Blog Posts for North Dakota

Top 10 Reasons to Support the Arts in 2014

Posted by Randy I. Cohen, Mar 20, 2014 11 comments

There is an old quote attributed to John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich:

“If any man will draw up his case, and put his name at the foot of the first page, I will give him an immediate reply. Where he compels me to turn over the sheet, he must wait my leisure.”

This was the charge given to me by a business leader who needed to make a compelling case for government and corporate arts funding:

“Keep it to one page, please,” was his request. “I can get anyone to read one page.”

With the 2014 arts advocacy season upon us, the following is my updated “Top 10 Reasons to Support the Arts.”

Read More

Arts at the Core of a Growing North Dakota Community

Posted by Terri Aldrich, Jul 13, 2012 0 comments

My community (Minot, ND) is in a very unusual position.

In 2011, a 500-year flood devastated our community and displaced 12,000 residents (nearly one-third of our population). This week marked the one-year anniversary of the evacuation sirens and many homes have yet to be “mucked out."

On the other hand, the oil industry here has created a growing economy, increasing our tax revenue and boosting airport boardings to record levels. Our airline traffic has increased from four flights daily to 18. We have had growth and devastation all in the same year.

During the time, Minot arts organizations and artists have helped to raise funds, raise spirits, and raise awareness. Our Fifth Annual Integrity Jazz Festival is a perfect example. Sponsors from the community stepped up to the plate to present this event free of charge to the public in cooperation with the Weekend of Hope, a celebration of a community rebuilding. Survey responses indicated that 30 percent of our attendees came from outside Minot. They bought food, gasoline, and artwork, putting dollars into our local economy while hearing some great jazz music in a beautiful outdoor setting.

The evidence of the economic impact of the nonprofit arts industry in Minot is detailed in the Arts and Economic Prosperity IV (AEP IV) data. The nonprofit arts industry has a $9.9 million impact that supports 225 full-time equivalent jobs. That number represents an increase of $1.4 million from the 2005 AEP III data!

Read More

Surviving the Prairie Tsunami

Posted by Terri Aldrich, Aug 04, 2011 0 comments

Rubble in a Minot neighborhood.

My community, Minot, ND, has been devastated by flood waters.

As I drove home from work last night I observed streets lined with waterlogged piles of rubble.

These sad remnants of people’s lives looked more like a war zone than a residential district. The images combined with the smell were overwhelming. So many have lost so much.

At the Minot Area Council of the Arts, we wondered what we should and could do. We wanted to lift spirits.

Our free summer concert series had been stopped when our park venues were under water. Even indoor venues are unavailable because they are being used as shelters or as space to store belongings. To find an available space we contacted the local Scandinavian Heritage Society that maintains a heritage park unaffected by flood waters and received permission to continue our summer concerts at their location instead.

Local media helped us get the word out. Not knowing if folks would show up, we decided to move ahead with the concerts, trekking sound equipment, popcorn machine, and wagons across town to the new location.

Read More