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Dance, Drama, Literature, Music, Visual and Traditional Arts
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NDCA Board of Directors

The governing board of directors for the North Dakota Council on the Arts consists of nine members, one from each of the state's eight regions (see map below) and one member-at-large. Currently, North Dakota's first lady serves as an additional, ex-officio member of the board. Each member is appointed by the governor to serve five-year terms.

The full board convenes three times a year in meetings that are open to the public. An executive committee is made up of the NDCA's executive director and the board's chair, vice-chair, and one additional member. The executive committee meets occasionally throughout the year to discuss relevant topics and make recommendations to the full board.
Map of the regions in North Dakota

Member-at-Large: David "White Thunder" Trottier, Rugby, Chair
Region 1: Shannon D. Fox, New Town
Region 2: Terry Jelsing, Rugby
Region 3: Dr. Richard Johnson
Region 4: Dean Opp, Grand Forks
Region 5: Brad Bachmeier, Fargo
Region 6: Dr. Lana Schlecht, Ellendale
Region 7: Cindy Haider, Bismarck
Region 8: Sarah Snavely, Bowman


David "White Thunder" Trottier, Chair

Rugby, ND
Phone: (701) 776-5261 Ext. 2391
E-mail David Trottier

Photo of David White Thunder TrottierDavid is a Distinguished Alumni of Mayville State University. He is known for his exemplary business career, for 14 years he served as President and CEO of Chiptronics Inc., an electronics manufacturing distributorship. Since retiring from Chiptronics in 2006, Trottier has been working as a private consultant, local radio host and sports broadcaster; and is the Director of Human Resources for the Heart of America Medical Center in Rugby. David has been active in the arts, especially theatre and music, since an early age. He has directed or performed in more than 35 shows, and was the founder and lead singer for The North Band for 12 years. He still plays guitar, sings and writes songs and poetry and is currently playing with a band U-3+1.

David has served on the North Dakota Council on the Arts as a Governor appointee since 1990. In 1998, he was appointed board chair. David is also a past board member of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA). In 2007 NASAA named David the recipient of their Distinguished Public Service Award. It honors an individual volunteer leader whose outstanding service, creative thinking and leadership have had a significant impact on the field of public support for the arts in his or her state or region. David currently resides in Rugby and has 4 daughters, Tarah, Tawny, Trista, and Tashal.

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Region 1
Shannon D. Fox
Newtown, ND
(701) 627-4738

Shannon FoxShannon D. Fox (NeetAhKus na cita Kux), Whose Sahnish name translates as “Eagle soaring up High above, looking down upon the ground.” was born in 1967 in Ship Rock, New Mexico. He is Sahnish (Arikara) and Santee Sioux, and a member of the Dead grass Society, Arikara Scouts Society, Buffalo Society, Bear Society, Joseph Young Hawk/Elmer Bear American Legion Post No. 253. Shannon attended School at White Shield, ND and Marty Mission Indian School, Marty South Dakota.  Shannon Received his BFA in Visual Arts at the University of North Dakota in 1996. He continued his studies at UND, earning his MFA in 1999. In the 90s, he started with painting, “All I did was paint,” 8:00pm to 4:00am he said. “I have paintings in private collections, museums, different places. I started painting on canvas. I did so for several years, and then I started painting on different surfaces.” For example, he painted a series of eight full-grown turtle shells, full paintings. He’s painted on cloth, on tree bark, raw hides, buffalo skins, various different surfaces. Fox’s adoration for art began at an early age, drawing with his siblings, often from his father’s western horseman magazines.

He broke ground as the first student to receive a graduate degree in Mixed Media with an emphasis in digital image printing from the University of North Dakota. While serving in the United States Air Force he was asked to help paint a wall mural depicting POW’s in his BMTS squadron with a handful of other airman, that was one of the moments that stands out to him because the artists were from all over the country. Although he is well rounded in his choice of subjects for his work, he incorporates portions of his heritage into a world of computers.  After opening his own company 3-Foxx Productions, he followed in his mother’s footsteps buy developing and teaching a nine month certification in graphic arts at Fort Berthold Community College. Recently, Shannon’s work received recognition along with several other Native American artists in the book, Storytelling Time: Native North American Art from the Collections at the University of North Dakota. Several of his mixed media, digital manipulations, and Art pieces are featured.

Shannon also has been playing music and has been playing guitar since the age of 12. He is currently in the band he formed with a cousin called Ree-Ride, and has been playing for over 30 years. Shannon currently teaches art classes at Fort Berthold Community College. He teaches drawing and painting and native traditional arts and crafts. But that’s not all. “One of the main things I appreciate about FBCC,” Shannon said, “They let me start my own graphic arts program. They’ve given me the opportunity to teach what I’d learned from my degree. When I see the students’ art work completed I feel like I’ve accomplished something. My students are my paint brushes and computer keys now.” Shannon resides in White Shield North Dakota, out in the country and has a daughter named Piper Jayden Fox. His future goals are to help create a Fine Arts Department at Fort Berthold Community College and he is also interested in working with the Three Affiliated Tribes museum, and he would like to expand the museum’s influence.

Counties served (figures taken from 2000 census): Divide County, population 2,283; Williams County, population 19,761; McKenzie County, population 5,737

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Region 2
Terry Jelsing
Rugby, ND
Work phone: (701) 776-7606
Email Terry Jelsing

Terry JelsingNorth Dakota native Terry Jelsing has worked professionally as an artist, teacher, curator, arts administrator and presenter for nearly 40 years. He currently teaches at Dakota College at Bottineau and in the Rugby Public Schools, and is self-employed as an arts administration and facilities consultant.

Jelsing’s studio is located on his family’s original homestead in Rugby, where he creates two- and three-dimensional works of art, including large public commissions. Currently, he’s one of six international artists exploring life among the Spirit Lake Nation of Dakota people at Fort Totten, N.D., a three-year project developed by the North Dakota Museum of Art and funded by the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. Jelsing has served on numerous local, state, regional and national committees and commissions and is the current president of the Northwest Art Center at Minot State University.

Volunteer/memberships include: North Dakota Museum of Art, Plains Art Museum, Prairie Village Museum (Rugby), Village Arts (Rugby), Sons of Norway, American Legion, and Lyric Theatre.

Counties served (figures taken from 2000 census): Burke County, population 2,242; Mountrail County, population 6,631; Renville County, population 2,610; Ward County, population 58,795, Bottineau County, population 7,149; McHenry County, population 5,987; Pierce County, population 4,675

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Region 3
Dr. Richard Johnson

Devils Lake, ND
Phone: (701) 662-5247
E-mail Richard Johnson

Dr. Richard JohnsonDr. Richard Johnson is 66 years old and a native North Dakotan. He was raised on Spirit Lake Reservation (with David "WhiteThunder" Trottier) at Fort Totten. Johnson spent ten years in the United States Army. He is a practicing physician (Radiologist) D. L. at Mercy Hospital in Devils Lake. Dr. Johnson is married to Dr. Rita Nalubega (Uganda). Together they have three daughters (Meghan, Sarah, Katie; physicians and E.R. nurse), and two granddaughters (Sumaaho & Nere, Ghana, West Africa). Theater is Dr. Johnson’s passion, and motorcycles are his vice!

Volunteer/memberships include: Ft. Totten Little Theatre, Arts Council of the Lake Region (Devils Lake), and many medical organizations.

Counties served (figures taken from 2000 census): Rolette County, population 13,674; Towner County, population 2,876; Benson County, population 6,964; Eddy County, population 2,757; Cavalier County, population 4,831; Ramsey County, population 12,066

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Region 4
Dean Opp

Grand Forks, ND
Work Phone: (701) 746-2407 
Email Dean Opp

Photo of Dean OppDean Opp has been working at Red River High School in Grand Forks for over 25 years. He has a B.A. with a major in Speech and a M.A. in Communication, both from the UND. He currently teaches drama and speech. For the past 25 years he has produced a character education production that tours upper Red River Valley schools, presenting 50 performances for over 7000 students each year.  He also developed a non-traditional improvisational comedy troupe, Tuesday Night Live, that has been presenting shows for 15 years.

In the summer he works with the Summer Performing Arts Company (SPA) in Grand Forks as the Administrative Director. Dean helped to develop SPA 25 years ago along with a small group of Grand Forks area music teachers. Today SPA provides dance, drama, and music opportunities for over 1,300 K-12 students each summer.

Dean has received a number of awards and recognitions over his career. His wife, Mary Haslerud Opp, serves as the Director of Public Speaking at UND. His son, Lukas is a student at UND, and daughter, Hannah, is a student in the Grand Forks Public Schools.

Counties served (figures taken from 2000 census): Pembina County, population 8,585; Walsh County, population 12,389; Nelson County, population 3,715; Grand Forks County, population 66,109

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Region 5
Brad Bachmeier

Fargo, ND
Phone: (218) 477-5989
E-mail Brad Bachmeier

Brad BachmeierBrad Bachmeier is a native of Anamoose, North Dakota currently living south of Fargo with his wife Susan and their four children.  Mr. Bachmeier currently serves as the Professor of Art Education at Minnesota State University Moorhead.  In 2013, the year of his tenure promotion, Professor Bachmeier received the “Excellence in Research and Creative Activity” award from MSUM.  Prior to 2008, he served as a public school art instructor for 15 years, having the opportunity to teach every grade from K-12 in both North Dakota and Minnesota. In 2007, upon completion of an MFA degree in ceramics from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, his exhibit “A Ceramic Humanity” was bestowed the only Award of Distinction for Creative Exhibition ever granted at the school. In 2009, Professor Bachmeier received the prestigious bi-annual ND Governor’s Award in Arts Education for his “numerous, significant and continued contributions to the state and region.”

Brad’s ceramic work is collected nationally and has been featured on HGTVs’ “That’s Clever” and Prarie Public TV’s “Prairie Mosaic”.  Bachmeier has also been awarded the national NICHE award in wheel-thrown ceramics as well as the ARTBUZZ International art competition 3rd place award in ceramics. Brad’s works are held in numerous regional and national public and private collections including the ND Governor’s Mansion, The Microsoft Permanent Collection, The South Dakota Museum of Art, The Plains Art Museum and Michelle Obama’s office in the White House.

Professor Bachmeier continues to serve the Northern Prairie students, schools and arts communities through his involvement in numerous organizations and boards such as:  Founding Board Member of the Fargo Moorhead Visual Artists, Founding Member of the Center for Creativity in the Plains Art Museum, President of the Board of the Rourke Art Museum/Gallery, and the Board of Directors of The Arts Partnership.

Other volunteer/memberships include: North Dakota Museum of Art, National Art Educators Association, and Red River Watercolor Society.

Counties served (figures taken from 2000 census): Steele County, population 2,258; Traill County, population 8,477; Cass County, population 123,138; Ransom County, population 5,890; Sargent County, population 4,366; Richland County, population 17,998

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Region 6
Dr. Lana Schlecht

Ellendale, ND
(701) 349-3636

Lana SchlechtDr. Lana Schlecht was an art major at UND before veering off into dentistry.  Lana and her husband, Warren, farmed near Gackle for a time until Lana graduated from dental school.  She is a graduate of CM Russell High School in Great Falls, Montana, Jamestown College and University of Nebraska Medical Center.  Lana has been active in many arts activities through life.  She has taught various community classes in weaving, water color and embroidery and had a design chosen by Governor and Mrs. Link for the Governor’s residence dining chairs.  She has had her paintings displayed in the Capitol building twice.  She currently serves as Vice-president of the Ellendale Area Arts Council.  The council sponsors community events, concerts, brings in art shows and children’s theater.

Born in Havre, Montana, Lana owns Dakota Dental Care in Ellendale and has practiced for 28 years.   She is also on the Board of Directors for Dickey Rural Networks, on the Board for Economic Development in Ellendale, serves as City Health Officer,  is past president of the North Dakota Dental Association and is active in Christ the King Lutheran church.   Warren teaches English and science at Trinity Bible College in Ellendale.  They have three children:  Kristina, Lincoln and Ryun and six exceptional grandchildren.   Lana enjoys unusual travel experiences, reading and gardening.

Counties served (figures taken from 2000 census): Wells County, population 5,102; Foster County, population 3,759; Stutsman County, population 21,908; Logan County, population 2,308; McIntosh County, population 3,390; LaMoure County, population 4,701; Dickey County, population 5,757; Griggs County, population 2,754; Barnes County, population 11,775

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Region 7
Cindy Haider
Bismarck, ND
Work Phone: (701) 663-4022
Email Cindy Haider

Photo of Cindy HaiderCindy Haider has been passionate about the arts for years. After her children were in school, she began working at a local art gallery/framing shop, where she stayed until the store closed. Cindy then became the director of Dakota West Arts Council, working closely with the different artists in the area, helping to promote and provide support to the member organizations. This job also included daily office management, administration of funds and grant writing. While at Dakota West Arts Council, Cindy helped establish the Art Venture Program. This program brought art programs to disadvantaged students. When the National Symphony Orchestra selected North Dakota as one of its American Residency programs, she served on the executive committee for the Bismarck region which provided the area with exchanges and training programs in the communities. She has also worked with the NDCA as coordinator of the statewide Poetry Out Loud Recitation Contest. Currently Cindy is the Galleries Director at the University of Mary, and is a member of the North Dakota Art Galleries Association. She is a native of Lewistown, Montana. Cindy and her husband Dennis live in Mandan and have three grown children and twin grandchildren. Hobbies include reading, gardening and being with family and friends.

Counties served (figures taken from 2000 census): McLean County, population 9,311; Mercer County, population 8,644; Oliver County, population 2,065; Morton County, population 25,303; Grant County, population 2,841; Sioux County, population 4,044; Sheridan County, population 1,710; Burleigh County, population 69,416; Emmons County, population 4,331; Kidder County, population 2,753

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Region 8
Sarah Snavely

Bowman, ND
Phone: (701) 523-3797
Email Sarah Snavely

Sarah SnavelySarah Regan Snavely is a studio artist and sculptor who works in the extreme southwestern corner of North Dakota with her pack of Greyhound dogs. She is also the director of the Bowman Regional Public Library. Snavely works primarily in clay. She loves its plastic and pliable nature. While the technical nature of engineering this material can be challenging, the imperfect, hand built qualities continue to interest and inspire Snavely.

Born and raised in Bowman, North Dakota, Snavely moved to Minnesota in 1993 to attend Minnesota State University - Moorhead. After a brief time at Oxford University in England, she returned to MSUM where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Visual Arts (emphasis in Printmaking) in 1997.

Snavely’s work is displayed in public and private collections in seventeen countries as well as all fifty United States.

Volunteer/memberships include: Prairie Rose Art Association (Bowman), Greyhound Pets of America, Almost Home for Hounds (Nunn, CO), North Dakota State Library, and Pioneer Trails Regional Museum.

Counties served (figures taken from 2000 census): Golden Valley County, population 1,924; Billings County, population 888; Slope County, population 767; Bowman County, population 3,242; Dunn County, population 3,600; Stark County, population 22,636; Hettinger County, population 2,715; Adams County, population 2,593

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