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Libraries seeks funds to digitize West Bank music

By April 28, 2015September 16th, 2023No Comments

Anonymous donor provides seed money, pledges matching funds

Image of Noah's Ark Live from Dania Hall, audio reel.

Audio reel: Noah’s Ark Live from Dania Hall, from the Al Haug / New Riverside Cafe Collection.

In honor of Al Haug’s birthday on May 4, the University of Minnesota Libraries is excited to announce the opportunity to make Haug’s recordings of West Bank music more readily accessible by digitizing cassette tapes, open reels, and other materials. An anonymous donor has given seed funds to start this project and has pledged a dollar-for-dollar match for additional contributions.  

Two years ago it was announced that Haug’s collection of West Bank materials was going to the Performing Arts Archives at the University of Minnesota Libraries. The collection is now fully cataloged and available for research.

This digitization project will also benefit more than Haug’s collection. Pop Wagner has a grant from the State of Minnesota to pursue similar work. As part of this work, Wagner will be working at securing rights to material (which would enable, among other things, a compilation release). By digitizing Haug’s collection, we can make a strong case for the value of related projects like this.

How you can make a tax-deductible contribution

If you would like to contribute to this project, please click on the donation button below.

Give to the Minnesota Folk Music Archives

Or, if you prefer, you may send a check to:

Minnesota Folk Music Archives/Al Haug West Bank Collection
Performing Arts Archives, University of Minnesota
213 Elmer L. Andersen Library
222 21st Ave. S.
Minneapolis MN 55455

More information

If you would like more information, please contact:

Cecily Marcus, Curator
Performing Arts Archives
University of Minnesota Libraries

About Al Haug (1948 – 2013)

Al Haug

Al Haug

Alan Haug was born May 4, 1948. He was a lifelong resident of Minneapolis, Minnesota and graduated from Roosevelt High School in the 1960s, going on to study journalism and sociology and graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Minnesota.

His affinity for music led to more than 20 years booking performers for West Bank venues such as Coffeehouse Extemporé, where he was general manager from 1976-1980, and the New Riverside Café, where he began as a collective member serving as a cook and maintenance worker in 1975.

The New Riverside Café was the first full-service vegetarian restaurant in Minneapolis, opening in 1970 and located (beginning in 1971) on the West Bank at 329 Cedar Ave. S. A collectively managed organization, “The New Riv” made all of its administrative decisions based on consensus and was dedicated to a non-profit-driven business model and community activism. The Café closed it doors in 1997.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Haug also hosted programs for KFAI Radio (90.3 and 106.7 FM) called “Walk Right In” and “Folk Roots,” highlighting lesser-known and forgotten folk performers. Additionally he played the harmonica, jug, and washboard, and was for years one of the chief organizers of the local annual Battle of the Jug Bands.

In 2010, Haug received a service award from the West Bank Community Development Corporation, for which he served in the roles of secretary, vice president, and president over a period of more than 20 years. The award acknowledged 45 years of contributions to the music scene, political activism, and community building in the Cedar-Riverside Neighborhood. Al Haug died of prostate cancer on February 2, 2013 at the age of 64.

Mark Engebretson

Author Mark Engebretson

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