As an employee of Sorenson Broadcasting and KVFD Radio, I learned the art of finding a need and filling it. In October of 1994 I asked the general manager, Bill Grady, if I could work on a project to recognize students involved in the ARTS. We both did not know at that time how successful and well embraced it would be by the Fort Dodge community.
The Purpose has always been to highlight and bring value to the students who are excelling in the Performing and Visual Art Programs at our local schools. In January of 1995 we started in the High Schools and then progressed to Iowa Central Community College for the 1995-1996 school year, partnering with scholarships. In 1997 we completed our 1st year of incorporating the middle schools and in 1998 we added the elementary schools, making it a full K-College Program. It was a privilege to be invited and include this honor at the high school and college Recognition Banquets and Awards assemblies.
The Students in the Arts®️Program mainly recognized youth through the radio in the beginning.. The following is a sample of one of the :30 commercials aired for a middle school student named Josh Koenig. "Josh Koenig Has been chosen as an outstanding student in the Band Dept for the month of May at Sacred Heart Middle School. Josh has one brother Johnny at home and he likes when his mom makes his favorite food for dinner....taco's. Outside of school Josh likes to be involved with a wide variety of sports and his favorite movie is "Happy Gilmore"! KVFD Radio and the Hy-Vee Food Store in Fort Dodge, congratulate Josh on his award this month at Sacred Heart".
In 1999 we decided to bring the business community together with the schools and recognize the students in a special Awards Assembly held at Iowa Central Community College. Below is a short clip of that special evening.
In 2000 I resigned from the radio station to start a career at Hy-Vee in Fort Dodge. The radio station continued with the program until the fall of 2002 when we entered into an agreement for me to resume the direction and control of the program. I administered the program through SITA Marketing, Inc. and worked on continuing the tradition.
In 2003 we promoted the local performing and visual art programs through 3 commercials on cable TV. The following is one of those commercials.
2003 TV AD
In 2004 the Students in the Arts Program partnered with our local Blanden Art Museum to host a special program for the middle school students who received the honor during the 2003-2004 school year. Mayor Patterson greeted all the students and helped make the event special for all the attendees. The following is a copy of the article published in the Messenger.
In 2005 we decided to combine representatives from the schools in a billboard campaign. After 10 years of success with this program, it was a great way to recognize all the efforts of everyone involved with the performing and visual art programs in our schools.
The students involved were as follows: Stephanie Hobbs, Lucy Hancock, Matt Halverson, Brian Rasmussen, Jayna Mickelson, Isaac Kruger, Jennifer Schmidt, John Engler, Caleb Ayala, Zoey Miller, Angela Wu, Keaton Dornath, Miranda Roberts and Bryce Pederson.