Western Iowa Tech Community College (WITCC) has received an $8,000 grant from the Waitt Family Foundation to support the college's Fund for Inspiration.
WITCC's Fund for Inspiration is an ongoing program that invites visiting artists to campus who have achieved distinction in a cultural or technical field. The artist in residence spends between one and four days on campus, visiting WITCC classes, meeting with students, giving presentations to which the Siouxland community is invited, visiting Siouxland high schools, and serving as a role model for people pursuing their educational and professional dreams.
The goals of the program are threefold: to extend students' educational experience, to enhance cultural opportunities for the entire Siouxland community, and to build community partnerships.
Cindy Waitt, director of the Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention and board member of the Waitt Family Foundation said, "We've really been proud to be sponsors of this amazing program. It's very inclusive, it brings the community together, and it has the special quality of inspiring our youth."
Established in 2001, the Fund for Inspiration has hosted residencies by four visiting artists: Larry Heinemann (2001), winner of the 1987 National Book Award; Harry Lennix (2003) a stage and screen actor and theatre director who is currently appearing in the Fox TV show, "24"; Dr. Jimmy Santiago Baca (2004), a poet who is one of the foremost voices of Latino arts and letters; and Diunna Greenleaf (2005), a Blues singer and educator and 2007 Blues Music Awards nominee for Traditional Female Blues Artist of the Year. This year's Fund for Inspiration Visiting Artist will be selected by a committee of WITCC staff and faculty.
The Fund for Inspiration has also hosted a workshop on children's television by Robin Agranoff, director of program planning and acquisitions for the Disney Channel.
The Waitt Family Foundation has supported the Fund for Inspiration every year since its inception and was also responsible for the first gift to the program.