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TPT names its first female leader; ‘Noura’ in previews at the Guthrie

ALSO: 39th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute at Ted Mann; Poets and Writers and Musicians Against the War on the Earth at ASI; and more.

Sylvia Strobel
Courtesy of Twin Cities PBS
Sylvia Strobel
Twin Cities PBS (TPT) has a new president and CEO. Sylvia Strobel, who previously worked for TPT in 1994 as deputy counsel, will succeed James R. Pagliarini, who announced his retirement in May 2018. Pagliarini spent 20 years with TPT. Strobel will be its first female leader since its founding in 1957.

Strobel  also served on the executive management team of American Public Media Group (APMG) as general counsel. She earned her BA from St. Olaf College, a JD from William Mitchell College of Law and an MBA from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

Most recently, Strobel has been the chief operating officer for ideastream in Cleveland, overseeing management of WVIZ/PBS, 90.3 WCPM-FM, the Ohio Channel and Ohio Government Telecommunications. She brings more than 25 years of public media experience to her new position at TPT.

“I am so excited to come back to my Minnesota roots to direct the vision of TPT as we move through this next decade,” Strobel said in a statement. “TPT has grown from its foundation as a television broadcast station – blossoming into a true 21st century media organization ensuring all have access to quality educational content on multiple platforms. I am excited to continue this trajectory.

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Mia curator Patrick Noon is retiring

If you ever had the great pleasure to hear Patrick Noon speak about art, or follow him around a new exhibition, or ask him questions one-on-one, you’ll be sad to hear this, too. After 22 years at Mia, Noon, senior curator of paintings and Elizabeth MacMillan Chair of the Department of Paintings, will retire effective Jan. 31.

Patrick Noon
Courtesy of Mia
Patrick Noon
Noon came to Mia from the Yale Center for British Art, where he was a founding curator of prints, drawings and rare books. He was dazzlingly erudite yet spoke in a way that invited you into his vast knowledge. During his tenure here, Noon acquired some 200 paintings, including Claude Lorrain’s “Pastoral Landscape,” Alexander Roslin’s “Comtesse d’Egmont Pignatelli” and Eugène Delacroix’s “Still Life with Dahlias, Zinnias, Hollyhocks and Plums.” He played a pivotal role in reinstalling collections during the 1998 and 2006 museum expansions.

His own research resulted in acclaimed shows, including 2003’s “Crossing the Channel: British and French Painting in the Age of Romanticism” (organized by Tate Britain in association with the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Mia) and 2015’s “Delacroix and the Rise of Modern Art” (organized with the National Gallery, London). Noon authored the catalogs for “Crossing the Channel” and “Delacroix” and books about the British landscape painter Richard Parkes Bonington.

Noon told the Star Tribune that he would have retired sooner, but decided to stay on awhile after Kaywin Feldman announced her departure in December 2018 for the National Gallery of Art. He says he’ll consult for Mia if they need him.

Submissions are open for $10K poetry prize

The largest regional poetry prize in the United States, the Ballard Spahr Prize for Poetry is accepting submissions for 2020. The winner will receive a $10,000 cash prize; publication by Milkweed Editions, one of the nation’s top indie literary presses; a standard royalty contract; national distribution; a comprehensive marketing and publicity campaign; and a public book launch and celebration in the Twin Cities. Poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil will be this year’s judge.

Established in 2011, the Ballard Spahr Prize for Poetry was previously known as the Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry. Winners have included Patricia Kirkpatrick, whose “Odessa” won the Minnesota Book Award, and Caitlin Bailey, whose “Solve for Desire” was a finalist for the award.

Poets must reside in Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, or Michigan. The finalists and winner will be announced April 2020, with publication in November 2020. Submissions are open until Feb. 14. There is no entry fee. FMI and guidelines here.

The picks

Christina Baldwin as Nora
Photo by Drew Trampe
Christina Baldwin as Nora
Tonight (Tuesday, Jan. 14) through Thursday at the Guthrie: “Noura” in previews. Tickets start at $15 for preview performances of the Guthrie’s next play on the proscenium stage. Heather Raffo’s “Noura” is a response to Ibsen’s revolutionary “A Doll’s House,” in which the main character’s name is Nora. Except the time is the present, and Noura and her family are Iraqi immigrants. For this production, the Guthrie has partnered with the Iraqi and American Reconciliation Project (IARP) as cultural consultant. 7:30 p.m. FMI and tickets. Opening night is Friday, Jan. 17.

Wednesday and Thursday at the Jungle: “A Doll’s House: Part 2” in previews. Strange but true, two of our top theaters will open Ibsen-inspired plays on the same weekend. The Jungle will stage playwright Lucas Hnath’s 2017 Broadway hit, in which Ibsen’s Nora (Christina Baldwin) returns home after many years away. It’s still the late 1800s. 7:30 p.m. FMI and tickets ($20 for preview performances). Opening night is Saturday, Jan. 18.

P.S. If you’re thinking you might want to read the original Ibsen play before seeing either one (or both?) of the above, you can find a version online at Project Gutenberg.

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Wednesday at the American Swedish Institute: Poets and Writers and Musicians Against the War on the Earth. With Australia burning and storms battering the North Shore and Chicago’s lakefront, what has become an annual event seems even more urgent today than three years ago, when it began. Organized by poets and writers Ruth Bly, Jim Lenfestey and Freya Manfred and musician Tim Frantzich, the program will include a Tibetan blessing, performances by Robert Robinson and Aby Wolf, readings by Minnesota Poet Laureate Joyce Sutphen and several other poets, and a tribute to Swedish Nobel Laureate Tomas Tranströmer (whose work was first translated into English by Robert Bly). Admission is free but donations are welcome; all will benefit environment-focused nonprofits tabling at the event. Doors will open at 6 for hot glogg, ginger cookies, a children’s chorus and silent auction. The program will begin at 7.

Taylor McFerrin
Photo by Amir Ebrahimi
Taylor McFerrin has just released his latest studio album, writing and singing his own lyrics and vocals, playing the instruments and doing his own production.
Thursday at 7th Street Entry: Taylor McFerrin. No surprise, Bobby McFerrin has talented children. His daughter, Madison, performed at Icehouse last month. Son Taylor has just released his latest studio album, writing and singing his own lyrics and vocals, playing the instruments and doing his own production. Using synthesizers from the 1970s, he creates a sound NPR called “like something out of science fiction, yet with a soulful quality.” 7 p.m. FMI and tickets ($15 advance, $18 day of show).

Sunday at the Ted Mann: 39th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute. Founded by the late Reginald Buckner, a professor in the University of Minnesota’s School of Music, this tribute was the first of its kind in Minnesota. It’s now a beloved tradition. Directed by G. Phillip Shoultz III of VocalEssence, this year’s program, “I Am Because We Are (On Being a Good Neighbor),” will blend the words of the Rev. King with multidisciplinary performances by local artists. 3 p.m. As always, it’s free and open to the public.