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Springboard wins a big Bush Prize; Jon Meacham to speak at Northrop

ALSO: “Noises Off” at the Guthrie; Club Book: Deborah Blum in Apple Valley; “Maria by Callas” at Edina Cinema; and more.

The staff of Springboard for the Arts
The staff of Springboard for the Arts
Passenger Productions

Springboard for the Arts, the St. Paul-based, nationally important nonprofit that invests in artists as an asset for building stronger communities, economies and neighborhoods, has won a 2018 Bush Prize for Community Innovation, the Bush Foundation announced today.

Now in its sixth year, the Bush Prize is awarded annually in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and the 23 Native nations that share the same geography. The prize honors organizations that are extraordinary in what they do and how they do it.

Springboard is one of six organizations being recognized for their successful community problem solving, and for working inclusively in partnership with others. Springboard will receive an unrestricted grant of $440,000 and promotional support and materials from Bush.

The other 2018 Bush Prize winners are Nexus Community Partners (Minneapolis/St. Paul; $495,000), Northwest Indian Community Development Center (Bemidji; $500,000), Mid-Dakota Education Cooperative (Minot, North Dakota; $288,000), Capitol Area Counseling Service (Pierre, South Dakota; $500,000) and Native American Community Board (Yankton, South Dakota; $182,000). The dollar amount of the grant is equal to 25 percent of the organization’s prior fiscal year budget, up to $500,000.

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Previous arts-related Bush Prize winners include Juxtaposition Arts, Lanesboro Arts, Plains Art Museum in Fargo and South Dakota Symphony Orchestra in Sioux Falls.

Springboard connects artists to the resources they need to make a living and a life. It connects communities to artists who can lead creative problem solving. It freely shares its work to encourage widespread integration of culture into daily life.

Earlier this year, Springboard bought a former Ford dealership and parking lot on University Avenue in St. Paul. When the renovation is complete – the target is 2020 – the space will serve as Springboard’s permanent home.

The picks

Now at the Guthrie: “Noises Off.” We haven’t yet seen this (we want to!) and it’s getting widespread raves (from Twin Cities Geek: “So Nice I Saw it Twice”). Michael Frayn’s classic comedy is a backstage farce about an acting troupe rehearsing and performing something called “Nothing On.” Writing for the Twin Cities Arts Reader, Kit Bix notes that “sardines, plates and doors figure prominently … the eight doors open and close 360 times – and no, that’s not a typo.” The turntable stage caused some trouble on opening night but none since. Meredith McDonough directs a stellar cast (in alpha order): Remy Auberjonois, Raye Birk, Kimberly Chatterjee, JuCoby Johnson, Laura Jordan, Nathan Keepers, Kate Loprest, Sally Wingert, Johnny Wu. On the proscenium stage. FMI, times and tickets (start at $29).

Jon Meacham
Photo by Gasper Tringale
Jon Meacham
Wednesday at Northrop: Jon Meacham: “The Soul of America.” This is not the first time in U.S. history when America has been in crisis and partisan deadlock. In his latest book, which debuted at No. 1 on the New York Times best-sellers list, presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize winner Meacham examines the present moment by looking back at critical times when hope overcame division and fear. This is the Humphrey School’s annual Distinguished Carlson Lecture. 6 p.m. Free, but tickets are required.

Wednesday at Rondo Library: Known by Heart poetry performance. This occasional series (supported by Friends of the St. Paul Public Library and Springboard for the Arts, see above) aims to help people make sense of their lives, give voice to their perspectives and build community. Poetry can do that. Donte Collins, Margaret Hasse and Naomi Cohn will explore the question, “What does it mean to know something by heart?” The first youth poet laureate of St. Paul, Collins is a McKnight Artist Fellow and winner of the 2016 Most Promising Young Poet Award from the Academy of American Poets. Hasse is the author of five books of poems, including “Between Us.” Cohn is a poet, teaching artist, therapist and founder of Known by Heart. 6:30 p.m. Free.

Wednesday at Galaxie Library in Apple Valley: Club Book: Deborah Blum. Science writers rock. They take research and results and turn them into books you stay up late to read. Blum specializes in the history of science, which sounds potentially even duller, and pens best-sellers. One reviewer described “The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York” as “a vicious, page-turning story that reads more like Raymond Chandler than Madam Curie.” Blum’s latest, “The Poison Squad: One Chemist’s Single-Minded Crusade for Food Safety at the Turn of the Twentieth Century,” tells of the unsung heroes who worked to keep the food we eat from killing us. 7 p.m. Free. FMI. If you can’t make it to the live event, you can hear a podcast later.

Tom Volf’s documentary, “Maria by Callas,” opens Friday at the Edina Cinema.
Sony Pictures Classics
Tom Volf’s documentary, “Maria by Callas,” opens Friday at the Edina Cinema.
Opens Friday at the Edina CinemaDiva alert! Soprano Maria Callas will forever be the top of that heap. The New York Times called Tom Volf’s documentary “Maria by Callas” “an excellent introduction to Callas’s artistry.” Her story is told in her own words – letters by Callas voiced in the American version by “Yankee diva” Joyce DiDonato (and in the original French version by Fanny Ardant). The film includes several arias sung in their entirety. Here’s the trailer. FMI.