Longtime Minnesota arts leader Bonnie Schock, who has been executive director of the Sheldon Theatre in Red Wing since spring 2015, is leaving the state for warmer climes. She has been poached by the 1,100-seat Fox Tucson Theatre in Arizona, where she will head when her tenure concludes at the end of February.
“Bonnie is the pivotal element in the resurgence of...the performing arts in Red Wing,” Sheldon board president Nancy Dimunation said in a statement. “Her commitment to the arts as a medium for community connection and inspiration advanced a vision…that will continue into the future.”
Before taking the helm at the Sheldon, Schock worked as a program officer for the Minnesota State Arts Board. She also ran the Southern Theater on an interim basis and was leader of Three-Legged Race, a Twin Cities company that produced puppetry extravaganzas.
“One of the things that sets Minnesota apart and that I will sorely miss, is how diverse the state is in terms of the size, scope, breadth and depth of activity across every region,” Schock said Tuesday. “There’s so much commitment and enthusiasm from artists all over, and a richness here because of the funding environment.”
In Tucson, Schock will oversee programming for a one-time vaudeville house that was shuttered for many years before reopening 15 years ago. The programming will be similar to what she did at the Sheldon, which mixed music with fine arts, theater and dance.
“I’m excited about the opportunity for a whole new adventure working with an organization that is on a cusp — at a turning point in its evolution,” Schock said. “And I’m not going to lie — I’m excited that I won’t have to shovel snow anymore.”
Schock has Minnesota company elsewhere in the state. One hundred miles northwest of Tucson, Ralph Remington, who founded Pillsbury House Theatre in Minneapolis and is a former member of the Minneapolis City Council, heads the Tempe Center for the Arts.