Great news!!!!! I am so honored to be apart of this great National Endowment for the Arts Grant that came in Friday. I am really looking forward to heading back to my hometown of Wahpeton and creating some art! Here is the Press release about the "Our Town Grant"!!!!!!!!!!
Contacts: [Lise Erdrich] [firstname.lastname@example.org] [701-642-3796 ext. 353]
Dave Keehn, CNS
Wayne Beyer, TRAC
Amy Schmidt, TRAC
Roger Jensen, TRAC
National Endowment for the Arts Announces 2012 Our Town Grant Recipients
[Circle of Nations School/Three Rivers Arts Council] one of 80 grantees selected nationwide
[Wahpeton, ND]-- The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announces 80 Our Town grant awards totaling $4.995 million and reaching 44 states and the District of Columbia. [Circle of Nations School is one of the grantees and will receive [$50,000] to [for innovative arts programming to foster community interaction and activate existing cultural and community assets]. Circle of Nations is the lead agency in partnership with Three Rivers Arts Council]
Through Our Town, the NEA supports creative placemaking projects that help transform communities into lively, beautiful, and sustainable places with the arts at their core. The grantee projects will improve quality of life, encourage creative activity, create community identity and a sense of place,and help revitalize local economies. All Our Town grant awards were made to partnerships that consisted of a minimum of a not-for-profit organization and a local government entity.
[Description of your project] “The partnership will connect world-class art with our town. We will capitalize on existing local assets and bring diverse people together to celebrate, inspire, and be inspired,” according to project writer Lise Erdrich. “For example, students can make a film or help create a mural about our town and its environmental, cultural and historical significance. The public can experience the Red River Jig via internationally-known musicians and dancers at a local festival.” CNS especially wants public art projects to engage school-agers with community to create the sense of place and belonging to a place.
Wahpeton native Shawn McCann, known for his large-scale 3D art, is one of the project artists. He stated, "I am honored and excited about this wonderful opportunity to come back to Wahpeton and create a lasting impression with the "Our Town Grant". Having spent my childhood and formative years in Wahpeton, it gave me the inspiration and drive to pursue the arts that I love. Being able to bring that inspiration back to Wahpeton on a grand scale will be a great opportunity to give back to my "hometown". I am also greatly appreciative of the Circle of Nations School and all the hard work Lise Erdrich has done in securing this grant, and the Three Rivers Arts Council(TRAC) and the National Endowment for the Arts for believing in the work that I do and making this mural a reality. "
"Cities and towns are transformed when you bring the arts – both literally and figuratively – into the center of them,” said NEA Chairman Landesman. "From Teller, Alaska to Miami, Florida, communities are pursuing creative placemaking, making their neighborhoods more vibrant and robust by investing in the performing, visual, and literary arts. I am proud to be partnering with these 80 communities and their respective arts, civic, and elected leaders."
Landesmann visited Wahpeton in December of 2011 to see the CNS birch bark art and film project previously funded by NEA. He also toured the Red Door gallery, met the public there, and wrote “WOW!” in the guest book. His NEA blog about the works in Wahpeton was very enthusiastic, “creative place-making at its finest.” He interacted with Laura Youngbird’s art classroom and a student drum/dance group led by world champion performers Jason and Winona Kingbird.
[Quote from leader of your organization] A support letter from Amy Schmidt, TRAC President, stated, “The state arts council believes in Wahpeton as a model for the region.” Wayne Beyer, TRAC Treasurer, is also a board member for North Dakota Council on the Arts. That organization has funded a creative asset-mapping project for the community to promote arts-related economic and civic development. The asset-mapping report from Morgan & Dean Development is expected in the next few weeks.
The NEA received 317 applications for Our Town that were assigned to one of three application review panels based on their project type; arts engagement, cultural planning and design, or non-metro and tribal communities. [CNS/TRAC] received an [Arts Engagement] grant award. NEA press office noted, “With only 80 grants emerging from the 317 applications, or a success rate of 25 percent, competition was strong, a testament to the artistic excellence and merit of [the Wahpeton project].
NEA Director of Design Jason Schupbach said, "It's an exciting time for evolution and exploration in the creative peacemaking field, and I'm certain this year’s Our Town grants will bear fruit for their communities and lessons for the field as a whole."
For a complete listing of projects recommended for Our Town grant support, please visit the NEA website at arts.gov.
[Circle of Nations School was established in 1904. Its mission is “to build academic achievement and healthy development of the whole child in a culturally relevant living and learning environment.” CNS actively pursues arts opportunities and is a co-sponsor of Fine Arts Festival with Wahpeton High School. Three Rivers Arts Council was established in 1995 to increase awareness of, appreciation for and involvement with the arts and its potential to improve quality of life for the individual as well as the community. TRAC envisions a community that values art as an important and even integral part of a productive and happy society.] Its mission has evolved with a commitment to educate the public and honor the natural history, artistic possibility, geographic significance and cultural heritage of the Red River confluence area. ]