Meet Josh Duffee's vocalist Linnea Saddler

Linnea Saddler - A native of the Quad Cities area, Linnea has been involved in vocal music for most of her life. She “brought down the house” with her solo, “These Are My Children” in the Moline High School production of “Fame.” She’s currently music director at her church, sings professionally part-time, and teaches vocal strategy, technique and performance. Linnea gains strength from music and her faith, and shares those passions with her 3 children.

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Josh Duffee in Concert with his Big Band Friday, July 12 and Saturday, July 13

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Josh Duffee - Based in Davenport, Iowa, Josh has been living his dream of being a professional musician and band leader for the past 20 years. He is a featured artist at jazz festivals and concerts world-wide, but his love for the Hackensack area brings him back each year. He's an accomplished jazz historian and is considered by the families of musical greats like Louis Bellson, Bix Beiderbecke, and Jean Goldkette to be a personal friend. Josh will also entertain you Friday and Saturday evenings by relaying stories about the famous First Ladies of Song and their music.

Do not miss this show! Josh Duffee and his Big Band return to Hackensack July 12 and 13

Josh Duffee and his Big band return to Hackensack with an energetic two night festival. “The First Ladies of Song” - the iconic female vocalists of the Big Band Era, such as Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James, Peggy Lee and Anita O’Day just to name a few will be portrayed by guest vocalist Linnea Saddler. This is a show that will be different each night singing between 20 - 25 vocals between the two nights. Not to be missed is the fan favorite - The drum performances by band leader Josh Duffee who will be performing on one of the drum sets owned by famed drummer Louie Bellson, who played with the likes of Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey and Duke Ellington. Tickets on sale now.

Josh Duffee and his Big Band Return!

For the fifth summer, Josh Duffee and his big band return to Hackensack for a two day music festival July 12th and 13th at 7:30pm at the Hackensack Community Building. This year the spotlight shines on “The First Ladies of Song”, the female vocalists of the Big Band Era, who include Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James, Peggy Lee and Anita O'Day. Each night the shows will feature different music. Guest vocalist for both performances will be Linnea Saddler, Duffee's classmate at Moline High School, Moline, IL.  Another music festival highlight will be drum performances by Josh Duffee, band leader and professional percussionist. He will perform on one of the drum sets owned by famed Louie Bellson.

“First Ladies of Song” tickets are now available at Southside Fuel Plus, Swanson's Bait and Gas in Hackensack, the Flea Market at Sacred Heart Church on July 10th, and on the NAC website  Tickets sell quickly so you are encouraged to get your tickets early. 

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Congratulations to our 23rd Annual Art & Book Festival Winners!

Thank you to all the attendees to our 23rd Annual Art & Book Festival. All the artists and authors were thrilled with our attendance. We worked very hard behind the scenes this year to bring you a bigger and better Festival. 



Congratulations Winners!

Spirit of the North

1st Place - Jim Knutson - Kolodzne - American Indian Center

2nd Place - Don Houseman - Stuff on Paper

Most Creative

1st Place - Lynn Fisher - KaJo Inscriptions

2nd Place - Heidi Tretbar - Heidi's Renewed Rubbish

Best of Show

Becky and Bob Seeman - Artwoods Creative Jewelry and Wood


Honk-honk! The MN Art Truck is rolling into Hackensack for Saturday's Festival!


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You’re hungry. Hungry for something different. Hungry for something that will feed you for the distance.

When the Minnesota Art Truck pulls up to Northwoods Art & Book Festival, you will have a whole new adventure to savor. Yes, they are food trucks. For your soul.

It will be stocked with a delicious assortment of art from Midwest artists, the Minnesota Art Truck delivers loads of something for everyone. Not only will they satisfy your cravings, Matt Swenson ower of the MN Art Truck also poured over student entries from Northland Community School in Remer and WHA High School in Walker. Matt will be announcing the winners of our student art contest @ 2:30 in front of Baxter (Minnesota Art Truck). Be sure to be there to support our awesome student artists and view all of the amazing entries. Congratulations to all the winners.

You can also fuel up on Facebook and Instagram by following @MNArtTruck.

Meet Anthony Swann


Anthony Swann has been many things.  A chef on a travel train, owner, and operator of a jazz-infused coffee shop, an art enthusiast, an avid world traveler, a friend to many and a lover of life. Through it all, he's written poetry.  His love of poetry and literature was inspired by a high school English teacher and has been constant and strong ever since.  His first full book of original poetry, Paint with Words.

Paint with Words, a book of poetry features twenty hand-picked poems by him from a vast repertoire of poetry written during his lifetime. According to his mentor and teacher, Dr. Carol Ann Russell, “I believe it is an indivisible love—of words, song, art, and jazz-which makes Anthony Swann unique as a poet.” She continues,  “The reality is that Anthony Swann is a rebel outside and inside of time. His wonderings across America have not just been highways, but ley lines and his ear is a human ear, his heart our beating heart.” Anthony has written poetry most of his life and is very adept at reading it. He was born in 1942 and grew up in Crosslake, Minnesota. After attending college, he lived in Minneapolis where he co-founded a jazz coffeehouse called the Broken Drum. He now lives in Bemidji, Minnesota, where he is active in the arts community and has served on the boards of several arts organizations.

Meet Rosemary Vaughn

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Born and raised on the Canadian prairies, Rosemary Vaughn immigrated with her family to the northern plains of the United States in the mid-1970s. A former professor of Teacher Education, Rosemary has drawn on her experiences in education and having lived on the islands in her debut award-winning novel Love on the Misty Isles. Currently spending summers among the pines of Minnesota and winters in palm-studded Florida, Rosemary has adopted the title of Pine to Palm Writer. Visit Rosemary at her website:

Love on the Misty Isles

The rugged, pristine beauty of the former Queen Charlotte Islands off the northwest coast of Canada forms the back drop for Love on the Misty Isles, a novel in three parts. The twists and turns of the plot revolve around three intertwining love stories that cross generations, cultures, and borders. The characters form a family of sorts in this remote community. Officially named Haida Gwaii, the islands are home to the proud and talented Haida First Nation for whom the environment is very important. “Love,” therefore, in the title refers to more than just romantic love. It is love of culture, the environment, and the familial love of friends. It is a story of love, life, death, loyalty, betrayal, and forgiveness.

Rosemary participated in the 2017 Northwoods Art and Book Festival, which she found very well organized and the attendants very helpful. She also enjoyed the interaction with other authors and being at an event where  the visitors were truly interested in books and talking about them.  


Meet Jason Willis

Jason Lee Willis is an author who teaches high school English, indigenous studies, creative writing, and mythology, but every morning during the school year, he wakes up at five a.m. to write a thousand words. Jason grew up in South Dakota and currently lives in Minnesota, where he lives the life of a hobbit by gardening, writing, walking around barefoot, wearing vests, fishing, and going on adventures with his wife Julie.


The Fire Handler

1897: In the pine forests of central Minnesota lives the surviving family of the Wijigan Clan, a branch of the Chippewa Indian nation that has survived a cross-continent exodus to arrive at their destination--Lake Manitou. Yet at the turn of the 19th Century, the United States government is trying to remove the Chippewa from prime logging lands through extortion and mandated boarding schools. Lily Asibikaashi, who lives a simple life with her mother and younger brother, has already rejected her culture and wants to become a public school teacher. But when her brother is forcibly taken to a distant boarding school, Lily becomes the last link between the mysterious past and unfulfilled prophecy. Despite her misgivings, Lily is trained as a Wabeno, a Fire Handler, and is given secrets others are willing to murder to discover. If her family is to survive, Lily will have to choose between past and future, duty and dream, faith and family. 1988: Stories of a horned serpent that lives below the lake are still told around campfires, but for Levi MacPherson, his nightmares warn him some of the old legends might be true. To learn about his past, he seeks out his great-grandmother Lily, who seems to be clinging to life just to share her stories. Lily teaches him about the Seven Fires Prophecies, the magic of the Dream Catcher, and his darkest family secrets. She also reveals that her power as a Fire Handler accidentally woke the evil Manitou, and to fully defeat it, Levi must also be trained as she once was by her grandfather. Will Levi destroy the centuries-old prophecy, or will he fulfill it?

Meet Gene Stark

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Bringing the Word of Life to the 1870s Minnesota Wilderness Historical fiction author tracks the exciting life of an 1870s circuit riding missionary. 

CASTLE ROCK, COLORADO, June 27, 2018 – Dropped from a stagecoach into the harsh, yet beautiful wilderness of western Minnesota in 1874, Pastor August Hertwig faces isolation, severe weather, and extreme physical hardship. Yet God leads him to the love of his life in the strong, determined Elizabeth and together they forge and amazing ministry. "During the 1870s western Minnesota was on the edge of a changing civilization. An aura of excitement and danger prevailed as immigrants flooded into the area," said author Gene Stark. (CrossLink Publishing, 2018, $16.95, available at (CrossLink Publishing, 2018, $16.95, available at "I had never wondered before if I would see another summer. Yet on that day the question crossed my mind." The frontier town of Alexandria, Minnesota in 1874, attracted immigrants longing for land and freedom. Yet the newcomers to this wild, beautiful, and dangerous landscape needed the stability, love, and peace found in the Word of Life. Pastor August Hertwig, called to this ministry and dropped from a stagecoach into a stunning yet hostile place, faced isolation, severe weather, and plagues of locusts as he struggled to bring the permanence of Church and Faith to settlers striving to carve out a life in this new land. God led him to the love of his life in the strong, determined Elizabeth and together, in faith, they forged a powerful ministry based on the eternal Word and manifested in vibrant Christian congregations. Pastor Hertwig tells his own story of immigration which takes him from his childhood Germany to the very "ends of the earth." Traveling on foot and by horse, his ministry covered several counties where he started sixteen congregations, many of which still exist today. "God in a God-Forsaken Land" is a journey of faith and adventure in 1870s pioneer Minnesota. Historical fiction author tracks the exciting life of an 1870s circuit riding missionary. Historical fiction author tracks the exciting life of an 1870s circuit riding missionary.

Meet Candace Simar


Candace Simar is a writer and poet from Pequot Lakes, Minnesota, in the heart of Lake Country. As a life-long Minnesotan, the grandchild of immigrants, Candace nurtures a passion for Minnesota History. She is the author of the Spur Award-winning Abercrombie Trail Series that combines Candace's love of history intertwined with stories of her Scandinavian heritage. 
"Birdie", part of the Abercrombie Series, received the 2012 Spur Award for best juvenile fiction and is set in the west. "Blooming Prairie", also part of the series, was honored as a finalist for the 2013 Spur Award. "Farm Girls" was co-written with her sister, Angela F. Foster, a memoir written in poetry and prose that celebrates growing up on a Minnesota dairy farm “Shelterbelts” chronicles the life of a community struggling to return to normal after war, “Dear Homefolks” a collection which includes frontier stories, memoir pieces, poetry, several pieces set in modern times.

Candace’s latest book “ Escape to Fort Abercrombie.” a YA novel set in the 1850’s at the time of the Great Sioux Uprising, a tale of a young boy who is caught in the middle of the tragedy and havoc, and must save his siblings as they try to get to safety. 

Jerry Raedeke -Watercolorist


Jerry Raedeke comes to Northwoods Art & Book Festival with a distinguished past. The renowned wildlife and landscape artists paintings have been shown at major wildlife exhibitions in the nation and have received many prestigious awards. Ducks Unlimited Artist of the Year in 6 states including Minnesota. Wildlife mugs with a Raedeke design appeared regularly on television’s, “Northern Exposure”,  and in several movies. Anheuser-Busch commissioned  Raedeke to paint the World-Famous Budweiser Clydesdales in a wildlife setting. He has been in documentaries on public television... Jerry’s list of accomplishments is long and honorable.

Raedeke’s love of the outdoors has also drawn him to conservation. Over his career, he has donated roughly 85,000 prints and over 150 original paintings, with proceeds going towards conservation efforts. He has raised over $5 million for Ducks Unlimited, which is just one of the organizations he works with.

Are you a collector of Jerry's work? He would love to visit with you, and if not, you may become one. Don't miss his collection in the Community Center this Saturday, August 11, from 9-3.

Hackensack's Bill Kennedy brings Kids games to the Festival


The Hackensack Children's Fishing Contest is proud to be working with the Northwoods Arts Council Festival this year.  We will be running various kids games to be played in the baseball fields next to the community center.  The events will a free will offering to play them, and the proceeds will go towards the "Save the Pier" project at the Birch Lake Dock.  This project is a restoration of the sea wall.  This is the wall that holds the earth up around the peninsula before you reach the DNR dock.  We are in the final stages of securing the funding for this project and look forward to its completion in the Fall.  Please consider bringing your kids to the Arts Festival and we can help entertain them and raise funds too.  Visit our website at or to find out more about our contest or to browse photos of our event.  

Welcome back Barbara Schlichting!


Barbara Schlichting has always been dreamer, so she writes books. She likes to wander through bookstores and fall in love with fictional characters. She also loves to travel and has had an English penpal for about fifty-five years. Barbara is the author of the First Ladies Dollhouse mystery series, historical fiction as well as picture books and poetry. She has several short stories published. Originally from Minneapolis, she and her family moved further north to Bemidji, MN. The First Lady mystery series is set in downtown Minneapolis. The protagonist, Liv and her husband, Aaron, own the Dollhouse Store. Liv is a distant descendant of First Lady Dolley Madison. Using historical clues, visiting historical sites, talking to her miniature dolls and rearranging the White Houses, and customer inquiries, the reader learns a little bit of history. Historical characters make Modern history. I have attended the Art and Book Festival a number of times and enjoyed it. It’s a great chance for me to meet my readers, and that’s what writing is about. Thank you for giving me the chance to express my thanks for being a fan.

Meet Donna Salli


Donna Salli writes in multiple genres – poetry, fiction, essays, and drama. Her debut novel, A notion of Pelicans (North Star Press, 2016), is set on the North Shore of Lake Superior. Her book weaves together the voices and stories of women who attend the same church but who handle their life struggles differently. Donna lives in Brainerd, where she taught English at Central Lakes College until her recent retirement. She looks forward to talking with book lovers in Hackensack!

Start your morning at our Festival with a sample from Kaffee Havn

Most of our employees live at Stille Havn Hus, our residential care facility. We believe in the therapeutic value of employment. Stille Havn Hus’ residents use the opportunities that our cottage industry provides as one of their good reasons to get up in the morning. We believe they help us make the kind of coffee that will inspire you to start your day with a purpose as well!

Most of our employees live at Stille Havn Hus, our residential care facility. We believe in the therapeutic value of employment. Stille Havn Hus’ residents use the opportunities that our cottage industry provides as one of their good reasons to get up in the morning. We believe they help us make the kind of coffee that will inspire you to start your day with a purpose as well!

Meet Bing Puddlepot

In front of the MN Art Truck.


Presents his book in front of the MN Art Truck the tale of Jimmy Jonny Brownie, bedtimes and natural consequences.  
You see, Jimmy Jonny Brownie did not particularly like bedtimes.  It would be wonderful, he truly believed, to stay up all night. With the approval of some rather clever parents, he does just that.
The following day, his good friend Ellie Knelly comes over to play, and you'll just have to read the book to find out what happens next.
I wrote this book because most everyone likes to stay up and play when they should be in bed.  I also know kids have the ability to make staggeringly smart decisions--they often just lack experience.  And sometimes as parents, we need to give kids the chance to create "experience" for themselves, or, in lieu of that, read them a good book.
- Bing Puddlepot