Tag Archives: piano

NW Star Award Recipient George French

Northwest Star Award Winner is George French

The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council is pleased to announce that George French of Crookston has been selected as the 2019 Northwest Minnesota Star Artist of the Year for his lifetime achievement in music, specializing in piano and organ.

French is an Associate Professor and Director of Music/Theater at the University of Minnesota Crookston and has been there for 39 years. Early in his career, he taught elementary and junior high school music.  He is the church organist at Trinity Lutheran church and part-time organist at First Presbyterian church. He has been involved with the Crookston Community Theater, directing and acting in musicals and plays, and is a member of the Kiwanis Club, Crookston Rotary and Masonic Lodge. 

French disclosed that he feels fortunate. “I never really feel like I go to work”.  He explained that “Arts are critical in the development of students; development of the person. The arts are part of the whole educational process that will fulfill a need in all people. The arts and arts organizations like the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council are terribly important, especially in a rural area.”

Asked if he had any advice for aspiring artists. He said, “Grab onto the opportunities when they come. Know your limitations, but you can grow and learn. Set new goals and aspirations.” 

Sandy Perkins explained, “George’s influence in the arts in the area of NW Minnesota and throughout the state is widely known and appreciated. His talents and influence are exceptional to all who know him and work with him.”

Reverend Gregory Isaacson shared, “George affirms people in their gifts and helps them to shine in their own performance.” Finally, former Chancellor at UMC Charles Casey praised French’s work at the college. “Each year it was amazing to watch George find and support the talents of the students coming to campus from across the country and around the world. Before long he would have them performing for the enjoyment of the campus, community, and region.”

The Northwest Star Artist Award is given each year to recognize artists within our seven-county region who stand out in terms of artistry. “Of the Year” Award winners are nominated by area residents. This award comes with $5,000. Artists can only receive our Northwest Star Award once, as a lifetime achievement award. Funding for the Northwest Star comes from the McKnight Foundation.  

Congratulations George French on winning the Northwest Star Award!

Of the Year Awards

Three awards are given each year to recognize artists and arts advocates within our seven county region who stand out in terms of artistry or volunteerism in the arts. “Of the Year” Award winners were nominated by area residents.

Of the Year Award Winners include:

NW Artist of the Year Jean Honl

Jean Honl of Roseau will be awarded the Northwest Artist of the Year Award for fine craft of rosemaling. 

Jean has been rosemaling for over 45 years. Her work is currently exhibited in our gallery in East Grand Forks. Our Artist of the Year award can be given to any discipline artist including visual, performing, or creative writing who are emerging or at a mid-way point in their artistic endeavors. It is a cash award of $500.00.

NW Arts Advocate of the Year Winner Sherri Kukowski

Sherri Kukowski of Badger will be awarded the Northwest Arts Advocate of the Year Award. 

Ms. Kukowski is a mosaic artist and a strong advocate for the arts. She created the Heritage Wall at the Badger Community Center — a 26 ‘ X 12 ” glass mosaic public art installation showcasing rural life in northern Minnesota. Our Arts Advocate of the Year award is $500 and includes arts from all disciplines.

NW Star Award Winner George French

George French of Crookston will receive the Northwest Star Award.

Mr. French is a musician, specializing in piano and organ, and head of the music and theater departments at the University of Minnesota Crookston. He has directed numerous theater productions and is a dedicated and active volunteer in his communityThis award comes with $5,000. Artists can only receive our Northwest Star Award once, as a lifetime achievement award.

These awards will be presented at the Northwest Minnesota Arts Exhibit Reception on Sunday, March 31in Badger at the Badger Community Center at 111 North Main Street, Badger, MN  56714. Refreshments will be served at 2:15 pm with the program beginning promptly at 3:00 pm. Local entertainment will be featured during the program. In addition, the 2019 Creative Minnesota survey results for our region will be presented, followed by a brief discussion of the impact of the arts and culture in the region. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend. For more information about the Arts Exhibit see our website: http://www.northwestminnesotaartscouncil.org/2019/03/2019-nw-annual-art-exhibit/

Funding for Northwest Star and Northwest Artist of the Year comes from The McKnight Foundation. Funding for Northwest Arts Advocate of the Year comes from the Minnesota State Legislature.

L’Ambizioso Duo Touring Northwest Minnesota

L’Ambizioso Duo, recipient of grant funding from the NWMAC, features thrilling classical bass and piano repertoire for audiences around the United States. Comprised of two brothers, Brock and Brayden study bass performance at Johns Hopkins University and piano performance at Concordia College, respectively. Be sure to catch them in concert during their tour of 2017.

L’Ambizioso Tour 2017 Dates

May:

Sat. 14 @ 12:00pm – Middle River MN, First Lutheran Church

Tue. 30 @ 7:00pm – Middle River MN, First Lutheran Church

Wed. 31 @ 7:00pm – Hallock MN, First Presbyterian Church

June:

Sun, June 11 @ 10:30am – Fargo ND, First Lutheran Church
Wed. June 21 @ 7:30pm – Dilworth MN, Dilworth Lutheran Church

July:

Sun. July 9 @1:00pm – Steele ND, Trinity Lutheran Church & Golden Manor Center

Sun. July 9 @6:00pm – Moorhead MN, First Congregational United Church of Christ

Sun. July 23 @ 12:30pm – Maple Grove MN, Lord of Life Church
Sat. July 29 @ 6pm – Lake City MN, United Methodist Church

Sun. July 30 @ 10:30am – Elk River MN, United Methodist Church

August:

Thur. Aug 10 @ 7pm – Fertile MN, Concordia Lutheran Church

Sun. Aug 13 @ TBD – Fosston MN, Kingo Lutheran Church

DATES TBD:

Long Prairie MN, Trinity Lutheran Church Bemidji MN, United Methodist Church Bloomington MN, Friendship Village

More to come…