Kenzi Hartman honored with arts award in memory of friend Jordan Mogck
In November 2023, the LifeScape Center for the Arts, in conjunction with the Augustana University Theater Department and Black Hills Playhouse, presented five sold-out performances of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Over 1400 people saw this fun and nostalgic performance, featuring adults supported by LifeScape, Augustana students, and actors from the community.
At the end of the last performance, Center for the Arts Artistic Director Jamie Richardson presented the "Jordan Mogck Spirit of the Arts Legacy Award" to Kenzi Hartman, who played Santa Claus in the musical. (Photo: Kenzi with Jordan's parents, Dan and Dede Mogck, and her sister, Leah.)
“As Jordan did, Kenzi lives for her moments on stage, soaking in the laughter and applause from the audience,” says Jamie. “She loves every opportunity to be involved, not just in theater, but in all areas of our programming. Kenzi’s passion for being creative and sharing those moments with others is exactly the spirit we want to honor each year and I could think of no one more deserving of this first annual award than her. Kenzi has been performing with us since very early in the inception of the theater programming. She has been at every camp, retreat, and gallery showing we have hosted. Just like Jordan was, Kenzi is a fixture in the arts here at LifeScape and we are thrilled to honor her!”
"The Center for the Arts has opened up a whole new world for Kenzi to thrive in," says Kenzi's mom, Katy. "She has always loved music and all things creative, but there really hadn't been any place for her to get involved in anything promoting that. The Center for the Arts definitely filled that void! Jamie is amazing at finding ways to break down barriers and promote as much independence as possible with all of the opportunities she provides! From smaller art projects to overnight weekend camps, Kenzi always feels such a sense of pride and accomplishment, but the plays are my favorite. The determination and care that Kenzi feels to go over her lines and get them right, the fun she has at the practices, the development of acceptance, understanding, support and friendships throughout the entire process among fellow cast mates, seeing the sometimes chaotic mess of the process and beauty of the performances... and to see Kenzi put her all into each and every character she has ever played, from a Superhero to the Wicked Witch of the West to Santa and everything in between!! It's an absolute amazing adventure, and Kenzi and I both love every bit of it!"
"I feel the Jordan Mogck Spirit of the Arts award is a brilliant way to honor Jordan and celebrate her spirit, as she was just as involved and enthusiastic about performing as Kenzi is," says Katy. "She was definitely missed on and off stage. Kenzi was very surprised that she was selected to be the first recipient, and said it makes her feel happy and proud but a little sad because she misses Jordan. She can look at her award and smile, though, because Jordan was funny and always made her laugh."
This award was created in honor of Jordan Mogck who sadly passed away last February. She received services from LifeScape up until her illness and she was involved in every facet of the programming provided by the LifeScape Center for the Arts for nearly 10 years.
The award will be presented annually to a recipient at LifeScape who embodies the same passion for the arts that Jordan had. It will honor one who lifts up others to empower them to live creatively and express themselves openly, and who is actively involved in Center for the Arts programming throughout the year.
You can watch the news story on the Jordan Mogck Spirit of the Arts Legacy Award by clicking the button below!