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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 hair

UPDATES - Kim Konikow

Winter is upon us, no doubt about that!

Now is to the time to honor your friends and colleagues! You know them…there are artists who have been practicing for years, individuals and organizations making a difference in the community, businesses that support the field, arts teachers and administrators who are exemplary, and many cultural treasures in our great state. Nominate them for the biennial Governor's Awards for the Arts! We are back, live, at the Heritage Center on Wednesday, February 1 with Governor Burgum presiding over this very special ceremony. 

We welcome Brenna Lahren to NDCA as a part-time administrator; she is working remotely from Fargo. Brenna has a rich background in theatre production, which highlights her organizational skills and ability to work well with others!
Shortly, we will begin reaching out to arts organizations, asking for your patrons’ involvement in a survey (short, sweet and online!). NDCA is participating in Americans for the Arts’ Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6). This study will help measure the economic impact of spending by the nation’s nonprofit arts and cultural organizations and the event-related spending by their audiences during FY 2022. Other North Dakota study participants include The Arts Partnership, Minot Area Council of the Arts, the Jamestown Arts Center, and Dakota West Arts Council. The more we learn about our state helps our Legislators understand the economic impact of the arts, and how we stack up on a national level.

During the upcoming Legislative session, NDCA is partnering with ND Parks and Recreation on a special exhibition at the Capitol on the 18th Floor. Over ten years of Parks artists in residence will be displayed together for the first time ever. It is wonderful to see the diversity of work inspired by the beauty in ND Parks across the state. There will be a public reception on January 12; more details will be posted on social media.

We wish you and yours a peaceful, safe, and contemplative Holiday Season – share what you can, and stay warm!


Head & shoulders of Native American Artist Nelda Schrupp with glasses, short, spiked grey hair, tie-dye t-shirt with jewelry hanging on the wall behind her
Nelda Schrupp metal noisemakers inspired by Native culture

North Dakota artist Nelda Schrupp has been letting her artwork lead the way since she discovered her talent during her college years. That is when she decided to create her own contemporary style of rattle, also known as a noisemaker, to give homage to her Native culture without overstepping into an artform that was traditionally a man’s birthright. She begins each project with a thumbnail sketch, but it often does not match the end result. She explained, “the piece takes on a life of its own and I just follow it.” 
Nelda’s noisemakers have gained national attention and are currently on display at prestigious museums such as the Smithsonian Institution’s American Art Museum in Washington, DC and the National Museum of the American Indian in New York, NY.
Metal art piece by Nelda Schrupp for ND Governor's Awards for the Arts: with silver on top and 4 points coming down with beads and horse hair
Given to recipients of ND Governor's Awards

Read the full story, view images. and watch Prairie Public videos about Nelda on NDCA's website.
Read Nelda Schrupp Story


-	2019 Governor’s Awards for the Arts Recipients: L to R - Arts in Education: Annette Hovey (New Rockford); Private Business: Office Sign Company, CEO Ryan Fritz (Fargo); Governor Burgum; Cultural Treasure: John Gross (Napoleon); Individual Achievement: David Borlaug (Bismarck); Arts Organization: Jamestown Fine Arts Association, Executive Director Mindi Schmidtz (Jamestown). *Absent from photo - Individual Achievement: Jessie Veeder (Watford City).
2019 Governor’s Awards for the Arts Recipients: L to R - Arts in Education: Annette Hovey (New Rockford); Private Business: Office Sign Company, CEO Ryan Fritz (Fargo); Governor Burgum; Cultural Treasure: John Gross (Napoleon); Individual Achievement: David Borlaug (Bismarck); Arts Organization: Jamestown Fine Arts Association, Executive Director Mindi Schmidtz (Jamestown). *Absent - Individual Achievement: Jessie Veeder (Watford City).

NDCA seeks nominations for the 2023 ND Governor's Awards for the Arts

Who will be recognized? You can help! This biennial program is presented by the Governor’s Office and ND Council on the Arts to recognize organizations and individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the arts in the state. The categories include: 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. In a new category, selected by NDCA Board and staff, Senator Joan Heckaman will be honored as the first Champion of the Arts. The special reception and awards ceremony will be presented at the Heritage Center on February 1, 2023. Free tickets available soon – RSVP required. Nominate your colleagues for their good work in the field.

Submission deadline: December 20, 2022


10 images showing the 2022 National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowships
2022 NEA National Heritage Fellows Celebrated in Documentary Film

The NEA, in partnership with the National Council for the Traditional Arts, presents the film Roots of American Culture: A Cross-Country Visit with Living Treasures of the Folk and Traditional Arts. Hosted by NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD, the film explores the lives and work of the 2022 NEA National Heritage Fellows, recipients of the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts.

View the documentary film on YouTube.

53 portraits of the 2022-23 National Leaders of Color Fellowship Cohort
2022–23 National Leaders of Color Fellowship Cohort announced

Fifty-three fellows were selected to participate and build on the legacy of creating an intersectional, intergenerational, and multiracial movement on behalf of cultural equity across the arts field. Chelsea Steffes, the Public Programs and Outreach Coordinator at the Plains Art Museum in Fargo, ND, was chosen to be part of the Arts Midwest cohort.

Visit to learn more.


Western Arts Alliance: Performing Arts Discovery (PAD) Showcase

Twenty-five artists/ensembles will be selected for the 2022 - 23 PAD cohort. Each artist/ensemble will receive support from an expert video production team to create a professionally-produced live performance video which PAD will promote and showcase on a virtual cloud-based platform for international markets.

Submission deadline: January 6, 2023
Learn more and apply for PAD Showcase
National Endowment for the Arts Present Shakespeare (pictured with large forehead, goatee, ear-length hair, old costume and American flag in background) in American Communities

Shakespeare in American Communities

Shakespeare in American Communities is a theater program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. Through grants to theater companies that produce Shakespeare’s works, this program supports high-quality productions and educational activities in middle schools, high schools, and juvenile justice facilities throughout the United States. Learn more & apply for Shakespeare in American Communities.

Intent to apply deadline: Jan. 9, 2023

NEA Big Read logo with 15 books stacked up on the left and the intent to apply deadline of Jan. 18, 2023 on top
NEA Big Read Grants

An initiative of the NEA, in partnership with Arts Midwest, the program supports community reading projects each designed around a single NEA Big Read book selection. The goal is to inspire meaningful conversations, artistic responses, and new discoveries and connections in each community. Learn more and apply for Big Read

Intent to apply deadline: Jan. 18, 2023

NEA Creative Forces Community Engagement Grants up to $50,000 with application deadline Jan. 19. 2023
NEA Creative Forces Grants

In a partnership with Mid-America Arts Alliance, the grant supports projects that address the distinct experiences, challenges, and strengths of a broad military-connected population. This includes active duty service members, guardsmen, reservists, and veterans, as well as their families and caregivers. Learn more about Creative Forces Grants.

Application deadline: Jan. 19, 2023
Learn more about NEA Initiatives

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: Dec. 13, 2022 (ongoing program)
  • Project Dates: March 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: Additional Art Opportunities:
  • 2-story bergandy McCanna House with many white-frames windows and lush greenery all aroundND Museum of Art: McCanna House Artist-in-Residence Program - offers artists, composers, and writers unfettered time to work in a setting that preserves the history and integrity of one of North Dakota’s first architect-designed, country homes surrounded by rich, agricultural lands.
    • Deadline to apply is Jan. 15, 2023.
  • South Arts JAZZ ROAD logoSouth Arts Jazz Road Tours - supports small, three- to six-site tours at an array of venue types, often in rural communities and other areas traditionally underserved by the genre. Grant amounts generally range from $5,000 to $15,000. 
    • Next deadline to apply is Jan. 23, 2023.
  • 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.
    • Next deadline to apply is Mar. 29, 2023.
*Learn about ongoing and new opportunities on NDCA's website and Facebook page.

NDCA Website

NDCA Facebook Page


Plains Art Museum working to improve inclusivity and accessibility

After experiencing a major loss in revenue due to a 3-month pandemic-related closure in 2020, Executive Director Andy Maus and his staff have been focused on alternative ways to engage with the community. They began an online initiative called Visit Us Virtually which provides digital programming; aired a new podcast series called Five Plain Questions which asks the same five basic questions to Native American and indigenous artists; and began sending their teaching artists to schools. 
Read Full NEA Story


  • Podcasts""
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