September 29, 2012

New Creativity Center with focus on 21st century skills

Plains Art Museum

“I see us as being in the art business. Art, entertainment, and mobile sculpture, which coincidentally, also happens to provide transportation.” –Bob Lutz, General Motors Company, Former Vice Chairman

In a world of commercialism, political upheaval, and uncertain economic systems, how does creativity fit into our lives? In a bold move, noted regional flagship Plains Art Museum poses an answer—we embrace the 21st century skills we find embodied in the visual arts: creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication. Through a matrix of gallery and studio experiences, public programs, community projects, and artist-led initiatives, a socially engaged art museum can provide an environment to garner and grow our 21st century skills while providing a catalytic site that combines arts and community development.

Propelled by this vision, in late September Plains Art Museum will open the Katherine Kilbourne Burgum Center for Creativity. Located directly west of the Museum, this 25,500 square foot expansion is a multipurpose arts facility offering classes for the entire community, as well as studio and exhibition space for learning, discussion, and display of creative work. It will focus on developing people’s potential for deeper learning and problem solving through 21st century skills.

In a unique partnership, Fargo Public Schools will serve as a cornerstone client in the Center. At least 5,000 additional Kindergarten through fifth grade students will visit each year for gallery and studio learning, increasing the total number of students served to nearly 10,000. After its first year open, the Museum plans to expand school participation to 16,000 students annually, including other area school districts. Additionally, the Museum’s Creative Actions: Selections from the Permanent Collection exhibit will be the foundation for the visual art curriculum in Fargo Public Schools this year and will be utilized as a framework to build curriculum and scholarly research in art and art education for the entire region.

As part of the Grand Opening, Plains Art Museum will present nine new exhibitions, including:
Ice Music: Paul D. Miller / DJ Spooky
Our Treasures: Highlights from the Minnesota Museum of American Art
Creative Actions: Selections from the Permanent Collection
The Artist’s Studio: Robert Kurkowski
Fargo-Moorhead Visual Artists Studio Crawl Preview
A Creative Life: Honoring Charles Beck
Graffiti 101: The Foundation of Street Art
Hand Picked: An Art = Food Installation by Su Legatt
Playful Pollinators: An Outreach Project with Madison Elementary School

Additionally, the Museum will host two artists-in-residence in October: renowned artist, musician, deejay, writer, and thinker Paul D. Miller, known as DJ Spooky that Subliminal Kid; and noted Minneapolis-based photographer Wing Young Huie.

This 6.4 million dollar campaign, containing major extension and renovation, the commissioning of James Rosenquist’s North Dakota Mural, and a 2 million dollar endowment, was funded by more than 225 donors who contributed gifts ranging from 5 USD to 1 million USD.
About Plains Art Museum
Plains Art Museum is a nonprofit, regional fine arts museum accredited by the American Association of Museums with significantly expanded programming through the Katherine Kilbourne Burgum Center of Creativity which opened fall 2012. Museum programs are made possible, in part, by major funding from members of the Museum, The FUNd at Plains Art Museum, the cities of Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo through The Arts Partnership, The McKnight Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature, the North Dakota Council on the Arts through an appropriation by the North Dakota State Legislature and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. More information is available at 701 232 3821 or at




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