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Provost Karen Hanson names Christine Tschida the new director of Northrop at the University of Minnesota

July 30, 2012

Christine Tschida has been named director of Northrop at the University of Minnesota by Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Karen Hanson. Tschida will begin her new job Aug. 15.

“Christine will provide energetic, experienced, and visionary leadership for the academic and cultural program that will define the new Northrop, and she will be an excellent collaborator with the campus and community,” Hanson said.

Northrop is in the midst of a major revitalization project. The new position of director of Northrop was created to address the desire to expand programming in Northrop, better connect Northrop to the full range of the intellectual life of the University, and better engage students.

"Northrop has always been a place of honor and distinction at the University of Minnesota, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to help shape its future,” Tschida said. “As the renovated, state of the art facility takes shape, I look forward to being a part of a vibrant and bustling new cultural center that will enrich and enliven the University community and the State of Minnesota."

For the past 10 years, Tschida has been director of Theatre Projects for Rena Shagan Associates, New York, N.Y., serving as an artist representative for distinguished dance and theater companies and working with more than 600 presenting organizations in the Upper Midwest and Western regions.

Before that, she spent 12 years as producer of “A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor” for Minnesota Public Radio, managing a creative team responsible for weekly broadcasts of public radio's most successful variety show. During this time, she also served as executive director of the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul. She has also worked in various performing arts management roles for the Brooklyn Academy of Music and Pace University in New York and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.  Early in her career, she spent six years as outreach program director for the Guthrie Theater, responsible for touring programs, educational activities, and special events. She earned her B.A. degree in Theater and Humanities from Macalester College and has taken business coursework at the University of St. Thomas.

Tschida was selected from a field of four finalists identified by a search committee led by co-chairs Kathy O’Brien, the former vice president for University Services, and Robert McMaster, vice provost and dean of Undergraduate Education. Tschida will report to the provost, in consultation with the vice provost for undergraduate education.
Tenants are scheduled to move into the “new” Northrop in fall 2013, and a grand opening is anticipated the following spring once the performance hall is completed. The building will be home to the department of Concerts and Lectures, which will fill a completely new and up-to-date 2,800-seat hall with an innovative performing arts program. The renovated Northrop also will house important academic programs, including the University Honors Program and the Institute for Advanced Study, as well as public study and meeting spaces to promote collaborative activities.

“We want the new Northrop to be the centerpiece of the university’s cultural life, as well as a new home for academic programs and a dynamic gathering place for the campus community,“ Hanson said. “I know Christine shares our excitement about Northrop’s immense potential and will help us achieve our goals for creating new programs and traditions that will bring this campus landmark into the 21st century.“

While Northrop is under construction, its performing arts program has continued in other locations, with 2012-13 dance events scheduled at the Orpheum Theater, the O’Shaughnessy at St. Catherine University, the State Theatre, and Ted Mann Concert Hall, and the Accordo chamber music series at Christ Church Lutheran.

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