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Ex-Tom Barnard sidekick Terri Traen no longer working at KQRS

Terri Traen/Star Tribune photo by Carlos Gonzalez

Looks like Terri Traen couldn't survive without Tom Barnard. The onetime sidekick on KQRS's popular morning show left her high-profile gig last year to launch an afternoon show with Brian Zepp, another former member of the Barnard team.

It didn't last. The KQRS fan page on Facebook announced Monday that the station had said goodbye to the duo.

"It's a tough day here at the Q when we have to say goodbye to two friends and coworkers," the posting said. "We wish Zepp & Terri nothing but the best." As for Tuesday morning, nearly 900 comments had been left.

Traen's personal Facebook page was also flooded with messages, many of them vowing to never listen to KQRS again.

KQ Operations Manager Scott Jameson said Tuesday morning that it is company policy not to comment on personnel moves.

Traen and Zepp, who held the 5-7 p.m. shift, are no longer listed on KQRS's web page. Ray Erick is slotted to work from 4-8 p.m.

Traen had been at the station since 1986 and her often abrasive relationship with Barnard on air was key to its success. Zepp had been at KQ for more than 15 years. Barnard is under contract at KQ until the end of 2019.

Mia Chung, Jessica Huang, among Jerome Fellowship winners

Playwright Mia Chung, whose “You For Me For You” was had a successful Mu Performing Arts production at the Guthrie Theater a year ago, has won a Jerome Foundation fellowship and will be moving to the Twin Cities, the Playwrights Center, which administers the prizes, announced Wednesday.

The fellowship comes with an $18,000 stipend and $1,725 in play development funds.

Chung, who was educated at Yale and Brown, joins four other winners of the prestigious Jerome grant, whose distinguished alumni includes August Wilson, Lee Blessing, Lisa D’Amour and Naomi Iizuka.

The other winners of the 2017-2018 Jerome fellowship class are: 

Twin Citian Jessica Huang (right) whose “The Paper Dreams of Harry Chin” recently premiered at the History Theatre;

New Yorker Tim J. Lord, who earned his master of fine arts in playwriting at the University of California-San Diego and whose plays include “We declare you a terrorist…”;

and Bostonian Tori Skyler Sampson (left), who is completing her MFA at the Yale School of Drama and who won the 2017 Paula Vogel playwriting from the Kennedy Center.

They will be in residence in the Twin Cities for a year, using the center as a base. They win their fellowships at a time when artists, in general, and theater artists, specifically, are grappling with fundamental issues of citizenship.

“These are the artists who will lead our country forward, and whose voices you will continue to hear echo across stages around the country,” said Jeremy B. Cohen, producing artistic director at the Playwrights’ Center.

The center also announced that its Many Voices Fellowship, which supports emerging playwrights of color and also is underwritten by the Jerome Foundation, had increased its funding to match the other Jerome fellowships.

The winners of that the Many Voices Fellowship are Diane Exavier, a playwright, poet and performance artist from Brooklyn, who is completing her MFA at Brown, and Minnesota writer Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay, whose “Kung Fu Zombies vs. Cannibals” premiered at Mu Performing Arts in 2013. 

Writer, performer and dancer Julia Gay, who performed in Transatlantic Love Affair’s “Promise Land” at the Guthrie Theater in January, also was named Many Voices mentee, which comes with a $2,000 stipend and support from established artists such as playwright Christina Ham.

The Jerome fellowships are part of a web of support that has helped the Twin Cities maintain its reputation as an artistic mecca.

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