Nov 2014 AAUW President’s Letter by Beth Nienow

Full SteAm Ahead!

A number of local arts groups are celebrating anniversaries this year.  Choral Arts Ensemble and the Lyra Baroque Orchestra, a Twin Cities-based ensemble that has its second home here in Rochester, both turn 30.  The Rochester Symphony Orchestra and Chorale is celebrating its 95th year as well as its 35th year with current Music Director Jere Lantz.  This year SEMYO, the Southeast Minnesota Youth Orchestra, marks its 35th year of providing musical development opportunities for young people interested in the experience of playing symphonic music.  I know I don’t need to remind our members how important these groups are in our community or of the significant role the arts play in our lives.  Whenever I attend a concert or other arts event I often see many of you there. Nevertheless, I’m glad that the planners of the 2015 AAUW Minnesota convention are recognizing the arts along with science, technology, engineering, and math as important in the education and lives of girls and women as reflected in the convention theme, Full STEAM Ahead.

Speaking of the arts, the Commonweal Theatre in Lanesboro is offering our members a discount for the full run of their production of the Tom Stoppard play, Arcadia.  Adrienne Sweeney, Commonweal Associate Artistic Director, has also offered to speak to our group, perhaps in conjunction with the annual Ibsen festival.  Let me or Maryette or Diane know if this is something you would be interested in.

Something else I know I don’t need to remind our members to do is to vote in all elections.  As you head to the polls November 4, keep in mind the legislative issues that affect girls and women: equal pay, violence against women, voting rights, among others, and vote according to your convictions.  Perhaps you had the chance to attend some of the candidate forums co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters.   In order to show our appreciation to the League, we are inviting members of the Rochester League to attend our November dinner meeting and silent auction.  Be sure to thank them for all the work they do in our community.

Looking for something to do Tuesday evenings?  Many of our members enjoy attending the free UMR Connects programs that take place Tuesday evenings at 7:00pm in University Square room 417, on the 4th floor of the University of Minnesota Rochester.  Maybe you can find an AAUW friend or 2 there to join for discussion before or after the program.

In the meantime, I look forward to seeing you all at the Doubletree November 19!

Beth Nienow, President


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