St. Olaf College | News

Three St. Olaf faculty members receive grants for new artistic works


Three St. Olaf College faculty members have received grants that will help them bring their newly created artistic works before an audience.

Professor of Music Timothy Mahr ’78, Professor of Music James McKeel, and Visiting Assistant Professor of Media and Film Studies Cecilia Cornejo each received funding from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council.

Mahr will use the grant to compose a work based on mythological creatures or characters for the Pavia Wind Quintet, a Twin Cities-based semi-professional ensemble. The multi-movement composition will be presented at an afternoon school residency recital at Northfield Middle School, and later that evening in recital at St. Olaf College.


McKeel will use the grant to compose a serio-comic operetta titled Fabrizio’s Comet in collaboration with critically acclaimed Canadian author Mark Frutkin. The two-hour operetta, featuring a cast and orchestra comprised of St. Olaf students, will be based on Frutkin’s novel, Fabrizio’s Return. The author will travel to campus to participate in final rehearsals for the October premiere.


Cornejo, who teaches at Carleton College as well as St. Olaf, will use the grant to complete a feature-length experimental documentary film titled With the Skateboarders.

The documentary chronicles the efforts of skateboarders in Northfield, Minnesota, to secure a permanent place to skate. It will premiere at Carleton’s Weitz Center for Creativity and will then be more broadly distributed.

The Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council exists to encourage, promote, and assist regional arts development by providing leadership, outreach, advocacy, mentorship, grants, and services.