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Meet the 9 local musicians and bands who got grants to record albums, launch projects

Recipients of the 2020 Jade Presents Arts Partnership grants (clockwise, from left to right) include Jessica Vines, Disappear Forever, Cold Sweat, Paul Shields, Daniel Ellenson (top), Sarah Morrau (bottom) and the Silver Winds Flute Quartet. Design by Ethan Mickelson / The Arts Partnership
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FARGO — To carve out a support network for artists in the community, The Arts Partnership has announced 18 individual artist and musician grants for a total of $36,000 will be awarded this spring.

“We believe that artists are an essential part of the region’s cultural vitality,” notes Dayna Del Val, president and CEO of The Arts Partnership.

With almost a decade of awarding grants to support local artists working in dance, literature, media, music, theater, traditional and folk arts and craft, and the visual arts, the umbrella arts organization has granted $130,123 since 2012. Jade Presents has partnered with The Arts Partnership for the past five years, funding the musician grants by allocating a portion of every ticket sold at its Bluestem Summer Concert Series. The Individual Arts Partnership Grant pool is supported by donations from individuals.

The Arts Partnership / Special to The Forum


In this first installment of grantee announcements, get to know the artists who are bringing their music to Fargo-Moorhead with new projects, including albums, collaborations and workshops.

Jessica Vines

Jessica Vines’ new album “Moving Too Fast” comes out on streaming services on April 1. Special to the Forum

Headlining the band stamped with her snappy name, Jessica Vines will receive $1,500 toward the final stage of her album release. Entitled “Moving Too Fast,” the album of original work is set to release on April 1 with hints of the new vision popping up online already, including original cover artwork by Vines and Alex Van Eeckhout.

With a degree in jazz, Vines is an educator, vocalist, writer and arranger. You may have caught her around town taking covers of “What Is Love” by Haddaway or “I Wish” by Stevie Wonder to new levels.

“Our favorite places to play are wherever the audience is actively listening and is excited and like, with us," Vines says.

She notes that it’s particularly satisfying when her original works are requested, saying, “That's the whole point of music for me to make stuff that is relatable.”


Disappear Forever

The Disappear Forever gang played at Harold’s Fest in June 2019. Special to the Forum

The post-punk/goth group Disappear Forever will receive $2,500 to transform a rehearsal space into a fully functional recording space, for their upcoming albums and for other local bands to use.

Finding a sound between the groups’ four members — Charlie Sigurdson, Patrick Finnicum, Jon Weber and Troy Gion — their most recent recording experience came in the form of a six-track EP called "Treasure." In explaining why the band developed an EP rather than a full album, bassist and vocalist Troy Gion says, “If you have that creative spark and the idea behind it, really any means is the best, you know, like whatever works for that person.”

“Now that it's becoming real, we've been thinking more critically about what (equipment) is going to be acceptable to record in a studio environment,” says guitarist Patrick Finnicum.

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Daniel Ellenson

Danile Ellenson plans to use his grant funding to professionally record with Luke Anderson his demo album, “Snakebird.” Special to the Forum

A grant of $1,500 will help Daniel Ellenson take his album “Snakebird” to the next level by recording at a local studio. He'll be working from the demo he originally released in December.

“I know a lot of people I love, family members and friends that are in the music community and are very talented,” Ellenson says. “So I'm going to ask numerous people to collaborate on this to put this together.”

With experience playing in indie groups like Showers and the band Sweaters, his writer’s spirit comes out in riffs and passages of his work on "Snakebird."

Sarah Morrau

Performing classical, jazz and spiritual vocals in places like Plains Art Museum or on camera for "Prairie Musicians," Sarah Morrau uses her voice to heal souls. Special to The Forum

A counselor and vocalist, Sarah Morrau has been performing professionally for more than 30 years. What keeps her singing these days, whether in the car or at home, is jazz.

She will receive $2,500 toward classical and jazz vocal lessons and recording up to five songs.

“As an artist, once it's part of you, you kind of can't really get away from it," she says. "It's going to keep coming back to you."

More grantees

Additional grant recipients include:

  • $2,500 each to Ian Johnson, Cold Sweat (Ryan Tetzloff), and The Cropdusters.
    Cold Sweat (Ryan Tetzloff). Special to The Forum
  • $1,500 to Paul Andre Shields.
    Paul Andre Shields. Special to The Forum
  • $1,000 to The Silver Winds Flute Quartet.
    The Silver Winds Flute Quartet. Special to The Forum

In total, Jade Presents has contributed $51,000 in 29 grants since the promoter first started collaborating with The Arts Partnership.
This article is part of a content partnership with The Arts Partnership, a nonprofit organization cultivating the arts in Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo. For more information, visit http://theartspartnership.net.

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