© 2024 Iowa Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Iowa's first performing arts boarding school to open this fall

Talk of Iowa, hosted by Charity Nebbe

The opening of ICON Arts Academy is a dream more than a decade in the making for Leslie Nolte, founder and artistic director of Nolte Academy in Coralville. This month, she began auditions for the school, a step closer to their fall opening.

Nolte joins Talk of Iowa host Charity Nebbe to talk about how this school can give young Iowa artists and performers new opportunities and attract new talent from outside the state.

Later, the owner of Gym-N-Eat Crickets, Shelby Smith, went from working a finance job in Ireland to returning to the family farm. While conventional farming didn't interest her, she found her niche in crickets. Nebbe is also joined by co-founder of Iowa's first cricket farm, Becky Herman, to give an update since coming on the show in 2016.


  • Leslie Nolte, founder and artistic director of Nolte Academy and ICON Arts Academy
  • Shelby Smith, owner of Gym-N-Eat Crickets
  • Becky Herman, former cricket farmer, Iowa BIG educator
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Dani Gehr is a producer for River to River and Talk of Iowa. Dani came to Iowa from her hometown in the northwest suburbs of Chicago to attend Iowa State University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in journalism, international studies and French. Before coming to IPR, Dani covered local government in Story County for the Ames Tribune and Des Moines Register.