The Fireside Theatre establishes scholarship fund at Foundation

The Fort Atkinson Community Foundation is very pleased to announce the opening of a new fund, The Fireside Theatre Scholarship Fund, established by a generous gift from Ryan and Kristi Klopcic, owners of The Fireside Theatre in Fort Atkinson.

Ryan and Kristi, both graduates of Fort Atkinson High School, established the fund earlier this year to provide financial assistance to local students and encourage them to pursue studies that support The Fireside Theatre’s mission of hospitality and entertainment.

The scholarship is open to graduating seniors at Fort Atkinson High School, former Fort Atkinson High School graduates, or residents of the Fort Atkinson School District, who are pursuing, or are planning to pursue, an education in theatre, music, hospitality, retail or culinary fields at an accredited four-year college or university or two-year technical or vocational school. Preference will be given to students who have worked at The Fireside Theatre but that is not a requirement for application.

According to Kristi, offering this scholarship opportunity seemed like a logical next step. “We already employ a lot of high school students, many for whom this is their first job. What better way to continue to support their enthusiasm at any level of education for theatre, music, retail, hospitality or culinary fields than to provide this scholarship opportunity for them.”

Community Foundation Chairman Mary Behling noted, “this is yet another example of the thoughtful generosity of the Klopcic Family, right on the heels of their providing a generous gift to help the local fire department purchase an ambulance. We are indebted to the Klopcics for their abiding sense of community.”

Eligible students are current Fort Atkinson High School graduating seniors, college undergraduates, or graduate students who are either graduates of Fort Atkinson High School or are residents of the Fort Atkinson School District. Applicants must be pursuing, or plan to pursue, an education in theatre, music, culinary, hospitality, or retail fields at an accredited four-year college or university or a two-year technical or vocational school. At the time of application, applicants must have a cumulative gradepoint average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

Selection will be based on the applicant’s demonstrated interest in one of the fields of study as well as the content of the application, academic record, and the applicant’s prospect of success in their program. Financial need is not required for this scholarship, but it can be considered by the selection committee.

The amount to be awarded for the 2019-20 school year is $1,000 and payment of the scholarship will be made in one year.

Interested applicants should visit the Community Foundation’s website,, and follow the links to the scholarship pages. Here applicants will be guided to Fort Scholarships, the Foundation’s online scholarship application website, which will walk them through the application process.

The deadline for receipt of completed applications is Feb. 15, 2019.

For more information about this new scholarship, or about any of the scholarships offered by the Fort Atkinson Community Foundation, contact program administrator Sue Hartwick at (920) 563-3210 (office), (920) 222-1191 (mobile) or via email at