NASAA Notes: February 2020

February 6, 2020

North Dakota: Creative Placemaking: Joining ND's Eight Regions

“Creative Placemaking: Joining the State’s Eight Regions” is a new initiative of the North Dakota Council on the Arts (NDCA). This multiyear effort will use public art as a vehicle for rural community development.

Entropical Paradise – Enchanted Highway, North Dakota. Photo by Gary Greff

North Dakota is comprised of eight geographic regions. While each contains an anchor city or town, the regions are predominantly rural. The new initiative will facilitate the planning, creation and installation of eight original public art pieces reflecting the unique character of the region’s people and places. Projects can draw inspiration from the authentic history, current reality or future aspirations of the area, and a broad definition of public art will be used to allow communities to conceive either temporary or permanent works. By convening residents around these projects, NDCA aims to catalyze creative relationships, celebrate the culture of rural areas, position NDCA as a rural development partner, and capitalize on the economic, tourism and equity benefits that community-driven placemaking can offer.

The initiative launched in late 2019 using Governor Burgum’s Main Street Initiative Summit as the starting point for pooling partners and ideas. Regional teams—which will include diverse stakeholders such as tribal leaders, civic officials, artists, educators, businesses or heath care providers—will be established in 2020. Using a mixture of public and private funds, NDCA plans to send technical specialists to each region as well as provide professional development around topics such as planning, design, budgeting, artist selection, fundraising, building, maintenance and marketing. By nurturing networks and knowledge within each region, NDCA hopes to build local capacity and catalyze relationships and idea-sharing that extend beyond this public art initiative.

Implementation is slated for 2021-2025, with evaluation to follow. To find out more, contact NDCA Executive Director Kim Konikow, 701-328-7592.

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