The Arts Partnership awards $19,800 in 2022 IAP grants to 11 local artists

The Arts Partnership recently had the privilege of awarding 11 artists and musicians a total of $19,800 in grant support this year through our Individual Arts Partnership (IAP) grants program.


The grants, established in 2012, recognize outstanding artist talent in the region and support local artists working in all mediums. A key aim of the program is to help the recipients realize their artistic dreams and pursue new ideas, opportunities and skills.


“Artists are a fundamental part of the region’s cultural vitality,” Dayna Del Val, president and CEO of The Arts Partnership, said. “Artists foster creativity and beauty, bringing us joy, helping us express our values and building bridges between cultures.”


This is the eleventh year The Arts Partnership has made grants to artists. To date, a total of $170,434 in grant funds have been awarded to 124 artists and musicians of all stripes. The grants are funded by donations from individuals, the Moorhead PEO (Philanthropic Educational Organization) Chapters and by the Erin Koffler Memorial Fund.


2022 Grantees

LesleyAnne Buegel

$2,500 to support a mural in downtown Fargo, featuring paint and vinyl designs highlighting flora and fauna from the Red River Valley. Buegel believes in creating engaging, accessible art to foster inspiration and connection with those who interact with it.


Donald Clark $1,500 toward The Nature Writers Project to photograph the places that have influenced the lives and writings of historic and contemporary nature writers. Clark, a professor of photography and art at Minnesota State University – Moorhead, has exhibited his work and lectured throughout the United States.


Oscar DeLeon $2,500 toward a traveling exhibition of seven of the director’s projects from 2021, to be shown in North Dakota repertory theaters. Writer-director DeLeon works across various genres, from dramatic narrative film to visually expressive music videos. 

 Steven Hammer $1,400 toward an album of sound art, combining environmental field recordings of North Dakota ghost towns with improvised electronic music composed on-site in real time. Hammer is a multifaceted musician and professor whose work includes ambient improvisation, video art, sound-based installations and instrument design. 

This work not only has the potential foster community and conversation around local stories and spaces, but it will also help me gain more visibility as an installation and film artist and continue to strengthen my body of work in sound art,” Hammer said.

Warren Kessler $2,450 To attend a workshop with one of the most preeminent trompe l’oeil painters and instructors in the country. Visual artist Kessler has participated in numerous solo and group exhibits throughout the country and has been featured in several art magazines. 

It is the chance for me to advance myself and my work to the highest level for the next step of my career,” Kessler said.

Crystal Cossette Knight $1,050 to attend a silent retreat as research for her directorial debut of Small Mouth Sounds, a mostly silent play that takes place at a silent retreat. Knight is an actor and singer who has performed in plays and operas in the region. She has taught aspects of the performing arts in various Metro arts organizations.

After 25 years of experience in theatre, I’m ready to start digging into my directorial debut and hope to continue directing for many years to come,” Cossette Knight said.

Tim Lamey $1,400 to attend an advanced platinum printing workshop for photographers led by an expert practitioner and held at the Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite. Lamey’s work has been exhibited throughout the US in both solo and juried shows. He received his MFA in Studio Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. 


My art examines the subtle as well as the overwhelming ways in which human actions are shaping the land that surrounds us. I love exploring new techniques to express my artistic and scientific views of our relationship with the earth,” Lamey said.


Jen Nelson $1,750 toward a computer, software and a class with a local photographer to ensure that the ceramicist is able to update and maintain her own online store. Ceramicist Nelson is an arts educator working in the Moorhead Public School system. She has been a working artist for over 10 years.

Having the ability to make videos showing the process of using the DIY kits and all of the products I am making will grow a stronger connection with my audience and will hopefully inspire people to be creative,” Nelson said. 

Maranda Pedersen $1,750 to create a metal-work studio that provides space to create larger works and meet with commissioning clients. Pedersen’s fine art metal sculptures have been exhibited in museums and galleries in the Metro. 


Going forward I want to develop the wood texture into a series of wall hangings to test new shapes and create work ready to sell. I will also use the studio and land to work on larger outdoor sculptures,” Pedersen said.

Russ Peterson $1,750 toward the commissioning and recording of a piece for saxophone and piano from a local composer. Peterson, a classical and jazz saxophonist, bassoonist and composer, has performed extensively throughout the US and Europe. He teaches at Concordia College. 

Malcolm Thompson $1,750 toward a workshop to study cloisonné and champleve jewelry techniques to further develop lines of original jewelry that evokes medieval artifacts. Thompson is a jeweler and printmaker whose work has been displayed throughout the region. He is resident printmaker at Print Education And Research Studio (PEARS) at NDSU. 

More about IAP grants

Learn more about The Arts Partnership’s IAP grants and other funding opportunities available to artists and arts organizations throughout the year.

About the author

Lonna Whiting is a freelance writer and owner of, a content marketing and communications agency located in Fargo, North Dakota. She is a frequent contributor to The Arts Partnership’s content library and also provides strategic communications consultation to the organization. 

Whiting is a prolific advocate for Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia awareness. She serves on the board of Memory Cafe of the Red River Valley and writes frequently about her own mother’s decade-long journey with the disease. 




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Contact Tania

Tania Blanich is the Arts Partnership’s Director of Operations


Tania Blanich - Director of Operations - The Arts Partnership