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Arts Roundup may partner with Family Fun Day: DSU Alumni and Foundation looks to other organizations to sponsor vacated events

The Arts Roundup event at Dickinson State University and the Best Friends Mentoring program’s Family Fun Day could join forces this year.

In a statement sent out Thursday, DSU spokesperson Marie Moe indicated that the university is in discussions with leadership of the youth mentoring program, which operates under the direction of the Western Wellness Foundation, to combine certain aspects of Arts Roundup to the program’s Family Fun Day.

“DSU has been a longtime supporter of the Best Friends Mentoring program,” stated Moe. “Historically, the Arts Roundup at DSU and the Family Fun Day are held at the same time. This year, Arts Roundup will not take place at the DSU campus. DSU will instead be joining with BFM to support the community Family Fun Day held at Jaycees Park.”

The two events are traditionally held during the same weekend. BFM executive director Kris Fehr said Thursday that this year’s Family Fun Day is scheduled for June 28 at Jaycees Park.

“We don’t have all the details worked out yet, but it would certainly be nice to work together with DSU,” Fehr said. “In the past, some people have had to pick and choose and little bit between the two events, so, in that sense, it would make sense. I think it’s something that would be good for the community.”

Earlier this month, the DSU Alumni and Foundation, the former sponsor of Arts Roundup, announced that it would be cutting ties with the event moving forward. The foundation acted to abstain from sponsoring Arts Roundup — along with several other DSU-related events — due to a shift in priorities, according to a Feb. 6 memo sent from foundation CEO Kevin Thompson to DSU faculty and staff.

“Like all organizations, the DSU Alumni and Foundation needs to evaluate its events and activities from time to time,” stated Thompson in the memo. “This past winter we evaluated our calendar of events for 2014 and beyond. This planning process has allowed the staff to review each of the 50-to-60 events and prioritize our sponsored/organized events going forward.”

Moe said vendors who have participated in the past — as well as any interested newcomers — are welcome to reserve a space at the park for what is expected to be a joint community event.

The foundation was hopeful that other organizations would sponsor the vacated events, Thompson wrote in a letter. Those events include the Outstanding Senior Luncheon, pregame DSU football tailgating events, and financial support for the annual Theodore Roosevelt Symposium on the university’s campus.

“We will be happy to assist in helping organizations get off to a great start by sharing our knowledge and expertise with each event,” Thompson wrote in the Feb. 6 memo. “We know events all to grow and hopefully prosper, but, at this time, the DSU Alumni and Foundation has prioritized goals to advance our mission in providing support for the growth of Dickinson State University.”

Bryan Horwath
A Wisconsin native, Horwath has been covering news in the Oil Patch of North Dakota since 2012. Horwath currently serves as the senior agriculture and political reporter for The Dickinson Press and, despite the team's tendency to always let him down, remains a diehard Minnesota Vikings fan.
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