PDF - Mom Culture
E 6 • VA R I E T Y • S T A R T R I B U N E • S U N D AY, M A R C H 6 , 2 0 1 1
THE ART SCENE
Parents need culture
– high or low – as
much as their kids.
A local website
ecessity is the mother of invention,” the
saying goes, and for Mom Culture founder Lenore Moritz, it was her personal
need for a regular “culture fix” that inspired her to create opportunities for other moms to
stay connected to the arts and culture scene.
“After the birth of my first son, I still wanted to
keep attending the events I had been used to going
to, but I had a newborn and that didn’t work very
well,” said Moritz, who lives in Minneapolis.
She would often take Harper, now 4, to baby gym
and baby yoga classes, which she enjoyed but recognized as being all for the baby.
With a background in public relations, Moritz
knew there must be a way to fill the culture void she
was experiencing while helping other parents do the
same. In 2007, she began approaching local arts organizations, such as the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Walker Art Center and the Minnesota Opera, to
see if they would be willing to help her create events
geared for moms and their kids, ages newborn to 5.
The response from the organizations was positive and soon Mom Culture Live, a series of Friday
morning performances, was born. Scheduled at different venues around the Twin Cities, the 45-minute
events, typically held five to eight times a year, draw
moms, dads and grandparents.
“Even though the performances are geared to parents, it has been really cool to see how the kids respond,” said Moritz. “As soon as the voices or the
music start, the space gets really quiet. The kids are
Julie Pfitzinger is a West St. Paul freelance writer.
Have an idea for the Your Family page? E-mail us at
Note: Panko is a Japanese breadcrumb
that is large and light and gives a particular nice crunchy crust. It’s found
with other breadcrumbs; regular dry
breadcrumbs can be substituted. From
“Cooking Light Comfort Food.”
• 1/4 c. flour
• 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
• 1/4 tsp. salt
• 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
• 3/4 c. panko breadcrumbs (see Note)
• 4 (6-oz.) skinless, boneless chicken
• 2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
• Cooking spray
• 1/2 c. prepared tomato-basil pasta
• 1/2 c. (2 oz.) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
• 3/4 c. (3 oz.) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
BY JULIE PFITZINGER • Special to the Star Tribune
A website is born
Although Moritz’s culture fix was being met, she
wanted to remove the geographical boundaries for
moms unable to attend performances and also delve
more deeply into the arts world. That led to the creation of her Mom Culture website.
“The purpose of the site is to really help moms
and others feel like insiders about the arts and culture scene,” she explained. “People want to be in the
know. They want to learn about creative people and
what inspires them.”
Moritz, who lived in New York City for several
years, taps into a variety of resources — online art
journals, the New York Times and other publications — to find interesting artists, musicians, filmmakers and writers to interview for her site.
Because Moritz loves pop culture “as much as
I love my high culture,” she has interviewed a diverse selection of artists, from photographer Alec
Soth, local hip-hop artist Dessa and actor/director
Ed Burns to “Top Chef” finalist Brian Malarkey and
Candy Spelling, mother of Tori and author of “Stories From Candyland.”
In addition to maintaining her own website, Moritz
is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post, writing
about families and the arts, and to MomLogic, a national website that tracks nearly 750,000 hits a month.
Now as a mother of two young boys (Hudson
turns 3 years old this month), Moritz said she finds
herself putting full-time effort into part-time hours
to maintain Mom Culture, but her enthusiasm for
creating other mom “insiders” never wanes.
“I believe the arts can be so grounding, so fulfilling and so uplifting,” she said. “My mission is
to bring this service to people, so they, too, can feel
connected to the arts even when life is really busy.”
One of Moritz’s favorite places to visit with her
sons is the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. “One of the
things I like to do is give them a task. I’ll tell them to
find horses or flowers in a painting,” she said. “It just
gives me a little extra time to spend on the art while
they are looking.”
Taste editor Lee Svitak Dean serves up
an idea for tonight’s dinner table:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Combine flour, oregano and salt in
a shallow dish; place egg whites in a
bowl. Place panko in a shallow dish.
Dredge 1 chicken breast half in flour
mixture. Dip in egg whites; dredge in
panko. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high
heat. Add chicken to pan; cook 2 minutes. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil.
Turn chicken over; cook 2 minutes.
coat chicken with cooking spray; place
pan in oven.
Bake for 5 minutes. Turn chicken
over; top each piece of chicken with
2 tablespoons sauce, 2 tablespoons
Parmigiano-Reggiano and 3 tablespoons mozzarella. Bake 6 minutes or
until chicken is done.
FOR MORE RECIPES
read Thursday’s Taste section, or find
it online at startribune.com/taste
— including past Sunday Suppers.
get out there!
Best bets for a family outing
Harper Rabatin, 4, and
Hudson Rabatin, 2,
explored the Minneapolis
Institute of Arts with
their mother, Lenore
Moritz. The founder of
Mom Culture says:“My
mission is to bring this
service to people, so they,
too, can feel connected to
the arts even when life is
Photos by DAVID BREWSTER
SPRING BREAK OPTIONS
For more ideas, see the Mom Culture website at www.momcultureonline.com.
• Northern Clay Center: Pottery of Michael Simon opens March 12; free admission;
• Minneapolis Institute of Arts has a Family Center; free admission; www.artsmia.org.
• Minnesota History Center recently opened a new exhibit,“Discover the Real George
Washington: New Views From Mount Vernon,” and George Washington Family Day is
scheduled for March 12; www.minnesotahistorycenter.org.
• Science Museum of Minnesota: “Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great
• Walker Art Center: Program called Arty Pants on second and fourth Tuesday of each
month with projects, films and story time. For kids ages 3-5 and adults. Free with gallery
• Visit the local library to rent DVDs of “Peter and the Wolf,” “The Nutcracker” or “Fantasia.” Or check out classic family movies such as “Mary Poppins” or “The Sound of Music.”
FURRY AND FLYING
Whether your favorite pet has
scales, fur or whiskers, there’s an
attraction for you at the Twin Cities
Pet Expo. More than 200 exhibit
booths feature everything owners
need for a happy pet. Visit the “CockA-Doodle Zoo” and see the Ultimate
Air Dogs, TICA cat show and Outrun
Flyball Team. Local rescue groups
and animal organizations will have
exhibits and demonstrations. Get
information on adopting an animal.
9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat.; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. next
Sun. $5-$9. Minneapolis Convention
Center, 1301 2nd Av. S., Mpls.
LET’S PLAY HOCKEY EXPO
[email protected] with “Your Family” in the subject line.
the junk drawer
Need-to-know info for you and your family
Get kids involved in making healthful meals
Baby’s first iPhone
Chef Melissa D’Arabian of the Food Network offers
these tips for healthful family meals:
Work with your kids. Don’t force them to eat things
they don’t like. Instead, work with them to find foods in
each category they enjoy.
Make sweets“sometimes”foods. “Sweets shouldn’t be Melissa D’Arabian
totally off limits, but I manage sugar overload by only giving sweet treats after we’ve had a meal,” D’Arabian says. “No sugary treats on
an empty stomach at our house — too many little girls with sugar rushes! But
a sweet eaten with or after protein is far less apt to get my girls wired.”
Get creative with veggies. “I love finding creative ways to make my recipes as healthy as possible, adding in a smidge of extra fiber, protein or veggies; everyone in my family benefits from the extra nutrition,” D’Arabian
says. “But any ‘sneaked’ vegetables don’t really ‘count’ toward helping my
children learn to love healthy foods.”
Make new foods fun. “I focus more on developing a willingness to try new
foods and an interest in fresh produce by involving my kids in shopping at
the farmers markets and produce aisle,” she says.
You can’t fool kids with
nonfunctioning toy phones,
especially when the real thing
is around. So Fisher-Price
says don’t resist, protect with
the Laugh & Learn Baby iCan
Play Case, designed for kids
9 to 36 months ($15, available
Mom or Dad’s iPhone or
iPod Touch is locked inside
a durable rubber case with
easy-grasp, baby-size handles. Now your infant can safely trade private giggles with distant grandparents via Face Time or use free downloadable Fisher-Price apps that teach
with interactive characters and songs.
When you take back that other Apple of your eye, the case still entertains
with rattle beads and a mirror.
FOOD NETWORK KITCHENS
PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS
Tournament fever is on the rise as
players from throughout Minnesota
compete. Hockey players and fans
can check out this annual trade show
featuring more than 350 booths and
150 companies displaying the latest
in equipment and merchandise.
Celebrity appearances include
former Gopher and NHL forwards
Scott Bjugstad, Neal Broten and Paul
Broten and former U.S. Olympian
Paul Johnson. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Fri.-Sat.
Free. RiverCentre Convention Hall,
W. 7th St. and Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul.
For a full list of this week’s
events, turn to E13
S T A R T R I B U N E . C O M / L I F E S T Y L E • S E C T I O N E • S U N D AY, M A R C H 6 , 2 0 1 1
For years, Minneapolis treated the
Mississippi as a “truck dock.” But a design
competition hopes to bring about its rebirth.
March 11 on a TV
By LINDA MACK • Special to the Star Tribune
The Ultimate Boyfriend,
who turns 50 this month, celebrates
a half-century of awesomeness.
came with a stickon mustache
By KIM ODE • [email protected]
or his 50th birthday, Ken is
getting a shaving razor.
That’s how life unwinds
in doll time. While girls
who struggled to pull a crewneck
sweater over flock-haired Ken in
the 1960s went on to graduate, pay
mortgages and manage hot flashes,
Ken has been rubbing his chin,
hoping for bristles.
The result is Shaving Fun Ken,
just one part of Mattel’s birthday
celebration for the original boy toy,
who turns 50 on Friday.
Technically, he’s an accessory.
It’s true: As Barbie responded to the
jabs of bimbo-osity lobbed at her by
dressing as a surgeon, astronaut, Army Ranger, dentist and art teacher, Ken mostly modeled fashions
for the office, the beach, a date, the
beach, the fraternity and the beach.
But that also served a purpose,
enabling the Ken doll to consistently
uphold the cultural shorthand used
to describe TV anchormen, male
models, game-show hosts and John
For this, he is due the thanks of a
Short of that, he may be credited
for helping foster the good humor of
one Ken Doll of Greenwald, Minn.,
a town of less than 1 square mile
southeast of Sauk Centre.
“I tell you what, when I was
young, I went to this little country
school and I got ripped a lot about
my name,” Doll said. “I dreamed of
the day when I’d be old enough to
change my name.”
Ken’s last name
River continues on E12 Ø
Hey, hey, the
blues is all right
Ken continues on E9 Ø
Ken came with
Cali Girl Ken
broke the pukabead barrier
Ken, at 50,
gets the full
brings it all
home with the
Blue + white:
A classic color
back on top
at home E7
Family Day Activities - Sat., Mar. 12, 12-4
ould the Mississippi River upstream from the
Hennepin Avenue Bridge become a haven for
birds and animals, a magnet for residents and
recreation, and a spark for new, green jobs?
That’s the vision proposed by Tom Leader Studio
of Berkeley and Kennedy & Violich Architecture of
Boston, the team chosen last month as winner of the
Minneapolis Riverfront Design Competition. Sponsored by the Minneapolis Graphic
Park and Recreation Board and the Min- inside:
neapolis Parks Foundation, the contest A new
asked four far-flung teams to bring fresh
eyes to the largely neglected 5½ miles of
riverfront above St. Anthony Falls.
“In a competition, usually you win river E12
with a major transformative stroke,” said
landscape architect Tom Leader. “It’s not the right thing
here. The big thing is already there: It’s the river.”
Leader and Kennedy & Violich recently completed a
19-acre park in Birmingham, Ala., that’s been heralded
as the city’s “downtown living room.” Like the best of today’s urban-landscape projects, it harnesses ecological
features — wetlands and recycled materials — to create
Although Minneapolis’ once derelict Central Riverfront has been transformed by new parks, bike paths,
condos, the Guthrie Theater and Mill City Museum, the
Upper River — the portion above St. Anthony Falls — remains largely unknown territory.
culture as much
as parents do.
A local website
has advice E6
An unlikely hero picks up the torch a century
after the birth of the music’s greatest legend.
By BRITT ROBSON • Special to the Star Tribune
When Todd Park Mohr’s manager suggested that he
record an album in tribute to the 100th birthday of legendary bluesman Robert
Johnson, his first reaction
was understandably negative. Mohr, a k a Big Head
Todd, is best known for
crooning such pop songs
as “Bittersweet” with his
Colorado band Big Head
Todd and the Monsters.
“I resisted the idea kicking and screaming,” he
said. “I know a lot of guys
out there live and breathe
Robert Johnson, and I
wasn’t that familiar with
his music. I didn’t know if
I had a lot to offer.”
But less than a year later, Mohr has not only im- A concert Sunday at Orchemersed himself in John- stra Hall pays tribute to
son’s music to create a Robert Johnson, who died
proper recording for the in obscurity in 1938 but still
man’s centennial, he’s inspires musicians today.
touring with legends such
as Howlin’ Wolf guitarist Hubert Sumlin and 95-year-old
Honeyboy Edwards (who knew Johnson personally) under the name of the Big Head Blues Club. The group —
which includes Mohr’s cohorts from the Monsters plus
an assortment of new and old blues hounds — will play
Sunday at Orchestra Hall, its penultimate gig on a 21city all-blues tour.
Blues continues on E10 Ø