Trollwood Performing Arts School provides high quality arts education, exceptional community entertainment, and operates as a community events and exposition center.

Trollwood serves as the managing arm for Bluestem Center for the Arts, large circular room filled with white tablesa world-class facility headquartered in Moorhead, Minnesota. The campus includes river views, grassy meadows, woods, and wildlife. The facilities are comprised of outdoor stages, a 2,500-seat amphitheater, and the beautiful Marcil Commons, which serves as the Trollwood headquarters, an educational center, and a rental space. It boasts warm knotty pine rooms and beautiful park views.

Bluestem Center for the Arts hosts many programs that inspire a love for arts in people of all ages. The facility is used for school arts curriculum and activities, including the 12 programs offered by Trollwood Performing Arts School. Bluestem also serves as a space for public performances, exhibitions, community festivals, corporate retreats, conferences, weddings, and other private rental opportunities. Since opening, thousands of patrons and students have enjoyed these opportunities.

Trollwood Performing Arts School intentionally incorporates the outdoors into curriculum. Many of our programs are summer based, and we understand the importance of allowing youth to enjoy the season.

Bluestem Center for the Arts is an exciting collaboration between Fargo Public Schools and the city of Moorhead, serving as a testament to our region’s commitment to the arts. The center opened in 2009 thanks to generous support of the entire community.


  • United Nation’s Peace Messenger Award, 1991
  • President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, Coming Up Taller Award, 2002. Trollwood was one of only 11 orgaizations across the nation to be chosen for their outstanding youth arts programs
  • Governor’s Award for the Arts, 2003, awarded by North Dakota Governor John Hoeven in honor of Trollwood’s long-standing commitment to excellence in arts education and community entertainment
  • Lake Agassiz Arts Council’s Arts Education Advocate Award, 2007
  • Certificate of Excellence for Superior Performance and Leadership by Impact Foundation through Dakota Medical Foundation, 2008
  • Fargo-Moorhead Chamber of Commerce Chamber Choice Small Non-Profit of the Year Finalist, 2008
  • Fargo-Moorhead Convention & Visitors Bureau “Countrypolitan Award” for creating the new 4-season campus to promote tourism in the Fargo-Moorhead area, 2009
  • Metro Area Mayors’ Committee for People with Disabilities “Universal Access Award” for meeting the minimum requirements set by the ADA and made additional architectural designs that have increased the accessibility for people with disabilities, 2009
  • North Dakota Parent-Teacher Association Friend of the Child Award, 2011
  • American Advertising Federation-North Dakota
  • “Best of the Valley” and “Best Live Entertainment Venue from Fargo Forum’s Best Annual Non-Sporting Event for 5 years running
  • “Best Large Music Venue” 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 from High Plains Reader
  • Award of Excellence from NSPRA Publications & Digital Media Awards, 2021

Trollwood Performing Arts School has maintained a high standard of excellence in all its programs since 1978 as a result of the level of commitment to serve youth exhibited by the leaders of the organization. These Trollwood leaders are community members, educators, business owners, and parents dedicated to offering quality education opportunities to our youth through the arts. We thank them for their service.

Our heartfelt appreciation to the Fargo Board of Education and Fargo Public Schools leaders, for their support of our growth and development.

  • Dr. Rupak Gandhi, Superintendent
  • Dr. Robert Grosz, Associate Superintendent
  • Missy Eidsness, Associate Superintendent
  • Jackie Gapp, Business Manager
  • Doug Andring, Human Resources Director
  • AnnMarie Campbell, Executive Assistant
  • Rebecca Knutson, President
  • Robin Nelson, Vice President
  • Jennifer Benson
  • Nikkie Gullickson
  • Seth Holden
  • Jim Johnson
  • Brian Nelson
  • Dr. Tracie Newman
  • David Paulson

A special thank you to the Moorhead City Council for their partnership in hosting the home of Trollwood Performing Arts School.

  • Michelle Carlson, Mayor
  • Shelly Dahlquist
  • Matthew Gilbertson
  • Laura Caroon
  • Heather Nesemeier
  • Deb White
  • Larry Seljevold
  • Chuck Hendrickson
  • Steve Lindaas

In addition to the participation of thousands, it takes love, commitment, materials, and money to keep Trollwood going and growing each year. Gate receipts and contributions comprise approximately 50% of our annual operating budget. Your financial and in-kind contributions allow us to provide unique youth development programs and high quality entertainment for our community. Now is the time to join hundreds of others in the all-important role of being a Trollwood supporter.

Make your individual contribution today!

Listed below are those individuals, companies and organizations who have generously supported Trollwood Performing Arts School. Their encouragement and financial support make dreams come true for our youth and provide numerous arts opportunities for people in the region. This list reflects gifts received between January 1, 2019 – September 15, 2020.







Bell Bank

North Dakota Council on the Arts

Fargo-Moorhead Sertoma Club

Corwin Automotive
Hornbacher’s Foods

Coca Cola Bottling Company – High Country
Dakota Medical Foundation
FM Area Foundation
Otter Tail Corporation
Julie Snortland & Roger Hawley
The Arts Partnership and the Cities of Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo

Forum Communications Co.
Prairie Public

Fargo Public Schools Development Foundation/Thibedeau Scholarship Fund
Bob Gerke
Jill & Gary Inman
Kiwanis Club of Fargo
Xcel Energy Foundation

Dacotah Paper Company

Sarah & Dean Atchison – Atchison Companies
FM Area Foundation – Charles Bailly Donor Advised Fund
Bell Bank Staff
Lilly & Richard Berg in Honor of The Elmer and Kayla Berg Foundation
Janette & Dr. Rick Buresh
Dawn Dexter in Memory of Fran Dexter
Sarah Herman
Impact Foundation
Kim & George Koeck
Moorhead Rotary Club
Kit Scherber Memorial Assistantship
Angie & Brian Schulz in Celebration of The Arts in this Community
Mark & Shannon Sell
Stephen Silletto – Silletto Family & Friends
Judith & Stephen Spellman
Arlyce & Harris Widmer
The Estate of Jim & Joan Winkler

Blackbird Woodfire
Blow’s Sew-n-Vac
David Coons/ASI Professional Associates
Erbert & Gerbert’s
Microtel Moorhead
Minnesota Public Radio
Office Sign Company
Prairie Property Management
West Acres Development Co.
Wimmer’s Diamonds

Kathy & Jim Anderson
Amy Anderson & Eric Bailly
Katie & Craig Brye in Celebration of Kathy Anderson
Industrial Builders, Inc.
Carolyn & Tom Espel
FM Area Foundation – Francis J. and Doris Y. Butler Memorial Fund
Michelle & Brent Hella
Rachel & Ted Horan
Nancy & Neil Jordheim
Jim Krabbenhoft – AgCountry Farm Credit Services
Amanda & Dana Martens
Fargo-Moorhead Area Foundation/Mohr Family-Dacotah Paper Donor Advised Fund
Laura & Austin Morris
ND Masonic Foundation, INC – Shiloh Masonic Lodge #1
Alexa Puppo
LuAnn & Mike Quaschnick
Quota Club of Fargo
William and Anna Jane Schlossman Fund as recommended by Brad
and Carol Schlossman
Leslie Winterquist

Dorothy Clark
Virginia & Dr. Byron Danielson
Deborah & Joel Davy
Drama Section of Fine Arts Club
Amy Beaton & David Fenelon
Lorraine & Bruce Furness
Helen & Charles Grommesh
Sheila & Warren Gullickson
Representative Karla Rose & Shawn Hanson
Maggy & Todd Henderson
Caryn Jo Hewitt in Honor of Morgan & Molly Trout
Barbara Silletto Hoch
Anja & Drew Kalvoda
Janet & James Kapitan in Honor of Jennifer Kapitan
Heather & David Klundt in Memory of Michael Anderson
Jennifer & Jason Kratcha
Jessica Westgard Larson & Dave Larson
Rachelle & Jonathan Martin
Margo & James McCulley
Marla & Ian McIntyre
Erin & Matt Moxness
Tuyettram Nguyen in Memory of Tuyet Nguyen
Lisa & Erik Nordeng
Denese & Ron Odegaard
Rennitta & Gene Okerlund
Nyla & Roger Olson
Rene & Duane Parke
Amy & Jim Parker in Honor of Kensey Knight
Ann & Michael Potts
Gina Sandgren
Sandy Thiel in Memory of Matt Thibedeau

Jessica & Ross Almlie
Cristy Amundgaard
Ann & Lawrence Anderson
Kayla Anderson
Pamela & Wayne Anderson
Anonymous in Honor of Carolyn Solberg
Becky Bakke
Rebecca Barry
Linda & Donald Bartsch
Betsy & Mike Beaton
Patricia Beck
Janet Berg
Janelle & Steve Berge in Memory of Leslie & Virginia Bahr
Kathleen Bergseth
Peggy & Don Bierdeman
Sara & Scott Bleth
Christopher Bohnet
Regina Bohnet
Karen & Paul Borstad
Cheryl & Tom Boyle
Eloise & Arnie Breikjern
Erika & Steve Briggs
Linda & Larry Brooks
Elair & Joyce Brothen
Susan & Richard Brudvik
Tamara & Todd Bucholz
Martha & Jim Burns
Pam & Mike Burns
Lisa & Gregg Campbell
Kasey & Wade Carlin
Brenda & E. John Carlson
Jennifer & Franz Charbonneaux
Jodi & Ryan Christiansen
Dallas Christianson
Carrie & Tom Clemens
Megan Collins-Moore
Nancy & Robert Comstock Odney
Kerry Conlin
Crystal & Jeff Cossette Knight
Gordon Court – Kings Court Creative Photography
Kathleen Coyle
Erin & Rex Dahl in Honor of Alexander Dahl
Louise Dahl
Alishia Daily
Kyle Daily
Katie & Daniel Damico
Ramona Danielson
Kerri Spiering & John Davies
Joan & Dan Degerness in Honor of Parker Degerness
Kim & Devin Droog
Julie & Charles Duchsherer
High Point Networks
Joan & Peter Edwards
Eide Bailly
Lora & Kevin Elfstrum – Sir Speedy
Moorhead Vikingland Kiwanis
Brandi Enger
Tammy & Tom Enright
Marian & Allyn Fagerholt
Lisa Faiman
Lisbeth & Jim Fandrich
Lisa & Kenneth Farnham
Marcene & Peter Fendt
Linda Fenelon
Cindy & Rick Fischer
Colleen & Russell Ford-Dunker
Jan & Andy Fugle in Honor of Kyle Tekautz
Pam & Jason Gibb
Sara & Eric Gjerdevig
Nancy & Mark Glaser
Betty A. Good in Memory of Hyllari Marcuson
JJ Gordon in Honor of Past & Future Students
Jessica & Chris Gowan
Susan & Robert Grantham
Laura Gravdahl Thoreson
Heidi & Jeremy Gregoire
Dawn & Lee Gunderson
Kristen Nelson Guzman
Jodi & Glen Haekenkamp
Katherine & Joseph Halvorson
Cody Hamilton
Heather Hanson
Kathryn & David Hanson
Jan & Fraser Harrison
Beth & Rob Haseltine in Honor of Bailey Haseltine Krusen
June Hayer
Billie Jo & Mark Hayes
Earlyne Hector
Kelsy Hewitt & Sean Ballinger
Amy & Todd Hirsch
Cherish & Ryan Hoffman
Larry Holmstrom
Becky & Ron Holten
Carol & Kenneth Hopp
Julie Hudson
Renae Ingersoll
Willy & Arland Jacobson
Joyce Jenson
Claire & Bill Johnson in Memory of Aaron Guderjahn
Nancy Johnson
Jackie & Brian Jones
Molly Jorgenson
Raleigh & Don Kern
Anne & Kevin Kidder
Amber Kienenberger
Sally Kienenberger
Maria Weller & Kurt Kooyer
John Kringler in Memory of Jan Kringler
Mila & Andrei Kryjevski
Erin Kub
Shelly Larson Kuchynski & Kevin Kuchynski
Mary & Harvey Laabs
Carol Ladwig
John Lamb
Tracy & Mike LaMont
Michal & Charles Lang
Keith & Lorraine Langseth
Julie & Richard Laufenberg
Kathy Leingang
Kara & Kyle Lidberg
Dorothy Lohman
Karen & Gary Mailloux
Gate City Bank
Julie Martin in Honor of Kyle Tekautz
Angela & Michael Mathers
Jacob Maurer
Karen S. McCann in Memory of Hyllari Marcuson
Renee & Phillip McClean
Kim & Curtis McVicar
Roxanne Meidinger
Sarah & Steven Meinhardt
Ronald & Dawn Melcher
Heidi & James Meline in Honor of Noah & Clara Meline
Paul Meyers – Legacy Wealth Management in Memory of Vince Lindstrom
Amy & David Mielke
Jackie & Dan Miller
Linda & Wayne Monge
Kristi Morrison
Barb Nelson
Jean Nelson
Mary Margaret Nelson
Laura & Kyle Nesler
Kathy Neugebauer
Cindy & Gary Nolte
Yvonne & Steven Norgen
Steve O’Rourke
Danielle & Kyle Oetker
Amanda Ohlsen
Martha & Michael Olsen
Audrey & Ardell Olson
Michael Olson
Cheryl Omeara
Cassie & Jason Orloske
Gloria Palm Conner
Phyllis & Carlton Paulson
Paula & Dana Peterson in Honor of Andie Peterson
Abby Pladson in Honor of Mickey Snortland and Family
Jamie Proulx in Honor of Michael Walling
Jay Puppe
Ellen Quandahl
Reanna Quiah
Lois Ann Ramlo
Paulette & William Rastedt
Amy & Aaron Renelt
Penny & Steve Retzer in Memory of Vince Lindstrom
Sandra Reuther
Vicki & Glenn Richard
Sharla Richards
Carole & Mark Richman in Honor of Khari Richman Heerman
Elise & Dennis Rick
Jaylen Rick
Paula & Eugene Roach
Vicki & Rob Roberts
Mary & Donald Roos in Honor of Timm Sharp, Megan Pennington and Nick & Alex Roos
Karin & Joe Rudd
Diana Rush
Evelyn Rutten
Nancy & Ron Saeger
Linda Saurer
Courtney Schaff
Angela Schlieper
Susan & Thomas Schoon
Shantae Schumacher
Joann Sevald
Jackie & Jim Shaw in Honor of Jenny & Natalie Shaw
Joelle Shewey
Tryston Simek
Linda Skalet
GaNe’ Skatvold
Michelle & Steve Skoblik
Mary & Shawn Skrove
Olivia Snortland
Pam & Curt Sommer
Lisa Steinberger
Stephannie & Thomas Stiel
Michelle Swanson
Lynn & Todd Swenson in Memory of Tom Toulouse
Brenda Synhorst
Sue & Robert Thibedeau
Nicole Thom-Arens
Alice Thomsen
Sandy Thorne
JoAnn & Marvin Thorson
Mary Thrond
Mae & Stephen Tinguely
Bette & Paul R. Vandersteen
Marla & Kenneth Wagenman
Rachel Weber – 702 Communications
Kathy Weigel
Christine & Jeremy Welsand in Honor of Sophia Welsand
Pamela Wheeler
Wendi Wheeler
Robbye & Randy Wimmer
Leah & Scott Wright
Susan Farkas & Joshua Wynne
David Wyum
Kathleen & Robert Yanish
Ross Yost
Anne & Jeff Zarling
Daniel Zitzow


Executive Director

Kathy Anderson began her career in Arts Management over 20 years ago as a student in the Music Industry program at Minnesota State University Moorhead, graduating with a Bachelor of Music degree in 1991. As a junior in college, she interned at Trollwood Performing Arts School and has since held numerous management roles in both the non-profit and for-profit industries. Kathy has been at the helm of Trollwood Performing Arts School since the fall of 2009. Under Kathy’s leadership, Trollwood has expanded its arts educational offerings through the creation of programs such as the Trollwood Conservatory, Totally Trollwood Academy, and the Trollwood Children’s Theatre. Kathy was also instrumental in starting the nationally recognized STudents At Risk (STAR) program for Trollwood back in 1997. Kathy has served in the role of producer for several Trollwood Mainstage Musical productions including Anything Goes (2010), The Music Man (2011), Legally Blonde (2012), Shrek (2013), How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (2014), Disney’s Mary Poppins (2015), Disney’s The Little Mermaid (2016), Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (2017), Hello, Dolly! (2018) Freaky Friday (2019) and is currently working on Cinderella (2021).

In the Fall of 2012, Kathy was asked to take on a larger role at Trollwood and oversee the management and programming of the venue, currently known as Bluestem Center for the Arts, as well as oversee all aspects of fundraising and development for the organization. Previously, Kathy held the position of Executive Director for the Cass County Historical Society and Bonanzaville USA (1997–1999). Under Kathy’s direction, Bonanzaville underwent a major renovation and also secured the initial vision and funding for the development of the Lucien Barnes Pavilion at Bonanzaville. In addition to Kathy’s roles in the non-profit industry, Kathy worked for Microsoft (2000–2005) where she was a Technical Support Engineer and Technical Lead for the accounting package Great Plains prior to returning to Trollwood as the Director of Administration in the spring of 2005. In addition to her professional arts management career, Kathy enjoys making music as a singer/songwriter. Kathy also loves spending quality time with her husband, Jim, and daughter, Jessica.


Artistic Director

Michael Walling is a nationally known New York City-based stage director and arts educator. Michael has been the resident guest director for Trollwood since 1992 and is currently the Artistic Director for the Main Stage Musical. 2021 will mark the 30th stage production Michael has directed for Trollwood. Michael was the Artistic Director of the Pit and Balcony Theatre Company in Michigan, directing 24 stage productions. He’s also served as Artistic Director for Fort Peck Theatre in Montana, directing and producing over 15 productions. For the last three decades, Mr. Walling has been a frequent Guest Artist/Lecture on the regional theatre and university stage. Teaching masterclass’s in stage directing and audition technique. Michael was a founding member of the Directors Company in the prestigious Goldberg Department of Dramatic Writing at NYU’s Tish School of the Arts. Throughout 1992-2000, Michael directed numerous projects for the writing program.

As Artistic Director of the Main Stage Musical, Michael continues to lead a national artistic team to produce high-quality professional theatre while inspiring thousands of our local students through the discipline of arts education. Because of Michael’s continuous dedication to our community, it was announced in 2001 by the mayor of Fargo that from this day on, July 18th would officially be “Michael Walling Day” in Fargo ND.

Michael’s Trollwood directing credits include: 1992-Oklahoma, 1993-Anything Goes, 1994-Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, 1995-West Side Story, 1996-Guys and Dolls, 1997-A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, 1998-42nd Street, 1999-Jesus Christ Superstar, 2000-Damn Yankees, 2001-Crazy for You, 2002-Footloose, 2003-Les Misérables, 2004-Kiss Me, Kate, 2005-Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, 2006-Fiddler on the Roof, 2007-Thoroughly Modern Millie, 2008-Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, 2009-The Wiz, 2010-Anything Goes, 2011-The Music Man, 2012-Legally Blonde The Musical, 2013-Shrek The Musical, 2014-How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, 2015-Mary Poppins, 2016-Disney’s The Little Mermaid, 2017-Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, 2018-Hello, Dolly! and in 2019-Freaky Friday!. Michael is currently working on our 2021 production of Cinderella.


Program Coordinator

Nancy has been involved with Trollwood as a volunteer and parent since 2003. She started her role on the Trollwood staff in January 2008 as the Events and Volunteer Services Coordinator. In the fall of 2009, Nancy took on the role of Program and Volunteer Services Coordinator for Trollwood. In her new capacity, Nancy continues coordinating all volunteer efforts and also oversees the youth arts programs of Trollwood including coordinating all aspects of the Trollwood Academy, Totally Trollwood Academy, Totally Trollwood Musical, Trollwood Conservatory, Trollwood Children’s Theatre, ArtSpark, the STAR program, and the Trollwood Student Leadership program. Nancy is responsible for developing curriculum, as well as hiring and managing the faculty for all of these key Trollwood programs. The parts of her job she enjoys the most include working with all of the wonderful students and volunteers that make up the Trollwood family. Her previous employment was with the Muscular Dystrophy Association where she served as Health Care Service Coordinator, running the MDA Clinic and Summer Camp programs. Prior to being employed by Trollwood, Nancy spent numerous hours volunteering for the organization. She served as the volunteer Ambassador Chair, assisted with poster distribution, Sun Celebration, Tech Week meals, mic wiring, concessions, set construction, the holiday card mailing, and more. Her love of theatre began at Fargo North High School where she performed in several shows. During college, she was a member of the North Dakota Repertory Theatre and also performed in shows at NDSU and at FMCT.


Graphic & Web Designer

Tyler Brown is an artist-designer in Fargo-Moorhead with a penchant for visual storytelling. He’s a full-time graphic & web designer at Fargo Public Schools (FPS) and spends his days creating visuals and managing websites throughout the District. Before joining FPS, he worked with website and advertising agencies around the Red River Valley and has a Master of Art + Design, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Art, and Bachelor of Science in Design Technology. He spends his time away from work learning about life from his wife, two boys, and new puppy. You might also catch him exhibiting at comic conventions, racing RC cars, or sketching ideas for his next harebrained art project.

The mission of Trollwood Performing Arts School is simple, “…to inspire those we serve through the arts to realize their full potential and be a positive influence in the global community.”

Trollwood believes that the arts have the power to transform people’s lives — to open them to the greatness that lies within them and in others.

Our primary goal is to develop and deliver the highest standard of performing arts education, which provides young people with the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in future endeavors.

Underlying this performing arts curriculum is a commitment to instill lifeskills: confidence, creativity, communication skills, collaboration skills, citizenship and character.

In the course of serving young people, Trollwood realizes a second goal of providing high quality entertainment. Hundreds of thousands of people have enjoyed performances by Trollwood Performing Arts School since its inception.

In order to accomplish this mission, Trollwood Performing Arts School:

  • Provides intense, quality learning and performing opportunities in the production and performing arts.
  • Provides an atmosphere where young people are encouraged to set goals, take risks and view mistakes as an avenue for learning.
  • Surrounds students with a staff of professional artists who serve as mentors and teachers, encouraging our students to commit to a high level of self-expectation.
  • Creates an awareness that the arts are a constructive vehicle of personal expression.
  • Demonstrates to the public the high level of performing and production arts skills that the students are capable of achieving when given proper training.