A letter from Dr. Rick Buresh, Superintendent of Fargo Public Schools
Fargo Public Schools (FPS) is proud to offer the programs provided under the umbrella of Trollwood Performing Arts School (TPAS). Going back as many as thirty years, FPS and Fargo Parks and Recreation collaborated to establish the school to provide enrichment opportunities for area youth in a variety of performing arts specialties. Since then, Trollwood has continued to grow, expand, and eventually move to the new site in south Moorhead. While providing high quality performing arts opportunities for area youth and an appreciative adult audience, TPAS has also been able to provide valued mentoring experiences to youth at risk. TPAS has enjoyed a cherished status within our community largely for the high quality wholesome performances, for the high quality developmental opportunities in the arts, for the positive personal relationships among students and staff, and for the high-impact personal growth afforded its students. Each year’s Mainstage Musical gets lots of positive attention as the flagship public display of the “end product” of TPAS’ programming. However, it is but one of many developmental programs hosted at TPAS serving hundreds of area students of all ages.
Much has been written lately about the struggles of Bluestem and FPS to find a solid financial footing for the facility in which TPAS exists. We are confident that these challenges are temporary and that this wonderful performing arts center will long be available to serve as a home for TPAS and as a venue for other regional performing arts groups interested in performing for a local and regional audience.
TPAS is funded and supervised through the Fargo Public Schools. In addition to its regular FPS base support, its budget is enhanced by other revenue from ticket sales, concession sales, grants, tuition from participants, donations, and support of the Bluestem organization. TPAS, under the direction of Executive Director Kathy Anderson, has lived within its budget, and when asked to do so, has found ways to reduce costs and find more economical ways to accomplish their mission, all without sacrificing youth programming. The program is led by a competent team of leaders, organizers, teachers, production staff, and dedicated volunteers. TPAS enjoys tremendous support from the community and from the hundreds of accomplished alumni and parents who look back on their Trollwood years with great appreciation and fondness.
Several additional summer arts programs have sprung up in recent years in the community. They provide quality options for area students and each seems to be staking out a niche in the local market. There appears to be an abundance of talent looking for opportunities to perform and learn. It is good for the community and for our kids to have options. Despite the increased competition, participation at TPAS continues to grow. We look forward to a long and successful future for Trollwood Performing Arts School within Fargo Public Schools.
Thank you for your support of Trollwood. We hope you enjoy this year’s edition of TPAS.