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Dance, Drama, Literature, Music, Visual and Traditional Arts
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Musical instrument
Walter Piehl Painting
Visual Arts vase
Literary Arts pen
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Arts in Education Other Programs and Resources

~ Professional Development

  • *(Classes are now full, if you would like to be put on a waiting list contact Rebecca Engelman at Picturing Writing: Fostering Literacy Through Art Workshop, June 11, 12 & 13, 2014, at the ND Heritage Center, Bismarck, ND. Picturing Writing is an innovative, proven approach to literacy learning designed to engage students with diverse learning styles. This art-and-literature-based approach to writing offers students the opportunity to become proficient in two languages: the language of pictures and the language of words. As students move back and forth between the two, they gain access to ideas, language, and forms of expression otherwise unavailable.
  • Summer Intensive Teaching Artist Workshop. One of today’s challenges for arts organizations is to bring our teaching artists’ best work to the “shared endeavor” of making the arts a part of every child’s PK-12 education. Experts in the field suggest that arts organizations can offer the best work to that shared endeavor when we invest in long-term professional learning for our teaching artists. When we invest in the knowledge and skills of our teaching artists, we increase the value of their work with schools. This summer, North Dakota Council on the Arts will partner with Melanie Rick, course leader and coach for the Kennedy Center's Changing Education Through the Arts (CETA) program in Washington, D.C. and consultant with Focus 5, Inc. to present “Mapping the Journey: Planning Effective Residencies for Students.”  Thisprofessional learning opportunity provides teaching artists with structure, guidance, and tools to implement clear goals in their residencies and lessons and to prove to administrators the value of their work. Each participant also receives a binder of resource materials, which documents and extends the workshop content. North Dakota Council on the Arts invites all North Dakota teaching artists to explore this wonderful opportunity on August 4-5 at the North Dakota Heritage Center in Bismarck. A $50 fee is required upon registration and is refunded upon successful completion of all course requirements. Hotel arrangements for those residing outside the Bismarck/Mandan are available upon request. More information and registration form is available via this link. For questions, please contact: Rebecca Engelman, Arts in Education Director, ND Council on the Arts; Email:; or call: (701)328-7593.
  • STEAM Team Summer Workshop (more information coming soon...)

~ Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest
Created by the National Endowment for the Arts and The Poetry Foundation, Poetry Out Loud (POL) is administered in partnership with the State Arts Agencies of all 50 states and the District of Columbia. By encouraging high school students to memorize and perform great poems, POL invites the dynamic aspects of slam poetry, spoken word, and theatre into the English class. This exciting new program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.

~ North Dakota Poetry Out Loud State Champions Performance with Prairie Public:

~ Arts in Education Monthly Newsletters

~ Online Folk Artist Documentaries and Lesson Plans
The following documentaries were produced by the North Dakota Council on the Arts in partnership with Prairie Public Broadcasting, the Bush Foundation, and the Spirit Room Gallery.  Four lesson plans (one pre, two while viewing, and one post viewing) for teachers and students are associated with each documentary. The lesson plans are based on the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction’s Standards and Benchmarks. Schools and teachers are encouraged also to utilize these documentaries, lesson plans, and featured artists themselves with the NDCA’s Artist-in-Residence and/or Teacher Incentive grant programs. For more information visit; or

  • A Lyrical Life: The Struggle and Hope of South Sudan (approximately 26 minutes):  This documentary introduces people to the culture, history, music, and dance of the Ma’di people of southern Sudan and northern Uganda. Through three traditional songs, the issues associated with the struggle of South Sudan are revealed; centuries-old conflicts over religion, slavery, race, genocide, displacement, war, and refugee status. “Hope” refers to the reconciliation process taking place in Africa and in America in places like North Dakota where the featured musicians now live.
  • Lesson plans with Benchmarks and Standards for Grades 9-12: English Language Arts, Social Studies, and Music,
  • Kalendo is a track and music video from the enhanced CD Achikadidi: Traditional Ma’di Music of Southern Sudan and Northern Uganda produced by the North Dakota Council on the Arts in 2003. The song was a favorite of Ma’di militiamen who fought in the 1980s in Sudan’s civil war. It describes the weariness of war and the desire to return to a life of farming. Watch the YouTube video via this link.
  • Turtle and Pretty Crane (approximately 9 minutes):  This documentary features renowned Mandan and Hidatsa storyteller and flute player Keith Bear from Drags Wolf Village on the Forth Berthold Indian Reservation of north-western North Dakota.  The traditional story told is included also in greater detail on the NDCA produced CD Morning Star Whispered.  The narrative is described by Keith as an American Indian “Romeo and Juliet.”
  • Lesson plans with Benchmarks and Standards for Grades 9-12: Music, English Language Arts, and Social Studies,
  • God Given: Cultural Treasures of Armenia (approximately 10 minutes):  The exquisite metal repoussé artistry and life experiences of Norik Astvatsaturov, formerly of Baku, Azerbaijan, now an American citizen in Wahpeton, North Dakota, reflect in microcosm the history and culture of Armenia.  Armenia is an ancient country in Eurasia’s mountainous Transcaucasian region within an area often referred to as the ‘Cradle of Civilization.’  Because of its position as a crossroads between East and West, Christian and Muslim, Armenia’s existence is marked throughout by turbulent occupation and persecution stemming, in part, from cultural and religious intolerance.
  • Lesson plans with Benchmarks and Standards for Grades 9-12: Visual Arts, English Language Arts, and Social Studies,
  • Online lesson plans for The Blue Heron Who Stayed for the Winter from the enhanced CD My Relatives Say: Traditional Dakotah Stories as Told by Mary Louise Defender Wilson:  This teacher’s guide will introduce your students to the stories, legends, culture and language of renowned storyteller Mary Louise Defender Wilson and the Dakotah tribe.  The narrative describes what happens to a blue heron who struggles with the dangerous winter conditions of the Northern Great Plains while other species of birds rally their own unique skills to help the blue heron survive.  Four lesson plans (one pre, two while listening, and one post listening) for teachers and students are associated with the story.  The lesson plans are based on the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction’s Standards and Benchmarks.  Schools and teachers are encouraged also to utilize this enhanced CD, lesson plans, and featured artist with the NDCA’s Artist-in-Residence and/or Teacher Incentive grant programs. For information on Artist-in-Residence and Teacher Incentive visit; or
  • Lesson plans with Benchmarks and Standards for Grades K-6: English Language Arts and Social Studies,
  • For more information on the CD and to hear a sample of the story visit

~ Lewis and Clark Fine Arts Poster Series - The North Dakota Council on the Arts and the State Historical Society of North Dakota are pleased to announce the new Lewis and Clark Poster Series. This project was initiated by the Council on the Arts and the Historical Society, and made possible through Lewis and Clark funding from the North Dakota State Legislature.

~ Prairie Public Broadcasting's Prairie School Television offers videos that help teach several subjects, including foreign language and the arts. Visit their website,, to see a complete broadcast schedule and list of available videos.

~ Relevant Downloads from the National Art Education Association (NAEA). Reprinted with permission from the NAEA (Reston, VA),

~ Tips for Parent Advocacy - 14-page flyer of tips that parents can use to promote and advocate art education programs in their children's schools.

~ Learning and the Arts: Crossing Boundaries Report

~ 15 “Where’s the Art” campaign fliers. Bring attention to the art education policy deficiencies that affects the nation's young citizenry; encourage the press/media, legislators, and parents to generate public understanding the importance of improving art education policies that lead to student art learning.

  1. Access
  2. Checklist
  3. Facility
  4. Gateway
  5. Kids
  6. Wheel
  7. 555
  8. Assess
  9. Learning
  10. Liberty
  11. Literacy
  12. Teacher Prep
  13. Truck
  14. Flag
  15. Why Teach?

~ Visual Arts Education: Setting an Agenda for Improving Student Learning - A new report from the NAEA President

~ The Arts and Academic Improvement: What the Evidence Shows - Executive Summary. Harvard Project Zero. From Translations, Winter 2001

~ 10 page flyer on Interdisciplinary Instruction - Developed in collaboration with the Consortium of Professional Arts Education Associations

NDCA blue art footer with typed arts disciplines listed