Dakota Wicohan, a Morton area, Native non-profit educational organization will be featured in a Minnesota State Arts Board exhibition showcasing artwork supported by the state’s arts and cultural heritage fund.

A creative investment exhibition, celebrating 10 years of legacy art and impact, opened April 26, 2019, at the Minnesota State Arts Board in Saint Paul and will be on display through the fall.

The exhibition highlights the breadth of art engagement throughout the state and features work by all ages from kindergartners to older adults and all abilities. Its theme is that all Minnesotans are creative, and all benefit from the arts.

Dakota Wicohan, a nonprofit educational organization that aims to revitalize the Minnesota Dakota language, created Tawokaga, an arts program using arts as a means of reconnecting with the community and Dakota values, traditions and ways of life.

Through an arts board grant, the program added horse regalia to its programming to continue to provide intergenerational learning and pass on this traditional Dakota art form. The arts board exhibition features a horse mask created by Eileen and Kateri O’Keefe.

In 2008, Minnesota voters approved the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment to the state’s constitution. For a period of 25 years, the amendment will dedicate a pool of funds for clean water, parks and trails, outdoor habitat and arts and cultural heritage.

The arts board and the state’s regional arts councils receive appropriations from the arts and cultural heritage fund. In the first 10 years, the arts board and regional arts councils have awarded 13,894 legacy supported grants.

“Since the passage of the legacy amendment, more Minnesotans have access to and are able to participate in the arts, and the funding has put the arts to work in new ways to help achieve important public goals,” said Sue Gens, executive director of the Minnesota State Arts Board. “In addition to supporting arts programming in traditional settings like theaters and concert halls, legacy funds are helping bring the arts into community settings. Collaborative arts projects are bringing neighbors together, traditional artists are helping to foster cultural understanding, arts activities are promoting health and well-being for older adults, young people are developing their talents and skills through community arts education, and artists and arts organizations are being recognized as important tools in economic and community development.”

More information about the exhibition and the artwork can be found online at www.arts.state.mn.us.

– Photo courtesy of the Minnesota State Arts Board Web site