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Retired Kasson library director receives Friend of the Year award

Clarice Peterson, on behalf of the Friends of the Kasson Public Library, presents their 2019 Friend of the Year Award to Art Tiff. (Contributed photo)
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Each year, the Friends of the Kasson Public Library honors someone for their service to the library. At this year’s annual meeting, the 2019 Friend of the Year award was presented to Art Tiff, recently retired director of the Kasson Public Library. Tiff served as director from 2012 until November 2019.

The Kasson library was established nearly 125 years ago "by 10 ladies with 10 books," said John Talcott, secretary of the Friends group. Eventually, Kasson needed a new, modern library.

"We were still in the hopeful stage when Tiff arrived in Kasson," he said.

Tiff earned a degree from Northern State University in Aberdeen, S.D., and worked in both schools and colleges over the years. Under his leadership in Kasson, the new library was completed in 2016.

"Art was instrumental in working with the city council," he said, explaining that Tiff’s football coaching experience meant he "understood how to get a team together."


In addition to overseeing the library construction project, Tiff kept the library itself up and running. In presenting his award, the Friends group said, "He has dedicated his life to making sure information is free and available to all who seek it." Art Tiff, winner of the 2019 Friend of the Year, has certainly left his mark on the Kasson Public Library.

Most adults spend years building a solid resume. Ariana Bridges, a fifth-grader at Bamber Valley Elementary School, already has a resume that is full beyond her 11 years. She began dancing when she was only 2 years old and now devotes over 25 hours a week to her passion.

While the majority of her focus is on traditional ballet, Ariana also takes lessons in jazz, tap, acro and hip-hop at Allegro School of Dance & Music.

"I dance all genres but focus on ballet because it’s my favorite," she said.

Ariana danced the role of Lucy in Allegro’s holiday production of "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe." She also choreographed and performed a dance at the Festival of Trees.

Earlier this month, Ariana participated in the Youth America Grand Prix, an international student ballet competition in Chicago. She performed two dances, one contemporary and one classical.

Ariana was the youngest dancer from Rochester to attend this prestigious competition.

Never one to sit still, Ariana is now in the midst of rehearsals for the Children’s Dance Theatre’s production of "Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland" next month. Ariana will dance the roles of the Dormouse, Footman to the Duchess, and the lobster.


This summer, she plans to attend the Cincinnati Ballet’s Youth Summer Intensive for additional training. Her ultimate goal is to attend Julliard and after graduation, become the principal dancer for the New York City Ballet.

With her determination, Ariana certainly has a bright future.

Related Topics: MUSIC
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