By Tim Leeds
Delores "Dee" Heltne's lifetime of involvement with the arts has earned her a spot on the board of the Montana Arts Council.
"This is such a tremendous group. I'm just really honored to be given membership by the governor," Heltne said today.
Heltne was in Helena last week for a meeting of the group, which promotes performances of the arts in the state.
"It boosts local economies, it revitalizes communities and it improves education through the arts," she said.
Heltne's involvement with the arts began during her childhood in her native Minnesota, with church programs, piano recitals, high school band and chorus, theater productions and speech activities.
Many hours of speech competition on the local, district, regional and state levels earned Heltne a membership in the National Forensic League. She continued her involvement with speech, earning a minor in the field as well as bachelor of arts degrees in English and business education at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn.
Heltne taught in Minnesota and in Havre, covering all three of her areas of study. She taught speech courses and directed community and class plays.
While teaching in Havre, Heltne was admitted to the honorary teachers organization, Delta Kappa Gamma. She held different offices and recorded textbooks, portions of periodicals and magazines articles for slow learners and other students with difficulties.
Heltne has served with many community and state organizations. She chairs the board of Montana State University-Northern Showncase, is on the board of Havre's Community Concert Association and used to be president and membership drive chair of the association, is a member of the Montana Actors Theater and Chapter V of the Philanthropic Education Association, which she previously chaired. She is also a board member of the Montana Performing Arts Consortium.
Other groups Heltne used to be with include the MSU-Northern Foundation board, the Havre City Parks and Recreation Board and the Lutheran Home of the Good Shepherd board. She chaired the Lutheran Home of the Good Shepherd Auxiliary and the First Lutheran Church parish board and is still a member of the First Lutheran Church. She worked with Missoula Children's Theatre for several seasons while it was in residence in Havre.
Heltne was appointed to the Montana Arts Council by Gov. Judy Martz in February and last week attended the first meeting the council has had since she joined it.
"We're thrilled to have Dee appointed. She has been so involved in arts for her whole life, and it's so important for the council to have that Hi-Line representation," said Arlynn Fishbaugh, council director.