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Arts Education Ad Campaign

The North Dakota Council on the Arts (NDCA) sponsored an Arts Education awareness campaign stressing the benefits and importance of an arts education for North Dakota’s youth. NDCA worked with KAT Productions to produce 30-second television and radio public service announcements that will give real life examples of how the arts have affected the lives of several individuals.

This awareness campaign is directed to parents of elementary, middle and high school students, and is the culmination of the work of the Arts Education Task Force. NDCA convened this task force comprised of educators, school administrators, policy makers, parents, artists, arts organizations, and community leaders in the state to identify, support, and expand the quality of learning in and through the arts.

The ads focus on four aspects of the arts: create, feel, discover and learn. (click on the links to view the 30-second ads).

~ create ~
Ric Sprynczynatyk, North Dakota Artist

Ric Sprynczynatyk was born and grew up on the high plains of the Dakotas. His love of open spaces and sparse population led him to remain in his hometown where he resides with his wife Pam, and their three children, Annitsa, Samuel and Edison.

Ric knew his path at an early age. His aunt, a librarian, brought him stacks of old magazines featuring the illustrators Norman Rockwell and James Montgomery Flagg, among others. Ric marveled over their artwork and how they painted and drew with such realism. And, having a beard at age 10 and a long Bohemian last name were perhaps added factors to his becoming an artist.

For years Ric split his time between art and the restaurant business, during which time he earned awards for menu design, won acclaim for his recipes and met and served such celebrities as Bob Hope, Neil Armstrong and Dizzy Gillespie.

An avid runner, Ric has logged over 37,000 miles. He also has a great love for music, especially the "blues" and has played the blues harp for over 30 years. Ric has never pigeonholed himself into one type of artwork, but has kept his ears and mind open to any creative project. Challenging himself to work in different mediums watercolor, airbrush, graphite, oils. Ric's illustrations have appeared in international magazines and his watercolors of local landmarks have helped preserve the history of his hometown.

Ric joined SKY ART Karen Kristin in 1994 and has since been featured on HGTV's "Modern Masters" program.

Ric can be reached via email at

~ feel ~
Linda Whitney, North Dakota Artist

Linda Whitney received her MFA in printmaking in 1993. During her graduate studies she was Head Docent at the North Dakota Museum of Art. Linda has been the Professor and Chair of the Art Department at Valley City State University since 1994, and serves on several boards including VCSU Community School of the Arts as president.

Linda has been exhibiting nationally since 1974 and has had work included in 250 local, regional, national, and international exhibitions. Her awards include:

  • 1994 Arts Midwest / NEA Regional Fellowship
  • 1994 Intermedia Arts Minnesota / Interdisciplinary Arts Fellowship
  • 1999 ND Governor's Award for the Arts – NDCA
  • NDCA Fellowship

~ discover ~
Celeste Krenz, Native North Dakota Musician

Celeste Krenz was born and raised in North Dakota. She started writing songs at age 15 and continued writing through college (with time off traveling around the country as a full time musician). After returning and earning a marketing degree from the University of North Dakota, Celeste moved to Denver in 1990 where, before long, she developed a loyal following in a community that appreciated the honesty and warmth of her songs and voice. Not a newcomer to the music scene, she released four independent albums between 1993 and 1998, with "Slow Burning Flame" produced by Tim O’Brien and Bob Tyler, reaching #11 on music trade magazine GAVIN's Americana radio airplay chart. Blix Street Records, a specialty label that has built its reputation distributing some of the finest Celtic, folk and world music on the market, signed Celeste in 1999. They recognized her appeal to the same audience that had reacted strongly to other Blix Street artists, including Irish vocalist Mary Black, Scotland's Dougie MacLean and the late Eva Cassidy. Using some of the songs from the last independent project, Wishin’ as the nucleus, Celeste went back into the studio to record what has become the CELESTE album.

Now settled in her Nashville home, Krenz continues to grow as a performer and writer. Celeste’s voice, described as, “a pure, sweet voice, as smooth as the great American plains” has been embraced by audiences across the country. Robert K. Oermann of Music Row Magazine writes “The purest folk voice I’ve heard in years, and that little catch in her throat gives it just a touch of hillbilly soul. I was so enchanted that I practically held my breath.”

For more information on Celeste Krenz, visit her web site at:

~ learn ~
Cynthia Jelleberg, North Dakota Art Teacher

Cynthia Jelleberg’s roots herald from the prairies of North Dakota, a farm gal who experienced pure seasonal color and vast displays of natural creation.  She received a teaching degree in the arts and moved to Montana, only to return back to the plains a few years later to teach visual art at Magic City Campus in Minot, North Dakota.
Cynthia, along with her husband, later created the Dakotah Rose Bed & Breakfast, a Minot historic home renovation.  It began as an entrepreneurial adventure towards design, hospitality, and restaurant industry.  The home became a canvas of 8,000 square feet for Cynthia to create upon.

Currently, Cynthia is a faculty member at the Turtle Mountain Community College in Belcourt, North Dakota.  She began the Fine Arts program in 1999 with two art courses and today the college offers twelve art classes throughout the school year.  Her students have won numerous awards at the annual American Indian Higher Education Consortium competition, and recently two student’s artworks were selected for the American Indian College Fund 2006 calendar.

Cynthia believes that artistic inspiration can be transferred from teacher to student, and just as often, from student to teacher.  She enjoys working with students, young and old, embracing their struggles and successes, and gaining personal growth from their insight and many times, their enlightenment.

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