FARGO — The arts are doing so well in the Fargo-Moorhead area that Dayna Del Val, president and CEO of The Arts Partnership, said there is reason to celebrate.

“I believe when we celebrate the arts more we will see the success grow,” she said Tuesday, June 11, at The Arts Partnership’s fourth State of the Arts event at North Dakota State University's Richard Barry Hall in downtown Fargo.

Going over highlights from the past year, she apologized for not mentioning every arts group’s accomplishments, stating it would take seven hours to do so.

“That’s how robust our arts community is,” she said.

“That all of these groups continue to maintain and grow is an achievement,” she said later.

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The Arts Partnership President and CEO Dayna Del Val welcomes a crowd of more than 150 business and arts leaders to NDSU's Richard Barry Hall in downtown Fargo on Tuesday, June 11, during the annual State of the Arts event. Dennis Krull / Special to The Forum
The Arts Partnership President and CEO Dayna Del Val welcomes a crowd of more than 150 business and arts leaders to NDSU's Richard Barry Hall in downtown Fargo on Tuesday, June 11, during the annual State of the Arts event. Dennis Krull / Special to The Forum

Del Val announced that The Arts Partnership was awarding $146,275 of grants to 30 arts organizations and 16 artists this year, up about $2,000 from last year.

The upcoming year will see projects like ArtWORKS continue to grow at Fargo’s Hector International Airport, she said, where a series of 12 performances will take place, starting in the fall. A new show of quilts was just hung there to display for the next three months.

She added that Aptitude, the new version of APT, the creative incubator, should open in August in its new spot inside Fargo's West Acres. While some of the artist spaces are spoken for, there will be an open house to try and attract more to fill out the remaining spots.

The event was also an opportunity to honor Linda Boyd, the outgoing executive director of the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra, as Outstanding Arts Leader.

In her introduction, Del Val joked with the crowd that if you liked her or disliked her, either way they had Boyd to thank for encouraging Del Val to apply for The Arts Partnership job.

“I really feel like an arts administrator is the best job. It’s so inspiring,” Boyd said. “The fun part is getting everyone to see a common vision, chart a course, set the stage as best you can and get out of the way to let the artists do their thing.”

Moorhead Mayor Johnathan Judd (left to right), West Fargo Mayor Bernie Dardis and Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney hand out $97,000 in grants to local arts nonprofits Tuesday, June 11, at the State of the Arts event in Fargo. Dennis Krull / Special to The Forum
Moorhead Mayor Johnathan Judd (left to right), West Fargo Mayor Bernie Dardis and Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney hand out $97,000 in grants to local arts nonprofits Tuesday, June 11, at the State of the Arts event in Fargo. Dennis Krull / Special to The Forum

Boyd will step down from the FMSO in November, having been the head since 2007, her second tenure after leading the organization from 1993 to ’96. She also served a term as a Fargo City Commissioner and two terms on the Fargo School Board.

“I may be leaving the symphony, but I’m not leaving my position as an arts supporter and an arts lover in the community,” she told the crowd.

FMSO cellist Bill Comita closed the event with a performance of Aaron Minsky’s “Flag Waver,” dedicated to Boyd, “for waving the flag for the symphony”.

“It’s an incredible honor,” Boyd said of the acknowledgments. “This community and my arts colleagues nurtured me for so many years. It’s a moving experience.”

The FMSO was also honored for Outstanding Arts Board of Directors, as was Gooseberry Park Players.

Events promoter Jade Presents was awarded Outstanding Business in Support of Artists for providing grants to area artists. Fargo’s Office Sign Co. was honored as Outstanding Business in the Arts, while downtown Fargo developer Kilbourne Group, which helped develop APT, the arts incubator, won an award for Outstanding Arts Collaborator.

The Rourke Art Gallery + Museum, Fargo-Moorhead Opera, the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County and Gooseberry Park Players all received Merit Awards from Sanford Health and The Arts Partnership.