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Of the Year Award Winners Announced

The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council is Pleased to Announce
Of the Year Award Winners

Three awards are given each year to recognize artists and arts advocates within our seven county region who stand out in terms of artistry or volunteerism in the arts. Many times people serve in both roles. Of the Year Award winners were nominated by area residents.

2020 Of the Year Award Winners include:

Rob Burkel of Thief River Falls will be awarded the Northwest Artist of the Year Award for theater arts. Rob has been involved in theater in the Thief River Falls area for 30 years. His dedication and talent is well known and admired. Our Artist of the Year award can be given to any discipline artist including visual, performing, or creative writing who are emerging or at a mid-way point in their artistic endeavors. It is a cash award of $500.00.

NW Artist of the Year Rob Burkel in The Boys Next Door

Bruce Piersol of Red Lake Falls will be awarded the Northwest Arts Advocate of the Year Award. Mr. Piersol is a musician and a strong advocate for the arts. He has performed and organized numerous musical groups bringing music to people who otherwise might not be able to experience it. Our Arts Advocate of the Year award is $500 and includes arts from all disciplines.

NW Arts Advocate of the Year Bruce Piersol

Joe Wavra of Red Lake Falls will receive the Northwest Star Award. Mr. Wavra is a self-taught wood carver, creating life-size animals, Vikings, and trolls with a chainsaw. His carvings can be found throughout the area. This award comes with $5,000. Artists can only receive our Northwest Star Award once as a lifetime achievement award.

NW Star Award Winner Joe Wavra

These awards will be presented on Tuesday, August 18 in Red Lake Falls. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, our celebration of these wonderful artists and leaders in our area will be limited to close friends and family.

Funding for Northwest Star and Northwest Artist of the Year comes from The McKnight Foundation. Funding for Northwest Arts Advocate of the Year comes from the Minnesota State Legislature.

Teaching Artist Roster Program Training in August

The NWMAC will be holding a Teaching Artist Roster Program (TARP) training series in August 2020 

Apply now to be part of this cohort and join our TARP Roster online 

What are the TARP training dates?  Thursdays and Mondays in August 6, 10, 13, 17, 20, and 24, 2020 from 6:30 to 9pm.

What is the location?  All trainings are virtual/remote due to the pandemic. Computer connection and internet are essential to participate.  

Who is the trainer for TARP?  Jane Anderson of Thief River Falls has experience leading our previous cohorts and will be leading participants through engaging materials and interesting discussions about the value of artists residencies. She is a fun, engaging trainer with a background in performing arts and teaching. NWMAC is excited that she has agreed to teach this condensed series of six sessions. Guests will also attend and share interesting information.  

Am I eligible?  Qualified individuals live within our seven county service area of Kittson, Marshall, Norman, Polk, Pennington, Red Lake, and Roseau counties in Minnesota and can live within 60 miles of our regional boundaries extending into North Dakota and Canada.   

Who should apply and attend?  This session is geared towards teachers in the visual arts, performing arts, and creative writing who are interested in artist residency activity during summer months and leading festival workshops. It is also geared towards people who have a history with already doing artist residency and festival workshop activities and would like to be listed on our roster after attending our training series.      

How can I apply to be in TARP?  You can go on-line and complete the application in our NWMAC online grants system here. Or go to www.NorthwestMinnesotaArtsCouncil.org and click login in the upper right corner to enter our online system.  If you have not already done so, you will need to set yourself up as a user with your email and a password.  Help is available from our office at director@nwartscouncil.org if you have any problems.  Please apply by July 31!

What is the cost?  This is free to attend. The value of the training series is equivalent to receiving a $500 grant. 

Can I get the guidelines and application sent to my email or mailed to me?  Absolutely!  Just email your request to director@nwartscouncil.org and include your email or mailing address.      

How many people will participate? NWMAC needs a group of 6 participants to hold the training.  The group can be as large as 20 before qualified candidates are turned away.  

What if I miss a session?  Since it is all on-line, you can miss a session and catch up by watching the recording.  However, you will be dropped from the program if you have too many misses and fall behind in watching the recordings and completing the assignments.  

Can I get CEUs for this course?  Yes, all participants will receive documentation for CEU credits.  

What if I attended a previous TARP training series, can I attend again to complete my TARP profile?  Yes, previous attendees can attend again to refresh and work on their materials.  Please contact our office to be added to the attendee list and go through a process to check your Internet connection. This session will be faster paced and geared for people who have either been or are an arts school teacher or have previous experience doing residencies.   

Hopefully it will work for you to sign up and join this group of creative people! Thanks for your interest.

ARTIST GRANTS FOR COVID-19 RELIEF

The NWMAC is currently awarding Quick Turn Around grants for COVID-19-related relief for artists in northwest Minnesota. These grants are for $500 for missed gigs and income due to the pandemic. Use the Quick Turn Around application in the Individual Artist grants. 

Who is eligible? Performing artists, writers, media artists, fine craft artists, and visual artists can apply if they are a permanent resident of our seven county service area of Northwest Minnesota.

Please contact us with any questions at 218-745-9111 or director@nwartscouncil.org.

First Friday — The NWMAC Can help Promote your event

First Friday is an arts-related event held each month on the first Friday of the month. These recurring local cultural and social events promote artists and arts events throughout the country for the purpose of showcasing and exhibiting art, introducing residents and visitors to artists and the arts in your area and the opportunity to sell or purchase and collect art. These self-guided events may also feature promotions at individual businesses who may extend their hours of operation. First Fridays may be as simple as individual artist studios opening up for a Friday evening or a coordinated city-wide art crawl.

The NWMAC would like to help promote any First Friday events in our region. We will do this by adding your event to a region-wide map and sharing the information on our website, Facebook, Instagram, Explore Minnesota website, and in our newsletters. Are you interested in participating? Or do you have questions? Contact our Promotions Specialist, Kristin Eggerling at keggerling@gmail.com.

At this time, we are planning to begin our promotions for the May 1, 2020 First Friday. The Entry Due Date is the first Friday of the prior month. So, to be included in the May 1 map you will need to let NWMAC know that you are participating ASAP.

Use our online grant system to submit the information about your event.

When are First Fridays in 2020? Dates include May 1, June 5, July 3, August 7, September 4, October 2, November 6, and December 4. (these are also the dates to let us know your plans for the next month)

Do I have to commit to each First Friday? No. You may be interested in holding a First Friday event only once, periodically, or every first Friday. It’s your choice.

What if I want to open my studio for a First Friday, but no one else in my community wants to hold events? The NWMAC will promote all First Friday events in our region. One event in a community is fine.

Is there a cost to participate? There is no cost to be listed on our map or for our promotions.

Call to Artists. Are you creating art that speaks directly to what is happening in the world today?

Coronavirus is impacting every aspect of our lives. Are you creating art that speaks directly to what is happening in the world today — social distancing, shelter in place or anxiety around a new virus?

For example, artistic photographs of families playing games; paintings related to events not occurring; or journaling on coronavirus and then creating poetry, writing songs, painting, drawing, or capturing photos specifically based on your journal entry.

This can be a time to create art directly related to your feelings during this time of hardship, anxiety, sickness, isolation, or very challenging change. Stay tuned — if this creates a body of work to show, the NWMAC may create a future exhibit around this theme — and stay safe!  

What are you creating?