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.

*Voice Memo Recording Instructions*

This time on the Bonifas Arts Update, we look ahead to 2021, with exhibits, events and classes in January and beyond. Hear about it all in conversation with Sue Roll, Special Events at the Bonifas:


City of Marquette Arts & Culture Center

Artists have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in ways that threaten their livelihood, with cancellations of art fairs and holiday events pulling business away that they rely on. In the greater Marquette county area, there is an effort to help those artists.

The City of Marquette Arts & Culture Division presents “Handcrafted Holidays”, a free, interactive gift guide featuring over fifty local artists. This guide serves as a single source for online shoppers who want handmade gifts, high quality art, and to support their local economy. Artists are listed with links to their online shops to ensure easy, contactless shopping this holiday season.

Handcrafted Holidays includes a variety of art forms such as: fine art, music, literary art, home decor, photography, and more.  There is also an interactive map to local brick & mortar creative storefronts and frame shops.

We spoke with Tiina Morin, manager of the City of Marquette Arts & Culture Center about the guide, how to use it, and who it supports:

Wikimedia Commons

"A Dickens of a Month" is coming at Peter White Public Library. It's a celebration of the author and his timeless holiday classic A Christmas Carol. But, it's about more than that; it's a series of events to help you celebrate the season, learn more about the author, hear from writers and historians, and help those who need help the most.

There are four events in "A Dickens of a Month":

All four events are online in the month of December, 2020. We heard more about these events from Marty Achatz, local poet and Adult Programming Coordinator for the Peter White Public Library in this interview with Public Radio 90's Kurt Hauswirth:

Marquette Choral Society

Marquette Choral Society and Public Radio 90 invite you to celebrate the season with a fun, safe and festive event: A Sing-Along Messiah!

Choirs are missing singing together due to Covid safety and health concerns, and gatherings are considered unsafe during the pandemic. A solution to these issues is a collaborative, online event, that allows for a safe (online) gathering, and a way to sing and be merry together!

Public Radio 90 was approached by the Marquette Choral Society for this collaboration, and WNMU-FM's Kurt Hauswirth spoke with Sarah Rimkus, Marquette Choral Society's Publicity Chair, and discuss what the event is, how to participate, and what you need:

The history of flight is full of trial errors; from the stories of Daedalus and Icarus planning escape with wax and feathers, to The Wright Brothers' first successful airplane, human flight has been a dream for humanity for many years.

That's what composer Christopher Tin's latest album, To Shiver the Sky, is all about. An "oratorio about the history of flight and mankind's quest to conquer the heavens," ...Sky tells a story of the evolution of this quest for flight, to reach higher than the earthbound. Throughout this album (featuring guest artists such as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Opera Chorus, Danielle de Niese and more), the evolution of flight is paired with the evolution of Western classical music. The album's story is told through the perspective of eleven historical figures, a "who's who" of "astronomers, inventors, visionaries and pilots."

Classiclectic host Kurt Hauswirth spoke with Christopher about his album, and how it relates to humanity's efforts to keep trying, even through adversity:

Need some holiday plans that are safe, socially distanced and family-friendly? Find out about what's happening at the Bonifas Arts Center in Escanaba in this Bonifas Arts Update, in a conversation with Public Radio 90's Kurt Hauswirth and Sue Roll, Special Projects at the Bonifas.

In this update, you'll hear about classes that help you learn how to make Christmas Biscotti with Lizzy LaFave, and an Art Party with Staci Berg. There is also information about Northern Exposure XXVII, which is an exhibit of a wide variety of contemporary art open for viewing at the Bonifas. Plus, you can mark your calendar for special events such as the Virtual Holiday Art Fair and Family Fun Night.

Hear about these events and more in our latest Bonifas Arts Update:

Clear Lake Education Center

Clear Lake Education Center is located in Manistique, MI, and provides educational opportunities that are outdoors and connected to lessons taught in schools. The programs offered are based on scientific and classroom standards, while also being immersive, hands-on and outdoors. 

Mimi Klotz is the director of Clear Lake, and is sharing information about how the center is helping students make connections between their education and the outdoors. In the time of Covid and distance learning, students and families may need options for outdoor, socially-distanced learning opportunities.

Hear more about the Clear Lake Education Center, the Clear Lake Stewards Group (which supports the center), and how they are participating in the Grow and Lead: Community and Youth Development #give906 Giving Tuesday initiative, in this conversation with the director of the center:

Zero Degrees Gallery is a cooperative of over forty established and emerging local artists, who exhibit and sell their work through the gallery. The arts are very important in the Upper Great Lakes, and Zero Degrees offers an eclectic blend, right in our neck of the woods in downtown Marquette. They are celebrating their tenth anniversary as a gallery, and they also are hosting a guest artist of the month.

Kurt Hauswirth spoke with artist Marc Himes of Zero Degrees Gallery, and guest artist Joey Graci: 

Lions Club International

November is American Diabetes Month, and World Diabetes Day is November 14, 2020. The Lions Clubs of Michigan are raising awareness of the complications associated with diabetes, screening, prevention and education with the Defense Against Diabetes initiative. 

Gary Perala is Project Chairperson for District 10 Lions' Defense Against Diabetes, and he spoke with Public Radio 90's Kurt Hauswirth about the project, how important it is to check for diabetes and pre-diabetes, and how people can get involved:

Bonifas Arts Center Facebook Page

A new Executive Director was named at the Bonifas Arts Center, starting September 1st. Irina Bruno has taken up the mantle to further develop the artistic and cultural impact the Bonifas Arts Center provides for Escanaba and the Upper Great Lakes region.

Public Radio 90's Kurt Hauswirth spoke with Irina and former Executive Director Sue Roll (now Special Projects/Grants) about how the transition has gone so far, including challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic: