Northern Arts & Culture

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.

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Public Radio 90

How does Public Radio 90 help you get through the COVID-19 pandemic?

  • Are you staying informed with local and national news from NPR?
  • Are you taking solace in beautiful music from the New York Philharmonic and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra?
  • Are you hearing entertaining programs like Wait Wait Don't Tell Me and A Way With Words?
  • Are you enjoying hearing soothing voices from hosts like Nicole Walton and Hans Ahlstrom?

Whatever your reason for listening to Public Radio 90, we want to hear from you!

The premier of the new play "Gimme Shelter" by local author Russell Thorburn was delayed because of precautions taken due to the corona virus, but I had a chance to speak with the author, cast a crew in anticipation of a future performance. You'll hear from Thorburn, Tiina Harris, Endla Harris, Chris Leith, Chet DeFonso and Jeremy Morelock.

Although the original premier performance was cancelled, Thorburn says they are looking into setting up a 'live' online performance in the near future.

This time on the Bonifas Arts Update, Kurt Hauswirth speaks with Executive Director Sue Roll about events in March and April 2020.

Many new music releases are about a style, an artist, or a particular composer. The Poetry of Places seems to promote a kind of spatial awareness through the process of creating and listening to new music.

Nadia Shpachenko spent some time talking about her new album for Public Radio 90 on Classiclectic:

Kurt Hauswirth / Public Radio 90

It's time to hear some music from the Wildcats! Radio X WUPX (the student-run radio station on Northern Michigan University's campus) is holding a contest for student musicians. It's a brand new contest that offers students with talent an opportunity to showcase their musicianship.

Students have until February 29th to submit a video; the videos will be judged throughout March by students and Radio X staff. The finalists will compete in a round of judging during the final showcase performance on April 9th.

Niikah Hatfield from WUPX came to Public Radio 90 to spread the word about the contest:

The Calumet Theatre

The Calumet Theatre has a rich history, dating back to their first production of the narrative poem The Highwayman, March 20th, 1900. Since then, the theatre (along with the village of Calumet) saw boom and bust with the copper mining industry that dominated the local economy. Now, over a century later, The Calumet Theatre still exists, and is preparing for their 120th Anniversary Celebration.

To celebrate, they've invited former Copper Country resident musician Erik Koskinen to return and perform, coinciding with the 2020 Theatre Season Reveal Event.

We spoke with Executive Director Marlin Lee about the direction the theatre is taking with this busy anniversary season in mind: / Superior Arts Youth Theater

We all need a safe space sometimes, whether it is a quiet place where you can get some reading done, or a person you can turn to that understands what you're going through. "Matilda" is a story all about escape, finding a safe place from oppressive adults, and the magic that can come from hope. Based upon the original 1988 story by Roald Dahl (and subsequent 1996 film), "Matilda the Musical" is a stage musical from 2010 which explores those themes through song and dance, and is the next production from Marquette County's Superior Arts Youth Theater.

Director Susan Candey came to Public Radio 90 to speak more about the production and what opportunities it brings to youth in our area:

Kurt Hauswirth / Public Radio 90

MARQUETTE -- Bring the whole family to the Marquette Symphony Orchestra's Sing with the Symphony family pops concert! It's Saturday, Feb. 22 at 3:00 p.m. at Kaufman Auditorium.

The performance will feature the five finalists from the MSO's first Sing with the Symphony competition. Curt Kowalski, Jacob Laitinen, Gabrielle McNally, Leslie Parkkonen and Olivia Wachnicki will each perform with the orchestra backing them up. The five singers won the MSO's contest in September with vocal pieces from different genres.

Octavio Mas-Arocas, Principal Conductor of the Marquette Symphony Orchestra, came to Public Radio 90 to converse with Classiclectic host Kurt Hauswirth about the concert:

The Marquette Area Blues Society and the Ore Dock Brewing Co are presenting bluesman Larry McCray tomorrow night at the Ore Dock.

I had a chance to speak with Larry on the phone the other day… and we talked about growing up with music… the politics and promotions of the business… and his recent appearance on the annual Blues Cruise

Larry McCray is playing tomorrow night at the Ore Dock Brewing co from 7-10pm, brought to you by the Ore Dock and the Marquette Area Blues Society.

visit his website at

Kurt Hauswirth / Public Radio 90

Managing a nonprofit is challenging; Cedric Calhoun is here to help. "Essentials of Nonprofit Management" is a two-part lunch and learn series, held at Northern Michigan University's Northern Center, to highlight current best practices, lessons learned from the field, and trends in effective nonprofit management. Cedric, a Certified Association Executive with over 20 years experience, will present the two workshop sessions, with an eye towards helping nonprofits of all sizes and kinds take away something practical for their organization.

Cedric was our guest at Public Radio 90 and spoke with Kurt Hauswirth about his experience, challenges and growth areas for nonprofits, the bigger picture, collaborative efforts and more: