As the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Peck School of the Arts and the Year of the Arts, two Peck School alumni have been selected as the UWM Foundation Alumni Fellows for 2013. This year’s fellows are Henry Godinez of Chicago’s Goodman Theatre and Kevin Stalheim, founder of Milwaukee’s Present Music.
Alumni Fellow is a lifelong designation that recognizes prominent and outstanding alumni who demonstrate leadership and accomplishment in their professional fields and personal lives. The Alumni Fellow program brings honorees back to campus to share their knowledge, insight and stories with students, faculty, staff and members of the community.
Milton Coleman, senior editor of the Washington Post, received the first Alumni Fellow award in February 2012.
Godinez, who received his master’s degree from UWM’s Professional Theatre Training Program, is an associate professor in the Department of Theatre at Northwestern University and the resident artistic associate at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre, where he is the director of the Latino Theatre Festival. Kevin Stalheim (’81 MM-Conducting) is the founder and artistic director of Present Music in Milwaukee.
“The three years I spent in graduate school at UWM were arguably the most intense and transformative of my educational career,” says Godinez. “They literally reshaped me as a theater artist and as a human being. Beyond the many specific skills I developed through graduate training at UWM, I also credit the discipline and determination it instilled in me, for the self-motivation and sense of purpose necessary for a career in the arts.”
Godinez has numerous directing credits at the Goodman Theatre and other Chicago-area theater companies. He is the co-founder and former artistic director of Teatro Vista (Theatre with a View), which stages Latino-oriented works that often challenge both cast and audience.
As an actor, Godinez has been seen at Goodman Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare, The Kennedy Center and on TV and in films, including “The Fugitive,” “Above the Law,” “The Beast,” “Boss,” and “Chicago Fire.”
Born in Havana, Cuba, Godinez serves on the Editorial Board of the Northwestern University Press and the Board of Directors of Albany Park Theatre Project.
In addition to his master’s degree from UWM, Godinez earned a BA in Theatre from the University of Dallas.
“My time at UWM provided the fertile ground and valuable experience necessary to form an organization like Present Music,” says Kevin Stalheim. “As a conducting major, I was able to use a deep pool of talented musicians from the city and the university to mount ad hoc concerts that helped steer me toward possibilities I never imagined. Several excellent instructors encouraged my natural inclination toward adventure and going beyond just meeting the requirements.
“I’m very pleased that my relationship with UWM has grown very strong over the past few years. Collaborations with the dance, art and music faculty and students have been extremely fruitful and point to an exciting future.”
In 2000, Stalheim instituted the Creation Project, a 10-week residency that teaches students in grades K-12 to compose and perform their own original works under the guidance of a composer-in-residence.
In addition to his master’s degree from UWM, Stalheim earned a BM in Music from Oberlin Conservatory in 1976.