For years, Arts@MSP has brought Minnesota culture to MSP Airport through visual arts and musical and dance performances. Now, Minnesota authors have been added to the mix with book readings on Arts@MSP’s YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Stay Creative channels on the first Wednesday of every month.
Story Hour began July 1, 2020, featuring local author Kao Kalia Yang reading from her children’s book The Shared Room. That was followed in August by author Debra Cotterman, an employee of Delaware North, from her children’s book, Ely Eagle Learns to Fly.
The stories are patterned after the popular Reading Rainbow series that aired for more than 25 years on PBS television. “Arts@MSP has focused a lot on performing artists in the past but we can’t forget about writers. They create worlds with words, and that is another form of art that needs to be celebrated,” says Youa Vang, producer of the Story Hour series.
The Shared Room by Kao Kalia Yang
Kao Kalia Yang is a Hmong-American writer. She holds degrees from Carleton College and Columbia University. Yang is the author of The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir winner of the 2009 Minnesota Book Awards in Creative Nonfiction/Memoir and Readers’ Choice, a finalist for the PEN USA Award in Creative Nonfiction, and the Asian Literary Award in Nonfiction. Yang’s newest book, The Shared Room, was released on June 9, 2020. In the fall of 2020, Yang will have two new books, a collective memoir about refugee lives titled Somewhere in the Unknown World and another book for children called The Most Beautiful Thing. Kao Kalia Yang is also a teacher and public speaker.
Ely Eagle Learns to Fly by Deb Cotterman
Ely Eagle needs to visit her grandparents, but she has a problem: she’s never flown before! With the help of her other animal friends, she tries to figure out a way to make the journey–and learns that sometimes the only way to get where you’re going is to spread your wings.
Debra Cotterman is a life-long Minnesotan who still (kind of) believes that animals talk to each other when people aren’t looking. In the seventh grade she wrote an essay stating she wanted to be a writer when she grew up, and here, only fifty years later, is her first book. Debra is a mom, a bookstore owner, and a reader and collector of children’s books. She currently lives in Apple Valley, Minnesota.
Shawn McCann is an artist who loves to explore the relationship of art, space, and interaction. Having graduated the Minneapolis College of Art and Design with a BFA, Shawn has grown into a multi-media, multi-disciplinary artist whose work explores color, texture, form, and content.
Full Heart Living by Tom Glaser
With its unique combination of storytelling interviews, memoir, and activities, Full Heart Living: Conversations with the Happiest People I Know is as fun and engaging as it is relatable and practical. Pulling himself out of darker times, the author’s vulnerability touches the soul, and the lessons learned make complex ideas simple and doable.