Groundbreaking of the Cultural Arts center

Left to right: Mark McLean, JLG Architects; Vern Lambert; Mark Wax, USDA ND Rural Development Community Project Director; Joel Davey, JLG Architects; Jeanette Herald, Board of Regents Chairperson; Bernice Cavanaugh-John; Helen Jacobs; Lorraine Greybear; Louis Garcia; LaVerne Sullivan; Phillip “Skip” Longie; Dr. Cynthia Lindquist; Laurel Reuter, NDMOA Director.

Fort Totten, ND – June 12, 2017 Cankdeska Cikana Community College (CCCC) held a ground breaking ceremony for the new CCCC Center for the Cultural Arts, Monday, June 12 at 11:00 am. The Center for the Cultural Arts project evolved from a collaboration between CCCC and the North Dakota Museum of Art (NDMOA), Grand Forks, ND, Laurel Reuter, Executive Director.  This partnership led to an introduction to Joel Davy, JLG Architects, Fargo, ND with the College.  As part of its effort to fulfill the mission of teaching and perpetuating the Dakota language and culture, CCCC has striven to have an adequate physical campus that includes plans for theater arts, fine arts, music, a heritage center and library expansion toward the archiving of relevant Dakota history.  All these components make for a rich teaching and learning environment that reinforces cultural identity toward the success of college students as well as the families and residents of the community.

The CCCC Board of Regents has passed several motions for each phase of the USDA funding and for the project overall and in April 2016 the Spirit Lake Tribal Council passed a resolution (A05-16-193) supporting the certification of significant community support for the project.  The center is a new ‘art place’ wherein CCCC and the Spirit lake Community will be able to host art shows, educational classes, small conference events or dance theater shows.  The new Center is approximately 4,200 square feet of space with state-of-art flooring, lighting, and sound system.

CCCC’s primary resource for construction funding is the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Tribal Colleges and Universities Program (TCUP).  CCCC has been planning and saving the grant funds from this source for five consecutive fiscal years (current year still pending) for a total of $703,651 from USDA and a required match (5%) of $37,021 from CCCC.  CCCC’s Title III (US Department of Education) is contributing $113,035; CCCC’s general fund $107,435 and endowment interest $264,225, for a total of $1.2 million for the project.  (CCCC is striving to not have to use the endowment interest and has several applications pending.)