Respecting History & Fostering Creativity is what the Lyric Center for the Arts is all about!
Since our formation in 1998 the vision of the Laurention Arts and Cultural Alliance, dba, The Lyric Center for the Arts, has been to create a supportive environment and space for the Arts in our Community while also recognising and preserving the rich History of the 1912 Lyric Opera House, now known as The Lyric Center for the Arts.
There is always something happening at the Lyric! Artwork by local and regional Artists is featured as well as Film Screenings, Music and Theater Performances. The Lyric’s Current Programs include:
- Small Parts Players – This popular, long running, after school Children’s Theater Company inspires creativity and confidence while building reading and speaking skills through performance.
- Northern Stage Works – a talented group of Adults with a Love for Theater; best known for their very entertaining Dinner Theater Performances.
- The First Stage Art Gallery – Showcases art work by local and regional Artists; each month features new work and includes an Artist’s Reception.
- Lyric Art Colony – a weekly gathering of Artists, of all abilities, come together to Sit, Paint and Share.
- Words & Lyrics – with an Appreciation for the Written and Spoken Word, meets for book signings, special readings and is now connecting with Friends of the Library.
- Lyric’s House Concert Series – each year Musical Performers from across Minnesota are featured at the Lyric Annex to delight and entertain.
- Classes – check out our Calendar for current and upcoming events focused on fine arts and creativity with opportunities to grow, to learn and to teach!
Values ~ Our organization affirms, the arts are crucial to a healthy, prosperous community and that, access to arts and cultural experiences lifts up the quality of life for both residents and visitors of Virginia and surrounding communities. The Lyric Center for the Arts strives to provide and promote programs and opportunities that uphold these values:
- Arts education is central to the development of all children and to the ongoing creative engagement for people of all ages.
- The breadth, depth, and diversity of artistic and cultural life are critical measures of the vitality of the community we serve.
- The arts foster civic engagement, stimulate economic activity, and increase cultural empathy; thus play a crucial role in sustaining thriving communities.
- Every resident deserves access to a variety of arts and cultural experiences, in their community.
- Artists and arts organizations require a social environment that values and supports their contributions, encourages excellence, enhances entrepreneurship, and fosters a substantive network.
Mary McReynolds, Executive Director
“I believe a vibrant sustainable community needs a place for artists to present their creative work and for audiences to gather to share the experiences of enjoying it. I also believe strong communities value, and learn from, their past and historic buildings,” says Mary McReynolds, Executive Director of The Lyric Center for the Arts.
McReynolds has overseen the operations of the First Stage Gallery, arranging for the exhibition and sale of works by local, regional and national artists since 2006. She has organized monthly sessions for writers, poets and storytellers, as well as a group of painters who meet weekly in the gallery. She has held the various officer positions as a member of the Lyric Board of directors and written several program, operating and bricks and mortar grants for the Lyric. As Executive Director, she plans to expand the programs and events at the Lyric Center while working on donor development and the historic Lyric building renovation.
McReynolds is committed to the community and held a seat on the Virginia City Council until 2017. She chaired the City’s Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee, is a member of ReVive Virginia (the downtown revitalization committee), chairs the Virginia Planning and Zoning Commission, and has served on governing boards for several other nonprofit corporations.
She was honored to receive the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council Maddie Simons Arts Advocate Award is named for Madeline Simons, the first volunteer chair of the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council Board. In addition to her position with as Executive Director of the Lyric Center for the Arts, she chairs the IRRR Recharge the Range Creative Communities Focus Group and is facilitating the Virginia Creative Placemaking Cohort participating in development training through a grant from ArtsLab.
Mary has always enjoyed the arts; she recently said, “I have a strong background in choral music. I also love finding time to paint and chat with the Lyric Art Colony, touring historic architectural properties and salvage shops, writing poetry and graphic design.”
Board of Directors
Amber Johnson, President
Passion for dance is part of who Amber is! Having only been in her early teens when she first became involved in choreography, her love of the arts continues today. Johnson, a dance instructor and theatre choreographer on the Iron Range for 14 years said, “The arts have opened up so many opportunities for me; I want to see those same opportunities for all the theatre and dance kids I have met. So many are just bursting at the seams for more shows and events to be a part of.” From the economic impact the arts have on communities to the artist’s personal fulfillment, “It is so important for our future generations to keep the arts alive!”
Lorrie Janatopoulos, Vice-President
“I am interested in the Lyric because I believe creativity enrichs people’s lives and that the arts help build a diverse and vibrant community,” said Lorrie. A lifelong resident of Northeastern Minnesota, Janatopoulos is a 2016 Bush Foundation Leadership Fellow working with the Minnesota State Department of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation in the areas of community, workforce and economic development. Lorrie has dedicated her life to the betterment of fellow Minnesotans. She is also currently a member of the Governor’s Workforce Development Board, (GWDB), as the Women’s Economic Security Act, (WESA), appointee and serves on its Racial Equity and Operations Committees.
Kelsey Norvitch, Treasurer
Growing up in the Twin Cities, Kelsey enjoyed the many theater and art options available and was involved in many community events. Upon moving to the Iron Range, Kelsey first became aware of the Lyric through the Small Parts Players and Northern Stage Works theatre programs. With a love of the arts and appreciation for the Lyric’s unique history, Kelsey now comes to the Lyric full of enthusiasm for its future. Believing the arts are an integral part of learning she looks forward to helping develop and foster our creative community. Kelsey works at Blue Cross Blue Shield and lives in Virginia with her husband and children.
Arlene has made her home in Virginia for almost forty years. Having been a social worker for St. Louis County for many of those years Arlene has always found time for the arts. She has been a judge for the high school speech department for twenty years while also being actively involved with the Northern Lights Players & Theatre at Mesabi Range College. Though Jershe enjoys reading, walking and yoga her passion is with the arts; theatre in particular! For the enrichment of the community, Arlene is devoted to the preservation of the Lyric building so that its theatre programs can continue to grow and thrive.
After attending law school, Bhupesh returned to his home town of Virginia to raise his young family and to practice law. Recently joining the Lyric’s Board of Directors, Pattni said, “I believe a thriving art community is an invaluable asset to our area and am impressed with the work the Lyric and the people involved are doing to grow and encourage arts.” He believes the Iron Range has a rich history and culture that should be celebrated and places like The Lyric Center for the Arts are essential to ensuring there is always a place where the arts can be embraced.
Art has always been an integral part of Mika’s home and is the main reason he is excited by the Lyric’s possibilities. He believes the Lyric Center for the Arts can, “do great things in the community.” As a student he looks forward to the experience of working with the Board of Directors for such a worthy cause and is eager to bring forth ideas from a young person’s perspective.
Having lived on the Iron Range for 30 years Beth has enjoyed the many activities our beautiful region has to offer. Prior to her current position as the Executive Director of the Iron Range Tourism Bureau, Beth has worked as a reporter, copy writer and account executive. These fascinating jobs have given her a unique window into our region’s history, economy and diverse talent. As a LACA board member, Beth brings a wealth of knowledge of the area’s assets and how the arts and cultural tourism help foster thriving communities on the Iron Range. Beth, her daughter and their pets make their home in Hibbing.