North House Folk School’s Unplugged X: Featuring Mountain Stage

Grand Marais’ North House Folk School will celebrate the tenth anniversary of its premier music event, Unplugged: The Northern Harvest, with a Minnesota first: national radio show Mountain Stage will record two shows during the event Sept 15-18, 2011.

Mountain Stage is a dynamic and highly-successful radio show that features live music in the folk, roots and Americana traditions. It is listened to be audiences worldwide – the show is produced by West Virginia Public Broadcasting and distributed by NPR. While on the North House campus, they will record two separate radio shows Thursday and Friday nights. Culminating the weekend will be Saturday night’s Featured Unplugged Performance.

“Mountain Stage is very excited to be a part of the tenth anniversary celebration of the North House Folk School’s music offerings,” said Mountain Stage host Larry Groce. “The integrity of the North House Folk School is well established, the site is one of the
most beautiful spots in North America and the songwriter-in-the-round series, under the artistic direction of our friend (and very successful songwriter) Jon Vezner, has been superb. Getting involved with this is a no brainer for us and we hope you will be there for the two shows we will record in Grand Marais this September.”

Unplugged was started by Grammy award winning songwriter Jon Vezner ten years ago. The event began as an educational endowment fundraiser for the School and has now grown to become a vibrant, multi-dimensional weekend that celebrates music, craft and community on the shores of Lake Superior.

International-known singer/songwriters in an intimate setting on the North Shore are the hallmark of Unplugged. Past performers include Kathy Mattea, Michael McDonald, John Gorka, Dougie MacLean, Michael Johnson and many others. Each Mountain Stage Show will feature five different performers.

“Mountain Stage’s involvement with Unplugged X is a fitting affirmation of Jon Vezner’s vision to nurture the success of a young and aspiring non-profit called North House,” said North House Executive Director Greg Wright. “Mountain Stage’s passion for the craft of music and the arts meshes perfectly with North House’s mission and draws attention to the region’s rich tradition of the arts.”

Groce echoed that sentiment.

“We also look forward to working with our good friends at WTIP in Grand
Marais and KUMD in Duluth, who have brought Mountain Stage’s radio program to the area for many years,” he said. “We are proud and grateful to be included in their lineup of fine programs.”

Two lead sponsors have already stepped forward to help make the event possible, The Minnesota State Arts Board’s Arts Tour Minnesota Program and the Iron Range Resources Culture and Tourism Program.

Tickets for all three Unplugged concerts will be available for purchase on July 1. Event details, performer links and other weekend highlights are available at – updates will be posted monthly. More information about Mountain Stage is available at


Kate Watson, Communications Manager
North House Folk School
PO Box 759,
Grand Marais, MN 55604
fax 218-387-9706

North House Folk School Named State Treasure by Star Tribune

In good news for Grand Marais and North House Folk School, North House was named a State Treasure by the Star Tribune. Appearing on the front page of the Sunday, Dec. 12 Star Tribune Travel Section, the article began saying, “The spirit of the north infuses every subject offered at this gem of a folk school in Grand Marais.” It went on to provide information about the classes and activities offered at the school.

“It’s a wonderful affirmation of the vision, determination and generosity that so many people have shared with North House over the years,” said Greg Wright, North House’s executive director. “It raises awareness about the rich tradition of the arts that defines Grand Marais and makes it a shining star in the north.


Kerri Westenberg, editor of the Travel Section and author of the article said the newspaper began the State Treasures feature last year.

“We’re really trying to highlight special places in the state–places that we can be proud of that are uniquely Minnesotan,” Westenberg said. “North House is a very unique place with a great mission. It’s unlike any other place in the state that I’m aware of.


Other Minnesota sites that have been named State Treasures include the Soudan Underground Mine State Park, Naniboujou Lodge, and Itasca State Park.



Kate Watson