G2G March Madness Get-2-Gether Committee and Decorah Parks and Recreation sponsor gathering March 1

Decorah’s Get-2-Gether Committee and Decorah Parks and Recreation are hosting a free March Madness event for adults with special needs from 2:00 to 4:00 pm on Sunday, March 1, at Decorah Lutheran Church.  Adults with special needs are invited for an evening of music by Strike Force Entertainment, Minute to Win It games, bingo, light snacks, and Culver’s Custard. Volunteers will be provided by the Luther College Soccer Teams.

Sponsors and community donations allow G2G volunteers to offer these events at no cost to participants.  Participants should register for this event by Monday, February 24, to allow volunteers to plan accordingly.  Registration can be completed online at or by contacting the Decorah Parks and Recreation office, (563) 382-4158 or



Hope In Bloom – Daffodils to benefit The American Cancer Society

Spring is on its way and with that the sale of daffodils to
benefit the American Cancer Society of Winneshiek County! 
Daffodils are a universal
symbol of hope and life, and they’re at the center of the American Cancer
Society’s Daffodil Days campaign. The campaign will deliver hundreds of yellow
flowers across the county to raise awareness and funds for the fight against cancer. 
 Thanks to sponsors: The Depot Outlet, Viking State Bank & Winneshiek Medical Center.

Make a minimum $10 donation to receive a bunch of approximately 10
daffodils. Orders are now being taken by stopping by Viking State Bank
at 321 W Water St before March 5th.  Daffodils will be available
for pickup on April 1st at Viking State Bank from 9AM-Noon.

Luther College Ministries hosts non-profit, Music That Makes Community

Luther College Ministries hosts non-profit, Music That Makes Community

Events are open to the public to bring communities closer through song


DECORAH, Iowa – From Feb. 27 to 29, Luther College Ministries will be hosting Music That Makes Community, a national non-profit group focused on community singing and song leading.

Music That Makes Community will hold several events during their residency for the Luther and Decorah Communities. Centered around group singing, they hope to create deeper connections among people and their communities.

To kick off their residency, leaders of Music That Makes Community will lead the Luther College Chapel service at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Feb. 28, in the Main Hall of the Center for Faith and Life. It will be followed by an afternoon of workshops with Luther music students. From 6 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, in Shirley Baker Commons on Luther’s campus, the public is invited to participate in song and a potluck.

On Saturday, Feb. 29, Music that Makes Community will hold a one-day workshop from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for those interested in learning to improve their paperless and group song leading skills. Advanced registration for this event is required. Tuition costs will range from $35 to $100. Scholarships are available for students. Visit to register. For more information contact

“Luther College and Decorah are places known as community centers and spaces of music and singing. We’re a natural fit with the national movement being led by Music that Makes Community,” said Vicar Amalia Vagts, Luther College Ministries intern. “People understand the power that simple singing can have in a community – we’ve seen it at vigils and in homes. Many in our community are interested in more experience with this ancient form of singing, and those who are leaders are eager for the chance to learn real tools that make song leading effective and invitational.”

Music That Makes Community is a nonprofit organization that works to help people connect and learn through singing. They do this by teaching the practice of paperless song leading. Paperless singing is grounded in a theology of welcome and generosity for the benefit of musicians, clergy, congregations, students and others interested in using the practice to enrich their worship and community lives.

“It is wonderful to witness the resurgence of oral tradition singing in churches and other faith communities. While retaining hymnals and other beloved forms of music-making, congregations are adding in this simple, accessible, ancient tool for learning songs that are short and easy enough that they can be learned quickly and remembered collectively,” says Liz Rog, a Decorah community song leader who has helped in planning this special event.

“I’m most excited about the opportunity for Luther students to learn alongside and make connections with community members. I’m very much looking forward to the training for myself, too, and to bringing my whole family to the community sing and potluck,” said Luther pastor, Annie Edison-Albright. “There’s nothing like the experience of being surrounded by music at a singing event; it’s good for the soul.”

This residency is hosted by College Ministries in partnership with the Luther music department, the Center for Ethics and Public Engagement, the Nena Amundson Lifetime Wellness Program, Pleasant Valley Villagers, area congregations, Decorah Bank and Trust and Viking State Bank.

Luther College is home to more than 1,900 undergraduates who explore big questions and take action to benefit people, communities and society. Our 60+ academic programs, experiential approach to learning and welcoming community inspire students to learn actively, live purposefully and lead courageously for a lifetime of impact. Learn more at


Oneota Valley Community Orchestra

The Oneota Valley Community Orchestra (OVCO) continues its 6th season on February 23 at 3:00 p.m. at the Decorah High School Auditorium. The orchestral program includes: Overture to the Barber of Seville by Gioachina Rossini, Violin Concerto in D Major by Ludwig van Beethoven, American Nocturne by Ben Hippen and Marche Slave by Pyotr llyich Tchaikovsky. Award winning OVCO Music Director Matthew Cody will conduct the orchestra.

The spotlight of this performance is on composer and songwriter, Ben Hippen, who grew up in Decorah and went on to study music at Harvard University. Hippen makes music in a wide variety of styles and genres from combining pop music and songwriting with the complexity of contemporary classical styles. It will be the first time the four-movement American Nocturne is presented live in the United States after its premiere last year by the Lviv Philharmonic in Ukraine. Formerly an emergency-room physician in San Francisco, Hippen has retuned to his roots as a musician. American Nocturne is a musical and cultural reminiscence.

OVCO also celebrates Beethoven’s 250th birthday with guest violinist soloist Rebecca Corruccini who will perform Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D Major. Corruccini joined the Minnesota Orchestra’s first violin section in 2008. In recent seasons, she has recorded Emmy award-winning PBS All-Star Orchestra episodes as a charter member of the first violin section. Corruccini earned a bachelor of music degree with honors at the Cleveland Institute of Music and received a master’s degree from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music.

The Oneota Valley Community Orchestra is sponsored by the Marion E. Jerome Foundation and the Depot Outlet. The performance is free and open to the public.

The winners of “Singing with the Broadway Stars” are announced

The winners of “Singing with the Broadway Stars” have been announced. Luther College senior Bailey Fields will appear in this Friday’s Center Stage Series performance of “Neil Berg’s 101 Years of Broadway.”

Winner, Bailey Fields, is a senior from Mantorville, Minn., and will graduate in May with a theatre major and a musical theatre minor. Bailey is also a member of Collegiate Chorale and studies voice with Dr. Gary Moss.

Runner up, Emma Forsyth, is a 17-year-old from Houston High School. She studies voice with Rachel Storlie, alumni guest lecturer of music at Luther College. Emma is active in competitive dance and with high school theater.

Both the winner and runner-up will join the cast of five Broadway stars, performing hits from the best of American musical theater in this dazzling revue. The performance is Friday, Feb. 14, at 7:30pm in the Main Hall of Luther’s Center for Faith and Life. Tickets are available at, or 563.387.1357.

Luther College and Northeast Iowa Community College partner to create an A.A. to B.A. Social Work Transfer Pathway

Luther College and Northeast Iowa Community College are partnering in an effort to meet growing workforce needs in the social work field.

President Ward and President Wee surrounded by social work students and faculty

On Thursday, Feb. 6, Luther President Jenifer K. Ward and NICC President Liang Chee Wee signed the articulation agreement, creating an A.A. to B.A. Social Work Transfer Pathway. This transfer pathway will provide students the opportunity to complete an A.A. at NICC with credits that directly transfer to Luther, allowing them to obtain their B.A. in social work in only two additional years.

“This partnership signals an important step in advancing Luther’s strategic plan initiative to create new Iowa and Minnesota community college transfer pathways and improve institutional capacity for transfer student success,” said President Ward. “I am grateful to our faculty and staff and to our counterparts at NICC for the work that enables us to collaborate in ways that benefit both our students and the communities they will serve as social workers in northeast Iowa and beyond.”

NICC students who enroll in the program will complete a two-year sequence of courses and would begin at Luther as juniors. During their study at NICC, students would also complete two social work courses offered by Luther.

“Northeast Iowa Community College’s mission aims to improve lives and lift communities.Our partnership with Luther College enables both institutions to combine our efforts to enhance the students’ preparations for the betterment of those they will serve in their calling,” said President Wee.

A 2019 report conducted by The University of Iowa and the National Association of Social Workers Iowa Chapter found that the social work workforce is projected to grow in Iowa between 15% and 22% from 2016 to 2026. The report states that “schools of social work have a role to play in strengthening recruitment to meet critical workforce needs.” Britt Rhodes, associate professor of social work at Luther, agrees.

“We have a responsibility to those living in our state and region to provide the highest quality professional social work services and one of the ways we can do that is by opening additional pathways for students to pursue a career in social work,” said Rhodes.

Luther has a long history of educating social workers. According to Rhodes, work began to establish Luther’s program in 1973. By 1976, the program was accredited and has been ever since.

“Work on this began in 1973 because we had creative faculty who saw value in adding a professional track to the offerings at the college,” said Rhodes. “I think this partnership represents an extension of that creative thinking and attention to what are students are looking for.”

The new social work transfer pathway joins a group of more than 10 similar transfer agreements established by NICC and four-year institutional partners. NICC currently offers A.A. and A.S. transfer programs in biology, business, criminal justice, psychology and sociology.

To get started, visit

Luther College is home to more than 1,900 undergraduates who explore big questions and take action to benefit people, communities and society. Our 60+ academic programs, experiential approach to learning and welcoming community inspire students to learn actively, live purposefully and lead courageously for a lifetime of impact. Learn more at

Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) serves more than 5,900 students in eight counties in northeast Iowa, surrounding areas and online offering academic programs of study in a variety of disciplines, in addition to online and blended learning, customized business and industry training, short-term certification options and adult education and literacy.The college is committed to affordable, high-quality education and training to ensure the growth and vitality of northeast Iowa. More information is available at

Luther College announces significant academic center expansion in Rochester, Minnesota

The Rochester Semester allows students to engage in high-impact, career-centered learning

From real-world internships to meaningful active learning opportunities, Luther College is enhancing its student experience by significantly expanding programming in Rochester, Minnesota. The Rochester Semester will launch as Luther’s spring 2020 semester opens on Wednesday, Feb. 5. This new program is open to all majors and will take advantage of the exciting opportunities available just 65 miles from Decorah.

The Rochester area is home to more than 1,000 Luther alumni and friends employed in diverse and important fields. Drawing on those connections, Luther students participating in the spring 2020 semester will have immersive learning opportunities at the Gift of Life Transplant House, the Rochester Diversity Council, Destination Medical Center and City of Rochester Sustainability, as well as in a number of areas within the Mayo Clinic, including biomedical research, biomedical informatics, finance and information technology.

“These experiences will enable students to build practical skills, gain diverse perspectives and form valuable networks, preparing them to be competitive for the next step in their lives,” said Jodi Enos-Berlage, Rochester Semester director and associate dean for integrated academic and career development. “However, the most powerful outcome of these experiences is that students will be able to discover the types of work, contributions and interactions that energize them, and just as importantly, those that do not, while they are still in college. They can use what they learn to help shape their next step, putting them in a better position to navigate towards a life and career that will not only be professionally rewarding but also purposeful.”

For the first time, Luther students studying in Rochester will live under one roof in housing arranged by the college. Further, students enrolled in the Rochester Semester program will take two place-based, community-engaged courses taught by Luther faculty members in classroom space at Zumbro Lutheran Church.

In one course, The Mutable City, students will ask big questions and use an ethical lens to examine the challenges associated with rapid urban change. The focus will be on Rochester, which is expected to experience major population and economic growth over the next 20 years due to the $5 billion Destination Medical Center project. In a second course, Writing in Community, small groups of students will partner with a Rochester non-profit to produce a desired writing product for the organization.

Shana Liu is a junior neuroscience major with a chemistry and music minor. This January she was Luther’s “soft start” Rochester Semester student. Liu began her internship by working full time in a Mayo Clinic neuroscience research lab studying deep brain stimulation treatments.

“The lab I was placed into has been incredibly nurturing, and I’ve already learned so much in a few short weeks. I’ve gotten to observe behavioral experiments, cutting edge analysis technologies and so much more,” said Liu. “This is such a great chance for people to gain professional experience while still in school. I feel very lucky to be able to work beside experts in the neuromodulation field.”

While these immersive experiences are shaping students and their futures, Enos-Berlage points out, the participating organizations have a lot to gain as well.

“These organizations benefit by having a student immersed in a project for the duration of a semester, and possibly longer, increasing their potential to make meaningful contributions,” said Enos-Berlage. “A young person with a fresh perspective can also offer valuable insights to collaborative projects.”

As Enos-Berlage continues her work in paving the road ahead for students studying in Rochester, she welcomes conversations with organizations seeking to learn more about the program. She can be contacted at

At 10:30 a.m. on Feb. 9, Zumbro Lutheran Church will host a special worship service to recognize and celebrate Luther College’s and Zumbro Lutheran Church’s partnership in mission, service and learning in Rochester. Luther College Campus Pastor, Anne Edison-Albright will preach and music will be provided by Luther’s Norskkor choir under the direction of Mark Potvin.

“I’m excited about this event because not only does it serve to formally recognize the launch of a major new initiative for Luther, it provides a wonderful way for members of the Rochester community, and in particular our welcoming partners at Zumbro Lutheran Church, to meet and engage with our Rochester-based students and vice versa,” said Enos-Berlage. “We are deeply grateful for the classroom space, student support and warm hospitality provided to us by Zumbro Lutheran.”

The Rochester Semester program builds on a foundation established nearly 40 years ago by Luther’s highly-regarded nursing program. For decades, nursing majors have spent their entire third year in Rochester, gaining valuable clinical experience at Mayo Medical Center and its affiliated hospitals.

To learn more about Luther’s academic center in Rochester and the exciting opportunities available through the Rochester Semester visit

Luther College is home to more than 1,900 undergraduates who explore big questions and take action to benefit people, communities and society. Our 60+ academic programs, experiential approach to learning and welcoming community inspire students to learn actively, live purposefully and lead courageously for a lifetime of impact. Learn more at

Decorah Public Library: March Book Group Titles

Decorah Public Library staff are hosting four book discussions in March. The groups are open to the public and newcomers are encouraged to attend. Anyone interested should call the library at 382-3717 to learn more or to reserve a book.

  • The Happy Hour Book Group will meet at Rubaiyat on Wed. March 11th at 5:15 p.m. to discuss Margaret Wilkerson Sexton’s “The Revisioners.” In 1925, Josephine is the proud owner of a thriving farm. As a child, she channeled otherworldly power to free herself from slavery. Nearly a century later, Josephine’s descendant, Ava, is a single mother who has just lost her job. She moves in with her white grandmother Martha. But Martha’s behavior soon becomes erratic and threatening, and Ava must escape before her story and Josephine’s converge.
  • The History Book Group will meet at 6:00 p.m. Thurs. March 19th on the 2nd floor of the library to discuss Gordon Chang’s “The Ghosts of Gold Mountain: The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad.” Read more

Winter Reading Bingo

Looking for a literacy based challenge for your family this winter? Stop by Decorah Public Library, or visit our website, to pickup a winter reading BINGO card.

Decorah Public Library is offering two BINGO challenges: an “Early Literacy” bingo card designed for children 0-5 and a “Read Diverse Books” BINGO card recommended for children, tweens, teens, elementary school age and older.

“It’s easy to get in a rut during the winter,” says Children’s and Young Adult Librarian Rachael Button. “We wanted to design a BINGO challenge that would engage our patrons in literacy-based activities.”

Read more

NEW! Driftless Community Dance

We want to grow the social dance scene in the area (like swing dancing, two step, salsa, the waltz…).  Fun live music often performs in our area but when it comes to social partner dancing only a handful of people know or feel comfortable enough to partner dance.  Let’s change that!  Let’s connect to learn/practice new dance moves, attend/offer dance lesson before a band starts, or share when you know of events with live music that is great for parter dancing.  All are welcome, whether you brand new to social partner dancing or have been dancing since you could walk.

Email us to get connected at:

On Friday, Feb 14th we will be offering a free beginners swing dance lesson a band plays in Decorah. More detailed info and time to come soon.

~ Kyra Bellrichard & Phil Schmidt, Organizers of Driftless Community Dance


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