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Welcome to Prairie Arts, North Dakota Council on the Arts' monthly
electronic newsletter, containing statewide and national art-related news.
NDCA staff holiday get-together, back row left to right Kim Konikow, Rebecca Engelman, Robin Bosch, Troyd Geist, Vanessa Voskuil and front Rhea Beto
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 hair

UPDATES - Kim Konikow

I hope you all had a warm and wonderful holiday season. What a winter it has been, and we know it aint’ over yet! At least the sun is shining on the sparkly (and abundant) snow. 

With the 68th Legislative Session under way, NDCA is at work demonstrating the impact and value of the arts that our constituents display all through the year. Your accomplishments are ours; we are proud to count you as partners. Together we strengthen the creative capacity of North Dakota for all who live and visit here: honoring our cultural traditions, empowering excellence and innovation, while inspiring arts and culture opportunities for all. We may call on you to share your story…

If you happen to be driving on 1-94, you may spot an amazing sight at the Eastbound rest stop just before Jamestown. NDCA worked with Bismarck artist Nicole Gagner, who has created a large 3-dimensional artwork with painted representations of ND titled
Big House. In partnership with ND DOT, the piece, made specifically for this locale, will soon be on full view. More Art Everywhere!

We extend our thanks to retiring NDCA board member Megan Laudenschlager. Her wisdom and assistance helped moved the dial forward with our work and vision.

The search is on for a new Region 2 Board member (Burke, Renville, Bottineau, Mountrail, Ward, McHenry, McLean Counties). If you or someone you know may be interested, connect with us. As Shawn Oban moved into the Chair (at-large) position, the Board welcomes Christi M. Stonecipher, Director of Communications & Marketing at the North Dakota Community Foundation in Bismarck, as the Region 7 representative. More information will follow. 

The National Endowment for the Arts has two upcoming grant opportunities – if you are a nonprofit with federal 501c3 status, you are eligible…and should consider applying. After reading about the grants, contact us to discuss your application ideas. We are more than willing to help.

Our FY24 grant application season begins soon. Keep your eye on e-news and social media for updates on deadlines. Talk to program officers in advance about new projects. Again, we are happy to help.

Take care!


Images from Statewide Arts Convening - L to R: Artist Laura Youngbird; Lindsey Solberg (ASL), KayCee Lindsey (Divide County Job Development), & Kim Konikow; Patrick Kirby (Do Good Better)

North Dakota Council on the Arts
Year in Review: 2022

Reflecting over the last year, North Dakota Council on the Arts (NDCA) made great strides toward its legislative directive “to ensure that the role of the arts in the life of our communities will continue to grow and will play an evermore significant part in the welfare and educational experience of our citizens.” Operating with an annual budget of approximately $1.5 million,
NDCA administered ten grant programs, organized a biennial Statewide Arts Convening, conducted an Online Accessibility Convening, and featured multiple artists in the Capitol building. The state agency also managed a variety of programs including Poetry Out Loud, Arts Across the Prairie, and several special programs like Tiny Print Press and the Densmore Lakota Song Repatriation projects.
Read full article: NDCA Year in Review 2022


L to R: pine needle basket by Eileen McEnroe, abstract oil painting by Michelle Brusegaard, clay and rock piece by Brad Bachmeier and oil painting by Megan Hanson

Artists in Parks Residency Program artwork displayed at State Capitol: 

For over 10 years, North Dakota Council on the Arts (NDCA) has partnered with the North Dakota Parks & Recreation Department (NDPRD) to host 33 ND-based artists in residence at nine different state parks. From January 3 through April 25 most of the pieces donated since the program’s inception in 2009 are on exhibit on the 18th floor of the Capitol. This will be the first time the Artist in Residency artworks have ever been brought together in one location. 
NDPRD and NDCA will host an opening reception on Thursday, January 12, 2023, from 11:30 am until 2:00 pm. The free event includes a light lunch and an opportunity to meet several of the artists whose works will be on display. The pieces will remain at the Capitol for the duration of the 68th legislative assembly. The exhibition will travel to Watford City’s Pioneer Museum from May 5-June 23, Williston’s James Memorial Art Center from July 3-28, and Minot’s Northwest Arts Center from Aug. 8-31.  
Learn more about Artists in Parks Exhibit at Capitol

Todd Clausnitzer on view in Governor’s Staff Offices*

Todd Clausnitzer’s fine artwork is on display in Governor’s Staff Offices on the ground floor at the Capitol. A lifelong resident of Bismarck, he is also a co-founder of Image Printing. Todd has utilized his eye for detail to capture many significant florals, fauna, and scenes of our state. *To visit, please inquire in the Governor’s Office.

Angels Among Us by Todd Clausnitzer
Read more about NDCA's Featured Artists at the Capitol

2023 ND Governor's Awards for the Arts Reception Wednesday, February 1

The North Dakota Governor’s Awards for the Arts is a biennial program presented by the Governor’s Office and North Dakota Council on the Arts (NDCA) to recognize organizations and individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the arts in the state.

The review process is currently underway and award recipients will be announced soon. A special reception at 5:00pm will be followed by an award ceremony at 6:30pm at the North Dakota Heritage Center (Bismarck) on the evening of Wednesday, February 1, 2023.

JOIN US to celebrate your peers! All are invited to attend this free event.

Created by Nelda Schrupp

NOTE: space is limited, and ONLINE registration is required.
Register to attend the 2023 ND Governor's Awards for the Arts
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.

2023 Poetry Out Loud ND State Competition February 27

The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation present Poetry Out Loud™ in partnership with North Dakota Council on the Arts. This national arts education program encourages the study of great poetry by offering free educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition for high school students across the country. The program helps students master public speaking skills and build self-confidence, while also learning more about both classic and contemporary poetry. 

During the months of September – January, schools are invited to hold classroom and school wide contests, with students advancing to a state competition scheduled for Monday, February 27th at the North Dakota State Heritage Center (Bismarck). Competition begins at 9:30 AM with two rounds of oral recitations. After lunch, students with the top scores advance to a final round of competition to determine the new 2023 ND State Champion. This event is FREE and open to public. 
NDCA Poetry Out Loud webpage


National Endowment for the Arts logo with website

A Message from National Endowment for the Arts Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD

NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson shares her vision for the coming year in a written article that includes a video recording where she discusses the principles for engaging in and living an artful life.

NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD

Visit NEA website for message from Dr. Jackson


Winning artworks from Celebrate the West 2022 competition
2023 Celebrate the West Art Competition Open

Celebrate the West is a regional art competition hosted by the Western Governors' Association (WGA), including North Dakota, that challenges high school students to create works inspired by their state. Students are encouraged to think about what the West means to them. WGA's panel of art experts will select one finalist from each state and territory. State Winners will receive $200 and compete for overall First ($1,500), Second ($750), and Third Place ($500) Awards at the regional level, as well as a People's Choice award.
oil pastel artwork called Midwest Fields by Beulah HS student Garrett Palaniuk
Beulah High School student, Garrett Palaniuk, won the ND 2022 Celebrate the West Art Competition with his oil pastel "Midwest Fields."

Submission deadline: April 30, 2023
Learn more about 2023 Celebrate the West Art Competition

Grants for Arts Projects

Grants for Arts Projects is the NEA's largest grant program for organizations, providing expansive funding opportunities for communities across the nation in a wide range of artistic disciplines. Cost share/matching grants range from $10,000 to $100,000. A minimum cost share/match equal to the grant amount is required. 

Next application deadline: Feb. 9, 2023

Challenge America

Challenge America offers support primarily to small organizations for projects in all artistic disciplines to reach historically underserved groups/communities that have rich and dynamic cultural identities. Grants require a cost share/match of $10,000 consisting of cash and/or in-kind contributions. Total project costs must be at least $20,000 or greater.

Application deadline: Apr. 27, 2023
Learn more about NEA Grants


NDCA Program Deadlines

Special Projects

  • Art events in all disciplines
  • Organizations & Individuals
  • Up to $1,500
  • Next Deadline: Jan. 24, 2023 (ongoing program)
  • Project Dates: March 1 - June 30, 2023

Professional Development

  • Arts-related learning activities
  • Organizations & Individuals
  • Up to $1,000
  • Next Deadline: Feb. 1, 2023 (ongoing program)
  • Project Dates: May 1 - 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
Arts Events & Activities: Recently Announced Art Opportunities:  
  • ""Golden Triangle BID’s Golden Haiku Competition - poets are invited to submit up to two original, self-authored haiku. Winning poets will receive prizes and recognition. This year’s theme is “Notes to Nature.”
    • Deadline to apply is Feb. 5, 2023.
*Learn about ongoing and new opportunities on NDCA's website and Facebook page.

NDCA Website

NDCA Facebook Page


NDCA Accessibility Coordinator Rhea Beto, right, with Accessibility in the Art Convening logo on the left
Videos of NDCA's 2022 Accessibility in the Arts Convening now available

Last October, NDCA's Accessibility Coordinator Rhea Beto (above) facilitated an ONLINE Accessibility in the Arts Convening to help explain why, and how, to make nonprofits and businesses more accessible. Participants heard testimony from three disabled artists; were briefed on the minimum requirements to meet the 2010 ADA Standards; and learned some easy, cost-effective ways to be more accessible from Sam Gould, President and Executive Producer of Open Door Theater in Massachusetts. The video recording was broken down into eight smaller segments which can be found on NDCA's website.
Accessibility Convening 2022


  • Podcasts""
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