NPN Remembers Ed Noonan

January 22, 2020  •  2 minute read

Ed Noonan

Ed Noonan was born and raised in Butte, MT, and lived for 36 years in Helena. He was a city commissioner and an adjunct professor at Carroll College teaching courses in Liberal Arts Studies, Theater and Film, Writing, Literature, and Business. Starting in 2000, Ed worked as Executive Director of the Myrna Loy Center for 15 years culminating his work in Theater and Arts Presenting. He retired in October 2014. As Executive Director of the Myrna Loy Center, he wrote grants totaling approximately $2 million awarded to the organization, served on numerous national arts panels including 5 years on the National Dance Project Hub Site Board and numerous grant panels including the NEA, MAPP grants, and Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation. In 2009, the Myrna Loy Center received the Arts Presenter/Met Life Award for Outstanding Work for Underserved Audiences. He produced “Echoes of Discovery,” a series of eight original arts works celebrating the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial.

Ed was a writer, playwright, and poet. He wrote a series of plays about Butte and Helena. In 1989, his play, “War of the Copper Kings,” was produced by Grandstreet Theatre as a Montana Centennial Production. He received the Montana Arts Council Fellowship for Playwriting for a Butte play, “Taking History”, and the Wilderness Institute’s Matthew Hansen Endowment Award for his play “Montana Wilderness.” A book of his poetry, “Noisy Soil” was published in 1998, and he has read his poems at many national, state, and local events. His work chronicles his world and often appears in publications tied to the subject of his poem. He has many poems about the life and times of Helena.

Ed was Executive Director at NPN Partner Myrna Loy Center from 2000–2014. During his tenure he served as NPN Regional desk and as a two-term, six-year NPN board member. His gentle and thoughtful guidance helped shape how NPN serves rural and remote organizations and he was a co-commissioner of dozens of artists. We will always remember Ed sharing his original poems at the opening of board meetings (often written the night before) referencing important themes of the meeting and expressing his love of NPN. His contributions to NPN are immeasurable and he will be greatly missed.