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G-H names new Center for Performing Arts

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pictured is an artist's rendition of the stage at the Rosemary Clausen Center for Performing Arts. Estimations are for the center to open in MArch of 2010. Photo contributed.
$2.5 facility, nearing completion, honors Rosemary Clausen

HOLSTEIN The new performing arts center located in Holstein will be named in honor of Rosemary Clausen, co-founder of VT Industries in Holstein and a long time supporter of the Holstein and Galva communities.

The Rosemary Clausen Center for Performing Arts is currently under construction and expected to be operational by March 2010. It is located adjacent to the Galva-Holstein High School facility and will serve the school system as well as surrounding towns and communities.

Clausen is an Early native, graduate of Briar Cliff University and a founding member of the Galva-Holstein Community School District Foundation, which oversaw fundraising efforts for the project. She has also served on the Board of Trustees at Briar Cliff.

Rosemary and her husband Roger stared Van-Top Inc., which became VT Industries, in a small manufacturing plant built on the current site of the American National Bank building in Holstein. VT grew into an international manufacturer and distributor of architectural wood doors, fine laminate counter tops and stone surfaces under Roger's direction until his retirement. Doug Clausen as CEO and his sister Liz Hansch as partner and board member continue to oversee the growth of the company. The Clausen family's generous gift of $500,000 got the Center for Performing Arts project off to a running start.

"This is an honor of a lifetime," according to Clausen, who is an accomplished pianist and teacher and has performed countless times at events in the Galva and Holstein area. "It will be wonderful to have this kind of facility in Holstein. Not only will it help our students find and develop their skills in the performing arts, it will also allow us to bring in outside entertainment that will provide enjoyment for everyone in our community.

According to Kathy Breyfogle, foundation president, the Rosemary Clausen Center will be state-of-the-art with a seating capacity of 401. "It will be paid for primarily from donations from the Holstein and Galva communities. We have had contributions from about 300 individuals and businesses. Contributions ranged from $10 to $50,000 and we anticipated that the estimated $2.5 million facility will be debt free by the time we open it."

Breyfogle went on to say that the Rosemary Clausen Center would strive to be a facility friendly to performing artists from Iowa, as well as area colleges and universities. "Occasionally we will cast the net for nationally-known performers, but there is incredible talent right here in our own region. Of course, none of this would have been possible without the vision and support from the Clausen family."

Upon completion, the Rosemary Clausen Center for Performing Arts will strive to serve as a catalyst that will enhance the partnership among the Galva-Holstein Schools, the Galva-Holstein Foundation and the towns of Galva and Holstein, and will assure an outstanding home for learning, sharing, celebrating and entertaining.

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