Deb Belquist - Managing Director
Deb started organizing and directing community theatre in 1979 as a part of the community's big annual 4th of July event organized by Celebration Inc. Through Deb’s direction they added other productions throughout the year, such as Holiday Fantasy, plays, concerts and musicals. In the late 1980’s she served as the first Economic Development Director for the city of New Rockford. In 1988, during the state centennial, Deb was recognized for her contribution to the state of North Dakota by the North Dakota Commission on the Status of Women. In 1991 she used her economic development experience to organize a group of community members to form Dakota Prairie Regional Center for the Arts (DPRCA) a 501 C 3 non profit. The organization started as a small group of volunteers producing and creating summer theatre productions. In the 1990's Deb went back to NDSU and attained her degree in theatre and music She has worked with DPRCA for the past 28 years, growing the organization into a renowned arts organization that employs two dozen full and part time employees and serves tens of thousands of audience members. Deb has directed over 100 productions and has impacted hundreds of students, actors, visual artists, and thousands of patrons of New Rockford, and the surrounding communities. She is proud that her arts lifestyle has not only impacted her community, but has also positively impacted her family. Her husband Bob, after years of performing on stage, now volunteers for many building projects and provides much input, advise and support. Their 3 children, Dr. Shelby Terstriep, Elliott and Alex Belquist have all assisted the organization in some shape or form whether on or off the stage and have utilized their art experiences and creativity in their own professions. Deb's legacy continues with her 7 grandchildren who are now all involved in the arts and can often be seen sitting in the front row of each production.