We — the royal North Dakota humanities scholars We — just concluded an informal state-wide humanities get-together in downtown Fargo, North Dakota. It provided a venue to bring a large cross-section of North Dakotans together, pack them into one room, and get them talking about various projects they work on, this to generate unforeseen collaborations for future projects and programming.
Individual attendees came from a variety of institutions, and I’m not going to group them because the conversations cut across all sorts of arts, humanities, and social scientific lines. Scholars came from Williston State College, Minot State University, Sitting Bull College, Holden Village, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, The Arts Partnership, Cardno ENTRIX, the North Dakota Council on the Arts, UND’s Scrap Iron Press, the Plains Art Museum, the First Sudanese Lutheran Church, Concordia College, the Bush Foundation, Bismarck State College, Candeska Cikana Community College, the German-Russian Country Tri-County Tourism Alliance, Prairie Talks, the North Dakota House of Representatives, Trefoil Cultural and Environmental, the ND American Civil Liberties Union, the Red Door Art Gallery & Museum, Cinema 100, the North Dakota Women’s Network, New Rivers Press, Preservation North Dakota, the Dakota Resource Council, the University of North Dakota, the Greater Grand Forks Community Theatre, Meadowlark Arts Council, North Dakota State University, the Northern Plains Ethics Institute, crack scholar Ken Smith from Ellendale, North Dakota, Prairie Public Radio, the State Historical Society of North Dakota, and the North Dakota Humanities Council. Here is a panoramic of it at one point.
So that happened. And at the outset I didn’t really know what to expect. But it turns out that there are a lot of arts, humanities, and social scientific scholars on the northern Great Plains primed for this kind of discussion, and it was excellent to hear and see state-wide relationships being formed with individuals who had no idea that such potential collaborative relationships could even exist. Who knows what will come from a conversation? I say this to myself from time to time. The previously unforeseen has been realized, though, and a true genesis happened in numerous ways over the last couple days. More on all this down the line for sure.