Thursday, January 28, 2010

STARS Students to Perform in Recital on Jan 30

Collage of STARS student performers at Spring 2009 recitals.
Photos courtesy of Tom Ewing.

Soo Theatre Arts Resource Studios (STARS) will present a student recital Saturday, January 30, 4 pm. at First Presbyterian Church, 555 Bingham St., Sault Ste. Marie, MI.

Featured performers will be Elizabeth Blose, Sam Burdick, Maureen Delaney-Lehman, Rachel Evans, Kyle Flickinger, Matthew Gilbertson, Benjamin Gulder, Samantha Peck, Dyani Stewart, Gabbi Werner, and Matthew Zook. They are voice, violin, viola, and piano students of Dottie Case, Karen Hughes, and Nancy Powers. The public is invited to this performance. Donations will be accepted at the door to benefit the STARS Music Department.

Soo Theatre Arts Resource Studios (STARS) is a community arts center offering instruction in music, dance, theater, visual arts and yoga for students of all ages. STARS is a program of the Soo Theatre Project, partially housed in the historic Soo Theatre complex. For more information on classes and lessons, call the STARS office, 632-1930.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

2010 Projected Summer Schedule

The Soo Theatre Project announces its projected 2010 summer schedule.

May 14-15
STARS World Dance Tour
Spring Dance Show
STARS students perform choreographed numbers to songs from around the world.

June 5
Program to be announced
Sweet Adelines and Northland Barbershop will perform.

June 6, 13, 20, 27
2010 International Idol Competition
The summer of 2010 will be the third year of the Soo Theatre Project’s International Idol Competition. This vocal series competition is open for anyone and any age.

June 25, 26
The Wizard of Oz
Musical Theatre Camp Performance
Students of the STARS Musical Theatre Camp will be performing the Wizard of Oz.

July 15-18
To Be Decided
Soo Theatre Broadway Show

July 31, Aug. 1
Production to be announced
Cedarville Theatre Production

Aug. 12-14
Gianni Schicci
Soo Opera Company

Aug. 19
Children’s Ballet Theatre of Michigan

Aug. 21-22
Give My Regards to Broadway
EUP Fine Arts Council Production

Sept. 2
Rogers and Hammerstein
Mike Dempsey and Company

Oct. 3
Rotary Show of Shows
A benefit for the Soo Theatre Project, Rotary Show of Shows is an annual production.

Oct. 8-9
Rocky Horror Picture Show
This second annual movie showing of the cult classic Rocky Horror Picture Show will have showings at 7 pm and midnight.

For more information, please contact the Soo Theatre Project at (906) 632-1930.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Soo Theatre Project and STARS Win $10,000 National Award

New York, NY – Leveraging Investments in Creativity (LINC) and MetLife Foundation announced the six winners of the nationwide, competitive 2009 MetLife Innovative Space Awards. Soo Theatre Project and Soo Theatre Arts Resource Studios (STARS) in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. received $10,000 in recognition of jump-starting local economic and cultural revitalization by bringing arts education and programming to the region.

When LINC's on-site visitor came to Sault Ste. Marie, he heard from representatives of the hospital, LSSU, Chamber of Commerce, and professionals that this cultural asset is a major recruiting tool to attract and retain new professionals to the community. The awards recognize outstanding efforts in the design and development of affordable space for artists, which is an integral part of LINC’s Space for Change: Building Communities Through Innovative Art Spaces program. These spaces provide a stable foundation from which artists may pursue their works and shape the neighborhoods they inhabit. The winners were selected from more than 90 organizations in 29 states. More about the 2009 awards...

In 2003 the Soo Theatre Project purchased a historical theatre built in the 1930s and revived the neglected structure to become a cultural destination for its region. Soo Theatre Project’s transformation into an active community arts center and performance venue is the result of a Michigan Cool Cities Grant combined with a no-interest loan from a local bank, along with about 250 individual donations (many of which were in modest amounts, and coming from a community of just 14,500 people) and the sweat equity of countless volunteers. Bringing to its stage the first live performances since 1974, the Soo Theatre now serves its small community with a full roster of classes in dance, music, and theatre, as well as opportunities for students to showcase their work. Re-emerging as a destination point, the Soo Theatre Project and STARS has been a key contributor to bringing residents back into the downtown area.

“We are pleased to recognize the Soo Theatre Project and STARS for their extraordinary work to create innovative, affordable, and sustainable artist space that positively impacts its community,” said Dennis White, president and CEO, MetLife Foundation. “The Soo Theatre Project and STARS and the other winning programs serve as models for communities interested in creating and benefiting from sustainable art spaces.

“The Soo Theatre Project and STARS exemplify how the development of affordable living and working spaces for artists can play a powerful role not only in the lives and careers of those artists, but in the communities where these spaces are located. It is an outstanding example of excellent programming, socially progressive real estate development, and the ability to provide creative and economic sustenance in a community,” said Judilee Reed, executive director, LINC.

Four other winning organizations each received a $10,000 award:

  • The Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning in Lexington, KY was recognized for its robust programming for professional writers and commitment to fostering improved literacy levels in its local community, recognizing the impact that art can have on basic life skills.

  • The City of Asylum/Pittsburgh, Pa. provides outstanding levels of service to artists in exile through a residency program with a full range of support services for the personal and professional recovery of artists and their families.

  • Open Book 2.0 in Minneapolis, Minn. exemplifies collaboration among local non-profits. Three independent organizations, The Loft Literary Center, Milkweed Editions, and Minnesota Center for Book Arts pooled resources to form a vibrant literary arts center.

  • Watts House Project in Los Angeles, Calif. meshes artists’ skills with local needs to improve households, creating a bond between artist and neighbor by integrating sustainable building and landscaping into everyday life.
The grand prize winning organization, The International Sonoran Desert Alliance (ISDA), received $50,000 in recognition of its development of the Curley School, an exceptional, community-engaged artist space anchoring an arts-based revitalization movement in the border town of Ajo, Arizona and neighboring Tohono O’odham Nation and Sonora, Mexico.

“Artist spaces should be fundamental to well-planned communities. We hope a broader set of stakeholders, including policymakers, planners and other civic leaders, will embrace arts and culture as significant components of effective development strategies,” said Susan Silberberg-Robinson, associate project director, MetLife Innovative Space Awards and lecturer in Urban Design and Planning, MIT.

Space for Change: Building Communities Through Innovative Art Spaces was launched in 2009 by LINC in partnership with MIT’s Department of Urban Studies, through a funding collaboration between the MetLife Foundation and Ford Foundation. To learn more, visit

About LINC

Leveraging Investments in Creativity (LINC) is a 10-year initiative to improve artists’ ability to make work, build social capital and contribute to democratic values. For more information, visit

About MetLife Foundation

MetLife Foundation was established by MetLife to continue the company’s long tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. Grants are made to support health, educational, civic and cultural organizations and programs. The Foundation contributes to arts and cultural organizations, with an emphasis on increasing opportunities for young people, reaching broad audiences through inclusive programming, and making arts more accessible for all people. For more information, please visit

About the Soo Theatre Project

The Soo Theatre Project in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan was formed to restore and renovate the classic and historic Soo Theatre Complex to its original grandeur of the 1930s. The Project's mission is to sponsor, encourage, and create opportunities for participating in and appreciating the arts.


Soo Theatre Arts Resource Studios (STARS) is a community arts center offering instruction in music, dance, theater, visual arts and yoga for students of all ages. STARS is a program of the Soo Theatre Project, partially housed in the historic Soo Theatre complex.

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