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The Rita Tallent Picken Regional Center for Arts and Humanities • University of Wisconsin-Parkside 293886512.indd 1

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“Growth in any society is driven through understanding and appreciation of the arts and humanities. Through the Rita Tallent Picken Regional Center for Arts and Humanities we will learn together a deeper respect for social responsibility and community.” Bryan Albrecht, President Gateway Technical College The multi-storied Brookwood Entrance is named in honor of the Heide family home on County Highway A, northwest of the UW-Parkside campus. In 1931, Christen P. Heide reconstructed the home, brick by brick, after moving the building from its original Kenosha location along the Lake Michigan shoreline at 50 69th St. Christen’s son Charles and his wife, Kathryn, live in the home today. Christen P. Heide was a generous, philanthropic Kenosha industrialist during the first half of the 20th century. His passions included education, nature, family and faith.

Welcome to the Rita Tallent Picken Regional Center for Arts and Humanities. When I arrived at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside just a few years ago, this amazing project was already in motion. In fact, some of our campus “veterans” will tell you the plans have been in the works for more than 20 years. Now, thanks to the hard work and dedication of our campus planning team, the Wisconsin Division of State Facilities

Debbie Ford, Chancellor University of Wisconsin-Parkside

and the Department of Administration, the University of Wisconsin System, HGA,

her tireless efforts to grow the UW-Kenosha

Miron Construction and many other

Center into what is today the University

valued business partners...the wait

of Wisconsin-Parkside, to establishing

is over. Theatre productions are taking

the Capsule College, Rita Tallent Picken

place in the new Black Box Theatre; art

understood the importance of connecting

exhibits adorn the walls in three beautiful

higher education to our communities.

art galleries; and music is filling the incredible Frances Bedford Concert Hall. The Hallmarks of the University

I invite you to see for yourself. Please join us for the grand opening, Saturday evening, January 28. And make plans

of Wisconsin-Parkside can be found

to attend many of the more than 300

throughout this building: Student Success;

concerts, plays, art exhibits, shows and

Academic Excellence; Diversity and

readings during 2012 as we celebrate the

Inclusiveness; and, of course, Community

Year of the Arts and Humanities.

Engagement. The Rita — as it is quickly becoming known — exemplifies not only Debbie Ford, Chancellor

the mission of our university, but the vision of its namesake, Rita Tallent Picken. From

University of Wisconsin-Parkside

Artist Steve Feren’s work “The Life Expressive” welcomes visitors to the Rita Tallent Picken Regional Center for Arts and Humanities. Feren was inspired by the passion of Ferdinand Cheval, a retired postman in the south of France who spent more than 30 years of his life creating Le Palais Idéal. Cheval — armed with only a wheelbarrow, bucket and trowel — built an imaginary castle, a wonder of the creative world.

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on the cover

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1/11/2012 9:53:05 AM

grand opening schedule The grand opening of the Rita Tallent Picken Regional Center for Arts and Humanities will be held Saturday, January 28, 2012. The open house, running from 6:30–8:30 p.m., features selfguided tours and performance and exhibit “menus.” Additionally, complimentary desserts and a cash bar will be available. A more detailed event schedule appears below: 6:30 p.m. Arrival and Registration 7 p.m. Act I Performance “Menu” • Music Performances Frances Bedford Concert Hall • Theatre Performances Black Box Theatre • Art Exhibits and Demonstrations Art Galleries and Art Studios • Humanities Presentations 7:30 p.m. Act II Performance “Menu” • Music Performances • Theatre Performances • Art Exhibits and Demonstrations • Humanities Presentations 8 p.m. Final Performance “Menu” • Music Performances • Theatre Performances • Art Exhibits and Demonstrations • Humanities Presentations 8:30 p.m. Event Concludes



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vision Through the Rita Tallent Picken Regional Center for Arts and Humanities, the University of Wisconsin-Parkside will be recognized as a regional educational leader and community partner for the arts and humanities, supporting and promoting academic and artistic programs that contribute to the cultural vitality and economic growth of southeastern Wisconsin and northeastern Illinois.

core values The Rita Tallent Picken Regional Center for Arts and Humanities supports and values: • Academic Excellence • Artistic Opportunity • Cultural Enrichment • Economic Vitality • Freedom of Expression • Enhanced Communication • Diversity and Inclusiveness • Creativity and Innovation • Community Engagement

strategic goals •

To continually enrich and promote exceptional academic programs in the arts and humanities that are recognized for their excellence and valuable contributions to the region

To create and support a synergy among all arts and humanities disciplines, resulting in high quality performances, presentations, and exhibitions

To explore and express the complexity of the human condition

To serve as a regional educational and arts facility and facilitator that provides diverse populations with meaningful and accessible cultural experiences and opportunities while encouraging emerging artists and audiences of all ages

To enhance the region’s image by stimulating the financial and creative economies of the campus and the communities it serves

To foster collaboration with local and regional arts and humanities groups, bringing UW-Parkside programs to community venues and welcoming community organizations to have a presence on campus

campus communication group Trenton Baylor, Art Department Tony Brzoskowski, Campus Technology Services Michael Clickner, Theatre Arts Robert Czarny, Campus Technology Services Darice Damata-Geiger, Theatre Arts John Desch, Facilities Planning Leon Fasano, Facilities Planning Alvaro Garcia, Music Department Lee Goldesberry, Campus Technology Services Gail Gonzalez, Modern Languages Cheryl Gundersen, Administration and Fiscal Affairs Keith Harris, Theatre Arts James Heller, Police and Public Safety

Rhonda Kimmel, Registrar’s Office Don Kolbe, Facilities Management Sue Lemens, Registrar’s Office Brandi Liantonio, English Department James McKeever, Music Department Jay McRoy, English Department Megan Mullen, Communication Department David Olsen, Facilities Management Alan Russell, Administration and Fiscal Affairs Karen Sorensen, Fine Arts William Streeter, Administration and Fiscal Affairs Steve Wallner, Student Life Skelly Warren, Theatre Arts Dean Yohnk, College of Arts and Sciences

community art partners The University of Wisconsin-Parkside is proud to partner with arts and humanities organizations throughout southeastern Wisconsin, including Black-Eyed Press, Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha, Bruce Niemi Sculpture Gallery, Burlington Area School District, Carthage College Gallery, Choral Arts Society of Southeast Wisconsin, City of Kenosha Commission on the Arts, the Civil War Museum,, Gateway Technical College, Kenosha Area Business Alliance, Kenosha Area Chamber of Commerce, Kenosha Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Kenosha Community

Foundation, Kenosha Public Museum, Kenosha Symphony, Kenosha Unified School District, Lakeside Players, Lemon Street Gallery, Mathis Gallery, The Prairie School, Racine Art Center, ArtSpace Gallery, Racine Arts Council, Racine Art Guild, Racine Art Museum, Racine Community Band, Racine Community Foundation, Racine Heritage Museum, Racine and Kenosha public libraries, Racine Symphony, Racine Theatre Guild, Racine Unified School District, Rhode Opera House, Sixth Street Theatre, Southeast Wisconsin Performing Arts Kenosha, and the Windows of Downtown Kenosha Project.

left: The music wing of The Rita features ample exterior light, contemporary colors and bold design. above: The exterior of The Rita seamlessly blends with existing UW-Parkside buildings.

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1/13/2012 10:36:39 AM

the tour Seeing all there is to see in the Rita Tallent Picken Regional Center for Arts and Humanities — quickly becoming known as “The Rita” — takes a little time. After all, the entire project was really multiple projects rolled into one.

upper right: Students enjoy one of the many new casual meeting spaces that dot The Rita. lower: The 340-seat Frances Bedford Concert Hall, the first space on the



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UW-Parkside campus designed especially for musical performances, debuted in December with two sold-out performances of Handel’s “Messiah.”

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There were expansion projects

outside where a new roadway

on the north and south sides of the

configuration creates easier access to

former Communication Arts Building.

the main entrance, and easier access

Much of the existing portion of the

to the enlarged parking areas.

building was remodeled. Then there

Next to the main entrance, a

were partial remodeling projects

stunning art creation by Steven Feren

in Molinaro Hall and Wyllie Hall,

welcomes visitors. Feren’s “The Life

along with parking-lot and roadway

Expressive” celebrates the creative efforts

updates and reconfigurations.

of Ferdinand Cheval, a retired postman

Finally, an outdoor art facility

in the south of France. In 1879, Cheval

was constructed on the east side of

began building a “natural temple.” For

Wood Road. This prefabricated metal

the next 30 years, it was his life’s work.

building will be used for art projects

Feren’s artwork embraces the idea that

that require a high level of ventilation.

hard work and persistence create the

Touring The Rita actually starts

foundation for creativity to flourish.

Inside, the spacious Brookwood Entrance is the gateway to music venues, theatres, art galleries, design studios and classrooms. The highlight of the new south wing is the 340-seat Frances Bedford Concert Hall. This is the first space on the UW-Parkside campus designed especially for musical performances. The space is beautiful. What truly sets it apart, however, are the superior acoustics. The south wing also features choral and instrumental rehearsal halls, and state-of-the-art individual and group practice rooms. The building expansion to the north creates more room for theatre arts students to rehearse, and design and build the sets, costumes, and other technical elements necessary for a live theatre production. upper right: The expanded Theatre Design Studio lies in a north-side addition to the former Communication Arts building. upper left: The new multi-storied

Brookwood Entrance welcomes visitors and provides a friendly meeting space. lower left: The 150-seat Black Box Theatre is easily configured for small performances. january 2012

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1/13/2012 10:35:32 AM

The Black Box Theatre, which seats 150, can be configured in a variety of ways. Two new rehearsal studios may also host smaller performances. The remodeled and expanded scenic shops are named in honor

Step into the Fine Arts Gallery;

of the Klopcic family. Dick and Betty

you may think you’ve found another

Klopcic founded the Fireside in 1964

new portion of the building. Actually,

and in 1978 opened a professional

the Fine Arts Gallery is part of the

spaces in The Rita include print-

theatre in Fort Atkinson, Wis. In 1986,

remodeling, as is the Regional Center

making, painting, drawing, and fiber

the Klopcics formed a partnership

Gallery adjacent to the Main Stage

and textile studios. Sculpture and

with the UW-Parkside Theatre Arts

Theatre lobby, and the UW-Parkside

ceramics studios have been moved

Department to have Fireside sets

Foundation Gallery located near the

to a remodeled space in Molinaro

and props constructed on campus.

Art Department studios.

Hall. Remodeled space in Wyllie Hall

by emerging professional artists. Additional new Art Department

The 2,000-square-foot Fine

is now home to 3-D animation

Fireside Theatre have funded the

Arts Gallery is a museum-quality

and digital-art computer labs.

salaries of multitudes of UW-Parkside

space that hosts exhibitions with

Back in the Rita, the Dhaliwal

faculty and staff, and provided learning

an interdisciplinary character. The

Modern Languages Laboratory on

opportunities for hundreds of students.

Regional Center Gallery presents

the L1 level highlights expanded

work by local and regional artists,

lecture halls, classrooms and learning

and the Foundation Gallery features

environments for the humanities.

Over the years, grants from the

upper left: Part of a three-level music wing, the Choral Rehearsal Hall features adjustable acoustics to match the size of the choir. lower left: The sculpture studio


student exhibitions and solo shows


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is part of expanded, renovated space in Molinaro Hall. right: A group of students participate in limbering exercises in the new Theatre Rehersal Studio A.

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“I applaud the vision and determination of UW-Parkside to partner with Kenosha and Racine.... This powerful collaboration builds the regional community from its imaginative core...� Barbara Lawton, Chair of Wisconsin Arts Board and Former Lieutenant Governor The UW-Parkside Foundation Gallery, one of three galleries in The Rita, provides space for student exhibitions.

january 2012 the rita



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rita tallent picken: educator, traveler, lifelong learner It is appropriate that buildings with the name “Tallent” on them now bookend the University of Wisconsin-Parkside campus. Tallent Hall represents the beginning and now the Rita Tallent Picken Regional Center for Arts and Humanities is the present and future of the university.

Kitty Picken believes her stepmother — and

“Rita loved the arts, she loved culture,” Kitty said.

fellow adventurer — Rita Tallent Picken would be

“She would be thrilled to know her name is on a

quietly pleased to have her name associated with

building that will host such a variety of artistic and

the University of Wisconsin-Parkside’s new arts and

cultural events.”

humanities center. “I think she would not have thought of this on

Rita, along with her first husband, Bernard Tallent, was instrumental in the creation of

her own and if she’d been here — and I suggested

UW-Parkside. Kitty said Rita was proud when

it — she would have probably thought it was

Tallent Hall was posthumously named for her first

too much. But the idea, if it were presented to

husband. Tallent led the two-year UW-Kenosha

her on a platter with no way of refusal, she would

campus and strongly advocated a four-year

become very quickly used to it,” Kitty said. “She had

campus be opened here. Rita’s voice was part of

a tendency, because of her natural humility, to

the chorus advocating UW-Parkside’s creation.

protest…but not hard.” The building her name now graces, the Rita Tallent

Joining the university’s administration shortly after the campus opened, Rita naturally gravitated

Picken Regional Center for Arts and Humanities —

toward community engagement, making it her

affectionately known on campus as “The Rita” —

mission to bring the campus to people and people

embodies many of the things Rita strived for when

to the campus.

the Kenosha campus was created in the 1960s — and that she helped nurture during the next decade.


UW-Parkside file photo of Rita Tallent Picken.

“She felt very strongly that it was important for her to be out in the community,” Kitty said.

1919: Rita Wex born in Wausau, Wis. Last of seven sisters. 1938: Rita graduates high school and attends Wausau Extension Center. 1939: Rita transfers to UW-Madison. 1942: Rita graduates after “three glorious years in Madison.” She is hired to teach English in Sheboygan. 1945: Rita joins the Red Cross to help with the war effort. She was assigned to Brazil after one month of training in Washington, D.C.

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1/13/2012 10:42:05 AM

Growing up in Wausau, Rita followed her two passions — education and travel — to become

Rita Tallent Picken (left) and friends.



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longer-term commitment. Kitty picks up the story:

a lifelong learner long before the term existed.

“At the end of the semester, the professor called

She taught English in Sheboygan and California

and said, ‘Okay, Bernard, thank you so much. If

before spending a year in Brazil with the Red Cross.

you want to come back to Madison you can. We

Returning home to teach English at what would

didn’t mean that you have to stop your education

become UW-Marathon County, she met Tallent, a

altogether.’ And Bernard said, ‘You know, I like it

young man from Kentucky by way of UW-Madison.

here. I think I’m going to stay.’ And the professor

One of Tallent’s professors suggested he go to

1946: After returning home to the Wausau area, Rita begins to teach at the UW-Extension Center. She meets Bernard Tallent. 1948: Bernard is hired to teach political science and be director of the Kenosha UW-Extension. Rita and Bernard marry March 29. 1949: Kenosha Center moves to new building downtown, now the Municipal Building. ‘50-’60: Enrollment expands. Bernard becomes full-time administrator. Rita teaches

Wausau to teach for a semester. It turned into a



1966: 1967:

occasional English classes at Racine Center. Property on Washington Road is purchased for new UW-Kenosha building. New UW-Kenosha building, now Bradford High School, opens Nov. 1. Bernard dies Oct. 28. State Legislature approves a new four-year campus in southeastern Wisconsin. Kenosha selected as site for new campus. Rita accepts an NDEA grant to attend California State

College for a master of science degree in student personnel service. 1968: Rita offered director of school and campus relations by UW-Parkside Chancellor I.G. Wyllie. 1969: Rita named “Woman of the Year” by the Kenosha News. 1970: Tallent Hall dedicated May 1. ‘70-’74: Rita promoted to assistant to the chancellor and coordinator for community services. Rita helped find assisted living for retired

said: ‘What color are her eyes?’”

English instructor Beryl Whitney with the help of Doris Picken (daughter of Peerless Confection founder) and her husband, Bob. 1975: Doris Picken dies. Rita attends funeral in Chicago. After several months Bob Picken asks to see Rita. After several visits, he launches a campaign to make Rita his wife. 1976: Rita and Bob marry on May 1. Rita kept her job at UW-Parkside for a year


1999: 2007:


and a half. Bob commuted to Kenosha on weekdays and Rita went to Hyde Park on weekends. Rita resigns from UW-Parkside and sells Kenosha home. Bob dies Dec. 24 at the age of 89. Peerless Confection closes its doors April 30. Rita served on Peerless board of directors for 25 years. Rita dies Nov. 16.

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The couple traveled south in 1948, where Tallent would lead the Kenosha campus for the University of Wisconsin Extension until his death in 1965. After joining UW-Parkside, Rita started a program for other lifelong learners called Capsule College. “This was a way of getting the community out here, getting them to see the campus, getting them to make the drive here,” Kitty said. Started in 1971, the first Capsule College took one day and the class schedule fit on a single page. Rita worked on the program with Kim Baugrud, a now-retired UW-Extension professor. By 1977, when Kitty became involved as a teacher, Capsule College was growing. At its peak, Baugrud said, Capsule College attracted a couple of thousand adults for three days of continuing education. By then, Rita had met and married candy executive Robert Picken; she resigned from UW-Parkside in 1978 to live full time in Chicago. There, she continued as a community activist serving on the board of the local settlement house

“Both of us discovered we liked roads trips,”

and becoming involved with the Oriental Institute,

Kitty said, recalling a host of excursions to Florida,

a museum devoted to the ancient Near East.

taking a different route each time, and numerous

Rita also travelled, visiting Africa and Asia along

Rita Tallent Picken with her step-daughter Kitty Picken and their dog Honey.

trips to Kenosha for theatre events and to visit the

with frequent trips to Europe and destinations

university and friends. “I don’t know how many

across the United States.

times I drove back from Kenosha at midnight.”

The naming of the newest UW-Parkside building in honor of Rita Tallent Picken was part of a $3.5 million donation made by Kitty Picken. For many reasons, placing her name on the regional center for arts and humanities would have pleased her stepmother and good friend: “The important thing,” Kitty said, “is that it’s the arts building, and that it’s a community building, and it’s Parkside. All of those things would have made it very special to her.” Kitty Picken at her home in Hyde Park, Ill. january 2012

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acoustically perfect Focus on sound quality delivers ‘world–class’ concert venue When the Frances Bedford Concert Hall debuted with two sold-out performances

but all the other instruments in the

of Handel’s “Messiah” in December, one

ensemble, making for the best integrated

member of the orchestra was thrilled

sound possible. An acoustically perfect

and a little relieved to have the new

hall lets the sound ‘bloom’ into space and

performance space open. That orchestra

momentarily create the illusion of another

member, the harpsichord player, also

dimension,” she said. “This facet of the hall

happened to be the person whose name

was the number-one priority for me and

graces the venue: Emerita Professor of

I’m happy to say they succeeded.”

Music Frances Bedford. “When I first saw the completed hall I

Following a performance of “Messiah,” UW-Parkside Provost Terry Brown quoted

thought, ‘At last we finally have a concert

a visitor from Milwaukee — who has

hall.’ Being a native Missourian, I had to

heard music performed in some of the

see it to believe it — the old ‘Show-Me’

best venues in the world — as saying

mentality, I guess,” Professor Bedford said.

the Frances Bedford Concert Hall is, “the

Before retiring from teaching in 1995, Professor Bedford spent 25 years performing and attending campus

finest concert hall she had ever been in.” Another called it “world class.” Professor Bedford agrees, saying “it

concerts in less-than-inspirational

compares most favorably with other


venues around the world,” a comparison

“I had always hoped and dreamed of

she can make because she toured the

an intimate space for playing chamber

Midwest and Europe extensively with her

music,” she said. “No more playing in

son Monte as the harpsichord and oboe

converted classrooms or uninspiring

playing Bedford Duo.

science lecture halls.” Professor Bedford’s $500,000 gift

When asked how it felt to know she was instrumental in making such a

ensured that UW-Parkside students would

performance space available to current

no longer have to present their music in

and future UW-Parkside students,

spaces better suited for plays, films, or the

Professor Bedford demurred, saying “I only

spoken word. Of course, the essence of a

hope that I have made a good long-term

music performance space is its acoustics;

contribution to the world of music and to

when the acoustics are right — and

the community.”

the concert hall’s acoustics are right in

With every note played and every song

Professor Bedford’s opinion — music

voiced in the concert hall bearing her name,

becomes an otherworldly experience.

Professor Bedford’s contribution to music

“The hall is acoustically perfect! That


allows a player not only to hear himself


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and the community fulfills that hope.

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above: Emerita Professor of Music Frances Bedford sitting in the concert hall that now bears her name. left: 340 seats fill the Frances Bedford Concert Hall.

the acoustic perspective Embracing the belief that world-class acoustics can be achieved within challenging budgeting parameters, Acoustic Dimensions worked to achieve spaces to serve the university’s music program exceptionally well. The large volume above ceilings and catwalks in the Frances Bedford Concert Hall helps support strong natural acoustic environments appropriate for musical groups large and small. Combined with adjustable acoustic curtains and quiet mechanical systems, spaces can be altered to effectively accommodate different performance types — from a delicate harpsichord recital to a large brass band concert. To enable simultaneous use of performance and rehearsal spaces, essentially three separate structures were constructed in the building to prevent the transfer of sound energy from one space to another. With a collaborative and proactive design process, this was accomplished with minimal impact on the cost of the building. The entrances to each space feature sound- and light-lock vestibules to prevent disruption from outside activity. Mechanical systems for the performance spaces were designed to be silent in operation to maximize the dynamic range of expression for performers, creating an acoustical environment that allows performers to facilitate memorable bonds with their audience.

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1/13/2012 10:46:05 AM


Dean Yohnk Dean, College of Arts and Sciences

“Throughout history, artistic expression and diverse conversations have inspired and transformed communities. The arts and humanities have demonstrated their unbelievable power to serve as a catalyst for bringing about an unbelievable renaissance and rebirth for mankind. The vision and mission of The Rita is founded in educational achievement, artistic expression, community engagement, economic vitality, and meaningful links between the campus and diverse communities we serve. The Rita belongs to all of us in our diverse communities as a “hub” and “home” where we can come together to experience, explore, express, and celebrate what it means to be human.”



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Lisa Kornetsky Chair, Theatre Arts Department

“It was a dream for so long to have this wonderful space. Now, it is here and we are finally able to stretch our wings. With this new building we will be able to explore new technologies, produce plays in more innovative ways, and give our students the freedom to work on their own material. We have a terrific group of theatre students and they spend so much of their time in the theatre. Now they have places to meet and rehearse, space in which to study and design, and so much more. The Rita affirms the importance of what we do. It will allow us to be more collaborative with our university colleagues and the community. For many of us, it is home and it is beautiful!”

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the fact sheet • 163,000-square-foot facility transforms the former Communication Arts Building into a state-of-the-art education and performance space; 91,000 square feet of renovated space and 72,000 square feet of new construction • The Music Department occupies a new addition on the south side of the building, the Theatre Arts and Art departments occupy an addition and renovated space on the north side; the new Brookwood Entrance lobby is on the west side • A three-level music wing includes the 340seat Frances Bedford Concert Hall, rehearsal rooms, practice studios, music technology lab, and music library

above: A student diligently works in the print making studio. lower left: At night, ‘The Life Expressive’ illuminates; playfully welcoming guests to The Rita.

• The Frances Bedford Concert Hall features maple paneling on the first level, absorptive panel curtains that can be acoustically adjusted, and reflective maple acoustical clouds; diffusion ventilation filtered from under the floor protects acoustical integrity

• 2-D art spaces on the ground level include textile, drawing, printmaking and painting studios, the Fine Arts Gallery, a 2,000-square-foot museum quality space with 18-foot ceilings, and the UW-Parkside Foundation Gallery • Theatre-arts wing includes the 150-seat Black Box Theatre, the Fireside Theatre Scenic Shops, renovated Main Stage Theatre lobby connected to the Brookwood Entrance and Regional Art Gallery, two rehearsal rooms, and props, costume, and theatre design studios • New 85-seat lecture hall on the concourse level of the theatre arts/2-D art wing, and five general-use classrooms on the first level • 3-D art for ceramics and sculpture consolidated in renovated space in Molinaro Hall; new Digital Arts & Animation Center, and Distance Education Classroom relocated to renovated space in Wyllie Hall


Trenton Baylor Chair, Art Department

“The Rita provides the physical space and the financial support the Art Department needs to think more broadly about what we teach, how we teach, and the communities that we serve. It has brought about a fresh perspective to our curriculum, research and creative activity, programming, and outreach. The Rita has finally united the arts and humanities and has created the desire for more interdisciplinary collaboration. As The Rita grows into its title as the regional center for arts and humanities I envision that the space will also become the center for connection and partnership with local and regional businesses, nonprofit and arts organizations.”

James McKeever Chair, Music Department

“After decades of dreaming and planning, the Music Department now has a stateof-the-art facility in which to teach and perform. Its centerpiece, the Frances Bedford Concert Hall, features adjustable acoustics, a large flexible stage, beautiful maple paneling, and a wrap-around balcony. In addition to the concert hall, we now have rehearsal halls for ensembles and choirs, a music technology lab, numerous practice rooms and other specialized spaces. Our students will benefit from all these spaces, and will be encouraged to reach the highest level of music study and performance. We look forward to sharing our spaces with audiences as well as musical organizations.”

Jay McRoy Chair, English Department

“Given UW-Parkside’s location between two major urban centers, the Rita Tallent Picken Regional Center for Arts and Humanities provides an essential space where artists can converge and share their skills and perspectives. Poetic gestures — be they written, aural, or visual (or some combination of the three) — have long been a vital component of my daily experience, and I look forward to seeing how this incredible arts center further galvanizes a region filled with gifted visionaries and talented students eager to expand their aesthetic horizons.”

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1/13/2012 10:47:25 AM

Congratulations! The expansion of your new facility is an asset to the school and community. It was a pleasure working on such a great project. 7856 W. Appleton Avenue Milwaukee, WI 53218 Phone: 414.562.9266 Fax: 414.445.9679 Email:





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professional partnership Since 1986, the UW-Parkside and Fireside Theatre partnership has been a hit Some things are just meant to be. When Michael Clickner left the Fireside Theatre in Fort Atkinson, Wis.,

Warren, an emeritus professor

both,” Rick Klopcic said. “It helps

of design and technical production

the UW-Parkside scenic shops hire

at UW-Parkside, remembered

professional people who can then

Clickner when the two first met

teach the students. “It’s kind of an extension of their

working on the Fireside production

education for the students to come

of “Hello Dolly.” “We worked well together,”

over here and load in and tear down

Clickner said. “I have great feelings

a show, and see the whole thing put

for the Fireside and I, of course, said

together with Broadway actors.

yes. It was the best of both worlds.”

And it helps us get our sets and props

When Dick and Betty Klopcic

built. It’s kind of a neat situation.” The partnership between the two

to move back to Racine and be closer

opened the Fireside in 1964,

to his parents, he may have believed

professional theatre was not part

organizations was formally honored

his Fireside days were over.

of the operation.

with the naming of the set design

Clickner, who is now the Fireside

“My parents started the theatre

and construction space in the Rita

Theatre technical director and scenic

business in 1977 and we got involved

Tallent Picken Regional Center for Arts

lab supervisor at the University of

with UW-Parkside when we re-did

Humanities as The Fireside Theatre

Wisconsin-Parkside, worked for the

our art gallery into a theatre back

Scenic Studios.

Racine Theatre Guild for a few years

in the early 80s,” said Rick Klopcic,

before getting a call from Skelly Warren.

the son of Dick and Betty Klopcic.

“It is such an honor, I know my dad would be proud,” said Rick Klopcic. In March 2011, Gov. Scott

“One day out of the blue, Skelly

Today, Rick Klopcic operates the

called me and asked if I wanted to

Fireside Theatre with his wife, Jane,

Walker presented the Wisconsin

work at UW-Parkside building sets for

and their son, Ryan.

Department of Tourism Legacy Award


the Fireside,” Clickner said.

“The partnership helps us

posthumously to Dick Klopcic.

Text from The Fireside Theatre Scenic Studios dedication plaque:

The Fireside was founded in 1964 by Dick and Betty Klopcic. In 1978, the Klopcic Family opened a professional theatre and as an extension of their commitment to excellence, formed a unique partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Parkside Theatre Arts Department in 1986. In the years that followed, grants from the Fireside Theatre to the Theatre Arts Department for the creation of scenery and props have funded the salaries of multitudes of staff and faculty working on this partnership. The Klopcics believe that God has richly blessed their family and business. They, in turn, have been a blessing to our campus and our community.

Dick and Betty Klopcic. january 2012

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1/13/2012 10:48:58 AM

creative economy “Southeast Wisconsin’s economy and prosperity will depend less on how much it produces and more on what it produces, less on its cost of living and more on quality of living...” — Creativity Works! Milwaukee Regional Creative Industries Project

economic development. “We all know that a creative community attracts more creatives,” Harris said. “When you improve regional attractiveness, you improve quality of life, and you improve quality of place. Architects and graphic designers don’t stop being creative at 5

The opening of the Rita Tallent Picken

o’clock; where are they going to get their creative stimulation?”

Regional Center for Arts and Humanities

their connection with the creative

comes at a time when those involved

economy. “Creative industries is a new

with economic development are paying

amalgamation of businesses under that

Tallent Picken Regional Center for Arts and

much closer attention to a newly defined

nomenclature,” Harris said. “If you were to

Humanities enter the picture. Without the

industry cluster — the creative economy.

go to an advertising business in Kenosha

opportunity for creative stimulation, the

“There are various versions of how

and ask how they like being a part of the

region is less attractive overall.

people define the creative economy,” said

creative economy, they might say, ‘What?

Christine Harris, owner of Christine Harris

What are you talking about?’”

Connections and a consulting adviser to

Traditionally, for the purposes of

That’s where resources like the Rita

Another value of the University of Wisconsin-Parkside and its new center for arts and humanities, Harris said, is

Creative Alliance Milwaukee. “The way we

government statistics and industry

the combination of talent, research and

describe it is a collection of businesses,

analysis, businesses such as advertising

learning. “A university, because of its link

organizations and individuals who

agencies or even architectural firms were

between students and the talent pipeline,

produce goods and services that originate

classified as a professional service.

the research and teaching, and the

in aesthetic, cultural or creative content.”

In Wisconsin’s M7 Region (Kenosha,

business community at large, gives you

Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Walworth,

an opportunity to not only help feed the

having a balance of industry sectors. “As

Washington and Waukesha counties)

growth of the creative economies

we have found here, if you are overly

there are about 66,000 people working

but also to research and measure the

dependent on one industry sector, and in

in the creative economy, and receiving $2

impact of the creative industries on the

this case we have been overly dependent

billion in wages. Of the 4,100 businesses

rest of the economy.”

on manufacturing, you don’t have a

identified in the M7 creative economy,

balance that can ebb and flow with the

50 percent employ 10 people or less, a

ups and downs of any one sector,” she said.

quintessential sweet spot in the area of

Harris sees great value in a community


Not all businesses may realize


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above: Students and Professor Skelly Warren work hand-in-hand in the spacious Fireside Theatre Scenic Studios.

january 2012

1/13/2012 10:50:02 AM

“Businesses, institutions, and the arts are tied together when it comes to creating a successful and attractive community. We are excited to see how UW-Parkside continues to seek ways to extend its influence beyond the boundaries of campus.� Francisco Loyola, Owner Students share the stage in the Black Box Theatre. With 150 seats, the theatre easily accommodates a variety of productions.

january 2012 the rita



upcoming events Arts Alive Keyword: Arts Alive Karla Bonoff Friday, Feb. 3, 2012; 7:30 p.m. Main Stage Theatre With a singing, song-writing career spanning four decades, Karla Bonoff has enjoyed critical acclaim, commercial success, enduring popularity and the unwavering respect of her peers. The Jason Bishop Show Thursday, March 29, 2012; 7:30 p.m. Main Stage Theatre As America’s hottest illusionist, Jason Bishop might have a person passing through his body one moment or make goldfish appear from nowhere the next. Barrage: Soundtrack of the World Friday, May 4, 2012; 7:30 p.m. Main Stage Theatre Barrage — a high-octane string group that features an international, multi-talented cast performing an eclectic mix of music, song and dance. Art Galleries Keyword: Art Contemporary Journeys: Installations by Liberian Artist Catherine Kennedy Jan. 17 – Feb. 9 Foundation Gallery Perspectives of the artist’s journey in life following her displacement from Liberia due to civil war. West African Art from the Mathis Collection Jan. 17 – March 10 Fine Arts Gallery A selection of approximately 50 traditional West African ceremonial objects drawn from the collection of Racine-based gallerist and collector Emile Mathis.

Students’ Choice Exhibition: Photographic Landscape and Digital Animation by Hans Gindlesberger Feb. 16 – March 16 Foundation Gallery UW-Parkside art students chose Gindlesberger as the artist to bring to campus. “I’m in the Wrong Film” places shots of the artist against the backdrop of American Midwestern towns marked by signs of economic decline. “Eileen Mueller Neill: Imaginings” and “David Rowe: Aesthetic Constructions” March 27 – May 12 Fine Arts Gallery Rowe’s large sculptures suggest ships, drilling rigs, and massive satellite cities described in science fiction. Mueller Neill’s smaller, brightly colored constructions feature domestic themes. Monica Haller’s Veterans Book Project March 27 – May 12 Foundation Gallery A library of books, each written by a veteran, enlisted man or woman, or someone very closely connected with the current wars. Foregin Films — 30th Anniversary Keyword: Foreign Films Award-winning films from around the world are featured in this popular series. For schedule and show times, visit Keyword: Foreign Films. All films in the Student Center Cinema. Music Keyword: Music Feb. 25, Orchestras. Alvaro Garcia, Director Feb. 29, Jazz Ensemble. Russ Johnson, Director March 2, Wind Ensemble, Community Band, Master Singers, and Chorale. Mark Eichner and James Kinchen, Directors

Theatre Arts Keyword: Theatre Arts Great Expectations Feb. 24-25, March 1-3 at 7:30 p.m.; Feb. 26 at 2 p.m., March 2 at 10 a.m. Studio Theatre Classic coming-of-age tale by Charles Dickens, adapted by Gale Childs-Daly, sponsored by the Kenosha News. Bus Stop April 13-29 Broadway Theatre Center, Milwaukee Visit for show times. This American classic by William Inge is a special collaboration with the Milwaukee Chamber Theatre. FreshINK Staged Reading Series Rehearsal Studio A. All performances at 7:30 p.m. Staged Readings of today’s most important new plays. Visit Keyword: Theatre Arts for complete schedule. Big Read Kenosha County 2012 Keyword: Big Read Part of the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read grants, the program features “Sun, Stone, and Shadows: 20 Great Mexican Short Stories,” edited by Jorge F. Hernandez.




John Mielke, University Relations

Dave Buchanan, University Relations John Mielke, University Relations John Valaske, UW-Parkside Retiree

Michael Candee


“With Frances Bedford, we talked about what a great space had been created. In the end I favored the more personal, close-in shots. When photographing Kitty Picken, I looked for environments in which she was comfortable. I often photograph people in their own homes, as they are surrounded by life memories.”

Bryce Ulmer, Kenosha News Graphic Artist

year of the arts and humanities committee members Trenton Baylor, Art Department James Crowley, Music Department David Diaz, University Advancement Maureen Fritchen, Racine Arts Council Samira Gdisis, Black-Eyed Press Keith Harris, Theatre Manager Colleen Kappeler, Debra Karp, Director of Nonprofit Development Lisa Kornetsky, Theatre Arts Department Stephanie Lazzeroni, Racine Art Museum Board President


April 25, Jazz Ensemble. Russ Johnson, Director April 28, Orchestras. Alvaro Garcia, Director April 29 and May 6, Choirs. James Kinchen, Director Noon Concerts in the Frances Bedford Concert Hall Performances by guest artists, faculty, and students are featured each Wednesday throughout the Spring Semester. Visit Keyword: Music for the complete performance schedule.


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Francisco Loyola, Catherine Mantuano, University Advancement Emile Mathis, Mathis Gallery John Mielke, University Relations Jonathan Shailor, Communication Department Stephanie Sirovatka-Marshall, Student Center Karen Sorensen, Fine Arts Diane Tenuta, College of Arts and Sciences Annie Walaszek, Theatre Arts Student Dean Yohnk, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences

Darris Lee Harris

“Photographing the University of Wisconsin-Parkside campus was refreshing. HGA Architects & Engineers did a wonderful job of seamlessly blending the new additions with the existing structure. The result maintained the clean lines and open feel. And the new hands-on facilities made me a little envious of the students. ” Don Lintner

“Photographing the construction progress gave me a chance to watch the remodeling progress and the new addition come to life. It has been very exciting to see the walls in my old work area come down to be replaced by the new costume shop and roomy new studio spaces, and to see the beautiful new spaces for music emerge.”

january 2012

1/11/2012 10:09:58 AM

“I’m confident the Rita Tallent Picken Regional Center for Arts and Humanities will become a centerpiece of economic growth and development for the region.” Robin J. Vos Wisconsin State Representative A circle of student artists participate in a figure drawing exercise in the Drawing Studio.

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1/11/2012 10:12:23 AM

The Rita  

Welcome to the University of Wisconsin-Parkside's new addition, the Rita Tallent Picken Regional Center for Arts and Humanities.

The Rita  

Welcome to the University of Wisconsin-Parkside's new addition, the Rita Tallent Picken Regional Center for Arts and Humanities.