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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 NDCA Executive Director Kim Konikow, closed smile with black shirt, grey-blonde shoulder-length hairUPDATES - Kim Konikow

It is that time of year, when NDCA opens all FY24 grant applications. We have worked hard to make these more accessible for all. Please find the links below and contact us with questions. Our mission is to support your art programs!

The Individual Artist Fellowship disciplines this year are Dance and Theatre, all forms - including Traditional Arts. Help us spread the word to support ND established artists.

Nonprofits and arts-related organizations should receive an AEP6 survey (Arts and Economic Prosperity) soon. Data is being collected on arts audiences that will impact future business, tourism and funding opportunities! Please take the time to respond.

We hope you will join us for the Annual Poetry Out Loud Competition on Monday, February 27 at the Heritage Center. This delightful presentation is open to the public, and a new ND State Champion will emerge!

Arts Across the Prairie seeks diverse stakeholders in Regions 2, 3, 6 and 8. Visit NDCA's AAP webpage to check out what that entails. This program is moving forward quickly; we can’t wait to start building rural installations based on ND cultural heritage.

We are pleased to announce a new Artist in Residency partnership with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department. The inaugural program will take place this June in Bismarck. Applications are due April 19. More art everywhere!

Welcome Christi Stonecipher to NDCA’s Board of Directors. As the representative for Region 7, she has a wide swath of arts groups in her portfolio. I know she is looking forward to connecting with you.

The Legislative Session is almost to the half-way point. NDCA will soon switch from the House to the Senate. Know that outreach to your Legislators is appreciated; they’d much rather hear from you, their constituents, than me 😊

Let’s hope this weather holds – sunshine is good for our souls. Be well.

NDCA announces new board appointment of Christi Stonecipher

Stonecipher was recently appointed by Governor Burgum to serve on NDCA’s board, effective February 2023. Representing Region 7, Stonecipher will fill out the term (July 2026) for Shawn Oban who was appointed Board Chair.

Christi is particularly interested in providing arts experiences for children and adults in rural communities. She would also like to explore ways the arts can benefit health.

For more information, including Stonecipher's biography, read the full Press Release.
Head and shoulders portrait of middle-aged Christi Stonecipher with shoulder-length straight, dirty-blonde hair, brown eyes, a toothy smile, wearing teal suit jacket and white undershirt on gray background.
NDCA Board of Directors

Coming Soon: The Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 Organizational Survey 

NDCA is part of Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6), an economic impact study of the arts and culture industry. The study has been conducted by independent researchers at Americans for the Arts at various times over the past 30 years. The trusted findings help leverage increases in local, state, and federal arts funding. Data reported from ND helps to attract audiences, spur business development, support local jobs, and promote tourism.

AEP6 has been collecting surveys of arts audiences and work continues through spring. The next phase includes a specifically customized organizational survey

This short survey will arrive by email on February 22; all information collected is strictly confidential. Please take the time to participate before the March 31, 2023 deadline. Thank you!
Learn more about Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 study


BIG HOUSE, by Nicole Gagner

In spring 2021, North Dakota Council on the Arts and the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) began a partnership through Arts Across the Prairie - Placemaking in Rural North Dakota, NDCA’s statewide project to bring large-scale public artwork to North Dakota’s eight regions. Bill Panos, NDDOT Director at that time, said “Although people usually associate the NDDOT with license plates, roads and plows, we’re much more."  “Creativity is engrained in everything we do – from engineering to design to the way we serve the public. We’re happy to partner with NDCA to make art more accessible to all North Dakotans.”

Jump to 2022, new NDDOT Director Ron Henke and NDCA Executive Director Kim Konikow met to discuss more ideas on how to incorporate art in public locations, such as highway rest stops. Being familiar with Nicole Gagner's colorful "tiny houses," Konikow wondered how one would look on a much larger scale. After an excited conversation, plans were made to install a "Big House" at the I94 eastbound rest area located on the west side of Jamestown.
YouTube video of Nicole Gagner explaining BIG HOUSE Project


L to R:  NDCA Executive Director Kim Konikow, Don Larew, JoAnn Lowman, Pieper Bloomquist, Governor Burgum, Debra Pflughoeft-Hassett (Empire Arts Center), Mike Glatt and David Swenson (Makoché Recording Studios), former State Senator Joan Heckaman, and Shawn Oban (NDCA Board Chair). Photo by Poppy Mills, ND DOT.

2023 ND Governor's Awards for the Arts Celebration

A special reception and award ceremony were held at the ND Heritage Center on Wednesday, February 1. NDCA, along with the Office of the Governor, presented the biennial 2023 ND Governor’s Awards for the Arts to six organizations and individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the arts in the state.

The categories and award recipients were as follows: Arts in Education, Donald E. Larew (Fargo); Cultural Heritage, Bill Lowman (Sentinel Butte); Arts Organization, Empire Arts Center (Grand Forks); Individual Achievement, Pieper Fleck Bloomquist (Grand Forks); Arts Business, Makoché Recording Studios (Bismarck); and Champion for the Arts, former State Senator Joan Heckaman (Dickinson).

Award recipients were chosen for their efforts to expand arts opportunities to new audiences, create an appreciation for North Dakota's cultural heritage, make the arts more central to education and an integral part of community life, as well as the length of service within the state.
Watch the 2023 ND Governor's Awards for the Arts Video Recording
Arts Midwest is one of six nonprofit United States Regional Arts Organizations (RAOs) who work to strengthen local arts and culture efforts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, state agencies, private funders and many others. As North Dakota's RAO, Arts Midwest - who announced a new mission, vision, logo (above), and website - recently celebrated and awarded various organizations across ND. 
1) Sacred Pipe Resource Center (Mandan, ND) received a $100,000 grant from Arts Midwest for We the Many, a community-focused artist-in-residency program supported in part by the Mellon Foundation. By having artists embedded in communities, and leading creative activities, the program encourages the exchange of voices, cultures, and ideas.
Sacred Pipe Resource Center logo
2) The Bismarck Library Foundation and the International Music Camp were both selected as recipients of the Spring 2023 Arts Midwest GIG Fund. The Grow, Invest, Gather (GIG) Fund provides $4,000 grants for performing arts projects throughout the Midwest. The GIG Fund prioritizes organizations that are led by or engage artists from historically underrepresented or marginalized communities, rural communities, and under-funded areas.
Bismarck Library Foundation logo
International Music Camp circle logo with canadian and united states flags in the center
3) Makoché Studios was recently highlighted in an article published on Arts Midwest's new website. The piece titled ‘Over 100 Years in the Making: The Lakota Song Repatriation Project' explores how the project came about and the role it plays in the revitalization of Lakota language and culture.
Makoche Recording Studios logo

Learn more about Arts Midwest programs & opportunities
Top five finalists of 2022 North Dakota State Poetry Out Loud (POL) State Championship left to right: 5th-Vismaya Jacob, Valley City HS; 4th-Olivia Peatross, Minot HS, Magic City Campus; 3rd-Iqra Hassan, West Fargo HS; 2nd-Josephine Evenson, North Border Pembina HS; 1st-Mya Tena, Bismarck HS. Photo by Poppy Mills, ND DOT.

2023 Poetry Out Loud ND State Competition February 27 

The 2023 ND State Poetry Out Loud Competition will be held on Monday, February 27th at the ND Heritage Center and State Museum, in the Russell Reid Auditorium. Competition begins at 9:00am and includes two rounds of recitation. Following lunch, at approximately 1:00pm, students with the top five scores will compete in a final round to determine the new State POL Champion. This event is FREE and open to the public.   

Presented by the NEA and the Poetry Foundation in partnership with NDCA, Poetry Out Loud™ is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering free educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition for high school students across the country. September through January, schools hold classroom and school-wide contests, with students advancing to a state competition.   

NDCA Arts in Education Winter 2023 Newsletter

2023 ND POL State Competition


NEA and Human Family logo with fingerprint in the background

The Human Family Receives $20,000 NEA Grant

The Human Family (Fargo) was awarded $20,000 through the Grants for Arts Projects program from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to support the 2023 North Dakota Human Rights Film Festival. The festival showcases worldwide independent narrative, documentary, and short films featuring social justice, civil rights, or human rights topics. 
Learn more about the National Endowment for the Arts


Challenge America

Challenge America offers support primarily to small organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to groups/communities with rich and dynamic artistic and cultural contributions to share that are underserved. The program features an abbreviated application, a robust structure of technical assistance, and grants for a set amount of $10,000 in all artistic disciplines. This program is a good entry point for organizations that are new to applying for federal funding. To discuss your ideas, contact!

Two free informational webinars are available to those interested in learning more:
Application deadline: Apr. 27, 2023                                                               .Back to top..
Learn more about NEA grants and opportunities

Artist in Residence Program Scheduled at OWLS

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department, in partnership with NDCA, is hosting an Artist in Residence program June 19-23 at the Outdoor Wildlife Learning Site in Bismarck. The program is open to all North Dakota artists at least 18 years of age. Artists will be paid a stipend of $1,750 upon completion of the residency requirements. Participants will provide two public onsite presentations about their artwork, process or tools.

Application deadline: Apr. 19, 2023                                                                .Back to top..
Learn more and apply for OWLS Artist in Residence Program


NDCA Program Deadlines

Community Arts Access""

  • Arts programming/activity
  • Arts & non-arts organizations
  • $1,250 - $4,000
  • Deadline: April 14, 2023
  • Project Dates: July 1, 2023 - June 30, 2024

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, 2022 - June 30, 2023

Arts in Ed Collaboration

  • Arts programming/activity/ education for K-12
  • Arts & non-arts organizations
  • Up to $6,000
  • Deadline: April 14, 2023
  • Project Dates: July 1, 2023 - June 30, 2024

Special Projects

  • Art events in all disciplines
  • Organizations & Individuals
  • Up to $1,500
  • Next Deadline: March 21, 2023 (ongoing program)
  • Project Dates: May 1 - June 30, 2023

Professional Development

  • Arts-related learning activities
  • Organizations & Individuals
  • Up to $1,000
  • Next Deadline: Feb. 21, 2023 (ongoing program)
  • Project Dates: May 1 - June 30, 2023

Folk & Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program

  • Master artist pass on skills/knowledge to new artist(s)
  • Up to $4,500
  • Deadline: April 17, 2023
  • Project Dates: July 1, 2023 - April 30, 2024

Individual Artist Fellowship

  • FY24 eligible disciplines: dance & theater (all forms, including traditional)
  • Established individual artists
  • $5,000 (no match required)
  • Deadline: March 31, 2023
  • Project Dates: July 1, 2023 - June 30, 2024
Arts Events & Activities: Recently Announced Art Opportunities:
  • Digital representation of a museum with money coming out of itState Historical Society of North Dakota Cultural Heritage Grant - funding of up to $20,000 for local museums and historical societies for exhibits, special projects or events, education activities, collections, and capital improvements. 
    • Applications will be reviewed
      and grants awarded on a rolling basis, as funds remain available, through May 1, 2023
*Learn about ongoing and new opportunities on NDCA's website and Facebook page.

NDCA Website

NDCA Facebook Page


Art Reach Access logo
Organization Buy In

How do you get an entire organization on-board with accessibility and inclusion? For every organization, this will look different. Whether it’s forming an internal DEI committee, having senior leadership with personal community connections, or passionate advocates who persist, all of the above may help. Marcie Bramucci, Executive Artistic Director of Hedgerow Theatre in Media, Pennsylvania, moderated a 1-hour panel discussion with senior administrators from a variety of different organizations to speak candidly and honestly about their journey.
Watch short YouTube video


  • Podcasts""
   .Back to top.. 
Copyright © 2023 North Dakota Council on the Arts, All rights reserved.

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