Frontier Forum

The annual Frontier Forum lecture series was created in 1980 to encourage scholarly exchange of research among faculty, students and the community. The Forum provides an environment for sharing and stimulating discussion on scholarly interdisciplinary research, contemporary issues and the ideas from the disciplines in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

2022: Not Fade Away: Dark Tourism & City Government

2022 frontier forum poster.pngMarch 29, 2:00-3:30 p.m.  |  Ostrander Auditorum or virtually

On Feb. 3, 1959, Buddy Holly, J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson, and Ritchie Valens boarded a small aircraft while touring with the Winter Dance Party. Their plane crashed just outside of Clear Lake, Iowa, where they had played their last concert. The three performers and the pilot died in the crash.

The 2022 Frontier Forum focuses on how the City of Clear Lake has used policy and urban planning to not just to mourn those who passed away in the crash, but to turn the tragedy into an enduring legacy of music education and celebration of musicians who have shaped modern music.

This event is free and open to the public. Registration is required to attend virtually. 

Register for Virtual Event

About Dr. Beth Wielde Heidelberg


Dr. Beth Wielde Heidelberg has been on the faculty of the Urban and Regional Studies Institute in the Department of Government since 2004, teaching students urban planning, local government administration, and her specialty area, historic architectural preservation policy.  She is an alum of the Urban and Regional Studies Institute, having earned her Master of Arts in Urban Planning from the department, before working for the City of Eagan while completing her doctorate in Public Administration from Hamline University. While leading URSI's accreditation and assessment efforts, she has cultivated a research agenda focused on local government response to their status as a dark tourism destination, which has been published in the Journal of Heritage Tourism, is currently under review for additional publication, and presented in public forums. Her goal with this research is to help communities associated with dark tourism come to grips with their infamy, and how to balance tourist interest in the tragic aspect of their history with respect for the victims and loved ones and to draw attention to the need for balance and coordination between the private sector and public/ nonprofit sector when it comes to managing dark tourism.



Original poster from 1959 Winter Dance Party at the Kato Ballroom. Image courtesy of the Kato Ballroom.

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