Here we are at the Spirit Room in July of 2016 having grown from eight volunteers in 1997. The volunteers created a collective organization by contributing $50 per month. The Spirit Room has evolved into an arts and cultural center in downtown Fargo serving 9,500 people per year. Becoming a non-profit in 2004 meant that our activities are required to be supported by the public and that we serve the public through programming. We are supported through memberships, donations, grants and fundraising. Our 16 weekly classes contribute to our income in addition to special event space rentals, most of which are required to support our mission.
Our mission is "to enrich people's lives through the development and practice of creative, contemplative and healing arts." We engage with individuals and organizations to create an educational experience that includes the community in the outcome. In accordance with the humanities model, much of our programming is free, being paid for by funders. By being a grassroots organization, our projects come to us from the community. We develop programming and many times act as a fiscal agent for projects.
The Spirit Room divides programming into the three primary components but many times they overlap. To be a fully developed human being, we each need to have a sense of well- being, tools to create well-being and a creative outlet to share with others. Creative programming includes gallery exhibits, literary events, humanities & musical events, dance and space for 24 artist studios. Contemplative programming includes mind-body wellness classes, workshops, a book club and retreats aimed to uplift the individual and develop heightened awareness of the present. Regarding the overlap in the components of our mission, you might regard painting or writing, for instance, as contemplative art too. Healing arts such as massage, healing touch, and counseling contribute to the well- being of the whole person enabling relaxation and a sense of gratitude to become incorporated into the fabric of life.
Below is historical entertainment with a visual look into our development.
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