Fargo Monthly June 2024

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Inside Local Placemaker, Folkways

Simone Wai Joe Burgum


f you (I'm looking at you, Mom and Ris) read my editorial each month, you know how often I talk about community—the building of it, those who make it thrive, how impactful it is to feel it everywhere you go, you must know by now that I hold the concept of community in very high regard. It's worth noting, although obvious but especially given our cover feature this month, that it's only possible to have such a strong desire to be a part of a community and share that where there is a fertile one to begin with. Before I lose you—this month, we explored Folkways, from the surface level of what they do and the people who do it, down to the core of the nonprofit's concept. If you're unsure who or what Folkways is, and frankly, why we decided to take an entire issue to explain that, you'll better understand the specifics in a few more pages. But for now, I'll say this—

Folkways' mission is to create vibrant, community spaces, which is often done through events. In absolutely no way are they alone in doing this, but they are (and have been for over a decade) leading the charge in a way unparalleled by other groups like them in the FM area.

A large piece—if not the crux of it all—of Folkways is the idea of placemaking, weighing heavily on the idea of creating and sustaining third spaces. If you're unsure about placemaking and third spaces, what you should know is how vital these spaces are. There is a nearly unmatched feeling of going to familiar spaces and seeing familiar faces, sometimes unplanned, sometimes orchestrated—and experiencing the impact of being a part of something. I'm going to venture to say that the larger impact lies with the comfort of you, yourself, being seen.

Allowing yourself to be seen, whether it's at a farmers market, a friend's birthday celebration, or a local park, is the easiest bid of vulnerability we can offer. You'll often hear that "showing up" is one of the best things you can do for others, and of course showing up can mean a variety of things, but sometimes we should remind ourselves that it can also be taken literally. Go to that free event, enjoy that free community meal, and walk around the next maker's market in town—be seen.

June is a beautiful month filled with endless offers of community, grab onto one, and, of course,

Happy Reading!

22 FOLKWAYS: CULTURE IN MOTION TABLE OF CONTENTS FARGO MONTHLY // JUNE 2024 COVER STORY All your favorite things in one spot. FARGOMONTHLY.COM Extended content, events, drink specials, giveaways and more. info@spotlightmediafargo.com 701-478-7768 fargomonthly.com @fargomonthly /fargomonthly @fargomonthly FIND US ONLINE 22 52 48 48 50 52 Think Global, Act Local: Benjamin H. Werner Jenny Sheets: Dip Culture Meet the Maker: Bee Hill Partner Content: D-S Beverages City of Fargo Meet the Team Q&A with Folkways Leadership Folkways Happenings Community Experts 14 16 24 28 34 42 5




Sam Winter Sam@SpotlightMediaFargo.com

Al Anderson Al@SpotlightMediaFargo.com

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Dave McSparron Dave@SpotlightMediaFargo.com

Austin Cuka



Jenny Johnson

Jessica Mullen

Miranda Knudson

John Stuber

Fargo Monthly is published by Spotlight, LLC. Copyright 2024 Fargo Monthly and fargomonthly.com. All rights reserved. No parts of this magazine may be reproduced or distributed without written permission of Fargo Monthly and Spotlight, LLC is not responsible for, and expressly disclaims all liability for, damages of any kind arising out of use, reference to, or reliance on such information. Spotlight, LLC accepts no liability for the accuracy of statements made by the advertisers. Spotlight, LLC 4609 33rd Ave S Suite #304 Fargo, ND 58104 or info@spotlightmediafargo.com ADVERTISING: 701-478-SPOT (7768) Fargo Monthly Magazine is published 12 times a year and is free. Copies are available at more than 500 Fargo-Moorhead locations and digitally at fargomonthly.com. June 2024 Volume 14 / Issue 06 Publisher EDITORIAL Editorial Team Lead Editors Art Director Editorial Graphic Designer Creative Strategist Contributor INTERACTIVE Business Development Manager Business Development Associate Director of Creative Strategies Graphic Designer Web Developer ADVERTISING VP of Business Development Sales Manager Sales Representative Sales & Marketing Advisor Senior Business Development Representative Business Development Representative Client Relations Client Relations Manager Marketing Coordinator Operations Assistant DISTRIBUTION Delivery
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Something cool you do at Spotlight

I’ve been a part of helping software companies grow nationally utilizing advanced tech and lead gen tools.

Favorite restaurant or hidden spot Herd and Horns!

Hobby or favorite thing to do in town

Practice putting on the interactive putting range at Suite Shots.

Something cool you do at Spotlight I love meeting people in our community. They trust me to tell their stories and that is special to me.

Favorite restaurant or hidden spot BernBaum’s hands down.

Hobby or favorite thing to do in town

I love going for runs and bike rides by the river.

Something cool you do at Spotlight

Design magazines to celebrate awesome things in town, spreading positivity from the covers to the content.

Favorite restaurant or hidden spot

Little Brother, the Korean chicken wings are AMAZING!

Hobby or favorite thing to do in town

Visit the MB Johnson Park in Moorhead.

Something cool you

Meet people, hear

learn about their

Favorite restaurant

Sirirath Thai House.

Hobby or favorite thing to do in town

area (not a cop out I

Something cool you do at Spotlight I get to design our monthly business magazines and specialty publications!

Favorite restaurant or hidden spot

Puerto Vallarta is the spot for delicious and affordable Mexican food.

Hobby or favorite thing to do in town

All the cool local arts, crafts, and music events.

Grant Ayers Editor

Jenny Johnson Director of Client

Something cool you

Interviewing WE Fest’s performers.

Geneva Nodland VP of Business

Something cool you do at Spotlight I get to interview local musicians and cover live music.

Favorite restaurant or hidden spot Beer & Fish Company.

Hobby or favorite thing to do in town

Go vinyl record hunting at Vinyl Giant Records in downtown Fargo.

Josiah Kopp Creative Strategist

Something cool you do at Spotlight

Work closely with interior designers, photographing the most beautiful spaces in the area.

Favorite restaurant or hidden spot Black Coffee & Waffle Bar.

Hobby or favorite thing to do in town

Photographing the races at the Red River Valley Speedway.

Favorite restaurant

Cheeseburgers at Mick’s Office, I’ve been going there since college.

Hobby or favorite thing to do in town

Drinking margaritas on a hot sunny day at a vibey patio.

Something cool you do at Spotlight I’ve been asked for three consecutive years to speak at the Niche Media Conference.

Favorite restaurant or hidden spot Cracked Pepper

Hobby or favorite thing to do in town

Watching my kids play sports and playing bingo at Wild Bill’s!

Something cool you do at Spotlight

Work on things that support the local business community.

Favorite restaurant or hidden spot Maxwells in West Fargo.

Hobby or favorite thing to do in town

Take my daughter to Kingpinz so she can go crazy while I relax.

Mike Dragosavich Publisher and CEO Brady Drake Editorial Team Lead Sam Winter Sales Manager Kim Cowles Art Director Ty Betts Editorial Graphic Designer

Al Anderson Business Development

Something cool you do at Spotlight I get to work with great companies and meet new people.

Favorite restaurant or hidden spot Mezzaluna.

Hobby or favorite thing to do in town I love to golf.

Austin Cuka Business Development

Something cool you do at Spotlight

Using the latest advertising technology to help clients get the highest ROI possible.

Favorite restaurant or hidden spot The Toasted Frog.

Hobby or favorite thing to do in town

Be on a patio in the summer with friends.

Tori Helland Marketing Strategist

Something cool you do at Spotlight

My favorite part is the relationships that I have grown in many different industries.

Favorite restaurant or hidden spot Plaza Azteca or Brewhalla!

Hobby or favorite thing to do in town

Going out for dinner and grabbing a drink! I also love playing pickleball all year round.

Nick Schommer Business Development Manager

Something cool you do at Spotlight Create new website experiences that directly lead to a better presence and more results.

Jessica Mullen Marketing Coordinator

Something cool you do at Spotlight Project manage our partner content, print ads, and specialty magazines!

Favorite restaurant or hidden spot El Agave Mexican Restaurant.

Hobby or favorite thing to do in town I am a big foodie; I love cooking and trying new recipes!

Dave McSparron Senior Business Development Representative

Something cool you do at Spotlight I get to tell boring stories about farming to everybody at Spotlight!

Favorite restaurant or hidden spot Thai Cuisine.

Hobby or favorite thing to do in town

My summer hobby is golf. My winter hobby is going somewhere warm to golf.

Miranda Knudson Operations Assistant

Something cool you do at Spotlight

Manage our billing and finances and help our team with anything they need.

Favorite restaurant or hidden spot

Mango’s Mexican Restaurant.

Hobby or favorite thing to do in town I like to spend my time out at the barn riding and competing with my horse Yuma.

Kellen Feeney Business Development

Something cool you do at Spotlight Use digital marketing and other channels to create campaigns and generate results.

Favorite restaurant or hidden spot SouthTown PourHouse.

Hobby or favorite thing to do in town Golf with the boys.

Megan Suedbeck Director of Creative Strategies

Something cool you do at Spotlight

Design websites and bring our client’s visions to life.

Favorite restaurant or hidden spot

Village Inn for breakfast!

Hobby or favorite thing to do in town

I enjoy yoga, crocheting, and walking my dog at Lindenwood Park.

Favorite restaurant or hidden spot I live in Arizona now, but Mezzaluna when I’m in town!

Hobby or favorite thing to do in town

On the golf course or at the lakes with friends.

Austin Smith Web Developer

Something cool you do at Spotlight

Explore the back ends of websites, understand their functionality, and utilize that insight to manipulate them as desired.

Ben Buchanan Graphic Designer

Something cool you do at Spotlight Work on a smorgasbord of different projects.

Favorite restaurant or hidden spot Himalayan Yak.

Hobby or favorite thing to do in town Snorkeling in the Red River.

Favorite restaurant Sickies Garage, the burgers there are fantastic.

Hobby or favorite thing to do in town Play video games and Dungeons and Dragons.

John Stuber

Something cool you do at Spotlight I deliver over 20,000 magazines a month and get to know all of the businesses in town.

Favorite restaurant or hidden spot

Marge’s Bar downtown.

Hobby or favorite thing to do in town I like to play pinball, some of the places I play are Billard’s, Drekker, and Pixeled.


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Keith Johnson spent 30 years as a Fargo firefighter before retiring last year. A month later, he joined The City of Fargo’s Public Works Department where he’s found a new satisfying way to deliver essential services to the community where he grew up.

As an equipment operator, Keith is behind the wheel of snowplows and sand trucks in the winter, keeping Fargo’s streets clear so drivers can safely reach their destinations no matter the weather. In the warmer months, he operates street sweepers to ensure roads are free of debris.

The diligence of drivers like Keith, who prioritize cleaning streets from gutter to gutter, can prevent motorcyclists and bicyclists from wiping out on grit in the road. This vital work often goes unseen by residents. “When you go to bed at night, there might be some sand or a pop can in the gutter. In the morning,

heavy lifting during the Spring Cleanup effort, patching potholes, cleaning sewer lines to prevent backups, mowing grass, and spraying weeds on City property. “It's amazing how busy we are,” Keith said. “There's always something to do.”

The son of a detective sergeant with The Fargo Police Department, Keith is carrying on a legacy of public service. For him, it’s rewarding to know his Public Works coworkers care about their service to The City as much as his fellow firefighters did. “It just feels good when you're working with people who want to do good for the community.”

As an environmental health practitioner for Fargo Cass Public Health, Kim Sund is in the business of giving residents peace of mind.

Kim and her coworkers in the Environmental Health Division serve as guardians behind the scenes so community members can feel safe whenever they go out to eat, stay in a hotel, swim in a public pool, use a tanning facility, shop at a pet store, or get a tattoo.

“We want you to go out and be able to enjoy whatever it is you want to do,” Kim said.

Environmental health practitioners like Kim perform random inspections of more than 940 licensed food and beverage establishments in Fargo, West Fargo, and Cass County every year so residents don’t have to worry about whether health guidelines are being followed. A key element of an inspector’s role is to

regularly educate license holders with the aim of preventing violations.

“Here at Fargo Cass Public Health, we have a mission statement: We prevent, promote, and protect. That is essentially what we are doing by licensing and inspecting all those different establishments,” she said.

Originally from the northern Minnesota town of Grygla, Kim earned a degree in biology and joined the team at Fargo Cass Public Health nine years ago. For her, the job is fulfilling because every day she goes home knowing she served her community.

“We're always in the background quietly helping people,” she said. “I really enjoy that part.”


Raised in Fargo, Todd Keel has always admired the dedication of local first responders. Now, he finds fulfillment in supporting their vital mission as manager of the public safety team in The City of Fargo’s Information Services Department.

Todd’s team ensures seamless computer system operations for dispatchers, police officers, and firefighters across the FargoMoorhead community, whether they’re responding to a fire, crash, or medical emergency. The team’s primary focus is maintaining New World software, essential for providing key information and mapping data in real-time to the screens in squad cars and firetrucks.

“We’re a resource that first responders can count on 24/7/365, while they keep our community safe,” Todd said. “In an emergency, citizens need as quick a response as possible, so having the software and interfaces available to be used intuitively and reliably is critical.”

Wearing her bright orange City of Fargo vest, Peggy Amsbaugh is a visible presence at construction sites around the community where she keeps a close eye on erosion and

When contractors disturb grass and dirt to build new structures, Peggy makes sure they follow regulations so that mud from construction sites does not flow into the storm sewer system. Her daily vigilance is critical to safeguarding the Red River where Fargo sources its drinking water. “We try to make sure our storm system is clear and clean,” Peggy said, who’s originally from Bottineau, North Dakota. “If too much sediment runs into the river, then our wildlife will be harmed, and we won’t have the same recreational opportunities.”

As an engineering technician with Fargo’s Engineering Department, much of Peggy’s job centers around educating builders and the public on how regulations are meant to protect our community and its environment.

Todd’s team is constantly learning to keep pace with evolving technology. As a reliable force behind the scenes, they make sure first responders have the tools needed to save lives.

“This is the best job I can imagine,” Todd said. “If I can go home knowing my work helped someone, then that's a success.”

Along with erosion control, she responds to spills of unsafe substances, so they do not enter the storm sewer system. On an annual basis, she inspects stormwater ponds and underground stormwater detention areas as well as floodwalls and levees, monitoring for any deficiencies in our crucial flood protection system.

In all these different ways, Peggy provides essential services to the community and, in turn, improves our quality of life. “I’ve always been a helper who looks for ways to make something better,” she said.

As long-range planning coordinator for The City of Fargo, Kim Citrowske is focused on helping the community envision its future.

With years of urban planning experience, Kim helps facilitate planning processes that engage residents, business owners, and stakeholders, to learn what they desire in a city. Using their input, she helps guide plan development to set the stage for positive change so Fargo can maintain its unique character while creating vibrant, livable neighborhoods.

“Many people have different opinions on what the ideal neighborhood should look like, so we aim to find a consensus to develop a community vision that’s attractive to businesses and residents,” Kim said, who’s from Canby, MN.

A prime example of her essential work is the Growth Plan process currently underway. Over the past several months, Kim and the team within Fargo’s Planning & Development Department have hosted open houses and online surveys, collecting feedback from residents on how and where the community should grow (learn more at FargoGrowthPlan.org).

Community voices and ideas are integrated into actionable policies and plans that will foster a sense of place in Fargo for years to come. “We try to provide that level of predictability for residents, so they can know what to expect in neighborhoods around our community,” she said.

continued> 17

Red and Sheyenne rivers to supply drinking water to residents in Fargo, West Fargo, and some Cass Rural Water District customers.

Maggie Sahr, the Water Utility’s compliance coordinator, is a key part of the water treatment process as she regularly chemically analyzes water to ensure quality. Sahr, originally from Jamestown, gathers data to help provide safe, refreshing water to the community and limit the plant’s use of costly chemicals—a savings that benefits all utility customers.

“We have a lot of innovation in our water plant,” which has won the award for best-tasting drinking water in North Dakota for two years running, Maggie said.

Regional Water Reclamation Facility in

clogging pumps and Dylan Sherwood, an operator at the Water Reclamation Facility, troubleshoots those problems and many others.

“There's always a curveball being thrown your way. It's challenging but also rewarding,” Dylan said, who grew up in Fargo.

employees put their heart into collecting garbage and maintaining the landfill because they want a clean community for all residents. “My dad tells me every day he's proud that I work for The City of Fargo,” Matt said. “I hope everybody else is happy with us and what we do here because we try our best to make every citizen happy.”

The wastewater moves through a series of treatment tanks and structures where it’s disinfected until safe to discharge into the Red River. Solids strained from the wastewater are placed in dumpsters and hauled to the Fargo Sanitary Landfill, which is operated by the Solid Waste Department.

In one year, the landfill receives a total of about 220,000 tons of garbage. Equipment operators like Matt Basol use bulldozers to push and pack this trash into landfill cells, building it into covered mounds to trap the smell, keep loose garbage from blowing away, and prevent water from

| 225 4th St N Fargo, ND | FargoND.gov/Apply 18 | JUNE 2024 | FARGOMONTHLY.COM

This month, we are taking an extensive look at Folkways, a pivotal force in fostering culture and community in the FM area. Explore the details of an organization that champions artistic activities and local businesses while enhancing community bonds through each event and impact. We'll meet the dedicated team behind these efforts, alongside a sit down with leadership. Whether it's a market or a seasonal festivity, each placemaking effort reflects Folkways' dedication to creating a sense of belonging in Fargo, putting culture and community in motion.

Some may have heard of Folkways before, and many have probably attended an event hosted by the nonprofit. The first thing to understand when taking a look at who and what Folkways is—placemaking.

Standing (L to R): Emma McIntyre, Jeffrey Porter, Kenna Krchnavy. Sitting (L to R): Brenna Malard, Tori Schmidt, Erica Kale, Joe Burgum, Simone Wai, Amanda Frost, Lucas Paper.

Folkways' Executive Director Joe Burgum explains it simply, "Placemaking for us is—vibrant public space."

There are a few components to the term—physical space (operations, maintenance, seating, design), as well as other things like entertainment (entertainers, food trucks, or games in the space, for example). And, most importantly—there's an ability to connect with people there.

Traditionally in the United States, there are two main spaces we occupy, our work and home (or school and home); but there has been an increase in conversation around the topic of third spaces—a space we go that is not work or home, a place that we can have community in.

A large focus of Folkways' mission, fought through creating these third spaces (ie: placemaking), is combatting loneliness in American society due to these isolating first and second spaces and lack of

third. While some may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of that third space community if they are, let's say, a regular at a coffee shop or a bar. They know that when they walk in, the workers will know their name and they'll see a friend sitting in the corner—but not everyone has that, or has the ability to create it.

"Those are the things that take you from being just like an invisible person in a town to a part of the community," Joe said.

Another component of placemaking is something the Folkways team likes to call, "planned spontaneity."

This concept is best explained with an example from childhood—when you were a kid, you ventured out into the neighborhood, not because you had specific plans, but because you knew there was a chance that you'd run into any of your friends and you all could play.

The idea that you can run into friends (community)

out in these public, third places, and have a moment to connect (fight isolation), is exactly what placemaking is about—and that's exactly what Folkways is doing.


meet the team

The Folkways team isn't just a pro at hosting local events, they are individually active in the community both in and outside of their roles with the organization. Let's meet each team member, learn about their work at Folkways, and what they're up to in our community!

CampusFM Coordinator + Multimedia Specialist = Outreach, Co-Facilitating CampusFM, & Creating In-House Design and Artwork

Amanda attended Minnesota State University Moorhead for Fine Art and continues her artistic practice in creating artwork for local museums, slow fashion for local markets, and painting commissions for her business, Amanda Frost Creations. In her spare time, she loves thrifting, skateboarding, and scrapbooking.

"My work at Folkways is deeply integrated with the FM Community through our CampusFM program. I'm always on the lookout for new spots and resources to share with our audience. Recently, our CampusFM creators have started hosting our own events to connect with the community. We've held five events so far and have successfully engaged with students in our area."

Artistic Workshops: As an artist with experience working with children and adults with disabilities, I love finding opportunities to share my talents and lead art workshops. For example, I participate in events like River Arts in Moorhead, where I can engage with the community through art.

Skateboarding: I started learning how to skateboard at 20 and enjoy attending Hawks Nests Women and Queer skateboarding nights. This inclusive environment has boosted my confidence as a woman skater. I also volunteer for Moorhead Park's skate camps, helping youngsters feel comfortable on their boards.

| @AmandaFrostCreations

| AmandaFrostCreations.com

Amanda Frost Creations: I enjoy painting portraits of homes in our community. It’s a pleasure to drive around the city and point out the different homes I've painted for clients. This work allows me to connect with my neighbors, learn about the history of the homes, and discover who has cherished living in them.

"Even if you're not a student, the CampusFM Instagram page is a fantastic resource for anyone to follow. Our creators post amazing content on local businesses, activities, resources, job opportunities, and much more."


Manager of Development

= Community Education, Sponsor Engagement, & Inclusive Community Building

Born and raised in Fargo, Emma left for college in Colorado, only to return postgraduation to collaborate with Emerging Prairie on TEDxFargo. Her fascination with community events began in high school after attending TEDxFargo, where she was introduced to Joe and Simone's pioneering placemaking initiatives with Folkways. This experience was transformative, especially their involvement in a popup park at the former Sahr's Sudden Service. The influence of Folkways was pivotal in Emma's decision to make Fargo their home once again, and she is immensely proud to be part of this team!

CreativeMornings Global HQ. These meetups take place all over the world, and we're proud to have an engaged local chapter here in Fargo.

Great Plains Food Bank is the only food bank in the state of North Dakota, recovering food that otherwise would go to waste and through its programs and services distributing it to those in need throughout North Dakota and Clay County, MN. Serving one in five individuals statewide, they host a range of programs that help keep North Dakotans fed.

| @emmamaemac

| /emma-mcintyre88654111a/

In addition to my role at Folkways, I am on the Organizing Committee for CreativeMornings Fargo, and member of the Great Plains Food Bank Board.

CreativeMornings Fargo is a monthly, free meetup for the creative community where we invite a speaker to share on a topic pre-selected by the

"I want to promo the local voter's guide, I think local government is so important."

Events Coordinator

= Vendor and Talent Coordination, Business Incubation Support, & Volunteer Management and Outreach

Originally from Bismarck, ND, and a proud graduate of MSUM, Brenna works as an events coordinator at Folkways, a role she embraced after an internship experience. She loves bringing vibrant energy to Fargo through the events she creates and is passionate about supporting small business vendors and fostering community spirit. She enjoys trying new hobbies like reading, painting, thrifting, and spending time outside.

"Working at Folkways has been my gateway into the local FM community. Before, I mostly stayed on campus and didn’t really try things outside of school. Now, every day, I go to work and seem to learn about a new community event."

Production Coordinator = Event Planning and Production & Project Collaboration

Attending Local Events and Shows: I recently went to the Wild Terra

Vintage Market, and it was so much fun. I also really enjoyed the Unglued Craft Fest. I'm obsessed with buying little trinkets to decorate my apartment, and vendor shows never fail to have something unique.

Volunteering: This summer, I really want to spend some time volunteering at different places. In the past, I've volunteered at CCRI, and this type of work is incredibly important to me.

| /brenna-malard1b96b4264

"I strongly advocate for people to put themselves out there and find an event or something that interests them to attend. Finding a third place to spend my time, other than work or school, has been transformative."

Jeffery has always been extremely passionate about crafting events that captivate audiences and create lasting memories—making his role as production coordinator a perfect fit!

Alerus Center in Grand Forks. The wide variety of events that I help produce invites people to get together and enjoy being a part of our special community.

| /jeffrey-porter1413b419a

"I'm very involved in my community—mostly through Folkways. My role allows me to be active downtown and throughout the city. With Folkways and other partners, I've also had opportunities to produce some local art and murals that support engagement in our community."

In my spare time, I also work as a stagehand on the larger concerts and performances we have at large, local venues such as the FARGODOME, Bluestem Amphitheater, and sometimes the

"My favorite projects I’ve helped Folkways create are definitely the many artworks and murals. The most recent one I’ve had the pleasure of supporting is called Valley Alley. It’s an interactive mural that depicts the flora and fauna of our beautiful Red River valley. This piece created a fun searchand-find game for anyone to enjoy."

meet the team

Events Manager = Event Planning and Execution, Collaboration with Stakeholders, & Community Connection and Cultural Celebration

Having over a decade of experience in the wedding and event industry, Tori began by cleaning limousines for her family business and then moved to coordinating events at a local university. Seven years ago, she founded an event planning service, The Event Company. Now, as the events manager for Folkways, she can bring her community together by doing what she loves.

Local Business Engagement: My family owns and works with several local businesses, which keeps me actively involved in the community. I engage with local vendors and artisans through our events, supporting small business incubation and growth.

| @_theeventcompany

Folkways: As a fulltime team member, I am involved in projects that enhance the cultural and social fabric of our community. I work on initiatives that promote local arts, create public spaces encouraging community interactions, and organize events that bring people together.

"I am passionate about creating events that not only bring joy and excitement to the community but also support local businesses and artists. It's incredibly rewarding to see our efforts contribute to a more vibrant and connected Fargo."

Marketing Manager= Strategic Marketing and Campaign Development, Content Creation and Social Media Management, & Public Relations

Erica is the marketing manager at Folkways, skillfully promoting community connection and cultural events. She oversees marketing campaigns, manages socials, and ensures broad community engagement for events. Erica is a passionate advocate for local businesses, an art enthusiast, and a lover of community events. A few of her favorite things include her cat, Taro, scrolling through TikTok, and savoring an iced chai latte with oat milk!

Sports chapter, which allows me to connect with other community members, learn, and contribute to local initiatives.

Attending and Promoting Events: I show up for and promote local events, ensuring I’m visible and supportive in the community.

| @kalesocialco

| @ericakale

| /erica-kale

| kalesocialco.com

Engaging in Community Programs: I have participated in community programs such as volunteering for Startup Weekend, She Starts Week, and Creative Mornings and joining our local community Stonewall

"In today's world, where there's less natural interaction than in the past, it's crucial to create spaces that foster a sense of connection and belonging. We all impact each other's lives, and these shared spaces are essential for nurturing those connections."


Meet Joe Burgum and Simone Wai, co-founders of Folkways, a community-oriented nonprofit. Joe, from Fargo, serves as the executive director, bringing 15 years of experience in experience design, human-centered design, and placemaking. Simone, originally from Moorhead and the creative director, specializes in marketing and collaborating with artists. Together, they leverage their expertise to enhance community engagement and cultural initiatives through Folkways — but what does that mean exactly? Let's find out.

Q: What is Folkways' mission?

J: We create experiences to connect community and enhance quality of life. And really, for us, it's through shared experience, that community is formed. I think that's true of how we live our lives, how we make friends, how we go to school, how we work, all those are shared experiences. Some shared experiences leave us tired and not wanting to do them again, and others energize us and make us feel seen in who we are, and the world that we're a part of. We really believe that it's through those shared experiences that a community is formed. So, at Folkways, it's community building and placemaking. We see events as our medium for change. It's not explicitly that we only do events, but for us, those are great shared experiences.

Also, a big part of our work is transforming the world around us. So we're sitting here in Broadway Square today, which is a space that we've dreamed about for about a decade and are super excited to have been a key player in the last three years. But prior to that, we were making our own little plazas and squares around Fargo in order to create the type of spaces we want a community

to form in. With placemaking in our community, it's really about third spaces. What Folkways does is, we create those events that can become a third space. We're not running a coffee shop or library or the place you're going to go with your friends on a weekly basis, as a business, what we are creating are femoral experiences that are in the public realm. Public space, placemaking, and community are really a trio for us in our work.

Q: You talk a lot about placemaking — what does that mean for Folkways?

J: Professionally speaking, we really see placemaking as sort of a spawn of landscape architecture and urban design. Placemaking is public plazas, concert venues, or Broadway Square—the types of places where you can go for free in the public realm and connect in a community. We think about ourselves as designers... it's like, we're architects, we're landscape architects or urban planners, but we also have a really strong emphasis on programming people. It's not just physical, or hardware, it's also software. You might have hardware and software in the space; the software is those grassroots community events. So as a placemaker, it's fundamental that

we're doing public engagement from a human-centered design standpoint, where it's rarely top-down. It's always what the community is interested in. We ask ourselves, 'How do we test, how do we experiment?' or 'What's growing in the community garden and how do we cultivate that?' How do we celebrate things that might be perceived as weeds, when really they can be beautiful flowers if we look at them differently? For the public when we think about placemaking, there are a number of groups in Fargo that do this work, and I think we're the ones that really put it to the forefront in a way that's different than producing events. It's different than putting on shows because we're really thinking about a lot of different aspects within an experience.

S: It's creating a space in which people can interact. We're laying out the little garden, and then all the people come in and put in their own creativity, or their own conversation, or their own culture of the space.

J: Placemaking for us is vibrant public space. That's really what it is.

Q: How often do you think about itinerary for placemaking events, or is it more organic?


J: We aren't necessarily thinking about 15-minute increments of what you're going to do when you get to the farmers market; we definitely run a show, we're thinking about the production before the event from a mainstage standpoint of a load in logistics, but we like this idea of personas and guests. You might be someone who comes to the farmers market to buy groceries. and then you're going to head to the lake, versus someone that's coming because they love hot food and they're going to spend all day to smorgasbord through six vendors and sit in the square. We like to think about those different character arcs for people in the community in order to really ensure that we're creating an experience that touches on a lot of different people's lives.

Q: Talking about what you just said, how have you been able to research that & how do you know that you're doing it effectively to represent the community?

S: We've looked towards a lot of different groups and a lot have gone to a lot of different events around the country and around the world to decide or try things to see what's a good fit in our community. We look for what people respond really well to. There's a group called Project for Public Spaces that we've taken a lot of inspiration from. There's a group called Better Block, whom we've taken a lot of inspiration from. This stuff isn't rocket science, but it is anthropology.

J: It's a lot of it's our own internal process that's led us to research outcomes, maybe not in an academic sense, but in informing of our work manner. Which is, you know, test and iterate, listen and look for pain points that people have, and then test and iterate and evolve around that. The farmers market hasn't always been what it is today. We didn't start 10 years ago saying we're going to have 80 vendors, we have had incremental success. Similar to the Night Bazaar—we had a hunch, we had asked, 'What would it look like to do a unique creative event

for families and kids after the work day?' We really wanted to have this intergenerational experience, it could be an anchor for people working and living downtown, that they feel like they can come to straight from work with their family and meet up. So, that really informed the kid's activities and that it's family-friendly. Then also this whimsy that evolved out of it from our own curiosity when we asked, 'What if it literally was like a circus on the street, or a Renaissance Faire on the street, or like a magic meetup?' We really believe that through Night Bazaar, there's such power and selfexpression, and that's where we get really excited about creating those spaces.

Q: How have you built the right team to execute both the hard & software sides of placemaking?

J: It's unique being a boutique, I don't think many people think of nonprofits in that way, but in our case, we definitely are, we're like a social venture. In some ways, people who are familiar might say we seem more like an architecture firm, or a small interior design group, or, that we just do special events for clients—and those are kind of who we are, but we're really this new social venture. I mean, we're a nonprofit with a mission, but we're operating like a design studio.

S : I think we have the most talented people in the community. And I think that they want to be a part of our team because they get to do their work, what they're good at, and what they're passionate about; but they also love the mission of the organization and they love that they get to invite their friends to things that they create. It's like, I'm not making this for someone else, I'm making it for all of us, and that's really special. That's not something that most people get to share with their their own personal community or their own personal family.

It is really unique that we get to be a nonprofit that's for the general public. And there are a handful in our community, from theatre groups to

the Plains Art Museum to the zoo, but to really be center stage where our audience and the people we're serving are the public is just really special. You get to come and volunteer and then you get to come back and enjoy the volunteer work you got to do with your friends and family I think we're very business savvy.

We thought about what the divisions are of any good business and you have marketing, sales, or, in our case, development, fundraising, then you have core operations, whether you're making something, delivering a service, or offering a program in our case. So, we've built out a team around people who get experience—it's not just about producing an event, it's really about creating an experience. Because we serve the general public, we get to interface with people every day, that could be our future teammates. People start to surface when we notice who has been volunteering is back, or a vendor has started a business at the market, and then they ask us questions that are a little bit deeper, and we can see that this person would be a good teammate.

Q: How do you see folkways evolving over the next five years?

J: One thing, per our engagement, is we're really excited to continue to invite the community into what placemaking means and examples of what it means across the country. We're


a unique strategic group that has the potential to do a lot of different things. Whether that's a Januarylong sauna festival, or a projection art festival, where we're projecting the buildings with light art. There are a lot of fun ideas, and for us, it's finding the right partners and the right patrons who are passionate and excited about different forms of art. Different groups or different audiences that are underrepresented, different areas around isolation, loneliness, food access, and intergenerational experiences, for us to grow into. We're primed for the right partners to take on new things.

One thing that we're in the process of piloting right now is a new operational plan for Broadway Square with the Downtown Community Partnership and the Park District. We're in the first couple of weeks of that. But for us, that's really exciting to have been such a key partner in the space last three years, and now be a key manager of the space. Five years from now, I'm just really excited to see the progress. Tenure is something we're really excited about, and having good conversations with the city governments as the cities are thinking about what placemaking is, and neighborhood placemaking. We're excited to think about what the civic center could look like with more activation. We're really excited to reach a really important milestone for us, and for any small nonprofit, which is $1 million in gross receipts, which is super phenomenal. So our hope is in five years, we're at $2 million, which is another big leap.

Q: How would you say that Folkways influenced the development in downtown West Fargo & Moorhead?

S: We've actually been involved in a few [conversations], especially in Moorhead, with the master planning processes. The Downtown Master Plan and Moorhead Comprehensive Plan.

J: We've [worked] specifically with Roers Development and under JLG

Architects, helping them think about placemaking for the new development in Moorhead.

S: There is such an opportunity when you're starting, basically fresh, to think about the human-centered design portion of it, how things will look from a bicycle or on foot or seated from a bench in a plaza. It's been really cool to be a part of those processes and chime in on those things as well.

Q: Was there a moment when you realized the impact of Folkways' placemaking — or, the 'we've made it' moment?

S: Every time someone tells me that they moved to Fargo because they came to the farmers market—oh my god, that makes me cry.

J: Those have been the moments over the years, the more small-scale recognition. Someone told us that they got a job in Fargo but didn't think their wife would move here. She wasn't sure before they came to the farmers market, but by the end of the day, they went shopping for houses. Those moments, I think, really speak for themselves. And in our mission of creating a sense of belonging for people that they feel connected, is really cool as well, we've gotten a lot of praise and credit, as a whole as a part of the Renaissance downtown.

We're not putting up 80 tents on a Saturday, we have 80 vendors who are showing up, and they're being a part of it. It's a hive, it's not one single entity or organism that's making it happen. It really is that collective approach to allow for the vibrancy to come to be, so we really feel like we're community gardeners. We're not every plant—we're not every aspect of placemaking, every part of vibrancy, but, we do take the stewardship of arts and culture and vibrancy and nurturing that, very seriously. People look to us because they see us out there with the hoe tending to the plant, but this is someone else's event. We're just super excited to be able to get behind them, support them, and let them do their own thing.

Q: How else do you measure the success of your impact, or maybe where you need to put more focus on?

S : We measure a lot of things from how many people come to [events] to how much is spent at our vendor booths; but also from how many people were wearing costumes at the event to how many people got a s'more to roast with their kids? Measuring success for us is how many people came but, also how many things did they participate in? We don't want people to just come, we want them to be engaged, for them to feel like they are actually a part of it. So that's what our success measurement has transitioned to, from a breadth of participation, now to a depth of participation.

J: That's been an emphasis the last two years. As with growing a team, it allows you to go deeper to codify things in a stronger way. As the team grew, instead of the goal of just getting the Farmers Market done, we're able to ask, 'how do we deepen participation?' Thinking about how do we really create magic through art? I think it's interesting, as an organization that is so much about the human experience and human existence, we're really trying to quantify things like joy, wonder, and excitement, and being seen and feeling belonging— rather nebulous-type feelings. So, we often take allegories of those things to like, people roasting s'mores. That's not just buying a candy bar, that's an experience that you're having in this environment. That's a way to ask ourselves how we have more of those moments.

Q: Are there any personal experiences that represented your work with Folkways?

S: We hit $1 million in revenue for our Red River Market vendors in one season. That was a really


big deal because it went from being something good for the community to something that's impacting people's livelihoods. People are actually able to have that be what they do for work. I think that was a really big deal for me. Local dollars help local people.

J: I think it's been cool... We have taken a lot of creative risk in some of our events in trying to create environments where a counterculture can be present in a way that is more accessible for people. I think about some of the performers we've worked with that we now have had relationships with for half a decade. Individuals like Katie Rose, who I genuinely don't even know how she ended up at our first Night Bazaar, but she showed up and she can juggle and hula hoop. It was great, like this is what we're trying to do with in the circus theme. And over the years of creating opportunities for her, she is now a stilter and she does fire spinning. She now spends her winters in Florida working at Renaissance fairs.

S: She's actually auditioning for a professional circus artist right now.

J: When we think about arts and culture, circus arts is void in our community, we're a small community and it's not something at the forefront. But I think about all the theater, gymnastics, and dance programs we have, and, to me, circus arts is only one notch removed from some of these. So to create a space for someone like Katie to have that platform or another gentleman, Evan, is an unbelievably talented fire spinner, which is a very counterculture kind of art form—flow arts is not in the mainstream—having a stage for him to perform is great.

S: Another good one is FM Aerial—one of the first times we had them at one of our bigger events, they got up on the tables and did their silk performance, and it was incredible. At first, I was looking at the audience and I was unsure how it was going to go, wondering if people were going to respond well to this. After they were done performing, the first people to jump up there and say congratulations and that they loved the performance was a group of elderly ladies, probably 80

years old. That's when I think we saw this as more of an opportunity to bring in eyeopening experiences for people, whether they're kids or grandkids... We really believe that we're a platform, a lot of our work has scaled and has an impact.

J: Part of our placemaking work is being a platform for others and really being a nurturer of creative cultures and a spirit of servant leadership. We're at the back of the room, it's not necessarily about us, or the credit is due for what we're doing.

Q: What is something about Folkways that you wish more people knew about?

J: I wish more people succinctly understood our work. A lot of people know the market and the Christmas market, but we're really excited to take the next year to really articulate what does placemaking and community building look like. With that, we are a community cause. We're here because of community and business support and individual donations. As people are excited about the community, it's through that passion, that desire to give and to volunteer, that we're able to continue to grow into more things. It can be challenging to do something that no one's ever done. When we gave our first talk at Startup Brew a decade ago about Folkways, we talked about how culture is the magnet that brings people in and that a sense of belonging is the glue that keeps them here. And that's been our thesis for a decade. At the time, there was a little bit of [hestitancy], like that we were these early 20-somethings, and that it's an interesting idea and that we gave a philosophical TED Talk and didn't necessarily have projects to show. And now, people are like, I get it. I come to the farmers market, and there is a vibrant culture, and I feel like I belong here. I want to be a part of it.

We're a 21st-century cause, 25 years ago, placemaking wasn't a thing. We had some arts and cultural organizations, we were talking about public space, but we weren't talking about belonging.

There's a lot of potential and new ideas when we think about things, it's not more of the Red River Market. We have a whole binder of ideas, we have all sorts of inspiration. When we think

about our community at large and our small metro area, it's really cool to see new neighborhoods emerge. To have downtown West Fargo, North Cheyenne, be a node, to have a door, a neighborhood stretch is super rad. As a community, it's important for us to celebrate that there are multitudes within the community, and also acknowledge that downtown Fargo specifically has been the heart of the city since its inception, so it'll always have a different kind of precedent. But that doesn't make other neighborhoods less than because of that.

Q: If somebody has an idea or has a desire for something, and they want Folkways in on it, what's the best way for them to get their voice heard?

J: We love drinking coffee. Hit us up for 30 minutes, an hour, or two hours, we'll figure out how to make time.

S: We made a really cool event organizing basic worksheet that people can go through and fill out to think about their idea in the way that we think about our ideas. On the back, there's a checklist of prompts for people to think about how to make their event more welcoming and inclusive. We would love to make that available for anyone who wants it as well.

| folkways.org | FB /wearefolkways | IG @wearefolkways | /company/folkwaysco | /simonewai | /joeburgum


Folkways hosts a variety of events and programs, all of which are essential for fostering a sense of community and belonging. They provide platforms for local artists and entrepreneurs to thrive, contribute to the local economy, and create memorable experiences that strengthen community bonds! Through these activities, Folkways addresses issues like social isolation and workforce retention, making Fargo a more vibrant and inclusive place

Let's take a closer look at each of Folkways' events and initiatives.

Make sure you check out the weekly food demos at the market, beginning at 11 a.m. in Broadway Square, where a local chef demonstrates how to make a dish of their choosing. Afterward, you can try the dish—with kids earning a $1 token as participation in their Kids Club!

Did you know?

The Kids Club at the Red River Market offers engaging and educational activities for children, fostering creativity and community connection through fun, interactive experiences.

The Red River Market is the largest farmers market in the region, held weekly during the summer and early fall in downtown Fargo. Hosting over 100 local vendors who offer a variety of products including fresh produce, handmade crafts, and artisanal goods, as well as showcasing performances, community activities, and educational programs, the market creates a vibrant and engaging atmosphere for visitors of all ages—the perfect grounds for placemaking!

Details: Opening Day—July 1, featuring lots of special activities for the celebration!

Market Main Season—July-October + additional offseason dates.

The 2024 season of Red River Market is July 13October 26, every Saturday from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. in Fargo Broadway Square (with the exception of the Sunday Market on July 20).

The market accepts SNAP payments! They offer The SNAP match program, increasing food accessibility by allowing participants to use and match SNAP dollars to purchase fresh, local produce. Customers can exchange $15 snap dollars for $30 market token dollars.

Red River Market is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year!

Photos by Morgan Schleif Photography

Did you know? You can purchase an "Experience Punch Card" for $20 at each Night Bazaar event. This card unlocks access to a range of unique themed activities throughout the evening, adding an extra layer of enjoyment to your night! Some of these activities include crafts, photo booths, dress-up items, food, and more.

Night Bazaar is a magical evening event that features food, music, art, and performance. Each event hosts a unique theme, like "Renaissance" or "Circus," creating a colorful, engaging atmosphere for attendees of all ages.

The Night Bazaar promotes community spirit, supports local businesses, and provides a platform for artists and performers, enhancing the cultural vibrancy of the region.

Details: Various Thursdays—2024 will host three Night Bazaars in Fargo Broadway Square from 6 p.m. - 10 p.m., plus two more in alternate locations!

This event is FREE and familyfriendly.

Amanda's favorite event is the Night Bazaar!

"It gives me a fun excuse to wear a cool costume. The twinkling lights decorating the event add to the charm, creating a unique and vibrant atmosphere in downtown Fargo. It feels like we get to experience four Halloweens in one summer!"

Renaissance—June 20

Circus—July 25

Magic—September 19

Moorhead Night Bazaar, Sunset—August 8

+ Moorhead Night Bazaar will take place in the American Crystal Sugar lot from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Spook—October 31

+ This final Night Bazaar will be at Brewhalla from 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Make it a fashion show!

At the Night Bazaar, Folkways' entire staff dress up and attendees are encouraged to do the same. Transform the ordinary into the extraordinary by embracing the magic of costumes that align with each event's unique theme!

Recycle your Halloween costume, that shirt you bought for a themed party or your LARPing fit!


Fire Dancing and Aerialist Performers

"It's amazing to see our local performers doing incredible stunts. Their talent has even inspired me to take a few classes at Zero Gravity."

All the Bubbles

"The Night Bazaar is filled with thousands of bubbles, adding a magical touch to the event. It truly enhances the enchanting atmosphere!"

Photos submitted by Folkways

Did you know?

Christkindlmarkt is a delightful tradition that hails from Germany, dating back to the Late Middle Ages. It's a place where communities come together to celebrate the holiday season, sharing warmth, laughter, and the spirit of giving.

Photos submitted by Folkways

Christkindlmarkt is a European-inspired holiday event hosted by Folkways that brings festive cheer through an outdoor winter wonderland, gift market, and bier hall in partnership with Drekker Brewing Company. To embrace the spirit of the season, the Folkways team transforms the Fargo Civic Center into a true winter wonderland, complete with hourly live music, cheery holiday characters, s'mores roasting, and more.

Details: Christkindlmarkt will celebrate its second year of two weekends for festivities this year at the Civic Center in Downtown Fargo. November 22-24 November 29 - December 1

Jef frey's favorite event is (also) the Night Bazaar!

"This event is just so fun, all the culture and art, the vendors with their themed booths, and all the different costumes—I think it is really amazing to see these parts of our community get shown off at an event in the heart of our downtown."




"We have a cotton candy spinner and popcorn popping, and lots of great food vendors as well."

Balloon Animal Creation

"I strive to make a new creature every bazaar. Come see what's in store at our next Bazaar!"

"Fargo Parks recently introduced a Chronolog Photo Station in Orchard Glen Park. It will be exciting to see all the photos collected by the end of the summer and observe how our community's engagement can help monitor environmental changes. Although it's not an art installation, this collective time-lapse project is a unique form of art in itself." -Amanda

Photos submitted by Folkways

Orchard Glen Park is now home to North Dakota's first-ever Chronolog photo station! This innovative setup invites park-goers to capture snapshots of nature's slow dance through their smartphones. Just align your phone on the stand, snap a photo, and email it to Chronolog to become part of a growing time-lapse that tells the story of our environment. Located on the south side of the pollinator garden, this project enhances our connection to nature while also contributing valuable data to environmental science. Curious to see the changes over time? Check out the time-lapse at Chronolog.io/map and contribute to our community's story at Orchard Glen Park!

At Folkways, public art is a cornerstone of their placemaking efforts. They believe that art has the power to transform public spaces, making them more vibrant, welcoming, and reflective of the community's identity. Folkways' public art projects, including murals and installations, are designed to surprise and delight residents and visitors alike, creating moments of connection and joy.

Folkways generally supports one large art project each year. If you’re interested in sponsoring an art project, or you're an artist who has an idea for a mural, let them know!

You can catch some of the projects they have supported at fargowalkingtours.com

"The Mario Wall—it's so generational and fun; I feel like everyone has to love it. It's interactive too and makes for some really fun photos!"


"The painting of Bob Dylan on Broadway. I just love walking down the street and glancing over to see giant Bob staring back at me."


What's the weirdest piece of public art in the FM area?

"The animal/ zoo mural. I used to look at it when my dad worked across the way at Knights Printing so it has fond memories."



Log the Sauna offers a unique blend of tradition, wellness, and community connection. This mobile, wood-fired sauna brings the warmth and relaxation of a traditional Nordic experience to the heart of Fargo, providing a cozy retreat during the cold winter months.

The idea behind Log the Sauna is simple yet powerful: create a space where the community can come together, unwind, and connect. In a city where winter can often lead to feelings of isolation (a focused fight for Folkways), the sauna serves as a warm, cozy spot to foster social interaction and a sense of belonging. It's a place where stories are shared, new friendships are forged, and the community spirit is kindled.

Stay up to date on the Sauna Events by following along on Facebook at /Log the Sauna!

Did you know? Public saunas have a long history of promoting physical and mental well-being. By bringing this tradition to Fargo, Folkways not only offers residents a chance to enjoy its health benefits but also reinforces the importance of communal experiences. Log the Sauna is a testament to Folkways' commitment to placemaking—transforming public spaces into inviting, shared environments that encourage connection and combat social isolation.

Brenna's favorite event is (also, again) the Night Bazaar (I think we're seeing a pattern here)!

"It's so exciting to see how we can transform a venue in one day and make magic happen in real-time. The hustle involved with the event is something I thrive on. Starting the day early, setting up, loading in vendors, and then getting into costume, and performing for the community— a superpower to pull off such a massive party in just one day."



"I can't get enough of Namaste Chai's garlic naan. They are so delicious and the perfect size to be filling without being too much. Their lemonade is out of this world too, making it a perfect combo."

Roaming Characters

"We've got stilt walkers, magicians, fire breathers, and so much more depending on the bazaar's theme. I'm awed by the talent of those in our community, and it's incredibly fulfilling to see people making core memories at something I had a hand in creating."

Make sure to follow @campusfm on Instagram, whether you're a student or not, to see recommendations, tips, events, and more from our community!

CampusFM is an initiative aimed at retaining students in the Fargo-Moorhead region after graduation by strengthening the connections between students, campuses, and the community. Through the Creatorship and Intern Experience programs, Campus FM serves as a backbone organization for emerging professional retention efforts and coordinates institutional efforts to invest in students culturally, socially, and professionally.

Details: CampusFM consists of two key training programs, the Creatorship (a 12-week content creation internship) and the Intern Experience (an 8-week skill development program for interns of Fargo businesses).

The Creatorship is a comprehensive 12-week internship program that guides students through the art of crafting social media content. Throughout the program's duration, students gain practical, hands-on experience in content development, actively creating and contributing to content for CampusFM's social media channels. Details: This program runs in the summer, fall, and spring! Applications will open in July to participate in the Fall Creatorship.

The Intern Experience is an 8-week professional development program that helps companies elevate their internship experience. Throughout the program, interns learn a myriad of skills including career development, goal setting, time management, networking, and more.


Community Experts

Placemakers, Community Builders, Event Planners, Social Architects, Cultural Curators—the Folkways team can go by many names, but let's take a moment to recognize that this diverse group can also be trusted as community experts! And, of course, we love to be your local guide to the best spots in the FM area. So, let's check out some local favorites, recommendations, and more from the Folkways team, AKA—some community experts!

O'Day Cache and Proper

"O'Day Cache always has fun trinkets, handmade pieces, and artisan items to choose from, one of my favorite things form them are the paper lanterns I have hanging in my room. Connected is Proper and another go-to spot for gifts, with incredible jewelry, clips, and candles I'm sure to find something perfect for the girlies in my life." - Erica Stabo

More Than Words Brewhalla

Bakers Garden and Gift

"They offer a variety of items made by small artists, and I appreciate supporting a place that champions local talent." - Amanda

Historic 8th St in South Fargo + beautiful homes

"It's great to start at Island Park and make your way over there—I'm a BIG fan of trees, and the older neighborhoods in town make me feel like I'm the main character in a Hallmark Movie." - Emma

52nd to Moorhead

"It reminds me of my childhood street back home in Bismarck. It also always has a great view of the sunset and is (usually) pretty quiet with no other cars around." - Brenna

El Zagal Golf Course Neighborhoods + Trefoil Park

Lookout Park at Hector International Airport


Botanical Gardens

Blarney Stone Downtown Rooftop

Chai Moto

Steps at Island Park


"I'm a #alleygal—they always have great backdrops, the occasional mural, and a lack of people to witness." - Emma

Ivy wall at Ivers Building

Coffee + Tunes

"I would first have to take them to some of the local coffee shops to try caffeine for the first time. Then, I'd take them dancing at one of the bars downtown, probably Cowboy Jack's when they've got a great DJ playing. I feel like aliens would be down to rock out to some music, and they'd probably love the lasers and lights." - Brenna


"I have a theory that if someone says that Fargo is boring, there is a very high chance that they have never been to BernBaums before (like a nearly direct correlation). It never ceases to surprise me how many humans still haven't heard of it." - Emma

Plains Art Museum

Marge's Bar

"I think they would be really into the lights." - Jeffery

The appetizer, Boomers, consists of mixed mushrooms, shallots, goat cheese, crostini, and balsamic reduction— and now, we're hungry. Thanks, Emma.

BernBaums anything labeled Vegan or Vegetarian, but also the Vegan Ruben

Taco Bros Trust your Bro + ask for a vegan version

Poke Bowl

46 North Pints & Provisions Boomers


3.1 Miles of Pure Bliss

"I've discovered that the perfect 5k route starts on the trail behind Mickelson Field. From there, you cross the bridge into Moorhead at Oak Grove Park, continue north along the trail towards Original Homestead Park, and then cross back into Fargo using the 12th/15th Avenue bridge. This is a great biking trail as well if you are not fond of running." - Amanda

Osgood is Really Good

"I really enjoy walking around my neighborhood. I live in the Osgood area, and there are so many little paths to explore! It's a great way to unwind and get some fresh air." - Brenna

The Classics

"The bike path through Lindenwood and Gooseberry Park. It's very long and extremely pleasant running through all the wildlife." - Jeffery

The Public Universities

"I'm always so surprised by how pretty our college campuses are—those seem like a really lovely, pedestrian-friendly place to bop around." -Emma

Wave to the Vikings

"I love walking through the river trails over into Moorhead by the Hjemkomst Center." - Erica

"I recently visited for the first time and was pleasantly surprised by how affordable yet high-quality the food was." - Amanda Deeks

"The cookie tastes like adult fruit loops and I'm in love." - Emma

Nichole's Fine Pastry Feuilletine with a glass of wine

Red Pepper Insomnia Cookies (downtown hot dog cart) Moonrise Cafe's Heart Cakes + Tumeric Cookie

Mezzaluna Shrimp Fettuccine at Mezzaluna

Sol Ave Kitchen Dirty Wings (paired with a Junkyard brew of course)

Blarney Stone Irish Nachos

Sol Ave Kitchen Korean Beef Bowl

Prairie Kitchen Swedish Meatballs

Maxwells Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna

ThaiKota Drunken Mama Noodles and/or (depending on your bravery) Spicy Ramen "ThaiKota hurts so good." - Emma

Taco Bros food truck Trust Your Bro Platter (but make it spicy)

Pho Delicious —Steak Pho (it doesn't come spicy but there are chili peppers and siracha offered to spice it up)

E-meet Benjamin H. Werner

Hello,my name is BenWerner and I just graduated from NDSU with a civil engineering degree.

Before coming to Fargo,I had lived in quite a few different places.When I was five years old,my family moved from Chicago toAfghanistan because my dad was working with a women’s hospital in Kabul.In 2009, my family moved back to Chicago to the west side of the city,in the neighborhood of North Lawndale where over 90% of the population isAfricanAmerican.Living in bothAfghanistan and North Lawndale,I had the chance to live in two very different cultures.For example, some of my first friendships were withAfghan boys who didn’t speak English.Though we did not share the same language,we spent hours together playing.And in eighth grade,back in the US,on the basketball team,I was the only white player on the team and was dubbed the nickname "Two Percent" (like the milk),haha.

All these experiences have culminated in shaping who I am and what I value.I have learned that life experiences dictate so much about how we,as humans,react and empathize with ongoing social issues.Since being in North Dakota,I have been involved inThe Impact Movement.This Christian ministry is geared towards AfricanAmerican students.Building relationships with others involved in this group and growing in my faith through this ministry has been a highlight of my time in college at NDSU.

Where do you call home?

Growing up, this has always been an interesting question to answer. The short answer is Chicago. l was born there, all my family lives there, and I love the city. However, growing up, I called many places home. To give a reference, as a child, I had never been to one school for more than two years until I got to high school. My parents both work in healthcare and this has brought us overseas to Afghanistan, as well as the city of Memphis, TN. I also spent a gap year after high school volunteering at a school for refugees in New Delhi, India. But I guess for the time being, my home is Fargo.

Tell us about your passion for traveling and how landed in Fargo? What keeps you busy here?

As mentioned previously, I have spent time in several different places throughout my life, which I believe has sparked an interest in my desire to discover new places and experience new cultures. Over my 23 years of living, I've traveled to twenty different countries. Most

recently, I went to visit a friend in Guatemala. After graduating from college in the spring, I am hoping to visit Switzerland and Rwanda.

Coming to Fargo for college was a new cultural experience for me that has been incredibly impactful as well. As mentioned, I came to Fargo to study Civil Engineering at North Dakota State University. I am currently a senior and since being here, I have stayed busy. Outside of studying for classes, I have played on the NDSU club volleyball team and have been involved in The Impact Movement. I also have volunteered with a student ministry called “Bridges,” which aims to help International students by providing community and aiding in their transition into living in the United States.

Why should the FM area community engage more with the Tri-College community?

I believe there is so much value in the engagement between the Fargo-Moorhead and Tri-College community. There is always a lot going on in Fargo, and it's important that people are connected to these


opportunities. There are several cultural events put on each year by NDSU such as Diwali night, Afrique, and Lunar New Year, which highlight different cultures by showcasing performances and traditional food. For anyone who has yet to experience one of these events, I highly encourage you to check them out!

Why should people care about outside the Midwest?

From my experience traveling and living in other countries, I believe there are many benefits to experiencing authentic communities within other cultures. Traveling to new places allows misconceptions to be broken down and causes greater empathy between the different people groups. By living in India for seven months, I not only learned a lot about Indian culture, but I was able to give a perspective to Indians about the US and what life is truly like here. This experience has allowed me to better understand Indian international students here at NDSU and hopefully provide some comfort to these students who are living away from home. It has also led to a few home-cooked Indian meals that have never disappointed!

What are some misconception of rural cities versus urban regions?

It has been very interesting going from living in Chicago to New Delhi, to Fargo. The pace of life in Fargo is much slower than in the former cities mentioned. Over time, I have grown to appreciate this difference. Since living in Fargo, it has been interesting to see people’s judgments of Chicago. Because Chicago is only highlighted in the news due to its violence, many people in Fargo only have this association. Although there is truth to the hardships of a place like Chicago, there is much more beauty within the city than is only experienced by taking a trip to

the place itself. There is so much diversity in Chicago, which can be experienced by venturing out and trying different restaurants and by going to different festivals and events. And people back in Chicago also have negative conceptions of Fargo because it is much more rural than a city like Chicago. However, since I’ve spent time working in Fargo, I’ve found that many people coming from rural, farming backgrounds have strong work ethics that have been applied well to a college setting such as NDSU.

What did you learn growing up between many cultures which you can apply in Fargo?

I learned how to connect well with people who come from different backgrounds. Although lots of people around Fargo come from smaller towns, I’ve still been able to make many friends here. In the same way that it was foreign to eat food with my hands in India, it was just as foreign going ice fishing here in Fargo! One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned living cross-culturally is that it’s important to approach new settings with curiosity and an open mind.

What is your vision 2030? Where will you be and why?

As of now, my plan is, after graduation in the spring, to move back to Chicago and work as a water systems engineer. A lot can change in six to seven years, so I honestly think that I am keeping an open mind and open hands at whatever God has in store for me. The field of water systems engineering can open many doors. I have a heart for working with underserved people, and I know that a proper water system is a basic necessity everyone shares. This may lead me to eventually work overseas or within another US city. We shall see.

Photo provided by Benjamin




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Bee Hill


From the permanent art of tattooing to creating prints of “mushroom brains," we are obsessed with the crazy talent of Bee Hill! We are forever inspired by this creative community in the FM area and love learning about artists' evolution and inspiration each month. You’ll find Bee both tattooing at Fever Dream and creating a variety of art you’ll find at pop-up markets and beyond— check out Bee’s story and inspo below!

Tell us a bit about yourself. I am a professional tattoo artist and co-owner of Fever Dream Tattoo in Fargo. I am originally from Saint Paul, MN, but have lived in ND since 2011. I have a bachelors in art from NDSU.

I am neurodivergent and dabble in a wide array of hyperfixations. I love shopping at antique stores and collecting a variety of strange objects such as Furbys and other haunted toys. I am a maximalist and will buy something solely because it is the weirdest thing I have ever seen. Because I cannot sit still, I listen to a lot of audiobooks. Fantasy romance is currently my favorite genre. Sarah J. Maas books are my Roman Empire. If you tell me you like them, I will scream (in a good way).

At home, I love spending time with my fur babies and watching terrible reality TV. I occasionally play video games (mostly openworld) when time permits. The Fallout series is my all-time favorite. I also enjoy not looking or acting my age. I am fooling all of you.


Describe what type of products you make under Bee Hill Tattoo. I primarily make prints and stickers out of my original digital drawings. They are all hand-drawn on my iPad and take a lot of time. I like experimenting with new brushes and digital techniques. For markets and vendor shows, I bring a lot of other random things as well. I make buttons out of art scraps, paint on canvases, and casually dabble in glass mosaics.

Tell us how you got started with your businesses.

I have been in the tattoo industry for a total of four years. It has come to consume my whole life. Tattooing is probably only 30% art and the rest is client communication and business operation (ordering, cleaning, social media, taxes, etc). I no longer have a nine-to-five, it's a 24/7 lifestyle. It's a lot, but I couldn't imagine doing anything else for work at this point. So, as weird as it sounds, being a tattoo artist sometimes makes it more difficult to focus on my own personal art. The art I primarily create is custom work for my clients. The collaboration aspect of the job is one of my favorite parts. The relationships I have developed with my clients are very special to me.

That being said, I was craving an outlet for my creativity that was outside of my job. Designing a tattoo is a much different process than other art mediums. Branching out into working on my own art and creating products has given me a better sense of individuality and freedom. It also helps me to reach a different audience than I would if I was only a tattooer.

What is the most popular item you specifically sell? Or your favorite you’ve created?

Same answer for both! I love my mushroom brain print and stickers. I originally sketched the design many years ago for an "Inktober" prompt, "Mindless." I felt inspired by the expression, "mush for brains" and that led me to think that a brain made of mushrooms would be a fun spin on that idea. It wasn't until relatively recently that I learned that mushrooms are actually intelligent.

How do you find inspiration and choose what you make or what styles you lean towards?

My style has kept evolving as I get more in touch with myself. My art education taught me that what I create should be driven by a meaning or a concept. However, even though I love conceptual

art, I have realized that overthinking tends to hinder my creative process. So now I make art that makes me feel genuinely happy. It's colorful, silly, and juvenile but I like it. I create these things for me and I hope others will like it as well. I keep a running list of all the goofy ideas that come into my head. Most may never get made into art, but it helps when I'm brainstorming my next project.

As a tattoo artist, how does this influence the artwork you make and sell?

Acclimating to being a tattooer has increased my work ethic for creating art. No matter what kind of day I'm having, when I am tattooing someone, I have to push myself to do the best job I can. I still have to keep drawing and composing designs even if I'm burnt out. This has helped rewire my brain to be able to complete my personal drawings even when they are challenging.

My job also allows me to be around creative people every day that I can bounce ideas off of and gain inspiration from. Interacting with my clients sparks ideas as well. Some of my designs are directly related to my tattoo work. I've been working on repurposing my older flash designs into new stickers. Sometimes people really like a design but don't want to commit to it being on their body forever. So instead of tossing away my idea into an art graveyard, it can be reincarnated as a sticker or a print.

What is something you've enjoyed the most about doing this handcrafted business?

Making art to sell is a lot less pressure than tattooing. Putting permanent things on people's bodies can be a mental game. This helps me to keep creating, try new things, and take more risks. It has helped motivate me to finish old projects and not take it too seriously. Selling products has helped me to hone in on my own personal branding. That part of a small business has always been exciting for me.

What is a word that best describes you? I am determined. My friends say I am the powerhouse of the cell, which is the funniest thing to me.

Where can people find your work? Primarily, I sell things at Unglued and pop-up markets.

Website/social to stay in touch: | feverdreamtattoo.com | @beehilltattoo

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