Arts Across the Prairie

Arts Across the Prairie: Placemaking in Rural North Dakota

Arts Across the Prairie: 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.

Regions 1 is underway in NW North Dakota. Simultaneous planning processes have also begun in Regions 2 and 4.

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:

  • 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

Region Stakeholders
Region 1

Onesti Krieger, Professional Painter Owner, Transition Painting, NDCA Board Member

*Additional stakeholders to be identified at a later date

Region 2

Ward County

  • Rachel Alfaro, Executive Director, Taube Museum 
  • Janet Anderson, Library Director, Minot Public Library 
  • Justin Anderson, Executive Director, Minot Area Council on the Arts
  • Megan Laudenschlager, Founder and Executive Director, Strengthen ND, NDCA Board Member
  • Janie Myers, Artist
  • Lyndsay Ulrickson, Executive Director, Souris Basin Planning Council 
  • Greg Vettel, Director, Northwest Arts Center
Region 3

Stakeholders to be identified at later date

Region 4

Grand Forks County

  • Vickie Arndt, Gallery Director, Public Arts Commission

Nelson County

  • Kirby Berg, Executive Director, Nelson County Arts Council

Walsh County

  • Agatha Frisby, Administrator, Prairie Centre Architecture & Consulting 
  • Dawn Mandt, Executive Director, Red River Regional Council, NDCA Board Member 
  • Cheryl Osowski, Special Projects Coordinator, Red River Regional Council 
  • Stacie Sevigny, Developer, Red River Regional Council 
Region 5

Stakeholders to be identified at later date

Region 6

Stakeholders to be identified at later date

Region 7

Stakeholders to be identified at later date

Region 8

Stakeholders to be identified at later date


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, ND Council on the Arts | 701.328.7592 | 701.328.7590