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Orpheum director reports on planning, activities

Bob Untiedt, Orpheum Theater Center Director

Bob Untiedt, Orpheum Theater Center Director

Orpheum Theater Center Director Bob Untiedt has been on the job for just a handful of months, but in that time he’s studied the Orpheum’s history, expanded the Advisory Committee, hosted a planning event that involved nearly 80 stakeholders, and offered a variety of events designed to appeal to diverse audiences. He told the IVCCD Board of Directors this month that the staff is excited and optimistic about the future of the Orpheum, with plans to capitalize and build on the community interest and support that’s currently in place.

“The Orpheum is especially committed to strengthening community partnerships,” says Untiedt. “Staff here are active on several community boards and planning committees, plus, with community volunteers, we are engaged in a strategic plan update and fundraising. We are looking for program partnerships with non-profits and area businesses to benefit from our services, we want to offer learning experiences to kids, and we plan to provide cultural opportunities that celebrate diversity while reducing overall costs and conducting assertive fundraising.”

Untiedt commended staffer Tammy Losing for her outreach to Marshalltown Community College students, which the Orpheum plans to expand over time. Local businesses are volunteering and supporting during Live After Five performances, and some are sponsoring movies in the Orpheum theater. In the last five months, he said 15-20 businesses and non-profits have partnered with the Orpheum on various projects and events.

Earlier this month, nearly 80 stakeholders participated in a planning event to generate ideas for new programs and how to market them; the Orpheum signed up nearly 20 new volunteers as a result of that meeting.

Looking ahead, Untiedt has developed a grants calendar and plans to pursue fundraising opportunities while continuing to offer a diverse array of events. Marketing events and finding effective ways to connect with people will be a central focus, he told the Board.

Actions taken by the IVCCD Board include: approval of an agreement with McFarland Clinic to provide limited nursing services to students at Ellsworth Community College and approval with 10 high schools to provide college level instruction for the high school students. The Board also gave first reading to revised Board policies relating to vacancies on the Board, posting of District job openings, and requirements related to the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA).

The Board received a $96,665 Statewide Work-Based Learning Intermediary Regional Network Grant from the Iowa Department of Education to support personnel costs and activities related to IVCCD’s Intermediary program. The grant supports two staff positions and things like virtual job shadowing, career day speakers, worksite tours, employer lunch-n-learn events, financial literacy fairs, and more. The Board also received a $520 grant from the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa to the Jean Seberg Endowment Fund.

IVCCD Chancellor Dr. Chris Duree shared a credit hour enrollment tracking report that’s used to evaluate past/current enrollments and project future enrollment comparisons. He told the Board that with a few weeks to go before college classes start, things look “very encouraging.”

“Although we expect the current climb to flatten out, and possibly drop a few percentage points, with both colleges combined, we’re currently up about 7 percent in credit hours, so we’re cautiously optimistic for a much better year this year than last,” Duree said. “I want to give kudos to our Admissions staffs and others who are doing all they can to enroll and serve our students. We couldn’t be more pleased with everyone’s contributions across the Iowa Valley family.”

The next meeting of the IVCCD Board of Directors will be Wednesday, Sept. 14, at 4 pm at Ellsworth Community College in Iowa Falls.

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