Arts in Education


The arts are essential to learning and life. North Dakota Council on the Arts envisions a state where all students have access to, takes part in, and reap the benefits of high quality, lifelong learning experiences in the arts, both in school and in the community. The arts teach students innumerable lessons—practice makes perfect, small differences can have large effects, and collaboration leads to creativity. They also teach children that there are several paths to take when approaching problems and that all problems can have more than one solution.

Research has shown impressive benefits of arts education on entire school culture—especially student motivation, attitudes, social/emotional well-being and attendance. Numerous reports discuss the ways that increased access and involvement in arts education encourage students to stay in school, succeed in school, succeed in life, and succeed in work.  And yet, despite the impressive benefits of arts education, not every student in North Dakota has access to these quality learning experiences.  North Dakota Council on the Arts is committed to improving equity and access to the arts for all students, especially those marginalized due to social economic status and/or geographic or cultural barriers, through a variety of partnerships and grant programs.

Arts in Education Week

North Dakota Council on the Arts in partnership with the Communications, Speech and Theater Association of North Dakota, North Dakota Arts Education Association, North Dakota Music Educators Association, and North Dakota Choral Directors Association are proud to announce that Governor Doug Burgum has joined in the national celebration and proclaimed September 13-19 as Arts in Education Week in North Dakota.

This came by way of an official proclamation from his office, which recognized the “arts as an integral part of life in North Dakota and an integral part of a complete education that contributes to the vibrancy and vitality of communities and the nation.” Please reach out and let Governor Burgum know you appreciate his support of arts in education via Facebook, Twitter, or Email.

Rebecca Engelman, NDCA Arts in Education Director states, “At a time when we are deliberately distancing ourselves from other people, we turn to the arts to entertain, distract and comfort us. But the arts do even more! During challenging times, the arts are critical for helping us connect with each other, express difficult emotions, process stress, and stay engaged.  Now more than ever, children and adults need art to remind us why life is worth living, to reawaken our sense of the wonder of being, to remind us of our freedom, and to highlight the things in our cultures that connect us and enable us to withstand unexpected challenges.” 

Passed by Congress in 2010, House Resolution 275 designates the week beginning with the second Sunday in September as National Arts in Education Week. During this week, the field of arts education joins together in communities across the country to tell the story of the impact of the transformative power of the arts in education. 

Share your personal stories of the impact the arts and arts education have made in your life and the lives of your students and community.  Be sure to share using  #NDGOV#BecauseOfArtsEd and #ArtsEdWeek.

See the full proclamation via this link.

Updates and Opportunities

For Release January 12, 2022


Applications are accepted year-round but must be submitted six weeks prior to project start date.

Artist in Residence is a noncompetitive reimbursement grant program that provides up to $2,500 in support for North Dakota pre-K-12 students and teachers to work with professional artists either in a traditional school setting or during after-school and/or summer programs.

Program Overview

Application Instructions

Teaching Artist Roster (Residency projects may also include the services of non-rostered artists.  See Program Overview and Application Instructions for more details.)


Application Opens February 1, 2022

Application Deadline: April 1, 2022 (for projects that take place July 1, 2022-June 30, 2023)

Arts in Education Collaboration (AIEC) is a grant program that provides up to $6,000 to arts organizations, schools, school districts, nonprofits, and government agencies to build collaborations and community partnerships that strive to increase access to high-quality, sustained arts education for K-12 North Dakota students.

This includes collaborations between teachers or departments within a school, between multiple schools within a district, between multiple rural school districts, between a school and community arts resource (teaching artists or arts organizations) nonprofit, or for-profit organization. Projects may take place in-school (during regular school hours), after-school, during summer sessions, and during professional development in-services.

Program Overview

Application Instructions


We are excited announce that Fargo Moorhead Community Theater has joined the list of amazing artists included in NESC/Connect Ed Programming! See full schedule of previous and upcoming virtual learning events provided FREE to afterschool programs.

NESC/CONNECT ED Calendar and Zoom link:


The Central Regional Education Association (CREA) in collaboration with Oúŋ would like to invite ALL Indigenous artists to the Standing Rock Indigenous Artist Workshop.

Workshop Goals:

  1. Provide Motivation for Your Artistic Talents and Journey
  2. Connect with artists with similar goals ​
  3. Expand Your Interest in Helping Youth, Specifically Indigenous Youth​

Details can be found at:

If you have any questions, please contact OR


Does your school have an existing partnership with an Eldercare /service facility or organization?  Looking for an innovative and creative way for students and elders to collaborate and work together? 


North Dakota Council on the Arts’ Art for Life Program in partnership with NDSU School of Design, Architecture and Art, as well as folk artists have created four unique sets of art kits with sequential skill-based art instruction videos accessible online for elders and children. Focusing on the practice of greeting card exchanges, this project includes an intergenerational component with schoolchildren who participate in the printmaking and card exchange with elders through such things as pen pal programs. These kits will be provided free of charge to eldercare/service organizations and schools who can demonstrate established, ongoing relationships.

To learn more, watch:  

The number of free kits is limited!  If you are interested in participating, please contact Troyd Geist, NDCA folklorist at or #701-866-0959. 

Contact Rebecca Engelman, Arts in Education Director for more details.