Saturday, Sept. 5, 2009

Interview: What's Up at the Woodson, Part II

By Peggy Sue
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Continuing an interview with Marcia Theel, who discusses the future at the Woodson Museum of Art:

Q:That’s amazing. Do you have any other unique programming?

A: We’re committed to serving that young audience, but we’re also developing a program for adult’s with Alzheimer’s disease. We were one of five institutions in the state to receive a grant from the Helen Bader Foundation, a planning grant, to begin such a program.

Q: And when do you plan to begin the program?

A: Out staff went out to New York, to the MOMA [Museum of Modern Art, New York]. They have a huge Alzheimer's program called “Meet Me at the MOMA” held right in their galleries. So we hope to get additional monies, grants, to begin the program in June 2010. They are learning so much about this disease. They find that people who are creative and engaged are less likely to develop this disease.

Q: Besides the Woodson, what makes Wausau such a creative center in Wisconsin?

A: Wausau is a great arts town that is a hidden secret. We have a school of ballet, conservatory of music, The Grand Theater, a Center for Visual Arts, several other community theaters, and the Central Wisconsin Symphonies. And there is skiing, boating on the Wisconsin River, and whitewater rafting in the area..We’re at the crossroads of Highway 59 and 37, easy to get to. We’re so central for the communities surrounding us, and Northern Wisconsin.

Q: And what’s coming up next for the Woodson?

A: This fall we’re sponsoring the Norman Rockwell exhibition. It’s a near pairing of his original paintings and photographers by Kevin Rivelry titled “In Search of Norman Rockwell’s America.” Rivelry wanted to show Rockwell’s images were actually portraits of everyday America, not just idealized figments of imagination. So he began looking for, taking photographs about the concepts and ideas Rockwell painted. Rockwell moments happen in all our lives, but we never notice them. Whenever we place a turkey platter on our table, that's recreating a Norman Rockwell moment.

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