Congratulations to Alex Kroke on receiving the 2022 Mike Maidenberg Emerging Leader Award! A native of Michigan, ND, Alex currently serves as the Assistant Director of Marketing Strategy for the University of North Dakota Marketing & Communication division, a role he’s held since 2018. Prior to his current role, Alex spent 8 years with the North Dakota Athletics department as the Associate Director of Marketing. Alex graduated from UND in 2014 with a bachelor's degree in marketing, and again from UND in 2016 with his Master of Business Administration.
In addition to receiving the Mike Maidenberg Emerging Leader Award, Alex has selected Circle of Friends Humane Society to receive a scholarship to attend the 2023 Chamber Leadership Class.
About the Mike Maidenber Leadership Endowment and Emerging Leader Award
In 2004, the Mike Maidenberg Leadership Endowment was established at the Community Foundation by Grand Forks Herald employees to honor Publisher Mike Maidenberg on his retirement. It was a fitting way to thank and commemorate Mike’s long time civic efforts in Grand Forks. His leadership was instrumental in strengthening our community, especially after the flood of 1997. His leadership presence continued as he was at the forefront of establishing the Community Foundation, serving as our first Board President. Mike remains committed to the quality of life in communities and is a strong advocate for revitalization of downtown areas.
Nominations for the Mike Maidenberg Emerging Leader Award are based on the following leadership characteristics: Positive Attitude and Adaptability, Communication and Vision, Integrity, Education and Innovation, Creativity, Intelligence, and Team Building.
The 2022 award nominees were Alex Kroke, Becca Cruger, and Jesse Iverson.
To make a gift to the Mike Maidenberg Leadership Endowment to support future nonprofit scholarships, click here.
Congratulations to Malia Beich of East Grand Forks, MN, the 2022 Grand Forks Republican Women (GFRW) Young Leader Scholarship Recipient. Malia will be pursuing Psychology at Clarke University in Dubuque, Iowa this fall.
The GFRW Scholarship is awarded annually to one student who demonstrates a history of leadership, volunteerism, good school citizenship, a strong work ethic, and who has put forth their best effort academically. Applicants must be qualified students planning to or are currently enrolled in any college, university, or trade school in the United States for the upcoming fall semester.
This award is made possible by generous donors to the GFRW Scholarship Fund at the Community Foundation. To make a gift to this fund to support our region's students, click here.
A team of University of North Dakota graduate students in collaboration with the City of Grand Forks and the Community Foundation of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks & Region invites community members to gather for a meeting to discuss potential projects along the corridor at the Salvation Army on University Avenue at 6:00 p.m. on May 10th. The goal of this meeting is for residents to determine what is most important to them, and how they want ongoing improvement efforts to be directed.
With funding from the Knight Foundation Donor-Advised Fund at the Community Foundation of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks & Region in partnership with the City of Grand Forks and the University of North Dakota an interdisciplinary team of four graduate students has been organized to connect with and act as a resource to individuals in the community who are interested in moving forward their thoughts and vision for the neighborhoods and areas identified in the University Avenue Corridor Study prepared by JLG Architects.
The students began organizing one-on-one listening sessions with individual community members March 1st, and these are still ongoing. With the goal of moving forward community improvement ideas, this first meeting on May 10th invites all residents within the area to discuss the findings of those individual meetings and begin to prioritize future plans as a neighborhood.
It is the students’ goal to listen to residents about their interests, to help facilitate communication within the neighborhood, and to act as a resource to the community to help bring about the changes residents would most like to see. The team is looking forward to the community event on May 10th, as it will be the first event for residents to meet together, organize as a group, and discuss what they believe their neighborhood most needs to prioritize going forward with the opportunity presented by the Knight Foundation Donor-Advised Fund and the 2021 study put forth by the Community Foundation of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks & Region.
The study, a vision document created in consultation with JLG Architects, began with a community-wide online survey and was followed by public engagement events. The study findings are broken down into four categories that were identified during the process: Enhancing Corridor Safety, Integrating All Forms of Transportation, Boosting Corridor Activity, and Celebrating Neighborhood Identity. Residents have continued to comment on or suggest ideas related to these four themes, and their ideas will be the focus of the May 10th meeting.
The students will continue to engage in one-on-one listening sessions with residents of the area to hear what they most want to see happen in their community. Interested individuals can get in touch at email@example.com.
All are welcome to attend the community meeting on May 10th at the Salvation Army on University Avenue, beginning at 6:00 p.m. Food, including vegan and gluten-free options, will be available. Individuals with any other accessibility concerns are encouraged to contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org in advance so they can make a support plan.
Community Foundation Announces 14 Recipients of Arts Regrant Funding Totaling $260,000 in Grant Awards
In its initiative to direct funds toward local creative and cultural endeavors, the Community Foundation of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks and Region has named the recipients of the 2022 Arts Regrant Program.
The Arts Regrant Program offers financial support for local arts and culture organizations who seek to educate, entertain, and inspire the community with their creative vision. This year’s grant program consisted of funding from two separate pools, evaluated independently from one another:
Combined funding totaling $257,999.94 was distributed among 14 nonprofit organizations including:
"The Arts Regrant Program works diligently to support programs that offer low-cost educational and artistic experiences to Grand Forks families, to increase access for both artists and diverse audiences, and to encourage the growth our community’s creative and cultural sectors," said the Community Foundation’s Executive Director Becca Baumbach.
Baumbach says the Arts Regrant Program investments have created ripples of hope across the community, especially given that the arts sector was one of the hardest hit by the pandemic. Organizations had to think critically and creatively to survive, and many are rebuilding capacity as audiences have begun to return.
ArtWise, an organization that saw dramatic change in their funding levels from 2020-2022, said receiving Arts Regrant funding allowed them to restructure their programming and open a new facility in the Columbia Mall, taking on gallery shows and educational opportunities to support local artists and families.
The North Dakota Ballet Company’s Executive Director, Laura Arneson, also talked positively about the impact of the arts both during the pandemic and as restrictions continue to lift. “The positive influence of our programming over the past two years has been most prominent on our young artists as these uncertain times have created increased isolation and depression. It was important for the North Dakota Ballet Company to continue to provide this outlet for our dancers, as well as encourage the community as they ease back into in-person experiences.”
With the return to some normalcy and the availability of additional funding, many applicants to the Arts Regrant Program shared their enthusiasm to return to pre-pandemic audience numbers while implementing the lessons learned and the new ideas generated over the past two years.
“The Arts Regrant Program supports so much of the quality of life we enjoy in Grand Forks,” said Baumbach. “From artists receiving professional opportunities, to children thriving because of creative outlets, to audiences and visitors supporting our economy, this grant program has a huge impact.”
Over the next 12 months, it is projected grantees will offer opportunities to 6,440 professional artists and aspiring creatives and will welcome over 60,800 visitors and audience members to their facilities.
Community Foundation to Receive $150,000 Grant from the NEA as Part of the American Rescue Plan
The Community Foundation of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks & Region is pleased to announce they have been selected to receive an American Rescue Plan grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to help the arts and cultural sector recover from the pandemic. The Community Foundation is receiving $150,000 and will use this funding to distribute grants in their community to eligible recipients to save jobs and to fund operations and facilities, health and safety supplies, and marketing and promotional efforts to encourage attendance and participation. In total, the NEA will award grants totaling $20,200,000 to 66 local arts agencies nationwide for subgranting.
“The NEA’s significant investment in local arts agencies, including the Community Foundation of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks & Region, is a key element in helping the arts and culture sector recover and reopen, while ensuring that American Rescue Plan funding is distributed equitably,” said Ann Eilers, NEA’s acting chair. “These grants recognize the vital role of local arts agencies and will allow them to help rebuild local economies and contribute to the well-being of our communities.”
“We are deeply appreciative to our federal partners for this funding from the American Rescue Plan,” said Becca Baumbach, Executive Director of the Community Foundation. “This much-needed opportunity will provide critical support to our creative sector, ensuring that museums, theaters, galleries, and studios are well positioned to re-open with new safety protocols in place and regain a solid financial position for long-term sustainability. For many households during the pandemic, these organizations brought entertainment, creativity, and a touch of normalcy during periods of seclusion and uncertainty. From outdoor theatre and live-streamed ballet performances to Zoom-based arts classes and virtual book readings, these nonprofits have gone above and beyond to create a vibrant community regardless of the circumstances dealt to them over the past eighteen months.”
The Community Foundation of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks & Region will distribute the funding to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations with an arts and/or culture-based mission and principal operations in the City of Grand Forks in conjunction with its annual Arts Regrant Program. Applicants will be able to apply for funding to assist with salaries, facilities, health and safety supplies, and marketing and promotional efforts. The Arts Regrant Program will open for applications at 9:00am on February 1, 2022, and will close at noon on February 28, 2022. Applications will be evaluated based on artistic quality; impact, existing or potential, on the communities and audiences the organization serves and/or plans to serve; and organizational capabilities. Preference may be given to nonprofits that have not received any prior American Rescue Plan funding. Grant recipients will be announced by March 31, 2022. More details about the program will be available at gofoundation.org beginning in January.
This is the second of three installments of the NEA’s American Rescue Plan funding. Last April, the NEA announced that 40 percent of its $135 million in ARP funding would be allocated to 62 state, jurisdictional, and regional arts organizations for regranting through their respective programs. The third installment of ARP funding to arts organizations to support their own operations will be announced in early 2022.
For more information on the NEA’s American Rescue Plan grants, including the full list of local arts agencies funded in this announcement, visitwww.arts.gov/COVID-19/the-american-rescue-plan.
About the Community Foundation of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks & Region
The Community Foundation of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks & Region is a nonprofit, community foundation created by and for the people of the region to encourage a spirit of philanthropy. Working in partnership with individuals, families, businesses, nonprofits, and trusted advisers, the Foundation manages over 100 charitable funds and provides grants to qualified nonprofit organizations, public entities, and other charitable causes.
Since 1998, the Foundation has granted over $8 million to create stronger, more vibrant communities across the middle and upper Red River Valley, with a focus on Grand Forks and Polk Counties.
Learn more about the Community Foundation and its work at gofoundation.org.
The International Downtown Association (IDA) has recognized the Community Foundation of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks & Region and Greater Grand Forks Young Professionals with the Downtown Achievement Pinnacle Award for its work and initiatives related to The Longest Table.
Each year, IDA recognizes outstanding projects as winners of the Downtown Achievement Awards which identify improvements to urban centers by dedicated organizations around the globe. The industry’s highest recognition, the Pinnacle Award, represents the most creative and inspiring innovations in urban place management. During a comprehensive review, this year’s projects were awarded by a jury of IDA members. The Longest Table won in the category of marketing, communications, and events.
“This event gives a voice to the everyday citizen, inviting them to the table to participate in civic conversation,” said Becca Baumbach, executive director of the Community Foundation. “We are so proud that Grand Forks rose to the top of the list of international submissions.”
The Longest Table welcomes residents for a free dinner in a welcoming environment with people they may not have known, to foster stronger connections, exchange stories, and share ideas about their community. Following the event, residents are invited to apply for micro-grants to get their ideas off the table and into action. More information about the Longest Table is available at longesttablegf.com.
“This innovative project received the IDA Pinnacle Award for setting the new standard for improving cities worldwide,” said David Downey, IDA President and CEO. “The Longest Table has made an impact on its city and the people who live, work and play in the community, and demonstrates the continued commitment to champion livable, vital and thriving urban centers.”
Washington, DC-based IDA is the premier organization for urban place professionals who are shaping and activating dynamic city center districts.
IDA will convene virtually this October for a three-day conference themed Forward Together to discuss topics facing downtowns and city centers. Kathryn Kester, executive director of Greater Grand Forks Young Professionals will present about their award-winning project during [session title] at the 66th Annual Conference & Marketplace, October 6-8, 2020. For more information about the session and conference, please visit the event webpage.
“I’m so proud of this award, but even more proud of the many people and partners who came together to make The Longest Table happen. This is our community, and we all deserve a voice in shaping it,” said Kester.
The 2020 Downtown Achievement Awards are sponsored by Grow with Google. Additional information on the Pinnacle award winners can be found online at downtown.org in early October.
IDA’s Annual Conference & Marketplace is the premier gathering for professional placemakers and urban champions creating vibrant and healthy cities around the world. The conference features educational sessions, Master Talks (short keynotes from industry leaders), marketplace exhibitors and online opportunities for members from around the world to network. Additional conference information is available here.
IDA is the premier organization for urban place professionals who are shaping and activating dynamic city center districts. Our members are city builders and downtown champions who bring urban centers to life, bridging the gap between the public and private sectors. We represent an industry of more than 2,500 place management organizations, employing 100,000 people throughout North America and growing rapidly around the world. Founded in 1954, IDA is a resource center for ideas and innovative best practices in urban place management. For more information, visit www.downtown.org.
$100,000 GE FOUNDATION GRANT TO COMMUNITY FOUNDATION HELPS GF SCHOOL DISTRICT OFFER SAFE LEARNING OPTIONS
GE Foundation today announced a $100,000 COVID-19 Community Response Grant to the Community Foundation of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks & Region, which will support the Grand Forks Public Schools “Smart Restart” initiative. The grant will help the district offer students the opportunity to choose face-to-face or remote learning options for the 2020/2021 academic year.
The grant will allow 18 schools in the community to retrofit their spaces to better meet COVID-19 safety standards such as providing access to personal protective equipment (PPE), protective barriers, and sanitizing supplies. The grant will also provide funds to help students access distance learning classes and support professional development for educators as they shift to more online teaching.
“The greatest gift we can give our country is educating our future,” said Dr. Terry Brenner, Superintendent, Grand Forks Public Schools. “Within the COVID-19 pandemic framework, we have been faced with enormous financial challenges beyond our budget’s capacity. Through the generosity of the GE Foundation, specifically to the sum of $100,000, we will be financially better positioned to absorb the extraordinary costs of personal protection equipment for students and staff, thereby continuing to focus general fund dollars on teaching and learning. In public education, there is no such thing as a 'windfall' of revenue. The GE Foundation just changed that. This surprise announcement is exhilarating and will benefit 7,500 students and 1,500 colleagues in the Grand Forks Public School District. On behalf of all district stakeholders and the entire community of Grand Forks, we are grateful.”
“The Foundation has worked tirelessly to support the people of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks and the surrounding region. We have partnered with many community leaders to determine our greatest needs and where we could make a significant impact to overcome the many challenges associated with COVID-19,” said Becca Baumbach, Executive Director, Community Foundation of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks & Region. “We learned that preparing for a safe return to school is a top priority for our community, and we're delighted to have the compassion, connection, and support of the GE Foundation. Through this collective effort, we know we will overcome many of the immediate challenges facing our schools and neighbors, and we fully believe in the strength and resolve of the students, their teachers, and the school staff across our region.”
"The entire GE family has come together to support COVID-19 response efforts around the globe," said Linda Boff, President, GE Foundation, and Vice President for GE. "We’re proud to be part of the Grand Forks community and are pleased to provide these critical funds to ensure the safe reopening of public schools for students and staff."
LM Wind Power Grand Forks Plant Director Tom Leighton-Haggy said, “LM Wind Power has worked to be a good corporate citizen during our twenty years as a major employer in the Grand Forks community. On behalf of our employees, we are proud to partner with the Grand Forks Community Foundation to support this important initiative as part of a community-wide effort to address the impact of this global pandemic.”
GE and GE Foundation are supporting the fight against COVID-19 worldwide. For example, GE Foundation pledged financial support to the World Health Organization's COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and Boston Resiliency Fund and contributed to disaster-relief organization Americares to deliver 1.4 million protective masks to healthcare workers across the U.S. Learn more at www.ge.com/about-us/covid-19.
About Community Foundation of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks & Region
The Community Foundation of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks & Region is a nonprofit, community foundation created by and for the people of the region to encourage a spirit of philanthropy. Working in partnership with individuals, families, businesses, and trusted advisers, the Community Foundation manages charitable funds and provides grants to qualified nonprofit organizations and causes. The Foundation has over $12 million in assets and has granted over $7 million to create stronger, more vibrant communities within the region. Learn more at www.gofoundation.org.
About GE Foundation
GE Foundation, the philanthropic organization of GE, is committed to transforming our communities and shaping the diverse workforce of tomorrow by leveraging the power of GE. GE Foundation is developing skills by bringing innovative learning in community health globally and STEM education, scaling what works, and building sustainable solutions. GE Foundation is inspiring others to act by connecting GE people with communities through matching gifts, leading on emerging issues such as the opiate crisis, and convening community leaders to maximize our impact. Learn more at www.gefoundation.com or follow the us on Twitter at @GE_Foundation.
About LM Wind Power
LM Wind Power, a GE Renewable Energy business, is a world leading designer and manufacturer of rotor blades for wind turbines, with a global manufacturing footprint that includes blade factories in Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, France, India, Poland, Spain, Turkey and the United States, as well as technology centers in Denmark, The Netherlands, India, the US and UK. The company has produced more than 228,000 blades since 1978, corresponding to more than 113 GW installed capacity and global savings of 242 million metric tons of CO2 annually. In 2018, LM Wind Power became the first carbon neutral business in the wind industry. Follow us at www.lmwindpower.com, on www.linkedin.com/company/lm-wind-power, or on www.twitter.com/LMWindPower.
Welcome to our team, Amelia Richelle Indvik! Amelia will be joining the Community Foundation as our incoming Operations Coordinator on Monday, May 18, and we couldn't be more excited - or lucky - to have her!
Grace Hertzler, our current Operations Coordinator, will remain on staff through June 11 for training and transition before moving to California with her husband for a new adventure.
ABOUT AMELIA INDVIK
Originally from Moorhead, MN, Amelia has called the Greater Grand Forks community home since 2012. She and her husband, Mark, have 3 beautiful children (MyKenna, Brayden, and Jaxson) and enjoy camping, fishing, gardening, biking, and board games.
Amelia is currently attending the University of North Dakota for Political Science. She serves on the board for The Arc, Upper Valley and is the Chair for The Chamber - Grand Forks/East Grand Forks Ambassador's group.
The Community Foundation's Board of Directors is pleased to announce its two newest members, Sheila Bruhn and Becca Cruger.
"Sheila and Becca are strong advocates for the charitable causes of our region, both in word and deed," said Becca Baumbach, Executive Director. "The philanthropic work of the Community Foundation will surely be enhanced by their experience and contributions."
Both members have accepted initial three-year terms on the Board of Directors.
ABOUT SHEILA BRUHN
A native of Minnesota, Sheila and her husband, Val, live in East Grand Forks. She grew up in New Brighton, MN, with summers spent at her family’s lake home near Vergas, MN.
For the past three years, Sheila was employed at the Community Foundation of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks & Region as Director of Special Projects. In this capacity she assisted with grant-making processes for nonprofit organizations, day-to-day operations, strengthening the capacity of the foundation through relationship building, and the monitoring of the Foundation’s accreditation and strategic planning processes. Previously, Sheila served as the Executive Director of the Community Foundation from 2004 to 2008.
She holds an Associate of Arts degree from St. Cloud State University, and an Information Management degree from the University of North Dakota – College of Business and Public Administration.
Prior to the Community Foundation, Sheila was Executive Director of the Northland Community and Technical College (NCTC) Foundation and Coordinator for the Base Realignment Impact Committee (BRIC).
Sheila has served in leadership roles for the Greater Grand Forks Convention and Visitors Bureau, The Chamber of Commerce GF/EGF, East Grand Forks Civil Service Commission, Planning and Zoning Commission for East Grand Forks, and United Day Nursery Board of Directors.
Currently, her volunteer opportunities include Augustana Lutheran Church, the Grand Forks Optimist Club, Grand Forks Senior Center, and SCORE. Sheila is also an Honorary Commander Alum for the Grand Forks Air Force Base.
Sheila and Val have three grown children and four grandsons.
ABOUT BECCA CRUGER
By day Becca Cruger serves as the Workforce Development Manager for the Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corporation, by night Becca serves as a crisis line advocate for the Community Violence Intervention Center, and all the time she works to build a community she is proud to call home.
Becca is the Chairperson of the Women’s Fund Advisory Committee, a component fund of the Community Foundation, and serves on the board of Evolve Grand Forks. She also serves as an Honorary Commander at the Grand Forks Air Force Base.
Becca is a mixed media artist and has been awarded the 2019 Emerging Artist Award from Red Wing Arts Council and the 2016 Emerging Artist award from Grand Forks Public Arts Council. Most recently, she was awarded a Bush Foundation Change Network Fellowship and will spend the next year working with women who’ve experienced trauma and helping them connect back to their community through art.
This week, the Minnesota Council on Foundations and the St. Paul and Minnesota Foundation awarded $2 million in grant funding to place-based community foundations and intermediaries from the Minnesota Disaster Recovery Fund for coronavirus. Of that, the Community Foundation of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks & Region received $40,000 dedicated to relief and recovery efforts specifically in Polk County, MN.
These dollars will surely go to quick use as families, businesses, and nonprofits battle the COVID-19 crisis, compounded with growing issues surrounding agriculture and flooding in the region.
This newest gift brings total contributions to the Nonprofit Relief Fund (NRF) to over $270,000 for short-term relief and long-term recovery efforts in Grand Forks, Walsh, and Polk Counties. To date, the Community Foundation has awarded $72,500 across 16 nonprofit organizations.
The NRF is continuing to awarding grants to 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) nonprofit organizations and public entities, such as schools, city governments, and libraries.
Week 3 applications are due Thursday at midnight with determinations made within 5-7 business days.
We will continue to review grant applications weekly as additional funding become available. Only one application per organization will be accepted. If an application is not initially awarded funding, it will be kept in the queue for review in the future.