Walker Art Center's Music and Movies series enters a new era


The Walker Art Center has a new lobby, new restaurant, and soon it will have a new Minneapolis Sculpture Garden with iconic pieces rivaling Spoonbridge and Cherry. They're also making some major changes to their popular Summer Music and Movies series.

After 38 years of summertime movies in Loring Park, the museum is doing things a little differently this season.

In the past, the weekly event has hosted local bands, who performed as the sun set in Loring Park across the street. After dark, the movie -- usually themed with a current exhibition at the museum -- would start up. 

This year's cinema celebration will take place on one evening in August, as the Walker will invite people to sit on the museum's grassy hill and watch silent-film selections from '20s by Dada artists Hans Richter and Viking Eggeling.

The works will feature an original soundtrack -- commissioned by the Walker -- by Ryan Olson (Polica, Gayngs) performed by the Marijuana Deathsquads.

The event, dubbed Sound for Silents: Film + Music, takes a page from the Music and Movies series, which ends each run with a silent film set to a live score.

“For the last six years, [the last night of the series has] been an exceptional chance for local composers to stretch artistically and create original new music for this singular event," says Doug Benidt, associate curator for performing arts. "... the artists now help us select the films from the Walker collection, it’s a nicely organic collaboration that’s uniquely satisfying for all.”

Sound for Silents will take place on the Rock the Garden hill (the Walker's west side) on Thursday, August 17 at dusk (8:30-9ish). Admission will be free, as is tradition.

While the Walker has made some major changes in the past few years (it no longer hosts the Internet Cat Video Fest, for example), its summer lineup still holds some beloved happenings, including the return of Rock the Garden to the hill, and the artsy mini-golf is back on the ground after spending last year set up on the terraces of the building.