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*

Fall 2020 is approaching in the Upper Great Lakes region. With that comes the continued challenges that COVID-19 present; social distancing, sanitizing everything, working from home, starting a new school year virtually, in-person or a hybrid...the list goes on.

Along with those challenges come the need for arts and culture, whether as an escape or as material for learning, enhancing our lives through different mediums of creation. One organization that keeps that mission alive during difficult times is the Bonifas Arts Center in Escanaba.

We spoke with Sue Roll, the Executive Director of the Bonifas, about events, exhibits and education at the Bonifas for September and October of 2020:

NMU Theatre and Dance Facebook

COVID-19 has changed many aspects of the artistic world, by forcing adjustments or even eliminating the livelihood of many creatives. Public Radio 90's Kurt Hauswirth spoke with Bill Digneit (Director of the Department of Theatre and Dance at Northern Michigan University) about how the pandemic has changed the theatre and dance experience at a local level.

Points of conversation:

  • How theatre companies and universities communicate how best to tackle the challenges of COVID-19 and social distancing requirements
  • How the focus has shifted to online options, and the paradigm shift focusing attention to technology, budget needs, online accessibility and more
  • How the pandemic has allowed for unseen opportunities

NMU Music Department

Choir members miss singing with each other during the COVID-19 pandemic. But, with safety concerns and with cases of the virus rising, decisions had to be made regarding how best to move forward with choir activities at Northern Michigan University.

The regular rehearsal season for the Marquette Choral Society is cancelled this fall, to protect the health of its members (they've shifted to more of a music appreciation / choral music study format). The University Choir and Arts Chorale are still rehearsing, although using social distancing, specially-designed choral masks, breaks, and surface cleaning. And, they will be using technology and the internet to bring the choir experience to people virtually.

Classiclectic host Kurt Hauswirth spoke with Dr. Colwitz about how her and the NMU Department of Music coordinated the changes:

This summer is unusual to say the least; luckily, the Bonifas Arts Center in Escanaba is prepared with classes, exhibits, events and more, both safely in-person and virtually.

Kurt Hauswirth spoke with Sue Roll, Executive Director at the Bonifas, about this unprecidented summer of activities:

Superior String Alliance

Times are different; everyone is making changes and adjustments to what they do. In the arts, it is particularly hard, since so much of the magic relies on being in-person.

One organization that is evolving and utilizing creativity and technology to keep fulfilling its mission is the Superior String Alliance. Normally, they have a traditional summer camp experience that takes place at Presbytery Point in Michigamme, Michigan. But, with the COVID-19 pandemic on the rise, Danielle Simandl (Executive Director of SSA) and the staff decided the best option was to go virtual.

Classiclectic host Kurt Hauswirth spoke with Danielle about how the camp experience has changed, how they've handled the challenges of going virtual, and how they're providing the camp experience with some modifications:

Marquette County Habitat for Humanity

Even during a worldwide pandemic, people need a place to live. The Marquette County Habitat for Humanity (MCHFH) realize this, and are holding the Women Build event, Thursday, August 6 - Saturday, August 8 in Marquette.

Kurt Hauswirth spoke with Cindy Noble (Affiliate Support Manager for the MCHFH) about how they are moving forward with the event that gives families opportunities for homeownership and gives volunteers training and skills to build these homes, while following COVID-19 safety requirements:

This time on the Bonifas Arts Update, Kurt Hauswirth speaks with Executive Director Sue Roll about summer events at the Bonifas and around the region, including steps taken for safe events utilizing social distancing and outdoor/online events.

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.