BISMARCK, ND (KXNET) — This year marks the 5th anniversary of the Bismarck Arts Bash — where creativity and class combine to support culture in the BisMan community.

The Arts Bash was originally created in 2017, with the goal of recognizing, supporting, and promoting organizations that help to contribute to Bismarck’s cultural climate. In the years since its’ inception, the yearly get-together has raised over $20,000 for local arts charities and programs including the Bismarck Ars and Galleries Association, Central Dakota Children’s Choir, Suzuki Schook of Music, and Bismarck Mandan Symphony Orchestra among other groups. In exchange for their support and contributions to put on the soiree, the groups each receive an even split of the profits — an arrangement that always ends well for the different groups who come together and form the event board.

The event took place on Thursday, October 15, at the North Dakota Heritage Center and State Museum. Although on the surface, the event brought forth the image of straightforward orderly conduct, there were a few things that set the Bismarck Arts Bash apart, and the main one of these was the fact that the creative process was still ongoing during the evening. Guests at the celebration could take part in pottery-making, as well as witness live painting and caricatures. to put a creative spin on the typical festivities.

“I think it’s a really fun event.,” explained the president of the Arts Bash’s board Anne Cleary. “People love getting to come to things in Bismarck where it’s a unique experience. It’s not just your average fundraising event… you can come here, you can get a caricature drawn of yourself, you can watch live artists paint, you can throw a pot, and all of the money you spend while you’re here goes back to the local organizations that make art so great in our community.”

The main attraction of the event was a special auction focused on local artists and events — with key items to be sold including unique paintings from local artists. Some of the big-ticket items, ironically, included the Silver Spoon bundle (featuring restaurants) and the coveted Golden Ticket — an all-access pass created by the cultural institutions of Bismarck and Mandan granting tickets to many of the year’s biggest local events. Some of the tickets included in the package included the following:

  • A Family Pass to Gateway to Science
  • Tickets to the Bismarck/Mandan Symphony Orchestra
  • Tickets to the Bismarck Arts and Gallery Association (BAGA) Festival of the Arts
  • Two tickets to the complete Dakota Film Festival
  • Season Tickets to Northern Plains Dance
  • Two tickets for the Downtowners Art and Wine Walk

Personalized unique art experiences, as well as both pre-painted and the live art created at the event, were also put up for auction, with some prime auction items going for $1400 and even $2000.

The Golden Ticket was auctioned off to a winning bid of $900. In total, the auction raised over $5000 dollars alone, not counting entry fees, which will be split among the local cultural groups that came together to sponsor the night.

Every company that is a part of the bash is more than happy to contribute, claiming that the event is an unusual and creative twist on black-tie galas.

The Bismarck Arts Bash in itself serves not only as an extra fundraiser to support arts programs but also as a way to honor the good that patrons of the arts do for their communities. The event is a perfect opportunity to gather people who have been touched and inspired by North Dakota’s culture together under one roof to celebrate the creativity that has come to the community this year.

All money raised from the Arts Bash is also contributed to supporting local arts programs as well… and they’d like to remind you that even after the event, they could always use a little extra help.

“All of the arts groups that are represented tonight, among others in the community, are always open to support,” stated director of Northern Plains Dance Hollis Mackintosh Heiv. Wether it’s volunteerism, financial support, or just making sure that you attend events, the performing arts in Bismarck are always looking for new patrons.”

It goes without saying that we hope that the citizens of Bismarck and Mandan continue to support their local artists and programs that help bring out the creativity in everyone.

We’ll see you again next weekend for another BRB Segment!