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Welcome to Prairie Arts, North Dakota Council on the Arts' monthly
newsletter, containing statewide and national art-related news.
In this Issue:
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UPDATES - Kim Konikow

Head and shoulders of NDCA Executive Director Kim Konikow, closed smile with black shirt, grey-blonde shoulder-length hairDuring a recent Prairie Public Main Street Podcast, I gave an overview of the Arts And Economic Prosperity 6 survey and recognize the great work taking place around the state. The data shows growth in North Dakota’s changing landscape, but we are all aware of the tenuous nature of what we do in the arts. Maintaining these activities is still a struggle for many. As NDCA continues to evolve, please connect to share your ideas of how we can best support your work. I was pleased to share the podcast with the amazing Walter Piehl…

There are quite a few new opportunities coming up in the New Year.
  • An Indigenous Artist Fellowship, geared towards professional development, is a new partnership with the Sacred Pipe Resource Center. We are excited to see this relationship develop and see Native artists' creative work expand through this training.
  • Be on the lookout for a new accessibility program that NDCA will initiate this spring for ND arts and culture organizations!
  • In February, Arts Across the Prairie will launch a training program for North Dakota artists to learn from our selected Region artists about creating large-scale, outdoor installations. Both James Peterson and Thane Lund will begin with online seminars, followed by site work once spring has arrived. This will be an easy application process and all selected artists will receive stipends and travel support towards their participation.
  • Lastly, NDCA is planning the Arts Across the Prairie Inaugural Statewide Convening for stakeholders, artists, community members and all others interested in placemaking. We will confirm details soon for mid-May in Bismarck!
Our FY21-23 Biennial Report is available for review, highlighting NDCA’s accomplishments for FY 2021-2023. Thanks to NDCA’s staff for all the work they’ve accomplished – and to you, our constituents! It’s the end of a hectic year here and around the world. Maybe this holiday season will bring ‘slow moments’ for reflection, to express our gratitude and move forward with kindness.

Be well.

NDCA Board Members (listed by Region)

CHAIR: Dr. Shawn Oban - Bismarck
          1) John Geyerman  - Williston
          2) Linda Olson - Minot
          3) Erin Belgarde - Belcourt
          4) Dawn Mandt - Grafton
   5) Kent Kapplinger - Fargo
   6) Amy Tichy - Tower City 
   7) Christi Stonecipher - Bismarck
   8) Kimberly Gaugler - Beach

"We wish you a season filled with the magic of the arts.
Here's to a new year brimming with inspiration and shared cultural experiences for all."

Native American jewelry and other artworks

Indigenous Artist Growth & Development program now accepting applications

Sacred Pipe Resource Center logoNDCA, in partnership with Sacred Pipe Resource Center (SPRC), announces the NEW Indigenous Artist Growth & Development Fellowship program for artists who live within the North Dakota borders.

Five Fellows will receive $5,000 to cover technical assistance and consulting fees in focused areas to benefit their artistic work. The Indigenous Artist Growth & Development Fellowship provides support, guidance, and technical assistance over an 18-month period - personalized for each artist.

The program is broken into two rounds. The first application, due December 29, 2023, consists of an easy, online, fillable survey. Applicants will then participate in a 1-on-1 advisement session with SPRC Artist in Residence, focusing on the grant process. Artists will then submit an application through NDCA's online grant system, due January 31, 2024.
NDCA Indigenous Artist Growth & Development Fellowship
Artist in Residence Linda Roesch teaching an art class of 4th grade girls outside on a sidewalk

Artist in Residence program enriches arts experiences for PK-12 students

In September 2023, teaching artist Linda Roesch visited Litchville-Marion Elementary, by way of NDCA's Artist in Residence grant program. Through a project titled, “Every Child as an Artist," Roesch introduced PK-5 students to new art vocabulary and mediums. The project generated excitement and creativity, with one kindergarten student exclaiming, "Linda was fun!" and a third grader enthusiastically declaring, "Landscapes with pastels were so awesome!" These responses underscore the program's ability to ignite a passion for art among young learners.
The Artist in Residence grant program offers a unique opportunity to bring professional artists into classrooms, adding depth and diversity to the educational experience. We encourage educators across North Dakota to seize this chance to apply for the grant and enrich their school's arts program, fostering a lifelong love for the arts in their students.
NDCA Artist in Residence Program

The Pulse of Arts Across the Prairie . . .

  • Region 4 "Endless Sky - Dynamic Layers" - artist James Peterson (above) visited ND for a community event in Walhalla, a High School presentation in Grafton, and met with local contractors and fabricators.
  • Region 2 "Living Waters, Painted Skies" - received over 35 submissions from artists and creative teams around the country through the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process. The stakeholders will review submitted materials and request final design proposals from the three top candidates. 
  • Both Region 6 (“Flyways, Byways and Waterways”) and Region 8 (“Rugged and Unforgettable”) - are selecting sites and working on upcoming Artist Request for Qualifications.
  • Region 1’s “Love Where You Live” - Stakeholders from Divide, Williams and McKenzie counties have been invested for the past four years. Yet a location for Thane Lund’s land-work is still in flux. Any suggestions you might have (up to two acres) would be welcome.
  • Region 3 (Towner, Rolette, Cavalier, Ramsey, Eddy, Benson counties) - An online Stakeholder meeting is scheduled for this Thursday, December 14 at 4pm CT – please join us!
Email Melinda Padilla Lynch for more information and to find out how you can participate in this first-of-its-kind, placemaking program.
Arts Across the Prairie


La Posada, Hispanic Christmas celebration in Watford City, Dec 2021

Honoring & Empowering Hispanic Culture in ND

by contributing editor Yolanda Rojas

Yolanda Rojas, founder and director of Hispanic Advocacy of ND (HAND), and her family moved from Tucson, Arizona to Watford City, North Dakota in 2014. The new life had no sign of her Hispanic cultural traditions or her language. Slowly, the family began to participate in sports, church, and community events and started making friends with other members of the community. They learned that Watford City had people from all different walks of life who were starting new lives, too. Yolanda explained, "As I got more involved in the community, I learned that there were hundreds of other Hispanics who had been living here longer and were not plugged into the community due to the language and cultural barriers." 
Colorful circular logo of Hispanic Advocacy of North Dakota with the slogan to educate, translate and connect showing the image of hands and colorful symbols that form a tree shape
This is how Hispanic Advocacy of ND came to fruition. The nonprofit organization is dedicated to providing opportunities that empower and enrich the Hispanic community in North Dakota. The mission is to foster integration and inclusion by bridging language barriers between Spanish and English, offering essential business, educational, and financial workshops, and creating meaningful Hispanic cultural exchange opportunities. 

December 2021, HAND hosted its first Hispanic Christmas event, LA Posada, in Watford City. This community event was a great way to include the Hispanic community and celebrate their cultural heritage traditions during the holidays!
Hispanic Advocacy in ND story
Gary Snow, MHA Tourism Representative at NAHM celebration Nov 21 2023
Gary Snow, MHA Tourism Representative at Native American Heritage Month celebration, Nov 2023

Unique Partners in Cultural Education

by contributing editor Alicia Hegland-Thorpe

“The North Dakota Native Tourism Alliance (NDNTA) is a hub, the center, to bridge all tribes with the common goal of building economies through tourism. We started in 2016. We’ve been building ever since. We are getting a lot of positive feedback that the work we're doing is making a difference. We have even been asked to speak or present our story in many places across the U.S. Other tribal nations are taking notice and inquiring, while international tour operators and potential clients want to know when they can come visit!” Stacey LeCompte, NDNTA Executive Director. 

“Every tribe has its own history to tell, its own language and its own culture to share. With NDNTA, we have the opportunity to use our own voices to tell our stories, which isn't something you will find in textbooks.” Les Thomas, NDNTA Board, Vice President.
ND Native Tourism Alliance story


Arts Midwest announces 103 new GIG Fund Recipients showing a person playing an acoustic guitar while singing

Three ND organizations receive Arts Midwest GIG Funds

Congratulations to Lake Region Heritage Center (Devils Lake); North Dakota Asian-American Arts and Culture Initiative (Mandan); and ArtWise (Grants Forks) who received the latest round of Arts Midwest GIG Fund Awards. These $4,000 grants will support creative projects and educational events in 2024. 
2024 GIG Fund Recipients

Fantastical Flourishes: The Folk Art of Pieper Bloomquist

Pieper Bloomquist Art Exhibition at ND Heritage Center & State Museum

Grand Forks artist Pieper Bloomquist is showcasing work at an exhibit (through Nov. 2024) at the ND Heritage Center
and State Museum titled "Fantastical Flourishes: The Folk Art of Pieper Bloomquist."

"Drawing on the imagery of folk art, Bloomquist renders a fanciful modern world using traditional materials such as linen/jute canvas, homemade gesso primer (made of eggs, flour, chalk, and sometimes animal glue), and egg tempera paint. Her artworks are inspired by family traditions, her experiences as an oncology nurse, rural life in the Upper Midwest, and current events such as the COVID-19 pandemic." (Kara Haff, State Historical Society of ND, Nov. 2023)
Fantastical Flourishes Press Release


In our ongoing reporting from Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6): 
  • Arts participation contributes to social connections by reducing isolation, encouraging cooperation, and building community networks.
  • 9 out of 10 say the arts increase connection to community. New friends and connections are a primary positive outcome of arts participation. (Source: Social Impact of the Arts Project (SIAP), University of Pennsylvania, 2001)
  • 89% of arts attendees say, “the event they are attending inspires a sense of pride in the neighborhood or community.” (Source: AEP6)
  • 70% agree that arts and culture “improve the image and identity of their community.” (Source: AEP6)
ND Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 survey results


NEA artsHERE expands access to arts participation

ArtsHERE will provide non-matching grants up to $130,000 for organizations that are already demonstrating a commitment to equity within their practices and programming. Grants will fund specific projects to strengthen grantees’ capacity to sustain meaningful community engagement and increase arts participation for underserved groups/communities. Check eligibility requirements and APPLYthis is an amazing opportunity for existing nonprofit arts and culture organizations in North Dakota.

Statement of interest deadline January 19, 2024                                          .Back to top..

Grants for Arts Projects (GAP)

GAP provides expansive funding opportunities to strengthen the nation’s arts and cultural ecosystem. Grants are available for arts projects in a wide variety of artistic disciplines. Each discipline has identified the types of projects that are of greatest interest within this program as well as the characteristics of competitive applications. Applicants may request cost share/matching grants ranging from $10,000 to $100,000.

Sign up for a FREE guidelines webinar on Wednesday, January 10, at 2:00 pm CT.

Application deadline: February 15, 2024                                                        .Back to top..
NEA Grants for Arts Projects

NEA Big Read 2024 showing a table with books on top and people sitting and standing nearby

NEA Big Read Program

Applications are now open for grants to support NEA Big Read projects between September 2024 and June 2025. An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read is a grant of up to $20,000 to support community reading programs each designed around a single NEA Big Read book selection with the goal of inspiring meaningful conversations, celebrating local creativity, elevating a wide variety of voices and perspectives, and building stronger connections in each community. 

Intent to apply deadline: Jan. 10, 2024

Creative Forces Community Engagement Grants

Creative Forces Community Engagement Grants

Creative Forces Community Engagement Grants provide matching funds ranging from $10,000 - $25,000 for one-year projects or up to $50,000 for two-year projects to support community-based arts engagement programming for military and veteran populations—including family members and caregivers. Through the experience of art or art-making, participants can express themselves creatively while building resilience, social connectedness, and gain support for successful adaptation to civilian life.

Application deadline: Jan. 17, 2024                                                  
NEA Initiatives: Big Read & Creative Forces


Ongoing NDCA Grant Programs

Artist in Residence

  • ""Bring artists into classroom
  • Educational institutions
  • Up to $2,500 reimbursement
  • Deadline: 6 weeks prior to project start date
  • Project Dates: July 1, 2023 - June 30, 2024

Special Projects

  • Community art events in all disciplines
  • Organizations & Individuals
  • Up to $1,500
  • Next Deadline: Jan. 23, 2024 (ongoing program)
  • Project Dates: March 1  - June 30, 2024

Professional Development

  • Arts-related learning activities (U.S. or abroad)
  • Organizations & Individuals
  • Up to $1,000
  • Next Deadline: Dec. 12,  2023 (ongoing program)
  • Project Dates: March 1 - June 30, 2024
Arts Events & Activities: More Opportunities:    
  • ""University of Jamestown’s literary journal, Plainsong is currently accepting poetry, fiction, nonfiction, artwork, and photography for their 2024 publication.
    • Submission deadline December 31, 2023
  • Performing Arts Discovery program from Western Arts Alliance, an international virtual showcase opportunityThe Performing Arts Discovery (PAD) program promotes U.S. performing artists to international programmers,  festival directors, and venue managers. 
    • Submission deadline January 5, 2024

6 high school-aged students sitting on red carpeted stairs, looking at and discussing theater scripts
  • VSA Playwright Discovery Program: young writers with disabilities enrolled in high school (generally, ages 14-19) are invited to submit a ten-minute script for the opportunity to participate in a playwrights program.
    • Submission deadline January 10, 2024
  • McCanna House in Northeast North DakotaThe North Dakota Museum of Art is accepting applications for the 2024 McCanna House Artist-in-residence season. Artists working in music, theatre, literature, or the visual arts are encouraged to apply. Open to artists in all stages of their career. A wonderful opportunity.
    • Application deadline January 15, 2024

2022 Best in Show photo titled: "Ice On Rocks, winter at Government Bay on Lake Sakakawea" by Laura Gardner with the words Governor's Photo Contest on top
  • Shakespeare in American Communities grants funds ranging from $15,000 to $25,000 to theater companies to support productions and educational activities for young audiences throughout the US.
    • Application deadline January 25, 2024
  • 2022 Best in Show photo titled: "Ice On Rocks, winter at Government Bay on Lake Sakakawea" by Laura Gardner with the words Governor's Photo Contest on topGovernor Burgum and the ND Tourism Division, in partnership with AAA of ND and NDCA, invite you to enter the ND Governor’s Photo Contest for Travel & Tourism. This year’s competition highlights the unique characteristics of the four seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.
    • Application deadline January 31, 2024
*Learn about ongoing and new opportunities on NDCA's website and Facebook page.

NDCA Website

NDCA Facebook Page


illustration of a woman in wheelchair and man standing next to art exhibit
Accessibility guidelines when using alternate locations for arts experiences

When utilizing buildings that do not readily have an accessibility statement, the ADA requires arts organizers to do their own rudimentary assessment. They can complete the NEA’s Brief Accessibility Checklist and then make their own plan to address the issues.

When publicizing the event and training staff, the accessibility limitations and accommodations need to be stated. For example, people need to know if bathrooms are not ADA accessible so they can make arrangements if necessary. It’s okay to use buildings that are not fully accessible but it's VITAL that everyone attending and participating in the program is aware of the limitations, and when possible, is provided an alternative. Also, leave contact information if guests would like to request accommodations.
Accessibility Resources



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