Tag Archives: University of Minnesota Crookston

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!

We Are Water Exhibit at University of Minnesota Crookston

The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council (NWMAC) welcomes you to visit the We Are Water Art Exhibit, now on display in Kiehle Auditorium at the University of Minnesota Crookston.

Artworks were created by area residents during workshops that were held throughout the region this fall. Participants were encouraged to create using the theme “We Are Water” as inspiration. In a similar spirit to our Equality and Respect for All workshops, participants were provided a 12×12 canvas, supplies and instruction to create a piece of art around this theme. Water can be a source of recreation; it keeps us alive; it is used for daily life. Participants were encouraged to bring snippets or photographs or anything else they might want to use as material, medium, or inspiration.  The workshops and exhibit are part of a larger We Are Water MN project that spans the state of Minnesota.

To view the We Are Water Art Exhibit, please visit UMC any weekday.

On Friday, January 25 an artist’s reception was held to view the canvases and other works in the statewide We Are Water MN project.  Ten years of Clean Water, Land and Legacy funding (Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008) was also celebrated with special guest speakers.

About We Are Water MN: West Polk County Soil and Water District in Crookston was selected to host the impressive We Are Water MN traveling exhibit from January 20 to March 4, 2019. Other sites include St. Paul, Bemidji, Duluth, Austin, Northfield, Grand Rapids and Onamia. The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council worked in collaboration with leaders in Crookston to compliment this family friendly, interactive Humanities Commission exhibit with our own local art creations.

What is the We Are Water MN traveling exhibit?

West Polk County Soil and Water District in Crookston was selected to host the impressive We Are Water MN traveling exhibit from January 20 to March 4, 2019.  Other sites include St Paul, Bemidji, Duluth, Austin, Northfield, Grand Rapids and Onamia.  

We Are Water MN explores the connections between the humanities and water through an exhibit, public events and educator resources. Visitors reflect on local stories and the meaning and experiences of water in Minnesota with space to add their own stories. By creating relationships around water, we are creating networks that can promote positive social norms, and share a vision for and participate in water stewardship. The website on We Are Water MN shares stories from people in Minnesota relating to this theme.  To read these stories visit  https://mnhum.org/we-are-water-mn/

Visit West Polk Soil and Water District’s website to watch for more on this exhibit coming to Crookston at https://www.westpolkswcd.com/we-are-water.html

Parking is free. There are several spaces marked visitor parking on west side of Kiehle. During evening events  there is no ticketing in any parking lot.