June 14, 1986 - First Donna Reed Performing Arts Festival (Denison, IA).
Over the course of 23 years, hundreds flocked to the hometown of Donna Reed to learn from the professionals. Writers, producers, and actors came from Hollywood and New York to spend a week in late June offering advice to aspiring actors, writers, and more.
They worked the week for free, asking only that travel expenses be covered by the Denison organization that organized the festival. Many saw it as a time to give back.
From those classes have come students such as Tony Award winner Santino Fontana; Tony Award nominee Brandon Victor Dixon; Tony Award nominee Saycon Sengbloh; The Rookie regular Mekia Cox; and popular anime voice-over artist Kari Walgren.