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Calling on the youth

Fort Dodge Fine Arts to form youth advisory council

The Fort Dodge Fine Arts Association is seeking passionate students between the ages of 14 and 18 to be part of a youth advisory council.

“This will offer young leaders a voice in shaping the arts and culture in our community,” said Shelly Bottorff, executive director of the FDFAA.

The youth council will serve a vital role for the FDFAA and its members, Bottorff said.

“They will be involved in new student recruitment for the arts, service projects and are representatives of the student body to discuss student interests within the community,” she said.

It will be the first time FDFAA has offered the program.

“I think it is important to gain input from the youth on how the arts engage teens and youth audiences in our community,” Bottorff said.

The initial tasks for members will involve advancing arts education across Webster County, both in schools and in communities, with a focus on creativity, kindness, equity and inclusion.

“Civic engagement has been a primary objective for the FDFAA over the last few years,” Bottorff said. “It has also been something I personally feel passionate about. I think it is important to provide opportunities to our future leaders and members of our society to experience the behind-the-scenes view. Whether it’s planning, fundraising, installing artwork, helping with a theater production or musical performance — the students will be able to have a voice.”

Members will also be part of the restoration of Phillips Auditorium in the former Phillips Middle School, which was transformed into apartments in recent years.

“This will also be an exciting time as we make progress on the Phillips Auditorium restoration,” Bottorff said. “The students will be able to be a part of that process as well. I mean, how cool is that?”

Bottorff said being involved with the council will give students an opportunity to develop leadership skills, shape the role of youth in communities and network with peers and creative young leaders.

The FDFAA is looking for up to 15 young students to sign up.

Youth Advisory Council members will be selected based on information provided in their written or video application, as well as through a written nomination or recommendation from a teacher, mentor, or supervisor.

Representatives from community-based organizations, arts organizations, school districts and private teaching studies are invited to nominate youth to serve on the Youth Advisory Council/Board. Youth may also nominate themselves, but must include a letter of recommendation that describes why they are a good candidate for this opportunity.

YAC meets regularly during the fall and spring — typically once a month on a day and time when most members are available. These meetings are required, although members may be excused when a scheduled meeting conflicts with academic obligations.

Orientation meeting is scheduled for Nov. 23 at 5 p.m. at the FDFAA gallery, 921 Central Ave. Members will be asked to attend one 1-hour meeting per month (virtual attendance is permitted). They will also be asked to attend a minimum of two community events in 2021.

Applications and nominations can be submitted to fdfinearts@gmail.com. For more information, visit www.fdfineartsassociation.org or call 515-570-7807.

Deadline for applications is Nov. 9. Finalists and waitlisted candidates will be notified of their status no later than Nov. 13.

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