Join us for our VIRTUAL Summit Series!

January 14 - February 24, 2021

See below for all the details!

The Creative Economy Summit 2020 2021 (CES2) event will provide a platform for diverse change leaders to
collaborate and support community-driven solutions to connect arts, culture and economic development in
rural North Dakota. The objective of CES2 is to engage partners across uncommon sectors to identify true partnership opportunities and uncover creative, practical, and easy-to-implement solutions to problems that many rural North Dakota communities face today. This will be a series of short summit sessions between January 14, 2021 and February 28, 2021.

[artists, economic developers, entrepreneurs, educators, elected officials, environmental agencies, transportation agencies, art agencies, non-profits, etc.]

What you need to know

Cost benefit?

Tickets are $20. You can attend as many live sessions as you'd like, and you'll have exclusive access to the recorded sessions later!


The first 40 people to register by

December 16

will receive an

exclusive CES2 gift packed with $75+ worth of local goodies and handcrafted items! 


Scholarships are available for BIPOC artists and entrepreneurs!

(BIPOC=Black, Indigenous, People of Color)

Scholarships are also available to current and past AmeriCorps members!

You can apply in the registration form!

Scheduling conflict?

No worries! The sessions will be recorded and you will have exclusive access to view the recordings later!


Each session will be held via Zoom. Access links will be emailed to participants the day of each session. We encourage participants to attend with video on, to get the full engagement experience, but we will respect the needs of each individual participant!

You will need a computer and internet to participate, preferably with a camera, but not required.

New to Zoom? Check out some tutorials on YouTube!

Speaker Line Up

Charles "Boots" Kennedye

January 14, 2021 | 10a - 12p CST

Charles "Boots" Kennedye

Charles “Boots” Kennedye is an Oklahoma City based filmmaker and member of the Kiowa Tribe. He spent 10 years serving as documentary producer for the (OETA) Oklahoma Educational Television Authority before joining the Vision Maker Media team in 2014.


He has won many awards for his work, including eight Heartland Emmy Awards, five National Educational Television Association Awards including (2008) “Best-of-the-Best,” six Telly Awards and an American Indian Journalists Association (2020) Best TV Feature Award. Kennedye has been awarded the (2008) CPB/PBS Producers Workshop scholarship and the CPB INPUT Producer Fellowship. His contributions are seen across many of OETA’s major projects including, a 100-part Oklahoma story collective, Centennial Stories (2007), Oklahoma WWII Stories (2008), The People, Oklahoma Tribes (2009), and The State of Sequoyah (2011). Later he partnered with Rocky Mountain PBS to film and produce Urban Rez (2012) and again with Red Power Energy (2015).


Kennedye’s commitment to Indigenous Storytelling led him to Vision Maker Media, where he served as Producer for the National series Growing Native (2014-2018); a four-part documentary that showcases contemporary Native American stories while celebrating traditional pathways.


Other works include: Words from A Bear (2017) (Director Photography), a VMM co-production with American Masters, Redemption Story (2017) (Producer), chosen for the PBS Online Film Festival and We Walked: Ponca Long Walk (2018) (Photographer), a co-production with (NET) Nebraska Educational Television, Too Tough (2019) (Producer) a co-production with (ITVS) Independent Television Services and OETA, Trespass on Fort Berthold (2019) (Director/Reporter) a co-production with Buffalo’s Fire, Natsu Puuku Ranch (2019) (Producer), The Land Remembers: Pawnee Reconciliation (2020) (Director & Editor) a co-production with Kevin Aberask, Margret Jacobs and Nebraska Education Television, Osage Murders: The Reign of Terror (2021) (Producer) a co-production with Bigbee Productions and OETA.


Kennedye has also worked with many non-profits across the United States including: Nebraska Indian Center Inc., Trees Water and People, Society of Care, National Minority Consortia, American Indian Catholic Schools Network, 3E Productions, Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs, First Nations Museum, Native Youth Suicide Prevention Program, National Art Strategies, Racing Magpie, Kili Radio Pine Ridge, Change Network, Bush Foundation, Association of American Indian Physicians, Saint Paul and Minnesota Foundation, Facing Race.

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January 20, 2021 | 10a - 12p CST

Keith BraveHeart

Keith BraveHeart is a multimedia artist and arts educator. He is from the community of Pejuta Haka “Medicine Root” (Kyle, SD), located on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, and is a citizen of the Oglala Sioux Tribe.


BraveHeart attended the Institute of American Indian Arts (Santa Fe, NM) and received his MFA from the University of South Dakota (Vermillion, SD). 


BraveHeart acknowledges a philosophy of art as inseparable from community, culture, or life. As a Lakota artist, he advocates for contemporary arts representation, and invests into community-engaged arts initiatives across the Northern Plains region. Some of his projects include: the documentary film, We Are A Horse Nation (2014); the traveling art exhibition, Horse Nation of the Ochethi Sakowin (2016–2019); and the community-engaged initiative, Buffalo Nation: Creating Community (2018–Present).

BraveHeart has encouraged generations of art students through his work with the Oscar Howe Summer Art Institute (USD, Vermillion, SD), and he currently serves as the Art Instructor at the Oglala Lakota College. 

January 26, 2021 | 10a - 11:45a CST

Jazmine Wolff Schultz

Jazmine Wolff Schultz was born in Minot, ND and raised in Burlington, ND, where as a third grader she discovered her love for performance at the annual school talent show. “A Whole New World” really did change her world forever, and a couple of high school performances and 6 years as a Triangle Y Camp counselor later, the groundwork was laid for what would become her life’s passions: organizing, performing, and participating in community art endeavors.

Jazmine is perhaps best known for her work as co- owner of Prairie Sky Breads and as an incubator of all-ages, affordable, arts opportunities in North Dakota. She is the co-creator/ organizer of Why Not?! Minot Music and Arts Festival, GRip (Girls Rip) Fest, and Pangea House, as well as, Marketing Director and Board Member for MSU Summer Theatre and Songwriting/ Theater Instructor at Full Steam Ahead. She performs in two musical groups regularly, Vanity Plate and Songbirds of North America: touring, playing guitar and bass, and writing songs for each of the projects.

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January 26, 2021 | 10a - 11:45a CST

Travis Gerjets

Travis Gerjets is a baker and co-owner at Prairie Sky Breads in downtown Minot. His focus is community engagement, social justice, laughing lots, and playing monster with his two boys. 

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February 4, 2021 | 10a-11:30a CST

Scott Burlingame

Scott Burlingame has been the Executive Director of Independence Inc., a Resource Center for Independent Living in Minot, ND for 10 years and has worked in the Disability Rights movement for over 20 years. Scott has been appointed by the Governor to serve on the State Independent Living Council, the state Olmstead Commission, and the State Rehabilitation Council. He has served on many local and statewide councils and boards, focusing on issues related to disability, addiction, housing, nonprofits, and community development. He has also been elected by his peers from around the country to serve 4 terms on the board of directors for Association of Programs in Rural Independent Living (APRIL) and is currently serving as their President.

Scott has developed a system of service delivery that encourages community participation, leadership development, and personal empowerment to create systems change. Scott was awarded the Earl Walden Award for Outstanding Achievement in Rural Advocacy by the APRIL in 2015 and was named Nonprofit Leader of the Year by the Minot Alliance of Nonprofits in 2019.  Scott is married with two sons.

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February 11, 2021 | 10a-11:30a CST

Megan Laudenschlager

Megan Laudenschlager is the Founder and Executive Director of Strengthen ND. Megan is a 2014 Bush Foundation Fellow, 2020 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Social Impact Strategy, and an alumnus of the Harvard-Kennedy School of Government’s Leadership in the 21st Century Program and the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana State University. Megan currently holds several state-based and national positions related to rural placemaking and development, including positions on the North Dakota Council on the Arts Board of Directors, North Dakota Economic Development Foundation Board of Directors, North Dakota Rural Development Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts’ Steering Committee, which provides guidance to the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design (CIRD).

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February 11, 2021 | 10a-11:30a CST

Holly Doll

Holly Doll's Lakota name is Anpao Wiŋ (First Light Woman), and she is an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Holly is the founder and President of Native Artists United. Holly has been working with Indigenous artists for over 10 years, providing cultural/racial sensitivity workshops for 5 years, and started her own artist career over 15 years ago. She has dedicated her career to encouraging artists to find the value in the work they do and to create a sustainable, reliable, long term outlet for them.

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February 11, 2021 | 10a-11:30a CST

Troyd A. Geist

Troyd is charged with encouraging the preservation and continuation of folk and traditional arts, heritage, and culture.  He holds a Master of Arts degree in Sociology/Anthropology from North Dakota State University.  His responsibilities include managing the Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program, conducting on-going research and documentation of folklore/folk art, advising the NDCA and its sub-grantees on appropriate ways to expand the state's awareness of its cultural heritage, producing folk art and folklife exhibits, publications, and audio recordings, and assisting with folk arts integration efforts in other agency programs.


He has conducted large special projects on ND’s reservations and has produced eleven CDs of traditional music, storytelling, and guided imagery.  Four of the CDs received national awards including three for Best Spoken Word from the Native American Music Association.  He developed an ongoing partnership with the National Park Service and Amtrak placing ND folk artists on the train to perform for passengers.  This program received the 2013 National Trails and Rails Partnership Award from the United States Department of the Interior.  He has also examined the interplay between folk art/folk culture and health in the following areas; the impact of arts on the “three plagues” that affect the health of elders in care facilities, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and the impact of traditional storytelling as a counseling tool, Bell’s palsy as viewed and treated in traditional cultures, Familial Alzheimer’s Disease tracking using anthropological methods, and the use of culturally-infused narration and traditional music as guided imagery designed to have a physiologic impact on the human body (with Sanford Health).


His early work with folk arts/artists in eldercare facilities resulted in the development of the NDCA’s Art for Life Program.  In 2010, he co-authored, co-edited, and co-compiled the book Sundogs and Sunflowers: Folklore and Folk Art of the Northern Great Plains which was recognized in 2012 with a national Notable Documents Award from the American Library Association.

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February 11, 2021 | 10a-11:30a CST

Onesti Krieger

Onesti Krieger currently lives in Williston, ND with her family. She loves being involved in the community and serves on several board and committees. Her passion is bringing more art to the people in ND. Onesti is an artist that works mostly with oil and acrylic paints. Her favorite pastimes include spending time outdoors, traveling, yoga, "reading" audible books, writing, painting, baking, cooking, taking pictures, and learning new things.

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February 11, 2021 | 10a-11:30a CST

Judy Larson

With a background in healthcare and economic development, Judy Larson has found her passion in building healthy communities. She’s a connector and communicator, a listener, and lover of people. In 2018, Judy helped to establish Placemakers Co-op, a group dedicated to creating space for makers and do-ers to share ideas, collaborate, build relationships, and use their talents. In addition to hosting a unique community-focused event each month, Placemakers Co-op also works with LIVE Inc., an entity that provides services for people with developmental disabilities. Judy has been instrumental in forging a relationship between the two groups by organizing events and classes, (including an artist in residence) for all to enjoy, regardless of ability. In the spirit of People First Language, she believes we are all “people needing support”--people who are happier, healthier and better able to use and expand our talents when we are in a healthy, supportive community.


February 24, 2021 | 10a - 11:30a CST

Briselda Hernandez

Briselda Hernandez is the Business Opportunities Manager for Souris Basin Planning Council and has been with the organization since 2014. She believes that true economic development is creating an economy in which all have a fair opportunity to participate, prosper, and reach their full potential.

Born and raised in Carlsbad, California, Briselda moved to Minot in 2013. She graduated from the University of San Diego with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in finance and recently received a master’s degree in public administration from the University of North Dakota. Briselda was awarded Top 40 Business Professionals under the age of 40 by Prairie Business Magazine in 2018.  Outside of the office, Briselda enjoys hiking, walking her two dogs, Lilo and Nani, and going to they gym with her husband.

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February 24, 2021 | 10a - 11:30a CST

Brenda McCasson

Brenda was born and raised on a cattle and grain farm south of Velva. She is the youngest of three sisters.  After graduating from Velva High School in 2000, Brenda studied at North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton. She worked for United Blood Services in Minot as a Mobile Supervisor/Phlebotomist. During one of her blood draws, she met her husband in 2004. They married, and moved to Ohio where Brenda worked as a travelling Phlebotomist in Columbus and Cleveland. She studied at Columbus State Community College.


Upon the arrival of their first child, Brenda and Matt moved back to Velva. Brenda dedicated much of her children’s developmental years to staying at home and starting an at-home daycare. In 2017 Brenda took a position at Velva Fresh Foods as the Meat Manager. In addition to running the meat department, she took on a leadership role within the store and became Assistant Store Manager. In January of 2020, Brenda and Matt purchased Velva Fresh Foods from Shawn and Geneil Vedaa. In June, Brenda and Matt purchased the grocery store in Drake.

Brenda loves to spend time with her family and raising her children. Their family participates in local sports, 4-H, church, and other local groups. Brenda serves on the VCDC Board in Velva. In her spare time, she loves to go camping, hunting, and fishing.    

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February 24, 2021 | 10a - 11:30a CST

Shawn Vedaa

Shawn Vedaa is a North Dakota State Senator for District 6. A self-employed past owner of Velva Fresh Foods. Current President of the Re-insurance Association of North Dakota (RAND) board. Senate member of the National Conference of Insurance Legislatures (NCOIL). Vice Chair Industry Business and Labor Committee and member of the Government and Veteran’s Affairs Committee for the ND State Senate. Current Board member of the North Dakota Grocers Association, Souris Basin Planning Council, Northern Prairie Social Service District, Souris Valley Care Center, Velva Economic Development Corporation, and Velva Association of Commerce. Past Board President of Northern Tier Federal Credit Union, Velva Association of Commerce and Oak Valley Lutheran Church. Past board member of North Star Community Credit Union and North Dakota Army National Guard.

Shawn is married to Geneil Talley Vedaa and they have five grown children and three grandchildren all of whom reside in the state. He has been a volunteer youth coach and has coached grade school through varsity sports while he still had children in school.

In 2019 Shawn was the recipient of the National Grocers Association “Spirit of America Award”.

Sponsored by

ND Council on the Arts logo

This project is supported in part by a grant from the North Dakota Council on the Arts, which receives funding from the state legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.