Bis-Man Symphony Orchestra Lands $10,000 Grant

The Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra has landed a Challenge America Fast-Track Grant.  Great job Jeff  and Staff!  Click here to read about their competitive achievement!

NEA Chairman Landesman announces Challenge America Fast-Track grants

Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra one of only 162 grantees nationwide


BISMARCK, N. Dak. —As National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Rocco Landesman has noted, “Art works everywhere,” which is why the NEA’s Challenge America Fast-Track (CAFT) program supports projects from primarily small and mid-sized arts organizations that extend the reach of the arts to underserved audiences—those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. The Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra announced at a press conference on January 31, 2012 that it was selected to receive one of the 162 grants of $10,000 awarded to organizations in 46 states, plus theDistrict of Columbiaand the U.S. Virgin Islands.


This is the first time that the BMSO has been awarded a Challenge America Fast-Track grant. The funded project is “A Placein Heaven,” a series of activities culminating in a full orchestra concert featuring Metropolitan Opera star and North Dakota native soprano Korliss Uecker. Project elements include a college-level master class for area students; a short recital program inHettinger,N.D.; an open rehearsal and presentation for students with disabilities in partnership with VSA North Dakota; and the BMSO’s season-finale subscription concert on April 21, 2012.


“Taken together, these Challenge America Fast-Track grants provide an extraordinary sampling of the work that arts organizations do to reach underserved communities,” said Chairman Landesman. “With these grants, we are helping to ensure that art works for all Americans.”


“The Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra is honored to be the recipient of this substantial grant from the National Endowment for the Arts,” said BMSO Executive Director Jeffrey Collier. “This grant affirms our fundamental belief that everyone should have access to profound and potentially life-changing artistic experiences.”


“What we do in rehearsals is unseen to many of you and then you hear our product in the concerts, and we worked very hard to achieve that growth in our artistic product. We are really thrilled to have this outward acknowledgment of those achievements,” said Bismarck Mandan Symphony Orchestra Music Director Dr. Beverly Everett.


The program is called Fast-Track because of its expedited review timeline. The BMSO was notified approximately six months after applying. Also, with 375 eligible applications submitted from across the country, there was significant competition for funding for these grants. The BMSO’s grant award is evidence of the artistic excellence and artistic merit of the funded project, “A Placein Heaven.”


Please see the complete listing of projects recommended for Challenge America Fast-Track grant support online at


Established in 1976, the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Dr. Beverly Everett present an annual subscription series of six full orchestral concerts, in addition to a variety of pops programming and the annual Fourth of July Spectacular at the North Dakota State Capitol. The BMSO also provides various educational programs, including its annual Linking Music to the Future education concerts for area fourth-graders, the annual Young Artist Competition, and the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Youth Orchestras. To learn more, visit BMSO online at


The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector.  To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA at


CONTACT:                   Jeffrey Collier, Executive Director – (701) 258-8345

DATE:                          January 31, 2012



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