Arts Across The Prairie Statewide Public Art Program
May 26, 2021
Uniting North Dakota’s eight regions, NDCA launches Arts Across the Prairie: Placemaking in Rural North Dakota,
a first-of-its-kind, statewide public art program.
Bismarck - The North Dakota Council on the Arts (NDCA) proudly announces Arts Across the Prairie: Placemaking in Rural North Dakota, a first-of-its-kind, statewide public art program. This program will unite North Dakota’s eight regions by celebrating the shared history, culture, and heritage through the creation of art installations in eight rural settings. Furthermore, as a community-driven initiative, it aims to promote civic pride, affirm distinctiveness of place, and strengthen cultural identity. Arts Across the Prairie will create public-private partnerships throughout the state and provide a national model for this type of creative placekeeping.
Executive Director Kim Konikow said, “North Dakota is filled with a rich cultural heritage from many nations. Arts Across the Prairie will bolster creative and economic development with a focus on placekeeping in rural areas. We are thrilled to partner with the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) and Tourism on this very special program.”
“Although people usually associate the NDDOT with license plates, roads and plows, we’re much more,” said NDDOT Director, Bill Panos. “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.”
“Public art and our larger-than-life roadside attractions continue to be of great interest to visitors and the media,” said North Dakota Department of Commerce Tourism and Marketing Director Sara Otte Coleman. “We are excited to support the Arts Across the Prairie program that will benefit the state in many ways including attracting visitors to nearby communities.”
To implement Arts Across the Prairie, diverse stakeholder groups are being formed in each region, joining across county lines. All participants will be guided in the process of selecting locations, designing artist proposals, budgets, fundraising, land ownership and maintenance, and economic development and articulating what type of creative installation will best represent their region’s cultural heritage.
Funds are currently being raised regionally and nationally. The program has a budget of roughly $4 million over seven years and is already underway in northwest North Dakota. The ND Legislature included a historic, one-time funding, “A strategic investment and improvement to NDCA’s Cultural Endowment Fund of $1,000,000.” The intent of the funding is for NDCA to expend up to $50,000 annually for the maintenance of the public arts projects constructed as part of Arts Across the Prairie: Placemaking in Rural North Dakota.
The goals of Arts Across the Prairie are to:
• Strengthen cross-county networking and regional collaboration
• Promote tourism for in- and out-of-state visitors
• Stimulate economic activity in rural areas of North Dakota
• Build stronger arts communities across the state
• Invest in North Dakota artists by providing professional development and training support
• Celebrate and leverage existing assets with an infusion of creative expression
• Heighten visibility of North Dakota’s creative sector and talent
For more information on Arts Across the Prairie, visit arts.nd.gov/arts-across-prairie.