UWM Slovenian Arts Program News

_____________________Newsletter of the UWM Slovenian Arts Council_____________________

Fall Edition                                                                                                                        November 2010


The “Singing Slovenes” Concert

On Friday October 22, 2010, the UWM Slovenian Arts Council hosted “The Singing Slovenes” from Duluth, Minnesota under the direction of Frank Bucar.  The event took place at St. John the Evangelist Church Hall where the singing group performed in Slovenian costume and sang Slovenian songs that came to this country as part of Slovenian heritage.  Though the name of the group is indicative of Slovenian heritage, the group boasts a wide variety of nationalities.  The “Singing Slovenes” represent nationalities such as Slovenia, Croatia, Italy, Germany, Ireland, Denmark, Poland, France, Norway, Finland, and Sweden.  They had wonderful dynamics and really connected with the audience.  Thanks to Council members Dolores Ivanchich and Milly Mursec who provided a sing-a-long pronunciation guide with Slovene and English words to the songs; Zaplula Je Barčica Moja, Moje Dekle Je Še Mlada, Pod Mojim Okencem, Jaz Pa Ti, and Pa Židana Marela.  The audience really enjoyed singing along with the group.  Thank you to the Fun-O-Leers organization for providing a bar service through the evening and thank you to all the Council members and Ray Freiberg who helped with the set up, ticket selling, and snack purchase.


President’s Message


As we head into Fall, I look back at our steamy summer.  I hope all of you were able to get out and enjoy the warm weather and summer scenery these past few months.  Since we published the last Newsletter, I am very happy to inform you that the Council was very busy planning and implementing the following events, programs, and activities.  On Saturday, February 6, 2010, an audience gathered to hear about the life and legacy of the Slovenian National Poet, France Preseren.  They listened to poetry and heard the Prescren Vocal Ensemble sing words set to music by Slovene composers.  A reception and social followed.  On Saturday, May 15, 2010, the Council had a very interesting and informative tour of the UWM Library.  The main highlight was the Slovene special collection music area and the AGS (map) Library.  Director Ewa Barczyk arranged the tour and the Tour guide was Rebecca Littman.  On three Thursdays, June 17, July 15, and August 19, 2010, a group gathered at the West Allis Library to participate in the Slovene Sing-a-Long.  They learned English translations of some very familiar Slovene songs and had an opportunity to correctly pronounce and sing them under the direction of Dolores Ivanchich.  Everyone certainly enjoyed the sessions.  On Saturday, July 31, 2010, over 70 people toured Frank Murn’s Prairie style home and the surrounding 165 beautiful acres of prairie flowers, trees, streams, and lakes.  All enjoyed a delicious Spanferkel meal with homemade desserts.  On Friday, October 22, 2010, the Council hosted “The Singing Slovenes” directed by Frank Bucar, from Duluth, Minnesota who presented a special celebration of Slovene musical heritage.  Everyone readily joined in the Sing-a-Long.  Before the entertainment began, the Council presented the UWM Slovenian Arts Program 2010 Service Award to a very familiar Slovene, Frank Bevsek.  Please read more about the details of these events in this newsletter.  I urge you to continue to share your suggestions for future literary, music, dance, drama or other art programs with any of the SAC members.  We truly value your ideas and try our best to implement them.  I leave you with this inspirational thought:




Tomorrow beckons us through hopes and dreams, through beauty and mystery…

Tomorrow beckons us to discover life, to respond to love, to seek new ways to grow!


With Best Regards,

MaryCay Freiberg

President, UWM Slovenian Arts Council





Late June and early July is rationally the season for gatherings of Slovenian immigrants to places where they or their ancestors were born.  The flagship of Slovenian tourism includes spas and natural health resorts, the coast, and mountain centers.  The Agrarian population in Slovenia prior to World War II was 50%; today it is 7%.  The latest Slovenian slogan, “I feel Slovenia” (we are going green) also includes the slogan, “I FEEL sLOVEnia.”


Frank Murn Event


On July 31, over 70 Slovenians and friends attended the festivities at the prairie farm of Mr. Frank Murn.  He was a wonderful host, sharing his beautiful home and his eclectic art collection as well as his gorgeously blooming fields of prairie flowers.  Wagon and bus rides afforded guests the opportunity to view the profusion of flowers and enjoy the wonderful weather.  The hardier hiked to see the gristmill and the hay drying rack (kuzutz).  All relished the succulent roast pig dinner catered by Rupena’s.  A number of excellent bakers including, Toni Needham, Rose Chepeck, Virginia Strukel, MaryCay Freiberg, Therese Freiberg, and Frank’s friend, Maria, generously made the delicious Slovenian desserts.  Thank you all for making the event special.  The artistically (and edible) decorated pig's head was done by Barbara Martinka.  Christina Carroll handled beverages and Dolores Ivanchich handled the dessert table.  Denise Bartlett was the official greeter handing out nametags hand made by MaryCay Freiberg.  Milly Mursec got all the bus riders to and from the event safely.  A really big "thank you" to all members of the Slovenian Arts Council and to our husbands and sons who helped enormously with the set up and take down and decoration of the event.  To Lee Price, Ray Freiberg, and Jeff Martinka, your efforts were invaluable.  Bob Bartlett was a valuable parking attendant.  The button box music capped off a very pleasant afternoon.  Thanks to Tony Gorenc, Eddie Vidmar, Frank Murn, and other guests who brought their musical instruments along.  A few people even got up to dance.  All who attended had a very good time.  Mr. Murn indicated he would be happy to host another party in the future for the Slovenian Arts Program.



Slovenian Sing-Along


The second summer of our Slovenian Sing-Along was well received by those who attended the sessions at the West Allis Public Library.  This year, Milly Mursec provided us with the literal translation and coached us in pronunciation.  The handouts included the texts of some familiar folk songs, along with a pronunciation guide.  In between songs, some attendees shared information and memories of their ancestors.  Thanks to Virginia Strukel and Al Jelinek for providing copies of music, and a literal and poetic translation of one of the Marian Hymns, “Angelsko češčenje.”  At our final session together, we enjoyed a sweet treat and some liquid libation (sorry, no wine allowed at the Library).  Hvala lepa vsem skupaj!  Keep singing!


2010 Friends


NAJLEPSA HVALA!  The Slovenian Arts Council wishes to THANK the following 2010 “FRIENDS" of the UWM Slovenian Arts Program for their generous financial support.


Adomat, Margaret J

Gorenc, Nancy C.

Price, Lee & Judith L.

Alpner, Robert J.

Gorence, Patricia J.

Reese, Jennie F.

Bach, Amy

Ivanchich, Dolores

Remshak, Frances R.

Bach, J. Christopher

Janezic, Stanley & Josephine

Simcic, Matilda

Bach, Mara

Jelinek, Albert J.

Skusek, Tillie A.

Baraga, Leonard

Jelinek, Alfred P. Sr.

Smith, Jacquelyn A.

Bartlett, Robert J. & Denise P.

Juvan, Lenore

Strukel, Virginia K.

Bregant, Mary (Mici)

Kamin, Ivan & Barbara

Tompa, Joseph & Jozefa

Brilla, Marilyn

Kolesari, Jack T. & Betty Ann

Truskowski, Anthony & Rosalie

Butchar, John S.

Lebar, Donald A.

Urh, John L & Loretta A.

Dovnik, Karl Jr.

Limoni, Anthony

Vidmar, Edward F. & Constance V.

Engelking, Karen J.

Maierle, Michael J.

Vidmar, Josephine

Fischer, Therese A. & Randall H.

Markun, Stanley & Ivanka

Virant, Justin L.

Freiberg, Ray & Mary Cay

Martinka, Barbara K.

Vlaj, John & Judith

Frohna, Craig W. & Helen E.

Martinka, Jeff

Vodnik, Antonia M.

Gehm, Thomas & Janice

Mlinar, Laurence

Zore, Diane

Gorenc, Anton & Harlene

Mursec, Ljudmila T. (Milly)




Theatre Gigante Slovenian Community


Theatre Gigante Artistic Directors, Isabelle Kralj and Mark Anderson, want to thank the Slovenian Community for their show of support for Gigante’s production of Three Other Sisters”, written by Kralj and Anderson with music by Vlado Kreslin.  The performance took place at the Off-Broadway Theater on March 11-13, 2010.  Kreslin, Slovenia’s most popular singer/songwriter appeared in this original production along with Kralj, Simone Ferro, and Janet Lilly, UWM Professors of Dance.  The production received superb reviews in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Shepherd, and several different on-line publications and blogs.  On March 14, Gigante also presented Kreslin in Concert -- a solo music concert by Kreslin.  The Slovenian Consul General Jurcek Zmauc and his family honored Theatre Gigante by coming to Milwaukee for the first time to attend both events.  Kralj and Anderson would like to take this opportunity to thank Helen Frohna, first and foremost, for her support in helping to pass the word to the Slovenian Community, and for baking the many tins of wonderful strudel, which was served at one of the post-performance receptions.  Thank you also to Craig Frohna and Cathy Kaye for the aid they gave Helen.  Great appreciation goes to MaryCay Freiberg for all the work she did in promoting the two events, and to the many other representatives of various Slovenian Organizations.  Isabelle and Mark wish to express their gratitude to Dr. Joze, Meta Novak, and Virginia Strukel for entertaining the Zmauc family during their weekend stay.  Finally, a huge thank you to all who attended the events.  The Milwaukee Slovenian Community showed a strong representation at both performances!  Isabelle was proud to share her Slovenian roots and her people, with the larger Milwaukee Theatre Community.  The weekend was a wonderful success!  NAJLEPSA HVALA VSEM, KI STE SODELOVALI!




Theatre Gigante is happy to announce another new play, THE LEARS, written by Gigante’s creative duo, Artistic Directors Isabelle Kralj and Mark Anderson.  THE LEARS will premiere November 18 – 21, 2010, at UWM’s Kenilworth Studio 508 theater.


 Please note, this is a new performance venue for Gigante, located in UWM’s Kenilworth building at 1925 East Kenilworth Place, on the 5th floor.


THE LEARS is a hybrid theatrical work inspired by Shakespeare’s King Lear.  Pushing the boundaries of conventional theater, Kralj and Anderson blend text, dialogue, music, song, and video projection to retell a centuries-old classic in a unique and innovative way that is appropriate to our contemporary life.  A fragmented, connect-the-dots approach to Shakespeare’s story invites the audience into a stimulating theatrical experience that offers new perspectives on an ongoing human saga -- parents and their children, aging, love, jealousy, and greed.


A talented cast joins Kralj and Anderson on stage, including James Butchart as Lear, Leslie Fitzwater, Jennifer Rupp, John Kishline and musicians Seth Warren-Crow and Aaron Gardner.  The production will be rounded out by an exciting design team, which includes Iain Court for video projection and set, Tate Bunker for video montage contributions, Marion Clendenen-Acosta for costume design, and Nathan Booth for lighting design.  Isabelle Kralj will direct the production.


There will be an opening night post-performance reception on November 18, and a post-performance matinee audience talkback on November 21.



Thursday  November 18    8:00pm

Friday       November 19    8:00pm

Saturday   November 20    8:00pm

Sunday      November 21    8:00pm



General    $26.50

Senior       $21.50

Student     $11.50


All ticket prices include a $1.50 UWM ticket surchage


Box Office:  414-229-4308  For more information call 414-961-6119


Frank Bevsek Awarded the 2010 Slovenian Arts Program Award of Service

On October 22, 2010, Frank Bevsek was presented the 2010 Slovenian Arts Program Award of Service.  The award was presented in recognition of Frank’s lifetime commitment to the Slovenian Arts and Culture.  Frank’s willingness to pay for the printing of tickets and programs for Slovene events are examples of his support.  Frank is a member of many organizations and they are fortunate to have him as a member.  Frank belongs to the SNPJ Lily Lodge, KSKJ, Croatian Fraternal Union-SLOGA 19, Fun-o-Leers, Knights of Columbus 3095, Kiwanis Club of West Allis, West Allis Chamber of Commerce, and the Rotary Club of West Allis.  Not only does Frank help these organizations financially, he also attends their events (as many as he is able).  He has also comforted many Slovenian families in their hours of sadness at his Bevsek/Verbick Funeral Home.  Mary Bregant read a tribute to him and Judy Verbick-Price presented him with the SERVICE AWARD.  Congratulations Frank, for your outstanding contributions to the Slovenian culture, community, and heritage.


 Digital Library of Slovenia


Zoran Krstulovic, the Deputy Director of the National and University Library, would like to draw your attention to the Digital Library of Slovenia (Dlib.si) at www.dlib.si.  Dlib.si is an on-line web library available to anyone using a computer or mobile phone at any time and at any place.  The library is freely accessible without any limitations.  Dlib.si brings to homes, workplaces, schools, and universities, the written Slovene cultural treasures and specimens, which reside in the National and University Library, and other Slovene libraries.  At the same time, the on-line library enables access to entire current expert articles and other texts.  If you wish more information about the Dlib.si web portal, please search the following websites:   http://www.dlib.si/v2/Default.aspx?menu=o+nas&language=eng.  Between materials, you can find many photographs at http://www.dlib.si/v2/Browse.aspx?type=fotografije, and old gramophone records at http://www.dlib.si/v2/Browse.aspx?type=zvo%C4%8Dni%20posnetki.  Sheet music resides at http://www.dlib.si/v2/Browse.aspx?type=notno%20gradivo.  Zoran hopes that the Digital Library of Slovenia will be useful for everyone.



2011 Membership Form


If you wish to join the FRIENDS of the UWM SLOVENIAN ARTS PROGRAM

or renew your FRIENDS membership for the year 2011

Please fill out and mail the form below:  (all contributions are tax-deductible)



Please consider me a FRIEND of the UWM Slovenian Arts Program:



         _____________________________________        (_______)________________________

        NAME                                                                       PHONE


            ____________________________________           _______________________________

        ADDRESS                                                                E-MAIL ADDRESS


        _____________________________________       _____New Member            _____Renewal

        CITY/STATE                                   ZIP CODE






      __ Single Contribution of $25.00                                    __ Couple Contribution of $35.00


  __ Additional gift of  $___________ (cash) or  $_________ (check, check # ______)



Total contribution of  $________________ for 2011  (check # ________)



Please make checks payable to:   UWM Foundation Slovenian Arts Program


Mail to:    Denise Bartlett     7902 West Howard Avenue      Milwaukee, WI.  53220-1612



Friends of the UWM Slovenian Arts Program will be recognized in our newsletter,

invited to special events, and will receive discounts on program tickets.








 Slovenian Arts Council Executive Officers and Council Members



Executive Officers                                                                                         Council Members


President:                               MaryCay Freiberg                                        Patricia Gorence

Vice President:                      Judy Price                                                      Tony Gorenc

Treasurer:                              Denise Bartlett                                              Dolores Ivanchich

Recording Secretary:            Christina Carroll                                           Barbara Martinka

Corresponding Secretary:     Mary Bregant                                               Milly Mursec

                                                                                                                       Virginia Strukel