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MAC holding grand opening celebration
Madison singer, songwriter and musician Ken Lonnquist, accompanied by pianist Dave Adler, will perform from 11 a.m. to noon Saturday and Oct. 1 and Nov. 19 at MAC. Lonnquist has performed throughout the U.S. and has won Best of Madison Gold Award as Children's Musician and Parent's Choice. This is part of the free Family and Kids Series concerts. (Photo supplied)
MONROE - Monroe Arts Center begins the 2016-2017 entertainment season with a grand opening inaugural concert, gallery exhibit and children's music programs to celebrate the recently constructed building addition and expansion.

The public is invited to attend the grand opening celebration, which features a ribbon-cutting ceremony and reception, at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 10. An inaugural concert by the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra begins at 7:30 p.m. in MAC's Gunderson Stiles Concert Hall.

The orchestra, led by Maestro Andrew Sewell, is a professional orchestra dedicated to advancing Wisconsin communities through the transformative power of music. The string program created for the inaugural concert should take full advantage of the world-class acoustics of the Monroe Arts Center concert hall.

The WCO performs about 25 concerts per year, including Concerts on the Square, Masterworks, Holiday Pops, Handel's Messiah and youth concerts across the state. With a core orchestra and a permanent home in the Overture Center for the Arts Capitol Theater, the WCO is one of the finest chamber orchestras in the country. After the concert, a champagne and dessert reception will take place in the promenade of the new building. Reserved seat prime concert tickets are $25, and tickets for the champagne/dessert reception are $15. Tickets are available online at, by phone at 608-325-5700 or in person at the MAC box office.

A grand opening inaugural photography exhibition, "A Sense of Place: Wisconsin Landscape Photographs" by Regina Flanagan, Peter Latner, Jill Metcoff and Zane Williams, will be on display in the new Wellington and Muranyi Galleries from Friday through Oct. 28. A gallery opening reception, which is free and open to the public, is from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday.

Regina Flanagan is an artist, arts administrator and professional landscape architect. She holds Masters degrees in Fine Art from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She brings an artist's perspective as an innovator and the expertise of an administrator and landscape architect to curating and integrating public art into the new design for Nicollet Mall. Flanagan's photography has been featured in more than 85 exhibitions and numerous collections. She lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Hailing from Minneapolis, photographer Peter Latner's pictures are about the cultural and geographic face of the American Midwest. His most recent photographs, made on the Great Plains, stem from long-standing interests in American history, geography, landscape and sense of place. His work is found in collections which include the Art Institute of Chicago, Milwaukee Art Museum, Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City, the PaineWebber Collection in New York and the State Historical Society of Wisconsin.

Jill Metcoff of Spring Green has been taking photographs of southwestern rural Wisconsin and rural Illinois for more than 30 years. At first, her observations included the woods, river and prairies outside her door, and then the closing and division of almost 10,000 acres and thousands of structures of the nearby Badger Army Ammunition Plant and even the ravages wrought by highway projects were added.

Madison resident Zane Williams received his Bachelor of Arts in radio, television and film from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1971. From 1968-1981 he was employed by University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education Instructional Media Distribution Center, working in multi-image design and production, video production, photography, graphic arts and its instructional applications. His work has been published in numerous books, including "Wisconsin," "Double Take: A Rephotographic Survey of Madison" and "Wisconsin's Own/Twenty Remarkable Homes" and in 2001 was named "Authorized Photographer" for the Madison's Overture Arts Center Project.

Also happening as part of the grand opening are the free inaugural Family and Kids Series concerts. Geared for children in pre-school through eighth grade, the three one-hour concerts are scheduled from 11 a.m. to noon Sept. 3, Oct. 1 and Nov. 19. Madison singer, songwriter and musician Ken Lonnquist, accompanied by pianist Dave Adler, performs children's music. Lonnquist has performed throughout the U.S. and has won Best of Madison Gold Award as Children's Musician and Parent's Choice. He has composed 15 full-scale musicals for the Children's Theater of Madison.

Events and performances for the 2016-2017 season are underwritten by corporate underwriter Colony Brands Inc. and media underwriters Monroe Publishing LLC and Big Radio, along with additional underwriting provided by numerous businesses and individuals.