The North Dakota Council on the Arts (NDCA) is a service and program agency of the state, established in 1967 by State Legislature to “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.” Our purpose is to bring that commitment to life. NDCA operates with an annual budget of approximately $1.5 million through the support of the National Endowment for the Arts and an appropriation from the North Dakota State Legislature. The majority of NDCA’s budget is awarded to organizations and individuals through various grant programs.


We strengthen the creative capacity of North Dakota for all who live and visit here:
honoring our cultural traditions, empowering excellence and innovation,
inspiring arts and culture opportunities for all.

What We Do

As a state arts agency, our role is to support creators, art providers, and participants. We use grants, convening, education, and partnerships to:

  • Seed new ideas and activity
  • Build resilient capacity for the long-term

To do this well, we must balance our investments:

  • With organizations, artists, educators, and communities
  • For broad geographic reach with deep engagement
  • That sustain ongoing work and build new capacity
  • For flexible response to ongoing and emerging needs

This North Dakota Council on the Arts video was presented to the North Dakota legislators during session.


Art & Creative Process for All

Goal 1 - Working toward a North Dakota in which all can experience arts and culture – diversity of tradition, of genre, of exposure. All can participate. All are welcome.

Vibrant Communities

Goal 2 - Regions, cities, communities, and networks across the state appreciate the power of the arts. They use that power to enhance the vitality of North Dakota. They celebrate the vibrant communities that result, each with arts, creativity and culture at their core.

Thriving Arts Ecosystem

Goal 3 - NDCA, communities, organizations, artists, and educators thrive in an interdependent, mutually supported, system. Each has resilient capacity aligned for impact.

Excellence & Innovation

Goal 4 - NDCA models excellence and innovation for the field. It sustains its gains through self-reflection, evaluation and continuous improvement. Its innovative partnerships open doors to greater influence and impact, increase its efficiency, and leverage its resources.

Beliefs & Values

Inspiring our mission are these deeply held beliefs:

  • Art tells our stories – individually and as a state
  • Art, culture and creativity, by and for the community, have the power to:
    • Inspire and enhance lives
    • Build community and transform its spaces
    • Lift up, heal, and unite across divides
  • Everyone deserves equal access to a full, vibrant creative life, which is essential to a healthy and democratic society

We hold ourselves accountable to the people of North Dakota and the trust placed in us. Because of this we:

  • Pursue excellence and innovation in all things
  • Pursue cultural equity throughout the state
  • Engage our state through fair and transparent processes

In addition to grant programs, the North Dakota Council on the Arts supports a biennial State Arts Convening along with the biennial Governor’s Awards for the Arts, featured artists in the Capitol building, yearly exhibit at the North Dakota State Heritage Center, Poetry Out Loud, Art for Life Program, and Artist in Residence program with the North Dakota Parks and Recreation department. NDCA also partners with a variety of state agencies and non-profit organizations throughout the state in the presentation and support of arts-related programs.

  • Arts in Education provides resources to make the arts central to education in North Dakota and to support and expand arts education opportunities for all citizens within our schools and communities.
  • Community Arts provides useful resources to individuals, organizations, and the communities of North Dakota that aid in their goals to create and present quality artistic programming to all citizens.
  • The Folk Arts program encourages the preservation and continuation of traditional culture and traditional/folk art throughout North Dakota. This is done through fieldwork that identifies and documents traditional art forms. This work is often used in exhibits, recordings, and other projects conducted by the NDCA.

NDCA's work reaches across the state of North Dakota

NDCA benefits citizens of all ages and communities of all sizes. The following video highlights the partnership between the arts and state government in the following: Sense of Place/Quality of Life; Economic Development; Education; Health and Wellness; and Heritage and Culture.