Iowa Rock ‘n’ Roll takes part in J-Term 2019

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

The Iowa Rock ‘n’ Roll Music Association jumped in feet first this month to engage with a younger demographic. Students from Okoboji and Spirit Lake High Schools learned from Iowa Rock ‘n’ Roll staff, and the staff learned from the students while working together on a couple projects during J-Term 2019.

Two classes were hosted at the new museum space. Executive Director at Iowa Rock ‘n’ Roll Music Association Cindy Stanbro taught the “Serving Community Through Programming” course and Museum Administrator at the Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Music Association’s Maddi Tesch instructed students for the course “Bringing History Alive.” During the two weeks, students brainstormed, planned, discussed and executed their ideas to develop new programming for Dickinson County and design a “History of Rock” exhibit in the new museum.

“I wanted the youth of Dickinson County to know our association better and understand how they can work in the arts right in their own community,” Stanbro said. “I think it’s important to engage youth through educational programs such as J-Term to share what we do and allow them a chance to tell us how we can serve them better.”

During the 11-day period, both groups learned about collections, nonprofit structure, marketing and heard how 11 different nonprofits in the area fulfilled their mission on a daily basis.

“Bringing History Alive” students took that knowledge and developed two different timeline ideas (one large and one small) for the Iowa Rock ‘n’ Roll Music Association Board of Directors.

“It was really cool to hear them pitching ideas to one another,” Tesch said.

The students in “Serving A Community Through Programming” researched current events in Dickinson County, identified holes in programming, polled the community on what they wanted, brainstormed ideas and planned the first ever county-wide school dance to take place March 22 at the Majestic Pavilion in Arnolds Park. There are plenty of school dances, but all of them are put on by individual schools. The students wanted an inclusive activity.

“Dancing The Light Away” was designed to bring students together in Dickinson County. Tickets will be $5 and will be sold at all four high schools.

Established in 1997 as the first state rock ‘n’ roll music association, the Iowa Rock ‘n’ Roll Music Association is a statewide 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to preserve the legacy of rock ‘n’ roll music in Iowa by honoring achievements, educating youth, and inspiring artists. For more information, go to