Terri Aldrich, executive director of the Minot Area Council of the Arts, has a vision she shares with the early residents of the city.
"This year we're celebrating the 100th anniversary of Minot's parks," she said. "And the City Band was formed not long after that."
She pointed out that Minot's early residents knew the value of culture in a city when the trees in Oak Park were still saplings.
"It's a wonderful tradition and we wanted to build on that; to continue to grow and continue to make progress into the future," she said.
Since 2000, some 57,000 people have attended the Arts in the Parks events, enjoying performances ranging from dance, theater and big band sounds to light opera, '50s and '60s hits, gospel quartets and jazz.
Minot City Band
Arts in the Park 2011 and special events
June 12: Minot City Band, visual art by Stillpoint Photography with English Tea by Sylvia Rau
June 16: Voices of Note, visual art by Avis Veikley
June 17-18: Integrity Jazz Festival*
June 19: Dakota Summit Band, visual art by Pat Marquard
June 23: International Brass Quintet, visual art by Judith Hovde and Kathleen Cunningham
June 26: Minot City Band, visual art by Rita Doering
June 30: The Nodakords, visual art by Richard Muhlbradt
July 3: Chris Floyd, visual art by D. Combs
July 4: Festival of the Parks*
July 7: Minot City Band, plus a reader's rummage and visual art by Diana Hamm
July 10: The Five of Us, visual art by Jacque Younger
July 12: Putnam and Hiller, visual art by Briana Schwan, plus quilt auction and MOJO?Coffee (Minot Rotary Club Fundraiser)
July 14: Chamber Chorale, visual art by Rose Klein
July 17: The Gentle Winds Orchestra, visual art by Lakeview Art Club and Nancy Bauman
July 21: Minot City Band, visual art by Diane Slickers and Vicky Haider
July 24: JMB Band, visual art by Linda Olson
July 28: Dakota Rose Band, visual art by Tammi Millstead
July 31: Greenman, visual art by Gladys Lowell
Aug. 4: Treble Makers "At The Hop," visual art by Dakota Cruisers, concessions by MACA, Sons of Norway and St. Peter's.
Aug. 6: "Rock The Leaves," annual rock event with Dan Hansen, promoter
Sept. 10: USO Salute*
* special event charge for admission
This year, under the close eye of program director Steve Veikley, the Minot City Band opens the season June 12 in the first of six appearances. This one includes the Plated English Tea put together by Sylvia Rau along with Stillpoint Photography.
Popular performers like The Five of Us, Nodakords, JMB Band and GreenMan fill in some dates through the final concerts Aug. 4 and 6 with "At the Hop" and "Rock the Leaves."
A book exchange, initiated last year by Kathleen Cunningham, will take place July 7.
"This is a book exchange one-for-one," Cunningham said. "Bring a book or 10 into the MACA office beforehand, and during the concert you can pick up as many books to take away as you brought in."
"On July 12 we have a new item, a quilt auction, along with Putnam and Hiller, guitarists," Aldrich said. "The same evening we have Briana Schwan, the photographer, and MOJO Coffee, all for a fundraiser for the Minot Rotary Club."
Veikley noted the Dakota Summit Band playing June 19, which is a jazz band from Bismarck.
"This is something else we're proud of," Aldrich said. "It's a neat thing to bring the occasional performers from out of town."
This includes the International Brass Quintet, which is formed from instructors at the International Music Camp every year.
Some of the themed concerts of years past have led to larger summer events spun off from the Arts in the Parks. Both the Integrity Jazz Festival of June 17 and the USO Gala Salute of Sept. 10 are such spinoffs.
"Even being a visual artist can lead to something bigger," Aldrich said. "There was a brand new artist one year it was the first time she'd ever shown any of her artwork. After the exposure, she began to sell things and teach what she does, and started a little cottage industry for herself, thanks to Arts in the Parks."
Concerts are every Thursday at 7 p.m. and every Sunday at 4 and 7 p.m. from June 12 through Aug. 6, and Tuesday, July 12, at 7 p.m.
In the event of inclement weather, all concerts except City Band performances relocate to the Maysa Arena the same evening. The City Band concerts could be rescheduled, depending on their availability.