Tag Archives: Writers

Artists of Northwest Minnesota Booklet — Seeking Artists and Creative Individuals


The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council is updating our Artists of Northwest Minnesota booklet and will be printing 3,000 copies of our 4th edition this winter. This is a marketing booklet that will be distributed throughout our region.

We are looking for a variety of creative people and artists to provide information for this booklet, but we’d love to include more bands, musicians, performing artists, or writers. The cost for a listing for individuals is $20. In addition to the listing you will receive 20 booklets, which makes the listing practically free!  The booklet helps those who are listed reach out to the general public and is a means to help the public “get in touch with them” to purchase art, book them, or have them provide a service. The booklet will include visual artists, fine crafters, performing artists like musicians, dancers, actors, creative writers, fine art photographers, creative videographers, serious graphic artists, interior design artists, landscape artists, journalists, screenwriters, history writers, editors, artistic architects, very unique artsy floral designers, theater directors, choreographers, accompanists, bands, folk musicians, and more.

While our approach will be inclusive, criteria will be applied related to selection.  Things like tattoo, taxidermy, kit crafters, pre-existing patterns from a book crafters, and purchased ceramics that are just painted don’t fit as nicely unless they are over the top excellent in technique or if they are preserving a fine artistic tradition like Rosemaling, for instance. Please contact us if you have questions.

Arts organizations, dance studios, stores with local art, local suppliers of supplies and materials for artists, coffee shops that have open mic or live bands often, etc. will be included in the back of the booklet.

If you would like to be listed, please print out an entry form, fill it out and mail to us. Here is the form: NWMACArtist booklet Application form 4th edition. There is also an entry form for businesses. It also costs $20 for businesses/groups that want to have a logo or picture in the booklet. Here is the form for businesses: NWMAC Groups Application form 2017 edition.

We are also considering briefly listing very artistic local festivals in this edition. These festivals would need to have a very strong history of existence – since we print every three years + an “arts budget” of a certain amount to qualify.  If you think your festival qualifies and you are interested in being listed, please contact Mara at mara@nwrdc.org.

To see the 3rd edition booklet that was published three years ago, click here.

Please spread the word to other creative and artistic residents in our region!


Of the Year Award Winners 2017

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. “Of the Year” Award winners were nominated by area residents.

Arts Advocate of the Year Jane Vigness, Northwest Star Award Winner Annelee Woodstrom and Artist of the Year Gayle Moen.
Anneke Woodstrom after receiving the Northwest Star Award
Northwest Star Award Winner is Annelee Woodstrom

The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council is pleased to announce that Annelee Woodstrom of Ada has been selected as the 2017 Northwest Minnesota Star Artist of the Year for her lifetime achievement in literary arts. Annelee is a writer and previously an award-winning school teacher in Twin Valley. She has written about her life in War Child: Growing Up in Adolf Hitler’s Germany and Empty Chairs.

Annelee grew up in Hitler’s Germany and moved to northwestern Minnesota in 1946 to marry an American soldier. At the time, she spoke 5 words of English: yes, no, hot, cold and Crookston. Her husband spoke no German. After attending college, she worked as a psychology, mass media, civics and English teacher. In 1984, she was selected as one of ten Teachers of Excellence by the Minnesota State Education Association. Annelee loved teaching and continues to stay in touch with many of her former students. After her husband died in 1998 she decided to start writing.

Annelee has published two books and has a third book coming out soon. Her first book War Child won the Jeanette Fair Award by the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International. Of writing, Annelee says, “You have to be dedicated and put yourself out there.” Her writings are very personal. At times, she said it was painful to write her books, but it the process of writing was healing. “I dealt with the war through writing.”

Annelee speaks to many schools and other groups about her books, the writing process and growing up during the Nazi regime. She writes essays and letters to the editor about current events and isn’t afraid to speak her mind. Asked if she had advice for aspiring writers, Annelee said, “Write for yourself. Don’t forget to write, to talk to each other and to read. We should all be encouraged to write. You’ll be surprised at what you learn. Writing has taught me a lot, even about myself. It cleans your mind.”

Joyce Schlagel commented, “Annelee is very deserving of this award for her writing. She really gives it her all. She really goes at it and I’m proud of her. Congratulations!”

The Northwest Star Artist Award is given each year to recognize artists within our seven-county region who stand out in terms of artistry. “Of the Year” Award winners are nominated by area residents. This award comes with $5,000. Artists can only receive our Northwest Star Award once, as a lifetime achievement award. Funding for the Northwest Star comes from the McKnight Foundation.

Jane Vigness is Northwest Arts Advocate of the Year

The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council is pleased to announce this year’s recipient for the Advocate of the Year Award is Jane Vigness of rural Climax.


Jane Vigness is the public librarian in Climax, active in the Sandhill Historical Society and an avid art promoter in her community. She is also a dedicated and hard-working volunteer in the Association of the French of the North (AFRAN). As a board member, Jane helps organize their Chautauqua & French-Canadian Metis Arts Festival each year in August. Jane has written about the event, including AFRANS’s newsletters and article in their book titled Treaty at Old Crossing To Invite Enlightened Understanding (AFRAN 2008). Each year she comes dressed in costume with carefully arranged flowers she has grown to decorate the stage.

Jane is best described by some of her fellow volunteers. “Jane has an empathy for people of diverse cultures. Jane is a true working partner who enlightens every one of us. She sees differences and appreciates what they bring to the occasion.”

Jane is energetic and supportive of the arts. She is always looking for new and exciting artists to exhibit or teach workshops in the library. She tries to bring visual art, theater arts and music to the library to enhance the quality of life in Climax and the surrounding area. Jane was instrumental in arranging the publicity and space for community members to create a community mosaic bulletin board in front of the library with a grant from the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council. She encouraged young people in the community to attend the weekly mosaic sessions and made it a point to get the word out in the community. After the bulletin board project was complete, she arranged a well-attended and successful open house, inviting the residents of Climax and surrounding towns to showcase the project, as well as individual mosaics that were created by participants.

Our Arts Advocate of the Year award is given each year to recognize arts advocates within our seven-county region who stand out in terms of volunteerism in the arts. “Of the Year” award winners were nominated by area residents. This award comes with a cash award of $500.00. Funding for the Northwest Arts Advocate of the Year comes from the Minnesota State Legislature.

Northwest Artist of the Year Gayle Moen

The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council is pleased to announce that Gayle Moen of Shelly is the Northwest Artist of the Year. Gayle Moen is a talented musician and choral director. She plays the piano and organ and directs with endless enthusiasm.

Gayle’s lifelong commitment to music includes teaching piano, giving vocal lessons, and working with numerous choral and local theater groups. Many of her students have gone on to have a career in music. Gayle became the church organist at the age of 12. She was the founder, director, accompanist and the arranger of the Inspirations, a traveling gospel concert choir for 37 years. Under her direction, the group released 9 albums. She now directs, accompanies and arranges the Praise Singers at Trinity Lutheran Church in Crookston. In addition, Gayle recorded a solo piano album.

Gayle has been described as a talented and knowledgeable musician full of creative and innovative ideas.  She creates musical programs with masterful arrangements and directs the ensemble from the piano effortlessly. According to Gaye Wick, “Gayle worked with Crookston Community Theater on the musical revue “Swinging on a Star.” By show time we were well prepared and comfortable. She works with you until you know it!  She does so with good humor and a smile on her face. Gayle has worked with many choirs and has helped with oratorios. Once again, she made it fun. I’m in awe of her abilities as a musician. Such talent!”

George French said, “I personally marvel at her keyboard skills while directing ensembles, and very much admire her abilities to arrange music to the level of musical expertise that her ensembles are able to achieve. She also gives all of her singers a chance to sing solos, realizing that a choir of soloists makes for a better ensemble.”

Dave Knudtson has known Gayle most of their lives. “Gayle inspires confidence in the people she works with. Among others, Gayle is certainly one of those who has given me the confidence to roar up on a theatre organ console, be it in Minneapolis, Fargo or New York City and I know I can pull it off. This is a gift she has given to any number of Minnesota musicians. But I am only one of the people she has encouraged and helped in our area.”

Gayle has been generous in sharing her talents with the greater northwestern Minnesota community.

The Northwest Artist of the Year Award is given each year to recognize artists within our seven-county region who stand out in terms of artistry. This 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. “Of the Year” Award winners were nominated by area residents and comes with a cash award of $500.00. Funding for the Northwest Artist of the Year comes from the McKnight Foundation.



Artist-in-Residency Program at McCanna House

The University of North Dakota Museum of Art is once again sponsoring an artist-in-residency program. Applications to the program are now open and there are two spots available — June 5 to 16, and July 3 to 21 — at the Museum’s McCanna House, an artist-in-residence facility 35 miles west of Grand Forks. They are seeking individuals, or groups, working in visual arts, literature, or music. McCanna House is a three bedroom, three bath facility. Group and individual proposals are welcome.

Named McCanna House, the residency will offer artists, composers, and writers time to work in a setting that preserves the history and integrity of one of North Dakota’s first architect-designed, country homes surrounded by rich agricultural land. Margery McCanna, a long-time Museum patron, donated her 1920s French country-style home to the Museum upon her death. It was her wish the property be used as an artist-in-residence space. The home is located in western Grand Forks County in McCanna, North Dakota (approximately 35 miles west of Grand Forks). Check out this link for more information – http://ndmoa.com/artist-in-residence. Or contact the University of North Dakota Museum of Art at 701-777-4195 or ndmoa@ndmoa.com for more information.

About McCanna House

Margery McCanna Jennison gave her ancestral home in western Grand Forks County to the North Dakota Museum of Art to establish the state’s first, full-fledged, Artist-in-Residence Program. Named McCanna House, the residency offers artists, composers, and writers unfettered time to work in a setting that preserves the history and integrity of one of North Dakota’s first architect-designed, country homes surrounded by rich, agricultural land.

McCanna, ND, is a small farming community about 35 miles west of Grand Forks, just north of the town of Larimore. The McCanna family began farming the area in the mid-1800’s, and it prospered into what was one of the largest Bonanza farms in the area. Margery McCanna Jennison inherited the family farmstead, consisting of the 1920 French country style farmhouse, a 40 x 70 foot steel building, and 9 acres of surrounding land. She was an ardent supporter of the arts, and a well-versed world traveler.

When Margery passed away in April of 2010, she left the farmstead to the North Dakota Museum of Art, with the understanding that it would be used to house an artist-in-residence program — a place where people could have the peace and solitude to unfurl the power of their imaginations. The house affords the resident artists a place to contemplate the visceral sense of space and change out here, and to allow this to inspire a blueprint of limitlessness.


  • Well lit French country-style farmhouse, detached 40 x 70 foot steel building, and large outdoor space with yards and surrounding tree lines.
  • House has 3 full bedrooms, each with attached bathrooms
  • Washer and dryer
  • Electric stove in well appointed kitchen
  • Screened in porch area with convenient BBQ
  • A modest array of hand tools
  • Opportunities to work with surrounding community groups
  • 10 miles from town of Larimore (pop.2,000), yet feels remote and private.
  • 35 miles from Grand Forks (pop.55,000), with its thriving art scene and good shopping/dining
  • Well stocked library
  • Fruit trees
  • Surrounded by working fields producing soy beans, potatoes, canola, and more…
  • Endless sky
  • Big weather





Lake of the Woods Artists’ Retreat

Register Today!

The Lake of the Woods Artists’ Retreat is a full weekend designed for those who are passionate about their art form

September 7-10, 2017

Schedule: Thurs., Sept. 7 –Meet the group in Warroad, MN to carpool across the Canadian border to the Northwest Angle. At Young’s Bay a boat will transport you to the Laketrails island. Get settled in your cabin and enjoy the sunset.

Fri., Sept. 8 –Focus on your art all day, or enjoy a break with recreational activities including beach combing, canoeing, a sauna, campfires, and more.

Sat., Sept. 9 –Just like Friday!

Sun., Sept. 10 –Enjoy a mid-morning brunch and wrap-up activities. Then board the boat for the return trip to the mainland.

$300 ($100 deposit due upon registration) Balance due by Aug. 7

*Pay in full by May 1st and save $50! Fees include:
Meals Thurs.–Sun. Rustic communal cabins, showers, no-flush toilets Transport to and from the island

Not included: Artistic supplies Beverages for social hour

Inquiries and Information: Please call 218-469-0204

Register online at redshoeswriting.com

Calling All Poets, Memoirists, Fiction, Nonfiction & Young Adult Writers

Cirenaica — Your Northwoods Writer’s Paradise Awaits

Writers Of All Genres, Skill Levels, & Locations Are Invited To Apply

The Chippewa Valley Writers Guild is inviting applications along with a writing sample for consideration. Their mission is to support and inspire writers of all levels.

The residencies are located in the small town of Fall Creek, Wisconsin and writers from all over the country are encouraged to apply. Last summer writers traveled from all over the country to attend. This summer they will be offering five, three-day residencies at Cirenaica.

For more information or to apply or visit their website at http://www.cvwritersguild.org/residency/ or email wichippewavalleywriters guild@gmail.com.