Attend the 2017 Statewide Arts Conference and Governor’s Awards for the Arts Ceremony-Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at the North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum in Bismarck, ND

This year the Statewide Arts Conference welcomes John Davis, the founder and Executive Director of Lanesboro Arts of Lanesboro, MN, as the conference keynote speaker. His work with the Lanesboro Arts Campus initiative resulted in its selection as one of the top 12 Small Town Artplaces in America for 2013 as well as a 2014 Bush Prize for Community Innovation Award winner. Davis has over 25 years of experience with small town and rural creative social change work and is a national speaker on arts issues, risk and innovation. Davis’s sessions will cover art and economic development, and he will present a guide for those who have dreams of succeeding in the arts in their communities.  His sessions are titled “Small Town Big Vision” and “The Arts: Strengthening Communities.”

Other conference sessions will discuss “The heART of Our Community” with Bismarck Mayor Mike Seminary, joined tentatively by Governor Doug Burgum. There will be networking opportunities as well as a session titled “The Arts are Everywhere” that will touch on what is happening in the many arenas of the arts in North Dakota.

Anyone can attend this conference. This year the gathering will be particularly significant as it celebrates the North Dakota Council on the Arts’ 50th Anniversary. If you have enjoyed the Arts Center’s current exhibition, Arts50! you can see it’s counterpart which is hanging at the Heritage Center – same artists but 51 additional and unique artworks.

Conference registration is $125 for the day, and includes attendance at the Governor’s Awards for the Arts Ceremony that evening. Registration for only attending the Governor’s Awards for the Arts Ceremony is $30. Registrations are due on or before March 13, 2017.

The registration form for the Statewide Arts Conference and Governor’s Awards for the Arts Ceremony is available via this link(

The day will culminate with the Governor’s Awards for the Arts Ceremony. Social Hour starts at 5:00 p.m. in the Heritage Center’s Northern Lights Atrium, with the Awards Ceremony starting at 6:30 p.m. in the Russell Reid Auditorium.

Bennet Brien, North American Bisons, watercolor and colored pencil

Jon Offutt, Crossed Reeds, blown glass

Congratulations to this year’s (2017) Governor’s Awards for the Arts recipients:

Arts in Education: 

  • Paul Noot (Bismarck)

Arts Organization: 

  • The Arts Partnership (Fargo)

Individual Achievement: 

  • Deb Belquist (New Rockford)
  • Bennett Brien (Belcourt)
  • Jon Offutt (Fargo)