FARGO - More than 150 people gathered here Tuesday morning, June 12, to celebrate the role of the arts in the community and talk about a stronger vision for the future during The Arts Partnership's annual State of the Arts.

The event, which was held this year at North Dakota State University's Barry Hall, 811 Second Ave. N., kicked off with a breakfast social followed by an hourlong program highlighting accomplishments by the organization that aims to communicate about, fund and advocate for the arts.

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President and CEO Dayna Del Val told attendees that it's important to celebrate "our collective successes," but also said her recent travels to arts councils around the country shows that Fargo-Moorhead still has a long way to go to support the arts.

Her goal for The Arts Partnership in the coming year, she said, is to "be bold, much bolder than any previous time in our history" - a goal that includes growing the organization's grant program, working with more businesses and making the community the most arts accessible in the country.

Following Del Val's speech, The Arts Partnership distributed more than $100,000 in grants from the cities of Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo to local organizations.

Several people and organizations also were awarded for their efforts in the past year:

• Emily Williams-Wheeler (Outstanding Artist)

• West Acres (Outstanding Arts Collaborator)

• Gate City Bank (Outstanding Business Investor in the Arts)

• Moorhead Mayor Del Rae Williams (Outstanding Advocate for the Arts)