Personal Writing

Tipping towards half-full

I wouldn’t say I’m a fully half-empty person, but I am someone who can pretty easily focus on the dark over the light; I tend to spend too much time thinking about areas where I have been overlooked versus moments when I have been lifted up. So in the spirit of trying to be at least balanced, if not tipping the tiniest bit toward half-full, I want to acknowledge that this has been an excellent week.

On Tuesday, my board chair and I made a proposal to our local CVB for capital funds to finish Aptitude, the art incubator we have been building with West Acres. I got a call about 2 hours after the meeting that we were receiving that funding. I have made some asks of them in the past and been turned down, so getting this money not only means we have the resources to really finish out the space, it also means that we found a way to speak the language and make the ask that resonated with their funds. That was a fun phone call to receive, and I am incredibly grateful.

On Wednesday, at the Main Street Summit in Bismarck, the Governor and Lt Governor awarded The Arts Partnership the Differentiator Award.

The award recognizes “a community, organization, individual or specific project that has found an innovative and/or unique way to attract businesses, workforce and visitors or enhance local quality of life by leveraging their unique assets or qualities.”

This means that we were up against non-arts organizations and projects across all of North Dakota. And we were selected! I am proud of the work we have done, and I am incredibly grateful to all the relationships that have helped us get to this point.

Thanks to Charley Johnson of the CVB for recording this.

I wish this weren’t the case, because I hate being so typical, but reading the congratulations on social media has gone a long way towards making me feel like our work does matter, my work does matter. I often say, “I’m like mayonnaise, you either like me or you don’t, and if you don’t, I don’t really care.” And that’s absolutely almost always true. But after nine years in this job, oftentimes just missing out on opportunities that feel like game changers and, more importantly, feel like affirmations that what I am doing matters, to see people joyfully celebrating this award and to know that we found a way to activate an organization I have tried hard to engage with feels really good.

So this week, I am feeling fully half-full, and I am incredibly grateful.

Photo: North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, me and Lt Governor Brent Sanford. Photo credit: Hillary Kempenich.

Dayna Del Val is on a mission to help others (re)discover the spark they were born with through her blog and newsletter, her professional talks and the (re)Discover Your Spark retreats she leads. Dayna works with people to help them not just identify and articulate their dreams but to develop a framework to get going on the pursuit of those dreams—today, in the next few months and for the years ahead. She's at the intersection of remarkable and so, so ordinary, but she knows that pretty much everyone else is, too. She's excited to be sharing this extraordinary journey with you.

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