The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

May 3, 2013

Performing for God, open to all


The videos can be highly emotional, Wampler says, though it helps to know the story.

Iversen says he’s happy to have found a place where he feels like he belongs. He feels a closeness with the other people on his human video team. And for Iversen, life wasn’t always smooth sailing.

A few years ago, he said, his life was drifting toward trouble. After getting caught with drugs, he said, he sought help from his church.

“I was looking for something more, and I found it,” Iversen said.

He began weekly meetings with Wampler, and says his life hasn’t been the same since. He’s more focused and happier.

“It’s become a huge part of my life,” he said of Hillside Church and the youth group he’s a member of. “Fifty percent of my time is spent at church.”

Wampler is the one who brought the idea of Fusion Fine Arts Academy to the church. The church’s first year trying it out was last year. This year, after a successful debut, they’ve got more kids ready to participate. All performances Saturday are exhibition. But in a few weeks they’ll head to Minneapolis where their performances will be judged. If they score high enough, they’ll get to perform at the national event in Orlando.

Wampler says he’s hopeful most of their kids will move on to the national event. That’s why they’re raising money. They’ve got 41 students participating in 18 categories.

If you go What Fusions Fine Arts Academy When Doors open at 1:30 p.m. Saturday; show starts at 2:15 p.m. Where Hillside Church, Mankato Cost $5

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