Arts Across the Prairie

Placemaking in Rural North Dakota

Placemaking in Rural North Dakota

A photo of 4 small brightly colored grain silos standing on a dark brown pasture in Sauk County, rural Wisconsin painted by E. Baillies with corn cribs painted by Brenda Baker.Artist E. Baillies with corn cribs by Brenda Baker - Sauk County, rural Wisconsin


Arts Across the Prairie: Placemaking in Rural North Dakota is a first-of-its-kind, statewide, public art program from North Dakota Council on the Arts (NDCA). This program will create eight large-scale public works – one for each geographic region in the state – that reflect the unique history, landscape, and cultural heritage of each region. All eight works will be placed in rural locations. This program is in collaboration with the North Dakota Department of Transportation (a first in the US) and North Dakota Tourism/Commerce.

Arts Across the Prairie was developed to celebrate the cultural heritage of rural areas, foster creative relationships across counties and regions, bolster NDCA’s role as a rural development partner, and spur economic development through tourism. Furthermore, as a community-driven initiative, it aims to promote civic pride, affirm distinctiveness of place, and strengthen cultural identity. This program will create public-private partnerships throughout the state and will provide a national model of this type of creative placekeeping.

Goals of Arts Across the Prairie:

  • Strengthen cross-county networking and regional collaboration
  • Promote tourism for in- and out-of-state visitors
  • Stimulate economic activity and development in rural areas of North Dakota
  • Build stronger arts communities across the state
  • Invest in North Dakota artists by providing professional training and support
  • Celebrate and leverage existing assets with an infusion of creative expression
  • Heighten visibility of ND’s creative sector and talent

Funds are currently being raised nationally and regionally. This program has a $5 million budget over seven years. The first-of-its-kind state partnership with North Dakota Department of Transportation will contribute to roads, pull-outs, parking, and signage at selected sites.

The North Dakota Legislature issued an appropriation of $1 million dollars specifically for the interest earned on this amount to be utilized on infrastructure and maintenance over the life of the program.

Region 1 in NW North Dakota has completed the stakeholder development, site selection, and artist selection processes, and will break ground on their art installation in spring of 2023. Stakeholders in Region 2, north central, are in the site selection process. Stakeholders in NE Region 4 have selected their site and are beginning the artist selection process. Stakeholder groups are currently being established in Regions 3, 6, and 8.

Image of the counties in North Dakota along with the eight regions. For more information on the eight regions call 701-328-7590

In order to implement Arts Across the Prairie, diverse stakeholder groups will be formed in each region, joining across county lines. All participants will be guided in the process of selecting locations, designing artist Requests for Proposals, and articulating what type of creation will best represent their region’s cultural heritage. Technical Assistance/Professional Development will be offered to all participants related to budgets, fundraising, land ownership and maintenance, and economic development.

Stakeholder Responsibilities:

  • Diverse individuals from across all counties in the Region
  • Participate in ongoing (monthly) meetings over Zoom
  • Facilitate site selection for proposed public art installation
  • Engage with community members
  • Assist in artist selection
  • Celebrate regional cultural heritage and spread knowledge 

Region Stakeholders and Updates

Region Stakeholders and Updates
Region 1

Thane Lund Proposal Selected

Divide County

  • Pamela Buth, High School Teacher, Divide County School District
  • Allison Muncaster, High School Art Teacher, Divide County School District
  • Rodney “Rod” Gillund, Retired, Director of Special Ed
  • KayCee Lindsey, Divide County Job Development Authority

McKenzie County

  • Jan Dodge, Directory/Curator, Pioneer Museum of McKenzie County
  • Jessie Veeder Scofield, Director, Long X Art Foundation
  • Loren Yellow Bird, Sr., Park Ranger, Fort Union Trading Post NHS

Williams County

  • Daphne Johnson Clark, Artist, Department of Health
  • John Geyerman, Photographer, Vice President, Williston Downtowners
  • Anna Hoffman, K-12 Art Educator, Trenton School
  • Onesti Krieger, Professional Painter, Owner, Transition Painting

Recently Added

  • Jessica Newman
  • Lynae Jeglum
  • Rochelle Villa
  • Phyllis Sederquest
Region 2

Bottineau County

  • Pete Erickson, Member Services Manager of North Central Electric Cooperative
  • Katie Saykally, School Improvement Specialist, North Central Education Cooperative

Burke County

  • Courtney Halverson, Art Instructor, Kenmare High, International Music Camp participant

McHenry County

  • Rhonda Weninger, Student, Minot State University, Art Teacher, Lewis & Clark School District

Mountrail County

  • Thomas Nash, New Town City Council

Renville County

  • Chantel Southam, Board Member, ND Community Foundation, CPA 

Ward County

  • Rachel Alfaro, Executive Director, Taube Museum 
  • Justin Anderson, Executive Director, Minot Area Council on the Arts
  • Megan Laudenschlager, Founder and Executive Director, Strengthen ND, NDCA Board Member
  • Greg Vettel, Director, Northwest Arts Center, Minot State University
Region 3

Erin Belgarde, Director for the Community Innovation, Research, and Development Department for Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians (TMBCI), NDCA Board Member


*Region 3 currently seeking stakeholders.

Region 4

Grand Forks County

  • Alvin Boucher, Grand Forks Municipal Judge, Muddy Waters Clay Center
  • Becca Cruger, Workforce Development Manager, GFREDC 

Pembina County

  • Patricia Caylay, Member of Fort Pembina Historical Society, Historic Preservation Commission
  • Zelda Hartje, Chair, Historic Preservation Commission, Property Tax Assessor
  • Becky Ratchenski, Retired Library Director & Teacher

Walsh County

  • Agatha Frisby, Architect, Prairie Centre Architecture 
  • Dawn Mandt, Executive Director, Red River Regional Council, NDCA Board Member
  • Emma Narloch, Student, Grafton High School
  • Cheryl Osowski, Red River Regional Council 
  • Crystal Voth, Art Instructor, Grafton High School

Recently Added

  • Kathy Armacost
  • Ann Brown
  • Hazel Sletten
  • Sarah Heitkamp
Region 5

*Stakeholders to be identified at later date

Region 6

Amy Tichy, Educator with NDSU Extension Barnes County, artist, NDCA Board Member


*Region 6 currently seeking stakeholders.

Region 7

*Stakeholders to be identified at later date

Region 8

Kimberly Gaugler, Beach City Auditor, NDCA Board Member


*Region 8 currently seeking stakeholders.


Large scale outdoor metal deer sculpture by Gary Greff, part of the ND Enchanted Highway project

“Deer Crossing” by Gary Greff, part of the ND Enchanted Highway project

Training will also be provided for North Dakota artists in creating large-scale outdoor public artworks. Artists will have increased skill and capacity and will therefore be eligible for additional funding opportunities, both in North Dakota and nationally.

Interested in getting involved? Contact us!

Kim Konikow
Executive Director, NDCA | 701.328.7590