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GOP to have its share of stars, too

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  • GOP convention to include celebrities, some performing, others visiting
  • Rage Against the Machine, which played in Denver, Colorado, also in Twin Cities
  • Art installations reportedly to express nonpartisanship
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(CNN) -- Now it's the Republicans' turn.


Charlie Daniels will headline a concert Wednesday in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota.

The Democrats turned out the star power for its convention in Denver, Colorado, right up to the final night, when the 80,000-strong crowd attending Sen. Barack Obama's closing speech at Invesco Field was serenaded by Sheryl Crow and Stevie Wonder, among others.

The Republican National Convention, which begins Monday in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, may not have the same oomph, but it won't lack for well-known visitors.

After mixing and mingling in Denver with Democrats, the nonpartisan Creative Coalition is scheduled to join the festivities in the Twin Cities. The organization is devoted to arts advocacy as well as issues such as health care and affordable housing. Its spokespeople include Warren Beatty, Dana Delany, Tim Daly, Giancarlo Esposito and Matthew Modine.

The group is showing a film, "14 Women," about the 14 female senators of the 109th Congress.

Creative Coalition Executive Director Robin Bronk told The Hollywood Reporter that the organization was determined to present some steak with its celebrity sizzle. Share your photos, videos from around the Republican Convention

"We have a great track record of bringing substance with splash," she said.

The group is sponsoring a Charlie Daniels Band concert on Wednesday. The Black Eyed Peas played the group's Denver show. Retail chain Target is co-sponsor of both shows.

Also in Minneapolis: a show titled "The Songwriters Circle: The Songs We Love," which will feature performances by Brett James (who wrote "Jesus, Take the Wheel") and Greg Laswell ("What a Day"), according to The show is sponsored the The Recording Academy and its GRAMMY Foundation.

Among other celebrities expected to be present are the Beach Boys -- who will be headlining a concert of their own Monday -- Gretchen Wilson and Sammy Hagar. However, one of the GOP's biggest celebrity names, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, may not make the trip. Schwarzenegger has said that state business may keep him in Sacramento.

Not every event will be sanctioned by the convention, of course. The politically active band Rage Against the Machine, which played a free show in Denver, has scheduled a Minneapolis concert, though it's far from free: Tickets are $60 for the show at the Target Center on Wednesday. Rage guitarist Tom Morello is also teaming with Steve Earle for a union rally on Labor Day.

There are also several arts-related events in a lower key. According to The New York Times, artists will be coming to Minneapolis-St. Paul to mount various forms of political theater, from creating ice sculptures to inviting the public to perform karaoke versions of convention speeches.


Though some of the exhibits will be politically pointed, organizers are careful to characterize them as nonpartisan -- and expect some unusual discourse.

"You expect people to respond by organizing a protest and throwing their fists in the air, and you also expect people to respond by flying 1,000 American flags," Sarah Peters of Minneapolis' Walker Art Center, which is taking part in that city's "UnConvention," told the Times. "And those are two legitimate ways to respond to politics, but there is a whole in-between area that doesn't get talked about."

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