Arts Park Spring Cleaning – Help Needed

Mother Nature seems to be on our side as we anticipate work to begin on the Arts Park. Knowing that earth moving and landscaping will eventually begin, but not before the plants, grass and yes, weeds start to emerge, we are getting a jump on the Park clean up.  Taking advantage of these pleasant warming trends with your help we can make the park look as neat as possible as we wait for work to begin.

Thursday, April 16 from 4-6 pm please come and help us make help to make quick work of the cleanup. Need a little nudge to come out and help? Your name will be put in drawing to get a ticket to the Jamestown Rotary’s annual Wine and Brew Ha Ha. We have several tickets available. This event is also tomorrow so once we get the Park cleaned up and we can go support the Rotary and enjoy some refreshments.

Park Update: The bidding package is being prepared and will be in contractors hands by early May. If all goes well (pray to the Arts Goddess or whatever higher power you subscribe to) work will begin shortly after.Graphic_Art Park_24x36_rev 2-13-15All the dried up annuals will need to be removed, trash picked up and perennials saved and removed. The perennials and trees will be adopted out so bring pots or bags if you would like to take something home. Many of these plants were lovingly donated to the park and I hope they will find new homes in local yards.


Perennials like irises, peonies, yarrow and daylilies need to find homes. Here they are pictured along with annual plantings.

Bring gloves, shovels, rakes, pruning shears if you have them. A wheelbarrow or cart would be useful as would buckets. If you would like to contribute the use of your truck to haul debris to the dump that would be a great help.

The Culture Builds Community blog is submitted (almost) weekly by The Arts Center Gallery Manager Sally Jeppson. Jeppson is also the Arts Center’s Art for Life Coordinator. She would love to hear your comments here or email



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The Teacher from the Black Lagoon…Arts in Education

On Monday, April 13th The Arts Center will once again host the nationally recognized children’s theater troupe–Theatreworks USA. This year they will present a musical revue based on favorite contemporary children’s literature:  The Teacher From the Black Lagoon & Other Story Books. Three performances will be offered to all Jamestown students in grades K-5. The show comes with a study guide that teachers and parents can use to enhance the experience.

  • Sponsored by: Northern Plains Electric Coop’s Operation Roundup Program and Walmart

Theatreworksflyer_1384Providing quality youth arts experiences like this performance is central to The Arts Center’s mission.  We do this through our Artist in Residence program and our Arts After School program. Working closely with education specialists, teaching artists and the North Dakota Council on the Arts we are working to transform the way children learn. Nationally we are finally at a point where the many studies and antidotal evidence illustrating the benefit of an education infused and enriched with art are being acknowledged.  The arts help create well-rounded, successful, creative, productive, innovative individuals–the kind of citizens we need to help ensure a prosperous future for our planet.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – the so-called STEM subjects have long been recognized as the key to success. But there is a movement to add Art to the mix – STEAMAccording to the website “the Arts are poised to transform our economy in the 21st century just as science and technology did in the last century.”

The Arts Center currently anchors the only existing STEAM team in North Dakota. Our past work with the North Dakota Council on the Arts program Schools and Artists as Learning Teams (SALT) prepared the way for work in the STEAM program. The Arts Center is a recipient of a STE[A]M Team Grant that provides financial assistance, time, professional development, and support to teacher/artist teams committed to teaching the whole student and nurturing both sides of the brain to enhance creativity and 21st Century thinking and learning. 


STEAM Logo developed by the North Dakota Council on the Arts to help its constituents and partners to discuss the integrated nature of the STEAM learning/teaching model.

Much can be found on the STEM vs. STEAM dialogue. I think we can all agree it makes sense for students to enjoy the benefit of the most well rounded education, one that includes not only science but art.  Here are some links for you to explore:

 The Culture Builds Community blog is submitted (almost) weekly by The Arts Center Gallery Manager Sally Jeppson. Jeppson is also the Arts Center’s Art for Life Coordinator. She would love to hear your comments here or email
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The Fun of Arts and Aging

In Fargo last week, ArtSage offered a workshop Introduction to Arts and Aging. The program reinforced the value of arts activities for seniors. Studies have proven that elders involved in arts activities are not only showing stabilization, but actual improvement with regard to physical, social and emotional well-being, while in most cases the control group of non-arts participants is showing decline. Examples of improvement include fewer falls, decreases in medication and doctor visits, reported decreases in loneliness and depression and increased involvement in community activities. This research is outlined in a landmark study directed by the late Dr. Gene Cohen. 

IMG_0158_3The Arts Center’s Art For Life program has been in existence since 2001 and supports the the same conclusions. You may recall, this program is supported by the North Dakota Council on the Arts and pairs Arts Centers/Councils with Eldercare facilities to bring artists and art activities to their residents. These Art for Life programs are occurring across North Dakota in 14 elder care facilities in 11 different communities. Here in Jamestown, working with Ave Maria Village and the Heritage Centre, the Arts Center has provided musicians, storytellers, wood carvers, painters, weavers, potters, flute carvers, poets, writers and even a chef. 

During the workshop I was struck by the statistic highlighted below. Keeping the older population healthy and more importantly happy will be a national challenge. Creative opportunities, especially those experienced by a group, helps build community and the connections essential to happiness. The arts can provide such opportunities.

The 65 and over population will more than double and the 85 and over will more than triple by 2050. Across the States, Profiles of Long-Term Services and Supports” by Ari Houser, Wendy Fox-Grage, & Kathleen Ujvari. AARP Public.

Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 2.11.14 PMProviding arts activities for older adults isn’t new but the character and quality of what is provided goes far beyond the craft-room activities of times-past. The activities outlined by ArtSage were multidisciplinary and multi-sensory. This work represents a whole new aspect of geriatric science and arts education. Educators, activities directors, care providers, family members, artists, galleries and museums are all working together in this fast growing field. 

Coming to Jamestown on June 1 & 2!

 Traditional Dance and Mobile Painting Device Project

The residents of Jamestown’s Ave Maria Village and Heritage Center will experience a program that allows residents paint a huge canvas mural. But this won’t be just any mural but one that is inspired by the sounds and movements of Margreat Sam a Bharatanatyam dancer originally from India who started training in traditional dance at the age of 3 ½.  This is Margreat’s 2nd visit to Jamestown’s Art For Life program.

The project is based on the work of  Jeff Nachtigall, an established artist who has exhibited in North America, Europe, and China and who has given keynote addresses at national conferences on arts and aging.  He developed Open Studio Projects, an inclusive, non-hierarchical, community-centered strategy that challenges traditional clinical approaches and pushes the boundaries of the arts in healthcare.  Jeff is also the designer and inventor of the Mobile Painting Device (MPD), an adaptive technology that transforms the wheelchair into a giant paintbrush, giving people living with neurological deficits the opportunity to express themselves on a very large scale. Jeff’s MPD will be used in Jamestown and everyone is excited to have this unique opportunity.

Volunteers Needed: The Traditional Dance and Mobile Painting Device Project requires a huge amount of coordination and preparation before, during and after to achieve success.  If you would like to assist us please contact Sally Jeppson at The Arts Center 701-251-2496 or email me at

The Culture Builds Community blog is submitted (almost) weekly by The Arts Center Gallery Manager Sally Jeppson. Jeppson is also the Arts Center’s Art for Life Coordinator. She would love to hear your comments here or email
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Community Theatre Tickets Still Available

This week, take a break from March Madness and come down to The Arts Center for dinner theatre. Tickets are still available for each night, Thursday, Friday & Saturday, March 26, 27, 28.

Dinner begins at 6:00 pm with a meal of lasagna and fixings followed by the 7:00 pm performance. Ticket price includes both dinner and the show.  Tickets are $25 for Jamestown Fine Arts Association members and $30 for non-members and should be purchased in advance. Tickets are available at the Arts Center, 115 2nd St. SW, and by calling 251-2496.


“You Can’t Get There From Here” Cast. Photograph by John Steiner, Jamestown Sun.

The play, You Can’t Get There From Here by Pat Cook continues a tradition of light-hearted comedies hosted by 2nd Act Community Theater. This play features seven local cast members: Matt Swearingen, Stephanie Didier, Carrie Roemmich, Melissa Goodrich, Krissy Nybo, Sarena Ebel, and Bill Nybo. Some are seasoned “2nd Actors” and some are new participants to The Arts Center’s community theater family. Samantha Carlson makes her directorial debut with this show.

The story: The Mavis Garner Bed and Breakfast is not the sort of place you’d find on a freeway or even a map. That’s because they get most of the customers from cars disabled when they hit the pothole on Main Street. Scandal-sheet reporter Arthur Lyman decides to do an expose on the pothole “scam” and checks into the bed and breakfast. During his stay he’s fined eight times, dragged across town by the local watchdog and fired from his job. What else could he do but fall in love with one of the proprietors! When his boss shows up and takes over the story, he’s treated to scenes from Shakespeare, slipshod seances and a witch who can’t keep her hexes straight.

The Author: Pat Cook got his first taste of seeing his work in print when he was still in high school in Frankston, Texas, writing for the school paper. During the summers, he wrote a column for his hometown newspaper. It wasn’t until college, however, when he saw the movie version of Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple, that he decided to try his hand at writing plays. Since that time he has become a full time writer and has more than 140 published plays by nine publishers.

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Anna Jacobson ~ .elements.

On Thursday, March 19th at 4:45 pm the Gallery will be alive with a new exhibit and some very special hosts. The exhibit titled .elements. features the work of The Arts Center’s resident artist Anna Jacobson. Jacobson has been with The Arts Center for the past two school years. During her time she has guided hundreds of elementary school children in the elements of art. She has taught multiple grades in Jamestown schools and Arts After School at the Center, as well as teaching adult classes in painting and printmaking.

When describing the concept of her upcoming exhibit, Jacobson mentions, “at some point, whether realized or not, all artists learn the seven elements of art and the seven principles of design. These are the building blocks used by artists to translate what is seen in visual art.” This show is a retrospective of the images used to illustrate these elements and principles to students during Jacobson’s 2-year residency.

For Thursday’s reception not only will her students be special guests and hosts but Jacobson has prepared a slide show of their work. The general public and all of Jacobson’s students and their families are welcome to attend Thursday’s event which will last until 7:00 pm. Refreshments will be served.

_MG_6934k.1.14 copyAbout the Artist:  Anna Jacobson grew up on a family‐owned organic farm in rural North Dakota where she was encouraged to explore, observe, learn and create. She continues to carry these principles with her as she creates and teaches art. Jacobson believes everyone should have the opportunity to experience art and that art should be part of a balanced and life‐long education, providing learners of all ages with essential skills and knowledge they need to be productive and caring citizens.

A North Dakota native, Anna graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN with a BA in studio art in 2003.  She earned a Master in Fine Art with an emphasis in Printmaking from the University of North Dakota in 2010.   Anna works as an artist in her own studio combining printmaking, painting, and book arts.  As a teaching artist for multiple community art organizations, Anna provides art education and experiential learning for children and adults. 

The Arts Center’s Artists-in-Residence program began in 1983, it serves K – 5 students for an average of 32 weeks per year in all elementary schools; students have worked with artists in music, drama, creative writing, traditional arts, visual arts, storytelling, fiber arts, poetry and Native American arts. The program is supported through general operating funds, donations and grants received from the North Dakota Council on the Arts.

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Oil and Water Issues: An Artist Perspective

Oil and Water: A Printmaking Exchange – On display through March 14, 2015

Caitlin Deal, "Streets Named After What’s Gone for Good", screen print and mylar

Caitlin Deal, “Streets Named After What’s Gone for Good”, screen print and mylar

The use or misuse of our natural resources is an issue that generates much debate. This dialog is particularly important today in North Dakota as our state experiences an oil boom in the west and extensive flood mitigation in the east. It’s not just a discussion for politicians or environmentalists but everyone who lives in the state is touched one way or another by these two issues. Some people profit from North Dakota’s precious resources and some are devastated.

Moved by this dialog, art professors, all printmakers, Kent Kapplinger (NDSU), John Volk (MSUM) and Heidi Goldberg (Concordia College) coordinated a printmaking exchange focused on these two issues. Printmaking students and faculty from regional institutions, Concordia College, Minnesota State University Moorhead, Minot State University, North Dakota State University, University of Manitoba, University of North Dakota and Valley City State University tackled these challenging issues through the art of printmaking. The resulting exhibit, Oil and Water was first displayed at Plains Art Museum in Fargo, North Dakota and has subsequently toured throughout the state with the North Dakota Art Gallery Association. The Art Center hosts the exhibition through March 14.

Jadelyn Hancock, "Good Steward, Worldly Greed", relief (linocut)

Jadelyn Hancock, “Good Steward, Worldly Greed”, relief (linocut)

There are pieces from 37 different artists. Whether dealing with issues of flooding and diversion in the Red River Valley or oil development and fracking on the Bakken Oil Formation, the artists’ have captured all points of view. The prints show a wonderful diversity of approaches to the conversation. Some prints elegantly portray the changing landscape while some graphically denounce the tragedy and devastation that is occurring.

So far we don’t see oil rigs on Jamestown’s horizon but flooding and water quality have certainly touched our community. We see changes resulting from what’s happening in the oil-rich west, traffic, new residents, etc. The Arts Center encourages everyone to visit this exhibition; these artists have worked hard to creatively make us think about two of the state’s most important natural resources.

Please watch for further information regarding a reception and discussion with the artist during the first week in March.

The Arts Center is open Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, Saturday 10:00 am – 2:00 pm, free to the public. School groups and clubs are welcome, call ahead for a tour, 701-251-2496.

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Giving Hearts Day – Support Your Favorite Local Non-Profit

Tired of your usual Valentine’s Day Giving?

Rather than giving your “sweetheart” something he/she doesn’t need give your gift to the charity you love! Do it this Thursday and you double your love!

On Thursday, February 12, 2015 during a 24-HOUR ONLINE FUNDRAISING EVENT every online gift of $10 or greater is matched up to $4,000 on Giving Hearts Day.

All you have to do is go on-line with your computer, tablet or smart phone. To give to The Arts Center follow this link: Give to The Arts Center. All donations are tax-deductible and support the many programs that fuel and foster creativity in our community.

Last year, on February 13, 2014, gifts totaling $5.7 million in 24,407 individual donations for 235 charities were received in online donations, match funds and incentive awards. Giving Hearts Day was started in 2008 by Dakota Medical Foundation and Impact Foundation as the region’s first one-day ‘virtual’ fundraising event. All donations are made at Participating charities have received Impact Institute training as preparation for year-round fundraising success, and take part in a Giving Hearts Day gear-up intensive for this campaign. Learn more about this program.

Several local non-profit organizations are teaming up to inform the public about what they do during a free community event at The Arts Center. There is an opportunity to learn about the American Heart Association, Service Dogs for America, Anne Carlsen Center, Jamestown Regional Medical Center and, of course, The Arts Center. There will be information on healthy living and cooking and first aid. You can meet a Service Dog, learn about what The Arts Center does for the community and meet new friends during the Social Hour.

Schedule – Thursday, February 12 @ The Arts Center

  • 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm – Heart Healthy Cooking Demo
  • 2:30 pm – Service Dog Demo
  • 3 pm – 4:30 pm – Kids After School Arts
  • 4:30 – 5:00 pm –  Learn Hands Only CPR
  • Ongoing Blood Pressure Checks
  • 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm – Social

Click here for the Giving Hearts Day POSTER. Note: the poster takes a moment to load but please share it with your friends.


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Art Park a Finalist for ArtPlace Grant

The Arts Center is pleased to announce that we have been chosen as one of 90 finalists for an ArtPlace America 2015 National Grants Program. The only finalist from North Dakota, we have the opportunity to submit a full proposal to support the Arts Park.

ArtPlace America (ArtPlace) is a ten-year collaboration that exists to position art and culture as a core sector of comprehensive community planning and development in order to help strengthen the social, physical, and economic fabric of communities.” –  ArtPlace America website

This spring, The Arts Center will be break ground in the next phase of Arts Park development.  A vital space destined to provide a venue for community gatherings and a living gallery complete with sculptural elements, projections, and sound features. The Arts Park will be a place to host cultural events, performances, and community activities. Its programs and features will celebrate the region’s cultural heritage while providing the community with a contemporary public art space like none other.

To be chosen as as an ArtPlace finalist is a great honor for The Arts Center and Jamestown. It recognizes the value of nine years of many contributions, visions and hard work.  Should funding be awarded, the ArtPlace America grant could do wonders to further the community’s vision for the Arts Park.

Fire destroyed the building that once stood where the Art Park will be built. Since the fire, the area was reclaimed and each year volunteers plant and tend the gardens. The space has been wonderful for numerous community gatherings and Arts Center events and programs. ArtPlace funding (if received) will further the vision of a permanent outdoor arts space in Jamestown’s city center.

Representatives from ArtPlace America are scheduled to visit Jamestown and The Arts Center in late February. Your enthusiasm for The Arts Park project is crucial to ensuring that our community is chosen to receive this grant. The Arts Center encourages everyone to show support for the Arts Park. Support can take many forms, grand gestures–like “naming opportunities” are available–but non-cash support is also essential, like creative ideas to generate awareness and time contributed to park efforts. Letters of support from everyone; Arts Center members, families, and local and regional businesses owners are so helpful to letting funders know what the park could do for Jamestown and its residents.

If you wish to help with any means of Park development, contact Cyndi Wish, Arts Center Director at 701-251-2496 or email to find out more details. Send support letters to The Arts Center, PO Box 363, Jamestown 58402, or to Cyndi at the above e-mail.

As the only green or common space downtown, the Art Park and arts programming will reinvigorate a decaying area; tie the community together through shared heritage and pride of place; provide for artistic expression serving as a catalyst for new ideas, innovation and change; and create a community coalesced around a positive vision for development. –from the ArtPlace Grant

ArtPlace project finalists represent communities of all sizes from across the country. ArtPlace’s grantees will be announced in June. For more information about ArtPlace America and the other finalists visit

The Culture Builds Community blog is submitted (almost) weekly by The Arts Center Gallery Manager Sally Jeppson.  She would love to hear your comments here or email
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Wine & Cheese & Art

“Bleu for You” by Javier, oil on panel

To entice you to attend The Arts Center’s Annual Wine & Cheese event I thought I’d share a few appropriate images from Art History.

Still Life by Jose Escofet

Saturday, January 17, 2015 – 7:00 pm – 9:00pm

Tickets $30 available at Cork & Barrel and The Arts Center.

This event provides funding for all programming that occurs at The Arts Center, from classes to exhibits to performances.

Want to see more?

Still Life with Four Dishes and Wine Glasses by Osias Beert

Dishes with Oysters, Fruit and Wine by Osias Beert the Elder (circa 1580-1624)

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What are your Holiday Traditions?

As I ponder this question, I wonder, “Do I really have any holiday traditions?” I suppose I do, my family always has a tree and the decorating of that tree has been an important time for gathering and reminiscing. Even as an adult I look forward to opening the boxes and unwrapping each precious decoration. I love to see all the old favorites; it’s a time capsule of styles and affinities. It’s like I’m reliving bits of my life over and over again each year and with it an almost childlike enthusiasm for the tree decorating activity.

I see my love of animals and my mother’s love of all things southwestern. I see ornaments that document events, like marriages…even if that marriage no longer exists. I see gifts from friends, now long-since moved far away. I see decorations that document my years in North Dakota like ornaments woven from wheat and barley or rosemaled orbs. And then there are the decorations found in my travels, mementoes of culture from around the globe.

Sadly, I don’t have a tree this year but as I travel will bring something home to adorn next year’s tree and with it all the memories that it will magically recreate when I discover it again.

Whatever your religion or culture, annual traditions can bind family, friends and generations together. Feel free to share your tradition in the comments section I’d like to hear what you do.

For more information on Holiday traditions check out this webpage from the National Endowment for the Humanities: The Gift of Holiday Traditions.

The Culture Builds Community blog is submitted (almost) weekly by The Arts Center Gallery Manager Sally Jeppson.  She would love to hear your comments here or email
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