Commissioner Ed Noonan was born and raised in Butte, MT, and has lived for 36 years in Helena. He is currently an adjunct professor at Carroll College teaching courses in Liberal Arts Studies, Theater and Film, Writing, Literature, and Business. Ed was a Christian Brother for 13 years after high school, graduated from Lewis University in Romeoville, IL, and taught in East Los Angeles and Chicago. He moved with two acting partners to Helena, Mike Casey and Pete Ruzevich, to support Helena as artists and citizens. They have worked and performed together across their years in Helena. Ed has an MA in Speech from Ball State University. He has worked at Carroll for 30 years. He was Resident Director of St Charles Hall and Borromeo Hall for 5 years and Student Activity Director for 10 years.
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 $2,000,000 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. He is currently a board member for the National Performance Network. 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 is a writer, playwright, and poet. He has written 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.