​​Dakota West Arts Council
​leads, advocates, and advances ​
​art and culture in the Bismarck Community.

​​Who We Are

Since its inception, the council’s Grant Program has been our flagship service offering. Thousands of dollars have been re-granted to arts organizations throughout the Bismarck area to support cultural projects in all disciplines. We typically issue 20-30 grants each year to local arts nonprofits and individual artists.

Mission Statement

To serve our community in celebrating “art in the everyday” by cultivating and supporting all types of creative exploration and cultural artistic expression.

Vision Statement

Foster a community that believes arts, culture, and humanities are essential.

Core Values

We believe art, culture, and humanities enrich the quality of life for residents and visitors to North Dakota’s Capital City.

  • Support sustainability of having a voice for arts and culture. We believe art, cultural, and the humanities provide opportunities that are vital to a healthy, prosperous society.
  • Develop meaningful influential relationships with organizations.
  • Achieve recognition as the premier advocate for creativity and vibrancy.
  • Serve as the collective voice in believing in art for all – everyone deserves equal access to a full, vibrant creative life, which is essential to a healthy and democratic society.
  • Bridge multi-cultural relationships through collaborative efforts on the arts and humanities. We believe unique and diverse art forms bring people together across cultures and can bridge/promote positive intercultural relationships.
  • Unite the community through cultural heritage. We believe arts and cultural heritage can provide an automatic sense of unity and belonging within a group and allow us to better understand previous generations and the history of where we come from.
  • Inspire community vitality through economic grown through the arts.

Our board and staff

Erica Shively President Attorney, Elsberry & Shively
Jack Sitter Vice President Visual Artist & Designer
Andrea Birst Treasurer Owner, Glance Spa & Salon
Brandon Roehrich Secretary Human Resources, Montana Dakota Utilities (MDU)
Dr. Jason Thoms Director Assistant Professor of Music, Bismarck State College
William Hutchings Director Urban Planner, Stantec
Mary Erickson Rennich Director Visual Artist
Kris Mount Director Abused Adult Resource Center
Judith Hammer Director Arts & Culture Advocate, “The Great Attender”
Executive Director

DWAC has been the arts umbrella organization for thirty-five plus years in public/private partnership with the City of Bismarck, the Bismarck Parks and Recreation District, local artists, arts organizations, corporate partners, government entities, and local organizations to support and promote arts and cultural opportunities for all. Additionally, our programs and services are supported by the North Dakota Council on the Arts, private foundations, corporate donors, our volunteer board of directors, and individuals committed to cultural development in the city.

Our board and staff

Interested in serving on this board?