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

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:

Midsummer’s Presents a 5 Week Virtual Season Showcasing Classical Favorites and Seldom Heard Treasures by Women and Composers of Color

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:

Public Radio 90

Public Radio 90 is pleased to highlight special programming, airing between the end of June and the Fourth of July:

*During the week leading up to the Fourth of July, Public Radio 90 will air special programming during the 10pm hour (Michigan Radio's Stateside will be off during the week):

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!

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: