Basin Electric’s front desk staff has been fielding a lot of questions about art this week. Who is the artist? Where was this done? Can I buy this art?
And when people hear the art now displayed in the Basin Electric Headquarters lobby was done by fifth graders at Roosevelt Elementary School in Bismarck, ND, the reaction is usually, “Those kids have more talent than I ever will” and “That would look great on my wall.”
The art is being displayed at Basin Electric because the cooperative is one of the lead sponsors for a pilot project being done at Roosevelt Elementary. Teachers of all grade levels are being taught how to incorporate art into their daily lessons. So, for example, a geometry lesson may include art having to do with shapes.
“Bismarck Public Schools had to make the tough decision to pull art from the elementary schools,” Risan says. “But the state mandates 45 minutes of art a week be taught. This is where this program comes in.” Risan says while the North Dakota State Legislature allocates money to art programs, there usually isn’t enough to go around.
“Children have immense capacity for creativity,” Risan says. “I think creativity highlights how important art is, and allows our children the freedom to form their own ideas.”
Risan says she will be bringing new pieces of art to Basin Electric every couple of weeks or so, from all grade levels. Go to the Corporate Social Responsibility page on Basin Electric’s website to learn about other programs sponsored.