Friday, January 28, 2011

Minnesota Conservatory hosts Keane Sense of Rhythm, Feb. 2 - 5

Winona, Minn. — The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts will host the Minneapolis-based rhythm tap company, Keane Sense of Rhythm, Feb. 2-5, at the Valéncia Arts Center, 1164 West 10th St.

Keane Sense of Rhythm (KSR) will present performances featuring their Youth Tap Ensemble in If The Shoe Fits, a modern Cinderella story. Performances are Saturday, Feb. 5, at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the Valéncia Arts Center Academy Theatre.

Admission to the matinee performance is a freewill offering. Admission to the evening performance, which will also feature KSR’s Young Professional Company, is $10 for adults and $5 for seniors and students (ages 3-21) at the door. Cash or checks only will be accepted, and no advance ticket sales are necessary. The performances will include a sign language interpreter.

On Thursday, Feb. 3, KSR’s Artistic Directors Ellen Keane and Cathy Keane Wind will teach a rhythm tap master class at MCA’s Valéncia Arts Center. The class will be held 5:15 to 6:30 p.m. and is open to intermediate and advanced tap dancers from all schools in the region. The cost of the class is $20. To register, call (507) 453-5500.

On Wednesday, Feb. 2, KSR will hold a special class for clients from Home and Community Options at the Valéncia Arts Center.

Keane Sense of Rhythm is dedicated to preserving, presenting, creating, and expanding the boundaries of American tap dance. KSR is a fiscal year 2010 recipient of an Arts Access grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is funded, in part, by the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.

For more information about KSR’s residency in Winona, contact the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts at (507) 453-5500 or go online to For more information about KSR visit

Forbes ranks Saint Mary’s University as nation’s best for minority graduates in STEM programs

WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is the nation’s top-ranked college for minorities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs, according to a recent Forbes report.

Forbes ranked colleges and universities for helping racial or ethnic minorities succeed in STEM programs. Forbes compared the percentages of blacks, Hispanics and American Indians (groups typically underrepresented in STEM) to whites and Asians (groups typically well-represented in STEM). Forbes excluded from its analysis those schools with a student body that is almost entirely minority students.

Saint Mary’s University offers STEM programs in its traditional four-year bachelor of arts program at its Winona campus, as well as STEM programs within the bachelor of science completion programs for adult learners at its Twin Cities campus.

The Forbes report cited data from the Saint Mary’s undergraduate graduating class in 2008. Forbes said that class included about 10 percent underrepresented minority students, just above the national median for ranked colleges. “But of those minority students,” Forbes said, “35 percent received their degrees in STEM – well above the median among all colleges, which is 10 percent.”

Bob Conover, vice president for communication, noted that Saint Mary’s undergraduate STEM programs “combine a strong academic component with opportunities for hands-on research and student interaction with professors. I believe it’s this combination which helps us reach underrepresented populations.” Conover added that “as a Lasallian Catholic university, Saint Mary’s is student-centered and committed to preparing learners for success in an increasingly complex and multicultural world.”

To read the complete Forbes article, go to

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Saint Mary’s awarded $4,000 grant from Xcel Energy Foundation

WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota has received a $4,000 grant from the Xcel Energy Foundation to support its 2010-2011 arts educational programming.

This grant has helped to fund the following events in connection with Saint Mary’s Page Series and the SMU School of the Arts:

• a masterclass and pre-show talk by Anat Cohen,
• a school matinee by the Kevin Locke Native Dance Ensemble,
• a school matinee of Theatreworks USA's The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe,
• Houston Ballet II’s masterclass,
The Nutcracker school matinee, hosted by the School of the Arts
• a masterclass by the Eisenhower Dance Ensemble,
• a masterclass by Ensemble Galilei
• a school matinee performance of Let Freedom Ring by the Pushcart Players,
• a workshop by Darrah Carr Dance, and
• two school matinees of Stuart Little by Theatre IV.

The Xcel Energy Foundation supports efforts to increase accessibility to artistic and cultural activities. In 2009, the Xcel Energy Foundation committed $788,200 to programs providing access to arts and culture throughout our service territory.

Local students named to dean’s list at Saint Mary’s

WINONA, Minn. — The following Winona-area students were named to the first semester, 2010-11 dean’s list at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. The list includes undergraduate students who earned a grade point average of 3.60 or better on a 4.0 scale.

Maria Biebel, Winona
Sarah Bignell, Wabasha
Ashley Blum, Buffalo City, Wis.
Johnathan Borck, Winona
Emily Cooper, Winona
Shelby DeWall, Caledonia
Anne Drazkowski, Winona
Mackenzie Ferguson, Arcadia, Wis.
Joachim Ferk, Plainview
Lydia Feuerhelm, Winona
Julie Frederickson, Winona
Emily Friedl, La Crescent
Jessica Giers, Winona
Tyler Grabau, Wabasha
Jackie Heintz, Caledonia
Timothy High, Goodview
Kenneth Jacks, Winona
Ellen Klug, Caledonia
Kate Larson, Winona
Justin Loeffler, Winona
Scott Malotka, Winona
Peter McColl, Fountain City, Wis.
Andrea Moore, Winona
Ian Nelson, Winona
Penny Nelson, Plainview
Alexis Olson, Altura
Amy Pearson, Buffalo City, Wis.
Mekenzie Reps, St. Charles
Jennifer Schurhammer, Kellogg
Camden Webster, Minnesota City
Rebecca Welch, La Crescent
Allison Wildenborg, Winona

Winona’s Poet Laureate hosts poetry reading from the heart

WINONA, Minn. — Ken McCullough, Winona’s Poet Laureate, will host a poetry event titled “From Memory,” Monday, Jan. 31. Members of the Winona community will gather to recite poetry, by heart, beginning at 1 p.m. at the Winona Senior Friendship Center, 251 Main St.

Local participants will include Pat Costello, Walt and Marian Carroll, Bill Crozier, Margaret Shaw Johnson, Emilio DeGrazia, Jim and Enda Fitzmaurice, Taff Roberts, John Edstrom, Brother Ed Everett, Lynn Nankivil and Giles Schmid.

The program is free and open to the public. Call McCullough at (507) 452-9482 for more information.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Saint Mary’s Page Series presents Ensemble Galilei with Neal Conan

Ensemble Galilei

WINONA, Minn. — The Saint Mary’s University Page Series will present an evening of wonder and delight featuring Ensemble Galilei with Neal Conan in “Universe of Dreams” Thursday, Feb. 3.

This unique show will combine a live performance of early Celtic and European folk music mixed with the written word from poets, philosophers and storytellers — read aloud by one of America’s best known radio voices, Neal Conan, host of NPR’s Talk of the Nation (heard locally on both Minnesota Public Radio, and Wisconsin Public Radio). The performance includes images, captured by the Hubble space telescope, that have transformed our understanding of the universe.

Including both classically-trained and traditional musicians, Ensemble Galilei infuses ancient music with a spirit of improvisation and liveliness. The words of Stanley Kunitz, Jim Harrison, William Shakespeare, and a re-telling of a Navajo Creation Myth will be included. Anyone who enjoys music, language or the sciences will want to attend.

The event, which will begin at 7:30 p.m., will be held in Page Theatre, located in the SMU Performance Center.

Wisconsin Public Radio is the media sponsor of this event.

Saint Mary’s University is a fiscal year 2010 recipient of an Institutional Presenter Support grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is funded, in part, by the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on Nov. 4, 2008.

Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for students and seniors and are available at the SMU Box Office, (507) 457-1715, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday or online at

Saint Mary’s galleries feature the art of illustrator William A. Berry

WINONA, Minn. — “The Eye Behind the Eye, the Art of William A. Berry” is on display at Saint Mary’s University through Feb. 20.

The show, free and open to the public, is on display at the Lillian Davis Hogan Galleries, located in the Toner Student Center. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

This retrospective exhibition celebrates the life and work of the internationally known artist, illustrator, author and teacher William A. Berry. This exhibit features a number of large colored pencil still life drawings — the medium for which he is perhaps best known. Also on display are portraits, the human form and architectural motifs, represented through a variety of media.

Berry’s rich professional career spanned nearly half a century. His book, “Drawing the Human Form: Methods, Sources, Concepts” is still a widely used textbook for illustration. Berry also worked as an illustrator for Newsweek, The Reporter, Opera News and Esquire. His work has appeared in more than 500 juried and solo exhibits.

A reception will be held Friday, Feb. 4, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the galleries. A presentation by Dr. John Whelan, SMU’s Department of Art and Design, and Valerie Wedel, Missouri Valley College, will take place at 6:15 p.m.

For more information, call (507) 457-1652.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

SMU Department of Theology hosts second Vineyard Colloquium

WINONA, Minn. — The Saint Mary’s University Department of Theology will presents its second Vineyard Colloquium on Tuesday, Jan. 25. The lecture, “The Lay Vocation to Ecclesial Ministry,” will begin at 4 p.m. in the President’s Room of the Toner Center.

Guest speaker Todd Graff currently serves as the director of the Office of Ministry Formation for the Diocese of Winona.

A colloquium is a somewhat more informal, yet academic, conversation between scholars on a given topic. The Vineyard Colloquia give students a chance to hear from local and national scholars and practitioners in lay ecclesial ministry. The series is part of the Spirituality for the Vineyard program for students discerning lay ecclesial ministry.

The public is invited to attend. For more information, contact Dr. Susan Windley-Daoust at (507) 452-4430.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Saint Mary’s Page Series presents Eisenhower Dance Ensemble Jan. 22

WINONA, Minn. — The Eisenhower Dance Ensemble will celebrate the music that made Motown famous in a razzle-dazzle evening of dance and music Saturday, Jan. 22, at Saint Mary’s University’s Page Theatre.

Playful, humorous, and wonderfully theatrical, the performers will have audience members dancing in their seats — and out into the streets!

This visual salute to the tunes that rocked the Motor City includes a mix of dance vignettes to various Motown favorites, performed with electrifying energy. Motown in Motion will take audiences on a tour through five decades of Motown classics.

The program — designed to appeal to a diverse audience of all ages — will begin at 7:30 p.m. The performance provides an entertaining and historical look at Motown, a distinctly American artistic and cultural legacy.

The Eisenhower Dance Ensemble, the Midwest’s premier contemporary dance company, was founded by artistic director Laurie Eisenhower in the summer of 1991 in metropolitan Detroit. Since its inception, the Eisenhower Dance Ensemble has been dedicated to the performance of a diverse range of contemporary dance works.

Tickets for this Page Series performance are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors and students and are available at the Saint Mary’s University Box Office, (507) 457-1715, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday or at

Saint Mary’s University is a fiscal year 2010 recipient of an Institutional Presenter Support grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is funded, in part, by the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on Nov. 4, 2008.

Saint Mary’s hosts screening of ‘FEAT’ as part of Frozen River Film Festival; documentary draws attention to A-T

WINONA, Minn. – As part of the Frozen River Film Festival, a screening of the documentary “FEAT” will take place at 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 23, at Saint Mary’s University.

The documentary chronicles Tim Borland’s coast-to-coast quest to run 63 marathons in 63 days for kids battling the rare, terminal disease ataxia telangiectasia, or A-T.

This cause is particularly meaningful to the Saint Mary’s University community as Taylor Richmond, son of Saint Mary’s Campus Ministry and Student Activities staff member Nikki Richmond (and her husband Nick Richmond) was diagnosed with A-T as a young boy. The annual Taylor Richmond Benefit Dance at SMU was named in his honor. The Richmonds live in Cochrane, Wis.

The makers of this film, Deborah and Bradley Carr, are both seasoned television and documentary producers. They met in college, where they were also introduced to their first A-T family. The couple collaborated to produce the first A-T Children’s Project Telethon at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in 2000. The eight-hour live broadcast served to educate the surrounding community about ataxia telangiectasia, while simultaneously raising funds to support research. The telethon has become an annual event at the university.

The event – free and open to the public – will be held in Figliulo Recital Hall, located in the SMU Performance Center. A panel discussion, including Taylor Richmond, will be held following the film.

For more information about this documentary, go to

Monday, January 10, 2011

Dance Repertory Company auditions scheduled for Jan. 16

WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University Department of Theatre and Dance and the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts will conduct auditions for the Dance Repertory Company’s annual spring concert, Sunday, Jan. 16, at 6 p.m. at the Valéncia Arts Center, 1164 West 10th St.

The company is seeking intermediate and advanced dancers with modern, jazz, tap, and contemporary pointe experience. Roles are available for male and female dancers ages 13 and older.

Interested candidates are asked to bring a photo of themselves, planning calendars, and proper shoes/attire to the audition.

The DRC will be presenting their annual spring concert April 28‐30 at Saint Mary’s University’s Page Theatre. The concert will feature contemporary dance, including a rhythm tap piece with live jazz music; modern dance works; a jazz piece by visiting guest choreographer Tony Smith from Houston, Texas; and a contemporary ballet by the DRC artistic director Tammy Schmidt titled, “A Tender Age.”

The Dance Repertory Company is the performing troupe of the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts of Saint Mary’s University. Company members participate in rehearsals, technique classes and stage performances. Past productions of the company include: The Firebird, Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Paquita, Cinderella, Excerpts from Swan Lake, Cinderella, Youth In Motion, Tappin' to Connick, Pure Entertainment, An Evening with Benny Goodman, among others.

For more information about the Dance Repertory Company, visit, email or call (507) 453-5500.

President of Great Clips to speak at Saint Mary’s University Jan. 20

WINONA, Minn. – The public is invited to a presentation by Great Clips president Rhoda Olsen Thursday, Jan. 20, at Saint Mary’s University. The event, which details how business dreams can become a reality, is hosted by Saint Mary’s Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies.

Olsen’s presentation — which will begin at 3:30 p.m. in Salvi Lecture Hall — will include details of how Great Clips grew from four salons with annual sales of less than $1 million in 1983, to nearly 3,000 salons with annual sales of more than $750 million today. Working with franchises has allowed Olsen to connect with hundreds of business leaders around the country.

Olsen brings more than 20 years of executive leadership experience in various positions at Great Clips and will share with audience members her understanding of what makes successful organizations work. She joined the Great Clips’ executive team in 1987 when it was a regional chain of 180 salons owned by three partners. In addition to specific leadership experience with Great Clips, Olsen has prior experience in human resources, business leadership and consulting with various leading companies, including food and agricultural giant Land O'Lakes.

Salvi Lecture Hall is located on the third floor of Saint Mary’s Hall. Refreshments will be provided. For more information, contact Trevor M. Hall, (507) 457-6978 or

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

MCA’s Galleria Valéncia grand opening is Jan. 6

WINONA, Minn. – The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts announces the opening of Galleria Valéncia, Thursday, Jan. 6, at the Valéncia Arts Center, 1164 West 10th St.

Galleria Valéncia will host visual art works from Winona area schools beginning in January 2011. Each month, different schools will display works of their student artists. A variety of schools from the Winona Area Catholic Schools and Winona Area Public School system have reserved space this winter and spring at Galleria Valéncia.

Keeping true to our founder’s original vision of encompassing both performing and visual arts in one’s overall arts education, MCA is in the creation stage of developing a visual art division. “MCA is thrilled to bring the talents of local youth artists to Valéncia and start the first steps in launching our visual art division,” said Christine Martin, managing director. In addition to hosting the works in Galleria Valéncia, MCA hopes to be offering visual art class by January 2012.

Galleria Valencia’s grand opening will be during the MCA registration open house, Thursday, Jan. 6, from 4 to 7 p.m. The gallery will be open throughout the MCA Semester II and Spring session (January – May 2011), Mondays through Thursdays noon to 6:30 p.m., Fridays noon to 5:30 p.m., and Saturdays 9 a.m. to noon.

Development of the MCA visual art division and the opening of Galleria Valéncia is made possible in part by a grant provided by the Minnesota State Arts Board, through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature from the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on Nov. 4, 2008.

For more information about Galleria Valéncia or other programming at the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts’ Valencia Arts Center, visit

Public invited to ‘SMU 10K’ ski events Sunday, Jan. 30

WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s is inviting the public to the annual “SMU 10K” classic ski event on Sunday, Jan. 30. A classic-style citizens ski event will begin at 10 a.m., and a skate race will begin at 1 p.m.

“We’re very fortunate to have an excellent trail system here that is both scenic, as well as challenging," said Chris Kendall, vice president of student life.

Both races will be held at Saint Mary’s University, home to one of the region’s finest cross country trail systems. The trails wind through the bluffs and valleys above the Mississippi River.

The event is open to the public.

On-site registration will begin at 8 a.m. for the classic ski and 11 a.m. for the skate race, both at the SMU Toner Student Center. The cost is $10 for one race or $20 for both; the fee includes a souvenir race bib. Medals will be awarded for men and women in open and recreational classes.

For more information or to receive a registration form, call Gary Borash at Ext. 8740 or e-mail