Earlier this week, the Fargo City Planning Commission enthusiastically and unanimously voted to send the newly proposed Arts and Culture Commission on to the City Commission for a vote to formalize it within the city.
This is exciting news that comes after nearly a year of meetings with a Public Art Task Force, spearheaded by Commissioner Melissa Sobolik and City of Fargo staff, led by planner Nicole Crutchfield and assistant planner Maria Olson.
Michael Olsen, board chair of The Arts Partnership, and I both served on this task force with a number of other experts in the community, including arts organization leaders Colleen Sheehy and Linda Boyd, artists Karman Rheault, Brad Bachmeier, Michael Strand and Emily Williams-Wheeler, representatives from the Park District, the Downtown Community Partnership, NDSU, the FM Area Foundation, City employees and others.
We had many lively discussions around public art, and Commissioner Sobolik did an excellent job of leading the meetings and keeping us all on task—no small feat when a group of big thinkers gathers around a table!
Next week, the City Commission votes to approve this recommendation. After having taken two bus trips with the Commissioners, I don’t have any reason to feel that they won’t approve this and make it part of the City’s work going forward.
If you participated in the Go2030 advocacy work we did two years ago, thank you for making your desire for more arts and culture heard. The City took our ideas seriously, and after this relatively short period, it is poised to move forward.
If you have a relationship with any of our City Commissioners, I encourage you to contact them and ask them to support this new Commission. It’s an exciting time in Fargo, and the arts community has done a fabulous job of making our wants and our value better known. Here’s to the next phase!
Image via Wikipedia.