Arts Across the Prairie

Arts Across the Prairie: Placemaking in Rural North Dakota

Arts Across the Prairie: Placemaking in Rural North Dakota
Photo of a mural painted by Paul Noot. It is a colorful painting that shows all of the counties of North Dakota, a buffalo and a heart in the middle of the mural.

A mural in Bismarck's Art Alley, painted by artist and educator, Paul Noot

Arts Across the Prairie: Placemaking in Rural North Dakota is a first-of-its-kind, statewide, public art program from 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 these regions. All eight works will be placed in rural locations. This statewide program is in collaboration with the North Dakota Department of Transportation and North Dakota Tourism.

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 uniqueness 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.

AmreiCorp logo, NDCA's logo and Souris Basin logo with the text Apply Now! Image has hands with paint all over them in front faded person in the back.

**NDCA is seeking an AmeriCorps Member!
The Placemaking Coordinator, will facilitate Arts Across the Prairie: Placemaking in Rural North Dakota
(a 5 to 7 year initiative), tied to the Governor's Main Street Initiative. Click here to apply!  

Funds are currently being raised nationally and regionally. This program has a $3 million budget over seven years.

The goals of Arts Across the Prairie are to:

  • 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

Regions 1 and 4 are underway in NW and NE North Dakota, respectively; the process is starting in Region 2 (North Central ND) this fall.

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.

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

Region Stakeholders

Region Stakeholders
Region 1
Region 1 Stakeholders
Divide County McKenzie County Williams County
  • Allison Muncaster, High School Art Teacher, Divide County School District
  • Rodney “Rod” Gillund, Retired, Director of SpEd
  • Cecile Wehrman, Writer/Historian
  • KayCee Lindsey, Divide County Job Development Authority
  • Pamela Buth, High School English Teacher, Divide County High School
  • Jan Dodge, Directory/Curator, Pioneer Museum of McKenzie County
  • Loren Yellow Bird, Sr., Park Ranger, Fort Union Trading Post NHS
  • Jessie Veeder Scofield, Director, Long X Art Foundation
  • Anna Hoffman, K-12 Art Educator, Trenton School
  • Daphne Clark, Artist
  • Caitlin Pallai, Communications Strategist, City of Williston
  • Amy Krueger, Executive Director, Williston Convention & Visitor Bureau
  • John Geyerman, Photographer, Vice President, Williston Downtowners
  • Onesti Krieger, Professional Painter, Owner, Transition Painting


Region 2

Megan Laudenschlager, Executive Director Strengthen ND, NDCA Board Member

*Additional Stakeholders to be identified at later date

Region 3

Stakeholders to be identified at later date

Region 4

Dawn Mandt, Executive Director, Red River Regional Council, NDCA Board Member

Stacie Sevigny, Developer, Red River Regional Council

*Additional Stakeholders to be identified at later date

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

Photo of Pheasant sculptures by Gary Greff

Pheasant sculptures by Gary Greff called "Pheasants on the Prairie"

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.

Training will also be provided for North Dakota artists in creating large-scale outdoor public artworks.

Interested in getting involved? Contact us!

Kelli Schmidt
Placemaking Coordinator/AmeriCorps Member | 701.509.0108