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Racing Magpie Cohosting Creative Community Leadership Institute

All sorts of people want to teach us how to become leaders: your local Chamber, Republican players, Democratic players….

And for something perhaps completely different, the artists at Rapid City’s Racing Magpie want to lead you to leadership. The gallery, creative space, and consulting firm for Native artists partners with Fargo’s Plains Art Museum and St. Paul/Fergus Falls’s Springboard for the Arts to offer the Creative Community Leadership Institute:

CCLI poster 2020

CCLI is an intensive, in-person, cohort-based training program for creative placemakers, artists, culture bearers, and other leaders interested in creative community building. The CCLI experience can be transformational in perspective, connections made, and within the communities impacted. Outcomes for CCLI participants include: gaining more knowledge about the role of art and culture in problem solving, building skills to be able to effectively integrate art and culture into problem solving, leadership growth, and gained networks of cross-sector peers.

There are currently 230 CCLI alumni across Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota including practicing artists, elected officials, community leaders, business leaders, government officials, people working in philanthropy, academics and many others. Participation in CCLI is free of charge to those selected through a rigorous application and selection process. CCLI is made possible through generous support from the Bush Foundation [Racing Magpie, Creative Community Leadership Institute, retrieved 2020.02.06].

That Bush money makes participation free for all participants. CCLI may even be able to spot folks money for travel and lodging. CCLI is hosting three cohorts, one in each of its partners’ states:

  • St. Cloud, MN: May 15-17; July 17-19; October 9-11
  • Fargo, ND: May 29-31; July 31-August 2; September 25-27
  • Rapid City, SD: June 12-14; August 21-23; October 16-18

The Rapid City sessions are just for enrolled tribal members and non-Native participants who live or work directly in Native communities.

These three-weekend programs offer participants development in these areas:

  • Identity/self-awareness as community member – what are your values, strengths, passions and capacities? Where do you want to grow and expand? What do you have to share and teach others?
  • Understanding systems and context – what is the history of a place, who are the people and what are the systems at play? How do we understand them in order to create change that leads to healthy and equitable communities? We offer a critical lens framework to understand and become more adept at challenging systems of oppression.
  • Practical tools and techniques in community building such as visioning, group decision-making, communication strategies and conflict management.
  • Real-world practice – each participant will receive $500 to plan and implement a micro-project to “try a little something” back home to further their work in community.
  • Cross-sector connections – to each other, to CCLI alumni and other leaders in the region, and to the larger field of creative community building.
  • Resources – learning materials including guides, toolkits and articles [CCLI website, downloaded 2020.02.06].

CCLI offers information sessions for interested applicants in the Twin Cities February 13, Fargo Feb. 18, Rapid City Feb. 19, and St. Cloud Feb. 20. If you’re interested, check the selection criteria, then submit your application by March 9.


  1. Porter Lansing 2020-02-06 10:23

    White people in SD could learn a lot from the only valid culture within their borders.

  2. Debbo 2020-02-06 16:33

    I’ve heard of this and it’s all good. Springboard for the Arts is well respected and very active.

    BTW, when you’re in Minneapolis, go to All My Relations art gallery and coffee shop. It’s really wonderful, one of my favorites.

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