The Arts Partnership was awarded the Governor’s Art Award on March 28, 2017. The award is part of the larger North Dakota Council on the Arts (NDCA) Arts Conference and Governor’s Arts Awards and is only given out every other year, during the legislative session.
The National Endowment for the Arts as well as the NDCA are both celebrating their 50th anniversary this year, so to win the award was extra special for The Arts Partnership. In its 50 years, only 75 other Governor’s Art Awards have been awarded.
“I have been to three other of these awards events,” said Dayna Del Val, executive director of The Arts Partnership, “and every year, I am so inspired by the work being done by artists, arts advocates and arts organizations in our state. To be included in that group is incredibly humbling and affirming of the work we are doing.”
David “White Thunder” Trottier, chair of the NDCA board and Dr. Beth Klingenstein, executive director of the organization, welcomed the audience, and the ND Legislative Chorus performed two pieces, proving that the arts can cross all political aisles. ND Poetry Out Loud second place winner Ellie Noah of Shanley High School performed two pieces, including a poem commissioned by ND Poet Laureate Larry Woiwode for the anniversary.
In her acceptance speech, Del Val reminded the audience that “We’re a small but mighty group of arts advocates and what I want to say…is what we do matters. Every single one of us does work that matters.” She was met with resounding applause.
Other winners included Paul Noot, Bismarck art teacher; Deb Belquist, Dakota Prairie Regional Center for the Arts; Bennett Brien, artist; and Jon Offutt, artist. Artist Nelda Schrupp made the beautiful awards.
Del Val noted this award is shared with, and because of, her incredible staff colleagues Tania Blanich, Chelsey Engelhard and other staff through the years as well as the Board of Directors of The Arts Partnership. She said, “I work with absolutely incredible people every single day. We come to work ready to tackle the hard and rewarding work of advocating for the arts in the Fargo metro. To receive the Governor’s Art Award, and the recognition that comes along with it, goes a long way toward making the work we do just a little sweeter. Thank you to the North Dakota Council on the Arts and to Governor Burgum for selecting us. As I said in my acceptance speech, I’ll be proud of this my whole life.”