SPCO Receives Grant from Augustine Foundation to Create New Projects

Kate Nordstrum, formerly of the Southern Theater, to join SPCO staff as Producer

For Immediate Release
Contact: Kelly Belich 651.292.3239

Saint Paul, MN, December 15, 2011 – The SPCO announced today that it has received a planning grant from the New York-based Augustine Foundation to create new projects at SPCO Center and with other partner institutions during the 2012-13 season. Kate Nordstrum, a Minneapolis-based music curator and arts management consultant, known for her work at the Southern Theater, will join the SPCO staff to do this planning work as Producer, Special Projects. The grant is Augustine’s first in the Twin Cities.

The SPCO has been actively working to develop new projects for utilizing the Music Room at SPCO Center during its “dark” periods, with the goal of developing new audiences for classical music while allowing the arts community fuller use of the intimate, 250-seat performance space. The Orchestra rehearses at SPCO Center during the work week, performs its chamber music and contemporary concerts there, and also uses the Center for Saturday family programming. The large majority of SPCO weekend performances take place at the Ordway Center or in one of the Orchestra’s neighborhood venues, and the Music Room also is largely unused during the Orchestra’s summer break. This grant will allow the SPCO to venture more substantively into this arena.

According to Sarah Lutman, President and Managing Director of the SPCO, “We’re pleased to have received the funding to do this work, as it aligns with our efforts to advocate for classical music in our community. During her time at the Southern, Kate introduced the Twin Cities to many interesting and groundbreaking artists, and we are pleased to have her energy and creativity animating the SPCO Center.”

Nordstrum will work with SPCO staff to develop projects that provide new access points to a broad range of audiences for experiencing and learning about classical music. Her work will include planning a new series for SPCO Center focused on introducing contemporary classical composers and musicians to the Twin Cities, capitalizing on the flexibility of the Music Room to serve as a comfortable, casual and intimate performance setting for artists and audiences.

“The SPCO is looking to the future wide-eyed and flexible, with a desire to increase access and break down barriers to entry in experiencing and learning about classical music,” said Nordstrum. “I share this commitment, with a whole-hearted passion for encouraging exploration among artists and audiences. Joining forces, I think we will do great things.”

Kate Nordstrum is a Minneapolis-based music curator and arts management consultant. Current projects include co-presentations and partnerships with the Walker Art Center, Cedar Cultural Center, Northrop Concerts & Lectures, The Schubert Club and New Amsterdam Records. Previous employers include Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts Inc., New York City Center and the Southern Theater (Minneapolis). In 2008, Nordstrum created a robust new music program at the historically dance-centric Southern Theater that in just two seasons established the venue as a national hot spot for innovative new music programming. In 2009, the Southern was named “best new music venue” by Minnesota Monthly; in 2010, Nordstrum was singled out as the “most adventurous music curator in town” (MinnPost.com); and in 2011, the Star Tribune praised her as “a presenter of rare initiative.” Nordstrum collaborates regularly with dance, theater and film makers on cross-disciplinary programming initiatives; creates sustainable series and thematic festivals; and digs deep for the most virtuosic, visual and visceral music in the world to bring to the theatrical stage. Her work in the field of performing arts marketing & communications is extensive.

By appointment of Minneapolis City Council, Nordstrum has served on the Minneapolis Arts Commission since 2008.

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