Thursday, January 22, 2009

SMU invites community to events as part of ‘Our Drinking Fountains, Our Water’ project

Five local institutions are collaborating with the Minneapolis-based In the Heart of the Beast Puppet-Mask Theater to spearhead a community-wide program, “Our Drinking Fountains, Our Water.”

As part of the theater’s residency activities, Saint Mary’s will attempt to raise community awareness about our drinking water through visual art and performance. The public is invited to a daily mask-making activity from 3 to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, Feb. 2-5, at Lake Park Lodge. The activity will celebrate our water commons through the collective creation of papier-mâché masks to be used in a celebration of an ancient English ritual known as well-dressing or, in this case, water-fountain-dressing.

The culminating celebration will be held from noon to 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6, at Saint Mary’s University. The celebration will be centered around drinking fountains in the Toner Student Center and Saint Mary’s Hall. Both opportunities are free, and no experience is necessary.

Winona State University, Saint Mary’s University, Minnesota State College-Southeast Technical, Southeast Minnesota Water Resources Board and the City of Winona are incorporating the water theme into classes, presentations and activities this year. Plans also include the highlighting and decorating of public drinking fountains on the college campuses and in the City of Winona, as well as raising awareness through visual art and performance. The goal of the project is for the community to achieve a broader and deeper understanding of water quality and stewardship. This project is funded by the State of Minnesota through the Minnesota Campus Compact.

SMU artist is finalist in fountain design contest

Monta May, Communication and Marketing, is one of three finalists in the Lake Park fountain designing competition, part of the “Our Drinking Fountains, Our Water” program.

The three finalists are being announced this weekend at the Frozen River Film Festival. Voting will begin Monday online at

To view May’s submission and to see other examples of her mosaic work, go to

Details of the contest are available at

‘SMU 10K’ citizens classic ski event is Jan. 25 at Saint Mary’s

Saint Mary’s is inviting the public to the annual “SMU 10K” classic ski event on Sunday, Jan. 25.

“We’re very fortunate to have an excellent trail system here that is both scenic as well as challenging,” said Chris Kendall, vice president for student development. “And this year we actually have snow, thanks to the weather and to our new snow-making capabilities as a result of a partnership with the Winona Ski Club.”

The event is open to all individuals, with a Mass start slated for 1 p.m. On-site registration will begin at 11 a.m. at the Toner Student Center. The cost is $10, which includes a souvenir race bib and a completion medal. Medals will be awarded for men and women in open and recreational classes.

For more information or to receive a registration form, call Davey Warner at Ext. 8740. Check out more information online at

Students can attend Frozen River Film Festival for free; some events to be held at SMU

SMU students can attend the upcoming Frozen River Film Festival for free.

The Frozen River Film Festival is an event that specializes in documentary films, workshops, and presentations oriented around the areas of world culture, the environment and extreme sports. Between Jan. 21-29 the festival will showcase more than 40 films from around the world. Go to for more details.

The festival speakers include horticulturist photographer David Cavagnaro, food activist Deborah Koons Garcia, and Dr. John Francis who was silent and on foot for 17 years.

Most events take place on the campus of Winona State University; some are at Saint Mary’s and other locations around town.

The Office of Student Development and the School of the Arts have contributed money to allow all students from Saint Mary’s to attend for free. (Only the Friday night concert is not included.) Students should bring an I.D. to Nikki Richmond at Campus Ministry or Student Activities to receive a pass.

For more information, contact John Kerr at or Ext. 1673.

Page Series offers ‘If You Give a Pig a Pancake’ and other stories Feb. 6

It’s no ordinary pig tale. Audience members will learn why it’s probably poor judgment to give a pig a pancake Friday, Feb. 6, at Saint Mary’s. The Page Series presentation, which begins at 6:30 p.m., features Theatreworks USA in this familiar children’s story where offering a pig syrup leads to baths, baths lead to bubbles, bubbles lead to rubber ducks, and rubber ducks lead to wanting a trip to the farm. This, along with many other favorite kids’ storybooks will come to life on the Page Theatre stage. Stories may include “Diary of a Worm,” “Fluffy the Classroom Guinea Pig,” “Horace & Morris but Mostly Dolores,” “How I Became a Pirate,” “Lilly’s Big Day,” “The Paper Bag Princess” and “Ruby Mae Has Something to Say.”

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors and are available at the SMU Box Office, Ext. 1715, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday or online at

Tickets sold out for Acrobats of China

Tickets are sold out for the Acrobats of China presentation Tuesday, Feb. 3. The Page Series event, which begins at 7:30 p.m. will be a night of wonder for the whole family. The Acrobats of China will combine martial arts, spectacular costumes and breathtaking acrobatics. In this long-established Chinese tradition, every-day objects become tools to showcase the skills of the jugglers, spinners, and acrobats of this present-day troupe.

Although the show is sold out at this time, a few seats may become available the evening of the performance. Patrons still wanting to attend are asked to arrive early to be put on a waiting list. The box office opens at 6:30 p.m. the evening of the show. If any seats do become available, they will be available first come, first served. A waiting list will not be created until the box office opens the evening of the show.

Tickets sold out for ‘Sleeping Beauty’ Jan. 27

Tickets are now sold out for the classic fairytale “Sleeping Beauty,” a full-length ballet in three acts, to be performed by the Russian National Ballet Theatre Tuesday, Jan. 27, at Page Theatre. Good will triumph over evil beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Although the show is sold out at this time, a few seats may become available the evening of the performance. Patrons still wanting to attend are asked to arrive early to be put on a waiting list. The box office opens at 6:30 p.m. the evening of the show. If any seats do become available, they will be available first come, first served. A waiting list will not be created until the box office opens the evening of the show.

Saint Mary’s to feature two unique realist artists

The unique work of two vastly different artists — Larry Holmes and Jason Bronner — will be displayed inside Lillian Davis Hogan Galleries through Feb. 6.

Holmes, a realist painter, uses an overhead perspective when creating his pieces, which highlight textural beauty by positioning inanimate objects like shells or statues beside flowers or animals. Holmes’ exhibit, “A Brief History,” features a number of oil paintings depicting mosaics. He is professor emeritus at the University of Delaware, Newark.

Through his exhibit, “Dogs of the Empire,” Bronner depicts scenes of dogs through charcoal drawings on paper, oil paintings on canvas, as well as digitally. In examining the dog’s competing roles as hunter, guardian and companion, Bronner’s work makes a political statement. He is associate professor of painting and drawing at Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania.

Admission is free and open to the public, and gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. For more information, call Ext. 1652.

Chili cookoff is Jan. 30

The next SMU faculty/staff chili cookoff will be Friday, Jan. 30, as the next Let’s Do Lunch fundraiser for Nairobi. If you intend to compete, contact Deb Nahrgang at Ext. 6966 or, so that we know there will be enough chili to feed the masses. Prizes will be awarded to the top three placers. SMU celebrity judges will be announced later.

Chili will be served between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. in the Common Room. Be sure to bring your appetite and a freewill offering. Judging starts at 11:15 a.m.

The Chili Cook-off will be sponsored by Student Development (cornbread, cheese, crackers, etc.). Bottled water and desserts will be provided by the volunteer committee as well.

Author Ron Hansen to speak Jan. 27

Ron Hansen, author of “Mariette in Ecstasy” and a book of essays called “A Stay Against Confusion: Essays on Faith and Fiction” will read from his books at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 27, in the Toner Student Center Lounge.

Hansen also has authored “Isn’t it Romantic,” “Desperadoes,” “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford,” “Nebraska,” “Atticus,” and a children’s book, “The Shadowmaker.” He is Gerard Manley Hopkins SJ Professor of the Arts and Humanities at Santa Clara University. His novel “Atticus” was a finalist for the National Book Award in 1996.

His presentation, free and open to the public, is sponsored by Sigma Tau Delta, the national English honor society. Refreshments will be provided. For more information, call Dr. David Sokolowski at Ext. 1538.

Saint Mary’s hosts coaches clinic

Coaches participate in a team-building exercise.

Saint Mary’s University and the Christian Brothers Midwest District sponsored a Lasallian Coaches Clinic in Winona on Jan. 17-20.

Approximately 20 coaches from Lasallian high schools of the Midwest District and the New Orleans-Santa Fe District attended the clinic, along with our Saint Mary’s coaches who both participated and presented.

Dr. Len DiPaul from Neumann University of Pennsylvania was the keynote speaker. Dr. DiPaul is the executive director for the Department of Pastoral and Theological Studies at Neumann, and is a co-founder of Neumann’s Center for Sport Spirituality and Character Development. His participation in the program was sponsored by Saint Mary’s Press. The topic of his keynote address was “The Spirituality of Coaching and Sportsmanship.”

Schools represented included Bishop Kelley High School, Tulsa, Okla.; Christian Brothers College High School, St. Louis, Mo.; Christian Brothers High School, Memphis, Tenn.; Christian Brothers School, New Orleans, La.; De La Salle High School, Minneapolis; De La Salle Institute, Chicago; Mullen High School, Denver, Colo.; St. Paul's High School, Covington, La.; Totino-grace High School, Fridley, Minn.

Knowledge Acknowledged with Wangberg is rescheduled

Dr. Robyn Wangberg, physics, an Ironman triathlete, will share her passion for triathlon and her recent adventures competing in the world championship of the Ironman Triathlon in Kona, Hawaii, and the Ironman Canada Triathlon from 2 to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 3, in the McEnery Center Main Lounge. These events include a 2.4-mile swim in the ocean, a 112-mile bike ride, and a marathon run (26.2 miles). Dr. Wangberg’s presentation is part of the Knowledge Acknowledged series.

Openings available in MCA’s Winona Area Youth Singers

The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts invites area students in grades three through six to participate in a new youth choir, the Winona Area Youth Singers (WAYS).

Young people who have been introduced to choir and music in their elementary or middle schools and are seeking additional educational and performance opportunities are encouraged to attend. WAYS is dedicated to providing quality, artistic, and educational programs for all young people, regardless of their financial circumstances.

The repertoire and focus of WAYS will be more intensive by nature. The choir is meant to complement a student’s current vocal training.

Semester II WAYS members will participate in a spring concert (May 3), a special mentorship program with Saint Mary’s, and in community outreach by performing at nursing homes and for other charitable events.

WAYS is directed by Lindsy O’Shea, who holds a Master of Arts in Instruction and a Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Music Performance from Saint Mary’s. She is currently adjunct faculty with Saint Mary’s, where she directs the women’s choir and teaches private voice lessons. She also sings with the La Crosse Chamber Chorale.

WAYS meets weekly throughout the semester on Thursdays, 6:30 to 8 p.m., at the Valéncia Arts Center, 1164 West 10th St. Registration is currently being accepted and will remain open through Jan. 26.

Semester II tuition for participation in WAYS is $150. Full and partial financial need-based scholarships are available for WAYS participants through MCA’s scholarship fund, provided by the Hiawatha Education Foundation.

For more information about WAYS or MCA’s other performing arts programming, visit, e-mail or call Ext. 5501.

SMU in the news

Here are some recent mentions of SMU “making the news” — in the Winona area and beyond.

• A story about the Russian National Ballet performing ‘Sleeping Beauty’ was featured in Thursday’s Winona Daily News Live! section.