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Dance, Drama, Literature, Music, Visual and Traditional Arts
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Walter Piehl Painting
Visual Arts vase
Literary Arts pen
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ARTS Trunks

Resource for Teaching Standards (ARTS) Trunks

The ARTS Trunk Program offers educators the opportunity to enrich K-12 students' learning through the arts. This program consists of eight thematic trunks that include touchable art materials, videos, CDs, and resource books. Learning activities incorporating the North Dakota Arts Standards are an integral component of the program. Each trunk explores one art discipline (dance, visual arts, drama or music) through themed curriculum: Cultural Encounters with Lewis and Clark and Games and Storytelling. The ARTS Trunk Program is a partnership between the North Dakota Council on the Arts and the North Dakota Art Gallery Association.

Reserve a trunk for a 2-week period for $30 total. Your rental period will allow one week of flexible time and one week of shipping time. In order to allow flexibility and economy in scheduling, please provide your first, second and third choices in theme, discipline and month. To get your first choice, contact the North Dakota Art Gallery Association today at 412 19th Avenue SW, Minot, North Dakota 58701; 701.858.3242; or

Fancy dance shawl is being displayed
Student wearing a Fancy Dance shawl from the Games and Storytelling ARTS Trunk. This shawl was made from satin and edged with a nylon fringe. The student is imitating the movement of a butterfly.

ARTS Trunks:

Trunk Credits, a number of artists, art educators, and other professionals were involved in the development of these trunks. 

ARTS Mission Statement: To join with educators, students, and artists to ensure that arts education fosters 
communication, identity, and respect for all cultures.

ARTS Program Goals:

  • To share the expression of culture and identity through the arts.
  • To highlight artistic traditions.
  • To focus on the meeting and exchange of cultures - past and present.
  • To provide curriculum resources that implements and integrates the arts in 
    educational environments.

ARTS Philosophy and History:
The arts - dance, drama, literature, music, visual arts - belong in the education of every child. Engaging in the arts means creating, experimenting, exploring, making choices, developing ideas, and enjoying new experiences. The North Dakota Council on the Arts is committed to ensuring that students in our state have access and opportunity to an education in which the arts are an essential component. To expand and enhance inclusion of the arts in North Dakota's education process, the Council's Arts-in-Education Program developed this educational resource, the Art Resources for Teaching Standards (ARTS) Trunk Program.

ARTS offers educators the opportunity to enrich students learning through the arts. The program consists of thematic trunks that include touchable art materials, videos, CDs, and resource books to enhance the teaching of dance, drama, music, and visual arts. Learning activities incorporating the North Dakota Arts Standards are an integral component of the program. The standards-based learning activities in these handbooks can be used independently or integrated with other disciplines. The items in this trunk can be used as examples in the learning activities or can actually be used as the learning activity.

The ARTS Trunk Program evolved from a previous Council trunk designed by the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, Nebraska. A group consisting of Council staff, North Dakota educators, art specialists, tribal members, and library staff met to brainstorm and discuss revisions that would make the program more relevant to North Dakota's  peoples and cultures. Discussion focused on determining the purpose of the project and how to achieve that desired purpose. As a result, the following mission statement and program goals became the driving force for the development of the ARTS Trunk Program.

A writing team consisting of North Dakota classroom educators, arts specialists, and artists developed learning activities integrating North Dakota Arts Standards into the ARTS Trunk Program. The writers worked with a curriculum coordinator and were asked to select one Fine Arts Standard and one Benchmark as a focus for an activity related to an object in the ARTS Trunk Program. Part of the curriculum design process involved identifying what the students were to achieve; therefore, each activity has suggested criteria on which to assess the work done. This Arts-in-Education program offers a model for educators to implement standards-based learning activities into a curriculum.

ARTS provides students and educators an opportunity to experience objects and materials made by artists. North Dakota artists produced many of the works included in the program trunks. Artists share expression of their traditions and reveal cultural  identity using dance, drama (storytelling), music, and visual arts. Through personal experience we can learn to value and respect artistic traditions and expression of culture. In addition, the objects and materials in the ARTS Trunks can provide the stimulus for students and educators to express individual creativity.

The ARTS Trunk Program is supported through funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and the North Dakota State Legislature. Scheduling, storage, and shipping coordination for the ARTS Trunks is managed by the North Dakota Art Gallery Association. Support for this program also includes many individual efforts: writing team members, artists, curriculum and education handbook coordinators, state arts council staff, state arts council board members, arts organizations, fabrication consultants, tribal consultants, arts specialists, and research consultants.

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