Art is about to change in Fargo-Moorhead. This month the Plains Art Museum is beginning construction on the Katherine Kilbourne Burgum Center for Creativity at the Plains Art Museum. This was made possible by a $300,000 donation from the Katherine Kilbourne Burgum Trust and the Burgum family added a $200,000 challenge grant to help the Plains Art Museum reach the $6.2 million goal to finish construction.
The Center for Creativity will be located next to the Plains Art Museum. It is set to open the fall of 2012. The Center for Creativity will work extensively with Fargo Public Schools to get students in to educate Fargo youth on art. This Center for Creativity will replace the Fargo Public Schools’ Creative Arts Studio located in Clara Barton Elementary.
At a press conference last month Doug Burgum quoted Creative Arts Studio founder Bob Kurkowski, who died last month.
“Art doesn’t need education. We’ve been making it since the beginning of time. Education needs art.”
Doug Burgum is the head of the Kilbourne Group and is in charge of the revitalization of downtown Fargo. He made it very clear at the press conference why it is important to invest in the arts.
“We need to embrace the diversity that comes with rich, vibrant communities and often in front of that is the arts,” Burgum said. “When you take a look at the revival of cities across the country one of the first organizations to come back into the economically depressed downtown areas is the arts organizations.”
Starting this fall the Center for Creativity will cater to 5,000 elementary students and jumping up to 12,000 the next couple of years. The center will be a 27,000-square-foot building featuring a large ceramics studio with 1,300 pottery wheels, two clay studios and glazing and kiln rooms. It will also feature a studio for sculpture, painting, drawing, a hug for photos, video and other digital media.
The Plains Art Museum hopes to have more of a dominant role in Fargo-Moorhead. It originally opened as the Red River Art Center in 1965 and was housed in the former Moorhead post office. The downtown building on First Ave. opened in 1997. The museum averages 12 special exhibitions a year.