Arts & Culture Interviews

Hosts Hans Ahlstrom and Kurt Hauswirth discuss what is happening in the area regarding arts, music and cultural events in and around the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

*Link to submit arts & culture features via voice memos/recorders here*

The Hiawatha Music Co-op's 2019 Fall Master Artist Concert and Workshop takes place tonight and tomorrow. The duo is the husband and wife team of Paul Brown and Terri McMurray. Public Radio 90's Hans Ahlstrom spoke with Paul Brown about the traditional music of North Carolina and southern Virginia he and Terri are bringing to our area.

The concert is tonight at 7pm at the Peter White Public Library. The workshop is tomorrow from 10-11:30am at the Hiawatha Music Co-op office in the Village Shopping Center.

Public Radio 90

Everyone has a body, and the discussions on body autonomy, respect for your own body and others, and the differences in all of our bodies along the spectrum only continue to develop over time.  NMU Theatre and Dance address these kinds of issues and also offer opportunities for students to express themselves and speak on these issues through the medium of theatre with their production of The Full Monty (running Oct. 11-19, 2019).

The film from 1997 is the inspiration for the musical version, and is all about a group of down-on-their-luck, unemployed gentlemen who take it upon themselves to not only get employment, but also take control of their bodies and their body images, after finding out that the Chippendales' striptease act is something that appeals to certain members of the opposite sex.

Without giving away the full monty, the director of NMU Theatre and Dance Bill Digneit came to our studios to talk a little about the plot and themes of the show, but also the opportunities the show affords the community and campus populations:

American cellist Ashley Bathgate "...wanted a modern-day suite that could hold its own among the epic works that already exist in the repertoire." She is speaking about her debut solo album ASH, out September 27, 2019 from New Amsterdam Records.  Formerly a member of the Bang on a Can All-Stars (a sextet of classical and alternative classical musicians which began as an ensemble in 1992), Ashley has left the ensemble to explore performance and recording on her own.  The product of years of work (and collaboration with the living composer group "Sleeping Giant"), ASH is a modern-day take on the cello suites of the past, such as J.S. Bach's or Britten's, but this is different than one composer writing the entire work; there are six individual composers who each collaborated and wrote a movement of the six cello pieces featured on ASH.

Ashley was available to speak with Kurt Hauswirth about the album, the collaborative process, and the mindset behind the compositions and performances:

Water Rising is the October-long event that marries art with environmental concerns.  The Cedar Tree Institute and the interfaith Northern Great Lakes Water Stewards are teaming up with other local art and environmental organizations to present this unique art collaboration.  One of the local art organizations is the Fresh Coast Film Festival, which takes place concurrently.

Tiina Harris, director of the City of Marquette Arts & Culture Center, came to Public Radio 90 to speak about a special film installation at the Center, that will also have its screening premiere at the Fresh Coast Film Festival, along with a special artist talk:


Local author and poet Russ Thorburn speaks with Public Radio 90's Hans Ahlstrom about several projects, including the imminent release of the recording from the Poe Transformed performance last January; preparations for a performance of a new play called "Bomb Shelter" coming next winter; and, the release of a new anotholgy from Michigan State Press called "Respect: The Poetry of Detroit Music" included in which is a poem by Thorburn.

Cedille Records

The legendary guitarist Sharon Isbin and Pacifica Quartet join forces for "Souvenirs of Spain & Italy," which includes works for guitar and strings by Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Vivaldi, and Boccherini.

Souvenirs of Spain & Italy, an uncommon album of music for strings and guitar from the Baroque to the mid-20th century. Available August 23, 2019 on Cedille Records (CDR 90000 190), the program spotlights Italian-born composers influenced by Spanish idioms. Hear an interview between Sharon Isbin and Classiclectic host Kurt Hauswirth, all about the new release:

Kurt Hauswirth / Public Radio 90

The Marquette Spectacle is an outdoor performance of grand proportions steeped in local culture; a celebration of community and art through pageantry, art installations, pop-up performances, percussion, theatrical dance and a street parade, inclusive and accessible for all ages and abilities.

The event returns after a year off (due to Art Center renovations) with a refreshed vision of what a community spectacle can be.  This past spring the Spectacle's vision was refreshed, reinvented and re-branded to include more than just Halloween frights, and cultivate a higher level of creativity and participation.

The event includes a parade down Washington Street, departing from the Marquette Commons to Harlow Park.  The park itself will include over 50 performances, art installations, live music and food trucks.  The evening concludes at sunset with a finale of dance and fire.

Kurt Hauswirth (also a participating performer this year) spoke with Niikah Hatfield (Artistic Director) and Tiina Harris (City of Marquette Arts & Culture Center Manager) all about this revamped spectacle:

The Crystal Theatre

Fall is in the air in the Upper Peninsula, where we start to get cozy, go apple picking, hit as many events before the snow starts flying.  That's the plan at The Crystal Theatre, where in October, they have a full schedule of events before they wind down for the season.

Beethoven & Banjos returns for the fifth annual cross-genre music festival, Sunday October 6 at 2pm.  This collaboration between members of Decoda (Carnegie Hall's affiliate ensemble) and a folk ensemble brings artistic director Evan Premo's vision to The Crystal Theatre again, with sister Laurel Premo.

The Crystal's "Legend" series brings country music icon Lee Greenwood to the stage Friday October 11th at 7pm.  Greenwood has more than 30 albums to his credit, including the hit "God Bless the U.S.A."

The following Saturday, October 12th, brings classical pianist Trevor Stephenson & Friends to The Crystal Theatre, performing the original arrangements of American masterworks (music for piano and vocal quartet), with the Madison Bach Musicians.

Angie Dohl (manager of The Crystal Theatre) spoke with Kurt Hauswirth about their busy October lineup:

Kurt Hauswirth / Public Radio 90

Several events and collaborations are taking place in October 2019 revolving around art, writing, water stewardship and community engagement for Water Rising, a joining of artists Garth Evans and Leila Philip.  The Michigan Humanities Council allowed a grant for the effort, which includes connecting workshops and events from the artists with the Fresh Coast Film Festival, Marquette Arts & Culture Center, the NMU Art & Design program and more.

Pasqua Warstler, Tiina Harris and Abbie Hanson joined Kurt Hauswirth in studio to discuss how these events come together:

Kurt Hauswirth / Public Radio 90

Brian Kakas is a professor of Art & Design at Northern Michigan University (Ceramics).  He came to Public Radio 90 to talk about the Art & Design department's Visiting Artists program, which will include artists from the large collaborative effort Water Rising

The artists are Garth Evans (sculptor, whose work is included in major public collections, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Modern Art) & Leila Philip (author and poet, including the books The Road Through Miyama and A Family Place: A Hudson Valley Farm, Three Centuries, Five Wars, One Family).  The two artists have the opportunity to collaborate with local organizations and non-profits to extend a message of stewardship for the environment, through works of art and writing. 

Their schedule includes an exhibit at the City of Marquette Arts & Culture Center, workshops involving response to the Environment, collaboration with the Fresh Coast Film Festival, and the Visiting Artist series at NMU.