the parties are hopeful there will be a big announcement close to the actual Armory birth date of November 22nd.

“This will be an historic outdoor event in our neighborhood and is not to be missed,” said Mark Poirier, Project Manager Consultant to the Armory Arts & Music Center. “This is a tremendous opportunity for the community to celebrate the Armory and its rich history, and the right time to look forward to the redevelopment and revitalization of this great community space so it will be a vibrant component of our community for the next 100 years. 2015 will be as big a year as 1915 was for the Armory!” 

The Armory has been a site of great inspiration throughout its history – truly the building that made Duluth famous. It was built in 1915 at roughly five times the average cost of other armories of that era. It served as a military training facility for the Minnesota National Guard and Naval Militia. The building also played an important role as the cultural and entertainment hub of Duluth. National and international acclaimed artists appeared at the Armory over the years – Harry Truman, Louis Armstrong, Johnny Cash, Bob Hope, Liberace, Lonnie Knight, and Buddy Holly to name a few.

Also joining COURTNEY YASMINEH on stage will be Minnesota rock legend LONNIE KNIGHT & FRIENDS (Minneapolis). Lonnie played the Armory 4 times with a group called Jokers Wild back in 1969, singer songwriter SARAH BURTON (Toronto) and local North Country artists RICH MATTSON & GERMAINE GEMBERLING (Sparta), GENE LAFOND & AMY GRILLO (Silver Bay) and
THE BOOMCHUCKS (Duluth).  KAYLEE MATUSZAK, a student at the Armory Arts and Music Center’s Music Resource Center® Program, will also perform.

The Armory Arts & Music Center's Music Resource Center® Duluth Program is a cutting edge music education program where teens can learn music technology, creation, and performance and production techniques. 

To preserve the Duluth Armory and its historic value to American culture and the arts, while encouraging its reuse, placing emphasis on arts and education.
1626 London Rd #779 - Duluth, MN 55812
Contact: Nelson T. French, 612.237.5171


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