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Fine Arts Hall of Fame: Class of 2021

Hall of Fame 2021 Nominees

Rockford Public Schools will induct a new class of alumni and a longtime art teacher into its Fine Arts Hall of Fame in a virtual ceremony on March 12. Video of the event will be posted on the RPS 205 website and YouTube. The event is a fundraiser for the Rockford Fine Arts Coalition and a way to recognize Rockford's past fine arts students and educators. Congratulations to the 2021 Hall of Fame inductees:

  • Valerie Brandt-Soetermans, Performance, Jefferson High School 
  • Nathan Alan Davis, Playwright, Auburn High School 
  • E. Faye Butler, Performance, Auburn High School
  • Beth Rydberg, Educator, Bloom Elementary School
  • Jill Heinke Moen, Musician, Auburn High School

The community is invited to support the Hall of Fame and the Class of 2021 through an online auction on March 12. For more information, email RPS 205 Fine Arts Support Specialist Jessica Poulisse, jessica.poulisse@rps205.com

More about this year’s Hall of Fame inductees:

Valerie Brandt-Soetermans is an accomplished performer. A Jefferson High School graduate, Brandt-Soetermans received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in musical theatre and dance at Millikin University. She has performed in numerous music videos and concerts and has taught dance and choreography for nearly 20 years. 

Nathan Alan Davis is an Auburn High School graduate and gifted writer. His plays include “Nat Turner in Jerusalem,” “Dontrell Who Kissed the Sea,” and “The Wind and the Breeze.” He has won several awards for his accomplishments.

E. Faye Butler is an accomplished and esteemed performer. An Auburn High School graduate, Butler received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in acting and theatre from Illinois State University and the Goodman School of Drama. She has performed in several Broadway national tours and has received numerous awards for her work. 

Beth Rydberg had a 33-year teaching career, with the last 18 teaching art at Bloom Elementary School. She is remembered for her passion and dedication to teaching and the arts, and for her ability to excite and inspire students. Rydberg was a member of the Golden Apple Foundation and was a 2003 recipient of the Golden Apple Award. 

Jill Heinke Moen is an Auburn High School graduate who has a passion and talent for music and an extensive musical education. In addition to several teaching positions and private lessons, her membership of Areon Flutes in San Jose, and performances with blues-rock group The Shouting Matches, Jill also runs a rock band program for girls at Eau Claire Music School.

  • Fine Arts Hall of Fame