What a year it’s been…for everyone!
At The Arts Partnership, we have been incredibly fortunate to all stay healthy and to have found ways to pivot and continue to #SupportLocalArt.
But we haven’t acted alone in this upended support. We’ve had incredible individual donors and businesses step up to ensure that we are able to amplify and provide some relief to the arts sector as well as create safe, outdoor programming for the community to enjoy.
In a year when the need has been profound for every nonprofit, I just want to take the opportunity to thank our business supporters. But rather than simply list them, I want to acknowledge them by looking at our programming–community programs that would not be possible without this support.
The City Arts Partnership (CAP) grants: Thanks to the ongoing support of the cities of Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo, this program didn’t miss a beat in 2020. And to provide some breathing room in addition to the funds, we waived applications this year and gave nonprofit arts organizations the average of the last three years of their CAP awards.
Jade Presents Arts Partnership grants: We have had a funding relationship with Jade Presents for a number years. Jade Presents sets aside a portion of dollars raised from the concerts at Bluestem Center for the Arts and works with us to award musicians of all types in the Metro grants to further their musical careers.
In addition to the funds, Jade and his team help us reach musicians in the community for additional opportunities, such as giving live (and paid) performances at Hector International Airport as part of the ArtWORKS program.
Continuing with ArtWORKS, thanks to the 12 businesses whose 15 locations host rotating art by local artists. This year we added three new hosts including Element by Westin, Aptitude creative studios at West Acres Mall and the Math and Science department at NDSU.
Current hosts of ArtWORKS include:
Aptitude creative studios at West Acres Mall
Block E Moorhead
Choice Bank (Main Branch)
Choice Bank (Sienna Drive)
Choice Bank (Moorhead Branch)
Choice Bank (Amber Parkway Branch)
Element by Westin
Hector International Airport
Nichole’s Fine Pastry
NDSU Barry Hall
Office Sign Company
Regional Small Business Center
The Fargo Forum
Aptitude at West Acres faced a challenging year with the shutdown and limited numbers of shoppers able to safely gather inside the mall, but still, we are so grateful to Brad Schlossman and the team at West Acres Mall for this remarkable opportunity for artists to have safe space to work and sell their art.
Look for fun, fabulous changes to Aptitude in 2021 as we support our current artists with a year-long grant to cover the cost of rent. We also put out a call for four additional artists to apply for funding for a dedicated studio space as well, all rent-free due to a collaboration between Springboard for the Arts and a handful of other arts organizations in the Midwest. News on those new artists should be coming out soon!
ChalkFest and Photoville Fence, both sponsored by 702 Communications, were enormously successful, SAFE and free public art experiences that allowed citizens in the Metro and visitors from beyond to enjoy making and seeing art.
Thanks to Xcel Energy for additional sponsorship of ChalkFest and the FM Convention and Visitors Bureau for additional sponsorship of Photoville Fence, too.
Check out these two video recaps for a look at some of the smiles 702 has had a part in creating this year –
The second annual Salon Party happened virtually this year, but was no less special.
In fact, thanks to signature sponsor Choice Bank, we were able to beautifully deck out Livewire’s performing space and invite Silver Winds Flute Quartet and African Arts Arena to perform dynamic and beautiful music as well as share stories and experiences of the value of the arts.
Our work with both Choice and Livewire is ongoing and these connections have been vital in uplifting the arts. It was only fitting that they both came together behind the very first virtual Salon Party (with Livewire producing our event last year at West Acres) to connect amazing talent with our community.
Please enjoy a first look at the FULL video stream of Salon Party 2020 right here on our blog –
WDAY donated the production and air time of a 30 second commercial and allowed meteorologist John Wheeler to join me every morning for a week during our April Showers Bring May Flowers fundraising campaign.
Thanks to that, we reached a number of new donors and met our funding goal. It also led to some pretty fun conversations between John and me, shown here –
When Gate City Bank funded us to bring in Deborah Diamond of Campus Philly at the end of 2019, we had no way of knowing the entirely new path it would send The Arts Partnership down in 2020. In January, the Fueling Our Future board unanimously agreed to fund our Campus FM initiative, and we have been working with Folkways all year long to uncover and address the challenges the business and higher education sectors have with attracting and retaining students and young employees.
Our role is pivotal as both the instigator of the initiative and because there’s so much research around the value of the arts and culture of a community being highly valued by young people when selecting where to attend college and start their careers.
Business Honorable Mentions (listed here because they supported the general operations of TAP in 2020 and therefore are not directly related to any single community program we provide): Sanford Health, Forum Communications, OtterTail Corporation, Microsoft and many others.
Despite the many, many challenges we at The Arts Partnership and our sector as a whole faced this year, I am wrapping up 2020 filled with gratitude to live in this community and to have the continued support of these businesses. There’s no way we could ever do all that we do to #SupportLocalArt without this support in the first place. If you are attached to any of these businesses in any way, please let them know how much you value their support of The Arts Partnership and very likely other arts organizations, too.
Have a safe and joyful last week of 2020 and here’s to a healthy, arts-filled 2021 for us all!