Who the Folk?! Marley Richman

Marley Richman, the Jewish Arts and Culture Coordinator at the St. Paul JCC, talks about her connection to the arts through dance and why St. Paul is better than her twin.

Are you originally from the Twin Cities?

I am. I grew up in the western suburbs in a town called Minnetrista.

Where do you live now?

I live in St. Paul. I love it! I live in the Selby-Dale neighborhood. There are all kinds of places to walk to and it’s a really fun neighborhood.

Whenever I tell people I cross the river in this direction, they seem shocked. I think St. Paul is prettier than in Minneapolis, more quaint, I suppose. You want to live in all the houses and it has more of small-town feel, without the boring aspect.

Tell me about your position as the Jewish Arts and Culture Coordinator at the St. Paul JCC.

I get to work on a bunch of different projects in my position. Right now, the Twin Cities Jewish Film Festival is my big focus, which is happening October 22-November 1. I also plan the Twin Cities Jewish Book Series, work on the Twin Cities Jewish Humor Festival, staff the JCC symphony orchestra and curate our Gallery Walk.

I really love all the people I’m getting to work with. I was just amazed at how welcoming and warm everyone was. It’s a pleasure to work with so many people throughout the Jewish community.

What brought you to the position at the JCC?

A family friend told me about the job. He called me up and said this is perfect for you and I’m so glad I listened.

You have a background in dance, is that right?

I dance with a dance company in St. Paul called “Out on a Limb”. I also teach at a studio called White Bear Dance Center in White Bear Lake. I teach mostly ballet, but in my own dancing I like to sort of start with the foundation of ballet and interpret it from there. I often will use a piece of music as inspiration and tell the music’s story through movement.

What do you like best about living in the Twin Cities?

I like that it seems to be a great balance of city life and the more relaxed aspects, with the lakes and parks. It’s the best of both worlds.

What is your favorite Jewish holiday?

That’s hard. Probably Passover. I love the tradition of the Seder and all the conversation around the table it inspires.

What is your favorite Jewish food?

Matzo ball soup is my favorite, but I’m gluten intolerant. So, my mother has tested out a bunch of different gluten-free matzo ball recipes and found one that’s really great. Shout out to my mom!

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