Category Archives: News

Rozsa’s Jennings Earns National Honor

Mary bw 6.1Jennings Earns National Honor for Strengthening the Rozsa Center’s Community Ties

Mary Jennings, Director of Programming and Development at Michigan Tech’s Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts, has earned a place among 25 national arts professionals chosen to participate in the third cohort of the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP) Leadership Fellows Program.

This program invites arts professionals who show outstanding commitment to building collaborative processes in the performing arts to participate in a 20-month intensive Arts Leadership mentoring and training program. “The Leadership Fellows Program examines core questions around content and scope of leadership development for the performing arts field. It highlights, supports and helps participants understand and define the many reaches of leadership and its capabilities through peer-to-peer mentoring and creating a community of support,” says Mario Garcia Durham, president and CEO of APAP. In addition to a curriculum-based, five-day intensive at the University of Southern California (USC), the program focuses on the opportunity for participants to learn from and mentor each other over the course of the 20-month arc through annual gatherings at the APAP|NYC conference in New York City and continuous engagement in an online resource and discussion platform.

According to Jennings,

“To be a accepted into their national Leadership Fellows Program is a great honor and privilege. The Rozsa Center has long been an APAP member, and former Rozsa Directors have regularly attended their annual conference to find exceptional touring artists to bring to the Keweenaw as part of the Rozsa Presenting Series. The relationships and opportunities cultivated through our involvement with APAP have been invaluable to the efforts of the Rozsa Center to bring enriching, entertaining, and elite level performances to our Upper Peninsula audiences.”

This honor is no surprise to those working with Jennings at the Rozsa Center. While serving as interim Rozsa Director in 2014, then named Director of Programming and Development in 2015, Jennings created more than a dozen successful collaborative engagement activities. From backstage tours and master classes with local dance schools and the Russian National Ballet, to coordinating a Q&A for local media, Michigan Tech communications students and professionals with a senior editor of The Atlantic, to interactive displays in the Rozsa Lobby involving copper country youth robotics teams and Mind Trekkers during the Cirque Mechanics show in the finale of the 2017 Presenting Series season, she has invited many organizations and individuals to find common ground, across diverse fields, to make arts more integral to our community.

APAP Leadership Fellows Program

Building upon the program’s inaugural launch in 2015, the APAP Leadership Fellows Program’s goal is to expand the knowledge and proficiency among professionals in the performing arts field. Kenneth Foster, director of USC’s Arts Leadership Program, and Scott Stoner, APAP’s vice president of programs and resources, are co-directors of the Leadership Fellows Program. A core group of industry professionals will also lead the cohort and guide them through the program including: Dan Froot, producer/performance artist; Stephanie McKee, executive artistic director for Junebug Productions Inc.; Andre Perry, executive director of the Englert Theatre; Beatrice Thomas, multidisciplinary artist, artist coach and consultant; Cathy Zimmerman, creative consultant.

Cohort III (June 2017-January 2019)

  • Linsey Bostwick, senior producer, The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi – New York, NY
  • Andre Bouchard, principal, Walrus Arts Management and Consulting, LLC – Vancouver, WA
  • Ben Cohen, senior agent, Cadenza Artists, Los Angeles, CA
  • Brett Elliott, executive director, Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center – Old Saybrook, CT
  • Liza Green, associate director, NC State LIVE – Raleigh, NC
  • Leslie Hanlon, director of fundraising and marketing, Fine Arts Series at the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University – St. Joseph, MN
  • Mary Jennings, director of programming and development, Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts – Houghton, MI
  • Chanon Judson, associate artistic director and BOLD coordinator, Urban Bush Women Inc. – Brooklyn, NY
  • Joshua Kane, artist and founder, Wild Baboo Productions LLC – New York, NY
  • Leah Keith, manager of artists and attractions and booking agent, Opus 3 Artists – New York, NY
  • Damia Khanboubi, program associate, Junebug Productions – New Orleans, LA
  • Michael Liu, director of Chinese Community Initiatives, Flushing Town Hall – Flushing, NY
  • Sam Livingston, director, Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall – New York, NY
  • Miro Magloire, artistic and executive director, New Chamber Ballet – New York, NY
  • Stephen Manuszak, program director for international initiatives, Arts Midwest – Minneapolis, MN
  • Emily Marks, founder and director, Lionheart Youth Theatre – Austin, TX
  • Jack McLarnan, manager of Fine Arts Programs, Seattle Theatre Group – Seattle, WA
  • Heena Patel, founder and CEO, MELA Arts Connect – Edison, NJ
  • Ronee Penoi, associate producer, Octopus Theatricals – Princeton, NJ
  • Theresa Remick, managing director, Performance Center at Saint Mary’s University – Winona, MN
  • Sarah Rodriguez, associate director of Institutional Giving, Apollo Theater – Harlem, NY
  • Bonnie Schock, executive director, Sheldon Theatre – Red Wing, MN
  • Alexandra Rachelle Siclait, professional development program manager, Creative Capital – New York, NY
  • Daniel Singh, executive artistic director, Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh Dance Company – Washington, DC
  • Dexter Story, artist in residence/production consultant, Community Coalition – Los Angeles, CA

The APAP Leadership Fellows Program is partly funded by the American Express Foundation, The Wallace Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information about the program please visit www.apap365.org.

About APAP, the Association of Performing Arts Professionals

APAP, the Association of Performing Arts Professionals, based in Washington, D.C., is the national service, advocacy and membership organization dedicated to developing and supporting a robust performing arts presenting field and the professionals who work within it. Our 1,600 national and international members represent leading performing arts centers, municipal and university performance facilities, nonprofit performing arts centers, culturally specific organizations, foreign governments, as well as artist agencies, managers, touring companies, and national consulting practices that serve the field, and a growing roster of self-presenting artists.

As a leader in the field, APAP works to effect change through advocacy, professional development, resource sharing and civic engagement. APAP is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization governed by a volunteer board of directors and led by President & CEO Mario Garcia Durham. In addition to presenting the annual APAP|NYC conference – the world’s leading forum and marketplace for the performing arts (Jan. 12-16, 2018) – APAP continues to be the industry’s leading resource, knowledge and networking destination for the advancement of performing arts presenting.


Cirque Mechanics: Pedal Punk Tomorrow at Rozsa

043-CM15-PP-MS_MS33620-Cirque Mechanics: Pedal Punk” is a Steampunk-inspired performance where the audience can experience the excitement, artistry and thrill that occurs when a wacky bike shop mechanic interacts with cyclists and bikes and he repairs more than broken pieces.

He creates wondrous machines and inspires the cyclist in all of us to become a Pedal Punk.

“Cirque Mechanics: Pedal Punk” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow (April 22) in the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.

Cirque Mechanics was founded in 2004 by Boston native and German wheel artist, Chris Lashua, after the success of his collaborative project with the Circus Center of San Francisco, Birdhouse Factory. Cirque Mechanics quickly established itself as a premiere American circus, with its unique approach to performance, inspiring storytelling and innovative mechanical staging. Spectacle Magazine hailed it as “the greatest contribution to the American circus since Cirque du Soleil”.

Tickets are available online, by calling 7-2073, in person at the Central Ticketing Office or at the Rozsa Center Box Office an hour before show time.



Bon Voyage: South Africa!

Map and Flag of South Africa. Source: "World reference atlas" [url=/search/lightbox/5890567][IMG]http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3574/3366761342_e502f57f15.jpg?v=0[/IMG][/url]The Rozsa Center welcomes the choirs of Michigan Tech which will present their year-end concert, “Bon Voyage South Africa,” at 7:30 p.m. tonight (April 21).

The concert will feature music that has been prepared for the Michigan Tech Concert Choir international tour to South Africa.  According to Choirs Director Jared Anderson“The evening will include performances of sacred motets, African-American spirituals, American folk songs, music about the displaced as well as beloved songs from South Africa.


South American Symphonies, Spanish Jazz, and Afro-Cuban Rhythms: Michigan Tech Bands Present Music with Heat

Bali, Indonesia - June 5, 2013: Traditional Balinese Kecak dance white monkey Hanuman in fire at Uluwatu TempleThe two wind bands of Michigan Tech, Superior Wind Symphony and Campus Concert Band, will present their yearly combined concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday (April 20) in the Rozsa Center.

This year’s theme is “En Fuego!” — a concert featuring music that is imbued with heat. Mike Christianson, director of bands, will first lead each band individually, finishing with the two combining into a “megaband” of 120 musicians.

According to Christianson, “The music is by composers who hail from exotic climes such as Spain, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, France, Germany and Saginaw.” Music will range from South American symphonies, Spanish jazz arrangements, Afro-Cuban and Latin music, and even a favorite by Stevie Wonder.

Highlights include Handel’s “Overture from Music for The Royal Fireworks,” “Mambo in F” arranged by Cico O’Farrill, “Cucurrucucu Paloma” with a guest performance by Jared Anderson-voice, “The Maids of Cadiz” featuring guest Aaron Christianson on trumpet and favorites “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing,” by Stevie Wonder, “Amparito Roca” and “Malaguena.”

Tickets for “En Fuego!” are on sale now, $13 for adults, $5 for youth and no charge for Michigan Tech students with the Experience Tech fee. Tickets are available by phone at 7-2073, online, in person at the Central Ticketing Office or at the Rozsa Box Office the evening of the performance. Note that the Rozsa Box Office only opens two hours prior to performances.


Student Art Exhibit Opens

Rozsa GalleryThe Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts and the Department of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA)  announce their semi-annual student showcase, “Measure“.

The exhibit features works of art created by Michigan Tech students who are participating in Project Learning Lab, an innovative arts classroom based inside of Rozsa gallery b. Pieces on display were created by students in Lisa Gordillo’s traditional sculpture, advanced sculpture and advanced drawing classes. Students from many campus disciplines are represented, including forestry, materials science and theatre arts.

The exhibition opens Monday and runs  through April 22.  A reception will be held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday (April 20). The reception is free and all are welcome. Gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday – Friday and 1 to 8 p.m. Saturday.

Students in Traditional Sculpture study traditional ways of making art around the globe, including Guatemalan kites, Shona carving and Italian clay work. Students in Advanced Sculpture are encouraged to work with the gallery’s architecture and to create large-scale installations in the gallery. Students have been inspired by artists such as Alberto Giocometti, Tara Donovan, Do Ho Suh, Ai Wei Wei and Maurizio Cattelan. Also on display, in the Rozsa Gallery’s adjoining A-Space, is the ongoing exhibition Amusement Park Avenue: Works by VPA faculty and staff.

Student artists represented:

  • Kassie Baril
  • Luke Dixon
  • Hannah Fisher
  • Charles Heckel
  • Wyatt Hurst
  • Alyssa Leach
  • Anastasia Rogers
  • Olivia Smith
  • Cambry Totten-Wade
  • Tiffani Whipple

For more information Lisa Gordillo at 7-3096 or by email lijohnso@mtu.edu.


STEAM Event for Youth at Cirque Mechanics: Pedal Punk

043-CM15-PP-MS_MS33620-All faculty, staff and community members with children in middle or high school are invited to sign students up for “STEAM Punk: The Science Behind the Cirque.”

Mind Trekkers, the Rozsa Center, FIRST Robotics, and Cirque Mechanics are teaming up to show area 6-12 graders the science behind the Pedal Punk show.

Cirque Mechanics describes themselves “Cirque Mechanics, although inspired by modern circus, finds its roots in the mechanical and its heart in the stories of American ingenuity. The shows, rooted in realism, display a raw quality, rarely found in modern circus, that makes their message timeless and relevant.  The stories are wrapped in circus acrobatics, mechanical wonders and a bit of clowning around.”

Not only will this be a show that the whole family will enjoy, middle and high school students will have an opportunity to go behind the scenes of the show.

Students will meet the pro-BMX biker and creator of Pedal Punk during a behind the scenes visit. They will also spend an hour with Mind Trekkers and FIRST Robotics engaging in hands-on science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) demonstrations. A pizza dinner and a ticket to the show is included.

The event begins at 3:30 Saturday, April 22 with a backstage tour of the Rozsa. After this is when we will have our STEAM demonstrations with Mind Trekkers and FIRST Robotics.

Then the students can enjoy a pizza dinner right before the show starts at 7:30pm. Parents are asked to drop their students off for the STEAM part (students only), and can meet up with their children for the start of the show.

More information and ticketing info is available here.

(Note the event is now open to 6th-12th graders not just 6th-8th graders as stated on the flyer)


Rozsa Gallery A-Space Presents “Amusement Park Avenue”

ferris wheel blurred motion colouredWhy do we love amusement parks? From side-shows to ferris wheels, we’re drawn to the excitement of the buzz, the sounds, the bright colors, the sensory extravaganza.

The Department of Visual and Performing Arts and the Rozsa Center announce “Amusement Park Avenue: The 2017 VPA Faculty & Staff Exhibit. Faculty and staff of VPA will exhibit a variety of works of many different media and concepts, touching upon all five senses and inspiring curiosity, as if walking through an amusement park avenue.

Fifteen artists will be represented: Jared Anderson, Anne Beffel, Mary Cyr, Kent Cyr, M.C. Friedrich, Terri Frew, Lisa Gordillo, Roger Held, Bethany Jones, Susie Kilpela, Jeremy Littlefield, Josh Loar, Elizabeth Meyer, Christopher Plummer, and Jess Portfleet.

The opening reception is at 4 p.m. Friday, March 31 in the Rozsa Gallery A-Space. The exhibit will run until April 28 and is free and open to the public. Gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday.


Volunteers Wanted for Every Color of Eyes Art Project

Macro shots of human eyes. Shallow DOF. Developed from RAW; retouched with special care and attention; Small amount of grain added for best final impression. 16 bit Adobe RGB color profile.Anne Beffel is asking for volunteer participants in her “Every Color of Eyes” art project. This project makes visible our differences and our common humanity through the metaphor of eye color. Beffel, along with assistants Rebekka Guyon, Alex Pohl, J.P. Rewer and Phillip Wildner, are gathering eye color samples as the basis of a long scroll painting of color-filled circles.

Beffel is asking those who want to help to either email pictures of their eyes to info@EveryColorOfEyes.org or submit them here. Volunteers can also stop by the Studio for Here and Now, located in Wadsworth Hall G04W, from 3 to 5 p.m. today (March 22) or Wednesday, March 29

Beffel’s “Every Color of Eyes” will become part of the faculty and staff gallery exhibition, “Amusement Park Avenue,” from March 31 to April 31 in the Rozsa Gallery A-Space. An opening reception will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday, March 31. Gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 to 8 p.m. Saturday.

For more information, contact Beffel at 7-1732.


Marimba Concert and Poetry Night

A background of marimba and malletsWhat is a Marimba? Think of a very large wooden xylophone, the national instrument of Guatemala.

The Rozsa Center and Department of Visual and Performing Arts presents Guatemalan writer Hugo Gordillo, and collaborator Zach l’Italian, who will read selections of Gordillo’s new poems (in Spanish and English) in a “Marimba Concert and Poetry Night” at 6 p.m. Thursday (March 23) in the Rozsa lobby.

This event was developed in collaboration with Michigan Tech music students and conducted by Mike Christiansen, Michigan Tech’s Director of Bands. The Marimba Concert and Poetry event are free and all are welcome.

The Michigan Tech Marimbist Band will play several marimba selections, arranged by Christianson. This event is the closing reception for “ChickenBus: a U.S. Guatemalan Experience,” a Rozsa gallery exhibit by Lisa Gordillo.

Several poems in Hugo Gordillo’s collection inspired the art in this exhibit. The exhibit will be open before and after the concert.