Chelsey Engelhard Ewen, The Arts Partnership
Historian Markus Krueger remembers the day he learned about Felix Battles. Eight years ago, Krueger, programming director at the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County, was researching the Civil War through U.S. Census records from the late 1800s. For a self-proclaimed "Civil War nerd," this wasn't uncommon. He came across a different name, Luther Osborn, a white officer from Glyndon who fought with the United States Colored Troops (USCT) during the Civil War.
Since 2001, Choice Financial has valued putting "people first" and improving communities where its customers live in a variety of ways. This includes supporting the arts. To show its support for local art, Choice Financial recently announced an initiative to feature local artwork on three limited edition debit cards starting Saturday. With this new program, customers get to choose a debit card featuring work by North Dakota artists Dan Francis, Cris Fulton or Ashley Kunz and make a $5 suggested donation to one of seven arts councils across the state.
Fargo-Moorhead Ballet Artistic Director Matt Gasper enjoys changing expectations when it comes to productions by the local professional ballet company. This is especially true of the F-M Ballet's performance of "Aladdin" Saturday and Sunday at the historic Fargo Theatre. Most people associate "Aladdin" with the animated Disney movie about a street urchin whose life changes when he finds a magic lamp with a genie inside.
Wedding season is right around the corner, and those who have chosen to "go all out" already know there are lots of decisions to make. Pie or cake? Tuxes or suits? Indoor or outdoor? Small ceremony or big bash? Then comes the decision about what kind of flowers to use for bouquets, boutonnieres and centerpieces. With all of the beautiful types of flora in the world, the options are seemingly endless.
The Who's rock album "Tommy" has been a smash hit since the band released it in 1969 — and not just because of the exhilarating music. The album also tells a heartfelt story about a young boy born in the thick of World War II who experiences a lot of darkness in his life. "Tommy" became so popular that in 1992, composer Pete Townshend and Broadway director Des McAnuff adapted the album into a Broadway musical called "The Who's Tommy."
Since Drekker Brewing Company opened in 2014, the local brewery in downtown Fargo has had three main passions: making craft beer, supporting local artists and giving back to the community. Drekker intersects these passions in many ways (especially the "making beer" part), but the company wanted to find a creative way to combine them and make a greater impact. Putting Drekker's extra pint glasses to good use was a plus.
From the first moment one steps inside the new Sanford Medical Center Fargo, it's clear that this is no ordinary healthcare facility. Amenities like valet service, a concierge desk, lots of natural light and an overall inviting atmosphere give the center, which opened last summer, an essence of "hospitality" instead of "hospital." A major component of the welcoming environment is the colorful artwork that adorns the walls on each of the 11 floors. Kimble Bromley's nature paintings offer a sense of calm in the emergency wing.
Ashley Kunz isn't afraid to be adventurous when creating her vibrant abstract paintings. In addition to the standard paintbrush, the Moorhead-based artist experiments with rubber spatulas, pizza cutters, knives, foil, sponges and other fun tools to add dimension and texture to her work. "I love going to hardware stores to find new materials to work with," Kunz says. "I pick up whatever I think will work, and if it doesn't, I just try again."
Art exhibits are often associated with museums and designated gallery spaces where people can browse and purchase original artwork. But as a community that celebrates arts and culture, the Fargo-Moorhead metro is home to alternative gallery spaces that bring art to the public instead by incorporating art exhibitions into their daily operations.
There's no doubt that modern technology has forever changed the way humans interact with one another. Social media, cell phones and artificial intelligence have made it easier to stay connected virtually with loved ones, express our emotions, share our big life events and fulfill our natural need to belong — even if only superficially. However, as technology continues to advance, how do we find balance between connecting to one another online and in real life?