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Welcome to Prairie Arts, North Dakota Council on the Arts' monthly electronic newsletter,
containing statewide and national art-related news.
In this Issue:
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Head and Shoulders of Kim Konikow with books in background

UPDATES - Kim Konikow

THIS WEEKEND there are two very exciting events you will want to attend! 
1) The Densmore/Lakota Song Repatriation Project will be unveiled at the United Tribes Technical College PowWow on Saturday, September 10 from 4 to 6 p.m. in Building 7, north of the dance arena. This project revisits century-old recordings made at Standing Rock, originally captured by famed ethnomusicologist Frances Densmore. These can now be distributed on the latest technological platforms. This has been an amazing collaboration and extraordinary effort we are proud to have been a part of!

2) And, on Sunday, 9/11, 3-5:30pm, in the furthest reaches of Northwest ND, a Community Reception will take place at the State Historical Society’s Writing Rock Site outside of Crosby. Arts Across the Prairie Region 1 welcomes artist Thane Lund to share the vision for the inaugural installation with community members from three counties: Divide, McKenzie and Williams.

COMING UP: (or, why we are so busy!)
NDCA’s Board of Directors will be in Fargo on September 30, hosting a community reception, 5-6:30pm at NDSU Renaissance Hall, downtown. We’d love to have you join us and meet the NDCA team. An RSVP would be appreciated: (And catch the Studio Crawl over the weekend, 10/1-2!)
The Governor’s Photo Contest for Travel and Tourism awards will be announced at a ceremony at the Capitol. In addition, October is National Arts & Humanities month. We are offering a very informative Accessibility Webinar on October 13 – consider signing up! Let’s also remember at the end of the month, NDCA will host the biennial Statewide Arts Convening at the Main Street Summit. We have gathered some great speakers, who blend perfectly with other sessions being offered. Come join us for this exciting free event; learn, share, network!

This fall we will be asking for your recommendations for the biennial Governor’s Awards for the Arts. The live ceremony, at the ND Heritage Center in Bismarck has been set for February 1, 2023. We will honor recipients in several categories including: Individual Achievement, Nonprofit Arts Organization, for-profit Arts Organization, Arts in Education Institution or Teaching Artist/Educator/School Administrator,  and an Individual Cultural Heritage Award. Your participation is important as we hold up the people who make ND arts so special. Stay tuned!

I want to share my appreciation for the remarkable commitment of NDCA’s staff. They are so dedicated to making our programs reach far and wide, demonstrating the impact and value of the arts. Often, we are steeped in the many systems that a State Agency must contend with but are we always available to our community and constituents. None of us can exist without arts and culture, or each other.


Accessibility in the Arts Convening 
Thursday, Oct. 13, 8:30am to 12:30pm

  • Hear testimony from artists with disabilities 
  • Learn the 2010 ADA Standards: minimum requirements from Tess Stanton, Trainer, Rocky Mtn. ADA Center
  • Discover easy, cost-effective ways to be more accessible from Sam Gould, President, Executive Producer, Open Door Theater
  • Read through the ADA Checklist with NEA representatives Beth Bienvenu, Accessibility Director and Katharine Hayward, Disability Specialist  
  • Ask questions, share ideas, MAKE A PLAN!
    Rocky Mountain ADA Center logo
Open Door Theater logo
National Endowment for the Arts logo
Register NOW for the FREE October 13 Accessibility Webinar

NDCA Statewide Arts Convening part of Main Street ND Summit 2022 logo

NDCA announces Statewide Arts Convening a part of Main Street ND Summit 2022

NDCA will host its FREE biennial Statewide Arts Convening October 24-26 in Bismarck in collaboration with Main Street ND Summit 2022. The Convening will feature several sessions focused on the arts community. They include: Accessibility of Public Spaces and Public Materials, Finding Community Stakeholders and Building Support, a Late-Night Fundraising Q&A, and Do Good Better, an inspirational seminar by Patrick Kirby, the Founder of Do Good Better Consulting, author of the Amazon best seller Fundraise Awesomer! A
Head and shoulders of smiling Patrick Kirby wearing dark rimmed rectangle glasses, grey quarter-zip long-sleeve shirt, with short dark hair and pale skin on plain grey background

Practical Guide to Staying Sane While Doing Good, and host of The Official Do Good Better Podcast. Access the full agenda for NDCA and Main Street session descriptions, speaker bios and more by visiting NDCA's website.
Learn more and register for Statewide Arts Convening

NDCA announces North Dakota landscape photographer's works on exhibit at the Capitol

NDCA is exhibiting an eye-catching collection of photos by life-long North Dakota resident and Fine Art Landscape Photographer Scott Seiler on the 18th, or observatory floor, of the Capitol Building through December 2022. From the rolling prairies to nature's wildflowers and farming fields, Seiler's work documents the beauty of nature from his own unique perspective. The show will compliment nature's own fall exhibit of Bismarck which will soon be visible from the expansive windows, in addition to the
Head and shoulders of smiling Scott Seiler wearing glasses, black leather jacket, standing on grassy field covered with fall leaves outside in front of trees in fall bloom

display of historical photos of the Capitol building from over the years.
ND Landscape Photographer Scott Seiler Exhibit at Capitol
Head and shoulders of smiling Megan Langley wearing cherry red suit jacket and lipstick, with long, thick, wavy dark hair and pale skin on plain grey background

A Call to Action by Megan Langley, Founder & Executive Director of Strengthen ND

Creativity shows up in myriad ways in everyone's life, and I believe that creativity is central to both community and individual problem solving. For me, the foundation of creativity was laid by my mom, Peggy. My mom was a practicing leather artist, who utilized the apprenticeship program from the North Dakota Council on the Arts to train under Rex Cook. She was able to master her craft, build her confidence, and start her own business. The example my mom set for me early in life gave me the confidence and courage to exercise my own autonomy to create Strengthen ND, a statewide nonprofit focused on rural community livability and viability.
Art and the creative sector are not only critical in strengthening and catalyzing family development but also in the weaving of a community's fabric. Expressions of history, heritage, and community vision through art are essential in residents co-creating a sense of place - a feeling or physical manifestation of the identity of a community and the people who call it "home". We know, from experience, that towns with a strong sense of identity have deeper pride in the community and what it has to offer, which leads to strong and effective advocacy efforts for community progress.

As a member of the board of directors of the North Dakota Council on the Arts, that is, perhaps, what I am most proud of:
NDCA's ability to catalyze community progress through strategic programming and investments. Our ability to lean onto community identity has been marked in recent years by increased investments by regional foundations and a $1 million allocation by the North Dakota Legislature for the statewide Arts Across the Prairie initiative.
Great progress has been made by NDCA staff to support communities and elevate the voices of creatives across our state and the Native Nations that share our geography. But NDCA needs your help to increase our capacity to catalyze community progress. Additional funds have been allocated to the Council by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA); $130,000 over the next Biennium. To access these funds, NDCA needs the Legislature to appropriate an additional $130,000 on top of our last Biennial budget, as the dollars are required to be matched one-to-one.

Smiling mother of Megan Langley with short permed dirty blonde hair, turquoise shirt, standing behind leather saddle she hand-carved
Peggy, Megan's Mom
Arts supporters and those in the creative industry can help us obtain the additional funding - all of which will be utilized to support communities and creatives in North Dakota - by contacting your local legislators to share your story of how the arts and NDCA have impacted you and your community. Please join us in this effort to continue to build North Dakota's foundation for arts and creativity not only for current North Dakotans but for future generations to come.

Read Megan Langley's biography on NDCA website.
Did you Know graphicBy congressional mandate,
the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) must allocate 40% of its grant funding to state arts agencies and regional arts organizations

Therefore, the higher the NEA's funding, the more money given to NDCA who then grants most of those same dollars to artists and arts organizations across the state.
Learn how to Engage with your Legislator

Arts in Education words with alarm clock, colored pencils, scissors, ruler, crayons, calculator and notebook underneath

NDCA Arts in Education Director Rebecca Engelman releases Fall 2022 Newsletter with Updates and Opportunities

Research has shown impressive benefits of arts education on entire school culture—especially student motivation, attitudes, social/emotional well-being and attendance. Numerous reports discuss the ways that increased access and involvement in arts education encourages students to stay in school, which leads to success in school, work and life as a whole.
National Arts in Education Week logoWith National Arts in Education Week, September 11-17, right around the corner, NDCA would like to remind educational institutions, and arts and non-profit organizations that we offer year-round funding for an Artist in Residence. This noncompetitive reimbursement grant program provides up to $2,500 in support for North Dakota pre-K-12 students and teachers to work with professional artists either in a traditional school setting or during after-school programs. 

In addition, NDCA collaborates with the ND Afterschool Network to offer funding for afterschool and other out-of-school time programs to increase opportunities for students in grades K-12 to engage in arts programming during the 2022-2023 school year. Requested amount may range from $500 - $2,000.

These opportunities and more can be found in Rebecca's Fall 2022 Arts in Education Newsletter.   
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NDCA Arts in Education Fall 2022 Newsletter


Williston High School students who recently moved to ND from tropical places are proudly sharing the art and writing booklets they constructed.
*Williston High School students holding their art and writing booklets up to the monitor during Zoom class
Beth Oshansky with clear glasses, big toothy smile, long, thick, wavy grey hair and pale skin
Beth Olshansky

English Learners at Williston High School increase vocabulary through Picturing Writing 

In May 2022, NDCA Rostered Teaching Artist Beth Olshansky conducted a 9-day Virtual Picturing Writing Residency initiated by Williston English Learners (EL) high school teacher LeAnne Tracey. Picturing Writing: Fostering Literacy Through Art® is an evidence-based approach to teach writing and improve reading that has been proven effective for a wide range of learners.
During this residency, the students used crayon resist watercolors to paint pictures and then described them in separate poems.

Olshansky explained, "I had the pleasure of working with 60 of LeAnne's English Learners who painted and wrote about their homeland and then their experiences arriving in northern North Dakota."  She was very pleased and proud of the work the students did because it not only increased their vocabulary it taught them a new enjoyable hobby - painting with watercolors! 

Read the full story and see samples of the students' work on NDCA's website. The residency was made possible by NDCA and the ND Department of Public Instruction.
Picturing Writing Program at Williston High School


National Arts & Humanities Month was established in 1993 and is celebrated every October in the United States. It was initiated to encourage Americans to explore new facets of the arts and humanities in their lives, and to begin a lifelong habit of participation in the arts and humanities.

National Arts & Humanities Month




Main Street Initiative: Artists on Main Street Grant Program (LAST CALL!)

The Artists on Main Street grant is an accelerated program that offers technical assistance and funding to develop local artist-led projects in five North Dakota communities. Eligible entities may receive up to $5,000 of funding per community to be used for technical support, supplies, and resources to achieve community and artist outcomes of at least five projects. ARTISTS AND ARTS GROUPS – THIS IS A GREAT OPPORTUNITY!

Application window: Aug. 15 - Sept. 23, 2022                                                .Back to top..
Main Street Initiative: Artists on Main Street Grant Program


six BIPOC people standing together and smilings

The Bush Fellowship: Celebrating and Investing in Leaders

The Bush Fellowship is a flexible grant of up to $100,000 to help leaders strengthen and develop their leadership. People from all spaces and places should consider whether this is the right time to apply for a Fellowship. The Fellowship is an opportunity for focused attention on leadership growth and the big ideas that could lead to the lasting change for the leader and their community. 

Do you have a thirst for continuous learning and development? Do you have ideas that you believe could lead to equitable change for your community? Then consider submitting your application. This could be your marker for investing in yourself as a leader and a significant step toward cultivating what you believe will expand your impact. 

Watch the informational webinar and then sign up for a live Q&A session. Deadline: September 29, 2022                                                                        .Back to top..
Learn more and apply for 2023 Bush Fellowship
*Demonstration of Hmong Flower Cloth-Paag Ntaub or Pa doa- (Needlework) during a Seasonal Saturday Arts Access day, Marine Art Museum, photo by Brenda Tran courtesy of Minnesota Marine Art Museum
*Demonstration of Hmong Flower Cloth-Paag Ntaub or Pa doa- (Needlework) during a Seasonal Saturday Arts Access day, Marine Art Museum, photo by Brenda Tran courtesy of Minnesota Marine Art Museum.

Arts Midwest Now Accepting Applications: GIG Funds (LAST CALL!)

Are you part of a Midwestern nonprofit organization that wants to present in-person or virtual activities with an artist in the first half of 2023? If so, consider applying for the GIG (Grow, Invest, Gather) Fund. The GIG Fund supports creative projects and educational events in the Midwest, helping organizations present artists in their community and offset the costs of programming and touring. Nonprofits can present ND artists as well as those from out of state. Organizations will now receive $4,000 from the GIG fund, an increase from the previous grant award of $2,500.
Deadline: October 5, 2022                                                                               .Back to top..
Learn more about Arts Midwest GIG Funds


NDCA Program Deadlines

Special Projects

  • Art events in all disciplines
  • Organizations & Individuals
  • Up to $1,250
  • Next Deadline: Sept. 20, 2022 (ongoing program)
  • Project Dates: September 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023

Professional Development

  • Arts-related learning activities
  • Organizations & Individuals
  • Up to $1,000
  • Next Deadline: October 18, 2022 (ongoing program)
  • Project Dates: January 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023

Artist in Residence Now Accepting Applications!

  • Bring artists into pre-K-12 classroom
  • Activities during the regular school day, after school and/or summer months
  • Educational institutions
  • Up to $2,500 reimbursement
  • Deadline: 6 weeks prior to project start date
  • Project Dates: July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023
Conferences and Webinars:
  • Art in Architecture Webinar
    • September 15, 12:00pm CT - The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Art in Architecture program is commissioning artworks for GSA-controlled federal buildings nationwide (3 in MN and ND). Attend this FREE WEBINAR to learn more!
  • NDCA Accessibility Convening Webinar
    • October 13, 8:30am to 12:30pm - How do we make ND's art organizations more accessible to artists and the general public? The event will include local and national speakers, with a Q&A session at the end. It will be free and open to the public. See more information above.
  • ND Statewide Arts Convening - a part of Main Street Summit 2022 in Bismarck 
    • Oct. 24-26 - an opportunity to connect, learn, get inspired, and gain insight to build and grow your community for the future. See more information above.
Arts Events & Activities: Additional Art Opportunities:
  • Innovative Grant awards (2) $550.00 grants each quarter, to one Visual Artist and one Photographer. Deadline to apply is Sept. 15, 2022.
  • Young Arts 2023 Awards - identifies exceptional young artists,
    amplifies their potential, and invests in their lifelong creative freedom. Deadline to apply is Oct. 14, 2022.
  • E.A. Michelson Philanthropy invites art museums across the United States to submit proposals to participate in its Vitality Arts Project for Art Museums initiative, which will help art museums reframe their relationships with older adults. Deadline to apply is Oct. 21, 2022.
  • USArtists International supports in-person and virtual performances by American artists at engagements at international festivals and global presenting arts marketplaces outside of the United States. The program funds individuals and ensembles across all performing arts practices and disciplines. Ongoing deadlines.
  • Western Arts Alliance (WAA)’s Advancing Indigenous Performance (AIP) program has launched the Native Artist Opportunity Fund. This new financial assistance award program will aid US-based Indigenous performing artists with short-term needs related to the promotion, development and sharing of their work or practice. Grants capped at $750. The program has a rolling deadline.
  • Open call for writers and artists: Sunspot Literary Journal offers an Editor's Prize of $50 for the annual edition, and pays for artwork selected for a cover. Now open for flash, stories and essays, including scripts and poetry. Ongoing deadlines.
  • The AestheticaMag Art Prize is open for entries. Welcoming submissions from established and emerging practitioners, the award introduces new talent to the world stage.
  • The Complete Guide to 2022 Artist Grants & Opportunities has some of the best art opportunities, grants, and calls-for-entry for the upcoming year.
  • Visit the Artist Call for Entry website and the Artwork Archive website to learn about endless opportunities!


accessibility and art icons

NDCA Accessibility Session
Statewide Arts Convening
October 25, 1:30 to 2:15 p.m.
Bismarck Event Center

Accessibility of Public Spaces and Public Materials:
First Impressions Are Everything…
What do your spaces and public materials say to potential audiences and employees? This facilitated panel session explores digital and print accessibility (websites, social media, print, signage) as well as the physical face you present in the approach to your space. View examples of North Dakota businesses that are doing it well. Make accessibility design integral to your process from day one – not an afterthought!

Learn more and register today!


  • Podcasts""
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