Meow-za: The Internet Cat Video Festival turns four

Tardar Sauce, the Grumpy Cat
Tardar Sauce, better known as Internet sensation Grumpy Cat, made a rare appearance on stage at the Minnesota State Fair as part of the 2013 Internet Cat Video Festival.
Nikki Tundel | MPR News 2013

Calling all cat lovers: The Walker Art Center's fourth annual Internet Cat Video Festival is tonight — and it promises to be claw-some.

The festival will include the hottest cat videos of the meow-ment, curated by feline aficionado Will Braden. Braden is the creator of the Henri Le Chat Noir videos and a previous recipient of the festival's Golden Kitty Award.

The festival began in 2012 as an experiment on the lawn outside the Walker Art Center. 10,000 people showed up, paw-sitively packing the park. The next year, the festival took over the grandstand at the Minnesota State Fair. After a return to the Walker in 2014, the festival moves to a new location tonight: CHS Field in Lowertown, St. Paul.

The roughly 100 cat videos that will be shown tonight aren't all comedy: The categories include Drama, Animated, Musical, Action, Vintage and Documentary. One lucky cat will pad away with the 2015 Golden Kitty award.

Other events at the festival include Meow Moves Yoga (how cathletic are you?), face-painting and a "Dress as Your Cat" costume contest.

Braden has tailored the video line-up for both cat enthusiasts and those who have been purr-suaded to attend.

"I want to make it so that if you don't know anything about cat videos, and you just get dragged there by your spouse or your kid or whatever, you'll still have a good time, I guarantee it," Braden said. "But if you are a fanatic, and you think you have seen every funny cat video from this past year, you are still going to find things you haven't seen before."

Megan Leschinsky, 7, draws whiskers
Megan Leschinsky, 7, drew whiskers on her mother's face with a makeup pencil before the start of the Internet Cat Video Festival.
Nikki Tundel | MPR News 2013

What's behind the cat video phenomenon? Local publisher Coffee House Press attempts to answer that question in the new book, "Cat Is Art Spelled Wrong." The book includes fourteen writers musing on the modern fascination with cat videos and how technology has changed the definition of art. The press will be selling copies of the book tonight, complete with limited edition laser pointers.

Organizers expect more than 10,000 people to attend, so if you want to get a good seat, get in fe-line.

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