Category Archives: Chat Topics

Meet Our New Showcase Specialist

Kelsey Brateng has been hired as the

NWMAC Showcase Specialist

Kelsey Brateng

In addition to coordinating the exhibits at the NWMAC, Kelsey is a professional photographer and owner of Kelsey Brateng Photography.  She was born and raised in Thief River Falls before transferring to MSU in Moorhead to pursue art and photography.  After graduating, she came back and opened her studio in 2005.  She worked at DigiKey for 10 years as a Corporate Photographer and Production Assistant. She’s interested in public art displays and functional public art.  She is married to her husband Kelly, and they have 4 children, Alexia, Tanner, Aubrielle, and Everly. She volunteers as the Art Director of Elevate Youth Center and recently graduated from the Blandin Leadership Program in Grand Rapids. She is active in the Downtown Development Association in Thief River Falls and the local Zehlian’s group. She  loves to upcycle and get creative with a lot of different mediums, but acrylics, oil pastels, and pen and ink are her favorite. This past year Kelsey has  been practicing with watercolor, brush lettering, and delving into the realm of digitizing her artwork. She wants to focus on bringing more artistic expression to the community. Kelsey recently served on the NWMAC Board of Directors. She explained “joining the NWMAC was the best decision! I have learned so much since joining the board. For me personally, art is therapy. I believe that the beauty of our surroundings makes a huge impact on our lives and in the health and well being of our community.”

In her free time she likes to read, play softball and go to CrossFit, write in her bullet journal, date nights with her husband and going out for coffee with a good friend.

Welcome, Kelsey to the NWMAC Team!

If you have ideas for exhibits, please reach out to Kelsey at 218-688-0078 or kelseybphotograpy@live.com.

Northwest Minnesota Arts Council Gallery Opens at NCTC in TRF

Northwest Minnesota Arts Council Gallery Opens at Northland Community and Technical College in Thief River Falls

The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council (NWMAC) is pleased to announce that our new exhibition space will be located at NCTC in Thief River Falls.

NWMAC will have exhibits in the gallery for much of the year with the Northland Visual Art Department taking over the space at the end of each term. “It’s a win-win opportunity for Northland and the Arts Council,” explained NWMAC Executive Director Mara Hanel. “We appreciate this space to promote the arts and artists in our region and look forward to connecting with the public in a new venue.”

The gallery will be open Monday through Friday from 8:30-5 PM and at other times when events are held at the college. To visit the gallery enter through Door B near the library. Visitor parking is free in front of the business office.

According to Northland TRF Academic Dean Mike Curfman, “It is great for Northland and the Thief River Falls Community that the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council is going to be using the Northland Art Gallery as their new home for shows and exhibitions. We believe it is a great venue to showcase the many talents that people in our region have and look forward to this collaboration with the NWMAC. It is exciting to be able to put these talented artists’ works on display here in Thief River Falls.”

For more information about our exhibits look to our website at www.NWArtsCouncil.org, or if you are an artist interested in exhibiting a body of work with NWMAC, please contact Kelsey at (218) 688-0078 or email NWArtsCouncil@gmail.com. Please sign up for our e-newsletter on our website home page to see the latest news and grant announcements.  Email director@NWArtsCouncil.org or call 218-745-9111 to reach our office during regular business hours. 

Minnesota Citizens for the arts Seeking Board members

MCA Seeking New Board Members

Deadline November 1, 2019


Nominations for MCA’s Board Now Open. Minnesota Citizens for the Arts is looking to add four new members to their Board of Trustees. There are three openings in Greater Minnesota and one in the Seven County Metro Area. Terms begin December, 2019 and will last for two years.

What makes the arts strong in Minnesota? We have great, talented artists. We have world class museums and orchestras. We have thriving arts communities in every corner of the state. And we have a higher level of arts participation than most of the country. Minnesota Citizens for the Arts is a statewide, grassroots political organization that works to increase support for the arts in our state. We lobby the legislature and congress on behalf of the non-profit arts and also produce research to support arts advocacy. We created and passed the arts portion of the Legacy Amendment with many legislative partners that now funds the arts across Minnesota. Learn more at www.artsMN.org and www.creativeMN.org.

MCA Board at Annual Meeting 2018

The full MCA Board meets four times a year in person in addition to holding an annual Arts Advocacy Day at the State Capitol in St. Paul. All members serve on committees that meet primarily by phone.

Interested? Fill out the form below and return itby November 1, 2019 by email, fax, or by snail mail to the address below. MCA’s bylaws ensure that board representation comes from all over the state. Half of MCA’s 36 board members must come from the Twin Cities metro area, and half from Greater Minnesota.

MCA seeks board members who:

  • Have mix of party affiliation, and provide balance in terms of the size or type of organizations represented on the board (large, medium, small, arts education, individual artist, etc.)
  • Provide other balances in terms of representing the state or the arts community (ie diversity in terms of age, race, etc).
  • Are people with political connections, political strategists, and people with an understanding of the political process, or are willing to learn.
  • Have clout within their organizations and/or peers, and have the ability and willingness to communicate about the need for arts advocacy.
  • Have a willingness to work, volunteer and join us at our meetings.
  • FYI, your nomination to the board is more likely to be successful if you are a paid member of MCA and if you have previously been a part of Arts Advocacy Day, the Legacy campaign, or volunteered for the cause in some other way.

***(Please do not nominate someone else unless you have discussed it with them first, and they have provided an answer to the question “Why do you want to be on the MCA board?).***

Successful applicants will be notified in early December. 

To nominate yourself for the board, send the answers to the following questions and a current resume or bio to: Staff@artsMN.org.
Nominee Name:
Home Address:
Work Address:
Home Phone:
Work Phone:
Organization (If appropriate):
Title (If appropriate):
Legislative District # (If unknown, MCA can identify it for you):
Experience with your local arts community:
Political Experience (desired, but not necessary):
Why are you interested in serving on the MCA Board of Trustees?

Are you interested in serving on our board?

Board Members Needed for NW Regional Arts Council

Support the arts in your county and our region by becoming an Arts Council board member! The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council has openings for two representatives from Norman County. We are also looking for three at-large members who can be from any of our seven counties of Kittson, Marshall, Norman, Pennington, Red Lake, and Roseau. Board members will serve for a three-year term from Summer 2019 until June 2021 with the option to add an additional 3 year term afterwards.

As part of the Council you will become familiar with arts groups and individuals who are making the arts happen throughout our seven county service area in Northwest Minnesota. You will also have the satisfaction of knowing that you have contributed to the vitality of the arts in our part of Minnesota.

The Council meets five times a year usually in Warren, MN. The Council reviews and approves arts grants and arts policy and arts services for seven counties in Minnesota. You must be confident on a computer and have Internet access to be a board member since communication happens between meetings by email and websites.

For more information and to receive a nomination form for yourself or a friend, contact Mara Hanel, NWMAC, at 218-745-9111; or email her at mara@nwrdc.org. General information on the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council including the nomination form can be viewed at www.NorthwestMinnesotaArtsCouncil.org in the About Us section.